Here’s the problem with “nones” who are supposedly “believers.” What do they believe? Are their beliefs just an arbitrary set of guidelines that they will follow or ignore at their convenience? Are they in that “God loves me and I think He’s cool with how I choose to live my life” group? Because that’s not belief. That’s just finding justification for living however one pleases. It’s a religious foundation built on sand where the slightest disturbance or challenge will knock it over. Or less poetically, they are beliefs that will change as soon as someone declares them outdated, uncool, or not following the majority in society. In my experience, not being connected to an organized religion is synonymous with not practicing any religion at all.
It turns out that modern psychiatry backs up my claim about the dangers of being a free-form “spiritual” person with no religious affiliation. Non-religiously affiliated people might have a greater chance of developing a mental disorder. The Telegraph reported this study:
Professor Michael King, from University College London, and his fellow researchers wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry: “Our main finding is that people who had a spiritual understanding of life had worse mental health than those with an understanding that was neither religious nor spiritual.”
The researchers concluded: “We conclude that there is increasing evidence that people who profess spiritual beliefs in the absence of a religious framework are more vulnerable to mental disorder.
This was a small study on only 7,403 people. And while I didn’t arrive at the exact conclusion in my thought exercise about mental disorders, I did point out how vulnerable unaffiliated believers are to the whims of society. And since our culture is getting crazier by the day, it stands to reason that those who base their spirituality solely on the societal norms might also go a little crazy too.
I think of unaffiliated, spiritual people like a leaf floating in the wind. The leaf cannot control its trajectory or destiny. It is completely at the mercy of the elements around it. Now if the wind is society, than it is blowing like a tempest. Everyone is so hot-headed and pointing fingers at each other. People pay too little taxes, people pay too many taxes, government is doing too much, government is doing too little, gun owners are evil, the Catholic Church is a hate group, the GOP hates minorities, Obama is a Marxist, and on and on and on. This is what the media spews out all day and every day. And so, like the leaf caught in the hurricane, people without a dogmatic religious foundation just get battered around without any control. And so I don’t find it surprising at all that many unaffiliated spiritual people develop mental disorders and need to turn to drugs to achieve some level of control in their lives.
What RosaryMeds Do I Need?
Society has come down with a case of battered belief syndrome. The name describes people who aren’t rooted in any religious belief system and so the chaotic nature of the modern world beats them down. Symptoms include an increase of drug-dependent people not practicing any particular religion. They often suffer from anxiety and nervousness because they have a hard time coping with the craziness all around them. I prescribe a healthy dose of meditating on the Fourth Glorious Mystery — The Assumption of Mary. Our Mother Mary is the greatest physician when it comes to fighting battered belief syndrome. She informs us to really embrace our faith and learn what the Church really teaches. We must take those teachings to heart and try our best to live by them. That way we form a strong foundation that won’t crumble no matter how chaotic and anti-religious the world becomes. Learn the faith by reading scripture, Church documents, and any number of great educational books. But most importantly, pray that you let that knowledge sink into your soul and act like an anchor that will keep you standing tall no matter what societal storm comes your way.
- Religion dying off: “Nones” are world’s third largest “faith” (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- Is spirituality bad for your mental health? (newhumanist.org.uk)
- ‘Spiritual’ people at higher risk of mental health problems (telegraph.co.uk)
- Study: People Who Are ‘Spiritual’ But Not ‘Religious’ ‘Are More Vulnerable to Mental Disorder’ (churchonfire.wordpress.com)
- The Declining Influence of Religion in the United States (rosarymeds.com)
- This is Your Brain… On Prayer (rosarymeds.com)
January 09 2013 12:00 am | catholic
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