August 2016 Newsletter

 

Next general meeting, AUGUST 17

Meetings are at Irish Embassy, 900 Main Street Durango
Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM.
Discussion starts at 6:30 

 

The discussion topic for this month:

How can society distinguish between the violent actions of extremists, and those of the mentally ill, and should they be treated differently?

This discussion will be led by Sebastian Pivnicka, who has this to say about the topic he suggested:

“The Aurora theatre shooting was clearly (in my opinion) carried out by
someone with serious mental issues. Yet, the Charlie Hebdo shooting was
portrayed by the media as a “terrorist act” carried out by “religious
extremists.” Is it fair to characterize the latter as purely a religious
issue and not acknowledge a mental component to it?

In contrast, the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs was
not widely characterized as a “terrorist act”, though it clearly had a
religious motivation, complete with rhetorical support from certain
religious groups (though they denounced the act after the fact). But
surely, there is a mental illness component to his actions as well?


We are familiar with the existence of religious extremists, but
there are also violent acts carried out for many other reasons. Race,
homophobia, left wing causes, right wing causes, and many others have been
cited as influencing people to carry out violent acts.

We tolerate (in this country) a wide variety of religious thought.
Some of which seem every bit as extreme as the groups in the Middle East
that are getting all the press these days.

Snake handling, faith healing, and the shunning of modern technology and medicine are examples. But,looking at the Amish, they are pacifist and content to not force their views on people outside of their communities. And we would hardly consider them to be suffering from mental illness. Misinformed (mal-informed?) perhaps, but not ill, and not violent.

Do religious beliefs contribute to mental issues (as might occur
with a homosexual trying to fit in with a religious community that is
intolerant of his sexuality) and does this cause more violent acts?

Thanks, in advance, to Sebastian for suggesting this topic and for volunteering to lead this month’s discussion!

WHAT TOPICS WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISCUSS IN FUTURE MONTHLY MEETINGS? BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE GROUP NEXT WEDNESDAY!

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