Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Define "Crazy"

A Mexican judge has ruled that a family's fatal exorcisms qualifies them for as long as 40 years in psychiatric hospitals (Mexican psychiatric hospitals, of course).

What's unclear is what makes them nuts (okay, aside from the catatonic one).

Is it their belief in demons and devils?
Is it their belief that said demons and devils are capable of corporeally possessing human beings?
Is it their visions of supernatural entities?
Is it their belief that deadly violence was the only remedy for possession?

The first three beliefs are relatively common among average Americans. Most Americans believe in a bad man named Satan. The Holy Roman Catholic Church not only ascribes the power of possession to Satan, it teaches some of its members how to combat that power. And right this moment, MSNBC is talking about the "holy bun" -- the latest object in which thousands of Americans have seen some sort of sight they interpreted as divine or of divine origin.

So, the only difference these "crazy" Mexicans have with many, if not most religious Americans, is their differing ideas on how to remedy demonic possession. It's not clear to me why that particular delusion makes them any more crazy than the other three do. Unless it's simply that it's not held by a majority.

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