Last week, I raised a mini-ruckus with my post on the psychological and social benefits of religious faith. While some commenters were supportive, more than a few readers accused me of proselytizing. Others decried that religious topics had no place on a site dedicated to freeing people from their “mental disorders” (implying that religion was a mental disorder).
The kerfuffle even inspired my colleagues at Therapy Soup to wonder what causes people to become unhinged at the mere mention of religion when similar behavior would never be tolerated around virtually any other topic.
A Professional Response to Knee-Jerk Reactions
Obviously, it’s as easy for religious people to have knee-jerk negative reactions to psychology as it is for psychologically-minded folks to have visceral and vitriolic responses to religion. Ignorance, sad to say, does not discriminate. Regardless, since I’m going to continue discussing this topic for the foreseeable future (this is a blog dedicated to psychology and religion, after all), I thought it might be useful to look at what the American Psychological Association has to say about what it considers to be a healthy relationship between psychology and religion–or even if such a thing is possible (HINT: It is).