Tilda does not often wander into the minefield that is religion, but today she was sufficiently ticked off to do so.
On Aug. 25 Bethany Presbyterian Church in Mendenhall posted a sign, "Jesus Is My Prozak," in front of its Kennett Pike building.
Not only is that slogan morally offensive and theologically dubious, it's also misspelled (it's "Prozac"). Depression results from a problem with brain chemistry, not a lack of faith in Jesus Christ. Would they say "Jesus Is My Insulin" or "Jesus Is My Chemotherapy"? I don't think so.
All I could think of was how a person suffering from depression, already feeling miserable, exhausted, useless and guilty, would react upon seeing such an insensitive message. The church is the last place that should be perpetuating the myth that depression is some kind of a personal failing rather than a medical illness.
I was angry enough to send an email to the pastor, the Rev. Ann Dickey, and she responded promptly. Very much to her credit, she fully understood my concerns about equating Jesus Christ to an antidepressant and promised the sign, which had been put up by a church member, would be taken down immediately. She also assured me that future slogans would be vetted more carefully, apologized to those who were offended, and asked for my forgiveness.
I was extremely impressed by Rev. Ann's graceful, intelligent and honest response to this situation, and perhaps that's the lesson we all should take from this unfortunate episode.