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JESUS WAS INSANE

JESUS' MENTAL ILLNESS - PEER JOURNAL 

Even those who deny that Jesus existed - and I am one of them – must agree that whether the gospels are true or not they don’t give us any confidence in the sanity of Jesus Christ. Even if Jesus didn’t exist the gospels could have been based on stories about eccentrics and fairly obscure prophets of the time who did exist.
 
If we can prove that the Jesus Christ in them was mad then that is all we need to destroy Christianity. It would mean that the apostles he chose and the Church he founded were all very silly people indeed. It would mean that we have to be on guard against any other religious movement because if Christianity was founded on the ravings of a madman and was such a success any other religion could have been the same.
 
We can be sure that there is no evidence for Jesus’ sanity and plenty of evidence against it.
 
You will see plenty of Christian books written in defence of the faith that deny that Jesus was mentally ill and claim that he was the sanest person that ever lived.
 
It is possible that Jesus was a manic-depressive. He said he was the light of the world (John 9:5) and the only way to God (John 14:6) and the unique Son of God (John 17). That is the sign of severe mania. He was unnaturally full of himself. Even if it were true, we would expect him to let others say he was this great being instead of him trying to convince him. If he really had the power to influence people through using the Holy Spirit he did not need to make such declarations.
 
The Church says he was not being mad for it was the truth. But that presupposes that Jesus was telling the truth. The information we have got on him is selective so we cannot be sure of that.  The declarations of Jesus about the whole generation of his time being evil and sinful and nobody being good is indicative of the depression that follows the euphoria in manic depression. Nobody can say Jesus was telling the truth then about all people being evil and sinful for that is nonsense. There is a lack of any real wisdom in what Jesus said. We must also remember that he had to get his teaching right some of the time because it was stolen from other people anyway. Plus he just gives the teaching and gives no convincing reasons why we should listen to him which does not count for wisdom. This makes any argument from his wisdom to be a waste of breath.
 
Jesus knew of the Old Testament law of God which said that a prophet who makes any error in what he says he was told by God proves that he is a fake even if everything else he says is miraculously right (Deuteronomy 18). Jesus knew the standard set by God. Yet he made claims for himself beyond anything any Old Testament prophet claimed and could make no fulfilled prophecy that was clearly fulfilled before the event. By his own standard, there was something wrong with him or he was evil.
 
Jesus used to hide away a lot for long periods and it was allegedly to pray and he could have been severely depressed during these times. Perhaps it was to get away from the people a while for some peace and to prepare for his mission to them again? But he went into the desert for ages to starve himself and he even thought he saw the Devil there!
 
Jesus tried to avoid capture and then started to try and bring it on himself with the outcome of crucifixion. Jesus going forward to the cross when there were easier deaths shows that he was mad and suicidal and extremely masochistic. The Christians say he was not mad for he had to die for the sins of the world. Again this is assuming he was telling the truth and was right without evidence because if anybody else made the same claim as Jesus they would dismiss them as insane.
 
Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ interviewed a psychologist, a Christian one of course, who claimed that Jesus was so sane he was amazing. The psychologist was Gary R. Collins Ph.D. The book admitted that many people seem to be paragons of sanity and are really quite crazy (page 145) and gave the example of a mentally-ill woman who had killed her husband. Appearing normal and looking normal and acting normal until her trial was in progress, she began to say the craziest things. Evidently the trial brought that out in her. Otherwise she would have been fine. Some forms of insanity can lead to a person keeping the crazy beliefs and delusions to themselves. Insanity can make one do that more easily than it can get one to lift a knife to kill with. It was entirely possible that even the apostles never knew, at least for sure, Jesus was insane and Jesus took his secret with him to the grave. The psychologist claimed that Jesus was saner than himself. As we will soon see he was not wrong about that!
 
We are told that since Jesus did not dress strangely, cried at the tomb of Lazarus his friend, was angry with justification, had friendships with a varied spectrum of people, didn’t have an over-inflated ego, cared deeply for people but was not neurotically addicted to being compassionate and was able to accept people but not their sin he passed all the tests for perfect sanity with flying colours. His emotions were as normal as could be. Nonsense.
 
