During the period of Enlightenment, ending in 1918, one did not accept this from our clerics anymore. However, times have changed again. Fundamentalism (and the Middle Ages) has returned. Being Christian however works quite well without it, without the humility which is permanently demanded by the Churches in their own self-interest and even with common sense and science and strictly rejecting any belief of miracles, bibles, angels or spirits - including the so-called Holy Spirit who has no sense of humour whatsoever and who is the most evil of all spirits. According to an alleged word of Jesus, the Churches proclaim that whoever sins against this spirit will end up directly in hell without any compassion from Jesus. During her theological studies, my sister however already knows better: “Love is the Holy Spirit”, she says. She, my patients who are believers and I can actually imagine a Christianity completely without a hell and a devil, those Church’s instruments of power! And as historical access to Jesus is denied us intentionally, we would do right – and our children justice – to simply define him and, at the same time, God and the Holy Spirit. All three are unconditional love.
Spoken by anyone but the clerics, the term hell seems to terrify psychiatrists. Why ever might that be the case? They sense threat, fear and sometimes feel “deadly bored” and then angry, and during their training, they learn it is better to change the subject or to interrupt the talk or end the relationship. The term “hell” immediately leads to the thoughts stalling, at the same time preventing any notion of the potential damage hell-sermons can cause to the souls of small children and making it impossible to seriously criticize the Church. To my surprise, my examiner called me in to her institute a second time.
This second examination was to find out whether I was “doing missionary work” in my practice. Obviously, she had heard something dreadful about me. In fact, the Church (!) does send patients to me for psychotherapy, whom psychotherapists have refused to treat. A therapist I was forced to see for further treatment was apparently also told to warn me to talk neither about the Church nor its mistakes and the resulting diseases. Interestingly, at the same time, he honestly stated that he himself had been affected so badly by Church-induced neurosis that he found it impossible to talk about religious feelings of guilt. Due to his anxiety, he had not been able to become a fully functional therapist. For the purpose of comparison: A trained car mechanic must, after all, also have the courage to open the bonnet to take a look at the engine in case of trouble.