Recently, a few radical souls on the left have taken a HEADLINE about a story I did the other day and made me the object of scorn over it. And as they are prone to do, they did it by placing their focus on the headline itself, rather than the actual words I spoke within context. The “context” of one’s words can make a real difference!
The story was about a new diagnosis from the American Psychiatric Association. I forget exactly what the new, “out of the blue” diagnosis was called. But the essence was that to be overtly anxious about an actual, physical ailment could get you classified as mentally ill. In other words, say you had lung cancer (what took the life of my dear father!). And because of that condition, you were overtly focused on it, you were too consumed with your treatments, with your pain, with your future. So to be overly consumed with anxiety over this physical condition you have would qualify you for this new condition, this new “mental illness”. You would now be mentally ill because they say so, if you meet these qualifications!
That was the context of my discussion. IN CONTEXT, I was relating to how they now have a “disease” that was easy to pin to someone as an actual, mental illness simply because you were concerned or anxious about a real disease! That’s truly scary. It’s not out of the question to worry about how mental illness being diagnosed inappropriately these days if you listen to the President’s plans for gun control.
In those executive orders he suggested he would implement, was much about Doctors asking patients about their gun ownership, and consequently the reporting of that ownership to the Centers for Disease Control. Now, if the doctor is going to start asking you about your gun ownership, and the police are going to start coming into your home to see how you are storing your weapons (another law presented in Washington state this past week), it’s NOT a giant leap to think that they might tie a diagnosis of mental illness to someone based solely on some aspect of them being gun owners! Maybe someone has “too many” guns, or “too many bullets” in their home. Does this now mean that they could be mentally ill? Well, if they are now calling anxiety about a physical illness a mental illness, then anything is possible! I guess if the Psy doctors declare in some paper that a new mental illness exists if you are someone who has too many guns, or love your guns, or have too many bullets, etc, then “mentally ill” you are!
That was the context in which I said, “The government could one day decide to diagnose Christianity or radical conservatism as a mental illness”. I did NOT just blurt out, “Obama’s going to call us Christians mentally ill and throw us in an institution somewhere to get us out of the way!” I actually had a reasoned discussion about a new, easily diagnosed mental illness to start with. That was the CONTEXT that a negative headline wouldn’t show!
You see, when you get the CONTEXT, the assumption about my words doesn’t sound quite so sinister!