We are not told how Jesus dressed or anything about how he looked at all. How could Collins know he had a normal appearance? His living rough and making bizarre demands would so that he was an unusual person and how he dressed was not important. What was important was how he behaved. And his behaviour was undoubtedly eccentric. The gospels saying that Jesus had no privacy even when he wanted it suggests he, in fact, was dressing strangely. People were able to recognise him very easily. Considering the voluminous and drab clothes that were worn by everybody in those days, it should have been easy to become unrecognisable. Jesus was so recognisable that he must have looked a strange character! And dressing in a bizarre fashion and then seeking anonymity is a sure sign of insanity.
 
Collins, the gospel of John which speaks of Jesus crying at the tomb does not say why he cried. When he planned to raise Lazarus up his crying for Lazarus would indicate that he had mental difficulties.   Insane people do cry at funerals.  What is ordinary about a man letting somebody die and then going days later to raise him from the dead?  What would we be saying had Lazarus not risen?  Jesus might have been more than surprised when Lazarus came out.  Nothing in the story supports Jesus' alleged sanity.
 
Jesus said that a man who looks at a woman with lust commits adultery with her in his mind and therefore sins (Matthew 5:28). He didn’t say married woman. He meant that looking at any woman with desire was a sin of adultery. What he meant was, if you allow yourself to desire to use a woman for sex, naturally you cannot care if she is married or not so you are no better than an adulterer. The Churches following his teaching hold that having wilful sexual desires or sexual fantasies about someone you are not married to is a sin.
 
This bans talking about sex for talking about it means you will be having pictures of it in your unconscious if not your conscious. There is no such thing as talking about sex and not thinking about it. You may not even be aware of it. This clearly indicates that if Jesus lived then he was mad for the consequences of not mentioning sex are horrendous as we know from the huge numbers of children raped and molested by religious and clergy and how not talking about it kept this going on for centuries.
 
Jesus went into an insane rage in the Temple and endangered his own life and that of other people and his friends for it drove him to cause a riot. And we are told by Collins to think that this was justified anger! Jesus went berserk for the workers in the Temple were making money out of religion and acting dishonestly. He knew about it before for he was in the Temple often enough. So why snap then? People do things for complicated reasons and we are not given much of an explanation for justification for Jesus' behaviour in the Temple. It is unscientific of Collins to settle for just simply asserting that Jesus was right. Even if the Temple was corrupt that does not in itself justify the way Jesus dealt with it.
 
The Sermon on the Mount was spoken to simple people therefore there is no room for denying that Jesus meant what he said literally. In this sermon, Jesus forbade sexual desire, oaths, forbade standing up for yourself and your property and commanded helping your enemy though this was helping them to oppress you. He said that whoever obeyed these teachings was as one who was built on a rock - thus indicating that he meant the teachings literally for teaching you can't understand or take literally is not a rock. If that is not mental impairment what is? Fancy interpretations are brought up to avoid the horrific implications of Jesus’ teaching. It is a whitewashing job for we must obey the rule that the simplest and plainest interpretation is the correct one.

 

Jesus assures his hearers that the plants of the field are arrayed better than Solomon and that no bird drops dead without Heavenly Father knowing about it.  He paints a rosy picture about the pointlessness of worry.  But in those brutal times worry was sane and inevitable.  He was clearly trying to give the people a placebo and put a rosy filter over their perception of reality.  Realistically, humans who have a good life are a tiny minority when you consider how many people have lived in horror and suffered and got maimed and died young.  The picture gets terrible when you include animal suffering.  He endorsed gratitude but there is something warped about one person thanking the king for giving him bread when he knows thousands are going without though his majesty can feed them too.  There is no real thanking where there is no possibility of thinking, "I thank you for you could do wrong and often do terrible things to others and for that I do not thank you but condemn you."  Thanking and the possibility of not thanking but attacking the giver go together.  Thanking means recognising the person could hurt or neglect you but does not.  It is not about you and your thanking is making it about you.  Thank him for your smug arrogance?  Go ahead!
 
