Thursday, 17 January 2008

in The Catholic Herald this week

"Visionaries don’t need medical help"
by Patrick West

"According to the American comedian Joy Behar we have precious few saints these days because of modern medicine. Speaking on ABC’s The View programme last Wednesday, Behar put forward the opinion that “you can’t find any saints any more because of psychotropic medication. I think that [in] the old days, the saints were hearing voices and they didn’t have any Thorazine to calm them down. Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can’t a find a saint any more.”
Naturally, her remarks have caused something of a stir in that famously religious country. Yet the kerfuffle is all rather strange, because the comedienne’s theory that saints and those who have experienced divine visions were merely mad is not a new one. Materialists have attributed Teresa of Avila’s divine visions to malaria. Epilepsy, migraine, tuberculosis and schizophrenia have all been put forward to account for the voices that Joan of Arc heard. Braver academics have also questioned Muhammad’s state of mind; certainly the Prophet’s visitations by the Angel Gabriel disturbed him so much that he once contemplated throwing himself off a mountain. Other holy figures’ sanity has been questioned – St Faustina, for instance, who claimed to have visited Purgatory. And many people initially thought St Bernadette was just making it all up..."

Read the full article in the Catholic Herald. Available at all good churches. And some rubbish ones, too.

Friday, 11 January 2008

in spiked this week

Patrick West
Please don’t make darts fashionable
How the fun police are sanitising the boozers’ preferred ‘sport’, by banning drink, fags and heated banter.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

in spiked this week

Patrick West
Did postmodernity kill the quiz show?
Once, quiz shows were all about Q&A. Now they’re about ribbing and racountering, and some have dispensed with questions altogether.