June 26, 2005

Tom Cruise, Religious Extremist

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 8:25 am

I have stuck pretty much to Christianity and politics on this blog, so this topic may seem like a stretch. But Tom Cruise’s public statements on the perils of psychiatry show that the Abrahamic religions don’t corner the market on extremism.

Extremism has its roots in seeing the world as you think it should be rather than as it is. The anti-Bush blog slogan “reality-based” is no accident. The neo-cons and the Christian right depart from reality and see the way things ought to be, rather than the way things are. Not that progressive Christians don’t have a vision of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, but we are very much grounded in the reality of human need and suffering and the fact that we are all part Cain and part Abel.

Which brings me to Tom Cruise. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of his interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, where Matt Lauer was trying to get Cruise to address the fact that anti-depressants seem to help some people.

Lauer: You’re telling me what’s worked for people I know or hasn’t worked for people I know. I’m telling you, I’ve lived with these people and they’re better.

Cruise: So, you’re advocating it.

Lauer: I am not. I’m telling you in their case, in their individual case, it worked. I am not gonna go out and say, “Get your kids on Ritalin. It’s the cure-all and the end-all.”

Cruise: Matt, but here’s the point. What is the ideal scene for life? Okay. The ideal scene is someone not having to take antipsychotic drugs.

Lauer: I would agree.

Cruise: Okay. So, now you look at a departure from that ideal scene, is someone taking drugs, okay. And then you go, okay. What is the theory and the science behind that, that justifies that?

He is seeing the world as he thinks it should be rather than as it is. Since the ideal is that no one should have to take psychiatric drugs, then no one should. This view of the world as it should be is based in Cruise’s belief in Scientology, which purports to be a religion. So Cruise qualifies as a religious extremist in my book.

But you see, my wife and I must live in the real world. We are forced to be reality-based, unlike Scientologists. My wife has bipolar disorder. She has an aunt, an uncle, a grandmother, cousins, nephews that all suffered or are suffering today from bipolar disorder. The genetic cause of this disease is well established, as is the efficacy of Lithium and other anti-cyclic, anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs, and of modern electro-convulsive therapy.

Tom Cruise has never stayed up all night with a depressed and suicidal person because he was afraid to stop his suicide watch to sleep. Tom Cruise has never been with someone that talked non-stop for hours without ever completing a thought. Tom Cruise has not seen the tears, the anguish, the hopelessness caused by this disease, nor the psychotic euphoria and loss of judgement caused by this disease. But in the infinite wisdom of his religious extremism, Cruise says:

I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. And when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in psychology.

And as far as the Brooke Shields thing, look, you got to understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I think, here’s a wonderful and talented woman. And I want to see her do well. And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science.

[…]

No, you see. Here’s the problem. You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do.

[…]

All it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That’s what it does. That’s all it does. You’re not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

[…]

But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There’s ways, [with] vitamins and through exercise and various things… I’m not saying that that isn’t real. That’s not what I’m saying. That’s an alteration of what I’m saying. I’m saying that drugs aren’t the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They’re mind-altering, antipsychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don’t end up in a brave new world. The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, okay. And she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt.

Cruise speaks of that which he does not know. He says that psychiatry is a pseudo-science, even though every drug approved by the FDA goes through extensive double-blind clinical trials. Have Scientology’s methods gone through any kind of clinical trial, ever? The hypocrisy is stunning.

Cruise implies the field of psychiatry is invalidated by its history. Is all of medicine invalidated by the past practice of bleeding? My wife doesn’t have the luxury of dismissing psychiatry because of its past. Unlike Cruise, she lives in the present.

Drugs mask the problem? You’re damn right they mask the problem, and thanks to God that they do. Drugs are mind-altering? Of course. If your mind is ill, it must be altered to be healed. Anti-psychotic? Of course. If one is psychotic, then one needs an anti-psychotic.

Brooke Shields doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry? Tom Cruise doesn’t understand the day-to-day reality of mental illness.

Today my wife is happy, accomplished and well. She is so because of the psychiatric drugs she takes every day. If it weren’t for psychiatry, she would be dead. And that is not the way things ought to be.

Update: Some good satire on the Lauer interview. Also, a WaPo column. It doesn’t seem anyone is running to Cruise’s defense.

46 Comments

  1. Tom Cruise’s wild antics may well be a cry for help.

    All I can say is, “Thank God for Paxil.” I was just blogging today on the craziness of my life – lived with Panic Anxiety Disorder – and how much I lean on God and how thankful I am for the science which helped me when I needed it.

    Peace,

    Mike

    Comment by Dr. Mike Keat — June 26, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

  2. Years ago I injured my leg severely, requiring surgery and rehabilitation. While I was recovering, I used a pair of crutches to help me get around. As my leg improved, I used only one crutch, then abandoned them altogether once I didn’t need the support.

    In the same way, I found myself in a deep depression twenty years ago resulting from the end of a long-term relationship and a job that was important to me. My symptoms were classic. While I never became suicidal, I certainly was unable to function normally. Therefore, I went to a doctor and was prescribed one of the antidepressant drugs. Was it a crutch? You bet! But I have a positive relationship with crutches, remember? The drug allowed me to recover and rehabilitate my life. As soon as I was able, I reduced the amount of the drug that I was taking and within a few months of having started, stopped taking it altogether. I have never looked back.

    So, crutch? Yup. Good thing, too.

    Comment by Herman O. — June 27, 2005 @ 6:28 am

  3. One of the problems that arises is the legacy of Freud and the analysis tradition. America embraced this side of the physchiatristic world whole-heartedly while much of the remaining world changed focus soon after to physiological causes and treatments. Tom’s misguided comments are more attuned to the post-enlightenment self-treating ethos of most of the analytical methodology.
    Which is not to say that analysis is without foundation, simply that Americans have a shorter perspective on the physiology of mental illness than much of the medical world because of the legacy of Freud.

    Beware anyone who tells you authoritatively “I KNOW . . .” try inserting the words “I believe . . .” especially if they are dismissing your own input.

    ha’penny’s worth of a Lutheran’s thoughts

    Comment by sermonatorAK — June 27, 2005 @ 8:42 am

  4. 25 years ago I was an over achiever in everything I took up. I skied two days a week in the
    winter and rode my bike 100 miles a week in the spring and summer. At the same time I was in
    counseling and had been for 10 years. And I ended up in the hospital with an extreme anxiety
    attack. My doctor said I was suffering from depression. How could I be depressed? I was doing
    everything Quake Cruse said I should be doing! My mother wasn’t a Scientologist but echoed the
    philosophy: “You have to lick this yourself! You have to pick yourself up by your own
    bootstraps.” But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t! Then I found a great psychiatrist who put me on meds.
    And after some adjustments, my life evened out and I have been great ever since. I thank God
    for modern miracles and modern meds. For me, one of the great blessings of Christianity is the
    knowledge that in all things I don’t have to go it alone. I can own my frailties and place my
    trust in God… not myself!

