I've said something like this before and he got very cross.
But I think you can't put so much effort into seeming serious about something without, at some level, taking it at least somewhat seriously. It's like Hamlet's antic disposition.
I dunno, it seems fairly useful to distinguish between disasters that humans have had something to do with from disasters they haven't. It's only "religious" if you call it an "act of God", which probably everyone other than Richard Dawkins understands is a figure of speech, anyway.
So that's a case where the "mental illness" argument is totally redundant. Thomas Mair, on the other hand, had a long history of mental illness, and had sought help for his depression the day before he killed Jo Cox, but had been told to come back for an appointment.
A distinction, sure, I'm just saying it shouldn't be either/or. Some people are obviously much more in command of their facilties than others.
For example, I don't think Anders Breivik is delusional or hears voices in his head or anything. He just feels very, very strongly that Norway should be...
It's a common theme when some (white) nutter in America gets radicalized and does something awful. Conservative news media make much of any talk of "mental illness" and play down connections to established white supremacist terror networks (the old "lone wolf" cliché). Progressive backlash takes...