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Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Secularism to Blame for Suicide

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Suicide rates among youth ages 10 to 24 increased by 57% between 2007 and 2018, data released Thursday from the National Center for Health Statistics shows, rising from almost 7 per 100,000 population to nearly 11. Comparing three-year averages from 2007 to 2009 to the time period between 2016 and 2018 brought the increase down to 47%…The U.S. suicide rate among all age groups was 14 per 100,000 in 2018.

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It does not seem that environmental factors are significant. This phenomenon is no respecter of the US States. Similar increases are found throughout the States. Instead, it seems to be associated with the growth of secularism, today’s reigning Western religion:

Diana Graines, in Rolling Stone, noted that prior to the 1960s, teenage suicide was virtually nonexistent among American youth. By 1980 almost four hundred thousand adolescents were attempting suicide every year. By 1987 suicide had become the second largest killer of teens, after automotive accidents. By the 1990s, suicide had slipped down to number three because young people were killing each other as often as they killed themselves. 

Why point the accusing finger at secularism? Secularism destroys meaning and values. It claims that these do not have any independent existence. Instead, they are merely socially constructed for pragmatic reasons. However, our welfare depends upon believing that they are real and represent worthwhile pursuits.   However, secularism provides no objective basis for meaning or purpose. How could it possibly do so when it acknowledges that our thinking and feeling are merely biochemical reactions!

However, mental health professionals recognize that living in accordance with our deeply believed moral convictions is an important factor for mental well-being. [In other words, the cure for suicide is Jesus, right?]

Daniel Mann, Mann’s Words, Suicide and Secularism, April 24, 2021

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    GeoffT

    The easy availability of guns is presumably also a factor.

    What does the expression ‘meaning and purpose’ actually mean, however, in the context of.humanity and religion? I can see that it’s meaningful to refer to purpose in life, such things as increasing wellbeing, health, happiness, and all the other things that improve the quality of life. But meaning? I think it’s a pointless word, intended only to drive a religious agenda. I can just as easily ask what meaning does my car have? It has a purpose, probably more than one, but meaning? Nah.

  2. Avatar
    Sage

    Wow, absolutely none of that connects logically. It’s just a string of paragraphs pretending to have connected meaning.

  3. Avatar
    Hugh d Young

    YES…..I suppose a terrorizing fear of what ‘Jesus’ is going to do to ya after committing suicide could very well be a deterrent for some.-

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Bruce Gerencser