    Comment by Tony — June 27, 2005 @ 1:47 pm

  5. Did you see Cruise on Oprah? Aren’t these two appearances classic examples of a manic-depressive
    personality!

    Comment by DaRev — June 27, 2005 @ 1:56 pm

  6. Note to Tom:

    He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool. — Voltaire

    Comment by Karen A. — June 27, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

  7. I am forced to be reality-based. Scientologists and fundamentalists
    have a lot in common. I can look upon them with pity and
    compassion now, but what to do when they become powerful and can
    change laws?

    BTW, I read in the literature once that SSRIs actually do *not*
    “mask” the problem. They *correct* it. That’s even better! I
    can testify to that.

    Comment by wildwest — June 28, 2005 @ 3:10 pm

  8. Tom Cruise is crazy….but he makes good movies.

    Comment by Matt — June 29, 2005 @ 10:37 am

  9. Tom Cruise is crazy…but at least he can’t act. On the other hand, he demonstrates his maturity by dating (marrying?) a young starlet nearly half his age. A cynic might say he was just a pathetic publicity-seeker trying to overcome his image as an aging film icon past his prime. Good thing I’m no cynic….

    Comment by Herman O. — June 30, 2005 @ 8:23 am

  10. All right. Knock it off with the age thing. They’re consenting
    adults. What else matters?

    Comment by wildwest — June 30, 2005 @ 8:54 am

  11. I seriously doubt that Mr. Cruise is reading from a full script. He obviously has no idea what childbirth and postpartum depression is like (I do I have 3 children – so I’ve been there and done that), and since his little outburstit makes me wonder. Was it (originally) Nicole’s idea to adopt her children and forgo having to deal with the emotional roller coaster not from bearing children but his tantrums?

    Okay, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but what I’d like to know is when did he (Mr. Cruise) become a psychiatrist? Is that what Scientology offers it’s congregates – protelyze and get a medical degree. Far be it from me to criticise but I’m sorry this (what he’s done) is wrong. I know some (really) religious extremist in my neighbourhood – like the JW’s that have said (after watching Cruise on Today) they would go against their religious beliefs and except blood transfusions and other various medical procedures then even think about pulling crap like him.

    Comment by Aina — July 1, 2005 @ 8:28 pm

  12. The writer of this blog is a f*cking idiot. He says Scientology “purports” to be a religion.
    As a Scientologist myself, I can tell you that it is a religion in every sense of the word,
    and it’s clear that you get all your facts from Xenu.net or some other descredible source.
    It’s funny you know, most people trashing Scientology can’t even tell you its goals.

    But as far as this guy goes, and I hope you’re reading this, Bob, you have taken Tom’s words
    and twisted them into a bunch of bullsh*t. What your motives here I’m not sure; perhaps just
    to create hostility, but whatever they are I know they’re not positive. Tom is saying things
    not based on reality? He’s a religious extremist? Give me a break!

    Let’s start of with a basic: Scientology is not opposed to psychiatry PURELY for religious
    reasons, like Christianity is opposed to homosexuality. Scientology’s opposition IS secular.
    In fact, they don’t cite religious reasons/principles as much as they do with facts, such as
    saying psychotropic medications are dangerous to one’s physical AND mental health, unlike
    Christianity with homosexuality by saying God didn’t intend humans to be that way, if you
    need a comparison.

    Also, Scientology is NOT the only group, religious or secular, opposed to psychiatry. You can
    easily find these groups on the web.

    Also, Scientology is NOT for replacing Scientology with psychiatry. Yes, they feel their
    methods are better, as do I, but you can say that any religion would feel their methods and
    beliefs are better or more suitable than another’s. That isn’t to say that they feel
    everyone else is wrong and they are superior to all, but they’re in that religion and set of
    beliefs for a reason. But anyway, Scientology just want to see psychiatry abolished, and
    if that happened they would not be opposed to other forms of mental/spiritual treatment,
    such as counseling from other ministers of other religions or what have you. They aren’t
    looking for a business opportunity.

    Also, there seems to be a lot of hypocritical and just stupid statements on the web, some of
    which are here. For example, they say Tom Cruise and Scientologists at large are brain-washed.
    Does Tom look brain-washed? What makes you say that? Is it the flourishing career, his
    ridiculous wealth, all the different activities and hobbies he does, his friendly
    relationships with his exes (notice not one ended badly)? Or maybe it’s how he says he feels
    happy and fulfilled in life? Or do any of these things make him mentally ill? Just what IS
    brain-washing to you anyway? When someone believes in something you don’t which you feel is
    absurd? That’s a very easy label, “brain-washed”. And as far as Katie Holmes being
    brain-washed, I’d also like to know how you arose to that conclusion. Like one of the more
    intelligent posters wrote, they’re 2 consenting adults so what the f*ck do you care? And
    while I’m on the topic, though she has taken up Scientology training, that doesn’t mean she
    has abandoned her Catholocism. See, if you had done a little research–and this is a fact
    made VERY well-known by the Church of Scientology–you don’t have to give up your current
    religion to be a Scientologist.

    Also, all these people say he’s not an expert for saying psychotropic meds are bad, yet those
    same people say HE’S mentally ill and should be on something. I don’t get it. You’re doing
    the same thing you say he is. I mean, what the f*ck?

    Also, how do you all know Tom has never dealt with someone with an extreme mental disorder?
    Did you arrive to that conclusion because he doesn’t share your views? Who’s to say he hasn’t
    helped someone who was crazy? You know, my minister has told me that she has gotten kids off
    Ritalin and handled whatever mental illness they had so that they could sit still and study in
    school and even get good grades. And we’re talking a 100% success rate here. So who are you
    to say what kinds of people Tom has dealt with?

