American Psychological Association To Classify Belief in God As a Mental Illness

American Psychological Association To Classify Belief in God As a Mental Illness

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a strong and passionate belief in a deity or higher power, to the point where it impairs one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, will now be classified as a mental illness.

The controversial ruling comes after a 5-year study by the APA showed devoutly religious people often suffered from anxiety, emotional distress, hallucinations, and paranoia. The study stated that those who perceived God as punitive was directly related to their poorer health, while those who viewed God as benevolent did not suffer as many mental problems. The religious views of both groups often resulted in them being disconnected from reality.

Dr. Lillian Andrews, professor of psychology, stated, “Every year thousands of people die after refusing life-saving treatment on religious grounds. Even when being told ‘you will die without this treatment’ patients reject the idea and believe that their God will still save them. Those lives could be saved simply by classifying those people as mentally unfit for decision making.”

“Jehovah Witnesses for instance,” Dr. Andrews continued, “will not accept blood under any circumstance. They would rather die than to receive life-saving donor blood. Many religious people believe they have “healing power” in their hands. Many believe they can communicate with God using a personal language, which is unknown to anyone but the communicator and God (known as speaking in tongues). Many often tell of seeing spirits. All of these are signs of a mental break and a loss of touch with reality. Religious belief and the angry God phenomenon has caused chaos, destruction, death, and wars for centuries. The time for evolving into a modern society and classifying these archaic beliefs as a mental disorder has been long overdue. This is the first of many steps to a positive direction.”

With the new classification, the APA will lobby to introduce legislation which would allow doctors the right to force life-saving treatment on those who refuse it for spiritual reasons on the grounds that they are mentally incapable of making decisions about their health.

The American Psychological Association says more information about the study and the new classification will be made available to the public in their upcoming journal (which is expected to be release in early August).

  • He who would save his life in this world will lose it!

    • cecilia

      you only get ONE life. THIS is it, live it to the fullest

  • Barry the Baptist

    Serious question: do the “articles” from this “newsgroup” always bring out so many anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-thinking, tin-foil hat types?

    • How ironic. Someone sporting the username “the Baptist” calling others anti-intellectual… Religion in and of itself is the quintessence of anti-itellectualism.

  • SouthernNYer

    um.. That is exactly what Dennis Zonn said.. QUOTE “govt. can’t establish a religion” and “guarantees the “free exercise” of whatever religion you choose to follow. Or not follow; your call.”
    I see no difference in your two statements..
    But Dennis is right about there being no such line in the US Constitution.. It is an assumed line.. Here is the 1st Amendment and then the reason for the confusion:

    The First Amendment :
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    So where did the words “Separation of Church and State.” come from?
    They can be traced back to a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote back in 1802. In October 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut wrote to President Jefferson, and in their letter they voiced some concerns about Religious Freedom.
    On January 1, 1802 Jefferson wrote a letter to them in which he added the phrase “Separation of Church and State.” When you read the full letter, you will understand that Jefferson was simply underscoring the First Amendment as a guardian of the peoples religious freedom from government interference. Here is an excerpt from Jefferson’s letter. . .

    “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
    Read the full text of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1, 1802.

  • Ziva David

    The Redeemer rejected, as the Bible says over and over again He would be. Big surprise. Psalm 22, written 1,000 years before Christ, tells of His crucifixion, right down to the gambling for His garments. Men have (supposedly) millions of years of evolution to get things right, yet little has changed. I think I’ll choose a God and eternal life, thank you. So many comments on the most read book of all time, so little true understanding.

    • Peoplejustdon’tgetit

      Have you studied the history of religions? Have you researched how your holy book was written? Do you know where all the different books came from and who authored each one? How do you know you have the “right” religion and god?

      • Ziva David

        Thanks, yes, yes, and yes I have.

  • Unfortunately, the article is not real. It’s a spoof.

    Apparently, the American Psychological Association does NOT recognize religious nutcases as being mentally ill. According to the APA, people who see religious-based hallucinations, who think God speaks to them, who refuse blood transfusions, who think the laying on of hands can heal the sick, who speak in tongues, or who fly aircraft into buildings because they think a magical fairy told them to do so are as sane as you or I.

    • Peoplejustdon’tgetit

      The question that should be asked and explored, is “Why isn’t it considered a mental illness?

  • TheWarriorJoshua

    If someone refuses medical treatment for any reason, religious or otherwise, who are these control freaks to force it on them?

  • Ally

    Hurry up, already!

  • Indroneel Mollik

    Agree that common sense should take precedence on dogmatism.
    Do not agree with any advocacy of Big Pharma (implied) and their so-called life-saving drugs. Big Pharma in bed with the USFDA has caused (and is causing) as much suffering worldwide as religious dogmatism.

  • lol, ya’ll do realize that this is not real?

  • Robert Karl Stonjek

    The article says: “According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a strong and passionate belief in a deity or higher power, to the point where it impairs one’s ability to make conscientious decisions about common sense matters, will now be classified as a mental illness.”

    This does not apply to priests, monks or other religious devotees who devote their lives to a cause but to people who have obsessive-compulsive religious delusions, psychosis with a religious theme and other psychiatric conditions that, superficially, appear to be nothing more than extreme religiosity.

    Generally, people who claim supernatural properties of themselves or their environment way beyond the religion they belong to may well be suffering from a psychological condition which is manifesting in a religious form.

    So the psychiatrist’s job is to separate out those who are lucid and have arrived at religious belief through rational evaluation of sacred texts, religious leaders and/or their own experience/revelation and those that are obsessive-compulsive, delusional or otherwise mentally unwell where their condition is manifesting in a religious form.

    Note that we are all delusional. We imagine what is behind the door, what is beyond the sea, what the Earth looks like from space, what atoms look like, what is in the minds of others and so on. But these delusions are the result of rational contemplation. If these include God, angels, heaven and hell then we question only the logic that arrives at these beliefs and not the fact of the belief. If. however, a person believes that there is a world wide satanic conspiracy directed at themselves personally and that we who deny this are necessarily members of it or that they are the reincarnation of a deity then we can be fairly sure they are delusional in a psychiatrically significant way and need to be treated as such.

    Those who characterise this move by the APA as classifying normal religious people as having a mental illness are just out to make mischief and should not be taken seriously.