• Thanks For Reading: The Unholy American Ends Publication

    All projects must come to an eventual end, and despite returning from our hiatus last year and our intention to return to our original publishing frequency, this is the end of the Unholy American project.

  • The Glamorisation of Mental Health

    Self-diagnosing and misrepresenting mental illness is detrimental to the ways we understand these conditions.

  • The Garland, Texas Shooting

    Supporting the AFDI and their Muhammad Drawing contest is a really, really sticky situation oozing of assholery, but is legal and should be allowed.

  • Mental Healthcare and the "Hysterical Woman"

    We've all heard it before. "All women are crazy!", "She must be on her period." For generations there has existed the stereotype of the hysterical woman. A person born with internal genitalia who is consequently unable to calmly and rationally maneuver the day to day difficulties of life.

  • Why I Returned to the Atheist Community

    In 2013, I wrote about how and why I left the atheism community. With 2016 dawning on us, it was time to give an update about why I had returned.

Thanks For Reading: The Unholy American Ends Publication

In October of 2010, The Unholy American was launched as a leftist and atheist blog, and later evolved to incorporate a mental health agenda as well. Through these six years, we kept an impressively high reader rate, and for that, we thank you.

When I launched this project, I was the only author, publishing articles every week until 2012, and every month until 2015, until I began to experience burnout from this project and my career in mental health. In an attempt to fix this, I recruited Anicka as another staff writer, and while we had plans for this project, I am sad to announce that these plans won't see fruition in this project.

Unfortunately, all projects must come to an eventual end, and despite returning from our hiatus last year and our intention to return to our original publishing frequency, this is the end of the Unholy American project.

Last month, my younger brother took his own life at 21 years of age. My brother didn't have any profound physical or mental disabilities; in fact, he was a wicked smart music historian and producer. But he was bipolar, PDD-NOS (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and likely schizophrenic.

We never received a consensus among doctors and mental health experts regarding his diagnosis on anything other than his bipolar and ASD, but he was found by the state to be disabled, unable to work, later qualifying and entering residential care in the form of a group home and then, until his passing, in independent supported living. My brother was also an addict; whenever his mental health would turn into a downward spiral as it often did, he would seek drugs in order to self-medicate. Whenever his mental health was being taken care of, he wouldn't seek drugs, and until his death, he was open about his addition, active in the movement against heroin, and both participated in and volunteered for Narcotics Anonymous in the area.

For the past 7 years, I have been a mental health activist, becoming president of an advocacy organisation in 2014 and a board member of another later that same year. In all of my efforts, I have been fighting for people both like and unlike my brother, demanding that individuals with disabilities receive the quality care they deserve. With my brother's sudden passing, it's time for me to step away from The Unholy American and focus on my own recovery and the needs of my family instead of worrying about decreasing readership and our infrequent updates.

"But wait!", you ask, "Why don't you just take another hiatus and come back later?" Yes, this is something that has been considered, but ultimately it would be better to end the blog entirely. Long periods of inactivity harm the SEO of a blog, and reviving a dead blog is no easy task. I still consider it luck that I had 40,000 people reading my articles per month in 2014, but those aren't levels we can achieve again for a long time if we go on a hiatus, and certainly not when our preferred marketing method for the entirety of this blogs existence has been exclusively organic and word-of-mouth.

So, this is where The Unholy American comes to an end. I'll still be working in mental health and within the secular movement, and hopefully within the next year I'll launch my project, but for now? Well, I guess I'll keep it at "see ya later".

author Tighe Craven

About Tiger
Tiger is a 24 year old activist and mental health professional
living in the Saint Louis area. When he's not being apathetic to the
idea of God, he is doing public speaking about mental illness and
is a photographer and a bassist.

Libertarianism Simply Doesn't Work, and The Libertarian Party Won't Ever Change

A really old acquaintance of mine from college is a delegate for the Libertarian Party this election season, and with the Libertarian Party's National Convention happening on the 27th to the 30th, they are considering changes to their platform, so in preparation for the convention, he posed a question to his non-Libertarian Party associates, with the intent to build the party into a more mainstream option.

