Are religious Jews mentally challenged? I think yes, and I'll explain why.
The human experience lends one to certain drives: you're hungry, you eat. You feel attraction to someone, you get involved in a relationship. Someone insults or attacks you, you take revenge. And so on.
Religion doesn't allow that. Religion is all about rejection and fear of allowing your human side to express itself.
It is also a psychologically proven fact that when beliefs that are 180-degrees opposite to the human experience are imposed upon a healthy mind, that mind becomes diseased. Take Eddie Gein, the 1950s necrophiliac and psychotic serial killer. His religious Catholic mother had drilled into him that women are impure and evil. This confusion between his human, natural, true self and the nonsense stuffed into him by his mother created his psychotic condition.
So I submit to you that religion is poisonous to the mind.
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts.
Let me clarify: Are you claiming that a secular person does not restrict himself in the area of physical drives? Of course he does! And those who do not invariably end up in jail!
But secular people don't restrict themselves merely to stay out of jail. They also exhibit a certain concept of right and wrong.
Why doesn't a secular married man have a relationship with every woman he is attracted to?
Why doesn't a secular person take from a department store anything he likes without paying for it?
Why don't they kill anyone who annoys them?
Why are they restricting their own behavior?
You make it sound like every secular person is some kind of wild stallion roaming the countryside, and every religious person is sitting dumbstruck in a corner. Not quite.
Judaism encourages the physical side to be expressed, however it does offer guidelines to insure that:
a) the physical side of the person remains under the control of the intellectual side, and
b) the person does not harm himself or anyone else in the act of expression. This includes both physical and spiritual harm.
As for Eddie Gein, what does that have to do with Judaism? Judaism is not "180-degrees opposite to the human experience." Judaism (unlike some other religions) encourages marriage and sexual relations between a husband and wife. It encourages enjoying food, wine and happiness.