PhxP Book Review: “Cultural Savage”

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20 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks for the comment/post Michael….you and I share a heartbreaking at times love of the Vikings, but also a rabid sensitivity to those in the body of Christ with mental illness (it hits very close to home for me). I would be interested in reading this book. Unfortunately, for most people with mental illness who are believers, anonymity is still preferable because of the still pervasive belief that it is a personal failing, moral issue, or demon activity.

  2. Michael says:


    I think this is a valuable book for the who don’t understand how unending the struggle is.
    Smith is very transparent…and his story is that of many folks…

  3. Seraphim says:

    The reality though is we still our responsible for our actions. If you have a mental disorder and kill someone you are going to jail.

    I’m not convinced it is that simple though to say it is just a medical issue. Lots of things such as environmental factors/ our thinking a role in mental health.

  4. Em says:

    Is mental illness an indicator of lack of self control? If so then all sin is just “mental illness”…. ?
    One just cannot argue today – with any credibility – that all our behavior is under our control
    Trouble is most of us are not qualified to diagnose and religion draws people who wish to avoid analytical thinking…. That does not include the born-again children of God, who have found that they belong to a Creator Who calls us to reason and should be the most trustworthy beings on the planet
    We need more God fearing, honest teachers, i guess

  5. Linnea says:

    What the populace fails to understand is that mental illness is no different than other kinds of illness. Do we ascribe to a practice of treating all illness with confession and prayer? If so, how are we different than those who deny medical treatments to their sick children?

    There is so much we don’t understand about the human body and mind. Why do we insist on categorizing illness as a sin?

  6. Captain Kevin says:

    I would have agreed with Mark Craig until about 10 years ago when I was blind-sided with depression. Trust me, I’ve searched and asked God many times what why? The conclusion I’ve come to, and I’m only speaking of myself, is that the Lord needed me to have empathy and compassion for others. Pride comes before a fall.

    I put the book on my wish list. Being on leave has destroyed my book budget.

  7. The New Victor says:

    This is a complicated issue. The Duluth Model for domestic violence holds the abuser responsible for abuse, regardless of others issues, and in a lot of cases, the abuser suffers from mental illness (es). My ex could hold it until behind closed doors: choice. So cold my mother, though both not always.

    That tweet doesn’t help anybody, but there’s some truth there. My mother almost sent me into a coma once due to heat stroke. It was the closest I’ve ever felt to dying; my body and mind began shutting down. I was 13. I found out 5 years later that she suffered from Depression. 30 years later she told me she had been treated for PTSD, and that she had BPD. Though she was having a major episode for months when I was 13, it doesn’t excuse that she almost caused me brain damage. CPS caught up with us soon afterwards because she had taken me out of school for 3 months in 8th grade. She asked my 25 years later why I didn’t tell the CPS social worker the “truth.” I deflected because I didn’t want to rehash the past. At the time I remember thinking, “I don’t want to end up back on foster care, and I can make it another 5 years until I turn 18.” Things got a bit worse, including me falling to the ground in a seizure due to her verbal and physical abuse. She was nicer to me for a few weeks after that because it scared her. She took me to be evaluated but didn’t tell the truth and neither did I. I knew better. I moved out on my 18th birthday.

    A few years ago when I moved her in with its, likely saving her life, it turned again. She was literally on my face calling me a liar, then accusing me and the kids of stealing her money, which at this point crossed into criminal elder abuse (the supposed stealing was investigated by an APS social worker), and I realized I was at risk for DV. She also threatened me with a lawyer, again getting on my face causing me to back up.

    By then I had mercy because dementia was in the mix. Yet what lead her to live with me was over 25 years of bad choices, her choices. The kids pray for her more sincerely than I do, and up give my mom credit for taking her anger (hurt) out on my when the kids weren’t around or were asleep, but that was also a choice. Like my childhood, I guess I could take it.

  8. Dan from Georgia says:

    Linnea…thanks for your comment. I always tell people that mental illness is like your brain is broken, just as an arm that is broken is a PHYSICAL ailment. It angers me to NO END those who claim that depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc can be “cured” by just repenting, reading your bible more, going for a walk, etc. Which leads me to Captain Kevin’s comment…

    CK..thank you too! Pride indeed comes before a fall, and those who trot out the simple cures, need to be humbled.


    Hopefully some of these people, like yourself CK, can come to a point of compassion to those who suffer.

