Mental illness and evil

In “Perhaps you’ve seen it: The opposition is legion” (May 6), Meghan Larissa Good seems to conflate mental illness and evil. [Good cites Jesus’ exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac in Luke 8 but does not mention mental illness. — Editor.] For any person struggling with the disease of mental illness, or their family and friends, this article must seem insensitive, hurtful and ignorant. We do not talk about heart disease or cancer or diabetes as evil. Why would we believe an illness of the mind should be seen as evil? We have a son who has struggled for 25 years with schizo-affective disorder. Of the five in our family, he is probably the one most earnestly seeking the face of God. To even hint that he is associated with evil feels to us as though it is blaming the victim. Happily, with good medication and supportive, caring communities, he has been able to hold a job most of the time and reach out in love and support to homeless people with similar struggles. We encourage Good to meet with people at the National Alliance on Mental Illness or to walk with friends who struggle with illnesses of the mind, without judgment.

Earl and Pat Hostetter MartinHarrisonburg, Va.

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