Posted on April 20, 2011
President, Fountain House
In both the Jewish and Christian faiths, this is a holy week. I am reminded that many Fountain House members choose to be part of religious organizations, and this involvement can add a lot to their lives. The problem is that they are often rejected - even by these communities.
I have a friend who is a devout Christian. We frequently discuss the various churches he has belonged to and their ministers. He is very clear that, although he loves his religion, most of his ministers have had a bias against people with mental illness. This is due to the usual reasons - a combination of a lack of knowledge about the nature of the illnesses and the unusual behavior of people with the illness.
It’s interesting to me that my friend forgives his ministers for their lack of understanding. The stigma he has encountered has never diminished his enthusiasm for participating in his church, but he does hope that someday they will welcome him fully into the community.