    Lastly, then I’ll get off my soapbox…most, if not the VAST majority of those who have mental illness, are NOT a threat to society, are NOT mass murderers, and are NOT drug addicts on the street or homeless shelters. Many people appear normal and get along well in society, and take meds for what they need. So, if you feel a need to go to Drudge, for example, every time there is a mass shooting, and Matt Drudge feels the need to implicate meds like he does every time, take such comments with a HUGE grain of salt.

  9. Michael says:

    Mark Craig put out an apology the next day…
    Aaron writes about the use of meds well…I think that issue is an important part of his narrative.

  10. Captain Kevin says:

    Dan, thanks so much!

    Victor, I’m speechless. Can I just give you a big, long cyber hug right now.

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    A lot of people are unwilling to accept Craig’s apology. Most want to believe it was forced by his employers. They may be right. What’s clear is that he didn’t defend his statements (he did the day before, but not as part of his apology), and he did refer to them as insensitive and dead wrong. Until and unless he reveals a different stance than that, I think he should receive grace and mercy.

  12. Michael says:


    Rarely engage in discussions on Twitter or Facebook anymore and the Craig situation is a good example of why I don’t.

    I thought his comments were ignorant and I said so.

    Next thing I know people are demanding he be fired and generally making him out to be a loathsome creature.

    I find that as despicable as what he said…

  13. filbertz says:

    The Craig ‘situation’ is a solid example of how disagreement is handled nowadays–don’t inform, educate, dialogue, challenge, compromise–instead, vilify and demand one’s pound o’flesh. Kudos to those who sought the former way.

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    Amen Michael and filbertz.

  15. The New Victor says:

    Almost 30% of the population has DSM-level diagnoses. That doesn’t account for those who near the border of “official” diagnosis. Let’s just call that cohort “high functioning” or those that exhibit “behind closed doors.” It’s up to the rest to learn to deal with this on a healthy way, yet facing the facts. That’s my secular comment, to learn how to deal with emotional intensity.

    From a Christian perspective? Forgive 70×7? Turn the other cheek? Give the cloak also? Or provide for (protect) your primary family else being “worse than the heathens.”

    I hope I met my mother in heaven, healed and safe from the horrible abuse the endured as a little girl. I wished I could have saved her here but I couldn’t. I’ll give that up to God

  16. UnCCed says:

    Something I’ve never understood within “church” (not just CCs)…
    A person declares there’s called to be a foot doctor…”Praise the Lord brother!” and we’re regaled with how medicine is “from the Lord” (as well as most hospitals started from believers), especially the more tithing doctors the ministry has.
    However, someone believes God’s called them to understand and treat the MOST IMPORTANT ORGAN IN THE BODY and you hear crickets.
    I appreciate all doctors (seriously, I’ve personally needed most), but I’ve never heard of a school shooting or most other catastrophic evils which occur in our society because someone suffered from lack of foot care!
    The longer “the church” continues with the position God uses people as His instruments to help others via medicine and other academic pursuits yet when it comes to the mind, which thinks up everything, including all the evil, the longer we seem idiotic.

  17. UnCCed says:

    Let me restate my point more clearly.
    How come with every single ailment the human body has we’re expected to see a Dr. yet any behavioral problem directly due to the organ which controls everything else and the treatment is limited to “oh well, just pray about it brother?”

  18. Michael says:


    I agree…

  19. Em says:

    Verse comes to mind regarding our hearts: desperately wicked, deceitful….
    The brain is an organ subject to malfunctions from organic causes and they can mimic manifestations of a sick soul and most of us/I just don’t have the discernment or the training to make the call … We need more grace and more orayer. That much i’m pretty sure of….. .?

  20. The New Victor says:

    I mentioned Christian counseling (my Christian therapist is a PsychD) in passing to our pastor and he made a dismissive comment and sounds. I thought, “ah, he’s one of _those_ people).

    That being said my T told me once, “you have to take a lot of psychology with a grain of salt. ” There’s a lot of quackery out there and social workers and life coaches who masquerade as therapists like they are doctors. I prefer to lean towards the more experimental side which is more in the scientific realm and verifiable. We took our daughter to TF-CBT (Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It would never have occurred to me not to do so.

    The problem with Therapy is that it takes a patient willing to work. So many aren’t. Therapists that deal with personality disorders have Therapy themselves given the severeness of the things they deal with.

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