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?
The last session of parliament was the longest for 100 years. At the previous state opening, the Queen had been on the throne for a mere 58 years. She looks a little more elderly these days, a little more stooped, and she walked with that slight caution that you would have if you were carrying the weight of a large bag of potatoes on your head. Or a crown as we call it. You could hardly call it an austerity opening, though looking round the House of Lords I could see only about a dozen tiaras. The place still looked like a festival of bling, a convention of white rappers all desperate to show how minted they were. The event was designed hundreds of years ago to convince continental ambassadors that this wet, windswept country off the west coast of Europe was immensely wealthy. That might well be part of the intention today. – Simon Hoggart, in the Guardian, about the UK opening of ParliamentBACK TO TOP