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Religion as mental illness

I just had a curious interaction with an obviously deeply disturbed person. There is a pathologically shy woman (who sits in a corner and does not speak or make eye-contact with anyone unless someone directs a remark specifically at her) who attends a casual gay organization I belong to. I have seen her now at about three events and finally, when coincidence put us on the same tram, we spoke a little. She said she was Jewish and was on her way to a pro-Israel demonstration. Since that is not at all my political position, I declined to comment.

Since then, she has interrupted my Facebook visits with frequent I-mail chats, and though they were rather irritating, I have always responded out of courtesy and sympathy for an apparently very needy person.

In the course of the last 'chat' she revealed that she had lived for some time in an eastern orthodox convent but had left because she had fallen in love with a sister. She had also apparently rejected the faith and now was pursuing a sort of mystical Judaism. I was upfront and blatant and said that all religion was voodoo and the old testament was a bloodthirsty document and that I could not see how any rational person could derive modern morality from it.

Finally she logged off and to cement my point, I sent her a long list of QUOTES (not attacks, but direct quotes with chapter and verse) from the old testament which illustrated the brutality and bloodthirstyess of Jahwe.

Today I got an email from her saying I was ignorant and antisemitic and that she was warning me that if I sent her another message like that she would call the police.

I am not worried about the police part, because she is clearly emotionally disturbed. I just wanted to tell the story to someone, to show that religion can attract the most unbalanced among us.

Has anyone else had a similar encounter with a religious 'crazy?


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