THE MIND OF THIS PSYCHIATRIST IS ONCE AGAIN SHOCKED, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Maybe I need some Prozac or Xanax? Better yet, maybe just a little more reason…

Once again, the “religious right” is marching against the right of employers and government to medically insure women who desire birth control. The catholic church doesn’t believe in unnatural means to prevent pregnancy; so it’s only logical for them to foist their beliefs on everyone else.

It almost ruined my morning coffee ( a wonderful pleasure plus caffeine is now supposed to prevent heart disease) to read how the religious right is enraged that pro-choice people are taking away THEIR rights. As I understand this, the pro-choicers are trying to stop THEM from having the right to jam their beliefs down everyone’s gullet. That’s just what we need, more control freaks trying to control people who believe in letting people choose for themselves.

Listen, I’m not holding it against Tom Cruise and John Travolta for believing that Xenu brought billions of people to earth in spacecraft resembling DC-8 airplanes. The Thetans (souls) then clustered together and stuck to the bodies of the living. Yep, the Thetans are still doing it today. I still enjoy Cruise’s and Travolta’s movies. See, I’m not trying to force them to believe the way I believe.

It’s not easy to think for yourself, to actually evaluate what our parents, peers and religious advocates have programmed us to believe. But, it’s doable. Actually evaluating what we’ve been force-fed from the age of 1 day, is brutally hard, but if you succeed, the relief to finally be free is enormous.

Please subscribe to Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist.

12 thoughts on “THE MIND OF THIS PSYCHIATRIST IS ONCE AGAIN SHOCKED, by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. Just a note here. Psychiatry is a science. It is a hybrid of psychology and medicine. Hence, it is a science. And it is best to write about subjects within the framework of science.

    When you step into talking about Catholic beliefs, you are stepping into the boundaries of theology and/or philosophy – not science. Keep in mind that the Christian faith – just like any faith (i.e. Islam and Buddhism also have different branches or divisions) – is divided into different divisions. We have the three major divisions of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism. And within Protestantism, there are many divisions and/or denominations.

    Even within Protestantism, we can have a super heated debate on a non-essential topic like the nature of hell. Is a fire and brimstone, annihilation, or universal reconsideration viewpoint the correct view? Each positional side can have scholars arguing from biblical history, biblical text, ancient Greek and Hebrew, etc.

    Back to psychiatry. When I was an undergraduate, I took courses in math, physics and psychology. My favorite psychology professor was a psychiatrist who worked at a mental health facility in Aurora. He incorporated the philosophy of Zen, Existentialism, and Phenomenology into his world viewpoint. But his was a positive spin. We had many deep discussions outside of class around these topics.

    Once I also took a course in theology at the College of DuPage. He was a Baptist minister, who did his graduate and doctoral work at a Catholic University. I asked him if it was possible by logic and reason to decide the proper Christian viewpoint. He thought I might be joking at first. What he suggested was such an approach was impossible.

    What it boils down to is this. If you don’t like what Roman Catholicism teaches, you can join another Christian branch. Perhaps an offshoot that branched off from the historical Roman Church. Whether we agree or disagree, Roman Catholicism is the biggest Christian branch, with Eastern Orthodoxy coming in second place. And Islam is the second biggest world religion.


    1. But this isn’t a blog about psychiatry it’s a blog about the thoughts of a psychiatrist, in which case Art can talk about anything he wants to sonce it’s his mind and his thoughts.


  2. Art,
    I’ve always considered myself a tolerant person and respectful of others’ religious beliefs. I do get ticked off by “bible thumpers” who attempt to legislate moral and social issues when our Constitution specifically calls for separation of church and state. This country has too many other problems to deal with and not to be distracted by the noise of the pro-lifers.


    Although I believe most wars throughout history have actually been fought for economic reasons, I can see how current events such as the war on terrorism and other unrest in the Middle East can be turning into a war based on religious beliefs. There is something askew when a suicide bomber kills dozens of people believing that in another world he will be on his way to 72 virgins.


