I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Have You Heard of the "Religious Trauma Syndrome"


The term "Religious Trauma Syndrome" is not found in medical manuals. Yet, it is something talked about more today than ever before.
It refers, approximately, to people who lose their sense of self worth and purpose because they have become convinced by their faith they do not measure up. Gay people, for example, are often told they are hopeless sinners unless the become heterosexual. When they cannot, despair can overtake them. The suicide rate among gays is higher than among the general population.
Problems with religion are so common there are professionals whose practice is made of such clients. Attempts are made to separate people from feelings of low self worth. When one person or group is controlling of others this can require professional help as well.
I wish it were noted more often that religion can be both helpful and harmful. That most religious people find it helpful does not erase the need for caution. Christianity, after all, promises to lift what most people fear most, death. Those who claim to help followers avoid death are in a powerful position.
Many religious people will say it is not religion per se that is harmful.  It is that people get involved with the wrong religion. Their own religion, they will claim, is not harmful.
In the best of worlds, clergy of all kinds would be certified and monitored for wrongful messages and behavior. Gone would be taking huge sums of money or leaving people in mental trauma. In the U.S. the political sentiment is against most all regulation of religion.
This leaves the most vulnerable with only "buyer beware" to protect themselves.

Did you enjoy this story?

Rate it to let us know what you think!