    And finally, let me get to this author’s whole basis for his argument, which is Tom’s
    religious extremism and his out-of-reality views on the world. For the prior, just because
    someone talks about his religion, doesn’t make him an extremist. You want extremism, just
    turn to your own religion, Bob. Tom has never forced information on Scientology on
    someone. I myself have come across many questions in regards to Scientology when I tell
    someone I’m a Scientologist. It’s actually pretty much inevitable when I tell someone I’m a
    Scientologist that THEY ask questions about it. And I don’t even make a big deal of it.
    Tom is doing no more than what Billy Graham does, give out information and allow people to
    find out for themselves. He doesn’t go around asking people if they want information on it;
    people get curious and make the first move.

    As for the latter point, what is this unrealistic view you talk about? This is called an ideal
    from the looks of what you’re talking about. And what’s wrong with that? That’s how you
    improve conditions! He isn’t just talking about pie-in-the-sky scenarios that one might
    hope for, without giving any ways of arriving to that scenario. He’s giving solutions, or at
    least proposed solutions. Just because he talks of what something would be if it were ideal
    doesn’t mean he’s just talking cloud dreams. For example, I could talk of getting rid of
    crime, but without taking into account the present situation as well as a solution THEN it
    would be an unrealistic view. Learn the difference, people.

    As far as MY OWN PERSONAL VIEWS ON PSYCHIATRY, WHICH I HAVE RESEARCHED ON MY OWN FROM
    UN-BIASED FACTS, I have seen it do more harm than good. I might be willing to consent that
    it does some good with some people, but those are rare, and are often only temporary until
    they up the medication dosage. Think about it, people, we have supposedly come a long way
    with mental health research, we have put more effort and money into making psychological and
    psychiatric help available, such as in schools, have more products and methods out to “help”
    people, and look where we are. Look how difficult it is just to cure someone of a
    depression. Do you really think psychology and psychiatry work so well if we see kids
    getting worse in school, crime going up and general strife intensifying? I could think of
    solutions that this country could try, which would be MUCH cheaper than psychology and
    psychiatry which would help, and these are all WITHOUT using Scientology.

    In closing, I think the author of this blog’s claims are unfounded and just bullsh*t. I
    mean, he doesn’t even think Scientology is a religion. Did you even do any RESEARCH on the
    subject Rob? And by research I don’t mean looking up lies on Xenu.net (where did they get
    all this junk about aliens and Xenu?). It’s extremely offensive that people would publish
    such filth without any fact-finding or even common sense. My religion has helped me a lot,
    WITHOUT putting me in financial trouble, and I have met and seen some of the staff in both
    the smaller churches and the larger ones, and there’s no doubt they are there to help
    people, with or without the application of Scientology, and are not there to brain-wash
    people or make a profit. To those of you who say otherwise, I say show me your facts.

    Comment by Funk — July 4, 2005 @ 8:15 pm

  13. Funk –

    Of course I read your comment. This is my blog. I read every comment posted here, even those that call me a fucking idiot in the first line and are twice as long as my original post!

    Just some corrections…I’ve never seen xenu.net, but thanks for the tip…I’ll check it out. Also, I never said anything about brainwashing. I don’t buy the whole brainwashing thing…it lets people off the hook. Cruise is accountable for his actions and beliefs. Next, while I am a Christian, I would be delighted if my church married gay couples and ordained actively gay pastors.

    As for my motives, it’s pretty simple. I would hate for someone in need of medical care for a mental illness to not get it because of Scientology’s anti-psychiatry polemic. I don’t want to see people suffer, and in some cases die, needlessly. That’s all.

    My last point – double blind clinical trials. When Scientology’s methods are proven as effective as psychiatry in clinical trials, I’ll gladly put an ad for Scientology at the top of this blog.

    Comment by Bob — July 4, 2005 @ 11:04 pm

  14. Amen, Bob. Your response to Funk was exactly what I was thinking as I read his comment.

    Comment by S — July 5, 2005 @ 10:56 am

  15. Well, I’m back! Hey, Bob, glad you read my post. I would hope you would since, yes, you are the author.

    In reply to your–reply–I notice that you addressed certain things that you thought were referring to you. Maybe I
    didn’t make myself clear on those, but in my first post I was addressing you personally and the people in general.
    Notice where I said, “There seems to be a lot of people…”? That’s referring to people in general. So I am not
    putting words in your mouth. Maybe you misunderstood me but I thought I made it pretty clear whom I was talking about.

    As for what you said in your reply to me, where exactly did you get your facts in regards to Scientology. I’m
    surprised that someone as anti-Scientology as you has never been to Xenu.net. I’m not concerned about giving that
    website out because it’s pretty well-known. But the reason I referred to you as “a f*cking idiot” is because you say
    Scientology “purports” to be a religion. Well, it doesn’t purport; it IS. It claims to be and delivers. Now, I’m
    sure you’ll spew the usual anti-Scientology bullsh*t, but I am involved in this first-hand and I know what I’m
    talking about. It addresses the individual as a spirit and is very effective in handling them so.

    Then there’s the whole labeling Tom as a religious extremist thing. You’ve offered no counter and I’ve already
    addressed that.

    I’m not sure why you bring up your blessings for your church if they were to marry gay couples and ordain gay
    priests….

    As far as your motives are concerned you left out the part about wanting to label Tom as a religious extremist to
    help destroy his credibility, as well as promote anti-Scientology sentiment, which you have made clear, and which I
    have already pointed out.

    And why does Scientology need to be part of double blind clinical trials? It’s a religion. It never said it wanted to
    replace science. But you’re basically asking a religion to go up against a science. You can’t really ask that, for
    reasons which should be obvious. But like I said, Scientology’s anti-psychiatric views aren’t for the replacement of
    psychiatry with Scientology. And as I stated before, there are other anti-psychiatric organizations out there.

    As far as Scientology’s results are concerned, you can read people’s personal testimonies as well as look at the
    statistics given in “What Is Scientology?” (the book). But psychiatry’s results can easily be seen in today’s society.
    We have all these psychiatric/psychological programs, drugs and doctors in schools, yet the kids just get dumber.
    Doesn’t that make you wonder what’s going on? Same with prisons, yet the crime rate continues to escalate. I mean,
    I highly doubt that psychiatry/psychology can testify to having a 70% success rate in curing depression, which doesn’t
    mean the person gets better for 6 months then regress, but rather the person is permanently cured of that particular
    instance of depression.

    Bob, your post wouldn’t be so bad if not for 2 things: 1) you trash Scientology and 2) you call Tom Cruise a religous
    extremist. There’s also that thing about not being reality-based as well. That’s pretty stupid too.

    And, S, maybe next time you could post a reply that you actually thought about? I mean, it’s sad that you’re as dumb
    as Bob.