  3. Our local hospital just got bought by a catholic hospital. No more abortions ladies and good luck on the birth control too. Ain’t life grand? Good thing Planned Parenthood is still around.


    1. Spoke too soon. The religious right in this country have a mission, and part of that mission is to destroy Planned Parenthood. PP does many, many things, like screenings for breast and cervical cancer, as well as providing contraception and pre-natal care for women who could get that nowhere else. Rick Perry, governor of Texas and former presidential candidate, has closed down 12 Planned P clinics in Texas by refusing federal funds to run them. He is now being sued by the federal government for doing so. Their rationale, that all money is fungible, despite the fact that federal funds CANNOT be used for abortion, and that only 3% of what PP does is directly related to abortion, does not matter at all. In fact, none of the PP clinics that Perry closed down did abortions! But that was the reason he gave for closing them. His aide said “We’re not against health care, we’re just against abortions!” They willingly lie to pander to the right. Other states have now followed suit. No alternatives will be available for these women now, outside of the emergency room, I guess! A woman legislator was thrown out and refused to be allowed to comment on a bill in the Michigan legislature, because she made the comment that this law was “an invasion of my vagina!” inappropriate. Well what else was she supposed to call it? Men are making these laws, and shutting women out of the process whenever possible!

      Their logic is as Orwellian as their tactics. While the Catholic church completely ignores the separation of church and state, and wants to force their religious creed of no contraception on employees who work in institutions that receive federal funds, they decry that THEIR religious rights are being discriminated against! This is absolutely ludicrous, but these people are well-funded and now they have a campaign against contraception. Propaganda, repeated frequently and with conviction, has an amazingly effective success. I have seen it firsthand – many people now believe these things. They are trying to pass laws in states like Arizona, Kansas, and Michigan giving “personhood” rights to a fertilized egg. They have already passed laws that force a woman to have an ultrasound before an elective abortion can be performed. Which has to violate HIPPA and dr/patient privilege, but the silence of the medical community on this usurpation of their powers has been deafening! They even have smear campaigns replete with misinformation like “birth control pills cause cancer” and other ridiculous fear tactics. We need to take these people very, very seriously, because they are out to destroy health care for women in this country, and are doing so right now. They want to dictate to health insurers what services they can and can’t provide for women, and call it “religious freedom!” Insurers actually SAVE money by providing contraception, but don’t confuse them with the facts! They have the idea that your own health plan through your employer somehow means that the “taxpayers” are paying for your birth control!

      Mitt Romney has promised time and again to “eliminate” Planned Parenthood if and when elected president. I guess it doesn’t matter that we have an infant survival rate that competes with third-world countries (35th) because pregnant women aren’t getting pre-natal care. But they don’t care about the facts, they only care about ideology.

      Texas now has the HIGHEST rate of teen pregnancy in the country, because of their “abstinence-only” sex education policy.


      1. I can’t believe how much autonomy (if that’s the right word) your elected politicians have, and how muddled it all is from state to state. The fact that they can govern using their own standards not ones laid down by everyone is, to a Brit like me, unbelievable. Our representatives can believe what the hell they like but they can’t force their beliefs on anyone else… there is no religious invovlvement of any kind.


  4. Ah religion…. I don’t get it? Well I do kind of but I’ve never understood why people don’t grow out of it when they become reasoning adults, or maybe they don’t.

    Anyhow, can’t hang around here reading blogs all day I have a chicken to disembowel and some runes to cast. Good blog by the by.


  5. Regarding the ‘religion’ of Scientology; it is my understanding that L. Ron Hubbard was at a party many years ago. As a result of a discussion he and a friend made a bet that Mr. Hubbard could start a religion that would be successful. He obviously won the bet. This was told to me by the daughter of someone at the party who heard this conversation and subsequent bet. Also, since most wars are based in religious ideology and the wish to jam beliefs down others throats, it looks like we could be ripe for another inquisition, except that right now, the Vatican is busy trying to put out its own fires.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s