To Be With Her Father in Heaven, Girl, 12, Commits Suicide

***UPDATE, October 30: The story in the Mirror turns out to be substantially untrue, as far as we now know. See here for an important follow-up post.***

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If heaven is a better place where you’ll be reunited in great happiness with all the dead people you once loved… well, what’s to prevent bereaved and impressionable people from offing themselves — and gaining a one-way ticket to paradise?

I got something in my eye when I read this heartbreaking news story of a 12-year-old girl who missed her deceased father so much that she hanged herself to be with him. My heart goes out to her mother and brother, and to all who loved her.

But the account also confirmed for me that the idea of heaven can be both comforting and toxic — make that deadly — at the same time. If Maria’s head hadn’t been filled with nonsensical ideas about heaven, where it’s all about the posthumous family reunions, she’d probably be alive today.

Her death is the somewhat prettier equivalent of the Islamic suicide bombers who think they’ll go on to great rewards in the hereafter.

Religion kills.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • bananafaced

    This is why most religions make suicide a sin! If heaven is supposed to be so much better than here and one can only get there by dying then those that believe, and are unhappy with their lives, will make that irrational leap of faith.

    • compl3x

      I’ve wondered about how to get around the sin part. If suicide is a sin, could you just live your life incredibly recklessly? Drink, smoke, gamble, never visit the doctor, avoid nutritious food, etc. to otherwise shorten your life? I’m sure your body would give out and you’d die prematurely.

      Then you could go to heaven and meet your great great great great great grand daddy . . . Unless, of course, be belonged to one of those heathen or pagan religious. In that case, you can mock him while he burns in hell.

      • Michael

        Three of the things you list are also commonly viewed as sinful.

        The problem is that children get the simplified version because they’d question the warts and all account too much.

        • Chuck Farley

          Drinking, smoking, gambling and eating bad food are all sins? Not for Catholics.

      • Declan Murphy

        I imagine, were the christian god real, that doing such a thing would
        still get you on that suicide list since that god, being all knowing and
        all seeing, would know that you do what you do to kill yourself. Quick or slow, it wouldn’t matter.

      • John

        Like this?

      • Intelligent Donkey
        • C Peterson

          There are no loopholes in a personally derived, humanism-based ethos. Loopholes need externally applied rules, and the fact that there are so many loopholes tells us something about the quality of those rules.

      • Jim Jones

        Like this:

        http://sciencenordic.com/danes-killed-get-killed

        “Suicide murder was a widespread phenomenon in 18th century Denmark. Instead of taking their own life, suicide candidates would kill a child or some other random person, in the hope that they would receive a death penalty. [A]ccording to the church, killing yourself meant you would end up in hell.

        On the other hand, if you repented your horrible deeds just before the execution, you received a direct ticket to heaven.

        [W]hen, a decade later, in 1767, the death penalty was finally abolished, convicted suicide murderers were instead whipped once a year and were given the toughest and most degrading work tasks on offer. And this was what finally put an end to the suicide murders.”

    • newavocation

      And don’t forget the rich can’t go to heaven but the church would help to take your cash off your hands.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Reading the Bible and knowing how humans are, it’s plain that the idea of suicide being a sin had to be tacked on after some cultists began killing themselves to get to their promised paradise. [Insert any and all jokes about adding patches to the program here.]

    • The Captain

      Exactly! You can’t convince devout believers that there is an eternal happy bliss afterlife and not expect a big chunk of your followers to off themselves when life is miserable. Thus suicide is sin gets tacked on.

      If it wasn’t for suicide being a sin, it would be perfectly logical for believers to do a whole bunch of good deeds and kill themselves, thus pulling off a spiritual Costanza and leaving on a high note.

      • Kodie

        pulling off a spiritual Costanza and leaving on a high note.

        <3

      • Peter Naus

        Oh, wouldn’t that be fantastic?

        What a wonderful, economical way of ridding us of Westboro Baptists! And most of the other 30,000 or so fundamentalist denominations!

        Praise Jeebus!

    • Larry Meredith

      actually if you believe Heaven is a much better place and you can only get there by dying, the leap of faith into suicide is a very rational one.

    • Iramohs

      You can just hire someone to kill you then. And then that person hires someone to kill them AFTER repenting for the first killing of course. And the cycle continues…

      • FTP_LTR

        Until one day, convenient bears.

        • Wren

          I read that 3 times before I realized you were referring to the animals. I kept thinking “It bears WHAT?”

        • Cousin Ricky

          Just make fun of a bald priest. That ought to bring them on.

  • God’s Starship

    If heaven is so superior, it would make sense for god to just let us live there in the first place. What’s the point of this imperfect reality other than to have us run around like rats in a maze for god’s ego?

    • Fred

      Especially when god already knows the outcome before they’re even put in the maze.

      • MNb

        Mumble mumble free will mumble mumble.

        • John

          Because of course giving us the chance to screw up and be tortured forever is exactly the kind of thing a loving being would do.

          • Shawn

            There is also the argument that you can’t lose your salvation once you accepted the Gospel ::Assuming we are talking about Christianity:: Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves but is the gift of God, not by works so noone can boast.”

            • Jennifer Lakewood

              What about those of us who were “saved” at one time but eventually saw how silly it was. According to the Christian view, am I still saved? LOL

              • sam

                First, we can’t be re-saved: Hebrews 6:4-6 – ‘It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God & the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance…’ So don’t listen to evangelists who tell you that you are still redeemable.

                Secondly, we’re in a much worse position: 2 Peter 2:20-21 – ‘If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ & are again entangled in it & overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been BETTER for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it & then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.’ So evangelists are actually condemning people whom they expose to the “good news”. Our blood, like the blood of this little girl, is on their hands.
                Oh wait, all of this is falsehood.

        • Jeremiah Sherrill

          If god is all knowing, he already knows what we are going to do with our “free will”. So he knows all outcomes, the second we are born he knows we will burn in hell don’t pass go, don’t collect 200

          • Jeremy Banchiere

            In which case, it wouldn’t be free will. Which means that if we have free will god isn’t all powerful. Which means he isn’t god. Which one is it: we have free will and god isn’t god, or we don’t and god is responsible for every rape and murder on the face of the planet?

            • Jeremiah Sherrill

              Since I don’t believe in fairy tales, I’ll let you choose.

              • johnbuoy

                I don’t have any invisible friends either…or unicorns.

        • Jeremy Banchiere

          Mumble, mumble, paradox, mumble, impossible dichotomy, mumble, mumble.

        • ElRay

          You can do what ever you want, but if you don’t do what I want, I’ll torment you. Sounds like extortion to me.

    • TheG

      Because despite all His rage we are all just rats in a cay-yage!

      • MrHillbillyj .

        nice!

    • Brian Douglas Macleod

      Mumble Mumble we have no idea what a God-like being is thinking.

      • Michael Vargas

        In other words, it’s a completely arbitrary, non-falsifiable concept.

    • Axilrod

      There is no point because Heaven is a bunch of nonsense. Our biological instinct to survive makes accepting death extremely difficult, so the idea of the afterlife is a great security blanket. But if you believe in eternal afterlife then you essentially believe you’re going to live forever, which cheapens the time you have here and now.

      • johnbuoy

        The promise of heavenly riches allowed the wealthy and powerful to make the ignorant unwashed thankful for the dribs and drabs they are allowed to catch.

    • Baby_Raptor

      It takes a really sick person to use the death of a child to score political points. Get some help. While you’re there, see if the shrink can help you come to grips with the fact that you can’t read peoples’ minds, and you have no idea what their motivations are.

      Or I guess you could just be an equal opportunity jackass and go post accusations like this on every single article reporting this story across the internet. But that wouldn’t fit your agenda, would it?

      • Trip Walker

        You really want to feel sick? TYT news Cenk told the story today as fact and used it to viciously hitleresque style on the Jews beat Christians up.

        A newscaster couldn’t figure out 5 days later the story was a hoax? Go watch it, it’s fucking sick and TYT viewers refuse to look it up actually wanting the 12 year old to be dead to bash Christianity.

        • Baby_Raptor

          Nobody’s perfect. Christians refuse to believe a lot of facts so they can continue to beat other people up. The urge to be right is something that people have to wrestle with no matter what they happen to believe RE religion.

          Though you seem to be implying that people verbally beating on Christians is worse than using a dead child to prove your point. Can’t agree with you there.

    • Blaack Funch

      God does not exist, and whether you believe in it or not, putting religious *Garbage! into a young girl’s head is what THIS results in,keep your damn psycho illnesses to yourself and then when the kid becomes adult you can start talking about stupid gods and fairy tale books.

  • JMM

    Religion is a poison to an uneducated mind

    • Greg G.

      Religion is toxiferous to an educated mind.

      • C Peterson

        I think you have that backwards.

        Education is like a vaccine. It may not be very effective at curing a pre-existing case of religion, but it often does a good job of preventing a subsequent religious infection. That’s why it is a form of abuse to indoctrinate children with religion: you are infecting them before they have developed any immunity.

        • Greg G.

          Education can keep you from taking a big whiff of cyanide but it does no good if an educated person inhales it anyway. Education turns theology into “sophisticated theology” by substituting in more polysyllabic terminology.

          William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga have more degrees than you can shake a stick at but Craig tells us that the combined weight of a couple dozen of Plantinga’s failed arguments for God favors the probability of God’s existence. If he had just one successful argument he could simply cite it. What poison causes that?