Albert Schweitzer held that Jesus was insane. His Jesus believed that the kingdom of God, the overthrow of all the nations and the replacement with God’s kingdom, was about to happen any day and when he was on the cross he cried that God had forsaken him for he was dying and none of what he had predicted had taken place.  His Jesus gave insane teachings believing that it was foolish to bother trying to stop somebody thieving for the world was about to end.
 
Jesus’ anger against the Pharisees and the scribes in Matthew 23 was definitely over the top. Nothing in the gospels indicates that he only meant the bad Pharisees. No differentiation exists in the gospels. And as for Joseph of Arimathea though he is said to have been a member of the Pharisees and a secret disciple of Jesus it is not said he was a good disciple. Back to you Jesus. Why get mad at people who are only going to get more stubborn the more you rant at them? Jesus said after his alleged resurrection that those who believed and were baptised would be saved while those who would not believe would be condemned. Some disliking the view that Jesus would send you to Hell just for your opinions maintain that he meant belief in the sense that if you really believe in love you will love. But you can believe in love and not love and there is no need or justification for that interpretation. Jesus can mean belief and had plenty of words in his vocabulary if he needed them but he said belief so he means belief. This is evidence of anger without justification too.
 
Jesus didn't say we are to respect our neighbour as ourselves but to love our neighbour as ourselves meaning we must adore our neighbour as much as ourselves. Respect our neighbour as ourselves means we can treat a person properly despite having bad feelings for them. The Christians say that Jesus in commanding such love of neighbour did not mean that we must be crazy about everybody but only that we must treat them as we wish to be treated. They lie for he said love not respect. By asking us to do the impossible and by threatening curses and Hell and eternal torment on those who naturally fail, Jesus was putting us on an eternal treadmill from which there would be no reprieve. We would be unable to think we can do anything right or to please him. And once we start thinking that about ourselves our relationships will rapidly break down. Jesus tries to force us to be good in an impossible way. His example will drive us to force our gospels and versions of them on others. And if we can't do it, that will not stop us wanting to do it.
 
Jesus’ foundational attitude towards the people around him were that they were either for him or against him (Matthew 12:30). He said that whoever was not for him was against him as if there could be no undecided category. He said that often enough. Such an uncompromising hostile and divisive stance smacks of fanaticism and megalomania. It shows he could only have attracted people who were not right in the head or who preferred fantasy to fact. And especially when the gospels say the Jews sought to kill him for blasphemy and persecute him meaning the followers were in danger too!
 
Jesus said many irrational things such as that God saying he was the God of the deceased Abraham, Isaac and Jacob meant that God was God of the living not the dead so that the dead were still alive. There was no reason to take such a bizarre interpretation of what God said. God said it in the Law of Moses, in the Book of Exodus, and the Law never gives any hint of an afterlife. It promises only material blessings for obeying God.
 
We are not told that the people he associated with were really close friends. Everybody has friends even when they are crazy. He did not accept everybody. He told a woman that she and her suffering daughter were dogs (Matthew 15:26) and to confirm it he only helped he after she admitted it.
 
The claim that Jesus was not ego-bloated is untrue. But the book would answer that Jesus made great claims about himself just because they were true and he backed them up with evidence. The Case for Christ maintains that Jesus gave unique teachings, worked miracles over nature and did healings to prove that he was who he said he was. But the trouble with miracles is that all believers are selective in what miracles they will believe in. For example, the Protestant regards the miracles unique to Catholics as psychic fraud, trickery or the Devil’s work as he schemes to keep people away from the truth and get people damned in Hell with himself and his angels. The Catholic Church only recognises miracles as from God if they fit its theology and if they don’t the Church ignores them. So this is doctoring the evidence. Also the gospel miracles are not as well backed up as modern miracles are. And miracles are so extraordinary that one can be forgiven for not believing in them unless one sees them – an attitude the apostle Thomas had. The bigger and stranger the claim the more evidence is needed. Jesus’ miracles would be no help for we cannot have commonsense and believe in them.
 