    Comment by Funk — July 5, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

  16. Funk, you really make me want to be a part of your religion. If I blather on and on and make little sense, will you think I gave my comment more thought? I’ve already posted my own thoughts on the matter at my blog, just wanted to give a nod to Bob.

    Comment by S — July 5, 2005 @ 7:46 pm

  17. If I’m making little sense, S, then you must have the intelligence of a toothpick. But it is great to see you two
    creeps support one another unquestioningly.

    Comment by Funk — July 5, 2005 @ 7:51 pm

  18. P.S. S, I’m not here to get people to become Scientologists. How is my defending it an effort to “recruit” more
    members? See, that’s the same type of bullsh*t that I’m talking about which I am sick of. You should learn to read,
    loser.

    Comment by Funk — July 5, 2005 @ 8:45 pm

  19. Funk –

    I take a pretty loose hand regarding comments on my blog, but your personal attacks (“fucking idiot”, “stupid”, “intelligence of a toothpick”, “loser”) are inappropriate. Please avoid personal attacks or I’ll have to block/delete your comments. Stick to respectful debate, please.

    To respond, I am not anti-Scientology, I am anti-Tom Cruise because of his comments against psychiatry. My comment about Scientology purporting to be a religion is because most religions, at least the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism, deal with the “transcendant”, either God or a transcendant view of the universe. I haven’t heard that Scientology deals with such, but then neither does Confucianism, and it’s called a religion, so you have a fair point. I’ll agree that Scientology is a religion.

    I stand by my characterization of Tom Cruise as a religious extremist, not because he’s a Scientologist, but because he denies facts that conflict with his religion. I use the same term for a Christian, Jew, Muslim etc. that denies reality in favor of a religious ideology. As a Christian, I try hard not to commit that error myself. Read my post again for the entirety of my argument.

    And again, please stop the personal insults.

    Peace.

    Comment by Bob — July 5, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

  20. Well, at least you relented on one point, but as far as calling Tom a religious extremist because he denies facts
    that conflict with his religion, have you looked into Tom’s viewpoints in their entirety? He even says that he never
    agreed with psychiatry, even before becoming a Scientologist. What makes you think that all his disagreements with
    the subject are solely because of his religion? That seems like an assumption to me. What makes you think
    Scientologists in general disagree with psychiatry solely because of their religion? I told you some of my views on
    the subject. Did any of them sound religion-oriented?

    And this thing about being denying reality in favor of religious ideology, that’s simply not true either. In fact,
    it too sounds like an assumption and very related to the point I made above. If you think he has wrong data on
    something that’s one thing; but if you think that just because he deliberately ignores hard facts because his religion
    tells him to that’s another thing. I mean, that would mean that everyone who disagrees with something the modern
    science world says is true would be some sort of extremist, EVEN THOUGH sometimes those people are actually right. I
    mean, look at Columbus. He said the world was round even though the majority of so-called scientists and people in
    general said it was flat. Why not call him an extremist. You know, there are other doctors, including psychiatrists/psychologists that will support what Tom and other anti-psychiatrists/psychologists assert.

    I read your original post in its entirety, more than once even, now you should read mine, because these points I just
    told you were written in my original post, except maybe a few details.

    Comment by Funk — July 6, 2005 @ 10:52 am

  21. >>Columbus… said the world was round even though the majority of so-called scientists and people in
    general said it was flat.

    WRONG! The scientific establishment in Columbus’ day knew very well the earth was
    spherical.

    And please give examples of psychiatrists against psychiatry, besides Peter Breggin.

    Comment by wildwest — July 6, 2005 @ 11:51 am

  22. Whatever, you get the point.

    If you want more examples of psychiatrists going against psychiatrists, do your own d*mn research. There are plenty
    more out ther eand it’s not very hard to find them. I don’t exactly memorize these names.

    Comment by Funk — July 6, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

  23. Thanks, Funk. You are very kind.

    Comment by wildwest — July 6, 2005 @ 3:10 pm

  24. Thank you though I’m not sure how the sarcasm relates to my last comment….

    Comment by Funk — July 6, 2005 @ 7:42 pm

  25. I just spent a few minutes researching exactly who thought the world was flat back in Columbus’s day. I couldn’t find
    something real definite, but from what I could tell (and a lot of this is from people relaying back information they
    assumably researched–not actually information straight out of a textbook or encyclopedia) the Church or at least some
    scholars/clergymen of the Church believed the earth was flat. The Church as we all know had large control over the
    court (is that capitalized?) so even if it were only a few clergymen that believed that they could have gotten a lot
    of members of the court, including the king and queen, to believe that as well.

    There’s actually a lot of stuff on who thought the earth was flat and when, and how they arrived to this conclusion as
    well any motives they may have had, but I’m not gonna go trying to get a Phd on that.

    But as far as the scientific establishment thinking the earth was round (during Columbus’s day) I don’t know for
    certain. But like I said, I didn’t do a lot of research on it.

    Even if I was totally wrong on that point, it doesn’t matter really. I got my point across and one thing we can’t
    deny about history and science is that science has been wrong. Maybe not on everything or even a lot of things, but
    they have been wrong, whether it be because of corruption amongst actual scientists, lack of technology needed to
    ensure accuracy, sloppy research or whatever, it has been wrong. I mean, look what they did with bleeding the sick
    back in the Middle Ages.

    Now this isn’t meant to scary everyone and make them all paranoid that science may be wrong, like, what if there really
    ISN’T such thing as bacteria or whatever. The point is to make you open to the fact that there could be misinformation
    out there despite various “tests” and whatnot.

    Despite that, still, psychiatry and psychology has shown poor, poor, POOR results. All you need to do is stick your
    head outside your door. You might also notice without taking a long look that often cases get worse AFTER seeking a
    psychiatrist or psychologist. Now, that may be because whatever condition or disease they have is incurable, but from
    what you can see psychiatrists/psychologists are always promising help and say their science works. The results speak
    for themselves.

    At best psychiatry and psychology help little, and at worse they do nothing but harm. Does that sound like a science
    to you?

    I wouldn’t be surprised that for every ACTUAL success story (“success” as in the patient never regresses and has a
    permanent recovery) there are a hundred horror stories of deterioration or at best NO gain whatsoever.

