The Atlantic writer Jeffrey Tayler is annoyed at the “educated elite” in our country. Why have they not risen to the occasion and labeled passionate religious belief a mental illness?
The writer’s disappointment followed the release of an article on The News Nerd entitled “American Psychological Association to Classify Belief in God as a Mental Illness.” In the story, Psychologist Dr. Lillian Andrews had stated: “The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue.”
Yet the article, it turned out, was a hoax.
Alas for Mr. Tayler. Indeed, the journalist had already treated religion as a mental illness before this study had seemed to confirm it. Yet, “the hour was not nigh,” he wrote sadly. “Psychologists were not yet ready to diagnose firm belief in God as what it is: an unhealthy delusion.”
“Yet, would that it were so,” he whined in a piece for Salon. “Imagine, so many Supreme Court justices and Republican politicians, from Antonin Scalia to Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, disqualified in one fell swoop on mental health grounds from holding public office!”
Of course, call any sort of gender dysphoria or non-heterosexual orientation a mental illness and the PC police would be on you in a moment. But religion? Fair game!
The journalist then took the opportunity to rant about the “damage religion causes to progressive causes of every sort,” citing a range of issues from “women’s reproductive rights to same-sex marriage to teaching science in schools to depriving federal coffers of $82.5 billion a year (in tax exemptions).” The horror!
“In fact,” he posited, “religion, so potentially dangerous that the Founding Fathers established a ‘wall of separation’ to keep it clear of our affairs of state, continues to enjoy an entirely unmerited imprimatur of respectability.” Tayler obviously knows little about the Founding Fathers and faith.
In a laughable tangent, he then attacked the “controversial homeschooling movement afflicting some 2.5 million children” in the U.S. What was at the root of this movement? Ah, filthy religion! Or, in his words: “a desire to indoctrinate the unsuspecting young in faith’s dark, lurid dogmas before science, reason, and the enlightening joys of secularism take over and help them mature into healthy adults.”
According to Tayler, religiously motivated home school moms are rabid raccoons. After all, “homeschooling amounts to allowing the faith-deranged to infect their young with their disorder.” Of course, public-schooling amounts to allowing the secular government to infect the young with their propaganda, but the children belong to the state, so that’s all well and good.
Well, we’re sorry Mr. Tayler, the faithful aren’t getting locked away yet. But until we do, make sure to stay away from our dark, lurid dogmas, or you might get infected too.