It is absolutely certain that if Jesus claimed to be God or to be the greatest prophet ever that he was insane. Why? Because he left no reason for us to believe in his claims. The Christians argue that he couldn’t have been insane for he backed up his claims with miracles. But Jesus himself claimed that the resurrection was the only real sign. The Jews asked him for a sign and he said he would give them none but the sign of Jonah (Luke 11:29,30). Some scholars think this sign was the resurrection or just the message of repentance. Jonah seems to have risen from the dead after being swallowed by a fish and he preached repentance. But the context demands we take sign to mean miracle. So it was the resurrection. Mark says there will be no sign full stop (Mark 8:12). This means that no evidence will be given for his resurrection and it must be believed by faith alone. Christians say Mark was referring to the same talk as in Luke and just summarised it so there is no contradiction. There is. The words do not agree.
 
Another problem is that the crucifixion could have been a hoax. Another man could have taken Jesus’ place on the cross which would rule out the resurrection being a sign. The gospellers may say that Jesus died on the cross but that was only their interpretation of events. They could have been honest but wrong. Christian faith is not based on the resurrection but on what men said. It is based on reports about something not the something itself. Irrationally, the men are considered to be right just because they made an interpretation for which there is no evidence for.
 
For the resurrection to succeed as a proof of Jesus' authenticity and divine commission it needs to be something that only an honest God could do. But we only assume that God alone has the power to raise the dead. Also, if demons or whatever cannot raise the dead, they can make it look like they can.
 
It is also curious that the resurrection was not a resuscitation but a return from death that transmuted Jesus into a totally transformed mode of existence meaning Jesus had to reveal it in visions.
 
The resurrection failed to be proof for Jesus. The notion that it is proof is based on the monstrous and unjustifiable presumption he made that the Devil and magicians couldn’t duplicate the resurrection visions! Remember Jesus vanishing from a tomb proves nothing by itself. You would need him to appear to people to tell them why his body is not in the tomb and that the reason is that he was raised. So the visions are more important than the missing body. And if visions can happen without God being behind it, then there is no more to be said!
 
It is no less equally certain that if Jesus did not claim to be God but to be the greatest man ever or the supreme messenger of God he was still insane. Strobel’s book tells us that Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest man ever meaning he thought he himself was better than John for in other places he claimed to be superior to John. Jesus should have said nothing and let others decide. After all, if God was with him God could influence them to see that so that Jesus wouldn’t need to say it. His saying it was therefore boasting.
  
Jesus was suffering from neurotic compassion at times. We shall see this from the following example.
 
Jesus Christ condemned wealth as sinful full stop. A rich young man came to Jesus and he told Jesus he kept all the commandments. Jesus said that there was one thing he lacked. What he lacked was his not giving away all his wealth to the poor. The Church says that Jesus was only recommending that the rich man become perfect by giving up his wealth. He was not commanding him to do it. The young man went away sad and Jesus said that it was hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God and it was easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle. He said then that only with God could salvation be possible for a rich man. Regarding this the Church says he only means it is hard for a rich man not impossible. But he said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The way he says it is so difficult and only God can save the rich man suggests that the rich man must part with his wealth to be able to enter the kingdom and only God can give him the strength to do that. Also, if he was only making a suggestion to the rich man why didn’t he call him back and explain that? He let him go away indicating that he didn’t want this man to serve God with him for he wouldn’t give up the wealth.
 