          • C Peterson

            “Education” isn’t the same as “good education”. Quantity isn’t quality. As I noted earlier, education is useless without reflection.

            I don’t believe it is possible for a person to be intelligent, educated and reflective and become or remain a theist, unless they are actually mentally ill.

            Religion will never infect a healthy, intelligent, well educated mind.

            • Greg G.

              Education is education. Critical thinking skills are critical thinking skills. Those are two different things that enhance one another. Compartmentalization is compartmentalization and it undermines either and both.

              See what I did up there? I was saying that religion can poison an educated mind as well as an uneducated mind with no distinction about quality of education. The post I replied to used the word “poison”. I used thesaurus.com to find a $10 synonym to combine with “educated mind”.

              I am agnostic about the existence of any perfectly healthy, completely intelligent, sufficiently well-educated monkey brains that cannot be fooled by woo and irrationality. Remember when James Randi showed scientists how they were being fooled by mentalists?

              • C Peterson

                Yes, education and critical thinking are different. But they are not independent. I would not consider a person well educated if they had not learned critical thinking skills. The simple acquisition of knowledge, even large amounts of it, does not define “well educated”.

                So I don’t think religion is very effective at poisoning well educated minds. Religion is much, much more effective at infecting the poorly educated- no matter how many Ph.D.s they have.

            • Cousin Ricky

              I completely disagree. Intelligence can actually make you better at the mental gymnastics required to maintain one’s faith. And if WLC (the sick bastard) isn’t good enough for you, try Kurt Wise.

              There are plenty of highly intelligent people in my family, including 2 who work for NASA. The vast majority of them are devout Christians.

              • C Peterson

                I would call the “highly intelligent” people in your family who are Christians “poorly educated”.

                Intelligent and well educated makes it nearly impossible to be Christian, without actually being mentally ill.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Mind the difference between being “educated” and being “trained”.

            • baal

              heh, that being the exact difference between what I want the public schools to do and my conservative ‘friend’s at work want.

    • C Peterson

      I’d add the unreflective mind. All the education in the world doesn’t do any good if you don’t spend time thinking. That’s why we still have intelligent, educated theists and religionists. They don’t actually think about the matter in any depth.

      Of course, it is rare for twelve year olds to be reflective, or educated. That’s something that comes with age. Almost certainly, this young girl was killed by the dogma of her parents (or just her mother).

      • Gaz

        “intelligent religionist”?
        Sorry, that’s an oxymoron. Any logical, rational, free thinking individual does not believe in a god or any other fairy tales or imaginary friends. You have an extreme psychological defect if you continue to believe in such nonsense by the time you reach your teens.

        • C Peterson

          I agree that a logical, rational, free thinking individual does not believe in gods. But it is possible for a highly intelligent person to lack any or all of those attributes.

          Intelligence implies that you have the machinery; it doesn’t necessarily mean you use it effectively. You can’t materially increase somebody’s intelligence, but you can teach an intelligent person to use logic and reasoning, you can teach critical thinking.

    • Gaz

      Religion is poison, full stop.

  • viaten

    This is so sad. If it were an older person I would suspect an underlying psychological problem. But in this case it seems had someone just steered her right she would have grown up a healthy, well adjusted person. I can’t help but put all the blame on religion in this case.

    • C Peterson

      There’s still an underlying psychological problem. It isn’t normal for a child who loses a parent at eight to be grieving like this after four years. From the limited comments in the article, I suspect a mother who was unable to effectively move on, as well.

      It isn’t strictly religion that is to blame, but rather, this girl’s belief in religion. If you’re looking for blame, the question to ask is “where did that come from?”

      • viaten

        You have a good point. I’m picturing a girl more naive than having a serious problem dealing with grief. Now that I think about it more it seems children by twelve should certainly know that killing oneself over grief simply isn’t right. It seemed to me that if someone just explained to her that grief is normal and can be dealt with, this wouldn’t have happened. But there could easily have been more to it. It’s tempting to put all the blame on religion in cases like this. It’s probably better simply to consider it a factor.

        • Kodie

          She was unable to predict that her whole family would then have to kill themselves because they miss her when she died, nor to think she might miss anyone else for the rest of their lives.

          Plus, the rest of the article says she was discovered when her mother went to read her a bedtime story. At the age of 12? Perhaps fake, perhaps a codependent relationship. Maybe losing a parent at a critical age stunts one’s emotional development or this story is a sensational fiction. Sorry, I’m skeptical.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I’ve seen a tragedy at about that age evolve into a codependent relationship for several years, yeah. Changing things a little bit to provide more of a sense of security (in this case, allowing the grieving child to sleep in the parent’s bedroom) becomes habit and then codependence really quickly.

      • Cheyenne

        The kid was supposed to stop grieving after four years? Spoken like someone who’s never lost a parent! I lost my mom ten years ago and still grieve for her. Losing a beloved father would be heartbreaking for a kid her age. She’d still miss him when she was 20 or 30 or 50. I’m just sorry nobody was able to help her deal with the grief.

        • C Peterson

          It would be normal for you to miss your mom. But to actually still grieve after four years? And for a parent, especially? Sorry, that isn’t normal or healthy. IMO you would benefit from some professional counseling. Grief that doesn’t pass is a symptom of something wrong.

          If you read what I wrote, you will see that I am suggesting nobody was there to properly help her with her grief.

          • Kodie

            In my ‘best case’ analysis, she was stunted at the age of 8 by external pressures.

            • C Peterson

              Yes. I think it is well established that children can suffer psychological damage when their grief at the loss of a parent isn’t properly addressed by the surviving parent, or by some other close friend or relative.

          • Noelle

            A child should be expected to experience the grief of the lost parent again which each new phase of life, and to try to understand it with whatever new phase of cognitive development and worldview he or she has at that moment. It is often very painful for adult family members to have to relive old wounds when a child brings up a parents death every few years. Adolescence is a significant enough new phase of life that it would not be unusual for her to feel that old grief all over again. It is normal. It is healthy. And someone should’ve been there to educate her family on this and to help her.

          • Gaz

            “Grief that doesn’t pass is a symptom of something wrong.”

            Yes, that ‘something wrong’ being the loss of your parent. I don’t think you quite get it.

            • C Peterson

              Yes, that ‘something wrong’ being the loss of your parent. I don’t think you quite get it.

              I get it just fine. Grief- that is, sorrow that materially impacts your life- that persists for four years is a psychological condition that requires treatment. It is not normal, and it is not healthy.

            • GL

              I lost my father when I was 10 years old. Ten years later, I don’t still, by definition, grieve for him. The grieving process IS something that should come to an end (i.e. the last “step” is acceptance of the death, allowing you to move on with your life). This is not to say that I don’t miss him or feel sadness when I think about the fact that I he is no longer alive. Grief that does not pass (again, I want to emphasize that I am talking about the stages of grief), as C Peterson is said, is unhealthy. It means you have not moved on from the death and are still living in one of the other stages, whether is be denial, anger, bargaining etc. To live like that for an extended period of time would be torturous, and the inability to move past that is a sign that there is something wrong.

          • Stephen Davidson

            Its very normal for young children to be extremely attached to their parents. Not to mention the father is normally the rock and safe haven for a young girl. He represents strength, power and safety. In the average family this type of attachment is normal.

            Her world obviously revolved around her father and its quite normal to grieve for so long. Imagine how long a woman married to a man would grieve if her husband died after 8 long years of a loving relationship. Now realize her father had been there her whole life. Its quite a jarring change actually. We do not transcend the lifestyle we are born into.

            You think she was mentally ill? Maybe you can’t understand the love behind that type of relationship. Honestly I would say you are more a sociopath and mentally ill than this child could have ever been.

            • C Peterson

              You think she was mentally ill?

              Most obviously, yes. Kids don’t kill themselves unless they are mentally ill. Very few adults do, either.

              Acute grief, the sort that seriously disrupts your life, lasts six months to a year. Much longer than that, it is recognized as a condition that needs treatment. In children, grief needs to be addressed by their parents (or parent proxies). If it isn’t, it most definitely can result in psychological damage. And although the details here are sketchy, a reasonable inference can be made that the mother descended into pathological grief herself, and was unable to help her child. With the results we read about here.

              • Stephen Davidson

                By your definition mental illness is anything that doesn’t fit the standard for what you find to be the norm. She obviously was raised in a way to cause this “mental illness”. I believe is was not her brain that was the issue, it was her upbringing.

                • C Peterson

                  Well, I think mental illness is substantially defined by a consensus view of what the norm is, and how far somebody is from that norm. In a case like this, “psychological damage” might be a better term than “mental illness”, but we’re still talking about some sort of pathological condition. I agree with you that her upbringing was probably a big part of the problem… but I’d say that the problems it caused very much involved her brain.

                  Psychologically healthy children do not kill themselves.

                • kwachie

                  Children believe in fairy tales because we teach them to believe in them and they trust us.

              • kwachie

                Children don’t have the ability to see the long-range consequences of their actions. They don’t fully understand what death is — only what we teach them about it. They don’t think like adults, they don’t handle their emotions like adults and their brains aren’t fully formed and wired until their 20′s. To say that a child you don’t know is mentally ill because she grieved her dead father and believed the story that she could be with him in heaven just proves you don’t know many children.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                google “complicated grief”.

                It’s a thing.

                • C Peterson

                  Exactly my point.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  What I see is a sad little girl who lost her father, and couldn’t process it. Whether that was because of something internal, or a lack of external supports, I don’t know.

