Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome

Here is a letter I sent to a TV talk show:

This morning, you raised the question: “How to explain Palin Derangement Syndrome?” Because many have noticed the excessiveness, here is a suggested cause which will never be considered except by those who know of these things.

I am a Board Certified Psychologist, so naturally the question is intriguing. What is it about Sarah Palin that makes otherwise rational people,irrational? As a psychologist who tries to be honest with himself, if I went choleric each time a particular person was mentioned, I would be suspicious of myself.

Can this over-the-top reaction to Sarah Palin honestly be seen as rational? Looking at Palin’s history as mayor and governor, there is nothing in the record that is alarming. Her approach was bipartisan, sweet-spirited and in the interest of the people of Alaska. She never shoved her moral values down anyone’s throat. She had one of the highest approval ratings of any governor in the land. The people loved her.

At the same time, we see her values match up with a majority of Americans, so there is nothing radical about her. Thus, I am stumped.

So, unable to make rational sense of it from a psychologist's viewpoint, I have to put on my other hat. Besides being a Board Certified Psychologist, I am also an Anglican priest. As a priest, when something seems unexplainable in the rational arena, I turn to the spiritual arena.

From the church’s inception, there has been an awareness that there is an inexplicable rage against those who are filled with the Spirit of Jesus–from Jesus’ crucifixion, to the disciples first public appearance, to today when this rage is turned against a Spirit-filled person who is doing nothing to provoke the loathing.

Early Christians began to realize that not only is there a Spirit of Christ, there is also a spirit of anti-Christ.

It has often been observed that God’s problem is to convince people He exists and that the anti-Christ’s work is to convince people he (anti-Christ) does not exist. So far, the anti-Christ is ahead, which creates a conundrum for anyone suggesting that the reactions to Palin’s spirituality might be anti-Christ. To suggest such is a good way to get dismissed as a religious kook.

Even so, when those of us who do know about these things listen to those who attack Palin’s devoutness, it becomes quickly obvious they are reacting on something way above their pay grade. So, that leaves them to their own devices to make sense of senseless behavior.

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