What type of platform changes could lead you to being more likely to support a Libertarian in the general election? Or being more suppotive of the party and movement in general? Please, nothing Libertarians can't get behind as a whole, such as liberal economics."

As expected, all of the responses that were given to him were things that the Libertarian Party cannot get behind as a whole, but this is of course due to having a huge asterisk in the stated inquiry. If a party is struggling to break into a mainstream presence and is looking for platform changes in order to do so, requiring the suggestions to not deviate away from the majority of the party's current base is going to make your inquiry both fruitless and pointless.

The Libertarian Party is in an almost unique position where it has a lot of weak support; their positions on civil liberties are pretty sound, from their support of the gay community to marijuana legalisation. For these reasons and their view on foreign wars, they have good millennial support. Funnily enough, these are also the positions that are most touted by members of the party when they're trying to recruit interest in the party.

You don't often hear Libertarians promoting their economic ideas when trying to build interest from undecided and undeclared voters because they run the risk of sounding like an extremist fringe. You see, as far as their economic policies go, they only appeal to a few certain demographics, and those demographics are already voting Libertarian or are members of the Republican Party's Libertarian voting wing.

Mark Rosenfelder describes them as being the "un-Communism"

Arguably, the Libertarian Party's main defining political ideology is that of the free market and the gold standard. In simplest terms, the free market is a hypothetical concept that economies work best when there is no government intervention or regulation, and that the prices of goods and services are determined by their need by consumers, rather than a regulated market where the government controls the forces of supply and demand as well as introducing and enforcing regulations including environmental and public safety, anti-discrimination, labor laws, taxation, and anti-trust laws which prevent monopolies.

This insistence on the free market should be alarming to those who don't already subscribe to the idea of the free market, and for good reason.

In order for capitalism to function at its most basic level, you need workers. You may have employers, but the workers are the backbone of any product or service that is on the market. As it comes with being a worker or an employee, you need to be paid for your work, because why else would you be there, since basic necessities to survive such as food, water, and a home to live in must be purchased. There would be no labor laws or regulation on the safety of the workers; these things would be determined by the employer, it is argued, and if you're not okay with the employer's practices, "you can leave".

Of course, as history shows, employers were perfectly fine with employing young children and were eager to ignore safety in order to increase their profit. Additionally, sometimes workers can't just leave and find a better job. Certainly workers couldn't readily do so before the implementation of the 8-hour working day when working hours ranged from 11 all the way up to 16 hours a day due to the Industrial Revolution. As history also shows, and which continues to this day, if you just so happened to be anything other than a white male, you would be paid less for your labor.

Labor laws are things we take for granted.

These free market fundamentalist Libertarians claim to hate corporatism and that the free market would solve these problems by virtue of the integrity of the employer, meaning that those who are unfair to their workers and clients would see their businesses fail, but history and even contemporary events show that we don't care what kinds of conditions are in place, so long as we can get high quality products and services for the lowest price. Indeed, despite the want for a market where competition keeps prices down, the free market would allow monopolies to exist, which leaves no competition to keep prices down.

If the Libertarian Party were serious about making changes to their platform in order to be more appealing to those who aren't already inside of their base, they would have to make changes to their core platform. However, these changes would then remove what it means to be of the American strain of libertarianism, as the introduction of Democratic policies would make them fiscally liberal, and the introduction of Republican policies would make them socially conservative.

In addition, since the Libertarian Party wants to abolish the state only at the civic and market levels, if they were to extend that to abolishing the state at the capitalist level, they would be no different than the various schools of anarchism, of which they believe are too liberal. Of course, anarchists wouldn't even want them, since they know that libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism are just anarchism for rich people.

The Libertarian Party espouses an extreme form of capitalism, and any talk of them being serious about changing their platform in order to be more appealing to mainstream voters is simply laughable due to the fact that they will only be unwilling to do so.

author Tighe Craven

About the Author
Tiger is the editor for The Unholy Ameican, a 23 year old college
and an activist living in the Saint Louis area. When he's
not being apathetic 
to the idea of God, he is doing public speaking
about mental illness and 
is a photographer and a bassist.

Mental Health Care and the “Hysterical Woman"

       We've all heard it before. "All women are crazy!", "She must be on her period", "Calm down sweetie, no one wants to deal with a hysterical woman".   For generations there has existed the stereotype of the hysterical woman. A person born with internal genitalia who is consequently unable to calmly and rationally maneuver the day to day difficulties of life.

Female Hysteria

       Stereotypes of impaired mental capacities among historically repressed demographics are not uncommon. During the civil rights movement, many claimed that people of color were inherently violent, And even today, many homophobes have been known to make the argument that gay, lesbian, and transgender people are more likely to ignore personal boundaries or lack of consent because that's "just how they are". Many attempts at defending bigoted ideologies begin with the phrase, " It's in their nature.  "

Therein lies the basis for nearly every discriminatory belief held towards another demographic.

  Now, of course there has been no scientific evidence to support the theory that certain demographics will behave in certain ways based on biology alone. And of course changing society's perception of a group of people is always difficult, particularly when that perception is overwhelmingly negative.

     However, if women make up roughly 50 percent of the global population, why does this particular view point of women being insane continue to not only exist, but flourish?  A significant portion of supporters of the hysterical woman concept seem to exist among the female population themselves. While speaking with my own female friends during the pre-writing process, over half seemed to be of the opinion that women are usually less psychologically stable than men. When asked how they learned this concept, many replied with something along the lines of "I'm not sure, it just seems to be something that people always say", followed by an anecdote of their boyfriend, father, or brother telling them that they are crazy.

      As irritating as this thought processes is towards any woman who would rather have her thoughts and opinions taken seriously, this mindset is also incredibly harmful to women who are actually mentally ill. When an entire group of people is branded with the derogatory label "Crazy", it makes it incredibly difficult for members of the group to assess their own needs in regards to their mental health. According to the World Health Organization, "Communication between health workers and women patients is extremely authoritarian in many countries, making a woman's disclosure of psychological and emotional distress difficult, and often stigmatized. When women dare to disclose their problems, many health workers tend to have gender biases which lead them to either over-treat or under-treat women."

      The World Health Organization also reports a trend of physicians having a gender bias towards patients with depression. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, (or other mild to moderate mental illnesses), and more likely to be prescribed mood altering drugs when compared to their male counterparts.

      Now, you may be wondering why I am choosing this topic for my first entry here at The Unholy American. My own personal experience seeking treatment for severe obsessive compulsive disorder has led me here. After my initial diagnosis as a child, I was not treated for my symptoms until fourteen years later. I had developed an eating disorder during that time, and the reason why very few of my classmates or teachers had noticed my obsessive calorie counting, compulsive hand washing, and constant panic attacks, was because "all women are crazy". To this day, I am still attempting to repair the damage that has been inflicted on my body, as a result of my own illness running rampant throughout my brain.

So if ever you find yourself, dear member of society, in such a position as to label all women as crazy, remember this; Across the world, there are millions of women--of all ages and walks of life-- who are fighting with their own brains. For every moment of every day. And every reinforcement of the "hysterical woman" concept reduces their chance of getting the help that they so desperately need. Besides, there are plenty of ways to invalidate someone's opinions. You just have to take the time to come up with a better argument, rather than relying on a superficial aspect of your opponent, such as gender.

"Gender and Women's Mental Health." WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 24 Feb 2016.

author Änicka Carlson

About Änicka
Änicka is a 21 year old college student residing in northern Arizona.
She can typically be found practicing, listening to film scores, or glaring
menacingly at an improperly cited research paper (that might or might
not be her own work).