If You Don’t Click On This, You Don’t Love Jesus and You Are Insane


Please forgive me for that awful headline. If you can, it might improve your mental health. Here’s the real title of this article:

Does Religion Help or Hinder Mental Health?

According to two articles that showed up in my news feed last week, it depends on whether it’s good religion or bad religion. (That headline, for instance, might have cost us both a few points on the sanity scale.)

The first article describes disastrous consequences of a movement called “biblical counseling” that rejects psychotherapy and psychotropic medication in favor of counselors giving clients (or parishioners) strong moral admonitions drawn from the Bible. The second article summarizes a study that demonstrated a strong correlation between forgiveness and mental health.

For those of us who evaluate a course of therapy based on results, the “biblical counseling” that rejects both medication and psychotherapy fails miserably. The worst examples include programs to “pray away the gay,” and biblical counselors who admonish women to obey their husbands more completely in order to avoid getting physically and emotionally abused. Using the Bible as a weapon against scientific facts and the autonomy of women puts the one who wields it on the side of destruction.

At the same time, psychotherapy without values can also become destructive.

For instance, a company noticed that its sales managers, required to travel away from their families frequently and work long hours Continue reading

Three Ways to Know When Someone has Weaponized Scripture

September 1, 2014 Article

If you were Satan and you wanted to damn the world to hell, wouldn’t this be a great place to start, getting parents to reject their children?

I listened with sadness to this video of parents using religion as a weapon against their son as he came out to them as gay. Weaponizing Scripture saddens me for this young man and all who have been abused by Bible-wielding parents or preachers.

As a minister, I also find it sad in the same way that a chef would weep to see a beautiful meal used in a food fight.

This resource that can nourish community and family relationships has been slopped around as a crude weapon; a tool for healing has been used for physical and emotional violence. A source of ancient wisdom about God, in the hands of fools, has been turned into a weapon for evil.

And make no mistake, rejecting one’s own child because of his sexual orientation is an evil action. It’s not just “being in disagreement” or “raised in a different generation.” It is a choice.

Rejecting one’s child is not something anyone was born to do. It is a lifestyle choice.

If you were Satan and you wanted to damn the world to hell, Continue reading