Is Christianity a Mental Illness?

Is Christianity a Mental Illness? November 3, 2014
“I just finished reading your article “Religious Trauma Syndrome” and it brought back memories of my jettisoning Christianity (some 30 years ago). I came to the conclusion then that Christianity was a mental illness…”
Here’s a letter from one of my readers… What do you think?

From: Craig Royce To: Frank Schaeffer Sent: Sat, Nov 1, 2014 10:36 pmSubject: Christianity As An Illness

I just finished reading your article “Religious Trauma Syndrome” and it brought back memories of my jettisoning Christianity (some 30 years ago). I came to the conclusion then that Christianity was a mental illness. How could anyone in their right mind believe in something so utterly stupid as a god requiring a son to be crucified to pay the penalty of sin? This central concept of Christianity is so unnatural, so illogical, and so unreasonable.
That there is a god who has a son who is so perfect as to be by some stroke of luck the only one capable of paying off the penalty of sin is a concept so ludicrous that actually defies belief were it not for the belief of millions! Sin comes into the world and by some sequence of events there just happens to be a being (the son) who can only be the one that can do away with the penalty of sin (as mandated by this other being – his father and god). What diseased mind can believe this framework? Believe in it through something called “faith?”
Try explaining this concept to a child and see if that child understands intuitively, through common sense such an idea. Once you come to believe this idea, you do need a whole set of other mind busting concepts to support it. If the universe has this kind of god and this kind of son, it borders on the absurd. Has anyone ever seen a real father in a real family in the real world tell his children, “Because you kids are going to do wrong, I just happen to have this other child (which you have not seen) standing in the wings who I’m going to crucify on your behalf to pay for your misdeeds. And then you’re going to be so happy that I nailed him on your behalf that you’re going to love and adore him from then on.” In real life, if that happened to a family, the neighbors would think that family was nuts! And yet that is the essence of Christianity…
Has anyone ever psychologically investigated people who sing, “Oh the blood of Jesus…” What nutcase would create a song with those words and sing it in public?
Thirty years ago I walked away from this madness, recognizing Christianity as a mental delusion.
I purchased two of your books at Amazon a few months ago at the same time for my Kindle –Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God” and “And God Said Billy.” I am currently half way through the book “And God said Billy” – at the point where the protagonist is in the morgue talking to the Greek orthodox priest. The way the book is written with plenty of dialogue makes it a good candidate for a film!
I have scheduled to read “Atheist” after I finish “Billy.” I was smiling my way through “Billy” until I came to the chapters dealing with the South African Boer cop! The knee to the groin – ouch!

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace

Available now on Amazon

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