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?
And as with the ANC’s failed attempts to censor the media, Zuma again helps the ruling party bear a scary resemblance to the National Party under apartheid. They, too, justified their actions under the banner of being “God’s chosen people”. The fall from revolutionary party to oppressor mimicry is almost textbook Orwell. The last time I checked I chose to live in a democracy — not a theocracy. That implies a division between church and state, and one that I fully support as a Christian. Yes, leaders are influenced by their beliefs and their ideologies, but the politician’s lectern is not a pulpit and government is not the place to preach. – Verashni Pillay on President Zuma’s latest statements on heaven and the ANC