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
17 October 2011

All over America, GOP-led legislatures are pushing to impeachstate judges. Lawmakers in Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have moved in on the judicial branch, the most infamous of these crusades being the effort in Iowa to oust those state supreme court judges who voted in favor of same-sex marriage. Evidently that is still a “high crime or misdemeanor” to some. It’s one thing for politicians to seek out impeachment proceedings that are sui generis. But now legislators are including specific impeachment language in the text of their statutes. In Arizona, New Hampshire and Virginia, rump Republican lawmakers this year introduced bills making it an impeachable offense for judges to make rulings on FOIA requests or to merely cite international law. There’s a legal term-of-art for such efforts: it’s called “bat-shit crazy.” – Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic

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