                  But I know she didn’t have to die.

                • C Peterson

                  That’s true for most suicides.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  True, but I won’t take that choice away from anyone, precisely because it is, in fact, their choice, and not mine. And, hey, I’d be a total hypocrite, considering I’m counting on being able to off myself if I ever end up terminal.

                • C Peterson

                  Of course, there are rational suicides. And that’s a choice everyone should have. But most suicides are a consequence of some sort of psychological illness (usually depression), and it becomes a little questionable what “choice” means in that case. Certainly, some sort of intervention is called for, wouldn’t you say?

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Yeah, but not to the point of taking away that choice.

                • C Peterson

                  I don’t know. I think society might have an ethical responsibility to take away the choice of suicide in a minor, or to take away the choice of suicide in an adult if it can be demonstrated that the adult is not in a normal, healthy state of mind.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  I disagree, because it can be argued that one who is, say, terminally ill is “influenced” by their illness, and “not in their right mind.”

                  If someone is suffering, and wants to end it, it is not our place to step in, unless and until that person presents a threat to others.

                • C Peterson

                  I think there is a clearly defined- and clearly definable- distinction between a person who is pathologically depressed and a rational, terminally ill (or even non-terminally ill) person who wishes to end their life. Certainly, countries which have legalized suicide in the latter case seem to have little problem distinguishing between the two.

                  I think a humane society will attempt to prevent somebody from killing themselves because they have a disease that makes them falsely consider suicide an attractive option. By that, I mean people who- when treated- would not choose to kill themselves, would be thankful to those who stopped them. That pretty much describes people who suffer from clinical depression.

                  I certainly hope somebody would try to save me from myself if a mental illness was causing me to act abnormally.

          • Jennifer Lakewood

            She lost her dad, not her mom.

            • C Peterson

              I don’t think I suggested otherwise.

        • Leanne Gray

          I lost my dad when I was ten. I certainly still mourned him for years afterward… but to miss him so awfully that I’d kill myself four years later? No. You move on. I would say that the first year after was the worst – by four years I had mostly come to terms with things – in part because my adult family members kept things in perspective. When I was little, I thought my dad hung the moon – he could do no wrong. My family made sure that I grew up and understood that he was a human being, and he had flaws, and that I *could* live without him. I can’t imagine letting this little girl go on believing that her father was perfect and happy in heaven – to the point that she thought she could just go be with him, just like that. What arrogance in an adult won’t even admit to some doubt about the prospect?

          • Stephen Davidson

            You would be surprised the lengths some parents will go towards trying to “protect their children”. It is mostly caused by the overprotective nanny culture in america.

        • DonnB

          You are entirely correct. I love (not) the modern pseudo psychology that sets time limits on grief. There isn’t one. It’s a limit usually set by those who don’t want to be inconvenienced by someone else’s grief. Some children suffer a life long trauma if they lose a parent at a vulnerable time. She needed help, not pretty posey religious rubbish.

        • MrHillbillyj .

          when i went to boot camp my recruiter took his own life. while he was just a recruiter, grieves me to this day.

      • Gaz

        “where did that come from?”

        Religion. I think that’s very readily apparent. Any belief in religion is a harmful belief in religion. No religion, no problem.

        • C Peterson

          No, it didn’t come from religion. It came from some sort of psychological damage or trauma. Likely, it came from poor parenting. Religion was certainly a factor, but it took more than just that.

          • Fred Bailey

            No. The idea of being able to join one’s dead father by simply dying comes from no place whatsoever but religion. Where in the world else?

            What makes this so difficult for you to understand?

            • C Peterson

              Very, very few religious people take this route. The problem was fundamentally one of a pathologic psychological condition. Certainly religion played a role, but not the dominant one. Grief can lead to depression, and from there to suicide. No religion required.

          • Jennifer Lakewood

            Lots of people take their religion very seriously, and you say that religion had nothing to do with it. She truly believed that there was a heaven where her father was (probably told this over and over by people she trusted). To me, I’m surprised more people don’t die this way because heaven sounds a whole lot better to most kids than this place called earth. There are a lot of grown ups that believe in heaven and don’t even think they’d ever go to hell, so I’m surprised they hold on to life so tightly in many circumstances (they want to live on a respirator after a coma, etc.).

            • C Peterson

              I most certainly did not say that religion had nothing to do with it. Read my comments again.

      • Fred Bailey

        Where did that come from?? Besides, you know, religion, you mean?

      • Trip Walker

        Dude this is a story reporting it as a hoax what the fuck are you going on about?

    • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

      There’s also the possibility that puberty-related hormone changes and stresses may have played a role in exacerbating Maria’s grief. When I made that transition, I experienced several months of what I now recognize as major depression, and did actually have suicidal ideation on one occasion.

      • Fred Bailey

        And you don’t see the myth about reunion in heaven as any kind of contributing factor whatever?

        If the choice is between healing the separation and continuing to be depressed, it is a different choice than that between nullity and continuing to be depressed. Isn’t it?

        • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

          I’m sure that it was a contributing factor, given Maria’s own words in her suicide note, but after four years of grieving her dad I think some other event or events made the situation worse and led to her decision to kill herself.

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    The idiots who filled her head with this religious nonsense should be charged with first degree murder.

    • verysmartatheist

      pick:

      1. the father who dies

      2. she
      3. Israel

  • tsig

    Now there’s a girl who lived her beliefs.

    • baal

      and hence the tragic situation

  • Aguz

    I though suicide was a sin according to Christianity.

    • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

      It is, but Catholics and Protestants disagree whether it’s a regular sin or a mortal sin.

    • Intelligent Donkey
    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Being only twelve years old, she might not have heard that. (And if she had, it might not have changed anything.)

  • ucancallmemom

    Sounds like a natural thought for a child who has lost a parent. I can’t imagine the environmental circumstances or the condition of this child’s thinking that compelled her to actually take her own life. In the comments on this piece I find it interesting that folks accuse people of faith of being uneducated, all the while criticizing something they themselves obviously lack education on. I agree the Bible is often mis-taught, misunderstood. One of the first things God said about what happens after we die “…for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return…”. More than anything, this is a personal tragedy for the family, not a public statement regarding faith or as you say, religion. If in fact religious teachings contributed to this suicide in a meaningful way, the mother’s suffering will no doubt be even greater because of it and learn a lesson in the most terrible way imaginable.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      So the reason God allowed/caused this to happen was to teach a really memorable lesson to the mother?

      What possible greater good will she be able to accomplish to balance out this evil?

      • ucancallmemom

        I didn’t say that God allowed/caused this to happen to teach her a lesson. It seems you missed my point.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    So sad. Whoever told her that her father is waiting for her in heaven just killed her. Christianity fucks up everybody who believes it’s nonsense.

    • Jim Jones

      That’s not even Christian theology. All die and remain dead until the end of eternity. Then all are raised and judged and the righteous go to heaven.

      Long wait to see daddy. Too bad she didn’t hear that.

      • KMR

        I learned differently thanks to Jesus’s dying words to the thief, “Today you’ll be with me in paradise”. I don’t know many evangelical protestant churches who preach that the dead must wait to go to heaven. They all seem to like the immediate reunions.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Jesus’ dying words depend on the book of the Bible you read. Same with the number of thieves. In one book it’s one, and it’s two in another. Just goes to show you the different authors of the Bible had different ideas about Christianity, just as every Christian today believes something different than every other. If there was any shed of truth to any of it there would be consistency.

          • KMR

            Either way it’s a main verse used to support the “I don’t have to wait” theory.

          • Mario Strada

            And the thieves weren’t thieves. The Romans did not crucify thieves. They crucified “Freedom fighters”. As was Jesus or whomever was on that cross and got his body stolen.

        • Jim Jones

          The two robbers got the special “go with Jesus” deal. Although no one can explain why.

          • Itarion

            It’s because they weren’t really thieves. Petty theft didn’t get the death penalty, and the cross was pretty much reserved for enemies of Rome. The “two thieves” were likely members of a movement similar to Jesus’ own.

            • Jim Jones

              Well, since it’s all made up everyone has their own ideas. ‘Barabba’ is a giveaway that it wasn’t written by anyone with a deep knowledge of the Jews.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        When does eternity end exactly? What nonsensical bullshit.

        • Jim Jones

          Don’t shoot the messenger. This is Christian theology.

          • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

            That’s why I’m calling it nonsensical bullshit. I’ve never heard any Christian theology that wasn’t.

      • Itarion

        Long wait, sure. But since she’s dead, she won’t notice it. Oblivion and all that. It’s like sleeping through the wait to see the doctor.

      • Noelle

        Ah, but the Sunday school theology I learned was instantaneous heaven and reunion with all previously departed loved ones. I suspect many Sunday schoolers learned the same

      • Cousin Ricky

        That depends very much on which denomination.

        • Jim Jones

          Which is so wrong. I know Catholics accept cremation BUT they don’t approve of scattering or splitting up cremains because, you know, god can’t deal with that when the resurrection happens.

    • Rachel

      what about every other religion? or is Christianity the only religion that is “messed up”? most, if not all, religions have a deity that it’s followers believe in, therefore they ALL are” nonsense” as you suggest.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        Another whiney Christian complaining “what about everybody else?” Yes, all religions are nonsense. Get over it. Yours is just the particular flavor of nonsense on trial here because it’s lies tricked a poor little girl into ending the only life she had prematurely on the hope that she could see her dad again.

