"Mental Illness" vs. "Irresponsibility"
Speaking of utterly outrageous ideas that just barely have enough merit to contribute to a decent conversation - a few weeks back The Cincinnati Beacon, whilst doing some research on the background of GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee, stumbled across the video of someone Mike Huckabee is reported to follow - a televangelist by the name of Bill Gothard who seems to be promoting the theory that there is no such thing as mental illness - that what we ordinarily think of as "mental illness" is merely a lack of "personal responsibility".
Ordinarily, as with Holocaust deniers and people who think we never walked on the moon, one's first impression might be to attempt to supress the expression of such theories. In fact, I believe it is possible that the mainstream media has been so successful in silencing the Thumpers that many in the non-Thumper community are not even familiar with the details of the Thumper ideology. This of course is quite dangerous as there are Thumpers in VERY high levels of power in this country and we don't even know the details of how they think.
Bill Gothard's ideas would shed some light on the behavior of some powerful Thumpers I have encountered in my travels. In fact, I used to think it was more of a "sports mentality" than a "Thumper mentality".
You see, there seems to be a certain line of thinking among certain coach types that you can "shake off" just about anything but the most serious injuries and illnesses. Probably the most notorious case of this was a gymnastics coach by the name of Bela Karolyi who, during the 1996 summer Olympics, encouraged Kerri Strug to "shake it off" after a badly sprained ankle.
Such callousness one might have attributed to the "heat of the moment" of such an important spoting event, but, having encountered similar notions from other sources, I am beginning to wonder if such behavior might be attributable to this dangerous notion that there is no such thing as illness (mental or otherwise), or possibly even injury - that most, if not all "atypical" behavior is a malfunction of character rather than physiology.
Yes, if there are people out there who think like this - particularly in positions of power - we need to know about it - if for no other reason than to know who to vote against ...
Labels: Mental Illness