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OPINION

The Delusional States of America

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Take a look around America right now. Do you see any behavior reflecting a highly personal idea or belief system, not endorsed by one’s culture or subculture, that is maintained with conviction in spite of irrationality or evidence to the contrary? Perhaps you’ve seen some behaviors that are not primarily logical errors but are derived from emotional material. 

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If you do see any of this, you have noticed what the American Psychological Association defines as delusions. Based on these clinical descriptions, it’s fair to say there’s a lot of delusional behavior right now. 

Delusions are bad for the people suffering from them, but the dangers can extend beyond the individual. According to the Cleveland Clinic, failing to treat delusions can lead to “Depression, often as a consequence of difficulties associated with the delusions; social isolation; legal issues - for example, stalking or harassing the person involved with the delusion could lead to arrest; self-harm or harm to others.”

The Cleveland Clinic’s admonition to treat this illness is wise counsel. Yet when people demonstrate the delusional behavior described by the APA regarding their sexuality, society responds differently. Instead of providing treatment and care, these delusions are applauded and encouraged. 

A very small percentage of the human race suffers from ailments associated with sexuality. Researcher Leonard Sax estimates that about 0.018% of people are afflicted with “conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female.”

Sax’s observations are supported by the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which reports that the percentage of people suffering from clinical gender dysphoria is exceedingly small. According to the DSM-5, it’s estimated that between 0.005% - 0.014% of males and 0.002% - 0.003% of females are diagnosable as such; hardly representative of any culture or subculture. 

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Inexplicably, the number of Americans claiming to be transgender is exponentially greater than clinical research indicates. According to the Pew Research Center, 5.1% of Americans under the age of 30 claim to be transgendered or non-binary. 

Some of the people in this survey undoubtedly suffer a clinically recognized form of dysphoria and we should do everything possible to make sure they get the treatment and care they need. But the vast majority of these survey respondents are simply pretending. They are exhibiting behavior that the APA defines as delusional. 

That statement may sound bold but believing the human species has somehow undergone a stratospherically rapid rate of genetic mutation strains credulity. The scale and the timing of this trend suggest that young people are falling prey to a type of social contagion

The APA notes that “social contagion is sustained by relatively mundane interpersonal processes, such as imitation, conformity, universality, and mimicry." Given the continuous portrayals of transgender people as everything from simply cool to positively heroic, it’s small wonder these attributes would be attractive to impressionable, insecure youngsters. 

Just because a man pretends to be a woman, or a woman pretends to be a man, does not mean they should be scorned. Most have been deliberately deceived, coerced or extorted into believing a monstrous lie so our response should focus on what the Bible tells us about helping people suffering from illness. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote in his Epistle “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him.” 

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This is important for Christians and non-Christians alike. As John wrote in the opening of his third Epistle, ”I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” What’s good for the soul is good for society. 

Healing delusions of any kind is not merely good medicine; it’s good for the human spirit. In relieving the depression, isolation and risk of self-harm suffered by the delusional, they can achieve the joy that comes with a healthy mind and body. 

But instead of treating this disorder, legislators are demanding men be allowed to use the ladies room or shower. Politicians are trying to criminalize the use of pronouns that do not comport with one’s delusion. Some lawmakers want to facilitate the surgical mutilation of children to accommodate their youthful misapprehensions. 

American society, culture, and law are not only failing to treat these delusions, they are actively promoting them, celebrating them, and demanding we all go along with it. Tragic as these afflictions are, the sickness afflicting many of the people running our country is worse. 

Praying for the healing of the delusional is likely to trigger unhinged Christophobic rants but it’s a small price to pay; no slander can supersede Scripture. But we must also take civic action. Society is under no obligation whatsoever to accommodate such illusions and we should demand they be recognized and treated, not affirmed. 

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