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?
Bloemfontein, with only 20 burglaries per 10 000 residents, was voted the best city in South Africa for men. Pietermaritzburg was rated second, Johannesburg third, Pretoria fourth, Cape Town fifth, East London sixth and Durban seventh.
It is not clear from the news reports whether cities were also judged on the intellectual stimulation available and the commitment of its inhabitants to constitutional transformation. Given the fact that Bloemfontein came out tops, I would be surprised if they were.
To be fair, using the latter criteria I am not sure that Cape Town would have done better than its 5th position either. O well, at least we have the mountian and the ocean while Bloemfontein has the Vrouemonument.