      • MaslowK

        If you’re wondering why so much focus seems to be on christianity, it’s likely because most of the commentators here (and the author of this blog I would assume) live in a predominantly christian culture. For the record, yes, atheists generally regard all deity based religions equally nonsensical.

  • Hunter Nance

    To be fair, there is some chance she had severe depression, and even the non-religious (by my mind inexplicably) often kill themselves as well.

    The way I see it, if you’re religious, you purportedly won’t get to heaven if you kill yourself. If you’re not, then you’re losing the one life you have and the one chance at happiness you have.

    Regardless, this is extremely tragic, and the photo and the fact that the mom was going up to “read her a bedtime story” make it even more disturbingly sad.

  • WallofSleep

    I don’t think I’ve read a piece of non-fiction sadder than this. I’ve got nothing. I can’t even imagine…

  • WallofSleep

    “I got something in my eye when I read this heartbreaking news story…”

    Like a fucking bolder, bro.

    EDIT: It would be entirely appropriate to accuse me of forgetting my grain of salt with this story, but down voting an expression of sadness for what appears to be a very sad story? I’m glad I don’t live in your head, whoever you are.

  • Mick

    “she wanted to be with her dad in heaven.”
    Did no-one tell her about the chance that her dad was a miserable sinner who went straight to hell? Of course not. Children get only the cutesy-poo version of religion.

    • EuropeanCommunist

      Don’t forget the girl sinned by taking her own life. So now, according to the loving god, she is the one guaranteed to be tortured for eternity.

      • Dilanka Wettewa

        So … it’s like a video game that’s impossible to win.

        • John

          The only winning move is not to play.

      • Joe

        Most christians would say Children go to heaven when they die regardless of how it happens. “but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” -MATTHEW 19:4

        • Jennifer Lakewood

          Right, but she was 12, and there is supposed to be some sort of “age of reason” by that age. People that gave her the fake heaven forgot to share the fake hell for killing yourself. If it were not for this, millions of children would be taking their lives every day, especially after a loved one dies.

          • Tyler

            Well phrased. I mean, a six year old kid, sure, but a person that age should know better than to end their own life after a loved one dies. By that point of time, any decent parent would have taught them about actions and consequences, moving on after something bad’s happened, that kind of thing. Not to imply that she was completely idiotic for having killed herself, though- grief does a lot to people.

        • EuropeanCommunist

          Most Christians would say the same thing about an adult who takes his own life because the idea that the person they knew is now burning for eternity really sucks.

          To extend what Jennifer said, is there some sort of an age limit there? It seems rather important to me in this case.

  • Guest

    It’s really great how atheists consistently live out their values for logic and reason and evidence like how right here we have Terry Firma who says right up there that he’s written articles for the New York Times [citation needed] using [read: exploiting] the death of a 12 year old child reported in an unsourced UK tabloid for little more than to serve his confirmation bias about his views on religion.

    #logic #reason #secularvalues

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      It would be just too hard for you to work out that the blog owner knows Terry’s identity and resume, wouldn’t it?

      #pissybaby #theistswhocan’tlogic #desperatefortalkingpoints

    • Carmelita Spats

      More to the point…Why did you first post as Vlad Chituk…

      http://nonprophetstatus.com/

      and then change to “Guest” faster than an overstuffed Televangelist on Bud Light swaps wives after playing twenty rounds of “The Christ is Right!”? I could make sweeping generalizations about that just as you have about “atheists”. Could it be that Terry Firma doesn’t publish under that name? As a “Research Associate of behavioral economics at Duke University” you should know better. I am also wondering if this story was published in another source.

      • Mario Strada

        I don;t know what’s going on Carmelita. This could be Disqus mixing up profile pics. Look at the posted times of the posts with the same pic and the writing styles. I think something went wrong.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        When someone with an account posts under their name, then deletes their own post, the post remains, but is then attributed to “Guest”. I feel it likely that he realized that he was still logged in from commenting elsewhere, didn’t want to get “caught”, because his anonymous posts are in direct contradiction to the movement he claims to be part of, and tried to cover his tracks. Nice catch!

      • VladChituc

        oh that’s weird, i mean i wrote that more or less just as soon as i read this sensationalist garbage still pretty hot about it, realized it wasnt really a productive contribution and that i didnt particularly want to get into a heated back and forth on some comment thread so i decided to remove my comment. i dont know why it just took my name off it so *shrugs*

        and considering terry firma takes unsourced tabloid articles as evidence (it hasnt been published by another source, unless you count a copy paste-job at the daily mail; feel free to google it) for the fact that religion causes suicide (which is actually counter to more or less all available evidence showing a reverse relationship between religiosity and suicide [.e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15569904), i’m feeling pretty skeptical that he’s ever written anything of journalistic value anywhere nearly so reputable. i just asked for something to back it up, which doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

    • islandbrewer

      Hey, are you this *cough* “chill wave” anti-atheist atheist?

      https://twitter.com/VladChituc

      The one who, with fatheist Chris Stedman, so despises “cultural atheism”?

      Edit: Oooh! Downvote!

      • VladChituc

        yeah I get upset and have a problem with a group of people who exploit the death of a 12 year old girl to further their political agendas weird right

        also 1) did you actually just use faitheist derogatorily and unironically wow 2) i dont see what chris has to do with this at all and our views aren’t interchangealbe weird right and 3) neither of us are anti-atheist at all. im mostly just anti-exploiting-the-deaths-of-12-year-olds-to-score-cheap-points-against-religion.

        • islandbrewer

          Is merely pointing out that, but for the belief in an afterlife, that there’s s good possibility that this girl may not have committed suicide, exploitation? Is there any way that this news could be reported without you taking umbrage and decrying the exploitation of her death (at the same time, without batting an eye, questioning its veracity)?

          Does “chillwave” mean you’re incapable of forming coherent sentences, or writing with slightest bit of clarity or precision, or using punctuation? (1) If you interpret “faitheist” in a derogatory manner, it says more about you than it says about me. I’d ask for some sort of coherent narrative on that, but I can see your attention span might not hold out. (2) Never said Stedman had anything to do with this, nor that you were “interchangealbe weird right.” Stop and read more carefully. (3) In addition to what I’ve read from you, these comments are consist with your disapproval with most atheist criticism of religion.

          Again, how is this somehow an invalid story whose mere mention is some sort of exploitation? You’ve failed to articulate how this is exploitation. It may be “unchill” to do so, I realize.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Kinda like Ray comfort, who exploits people’s suicides all the time and gleefully points out that they are atheists?

    • Oranje

      Hashtags? Those aren’t even ironic here. That’s something akin to being a suburban hipster.

      Also, whining.

  • busterggi

    Death cult leads to death. Bottom line.

  • Chas Swedberg

    I’m not putting any weight to this story despite that it may align with my views about religion. Has anyone found a source (local, Polish, and/or not a juiced-up tabloid) that sheds more light on this tragedy? All I’ve found are stories in British and other European press that restates the same points.

  • David McNerney

    I just can’t blame religion for this – in fact, I’d go one step further and say that blaming religion is actually a dangerous idea.

    If there were no religion in the world, you cannot say that this girl wouldn’t be dead anyway. Religion gave her the narrative to justify her suicide – but she would have found a justification nevertheless. She was clearly a child going through some serious problems without the emotional support she needed. (Now, maybe religion is responsible for that – it wouldn’t be the first time – but it doesn’t say that in the news story).

    • Mario Strada

      Not religion in general, but a religion that tells the little girl that her Dad’s in heaven now and looking down on her may very well have given her the idea.

      I know that even I would have a huge issue telling a little girl that just lost her dad that heaven does not exist and that most likely her dad no longer exists and she is never going to see him again. But at the same time had she been told that, probably she would not have taken the step she did..

      This is assuming a bunch of things, of course, starting with the veracity of the story and so on.

      • verysmartatheist

        what if she is not into any religion, but believe afterlife, what fedora forum will subject about? her stupidity?

        • Oranje

          Dammit, Bing…

    • mutie

      Of course we can’t form a solid set of thoughts on an unrealized reality. But we can reasonably say, based on the evidence, that she was willing to do anything to be with her father, and her religion taught her she could indeed be with him … by dying. Is there any evidence she was just sad and wanted life to end? Nope. She didn’t kill herself because she was merely sad … she killed herself because she wanted to see her dad again, and that idea is wholly invented by her religion.

    • JT Rager

      In this case I think you can certainly blame the religious teachings. Heaven is a very real thing according to most Christians. And it seems pretty apparent that the whole reason she killed herself was to see her dad again. I’m sure she was distraught and possibly mentally unstable due to losing her father, but she hasn’t seemed to state in her note that she was doing it to see him again. Not because she couldn’t take life anymore, etc. I certainly think she wouldn’t have killed herself without the teaching of Heaven in her life.

      • Kodie

        According to the article, the child’s suicide note said only, “Dear Mum. Please don’t be sad. I just miss daddy so much, I want to see him again.”

        It is really easy to see what you want to see in this story, but that note doesn’t really say it all explicitly. “I want to see him again,” sure. But someone can miss someone so bad and hurt so much that they’d also rather die than go on. I said below, I’m skeptical of this story.

