Why Sri Lankans Don’t Get PTSD and Forcing Amy Grant to Apologize

Part of the problem (my personal problem) with blogging is that I don’t always (for various reason) go into as much depth as I’d like about subjects. For instance, I’ve read numerous articles about a variety of subjects and I’d like to share them and dissect them and critique them and expand on them.

Sometimes the thoughts don’t come, sometimes I just don’t have the time, other times what I do say seems stupid or irrelevant.

That’s why I hadn’t posted anything for awhile. Except about how you should take the time to prepare and plan and write your best stuff. Which of course I don’t always do.

So here are two things that I found super interesting, but don’t have the time to comment on.

The first comes from an article in NewScientist titled, “Invasion of the mind-snatchers” about how Western notions of mental illness are one world view out of many and aren’t always helpful when crossing into different cultures. It’s adapted from Ethan Watters’ book Crazy Like Us. Here’s an excerpt:

[In post-tsunami Sri Lanka] Sri Lankans didn’t report pathological reactions in line with the internal states making up most of the west’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder checklist (hyperarousal, emotional numbing, and the like). Rather, they tended to see the negative consequences of tragic events in terms of damage to social relationships. Fernando’s research showed the people who continued to suffer were those who had become isolated from their social network or who were not fulfilling their role in kinship groups. Thus Sri Lankans conceived the tsunami damage as occurring not inside their minds but outside, in the social environment.

The next article is from Patrol Magazine about a journalist who was forced to ask Amy Grant to apologize to the readers of CCM Magazine for divorcing Gary Chapman. It’s adapted from Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner.

A few days before the interview [with Amy Grant], I received an email from Gerald, my publisher, asking me to come to his office at my earliest convenience.

Just reading the email caused my heart to beat like a conga drum. Gerald frightened me. At least half of what came out of his mouth was meant to break somebody down.

I deleted the email and told myself to think of Gerald’s office like Daniel thought of the lion’s den. God will shut the lion’s mouth, I thought as I poked my head into his office.

Gerald, can you talk now?

Without looking at me, he said, Yeah, come on in.

He threw an old copy of CCM on his desk in front of me. It was the issue with Amy on the cover, and the interview inside focused on her divorce from Gary Chapman.

Have you read this interview? Gerald asked.

Yeah, I read it.

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it? He thumbed through the pages of the interview, waiting for me to agree. When I didn’t say anything, he looked up. Well?

How is that interview pathetic? I loved that story.

She doesn’t apologize, Matthew. For getting a divorce. Gerald shifted in his chair. Not one time. It’s as if she’s not sorry for disobeying God’s command to stay married. She needs to apologize.

He closed the magazine.

Who does she need to apologize to, Gerald?

Her fans. Us at CCM. And everybody she failed.

Our chat went on like this for fifteen minutes. Eventually, Gerald got to his point.

On Wednesday, when you do the interview, get her to apologize. Ask her to apologize if you need to.

Are you kidding me? You’re asking me walk into Amy’s house and get her to apologize for something that happened more than three years ago? She’s remarried, Gerald.

Gerald threw his hands in the air. I want her to apologize.

Gerald, this isn’t Watergate. We cover Christian music. Can’t we do a fun story and let the stupid divorce topic remain in the past?

God has rules. He spun his chair toward the laptop sitting on a table next to his desk. Either get Amy to apologize or we won’t run the story. Period. Get out of here.

I walked out.


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