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?
You probably haven’t read them but there’s been a rash of articles in the papers arguing that we should stop being beastly to the bankers. All right, there are a few bad apples but they do vital work for the economy. If they relocated to the Cayman Islands, we’d all be living in penury. That’s the gist. It’s a fair point. And it also applies to another all too frequently vilified group: Britain’s criminals. It’s easy to let the unacceptable actions of a few – pulling out toenails to make people hand over pin numbers, gassing guards etc – colour our judgment. But in Britain we have the finest criminals in the world. By liberating vast sums of money that would otherwise lie fallow in banks or under old ladies’ mattresses, they increase demand and help kickstart the recovery. – Simon Hoggart in The GuardianBACK TO TOP