Collins admits that the opponents of Jesus felt that he was raving mad but says they were not professionals and so they had no competence in judging Jesus’ sanity. He quotes John 10:20 for support saying that the people were accusing Jesus of being mad because he claimed to be the good shepherd. The critics of Jesus are being said to have proved themselves to be too silly to rely on because they accused Jesus of being mad just because he said he was the good shepherd. This would be tantamount to saying Johnie was mad for claiming to be a good mechanic. Collins is totally unfair and it is terrible that the ancestors of the Jews have to be insulted to save Jesus. That is insulting the Jews of today. Why is he unfair? For Jesus was not condemned because of his use of the good shepherd title at all. He was condemned because in John 10:19 he said he would die and rise again. He was making outrageous claims for himself. Jesus himself said that miracles proved nothing (Matthew 7:22) and yet he expected the Jews to believe he would die and rise again. Surely he would concede that if he could say such things anybody could?
 
The Jewish rabbis and leaders considered Jesus to be insane and we must remember that they were the counsellors and psychologists of their day. You don’t need to be a professional to judge somebody insane and nobody can deny that we don’t have the right to accuse these people of not intelligently and honestly believing that Jesus was crackers. People with a good talent for rational thinking and rational habits have as much right as psychiatrists to judge somebody insane for insanity is in essence simply a failure to see or like reality. So people who knew Jesus and said he was mad are not to be listened to and Collins comes along twenty centuries later reading a few books on Jesus has the right to say they were wrong! Maybe they were but what right has he to demand authority and knowledge of Jesus’ mind? Jesus own family believed that he was mad (Mark 3:21) and they could hardly be accused of being unfair to him for they were deeply ashamed of him which proves they really sincerely believed he was mad. Also they were so sure, they even brought scorn and stigma on themselves by admitting they believed Jesus was mad to everyone. They didn’t care for they were so sure.
 
The Jews when they accused Jesus of being mad often meant he was demon possessed (John 10:20). They were not saying he was a madman foaming at the mouth. Jesus was not that kind of madman. They were saying he was very eccentric. Perhaps he seemed normal most or some of the time. That would make them feel he was possessed for nobody can see a demon and not all possessions are necessarily gruesome and tormenting. Satan might possess a man to use him to lead people away from the truth and ruin God’s plan.
 
Collins declares Jesus sane just on the basis of four short gospel books three of which used largely the same material and repeated what each others said when you need more than that. Collins needs help.
 
Collins says in the book that there are some psychiatric patients who won’t respond to treatment and blames demons for that. This was said to get around the fact that nobody reasonable believes in possession these days and yet Jesus performed tons of exorcisms of demons. But not getting better only means that medicine is imperfect not that demons are involved. To tell mentally ill people that they even might be possessed is downright criminal and cruel. You would be more terrified of evil supernatural forces than you would be of natural ones for the former have more freedom to do the evil they want. There is no doubt that Jesus was guilty of great insensitivity and self-absorption when he advanced the view that demons can take over and harm people. Collins needs to see that he himself is guilty of this too.
 
Collins ignores the evidence of paranoia in Jesus when Jesus said that the vast majority of people are demon-possessed. Jesus told the Jews that if Satan cast out Satan that his empire would collapse (Mark 3:24). Clearly then Satan couldn’t work without possessing as many people as possible at least to some degree. Logically, most possessed people must just act normal with nobody knowing the evil forces that are controlling them or influencing them. Why couldn’t Satan put a demon out and send it to somebody else when it suited him? That Jesus rejects the suggestion while believing that the Devil was extremely powerful in the world indicates that there was nobody else to possess! So everybody in the world must be possessed. He wasn’t sure of his own mental health when he had to believe that everybody was possessed. He stated in Matthew 12 that a demon can be exorcised and come back to take over the victim with seven others when it finds nobody else to possess though the victim will have got his life together and be a good person. When it can happen to a healthy and decent person who came through a demonic attack far stronger there isn’t much hope for the rest of us! And especially when the demon that did the tormenting before comes back with seven friends! It is obviously better to put up with a demon than to try and get rid of it. He said that these visitations from demons would happen to the generation he was a part of which he described as an “evil generation”. He also stated that nobody was good or to be called good but God alone (Mark 10:18) and indicated that he trusted nobody at all for he said that people who go wrong in small things should not be trusted in greater (Luke 16:10). All this is a classic sign of severe mental illness.
 