    But I must reiterate the point of Tom’s so-called religious extremism, Bob, which I really can’t say anything else on.
    I will say however that I am not one of those who think our laws should be based solely on religious beliefs, such as
    the banning of the teaching of evolution in school (in favor of creationism), having the Ten Commandments on display in
    OR OUTSIDE of public buildings or having the “one nation under God” line in the Pledge of Allegiance. So I would not
    ask for laws to be passed or vetoed solely on that, and I don’t think Tom is doing that either. This, by the way, has nothing to do with how the interview went on “The Today Show” or whatever, which is enjoying its ratings hike due to him.

    Refer to my earlier posts for more details.

    Comment by Funk — July 8, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

  26. Funk… you seem to have some anger management problems which result in a basic lack of civility and respect for
    others. Have you thought about seeing a psychiatrist? Obviously your faith isn’t working.

    Comment by Tony — July 9, 2005 @ 9:38 am

  27. Tony, what makes you say I have anger management issues? Is it because you disagree with my opinions and the facts I
    have brought to your attention?

    As for seeing a psychiatrist, have you not read any of my posts? Obviously you haven’t.

    As far as my faith not working, what gives you the right to say that? Huh? How would you know how it’s working for
    me? I mean, I could say the same for you since you can’t even read. But what makes you say that it’s not working?
    The fact that you don’t like what I have to say? The fact that you don’t like my posts? Or do you just like to
    assume these things to flame?

    I would say some not-so-nice things to you, Tony, but because this is Bob’s post and Bob told me not to make personal
    attacks, I will not. But I would like to ask you, Bob, to return the curteousy for me, not allowing others to make
    biggotted, personal attacks on me. So all I will say, Tony, is you’re either flaming this post, trying to get a rise
    out of me or you just like to say things off the top of your head based on no facts, which I thought this post was
    supposed to be. If you think I’m not giving facts then you should go do some research before you say things like you
    just did, which some might consider not so intelligent.

    Comment by Funk — July 9, 2005 @ 5:51 pm

  28. Oh, yeah, Tony, I would like to know exactly what you know of my religion. I mean, I would like you to tell me a few
    fundamentals on it. Maybe that is the basis of your comments, as opposed to a comment masked as help which is really
    intended to be an insult.

    Comment by Funk — July 9, 2005 @ 5:53 pm

  29. I dunno, Funk. Psychiatry has only helped me. Not just a bit, either.

    Comment by wildwest — July 11, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

  30. So what do you want me to say, wildwest? Did you even do that research thing I told you to do?

    Comment by Funk — July 11, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

  31. You said “do your own damn research.” Sorry. I have no response to that.

    Comment by wildwest — July 12, 2005 @ 10:36 am

  32. You know, you’re gonna have to say a comment with some logic andm just as importantly, some
    point to it. I mean, I’m not sure if you’re trying to give some counter argument or
    whatever. I said, “Do your own d*mn research.” Is that hard to understand? Your response
    to that would either be, “O.K., I will,” or, “No, I won’t.”

    Posters, please make a comment that goes somehwere.

    Eh, when I think about it, wildwest just sounds like a flamer.

    Comment by Funk — July 12, 2005 @ 6:56 pm

  33. You can catch more flies with honey than with
    vinegar, Funk. I’ve flown away. Bye.

    Comment by wildwest — July 13, 2005 @ 11:10 am

  34. Good riddance, wildwest, good riddance….

    Please, no more flamers.

    Comment by Funk — July 13, 2005 @ 9:14 pm

  35. Everything you need to know about scientoogy, please go here: http://www.clambake.org. It tells it like it is. A dangerous coersive totalitarion sect.

    Comment by Geri — July 14, 2005 @ 2:59 am

  36. “Everything you need to know about scientoogy, please go here: http://www.clambake.org. It tells it like it is. A dangerous coersive totalitarion sect.”

    I rest my case. This is nothing more than a vicious effort to denounce a religion. I would like to note though how
    funny it is that Geri here referred to it as a sect, which shows he knows nothing about what he is talking about,
    which includes what a sect is. Let me explain it for you if you are like Geri–a sect is a smaller religion formed
    from a larger one, an offshoot or branch. It would be nice if Geri could tell us all exactly what religion Scientology
    branched off of, and it would be nice if Geri could give some actually accurate sources for information, but what can
    you expect when someone refers to a non-denominational religion as a sect.

    So far, I haven’t heard one person “tell it like it is.”

    Next, please.

    Comment by Funk — July 14, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

  37. I agree that medications may be inappropriately prescribed in some cases, and I do suspect that it is possible in many cases that antidepressants or other mood-altering medications may indeed “mask” problems so that they are less likely to be dealt with.

    I spent more than twenty years of my life suffering from severe depression. And during my teen years, I was given all sorts of antidepressants that only made my problems worse, or gave me different problems. I don’t think they were right for me, or that they worked.

    However, saying that these medications are never appropriate, or that chemical imbalances in the brain “don’t exist” is asinine. I’m sorry… I’m not a huge fan of throwing pills at people (without good reason), but to pretend that these things never help people, or that their problems are illusory is not only wrong, it’s it disrespectful in the extreme to those who suffer from mental illness. It’s like telling someone that a broken spine is “all in their head” or telling them that they should not take painkillers for their broken spine “because painkillers aren’t natural, and you can learn to not think about pain.”

    I have not only suffered from severe clinical depression, and manic-depressiveness, as a minister, I have counseled many people suffering from these. I do suggest that people seek their own solutions to problems which are soluble through adjusting outlook or lifestyle. But I also advise them to seek medical help and advice for these problems.

    “Keeping a stiff upper lip” does not make something like depression or ADD or Tourette’s Syndrome go away. Vitamins are healthy, but they don’t cure all your ills.

    My impression is that Mr. Cruise feel’s that his religion is the best one. I’m sure most people think their religion is the best one. But even if a religion is helpful to a person in their life, it is dangerous and unethical, in my opinion, to use it as a substitute for reason and good sense.

    Perhaps miraculous healings do occur, and perhaps it is possible for the body to overcome illness, including mental illness, through changes in outlook (There is certainly evidence to that effect).

    If I want healing for my spirit, I turn to Spirit. But if my physical body is ill (and the brain is part of the body), I seek medical care for my body. I believe Creator gave me (and the human race in general) the power of reason for a reason. And the reason isn’t so that we can wish our troubles away. It’s so we can make good, rational choices, whether about the material world, or matters of the spirit.

    Comment by Coyote Osborne — July 26, 2005 @ 9:22 am

  38. Finally! An intelligent comment! Well, there were a few before, but they weren’t many.

    I actually respect Coyote Osborne’s comment, even though I disagree with part of it. I mean, it actually sounds like he put some real thought into this and got some facts. It also sounds like he isn’t out to talk sh*t over the internet about a celebrity/religion like he’s some sort of bada*s. The rest of you should follow suit.

