Today's story, entitled "Living with a Schizophrenic," comes courtesy of the Catholic News website. I was rummaging around on the Internet to back up my contention that the modern church, using psychiatry, has hoodwinked everybody, including itself, about the biological basis of the "schizophrenia disease." The early Christian church, through a series of conventions or "councils" as they were referred to then, succeeded in ensuring that correct spiritual thinking came through the organized church, unchallenged by those pesky prophets who were wandering in and around the city gates. Today's church finds psychiatry a convenient way of making sure that its dogma goes unchallenged.
Mr. Fernando is a Singaporean man who has been caring for his "schizophrenic" wife for over thirty years. He writes in his book, "I am troubled that there is no cure for schizophrenia. But I'm more troubled by the attitude of people towards those with mental illness - avoiding them and stigmatising them - when we should be helping them."
Since Mr. Fernando reads his Bible, how does he reconcile his modern belief about schizophrenia with the many instances in the Bible where Jesus cured the mentally ill, a.k.a. the demon-possessed? How is it that the Church believes that this is no longer possible? Why isn't the Church actively more engaged in practicing the faith healings that Jesus told us were within our power?
As a full-time author, Mr Fernando gives talks about being a caregiver to patients, teaching them how to identify symptoms of schizophrenia as well as providing tips, always using his experiences with his wife to illustrate his points. His talks are often encouraging, and he reminds his audience not to lose hope because mental illness can be overcome with regular medication, counselling and strong emotional support from loved ones.
It's strange that church leaders and parishioners can recite the symptoms of something they call "schizophrenia" while, at the same time, being surrounded in church on any given Sunday by high strung people (including themselves) who speak in tongues, get swept away by religious ecstasy, feel the devil is out to get them, recount Biblical persecution stories and subscribe to the Holy Trinity.
I am always struck by how "mentally ill" bordering on schizophrenia church-goers are (and I'm a church-goer), but its leaders still believe that somehow there exists something called serious mental illness that needs support provided by psychiatry, not the Church.
(Raymond Anthony Fernando's book "Loving A Schizophrenic" is on sale at the Catholic News Book and Media, at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre, 2 Highland Road, #01-02. It is also available for online purchase at http://www.rankbooks.com/. It is priced at $15.)