The fact that Jesus set his feet on the way to the cross instead of hiding from the people who would put him there, is evidence of suicidal tendencies. The gospels make it plain that he refused to take any measures for his own safety at that time. Jesus predicted his death by violence and he didn’t need to be a prophet to see it coming. The gospels say he knew that he was going to be arrested and put to death and said so hours before it happened. Today we take it for granted that religious beliefs are no excuse for committing suicide, for risking your own life or that of others and rightly so. Yet the crucifix is reverenced and so is Jesus though they represent the right to walk into death if you believe that God commands it. This is evil at worst and insanity at best. No decent God would make such demands, he has to understand that people are convinced of many things that are wrong for many different reasons. When Jesus didn’t hide during his arrest he was saying, “I believe that God wants me to die on a cross.” In other words, he was dying for his beliefs rather than for God. It was totally selfish and crazy.
 
Jesus was deliberately provocative during his trial. The high priest asked him what his teaching was and Jesus sarcastically replied that he should go and ask his hearers (John 18). The high priest was asking Jesus and it was a trial and Jesus knew he couldn’t go and ask people. The rest of the time he refused to answer and defend himself. He acted like he actually wanted to be crucified. If Jesus had sex the Church would be outraged and in denial. But when Jesus refused to try and defend himself even if it was hopeless it’s a virtue!
 
Despite the fact that his disciples were living in a turbulent country and needed money to make a new life somewhere else if war broke out, Jesus demanded that they surrender all their possessions. He said in Luke 14 that no king going to war sends his men out without making sure that they can stand up to the enemy so in the same way nobody can be his disciple without giving up all his possessions. In other words, you have to go to war against what is around you to follow Christ. It is a spiritual war. Note the violent imagery: it shows that the battle is going to be just as tough as real war. You have to give up your possessions to prepare for the war so that you might win it. There can be no doubt that he is not just referring to detachment from possessions here, having them but them not meaning much or anything to you. He is saying they must physically be abandoned to prepare for the battle. Detachment is what you are fighting for, it’s the goal of the war so that you will be attached only to Jesus. You must painfully and agonisingly part with everything so that you have a chance of really being detached for giving up possessions does not mean you don’t love them any more. You give them up so that you can stop loving them. That is what Jesus is saying. Jesus is also saying that nearly the whole of Christianity is a fake for they ignore his directions. He said that nobody is a disciple of his unless he gives up everything. Jesus said that he who was not for him was against him and you need to be a disciple of his to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Obviously then there is no salvation for anybody who does not abandon all he has. Jesus did ask his disciples to do that – they were called just to drop everything and follow him. He told Matthew just to leave his job and follow him for example. So all must be forsaken for Jesus Christ. A wife can be more dangerous than material things for all materialists are unhappy and it is easier to prefer your wife to Jesus than your money so by implication Jesus is advocating celibacy as well. This kind of morality indicates an extreme fanaticism in Jesus, his followers and his fans. Like many fanatics they might have been able to hide it well just like somebody acting normally doesn’t mean they are sane.
 
That people listen to Luke being read in Church and then take religious leaders seriously is astonishing for it makes it plain that the leaders only pick and choose what they like out of Jesus’ teaching and then claim to be his honest representatives! The Christian theologian FF Bruce defends the doctrine that Jesus forbade us to keep anything and wanted us to part with all and give it to the poor in chapter 46 Sell what you have Hard Sayings, FF Bruce, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1983.
 
Assertiveness means you stand up for your own rights without violating another person’s rights and expressing your needs and desires and opinions in an honest and plain way. In Christianity, the only rights you have is to be abandoned by God and sentenced to death by God and sent to Hell forever when you die. Jesus said that when you were struck on one cheek turn the other. So you are not allowed to feel any aggression. To be assertive is a sin as well for he didn’t say, “If anybody hits you on one cheek and you can’t get away, turn the other cheek. Don’t say like an assertive person would that you are going to report them to the law if they hit you again.” He would have seen assertiveness as sinfully affirming rights you don’t have and therefore as a form of aggression.
 
