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Coming our way: Christianity as mental illness

persecutionChristians are already identified as potential terrorists by the Obama regime’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Now a British science writer named Kathleen Taylor, is advancing a provocative and politically incendiary idea — that “religious fundamentalism” (whatever that term means) may one day be treated as a mental illness.

The (UK) Times refers to Taylor as “a science author and research scientist at the University of Oxford.” But Taylor describes herself as “a freelance science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford,” who had “trained as a neuroscientist after doing a first degree in philosophy and physiology at the University of Oxford.” She specifically states she is not a “therapist”. And yet she’s tossing claims about “religious fundamentalism” being a “mental illness”!

(Note: I’ve spent most of life in academe, beginning as an undergraduate student to eventually being a full professor, but I have no idea what a freelance writer “affiliated” to a university means. I am retired from my university and although I’m no longer employed there, I am “affiliated” to my university as a professor emeritus. In Taylor’s case, however, her “affiliation” to Oxford carries no title. It appears what her “affiliation” means is that she was a student at Oxford U.)

The (UK) Times‘ article on Taylor is titled “Science ‘may one day cure Islamic radicals’,” and attributes to Taylor the claim that “Muslim fundamentalism may one day be seen in the same way as mental illness is today and be ‘curable’.”

Curiously, Huffington Post‘s account of Taylor makes no mention of radical Islam but refers only to a vaguely generic “religious fundamentalism.” According to HuffPo, Taylor was speaking at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales when she was asked what she foresaw as positive developments in neuroscience in the coming years.

She replied: “One man’s positive can be another man’s negative. One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology – we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance. In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage. I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness.”

Links between extreme faiths and mental health have been made before, with former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr Dinesh Bhugra, highlighting recent religious conversions being more associated with a developing psychotic mental illness. In a paper entitled ‘Self-concept: Psychosis and attraction of new religious movements’, he points to data from studies which shows that patients with first onset psychosis are likely to change their religion.

The HuffPo article got more than 5,700 “likes” on Facebook.

So who decides what constitutes “religious fundamentalism” or “a cultideology” or “beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage“?

Today, Kathleen Taylor says radical Islam fits the bill. But once the idea of religious beliefs being a form of mental illness catches on, who’s to say that Christianity won’t be “diagnosed” as a mental illness?

The problem is the vagueness and ambiguity of terms such as “religious fundamentalism,” “cult ideology,” and “beliefs that do a lot of damage” — a vagueness of which Kathleen Taylor seems blithely unaware.

That same obtuseness to the importance of clear and specific terminology is also displayed in a “Meet the Author” video, in which Taylor talks about “brainwashing” — which includes religious brainwashing — in a distressingly vague way that any self-respecting scientist should eschew.

In the video, Taylor seems to define “brainwashing” as “the extreme end” of changing a person’s beliefs. By “extreme end” she means the employment of “coercion,” “force,” and “psychological torture.”

But what is “coercion”? Does “coercion” include children being taught the Bible by their parents, church, and parochial schools? Does “coercion” include our soldiers’ sharing of their religious beliefs being labeled as “religious proselytization” and threatened with court martial?

In case you don’t know, religious believers were incarcerated in mental hospitals in the Soviet Union, as well as in the People’s Republic of China. Just ask the neo-Buddhist sect Falun Gong, whose adherents have been and are still being hounded, arrested, tortured and killed in China today.

H/t FOTM reader Jasmine.

~Eowyn

Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.

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The operation of the nine manifestations, including the revelation manifestation of discerning of spirits, which is not information obtained by the five senses, but from the spirit, it is to inform about the presence or non-presence of spirits, and whether they be of God or the Devil, and if of the Devil whether you may cast them out. Unless you know how to walk by the 9 manifestations of holy spirit, and if you could and have, then you would not be calling people that do hear the voice of the Lord "mentally ill" automatically. You know very little about the holy spirit other than the written word, as spiritual things are judged by the spirit of God, comparing spiritual things with other spiritual things. You talk down to me, as I am not a novice. You are the novice as far as the operations of the holy spirit are concerned.

The spirit of God will not contradict the written word of God addressed to the administration under which the believer is living under. I doubt you would understand that either. The spirit of God also confirms the written word and visa versa.

With your stubbornness and inability or lack of desire to learn to walk by the spirit, then you will remain what Paul and those that know about these things call "carnal Christians," or unbelieving believers. The listening to the voice of the Lord is what really gels the relationship with God and makes the walk 1000% more effective being connected directly with the Creator. I hope that I am wrong, but it appears you are the way you are because of what you are taught and lack of what should be taught and with your mind set you may never be able to be free and learn what the spiritual relationship with the Father is really like, as promised by Him but often never obtained.

The first impediment is unbelief and ignorance or wrong teaching, the second is the word gifts which was added to Corinthians chapter 12 which has no divine authorithy, as it was added by the translator in 1611 KJV. These operations are manifestations, NOT GIFTS, the gift is holy spirit. This was all posted in the spirit and truth article, but you apparently didn't read it, because you believe you know it all. I don't know it all, but I listen to who does, that is the start of knowledge and wisdom, besides reading the written word. The third and fourth mpediment you have is lack of desire and pride.