    But about Coyote Oborne’s comments, he falls in line with many of the comments I’ve read in regards to the Tom Cruise interview–he feels people are overmedicated but there are uses for psychiatric medication and there does exist a chemical imbalance which is proof of the technical term known as “mental illness”. Not exactly an irrational opinion, especially in the way in which he presented it.

    However, I must disagree with some of that. For starters, he mentions “keeping a stiff upper lip” doesn’t cure a mental illness. I agree with that, however, Tom Cruise did not suggest people do that, although Coyote never said he did. I’ve read only a few comments where people said people with mental illnesses should stop being such wusses and be tougher. And although Coyote Osborne never said Tom said this, Tom never said people shouldn’t take drugs in face of medical treatment such as a broken spine; he said people shouldn’t take psychotropic drugs for mental disorders. There is a BIG difference between these kinds of medications. What are they? Well, for one, psychotropic drugs alter the chemicals in your brain, therefore altering your behavior. “Regular” drugs such as pain killers prevent the neurons from sending pain messages to the brain, so you don’t feel them. There are other differences, such as the side effects, but I’m not gonna go into it; a lot of these people seem to know what they’re talking about (enter sarcasm) but you get the point.

    As far as Coyote’s depression, I hope he got over that, and by got over that I don’t mean he just toughed up and stopped being so sad or whatnot, I mean I hope he’s not depressed anymore. But you’ll notice he said he spent 20 plus years being depressed, some of which were assumably under the care of a psychiatrist/psychologist and he didn’t better. I don’t know if he underwent other forms of “treatment” such as psychotherapy, but obviously the “doctor’s help” didn’t do anything. In fact, he says it worsened his condition. Right there you can see a clear-cut case of unworkability.

    I would be willing to bet, too, that never once did they do any sort of brain scan or biopsy to actually SEE his chemical imbalance. This is where it gets uglly. The psychiatrists/psychologists say mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and they supposedly have proof of this, but they almsot never actually get physical proof that the brain’s chemicals are imbalanced. What they do instead is just take account of symptoms, many of which can be considered normal behavior, and then diagnose it as sign of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

    Now another problem with this is that there could be another cause. I’ve heard a story of a boy who was considered hyperactive in school (I don’t know if they actually labeled him ADHD) and they couldn’t find anything wrong in his diet. However, after a visit to a physician they found he had a hormonal imbalance. After that was corrected, he was fine. This is sometimes the case for Postpartum Depression as well. Did Brooke Shields look into this? I can’t say for sure but I doubt it. I’d be surprised if she even suggested women looking into this before going on risky psychotropic medication. So an apparent chemical imbalance could really just be something else.

    But even if it comes down to there really being something mentally messed up with a person, who says it has to be hard? When a person’s depressed it isn’t so hard to imagine they are somehow fixated on something bad that happened in their life. They may not even remember it. It could go all the way back to their childhood for which they have a poor memory of. People tend to block out unpleasant memories. It may sound like I’m oversimplifying it but I’m not telling you the cure necessarily.

    They often try to find and address this is psychotherapy, but one of the problems that occurs in that is the person can’t remember it and a psychotherapist can only do so much to help the person find what’s really troubling him. Another problem that occurs which is the fault of the psychotherapist is that he tells the patient what to do and what to think. This can often lead to a person just doing what they’re told with no actual self-realization or even full understanding by the patient. Knowing/finding something out about yourself is something which you have to do; it doesn’t really work when someone tells you it and you don’t fully realize it.

    So if you have a mental illness or if the so-called doctor tells you you have one, do two things: ask for physical proof of this (an actual showing of the chemical imbalance) and look into other causes for your strange behavior, for whihc you might need to go to a physician or other specialist besides a psychiatrist/psychologist.

    Comment by Funk — July 26, 2005 @ 8:28 pm

  39. […] vernment. But I think there’s another factor at play as well: ideology. I’ve said in the past that extremism is a result of seeing the world as one believes it ought to be, rather than a […]

    Pingback by I am a Christian Too » Ideology Leading to Incompetence — October 22, 2005 @ 10:06 am

  40. Funk, you are undermining your own argument by mixing a few intelligent comments with personal attacks, cussing, bias, and poor research, which makes up the majority of your argument.

    First of all, as another poster stated, if you are going to argue that many psychiatrists have been dissatisfied with psychiatry as a whole, then name names. Do “some of your own damn research” if you want to bring that point into the debate. And no, Breggin and Block do not count, as Block is uncertified and lacking in experience, and so not truly qualified as an expert psychiatrist, and Breggin (who IS qualified) only protests against certain types of psychiatric treatment, most notably the use of Ritalin and other “downer” drugs to treat ADD, ADHD, and other mental illnesses in children. Moreover, Breggin does not represent the majority of doctors/psychiatrists, and statistical evidence from the FDA and numerous private studies contradict him.

    Second, stop using your personal bias towards Scientology and your own experience as the building block of your argument. The facts remain that while psychiatric medicine is tried-and-true through medical trials, both by government agencies (FDA) and private studies by clinics and leading doctors, Scientology’s methods have not been proven effective. The idea of a “thetan”, some type of body near or in the body having no mass or energy, is absurd. It is obvious that Hubbard purposefully commented that it has no mass or energy in order to thwart all attempts to disprove its existence, not because he actually believes it exists. This is silly; all things in existence are made up of matter, whether mass or energy. The thetan is a myth, another of Hubbard’s science-fiction writings.

    Furthermore, the “E-meters” supposedly used to measure the thetan and the negative emotions and memories it contains have never been proven effective by any definitive study. You can say “I’ve seen them work and I’m a Scientologist so I know better than you” all you want, but you can’t show me any factual evidence or studies supporting your claims. I have only chosen to debunk these claims of Scientology because you repeatedly tell those you criticize that they just “haven’t done their research” or “don’t know about Scientology”. It’s obvious that I do, and I’m telling you why many of its tenets are bull.

    Moreover, ignoring the silly science-fiction about Xenu and the whole alien story, which I laugh at, Hubbard’s axioms of human thought that Scientology relies on are primitive forms of psychoanalysis, not definitions of human thought. His “engrams”, the negative emotions and memories that he observed while on his travels, are not remnants of souls or past lives; they are the subconscious and recessed memory. He recognized what they were, but failed to see where they stem from. His axioms of human thought, which base all thought on the principles of survival, describe instinct in a vague and misguided way. You will disagree with me, but Hubbard’s ideologies are in many ways primitive forms of psychology, and prove in no way the religious beliefs of Scientology.