There is no doubt that Jesus would lose all his fans if they could see that the choice he left them was between aggression and letting people walk all over you. He would want you to take the latter course for he said to turn the other cheek. To let people walk over you is worse than aggression so Jesus gave such bad advice it might be evidence for insanity.
 
Jesus attracted people who as far as rationality was concerned had problems. Most people are weak at rationality especially when it comes to religious claims they want to believe in and so they would devote themselves to lunatics who seem relatively sane. Jesus failed to attract people of great intellectual calibre, though he brought in some who thought they had, which often happens when lunatics run a sect.
 
We read in Patricia Cornwell’s Portrait of a Killer that the psychopath has an abnormal desire to be admired (page 273). Each psychopath is unique. He might strictly avoid certain antisocial actions such as stealing or fighting and be a rapist (page 27). There could be any combination of good and bad behaviour. Jesus could have been the epitome of morality with the psychopathic disorder emerging in the form of him claiming to be God or the Son of God or the Saviour. The moral image would have been necessary to evoke trust in him so that he could indulge his behavioural disorder. Like all psychopaths, he would have been incredibly cunning and would have faked love and compassion (page 29). The arrogance of those who say he is sinless is compounded by the fact that only Jesus could know if he really was or not. To believe in Jesus you have to oppose the correctness of modern insights into mental illness. I always believed that Christianity was anti-progress in its essence.
 
The same book argues that the Ripper was an artist. And not just any artist but Walter Sickert whose art is so violent that it is clear that he was a psychopath. Theology is a form of art. The Christian canvas has false charm all over it like the paintings. The violence is there and cries out for the destruction and eternal torment of sinners and loathes babies who are not baptised and has a violent Bible and a blood-drinking God. I could go on for ages. The Christian faith has the hallmarks of being created by psychopaths and if Jesus originated its theology then he was the biggest psychopath of the lot. It is futile for Christians to say that they do not want to believe in these vile tenets but that they have to for they are true for if they wanted rid of their faith they would be able to get rid of it and if and thought enough they would not have to believe. The evidence for the divine origin of the claims of Christ is so flimsy that there is no denying that anybody who believes in Christianity wants to believe. They may have been conditioned but they still want to do it.
 
Jesus taught that we must love the Lord our God with all our power and strength and that this was the greatest commandment and that loving others and ourselves was secondary (Mark 12:30, 31). Let’s translate Jesus here: Belief in God, trust in the authority of religion comes before the welfare of yourself and your loved ones and even a helpless child. It is really the theories and laws of religious leaders such as Jesus that are being put first. If religious authority is that binding who can complain when it commands evil having dressed it up as good? Religion is a delusion based on the failure or refusal to admit that to serve any god is to serve what man has made. Nobody denies that most religion is based on delusion so why can’t they admit that their own is no better?
 
The concept of God itself betrays the psychopathic mentality of those who embrace it. It signifies a disguised hatred of humanity for God is given the right to take all from us including our lives meaning that God alone matters and if others are to be helped it is for the sake of obeying him and not for their good. God being God does not need our devotion and it is totally frenzied madness to approve of a being that kills and makes flesh-eating bugs for it is those who have needs that come first. When Jesus claimed to be the Son of God he confessed that he was a psychopath.
 
People joke that somebody is touched in the head or mad but nobody jokes that somebody has cancer. There are many nasty names for people with mental problems. Nutter, nutjob, looney sicko, and so on. There are no derogatory terms for people with physical illnesses. Why the antagonism towards people with mental illness? People say it is because they fear what a person with mental illness might do. But we know that mental illness relatively rarely causes its victims to do harm. Others say it is because people fear mental illness for they have no idea of what it is like. They do not fear physically sick people because they have a little idea of what they are going through. But this is hard to accept because people do get depressed and think they are going mad. It’s a universal thing. We do have some idea of what it is like. Religion, especially Christianity, has traditionally loathed mentally ill people. It has suggested they may be demonically possessed. And when they are not they were suspected of being demonically obsessed. That means that demons are not possessing them but meddling with their minds and causing their illness or they are just taking advantage of an existing disorder. The fear of demons was then projected onto the victims of mental illness. The victims were seen as pawns of evil. Accordingly they were feared and inevitably hated. The belief in demons has waned but centuries of hatred for the mentally ill has still left its mark. As long as the Church promotes the gospels it automatically seeks to revive that hatred. People still fear demons even though they don’t deeply believe in them and the fear of demons still produces prejudice against people with mental illness.
 
