Christians say some pretty stupid things sometimes.
On my old blog, I wrote a short series about the cliches we like to abuse, such as “God wants to bless you!” and “I’ll pray about that!” I called them Cutsey Christian Mottoes, which is a category that might also include:
-It’s not my place to judge…
-God’s got this!…
-When God closes a door, He opens a window…
-I’m just a sinner, standing on grace…
I think you get the idea.
Platitudes need to be criticized because they oversimplify a complicated subject. People tend to throw them around, in order to feel like they’re being supportive, even when they haven’t actually helped anyone. At all.
(Luckily, “God helps those who help themselves,” amiright? *cough*)
Anyway, I’ve called these sayings “cutesy” to speak to their small-mindedness. They are shallow and bland and worthless. But today I want to talk about that line where Christian Platitudes cross from merely unhelpful into downright evil.
There’s nothing “cute” about how we handle the topic of suicide.
When someone kills himself, suddenly all of those people who feel it’s “not their place to judge” start doing a whole lot of it!
“He’s resting in Heaven!”
“He’s walking with Angels!”
“Fly High, Old Friend!”
To be fully transparent, I’m struggling with anger for these people right now.
Hey–Christians–stop being “nice” for a second and think about how your words are affecting someone who is contemplating suicide today.
I know we really enjoy writing public letters to the person who’s gone. But he can’t hear us. (And that’s his fault.)
Telling the dead guy he’s “not suffering anymore” doesn’t do any good. And even more importantly: YOU DON’T KNOW THAT.
You’re not the judge, remember? You’re not God.
You don’t know where the soul of your self-murdering friend is spending eternity, so stop speaking like you do.
Stop referring to suicide as a “peaceful rest,” and talking about how the Dearly Departed is having a great time “flying” around with [insert favorite dead celebrity]. (Note: You don’t know where the soul of that dead celebrity lies, either.)
Does any of this sound harsh?
I’m really not trying to be.
It just bothers me when humans tell pretty lies to each other.
Yes, I understand suicidal people think the world would be better off without them. I understand that depression and anxiety are classified as mental illnesses and that every day existence can feel like a walk through Hell. Yes–I know, first hand, the type of psychological torment that causes people to crave death rather than stay and continue fighting the lies in their own minds.
People suffer when their mental illness tells them lies.
Christians need to realize they can’t beat lies with more of them.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post challenging Atheists to come up with a reason kids shouldn’t shoot their peers at school. You can read the post here.
When an Atheist denies the existence of God, it is the Ultimate Lie, which leads to ultimate suffering. I believe the reason both suicides and homocides are on the rise is because our culture is swallowing the lie that we’re the products of nothing, for no reason. And, when humans suffer with those existential questions, the Atheists cannot offer anything except more lies. (And drugs.)
Now–Theists (especially Christians), it’s your turn. What would YOU tell someone who confessed they are thinking of harming themselves? And what sort of things are you saying when you learn that a fellow believer has taken his/her own life?
Here are some screenshots for discussion: