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The Concept of Abnormality and the Bible

      While the concept of abnormality may seem simple enough to identify at face value, in reality, it is a complex topic with ambiguous boundaries. Nolen-Hoeksema (2020) describes psychological abnormality as falling on a continuum, with various factors involved in identifying it such as cultural, socioeconomic, age, and more which make an impact on how deviated from the norm a behavior or state of being is. Furthermore, there are four dimensions, known as the four Ds of abnormality which attempt to narrow down what precisely makes a mental state or behavior abnormal. These are: dysfunction, distress, deviance, and dangerousness. Nolan-Hoeskema (2020) indicates that higher levels of the four Ds found in behavior in comparison to culture, age, gender, and more help professionals recognize abnormality in an individual.

Factors and triggers can be biological, social, or psychological in nature and different combinations can form disorders (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2020). Some psychopathological disorders include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictions, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amongst many others. Wielgosz et al (2019) note that practicing mindfulness meditation can have a notable positive impact on psychological abnormalities such as these.

        The Bible often addresses those displaying behavior that is considered abnormal in some fashion, often focusing on sin. From the perspective of the authors of the Bible, however, abnormality is not necessarily permanent. For example, in Mark 2:13-17, Jesus willingly eats and drinks with tax collectors, who were considered to be sinners by societal norms at the time (King James Bible, 1769/2017). He did this with the intent to help them repent and improve their “abnormal” behaviors, as a doctor would tend to the sick. In modern western society, tax collectors are not seen as sinners, despite being perceived as inconvenient, to put it mildly. Jesus teaches that imperfect humans must be looked at as exactly that – imperfect, but with the ability to improve with the help of love and compassion. The Bible also describes how abnormalities rely heavily on culture and time period. It would not be frowned upon today, like it would have been 2,000 years ago in Israel, to eat with someone who is employed to call in debt because that person is perceived as just doing his/her job. In summary, the Bible does address the existence of abnormalities, but it does so with the understanding that abnormalities, for the most part, are reversible or redeemable.

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y, mass incarceration, is the most modern form of the racial caste. The imprisonment of an astonishing amount of black and brown bodies is, evidently, a means of racial control. Although many people are unable to make the connection between mass incarceration and its older forms, slavery and Jim Crow, the means of racial control truly does exist. Michelle Alexander shares that mass incarceration is like a ‘color-blind bird cage with no door’, which exists in order to trap people into an under caste . In order to more thoroughly understand the phenomena of mass incarceration, as a racial caste, it is important to shed light on the policing that plays a significant part of its existence. Correspondingly, “the term mass incarceration refers not only to the criminal justice system but also the larger web of laws, rules, policies, and customs that control those labeled criminals both in and out of prison” . The policing of racial order allows for the current system of mass incarceration, as a racial caste, to thrive. Part 2 The Policing of Racial Order Policing, is the activity of exercising legitimate, coercive force to produce and reproduce order. Specifically, in the United States, policing produces and reproduces a racial order. Thus, “the more things change, the more they remain the same. In each generation, new tactics have been used for achieving the same goals—goals shared by the Founding Fathers. Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union” . For many decades, police have exercised their legitimate force in racially targeted ways. The War on Drugs 1 in 5 incarcerated people are locked up for a drug offense . Granted, during 1970’s, under the Presidency of Richard Nixon a war was launched. This war was soon to be known as the War on Drugs. Soon after, during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, this war was expanded and became a massive operation. The Reagan administration hired staff to publicize the emergence of crack cocaine as part of a strategic effort to build public and legislative support for the war . The successful public
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