  • Jeff See

    After having been a believer, I can’t remember what I thought was so great about heaven. You are there, forever, in the body you died in. If your a child, you never to get to age, or grow up. If you’re old and withered, you won’t have any more pain or sadness or sorrow (sing along!), but you are still shrunken, broken over, and saggy. And what do you do while you’re there? Nothing but wallow in God’s glory forever? Everyone talks about how so-and-so went to heaven, but the reality is, you don’t know who is going to make the cut. And even then, there are only 144,000 spots to fight over.

    And the sad part is, the poor little girl was never going to get to heaven with suicide; I guess the ones who indoctrinated her, dropped the ball there. I feel bad for her, because she obviously loved her daddy. Then, on the other hand, if those who were in her life, could only do ‘that good’ of a job in seeing to her, I guess you could suppose a silver lining of sorts, and state that at least her life, now, won’t get any worse.

    • Itarion

      I thought there was something about receiving a “perfect” body once you get there. This makes me wonder how the hell you recognize anyone once you’re there, but I’m sure that there’s a way around that, too.

      • Jeff See

        It’s another one of those things, were what you think happens depends on how you read it. Some say that the 144,000 spots in heaven are for the Jews, and the Christians will get the ‘new Heaven, and the New Earth’ that comes along after tribulation. Then again, Jesus says you’ll sit at his right hand, next to God’s right hand. So really, who knows?

      • C Peterson

        I’d guess QR codes on everyone’s forehead. With billions to manage (assuming a non-evil god) the angels must have been designed primarily as bureaucrats.

        • Mario Strada

          There is an app for that

        • Itarion

          After all, “angel” does mean messenger. This could be why there have been no recent miracles: all of the angels are caught up in the bureaucracy of managing the dead people.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            There’s a reasonably successful webcomic, Misfile, whose entire premise is an angel screwing up the paperwork and wrecking things for some living people.

            (I suspect its success has a lot to do with its being a transgender comic, but it has some good conflicts. It’s just so verdammt slow that I consider it better to only catch up a couple of times a year.)

            • Itarion

              Thank you so very much for sharing this webcomic. It is very good, and not just the transgender part.

        • Obazervazi

          A non-evil god? You’re joking, right?

        • Cousin Ricky

          No, that can’t be. That’s the Mark of the Beast, remember? ;-)

  • John Pombrio

    I am with David M’s post. This was a decision based in depression, not religion. She needed psychiatric help which can be hard to detect unless you know the symptoms of depression. Also there is a time factor involved. This is not immediately after her father’s death. I found in my case that loss of a love one (my wife) it is about two years to go through the grieving process. There probably was other issues (school, lack of friends, puberty, drugs) that led to the suicide.
    BTW, I am an atheist and was led to this article by an atheist website.

    • verysmartatheist

      thanks, some atheist are not educated.

    • NickDB

      Religion gave her the idea, depression caused her to seek the idea.

  • A3Kr0n

    It’s hard to imagine that she didn’t consider all the people she would be leaving behind.

    • Jeff See

      If she was grieving that much, I seriously doubt that rational thought was something she had in facility.

    • pagansister

      She was 12—-and she missed her Dad. I expect Jeff See is correct, there was no rational thinking going on.

  • Just saying

    Bias much…

    • Jeff See

      When you’re reading an atheist’s blog, that is based on atheism and leans towards anti-theism when talking about stuff like this, you have to assume it’s not going to throw many ‘pro’s’ towards religion, in a topic such as this.

      Of course, calling a spade a spade, is only biased if you’ve an attachment to the spade, and have been lead to believe, all along, that it’s a rose.

  • joey_in_NC

    …well, what’s to prevent bereaved and impressionable people from offing themselves — and gaining a one-way ticket to paradise?

    Orthodox Christianity (that considers suicide a sin).

    What prevents bereaved and impressionable atheists from offing themselves, considering they think that all pain and suffering would instantly stop?

    Religion kills.

    Yeah, that’s why the vast majority of Christians are against euthanasia, while most (I’m taking a stab) liberal atheists are for it.

    • Itarion

      What prevents bereaved and impressionable atheists from offing themselves, considering they think that all pain and suffering would instantly stop?

      The fact that most people – including atheists – have more than one person upon whom they are dependent for emotional and social stability.

      Yeah, that’s why the vast majority of Christians are against euthanasia, while most (I’m taking a stab) liberal atheists are for it.

      That’s also why the vast majority of wars have religious reasoning and justification. Although that would be “xenophobia” kills, but religion is just another sort of “xeno-”.

    • Jeff See

      The “vast majority” of Christians (cert. could be useful to bolster your argument there; I know some Christians that don’t have a problem with ‘pulling the plug’ in certain cases), being against euthanasia, does not nullify the point that religion kills; had the little girl not believed her daddy was in heaven, she wouldn’t have killed herself to go be with him.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      that’s why the vast majority of Christians are against euthanasia

      Yet oddly, the vast majority of them seem to be okay with bombing civilians (active killing), attacking education (passive killing), and open-ended gun rights (active and passive killing). Not to mention such things as the religiously-informed opposition to AIDS research (because fuck those faggots), now thankfully mostly irrelevant, and working to increase the number of deaths of girls and women through opposition to reproductive health (because fuck those sluts.)

      • joey_in_NC

        I thought we were talking about suicide?

        Are you for or against euthanasia?

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          It’s my life, and my death — I ought to be able to have some control over the timing and circumstances of my death, barring a freak accident or fatal injury.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          The quote you were responding to was “Religion kills”. That opened things up quite a bit.

          I’m quite for people of sound mind not being interfered with when they choose to escape unbearable pain. One can’t morally be against a person being able to end their own life, and yet approve of that person causing someone else’s life to end.

        • NickDB

          euthanasia != suicide.

          And I’m for it.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “What prevents bereaved and impressionable atheists from offing
      themselves, considering they think that all pain and suffering would
      instantly stop?”

      When a rational mind comes to terms with the idea that this life is all there is then the rarity of one’s existence becomes exponentially valuable. There is no redo, no ‘after’, only now therefore the desire to make ‘now’ a meaningful experience is powerful. Ipso facto, the idea that the “hereafter will be better than today” is replaced with “tomorrow will be better than today”.

      Note: “rational mind” is not meant as ‘atheist’ but one that is not dealing with mental heath issues like depression, suicidal tenancies, and the like.

      • joey_in_NC

        When a rational mind comes to terms with the idea that this life is all there is then the rarity of one’s existence becomes exponentially valuable.

        Seriously? Given materialism, suicide is an extremely rational decision. When you believe that absolutely all pain and hurt would end immediately after death, then why not choose death now and end suffering instantly? You can’t argue that choosing to end pain immediately is not a rational decision.

        • Mogg

          “Given materialism…” You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          You seem to forget that with no concept of an afterlife, all good things are only available in this one, short, wondrous, non-repeatable life. Most people find that the good parts of life outweigh the pain, and many of those who do suicide are in the grip of the irrational thinking that is a common symptom of depression.

          • joey_in_NC

            “Given materialism…” You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            Nah, I know what it means. I can’t say “Given atheism…” because not all atheists are materialists. It’s technically possible for atheists to believe in souls and an afterlife.

            You seem to forget that with no concept of an afterlife, all good things are only available in this one, short, wondrous, non-repeatable life.

            No, I’m not forgetting that stuff at all. I still claim that, given no afterlife, that it is a very rational decision to end your life now and avoid any possible chance at experiencing future suffering. After all, you’ll have absolutely no regrets once you cease to exist.

            • Mogg

              Avoiding a possible chance of suffering is different to both ending guaranteed suffering, as with euthanasia, and to the guaranteed loss of experience of good things, which for most people includes the experience of life itself. Those are both things which are eminently worthy of inclusion in any rational consideration of suicide, and most people find that the likelihood of good experiences in life outweighs the chance of bad in most situations – so much so that most people are afraid of death, and will continue to struggle to live even in awful situations.

            • NickDB

              Do you live in an absolute bubble, with no one that will miss you when you’re gone?

              Or do you just not care about the pain and misery you’d inflict on others just so you can go to sleep and not feel anything? Your argument is one of the most pitiful I’ve ever read.

              • joey_in_NC

                Or do you just not care about the pain and misery you’d inflict on others just so you can go to sleep and not feel anything?

                What if I feel that no one would care if I’m gone (which contributes to my suffering)? What if there really is no one that would care? You can’t argue that such sad circumstances are not possible.

                And what if I simply don’t care about the pain and misery that I would inflict upon others by my suicide?

                And even if there are people that would care if I’m gone and I would care that they care, I obviously would no longer be concerned about it once I cease to exist. That’s simply rational.

        • TiltedHorizon

          “You can’t argue that choosing to end pain immediately is not a rational decision.”

          Sure I can. In fact I did, quite succinctly and in simple English in my post to you.

          “When you believe that absolutely all pain and hurt would end immediately after death, then why not choose death now and end suffering instantly?”

          That is a strawman. Is life “all pain and hurt”? I don’t ‘believe’ so and I suspect that neither do you. So your argument is simply an attempt to frame the question to better support your argument. Life involves “pain and hurt” but also joy, happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and all the simple and plentiful pleasures that collectively form our lives. So no, suicide is NOT an extremely rational decision.

          “Given materialism…”

          This may impress Deepak Chopra but I don’t need philosophy to know that once I close the fridge door the light inside does indeed go out.

          • joey_in_NC

            Life involves “pain and hurt” but also joy, happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and all the simple and plentiful pleasures that collectively form our lives. So no, suicide is NOT an extremely rational decision.

