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
29 October 2010

[M]any ministers are chosen not for their potential performance but instead for their anticipated nonperformance. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel is a gifted trade union fall-guy chosen to build a department that will never have a role. Energy Minister Dipuo Peters’s remit seems limited to craven capitulation before a rampaging Department of Minerals. The minister of injustice, Jeff Radebe, has apparently been selected for his inability to control the new director of national nonprosecutions. – Anthony Butler in Business Day

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