    Finally, this pissed me off. At first, you claimed that psychiatry is mind-disabling and dangerous, and does more harm than good. You also claimed that Scientology is opposed to psychiatry both for religious and secular reasons. Then when studies were mentioned to disprove your claim, and Scientology’s methods came under fire, you said that Scientology cannot be compared to psychology because Scientology is a religion, not a science. You said that Scientology does not wish to replace psychiatry, it just trashes it.

    You basically backed out of your own argument, in a very cowardly and disappointing way. If you want to contest psychiatry from a Scientology perspective, and stress the superiority of Scientology’s methods, then you better damn well be ready to back up Scientology’s secular methods (such as the E-meters and measuring the thetan). You weren’t, and instead of backing up Scientology’s methods, you fell back on the whole “we’re just a religion, we don’t want to replace psychiatry with our own methods.” You STATED BEFORE THAT SCIENTOLOGY OPPOSES PSYCHIATRY ON SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS GROUNDS. And now you say that Scientology can’t replace psychiatry in secular medicine? You just admitted, albeit indirectly, that Scientology’s methods of improving health do not work as well as psychiatry. Moreover, if you want to defend Scientology as a religion and get angry when Bob says it “purports” to be a religion, then don’t say it also has secular benefits. You can’t have it both ways. Either Scientology is just another fundamentalist religion objecting to psychiatry on ideological and religious terms, or it is a secular alternative to psychiatry. Pick one and stop jumping back and forth when it suits you.

    And finally, the Colombus argument proved to me that you are truly ignorant. At Colombus’ time, the administration of the Catholic Church (in its usual ignorance and intolerance) insisted that the world was flat. However, many leading scholars, both Arabic and European, believed it to be round. Colombus heard these claims from the INTELLECTUAL community (which doesn’t include the Church) and decided to take a risk and attempt to reach India by sailing West. The king and queen of Spain sponsored him, surprisingly, despite the fact that he was an Italian sailor and despite the fact that the king and queen themselves backed the Church and (at least publicly) believed in the world-is-flat theory.

    This is basic history. If you don’t know this, then you are truly ignorant. And moreover, if you can’t do the simple research to find this out, then it amazes me that you can tell someone else that they are poorly researched in their argument. Do some factual research, or just do a fucking Google search if you are lazy, and maybe you’ll learn something. There is NOT widespread resistance to psychiatric treatment in the psychiatric field, all scholars at Colombus’ time did NOT believe the world was flat, and Scientology’s methods have NOT been proven effective in any way, shape, or form. Your religion is based on the works of a science fiction writer, who could have discovered very useful things about psychology in his travels (which Freud had already discovered earlier, but apparently Hubbard thinks all psychology is derived from Professor Wundt, read Hubbard’s books if you don’t believe me) if he had stopped writing fictional stories about aliens and invisible soul-like bodies orbiting our heads. The ignorance and uneducated nature of Scientologists is what allows them to believe what Hubbard says. Yes, I am insulting your intelligence, and yes, I do have good reason for doing so.

    Comment by Guest — January 2, 2006 @ 2:26 pm

  41. Almost forgot to reply to Bob.

    Basically, amen. You said everything I already knew and more; I couldn’t find anything untrue in your article, Bob. I think I may have a harsher opinion of the religious right, as well as Scientology, and I would dispute your claim that they see the world as it should be in the case of certain actions that they have taken, but I understand where you are coming from.

    I think it’s really quite admirable that you can be a Christian minister and still be open-minded enough to depart from the diocese in your opinions on such issues as homosexuality, that the church administration can’t seem to be tolerant about. I can see that you really find a happy medium in your faith, and even as an Atheist personally, I can appreciate that.

    The world needs more moderates like you and less neocons and extreme fundamentalists. I’m waiting for the day when the church administrations shift towards your type of views – moderate, tolerant ones. Pope John Paul II started this shift, and hopefully it will continue later despite having hit a rough patch in recent times.

    Oh, and finally to Funk – Bob’s assertion that Tom Cruise has obviously never had real experience in the psychiatric field, or in helping people with psychiatric problems, is proven by Cruise’s views on psychiatry and Brooke Shields in particular. If he can truly believe that she couldn’t have a genuine mental health issue, and can’t accept that she needs psychiatric help, or that psychiatry can help people like her at all, then he has obviously not had experience with the many people who have been cured by psychiatric medicine. Bob is not making an assumption there. Rather, you are making an assumption that Cruise has seen psychiatric medicine cause harm to others and you are assuming that THAT is the reason behind his dislike of psychiatry, along with his faith. This is based on personal bias rather than fact or statement by Cruise himself; you naturally assume that Cruise, as a fellow Scientologist, is more enlightened about the matter, and not simply inexperienced. Bob obviously knows that Cruise has not had experience in the matter, or else he wouldn’t post it.

    Oh, and I loved that Voltaire quote, Karen…it perfectly describes Cruise.

    Comment by Guest — January 2, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