            But keep in mind that ultimately you’ll have absolutely no recollection/awareness of anything whatsoever (because you’ll cease to exist, duh). You won’t remember any joy, happiness, or contentment…and likewise you’ll have no recollection of any suffering or pain. Why not end your life now, and not risk the possible chance of any future suffering that could occur in this life? Either way, you won’t remember a thing and you’ll have no regrets.

            Let’s say I had a Matrix-like simulator such that you can live a fantasy life for two whole weeks. But there are two catches. The first catch is that there is a non-zero chance that you’ll experience much pain and suffering during the simulation. The second catch is that your memory of the simulation will be completely wiped clean once the simulation is finished, such that you’ll have absolutely no recollection of your two weeks in the simulator.

            Would you undergo the simulation? Would there be a point? Ultimately, the simulation would be completely pointless since you’ll have no recollection of it. So it would be a rational decision to not undergo the simulation at all.

            • TiltedHorizon

              “But keep in mind that ultimately you’ll have absolutely no recollection/awareness of anything whatsoever (because you’ll cease to exist, duh)”

              Which I addressed rather simply in my first post when I stated:

              “When a rational mind comes to terms with the idea that this life is all there is then the rarity of one’s existence becomes exponentially valuable.”

              You keep trying to bulldoze past it, hoping this boilerplate answer of “Given materialism” will find purchase so you don’t have to acknowledge its merits or work to discredit it.

              “Ultimately” is not now. Now, at this very moment, I absolutely DO have recollection/awareness of my life. Included in that “recollection/awareness” is the impact of my life on others. It does not matter if I won’t recall anything after death because right now I have the knowledge that my self inflicted death would cause undo “suffering or pain” for those I presently care about.

              So again, no, suicide is NOT an extremely rational decision.

        • Cousin Ricky

          Please do not speak for people you clearly don’t understand.

    • Alex Harman

      What prevents bereaved and impressionable atheists from offing themselves, considering they think that all pain and suffering would instantly stop?

      The fact that we don’t expect the entirety, or even the majority, of our future experiences to consist of pain and suffering. Death also ends all pleasure and joy, and most of us don’t want to give those things up. If one did realistically expect that one had only suffering to look forward to, (as, for example, a person with terminal cancer and a realistic appreciation of their prospects would), then it would indeed be rational to end one’s own life.

      • Tink Seagraves

        Explain this to a grieving 12 yr old that has been force fed false BS all her life.

        • Alex Harman

          That would be difficult; since the overriding objective in that situation would be to talk her out of suicide, not make her aware of the falsity of religion, I think a more fruitful approach would be to convince her that her father would not want her to join him in heaven before she’d had the chance to grow up and live a full life.

    • John Hunter

      Yeah ummm not all of us are for it.

    • 3lemenope

      Remember, Christ says it’s very important to get the death rattle in. It’s like that very special, very final kick in the teeth before your reward!
      ——————

      Having somewhat recently had a grandparent die, I’m a bit sensitive to people visiting, in any fashion, the moment and manner of a naturally occurring passing. Even from a believing perspective, it is the height of hubris to think you know the mind of God on the matter of whether those last five minutes of delirious agony are meaningful in any moral sense. When one’s only legal option to shorten the suffering of a person who has clearly expressed a wish to end and has nothing to look forward to but more pain is, essentially, to starve them to death because people like you have a fucking opinion about how other people’s loved ones should die, I question whether you possess an iota of empathy.

      About three in four Americans support end-of-life euthanasia be made available. Since I’m sure you’re aware of the ballpark percentage of Christians in the American population, it’s fair to say you don’t speak for Christianity in this matter, and for that I am grateful.

      • joey_in_NC

        I misspoke when I stated euthanasia. What I meant was suicide in general.

        My sincere condolences about your grandparent.

        • NickDB

          Oh so now liberal atheist are for suicide in general? You really are a bit of a moron.

          • joey_in_NC

            I thought most liberal atheists hold the “absolute right to bodily autonomy” sacrosanct? So are you suggesting that bodily autonomy only applies to abortion but nothing else?

            • 3lemenope

              I can’t speak directly for liberal atheists, but in my experience in studying political science, the most common orientation of folks towards bodily autonomy is that it is an important value, certainly, but only one out of a constellation of such values, few if any of which could be understood as being held in an absolute fashion.

              You’d have a hard time finding liberals of any metaphysical opinion who support unrestricted abortion after the third trimester, or try to overthrow large social institutions (like prison, or the military) that depend in some essential sense on disregarding bodily autonomy as a paramount value.

        • 3lemenope

          I owe you an apology for my intemperance. Euthanasia is one of very few topics where I barely am capable and even less often willing to speak on in a temperate fashion (ironically, suicide is one of the others). I am passingly tempted to ask your opinion of euthanasia as opposed to suicide in general, but I think that would be a bad plan as a result of my emotional orientation to these issues.

          So I will merely say thank you for the condolences and I’m sorry for the “…because people like you have a fucking opinion about…” jab.

          • joey_in_NC

            I owe you an apology for my intemperance.

            No apology needed. I try to be cautious when broaching such sensitive topics, and often I’m not cautious and/or sensitive enough. That being said, I think I’ll bow out of this discussion.

    • Tink Seagraves

      You fool heartedly assume that all atheists are liberals.

    • NickDB

      “What prevents bereaved and impressionable atheists from offing
      themselves, considering they think that all pain and suffering would
      instantly stop?”

      The knowledge that this is it, if we die no more joy, love, peace, companionship, music, life, laughter …………….

      In other words what stops us from committing suicide even when times are dark is the knowledge that life is special and wonderful and we only get one shot at it. No matter how bad it might seem now.

      You really don’t get it do you? Life is for more precious without the promise of getting a second shot.

      • joey_in_NC

        Life is for more precious…

        If you’re suggesting that life being “precious” is an objective truth, and that purposely ending your own life is an objective wrong…then I agree with you.

        But if you think that life being “precious” is just a subjective opinion…well, opinions can differ. Why should your opinion of my life trump my opinion of my own life?

        • TiltedHorizon

          “If you’re suggesting… ”

          Actually NickDB is ‘stating’ that life is for more precious without the promise of getting a second shot. It really is not that hard to understand.

  • Nick Mordowanec

    She’s in a for a rude awakening.

    • Jim Jones

      She’s in for none.

  • Guest

    I wonder what the “Jesus Is Real” people think about this?

    • LesterBallard

      “Heaven Is Real”, I meant. I always get my made up shit confused.

  • Anna

    This is why I think it’s dangerous to promote afterlife fantasies. I can understand wanting to comfort a grieving child, but children do not have to believe in an afterlife. I’m a lifelong atheist, and I never believed in one. Encouraging children to believe their deceased loved ones are still alive somewhere strikes me as cruel, and in this case it turned out to be deadly.

    • wesvvv

      The loophole plugging, but, but, you go to hell for killing yourself is so clearly only that.

  • rwerdja

    I was in third grade visiting my friend (neighbor) Johnny .. his mom sat us down in the den and told us both about heaven .. complete with merry-go-rounds, balloons and candy .. then she got up and left us alone .. we both talked about killing ourselves to go to this grand place. I think the reason we didn’t is because something in me (common sense?) said she might be full of shit.

  • Ian Battles

    And religion claims another life.

  • anymity

    This is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Religion isn’t toxic.

    • yeeeeeeee

      yes it is, if a girl committing suicide because of stupid fairy tales is not “toxic” to you, then you are fucking stupid

    • Tink Seagraves

      Then tell me what good came of this tragic death. What was YOUR god’s plan for this and how do you settle it on your conscious?

    • Tink Seagraves

      Also I just have to say it is fucking spelled “anonymity” for the next time you need to hunt and peck out your fake screen name. You make me nauseated!

    • NickDB

      Wow, which planet do you live on that Religion isn’t toxic? World Trade center still standing in your dimension?

  • MWeez

    One has to wonder what the remaining family will go on believing… that the father and daughter are waiting together in heaven for the rest of the family? Or will they give up on that story after this? My family was Ukrainian Orthodox and my aunt committed suicide at 29 (I was 19 at the time). I remember family members asking the priest if our relative was in hell… what a tap-dance. Of course no one wants to believe their beloved relative is in hell, but as we all know, it’s “pick & choose” for most good “Christian” folk.

  • Noelle

    When my mother died at the tender age of 40, after 2 painful years of cancer, she left behind 6 children. 5 biological, plus the step-daughter she helped raise. We were 16, 14, 13, 9, 6, and 3. I am the oldest. Some of the worst things people said to us were the well-meant religious things that thoughtless religious people say. I imagine this girl heard the same. Your father is in a better place now. God loved your dad so much he called him home early. Your dad is watching you from heaven and still loves you. It was God’s will that your dad is in heaven now. You will see your dad in heaven again some day and you will have all sorts of wonderful times forever with him.

    And on and on you hear these things. And if you have reached the cognitive developmental stage to detect and understand bullshit, then maybe it doesn’t fuck you up so much. But if you are too young, and your brain hasn’t developed to that point of abstract thought and metacognition, then hanging yourself in your bedroom when you have a day that you’re missing dad might be a twisted and tragic option.

    When a child loses a parent at a young age, their grief does not look like an adult’s grief. He or she may look perfectly happy and normal. If only given religious sayings to fall back on and not real grief counseling for an extended period of time, a child won’t know appropriate coping skills and the language to express loss. And with each new phase of childhood and growth, the grief is felt fresh and new. 8 and 12 are hugely different phases. She went from young girl to adolescent. She hit a new phase, and should be expected to experience the old loss as painful and fresh as if it had just happened. Had she been given real skills to cope with this, her suicide should have never happened.