The Church cannot rule out demonic obsession in any case of mental illness. Clearly out of respect for the victims of mental illness, the concept of demons and Jesus the exorcist need to go. This evil faith of Christendom teaches that the sin of Judas and the Pharisees Jesus said were destined for Hell for their sin was unforgivable was the sin of despair. That is a helpful doctrine for depressed people I must say! It is bad enough to suggest to people with psychotic tendencies that demons exist and can afflict people but that shows that psychiatry should oppose religion. Despair is listed as a sin against the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Catechism of Christian Doctrine.
 
Sanders mentioned the fact that in the ancient world and in Palestine at the time of Jesus, exorcists were known to engage in frenzied and erratic behaviour. Jesus was known to be an exorcist. He certainly did strange things at times such as writing on the ground aimlessly and spitting on the ground to make mud paste that he rubbed into the eyes of the blind. He claimed to be equal to God in some way. This resulted in the Jews lifting stones to kill him. He engaged in long and raving rants against the Jews.
 
It is thought that since Jesus lived in a society that expected the Messiah and an apocalyptic disaster that since he was conditioned by these beliefs he was not insane for taking them as seriously as he did. It is true that sane people can expect god men to appear and the world to end but if one of them starts claiming to be a god like being and the instigator of the end that is a totally different thing. Christians expect the world to perish in fire or nuclear war because the Bible says so. If one of them started a nuclear war because of that belief even the Christians would say he was insane. They would not use the fact that the person believed as they do as evidence that he was sane.
 
It is thought that if Jesus was suffering from a disorder those who took him seriously such as his disciples must have been as well. But perhaps it was the disciples being conditioned by the intense desire for the Messiah to come at that time that made them devoted to him and turn a blind eye to signs of Jesus' madness?
 
Others say that though Messianic claimants are often insane, Jesus was not for he thought he had reason to claim to be the Messiah. Actually he had not. The gospels are forced to invent implausible genealogies for him to show that he fitted the requirements. And Jesus himself spoke of fake messengers of God who could do miracles and heal like he could. Also Jesus learned the Old Testament off by heart like all Jews did. And when he tried to fulfil prophecy, he was fulfilling prophecy that was not in the real Old Testament but in a Greek mistranslation of it. Plus he was consciously trying to fulfil these prophecies as he did in the case of the entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. That does not sound like the behaviour of a man convinced on rational grounds that he was the Messiah. If he thought he was the Messiah then he did not think this on solid grounds or excusable grounds.
 
Caiaphas had to try Jesus. He went to the trouble of getting lying witnesses so as to be able to find Jesus guilty of blasphemy which carried the death sentence. He didn't know that Jesus was more than willing to be convicted and put to death and had been making that clear by his behaviour and statements during arrest and so on. A man wanting to be put to death like that is mentally diseased.
 
The gospels indeed have failed to convince us that Jesus was sane. 
 
The Christian system was designed to produce psychopaths and neurotics.  You can't expect much else when you look at the ravings of its founder particularly in the Sermon on the Mount. Gaze at its bloody history for proof. It has been very successful in producing religious mental disease. 
 
 
THE CASE FOR CHRIST, Lee Strobel, HarperCollins/Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1998
PORTRAIT OF A KILLER, Patricia Cornwell, Little Brown, London, 2002
THE RISE AND FALL OF JESUS, Steuart Campbell, Explicit Books, Edinburgh, 1996