Letter: Nothing harmful about beliefs

December 26, 2013 

Re: “High court reverses commitment of man who claims he heard Jesus” (Dec. 25).

This being Christmas, I was able to discuss this story with many family and friends, faithful and agnostic. Each of us agreed with the high court’s stated opinion, especially: “More to the point, there was nothing harmful or dangerous about Stephen’s religious beliefs or experiences. Further, as Stephen points out in his brief, if 'chronic psychosis’ means merely a continuation of his current symptoms, namely a persistent sense that Jesus is speaking to him and telling him to attend church, follow his teachings, and have an optimistic outlook on the future, that condition would in no way compromise Stephen’s capacity to function independently or live safely.”

It is truly terrifying that any court or psychiatrist would find that as evidence for committing one to a facility or cause harm to his or her self.

— Michael Plana



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