  • Harhuehar

    This is the most pitiful circlejerk I’ve ever seen.

    • MaslowK

      As an atheist, I agree. For a group of people who regard the idea of sky wizards as nonsense, these guys sure are quick to make a bogey man out of the nonsense.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      We’ll just have to take your word that you’ve been in so many circlejerks as to be considered an authority on them.

  • AgnosticPerson

    This is all under the assumption that she wouldn’t have killed herself anyway, as she obviously was made emotionally unstable by the death of her father. So you cannot say she’d still be alive if she didn’t believe in God, as it’s probable she could have killed herself anyway. I’d also point out the Bible states that suicide is not rewarded with heaven. She was misinformed by her fellow Christians about her own religion. Christianity as a whole can’t be blamed for it.

    • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

      Well, gosh, it’s a good thing he wrote “she’d probably be alive today,” [em. added] then, isn’t it?

    • Tink Seagraves

      לזיין אותך אלוהים

  • pagansister

    Totally sad. Her poor family. I do wonder it the family will change their ideas about “heaven” How do you reconcile a 12 year old child taking her own life and what they taught her about a “better place”?

  • nkendall

    Am I the only one who instantly found it odd that a 12 year old knew how to hang themselves? Well, it is probably not THAT hard, what with the internet, but seriously… to do it well and to do it quick is supposed to be very, very difficult.

    I can’t imagine a little girl getting it right, or a mother not hearing anything at all if it went wrong.

    • Conuly

      I’ve never understood how anybody kills themselves via hanging, for just that reason.

      • Tink Seagraves

        For most the remove the ability to save themselves by being off the floor and kicking the “chair” away as the jump. I would have to guarantee that each and every individual that hung themselves were sorry they did it a nano second after the rope pulls tight. That’s also something to think about. Because of religion this girl hung herself and most certainly than not her very last thought was how much she wished she hadn’t jumped, how much she wished someone could save her.. or some variation. YAY god and his “there’s a reason for everything” To censor from young eyes you will have to translate my last sentence from Hebrew לזיין אותך אלוהים

    • FTP_LTR

      Even if it is very, very difficult to do well and quick, there’s still a chance of getting it right. And it only takes one attempt if that ‘chance’ comes up first time.

      A twelve year old probably isn’t such a ‘little girl’ as you’d think.

    • Guest

      My 13 year old cousin committed suicide by hanging, slashing her wrists and over dose. They can learn all they want from TV or the internet. There is no difference between 12 and 13.

  • michał

    It is probably a story from Poland (my country). I guess, because the names sound Polish. In Poland, we have a catholic hell. Bishops tell extremely stupid things, insult people (including priest rape victims), and President is in favor of the Polish catholic leader. No hope :(

  • Peter Naus

    ‘Toxic’ says it all. What a terrible waste of a beautiful life. And I’m referring to the deadly brainwashing she was subjected to prior to her awful death.

  • Helene

    Even though I am atheist, even militantly so, I think it’s a bit inappropriate to use this girl’s sad ending to fight religion. Even when people don’t believe in afterlife, death can seem like a way to get closer to a loved lost one. I think this is tasteless.

    • John Hunter

      She wrote in her suicide note that she killed herself so she could be with her father. She believed it because religion put the idea in her head. Sure she was sad but she didn’t do it because she just wanted to end the pain, she did it specifically to get to heaven.

    • GeraardSpergen

      It would certainly be inappropriate to post comments like this on her memorial page – certainly not inappropriate to expose dangerous religious nonsense on a site dedicated for doing just that.

  • Justin Kaylor

    Except she committed suicide, so she’s going to Hell for eternity, separated from her father. Such a comforting thing religion is.

    • Mark

      Nobody in going to their hell as their god man Jesus has not come back again to allow them to go there. They forget to tell people at funerals. This is child abuse, filling a child full of these silly beliefs.

  • Tink Seagraves

    This makes me so sad and angry. I just want to shout and scream … the things I would say to people that spew this made up drivel .. well it wouldn’t be very kind or PG so I won’t.
    In “his people’s” language it would look something like this:

    לזיין אותך אלוהים

  • Fuck off

    Wow are you seriously attacking her? Yes, maybe religion brought her to suicide but why are you going to condescend on her? It isn’t her fault death was more comforting than being without her father. It’s people like you that make atheism look like any other religion. This, by far, is the worst thing I’ve ever heard come from the mind of a “logical thinker.” If there was a god, may he shame you.

    • John Hunter

      He wasn’t condescending her. He was talking about how religion gave her the idea that her farther was in heaven and she killed herself so she could get to heaven. He’s talking about the negative impact of telling children about the unproven ideas of heaven. For all we know there is no heaven and she just killed herself for no reason.

  • Shawn

    There are also plenty of cases where a religion or belief in God comforted and prevented people from committing suicide.

    • Mark

      It just delays the grief in loss. You are just filling them with false hope instead of letting them accept someone it no longer there. It is more cruel.

  • St. GoFuckYourself

    No, her parents didn’t teach her enough. I’m personally not a religious person, but i was raised to be, and suicide is not okay. This may of had more to do with trauma after her dad died, and the fact that its pretty clear who her favorite parent was.

    write about terrorists. Not those guys, they don’t give a fuck. They’ll rape a baby in front of its family then shoot it, in the name of religion(of course).

  • exoraluna

    In the ’60s , i was young. Religion (LDS) was saying the the end is here. Jesus was coming back and that was the end of the world as we know it.

    Being depressed and sad, I thought it would be easier for me to die than wait for jesus. I attempted suicide. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to do it, So I just took all the medications in the house, thinking that that would do it. It did not (obviously). I was taken to the hospital and had my stomach pumped.

    Religion had given me the false notion that when Jesus came back, there is no need to live, because we would already be in heaven.

    I fell away from religion esp. LDS, for lying to me. Today, I know better. I also know that in Utah, where LDS is the prevailing religion and the hardships put upon the children to be perfect, teen suicide is high.

    I cannot understand why some of the comments here cannot believe that a child would take her life, if things are better in heaven.

    Sad that this family did not get proper grief counseling. Sad that this family is held tightly in the grips of religion.

  • Norberto Clemente

    Blaming religion is like blaming the knife, not the one who is handling it.

    • FTP_LTR

      In this case, the one handling the knife was 12, with the knife telling her that she could see her father again.

      • Norberto Clemente

        You are right in saying religion says that, however doesn’t say that you should commit suicide to meet people on the other side. On other hand, is it so hard to understand that a 12 year old girl in her right state of mind would never do what she did?

    • Mark

      Is this blaming the victim again? She was 12 years old!!! This is child abuse, teaching a child these fairy stories. The suicide bombers are doing the same thing, I assume you do not believe it is not religions fault here?

      • Norberto Clemente

        Okay, let me see, how frequently do you see cases like this among christians? on other hand, have you considered the fact that a 12 year old in a proper state of mind and with the expected support from her mother through the crisis would have never committed suicide? not to mention with the right knowledge of the Bible that doesn’t say anywhere that you are allowed to do it. I think that NOT religion but the WRONG concept of it together with a very bad parenting, and MAYBE some trauma or serious psychological damage are the ones who conducted this girl to suicide and I also believe something else… that a strong atheist perception is impeding anybody here to look at the fact that this is a very isolated case with CLEARLY deeper causes.

        • Atheism

          The bible doesn’t say anywhere that you’re not allowed to do it.

  • MrHillbillyj .

    i wish the best for her mother and brother.

  • Taneli Huuskonen

    I found the story in Polish media. A few things seem to have changed in translation.

    According to the Polish article, the girl had gone to her room explaining she wanted to read a book, and later on, her mother had started wondering why the girl was staying there so long all alone. No suicide note was found. The connection to the father’s death was the mother’s speculation. The police are investigating the girl’s computer and diaries, not releasing any information at the moment. So… the article was more like “based on a true story”, with the link to religion apparently pulled out of thin air.

  • cjh

    not so friendly, despite the moniker

  • Abbé Faria

    It’s like the mother who drowned her children before they reached the age of accountability so that they would go to heaven instead of gambling on them keeping their faith and remaining sin free until they were adults. If you follow her worldview it doesn’t only make sense, it would be cruel to let the children grow up and possibly deprive them of heaven.

    • Norberto Clemente

      Really? how does madness sounds for you? yes, it makes an insane sense.

  • Norberto Clemente

    Strangely enough, I’ve heard numerously cases of people that are about to commit suicide and when found religion have changed their minds. This is a very isolated case among christians and not precisely something that the Bible says you should do, in my opinion causes for this case go deeper and clearly that girl wasn’t in a proper state of mind.

  • Gabriele Logozzo

    Religion kill? Please.
    Lack of education, perhaps?

    PEOPLE kill people: not gun, not politic, nor money.
    People kill people.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      PEOPLE kill people: not gun

      This is far from a correct perspective, given that homicide rates are dramatically lower when gun ownership is restricted. People ASSAULT; guns make it horrifically more likely that murder will occur.

      • Gabriele Logozzo

        Perhaps, gun ownership is more free where people are more… aggressive? :)

        A gun, alone, cannot kill.
        We must take own responsability about our action.

