Psychosis is defined as "a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality".
An example would be the belief that your prayer will be answered despite all of the unanswered prayers across time such as -- those of soldiers killed or dismembered in war, of parents who have lost children to disease, accidents or crime, of victims of cancer, of the millions throughout history systematically exterminated by fanatical regimes, the family facing home foreclosure although the innocent victim of white collar crime, the sixty year old man whose job was exported to China after his company misappropriated his "guaranteed" pension money and dropped his health insurance...I could go on and you could add to the list I'm sure.
The psychotic, oxymoronic concept called "religious thought," were it confined to the individual, would be potentially harmful only to the individual and perhaps his family and close circle of friends. But the potential to corrupt and poison, and the historical incidents of actual corruption and poisoning of nations and societies by institutionalizing religion, politics and government as an entity, is figuratively and even literally criminal!
Current case in point -- North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole (R.) has used religion in her campaign's last days in a television ad questioning the Christian credentials of Democratic challenger Kay Hagan. This should make any intelligent person wonder and be a bit fearful. Hagan filed suit and aired a rebuttal ad of her own: "Dole is breaking the Bible's Ninth Commandment by bearing false witness." It's just a detail, but don't those Commandment things apply to decent folk who may not happen to be Christians? Of course, I guess it's possible that everyone in North Carolina is a Christian.
Personally, nothing politicians say or do surprises me. But what's most troubling about politicians who pander to people that vote their religion rather than issues and reason, is the fact that such individuals will vote for candidates who speak to their religious "needs" but who do not otherwise represent their economic, health or other practical, common-sense aspects of their lives! In my opinion, that would constitute... "a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality".
To the extent that the 2008 election cycle and all subsequent elections are decided by religious motives and agendas, is the extent to which we as a nation, haven't got a...prayer.