  42. Have any of you read Goethe’s Faust? or Foucault’s ‘Madness and Civilization? Tom may or may not have read these works, but he has certainly been exposed to similar concepts. Forget Scientology, extremism, celebrity, and all the bantering and blithering. Have you ever asked yourself where the bulk of the dialogue/ talking points like ‘bi polar’ or ‘chemical imbalance’ come from? Certainly not, because you know that all these terms and concepts come from labratories- labratories that are funded hugely by pharmaceutical companies that sell such ‘remedies’ as prozac, paxil, ritalin, etc. etc. This is not a ‘conspiracy’, it’s merely the result of a shared agenda- ‘progress’. These faustian demi-gods who invent such drugs and their cohorts in marketing are shamelessly capitalizing on the fact that many people in this modern world, and especially here in America, feel a sense of being cut off from the things that really matter – which are never ‘things’- but from their families, communities, nature, etc. Do you think the people tucked away in their futuristic laboratories are considering why people are really so mentally unbalanced? Are they trying to ‘cure’ suffering, or just make it bearable? Easy enough to bear, say, so that people who are suffering can keep on working, producing, functioning, etc? But isn’t that a big reason why we’re depressed, because our lives seem hollow and meaningless, that we feel helpless and shallow, that we can either subscibe to ‘blind faith’, or ‘a pill a day’ to magically take all out troubles away. And why is the big one, ‘depression’, a fairly recent phenomena? Isn’t it interesting that depression has become a nationwide phenomena at about the same rate as the drugs made to remedy it have flooded the market? Or a better direction might be to look at the world we are living in.
    I was once ‘diagnosed’ as bi-polar, like my father was before me. My father still takes handfills of pills every day, and is a shell of the man he could have been. Aside from the sizeable dent in his wallet (these remedies are quite expensive), this path has done nothing for his pride. He is as weak and pathetic as he ever was. “Depression’ was just a convenient excuse for not facing life, for not living it. I almost made the same mistake. When i was twenty I was prescribed prozac. I actually wanted to take it, so i told the doctor what he wanted to hear- the ‘typical’ symptoms i was very familiar with. After about six months on prozac i began to feel contented. It was a warm, dry, quasi-happiness. And then one day I said to myself, “I’m twenty years old, I have no girlfriend, I’m living at my mom’s house in my dinky little hometown and I work in a lamp factory. And I feel fine about this?” I threw away the drugs after that. All of them. First the prozac, then the weed, then finally the alcohal and tobacco. I adressed the issues i had, fears of social situations, fears of intimicy, failure, success, etc. and i faced them. It was not easy, certainly not as easy as popping a pill every morning, but those who have the courage to go this route know what Tom is talking about. Tom’s problem is that he wasn’t all that articulate, but like Malcom X said: “You can’t tell somebody that their glass of water is dirty. All you can do is show them a clean glass, and hope they know the difference.”

    Comment by zenfindizzy — January 15, 2006 @ 2:31 am

  43. Please e-mail me if you know any good resources for sharing the Gospel with a schizophrenic. She mostly wants to know that if she becomes a Christian, she won’t be the only schizophrenic to accept Christ. Secondly, she wants to know that Christians understand that life is not easy as a schizophrenic and don’t go offering her simple answers. She keeps talking to us like: “It’s easy for you to become a Christian; you don’t have schizophrenia.”

    Comment by Glenn Shrom — March 2, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  44. I personally would prefer not to take the sort of drugs we’re talking about, unless they were medically necessary to save my life, but I also think that Tom Cruise is wrong to criticize other people’s choices.

    I think the biggest political problem we have in this country is people trying to impose your beliefs on other people. If everyone would just mind their own business and not obscess over whether their neighbors are gay or taking paxill or whatever, we’d probably all be a lot better off. But then our politicians would have to address actual problems . . . can’t have that.

    Comment by Rudolf Radna — August 24, 2006 @ 11:51 am

  45. Why does everyone always equate the catholic church with being the be all and end all to the christian faith…when in fact there are many things about the catholic church which are totally against what the bible says … and the bible itself says that if anything contradicts what it pages say then it it wrong and should be disregarded…God either knows what he is talkinag because he has created everything or he hasnt and this includes the bible itself through devine inspiration so it either says what he wants it to say or its doesnt and if it doesnt 100 percent then he is a liar and it doesnt really matter then does it ?…you cant have it both ways. ..one of them being what the bible says about the shape of the earth….

    Some Bible critics have claimed that Revelation 7:1 assumes a flat earth since the verse refers to angels standing at the “four corners” of the earth. Actually, the reference is to the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. Similar terminology is often used today when we speak of the sun’s rising and setting, even though the earth, not the sun, is doing the moving. Bible writers used the “language of appearance,” just as people always have. Without it, the intended message would be awkward at best and probably not understood clearly. [DD]

    In the Old Testament, Job 26:7 explains that the earth is suspended in space, the obvious comparison being with the spherical sun and moon. [DD]

    A literal translation of Job 26:10 is “He described a circle upon the face of the waters, until the day and night come to an end.” A spherical earth is also described in Isaiah 40:21-22 – “the circle of the earth.”

    Proverbs 8:27 also suggests a round earth by use of the word circle (e.g., New King James Bible and New American Standard Bible). If you are overlooking the ocean, the horizon appears as a circle. This circle on the horizon is described in Job 26:10. The circle on the face of the waters is one of the proofs that the Greeks used for a spherical earth. Yet here it is recorded in Job, ages before the Greeks discovered it. Job 26:10 indicates that where light terminates, darkness begins. This suggests day and night on a spherical globe. [JSM]

    The Hebrew record is the oldest, because Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Historians generally [wrongly] credit the Greeks with being the first to suggest a spherical earth. In the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras suggested a spherical earth. [JSM]

    Eratosthenes of Alexandria (circa 276 to 194 or 192 B.C.) calcuated the circumference of the earth “within 50 miles of the present estimate.” [Encyclopedia Brittanica]

    The Greeks also drew meridians and parallels. They identified such areas as the poles, equator, and tropics. This spherical earth concept did not prevail; the Romans drew the earth as a flat disk with oceans around it. [JSM]

    The round shape of our planet was a conclusion easily drawn by watching ships disappear over the horizon and also by observing eclipse shadows, and we can assume that such information was well known to New Testament writers. Earth’s spherical shape was, of course, also understood by Christopher Columbus. [DD]

    The implication of a round earth is seen in the book of Luke, where Jesus described his return, Luke 17:31. Jesus said, “In that day,” then in verse 34, “In that night.” This is an allusion to light on one side of the globe and darkness on the other simultaneously. [JSM]

    “When the Bible touches on scientific subjects, it is entirely accurate.”

    Comment by aservant — August 25, 2006 @ 8:02 am

  46. All my life I have been a strong christian, and I have always believed in and followed the sripture of the bible. However in all honesty throughout my past I have believed that many illnesses were in fact developed from a mental fear of them, and that through proper counseling any mental illness (such as anxiety and depression) could be corrected without the need of medication. Then I fell in love with a girl that suffers from an anxiety disorder. Once again I tell you I fell in love, therefore I was not just going to up and leave her because she had a problem that I personally did not understand. After months of frustration and altering my habits along with my entire way of life, I decided to research her condition. In all reality it is very difficult to try and understand something that you personally have never experienced. After hours of reasearch and forceing myself to open my mind and try to imagine what she was going through it struck me. These mental disorders are real and effect millions of people everyday, they significantly alter everyday decisions that most people would never even think about. In conclusion I feel that medications are needed and necessary for these individuals that suffer from these horrible conditions until they can get back on there feet. So what I would suggest is to never judge or critisize someone or some condition until you fully understand what exactly it is that person is going through, and the effects it may have on there lives.

    Comment by Arik — December 13, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

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