  • Dawn

    This is a British tabloid. They will take the shortest route to sensationalism and damn the truth if it gets in the way. And yet the vast majority of comments, not to mention “Terry Firm”, seem to think it somehow tells us something profound about religion?
    It’s a shaky anecdote that confirms everyone’s bias. No rational or critical thinking needed.
    This post and the responses say nothing meaningful about the child or religion but everything about this blog and it’s commenters.

    • Taneli Huuskonen

      Upvoted, even though I think your brush is too wide. Some commenters have expressed doubts, and I’ve seen better fact-checking on the blog itself.

    • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

      It’s a shame that the Weekly World News stopped publishing in 2007. The Friendly Atheist would have had such a fertile wellspring of objective reporting at its command.

  • Leezer

    Religion kills? If she’s Christian, religion states that she won’t get into heaven if she kills herself.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Raising your children in a death cult…what could possibly go wrong?

  • Deanjay1961

    That poor, confused girl. What an unnecessary tragedy.

  • Seed

    http://www.se.pl/wydarzenia/kraj/marysia-kiso-z-leszna-powiesia-sie-bo-chciaa-byc-z-tata_361855.html if you all want to know bit more you just must to translate from polish to english but here you can read that father died on hart attack but in polish paper you read that dad was killed whit his mistress

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Thank you.

  • Hannah

    Look, I lost my father when I was seven. Yes, it was hard. Yes, I still cry. Yes, I am a Christian, as is my entire family.
    Anyone who commits suicide has underlying issues; religion is not at fault. Without my God, I would be in a very bad place right now, but He has lead me in the right path and I am grateful. Children in my family and church are taught to live for Christ and die to sin, to love others and carry on through troubled times as a light in the darkness, and to pray for peace and wisdom. Suicide is wrong in many ways, whether it means you end up in heaven or not.
    Don’t pretend that a child who kills herself for heaven is proof that religion is evil. A child who kills herself for any reason is proof that this world is full of sinful and misguided individuals who need God, proof that everyone should be careful how they word things, no matter what religion they are.
    People have killed themselves for the reason that they believe life is meaningless, people who believe there is no god. It changes nothing. He is there and He loves us.

    • Kodie

      Doesn’t religion teach you that earthly life is actually meaningless and that the goal is to get to heaven? First of all, that’s made up, and it’s not actually comforting at all to people who don’t believe in it, and unless you take care to teach the whole superstition, killing yourself to get to heaven where you think your dead loved ones live seems like the right way to go about things. So, basically, religion is playing with fire. It might be comforting to a young child that their parent is in a better place and not to fear death, but to go along with this lesson, you have to caution against joining them. It’s all to make death less scary to little children, then they won’t be scared to kill themselves in order to get to that better place; without then teaching them to be afraid of another imaginary place, hell, and bringing up the sensitive subject of suicide would seem to point a child in the direction of deciding to kill themselves.

      It actually seems to me there is a taboo about suicide, like, if you bring it up, it gives someone the idea they didn’t have already – just like you think talking and teaching about sex encourages people to do it (rather than supposed they do have independent thoughts and drives). You can’t really bring up to an 8-year-old, “Daddy went to heaven and heaven is awesome, and if you live right, you’ll go there to be with him someday, but don’t cheat by killing yourself or you’ll burn in hell!!!!” Scaring someone at a sensitive time in their life just seems like, well, ignoring the prospect of a child considering death to be an advantage, and then working out how to kill themselves secretly.

      But anyway, all I’ve heard from Christians is they kind of can’t wait to get off this planet, but they’ve been taught to wait until god calls them, unless they are going for some kind of surgery, in which case, hardly any are actually at peace with dying, and put it off as long as they can. But earth life is shit! They don’t really want to die, but they hate earth and can’t wait to die.

      Also, you are invoking the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, and saying there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a Christian, and that nobody who is a true Christian kills themselves, and only people who believe there’s no god feel suicidal or go through with it. How many suicides have true Christians (anyone who calls themselves a Christian, in my experience, earnestly believes they are one, as much as you do) caused by taunting and bullying gay people?

      Do you realize how smug you are, by the way?

  • Easter Claus

    The Mirror article is so strangely worded that I’m skeptical of the conclusions it makes–uses emotional words and editorializes so much that it seems like trolling the religious crowd instead of journalism. Why wasn’t the story reported by more (and more reputable) sources?

  • dub step

    without knowing the background it is impossible to judge to child. she mourned him four years after he went means nothing different, everyone knows people deal with grief in different ways, she probably did this right after his or her own birthday or a special day they had together.

    probably her life was getting pretty bad or she was having a down day and she found some pictures of the good times they spent together … it could of been anything.

    so sorry for the rest of the family cant imagine how or what there going through losing someone in such a way

  • sandchigger

    “If heaven is a better place where you’ll be reunited in great happiness with all the dead people you once loved… well, what’s to prevent bereaved and impressionable people from offing themselves — and gaining a one-way ticket to paradise?”

    And that is why the Catholic church made suicide a mortal sin in the 13th century.

  • Tom

    Reading my wife the story and I’m saying how horrible it is…she jokingly replies “didn’t anyone tell her she’s going to hell.” And my wife’s mom thinks I’m a heathen for being an atheist.

  • Joe

    If you read the article, the girl did not say she was going to Heaven. For all we know when she was 7, which was when her dad died, she could been told “He is in a better place” or “He is not here anymore” or anything else like that. Those phrases are used both by religious and non religious people alike.

  • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

    But wait, let me think about this a bit. So, most atheists believe that
    death is simply the end: no awareness and hence, no pain and no
    suffering. Now, wouldn’t that present an attractive option to someone
    locked in the misery of chronic grief and depression? One bullet to the
    head or a mouthful of sleeping pills and the cessation of one’s torment
    lies only a few heartbeats away…

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Atheism is not a philosophy or moral or ethical position, and says nothing about dealing with loss.

      • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

        Nearly all atheists I have known do not believe in an afterlife or any supernatural phenomenon. I have no doubt that that there are atheists who believe otherwise. Nevertheless, they tend to be in the minority. And so, my statement stands.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          What a person’s cultural and family upbringing says about death and dying matters even when the supernatural is not invoked, though. Atheists’ lack of belief in an afterlife doesn’t make them immune to the buildup of philosophy and mores that form the environment in which they’re raised.

          [cheapshot]This is why we see the phenomemon of atheist neocons.[/cheapshot]

          • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

            What a person’s cultural and family upbringing says about death and dying matters even when the supernatural is invoked, though. Religious people’s belief in an afterlife doesn’t make them immune to the buildup of philosophy and mores that form the environment in which they’re raised.

            Which is why people shouldn’t jump to the conclusions that they have made regarding the news article in question. Upbringing and local culture provide for a lot of variation in how both religion and atheism are expressed. However, when I make analogous generalizations about atheism regarding these matters, people in this comment thread become upset and think I’m being unfair. Many qualifications are made to explain why my generalizations are not true… a practice that is always easier to do for your own group but far more difficult to do when describing a group you do not belong to. It’s usually much easier to form negative generalizations about members of a group different from your own.

      • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

        Also, speaking as someone who has been borderline suicidal and had identified as an atheist for quite a while (I id as an agnostic, now—not that that has a very different impact in this context), the notion that one’s pain will end because there might very well be nothing after this life, is a very attractive option when you are sinking into a bottomless pit of despair and your emotions are ripping you apart from within. A part of you just wants the pain to end… forever. It’s a terrible place to be in, but the pain is so incredibly awful that non existence seems preferable. The main thing that kept me from killing myself in college was the fear of how physically painful it might be. My hope was to somehow die in my sleep.

        I imagine that having the common Christian notion that suicide ends in eternal torture would tend to make suicide a far less attractive option. I didn’t have that “impediment”.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Speak for yourself please

          • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

            Oh, so I should speak for myself but it’s OK to make massive negative generalizations about a religion based upon this news story?

            Sure thing.

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              Well someone has their tail in a knot. Unbunch it, and you’ll feel a lot better.

  • Bob

    Why are Atheists more obsessed with religion than most religious folk. And conveniently obsessed more so with Christians than Muslims. Never hear you guys cutting down Hindu or Buddhist. You guys spend a disproportionate amount of time on the easy target. Show Christians that you are equal opportuntiy Atheists. Lets see you spend time quoting other religion’s scripture, then disrespect it with your banter, not likely. There 277 comments at the time this post. Do you guys really spend this much life running down the faith of others. Wow what a sad existence. I assume Bill Maher is your hero. Enjoy your hobby.

    • pagansister

      I do.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Why do Christians like yourself spend all your time seeking out strangers on the Internet in order to insult them? And why are you so pathetic that you comment on sites you know nothing about, blithely demonstrating your ignorance of what is actually going on, then flounce away like wee cowards?

      Don’t bother answering that last one. It’s “because you already knew you were wrong before you posted. You’re just desperate for something to say.”

    • Kodie

      It’s the people.

  • Nick in Denver

    Your unbelief is your own, but beware the ultimate sin:

    Matthew 18:6

    but
    whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it
    would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    Beware God’s wrath.

    • TiltedHorizon

      “Beware God’s wrath.”

      Reason 1,235,244,462,864,001 why I don’t believe. I am unmotivated by fear or reward, any attempt to motivate me using these tactics means that the all-knowing entity does not know me at all. Tell me why I should ‘believe’ again?

  • Blaack Funch

    ”Religion”, Christians thank you for existing… . . without you, the earth with be over populated…


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