http://bostonreview.net/BR34.6/mckelvey.phpDuring the Iraq war, however, the great difficulty veterans experienced in getting psychiatric careÃ¢â‚¬â€greater than beforeÃ¢â‚¬â€was not a product of cost-cutting, but of conviction: many Bush administration officials believed that soldiers who supported the war would not face psychological problems, and if they did, they would find comfort in faith. In a resigned tone, one prominent researcher who worked for the VA, and asked that he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press, explained that high-ranking officials believed that Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus fixes everything.Ã¢â‚¬Â Benimoff and the others who returned with devastating psychological injuries found a faith-based bureau within the VA. At veteransÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ hospitals, chaplains were conducting spirituality assessments of patients.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“God doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like ugly,Ã¢â‚¬Â one political appointee told Paul Sullivan, an analyst in the VAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Veterans Benefits Administration, in a clumsy attempt to reduce the cost of caring for psychologically traumatized veterans. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You need to make the numbers lower.Ã¢â‚¬Â ...
. . .
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They are too youngÃ¢â‚¬Â to be filing claims, and they are doing it Ã¢â‚¬Å“too soon.Ã¢â‚¬Â [Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michael McLendon] hit the table again. The claims, he said, are Ã¢â‚¬Å“costing us too much money,Ã¢â‚¬Â and if the veterans Ã¢â‚¬Å“believed in God and country . . . they would not come home with PTSD.Ã¢â‚¬Â At that point, he slammed his palm against the table a final time, making a loud smack. Everyone in the room fell silent.
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This is a bit ironic considering the science of psychology was practically jumpstarted by wars, most prominently WWII.
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I think religion might just be a smokescreen here. To me this looks an awful lot like standard victim-blaming crap tarted up with religious ornaments to make it seem more righteous. This isn't too surprising either way, since victim-blaming is both a common tactic of hardcore Republicans and a common reaction to mental illness in general (i.e. if it's "all in your head" then you must either faking it or willing it to happen).
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