Quote of the week

My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?

Nathaniel P.Morris
Scientific American
7 April 2010

The courts can help to safeguard democracy. But if they are used to impose on the racial majority the will of a minority, majority politicians will resist and the independence of the courts will be destroyed. All of which explains why the court actions against the singing of a struggle song by African National Congress (ANC) Youth League leader Julius Malema are bad for democracy, the constitution — and minorities themselves. One reason why it is bad for democracy is that it may have enabled Malema to escape accounting to society. Those who tell him what to do knew a diversion was needed to draw attention away from his personal finances. The claim that the Pan Africanist Congress did not organise Sharpeville did not have the desired effect of rallying the ANC behind him and the song was no doubt seen — accurately — to be a more effective method. – Steven Friedman in Business Day

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