Religion: The Mental Ministry

As the divinity student entered the ward, a girl patient flung her arms around his neck and pinned him to the wall. "Bathe me, bathe me," she demanded. The future minister responded with a monumental understatement: "That's not what I'm here for." Then he bolted.

Another seminarian sat down confidently to interview a woman patient who had just been admitted. "Are you a Protestant?" he began. "None of your goddamn business," she shot back.

Such awkward moments are a commonplace each summer at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. St. Elizabeths, a Government hospital, is...

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