Tag Archives: pseudoscience

Pseudo-science And Religion: Drapetomania To Homomania

On their Facebook page, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) says that being gay is a mental illness.  It’s true because they say so!  Read the comments over at GoodAsYou; there are some excellent, well thought-out critiques on NOM’s pseudo-scientific claims.

It is really appalling to examine the lengths that religious extremists will go to justify their bigotry and hatred, and using their Bible to do it — I’ve discovered the term “drapetomania” (2nd paragraph below the Facebook screenshot).

“I believe …”, begins the quote by Louis J. Marinelli III, of NOM, and that is all it takes for a christianist to declare something as fact.

"I believe ..." turns anything into fact for christianists, with no regard for mountains of scientific data from medical, psychological, and social research findings.

Well, then what would one call the “mental illness” with the symptoms of refusing to be treated worse than garbage and having one’s basic human rights legislated away?  I think what I have, then, is “homomania”, ‘cuz the fantastic lies these people spew make this homo crazy-mad.

Physician Samuel Cartwright (1793-1863) coined the term "drapetomania"

In the 1800’s, when slaves had the annoying habit of running away from their masters, the Louisiana physician Samuel A. Cartwright “diagnosed” this “mental illness” and coined the term drapetomania.

His reasoning was that since God created some people to be slaves, that their NORMAL inclination (in caps, like in the NOM post shown, it helps to make it true), their NORMAL state of mind put there by God, was to be subservient to their masters.  Therefore, the “unnatural” desire to run away from their masters must be a mental illness.  Emphasis added:

Cartwright described the disorder — which, he said, was “unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers”[4] — in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana[5] that was widely reprinted.

He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who “made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals.”[6]

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