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?
Yesterday 80 000 people turned out for a Barack Obama rally in Portland Oregan. This picture pretty much sums it up. I know if he is elected he will not necessarily change US foreign policy that dramatically and that he will still act in the interest of the US and not the rest of us. But still, I am rooting for him all the way because for a politician he seems remarkably honest and reflexive.
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