When I saw the headline announcing "Behar Sez Saints Sick" or something, me, I sez to myself, Thou shalt not click. That I even know what a Behar is counts as a strike against me in my own good book. But 'fortunately' Andrew's gone and posted the text of the Behar's remark, so I may as well. Thus:
"I think that the old days the saints were hearing voices and they didn't have any thorazine to calm them down. Now that we have all of this medication available to us, you can't find a saint any more."
Well. There are three separate layers of irony to lift away. First of all, you can read these two sentences as a claim that the state of affairs described is good news. But you can also read it as a winsome little bit of 'adult' atheist nostalgia -- the kind of moral kitsch involved in romanticizing the beautiful stupidity, ignorance, and folly of youth, taken and historicized into the comfortable senescence of humanity's bourgeois, disenchanted maturity.
But then you can read it, without Behar around to parse comment, as an utterly un-ironic statement made on behalf of spiritual redemption and the eternal possibility of faith incarnate.
Yet the way I want to read it is, contrary to any of those interpretations, and certainly to what I imagine Behar actually had in mind, as fundamentally mistaken about our ability to hear voices on meds. Therapy -- even pharmacologically speaking -- is in no way incompatible with religion. Marx and Nietzsche both hated the intimate relationship between Christianity and alcohol; a New-Age Buddy Jesus -- or Jesus the gay eunuch child of the Earth Mother -- seems to me to go even better with the rosy glasses of a Soma haze than the Heavenly Father went dazzled and doused in gin.
UPDATE: Rod drops some gnosis:
The View says Joy is a Catholic who lurvs joking about her faith, as she was here. So they say.