You in my opinion are not a reputable source of information.

Hi everyone. James I read your previous discussion and I'd like to add something on this topic. We all have a personal relationship with God, and He loves us all like each one of us were his only Child. If I got a message from my Heavenly Father, and I felt compelled to share it with others, I wouldn't appreciate someone saying "um Jani, it's not normal that you're hearing Voices in your head. you should probably get that checked" It doesn't matter how sincere they may be but whichever way it is said, it sounds hurtful. something like that can really break down a Christian.

Pastor T, I understand why you should be cautious, because some messages really are from lying spirits, but it seems to me that you are pointing out James' every single flaw, even when it's not helpful to the discussion. The main point is "a Kingdom which divides against itself, cannot stand." The message that James gave was good. what reason would the devil have for telling us to prepare for Jesus' second coming? It makes no sense that the message would be from an evil spirit. From my perspective, it seems that you have already labelled James as a 'bad guy' seeing that he is not adventist (or maybe for some other reason); therefore already expecting something bad from him. It's a subconcious thing and as humans, we sometimes make that mistake.
1 thessalonians 5:20-22
do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test, keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil.

Mark 9:40
whoever is not against us, is for us.

Matthew 12:26
so if one group is fighting another in satan's kingdom, this means it is already divided i to groups and will soon fall apart.
Sorry for replying too much, but I need to say one more thing. James you're being too hard on Pastor T. The Bible teaches to correct others but not in a harsh way. And what I read from the last discussion were some very sharp rebukes. You both were called by God to do his works. God Bless

Jani, you make valid and reasonable posts, thanks for the support and also admonishment. Frankly, if someone is a "pastor" they should know what you have rightfully stated, you have far more sense and knowledge than the "pastor" we are concerned about. Yes, I even admitted in discussion with Vincent that my posts were somewhat harsh, Follow and comment there if you like:

http://www.adventistonline.com/forum/topics/god-s-calling-for-us?co...

My criticism is harsh because here is a person that has a responsibility to God's people and should know better. It is shocking to the conscience to what degree of unbelief and "none-led-by-the-spirit" God's church (the body of Christ (not just SDA) has come to, and is in apostasy to a great extent, and the "leadership" of established denominations and non-denominations to a great extent are to blame.

It is sad that it takes believers such as yourself to point out the obvious. This is like the pastors of Israel when they forsook their duty to God. Everyone has a responsibility to God, every creature, but those professing to be called of God have a much greater duty, and to attack those that enter into closer relationship with the true God is definitely inspired by demonic influence. PERIOD.

Now I recognize that we all have potential for such and every believer has some sin and some influence from the adversary at some time(s) in their life. Pride is a big problem in religion. I hate religion, but those attacking the sheep for following the shepherd's voice? That calls for drastic reproof because of the damage and the potential for abuse especially when the government is now attacking Christianity like it never has before and we Christians are being painted as mentally ill, racist, one and on even by Obama and his laky Biden and the military has made Christians, Libertarians, Constitutionalists etc. as the new potential "terrorist."

Just what side is Mr. T. on? To me he is either so ignorant, which is hard to believe for a pastor or he is an out and out traitor to God and there seem to be much in between? At this time God is separating the true believers from the false, and ye shall know them by their works, and their loyalty to God, his spirit, His Word. Mr. T.'s beliefs and statements contradict thousands of scriptural verses, chapters, books and the spirit of God itself and how it operates, as he acts as one that does not know God. These are perilous and harsh times...

I wish it was not so but it is. It is time God's people wake up as demons are afoot in all aspects of life now, especially in the churches, and even behind the pulpit.

God bless you Jani. I shall add you to my prayer list...its getting long and longer; 203 now I think, but prayer is good.

typo error: there seem to be not much in between? (5th paragraph). 

I agree with Jani, we gentlemen need to be gentle with each other...

Regarding the topic James posted...it's scary to think we will be roundup and brand as threats to society because I think too deeply, love Jesus properly and promote a genuine experience with God...

Sadly the persecution times lie ahead for those willing to stand for Jesus....

Thanks for the research and update

God bless

Shalom

thanks Rob, but don't forget, He accused me of being mentally ill for doing what countless verses in the Bible say to do. Thats harsh and in no way gentle, maybe gently demonic (thats a joke of course).

I am going to get in the face of anybody who falsely accuses me of anything, but especially mental illness, and especially in this case where a supposed Pastor is doing this and not only to me, but to In Need of Prayer and anyone who says they hear from God in answer to their prayers. If that is not demonic, nothing is...

Your not replying too much, post what you want. If you read in many places, God tells it like it is often, as truth can be harsh. The state of Christianity and the world is very harsh. The return of Christ is going to be very harsh for the unbeliever and the Satanist.

I would have to agree with you on this James that certain factions in government, education and science are openly hostile to Christians, especially people who want to get down to a basic and simple lifestyle and belief of Christian existence.  There are even people on this forum who agree with humanistic beliefs that would put human law over Gods law and will not even give credence to Gods Word because it does not fit with their world view. 

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