Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Just in time for Holy Week. Time Magazine tells parents to worry that their religious children might not actually be religious, but just plain ol' nuts. Seriously.
You can find this in the magazine with the cover that shows two men kissing which reads, "Gay Marriage Already Won."
In the piece inside called, "Can Your Child be too Religious?" Time posits that one of the warning signs that your child might just be a nutter, is that they're religious. Isn't it such a nice thing to publish a story like this the day before Holy Thursday?
So if your child is immersed in scripture after school and prays regularly throughout the day, you may breathe a sigh of relief. She’s such a good girl. My boy is okay.
Or maybe not. Your child’s devotion may be a great thing, but there are some kids whose religious observances require a deeper look. For these children, an overzealous practice of their family faith — or even another faith — may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue or a coping mechanism for dealing with unaddressed trauma or stress.
Therapists in private practice report that they are seeing children and teens across a range of faiths whose religious practice can be problematic. The amount of time they spend praying, or in other acts of spiritual practice, is not as important, they say, as the quality of this devotion, and whether it helps the children or instead isolates them and undermines their schoolwork and relationships. Children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for example, may rigidly repeat holy verses, say Hail Mary’s or focus on other rituals less out of a deeper sense of faith but more as an expression of their disorder. “It looks positive but could be negative,” says Stephanie Mihalas, a UCLA professor and licensed clinical psychologist.
Such ritualistic behavior, she says, may also reflect a child’s way of coping with anxiety, and in reality could be no more spiritual than fanatical hand washing or dreading to walk on cracks. “These kids fear that if they don’t obey their religious rules perfectly,” explains Carole Lierberman, MD, a psychiatrist in Beverly Hills, “God will punish them.”
How is Time Magazine different from Islam? When Muslims convert to Christianity they're immediately presumed to be crazy and then...bad things. Isn't Time really doing the same thing but with all religion? If you deviate from the religion of secularism, then you're clearly crazy.
And isn't this a first step. According to the American Psychiatric Association, until 1974 homosexuality was a mental illness. That was discarded as a first step in the completel normalization of homosexual activity. I've got to wonder how many years it'll be until religious activity will be considered a mental illness. Think about it, how often do you see the word "fanatic" associated with sincere religious activity. How many tmes is that nebulous word "fundamentalism" associated with simple orthodoxy?
Didn't atheist Richard Dawkins posit in 2010 that raising religious children was a form of child abuse? Just last year, Rev Eva McIntyre of the Church of England suggested John the Baptist, St Paul, St Francis and other figures from the Bible may all have been mentally ill.
So getting back to Time Mag, given that in 1997, 4.2 million people read Time Magazine and now that number's down 79,000, according to Wikipedia, let me turn the question around and ask, "If you're still an actual reader of Time Magazine, might you be just nuts?"