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JPMorgan bans Christian group at workplace


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Crisis what Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you might recognize the header for this post as coming from an album by the classic rock band, Supertramp.

The album cover captured, like the best of Supertramp, the irony and alienation of the 1970s. True, the 70s had a fun and optimistic side. But there was also this nagging sense that the world was messed up and there was no turning back.

Pollution, social problems and spiritual angst are nothing new. They’ve been with us in various forms throughout history.

For me, the best approach is to try to understand our somewhat tarnished world and to not judge. The only person I can really judge is myself. And I suspect that God’s standards and expectations differ from person to person.

All fine and dandy. But as Archbishop Sheen suggests, if we just go on blindly ignoring problems, how will the world ever get better?

And this is the crux of the matter. Where should the Christian dictum of do not judge end and the modern idea of social responsibility begin?

Again, each must find his or her own solution. Some of us pray. Some of us write. And some do a bit of both.


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Scientific Fraud – Antidepression Drugs for Kids and Teens

Some people are so impressed by the achievements of current tech that they assume science can solve all of our problems. They place a great deal of faith in science and scientists without, it seems, fully realizing they are doing so. In a sense, then, science has become something like religion in the Middle Ages. Unquestioning faith. And the consequences if you ask questions? Well, you’re just a flake with issues, right?

That’s the impression I get from some folks whenever I try to explain that science is a human enterprise and something to be studied, in itself.

In addition to what I’ve highlighted above, watchdogs also found that outcomes for this particular drug vs. a placebo were no different.


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Horrendous allegations about organ harvesting coming out of China

Last night we got a full color pamphlet in the mail about something that seemed so terrible, I thought the organization publishing the pamphlet must have been some half-baked extremist group. Today, however, I did a search and found several articles.

Internet articles can be misleading and downright wrong, of course. So I thought I’d check Wikipedia, which is not the Gospel Truth either but definitely makes an attempt to be reliable. Here’s what I found at Wiki. Click on image for full entry.


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Racism in India, the land of “spirituality”

I’m a strawberry blond “white “(actually light pink, just as “black” is some shade of coffee to deep brown color) skinned guy.

When studying in India in the late 80s I noticed that, depending on the circumstances, my skin color alternately gave me social advantages or disadvantages. These are really too numerous and complex to explain here. And this kind of reaction to my skin color was a fairly unique situation in that I was from the West, a confounding variable in the Indian racism question.

Image via Tumblr – click for original article source

The article tweeted and snipped above points to an issue within India, among some indigenous Indians. And, unless things have changed considerably since I was there, it’s no overstatement. I witnessed incredible racism within a land that some claim is “the guru of the world.”

Don’t get me wrong. I really liked the Indian people on the whole. They seemed, for the most part, gentle, fun, generous and civil. But this issue did stand out. And I’m glad that Quartz India is addressing it. Ignoring never solves problems.

Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of the holy man Ramakrishna, made a similar observation in the late 19th century. And, of course, Mahatma Gandhi followed suit in the early 20th century. But it seems their words were largely forgotten.


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Surprisingly good article about corruption

English: Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mura...

Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elihu Vedder. Lobby to Main Reading Room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. Main figure is seated atop a pedestal saying “CORRUPT LEGISLATION”. Artist’s signature is dated 1896. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Image via Tumblr – Click for full article/source

I tweeted this article today and thought it worthy of another snip.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/OpEd/Commentary/Corruption-is-not-only-about-misappropriating-resources/689364-3320680-88ga15z/index.html


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Two Very Different Takes On Psychiatry

When I first found the website Mad in America I was quite enthused. I’d done my doctorate in psychology and religion. And one of the papers I wrote for a methodology course had to do with deconstructing different beliefs about the human self from a cross cultural perspective.

This involved stepping back and assessing the ideas of “truth,” a particular “personality disorder” as defined by the APA and the notion of “mysticism.” There seemed to be some overlap among psychology, society and mysticism. And I was keenly interested in exploring those sometimes contentious connections.

In doing so I never romanticized the plight of those who psychologically suffer. I know that these people really do have a tough and often confusing time. The question is why. And also, whether our culture and its classification and treatments are making this suffering better or worse.

Both of the following tweets address these questions but the slant is quite different for each.

Today, Mad in America seems like an overly biased web site in that it’s usually emphatically negative about psychiatry. I don’t think that’s balanced.

Having said that, Mad In America does play a role in alerting us to some of the abuses in psychiatry and the pitfalls of an uncritical acceptance of the psychiatric worldview. But again, I don’t think it tells the whole story. Life is complicated. And people do suffer and some are suicidal or violent. The latter two, especially, often need intervention not only for themselves but to safeguard the human rights of others.

The following video, on the other hand, grew on me as I went through it. At first, I expected just another mouthpiece for the latest gee whiz stories about psychiatry which, in my opinion, are often deeply and unconsciously influenced by cultural assumptions and recent trends.

But that’s not what this video is about. I urge anyone interested to watch it. I think we’d be much better off as a species if more psychiatrists displayed this blend of optimism, an appreciation of history and, above all, scientific humility.

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