The boy was bullied because of his Christian belief. The book was not a part of the curriculum. Why was it suggested to this one student? I fight bullies everyday and this is an example of it. He should have been sent to Catholic or some other private school.
However the father made this statement: Here's another thing," he continued. "If my son was a professing homosexual, and a professor challenged him to read [a book called] 'Preventing Homosexuality'… If my son was gay and [the book] made him feel bad, hopeless, and he killed himself, and that came out in the press, there would be an outcry.
There is such a book. It's called the bible, and people use it to attack me every day.
I don't know if that is entirely true. You take for instance, that Christians base their lives on the idea that God is real and is going to come back and it gives them hope... he very well could have been depressed but at some point he is given evidence against it, he cannot refute it, he loses faith and figures there isn't anything to live for.
He ponders why the entire world has lied to him, that would be enough to make me extremely depressed, now he is extremely depressed, he has no reason to live, he cannot talk to anyone about it because he is afraid of what they might say so...
He goes and shoots himself in the woods because he read a book. Regardless of what book he read and what order they were read it.
Religions are a dangerous thing and it seems that the Koran is enough to make thousands of people happily kill themselves.
So, the statement that 1 book cannot make you kill yourself is false.
As the article reported, he was consistently being challenged of his beliefs, perhaps ever since he started debating about them. And the book might have been long...maybe even killing his faith one chapter after another, making him depressed even more. I say the father has the right to complain, if it is true that a teacher challenged the student "in class" to read the book despite it not being included in the curriculum. The teacher should have seen the consequences of his (or her) actions. Even if Jesse is already 22, this is an issue of responsible and ethical teaching practice.
It's easy to fall into the "He should not have killed himself for just a book...it's just a book" kind of thinking. But we should always look at other people's perspectives. The important thing to note here is that the book is a medium to transmit a message. It has propaganda. It's no different when parents blame the media for their anorexic teen.
At one point in our lives we find ourselves broken, with a single principle that holds us and glues the pieces together. In Jesse's case, that principle was shattered. He probably tried to look for help, or tried to fix it himself, but to no avail. He lost hope of everything. Maybe he wasn't that strong. Maybe the book was just too strong. Or maybe he didn't find help when help was needed.
This is not about Christianity and Atheism. Again, this is an issue of responsible and ethical teaching practice.
Hi Pam. I read the entire article and I think I can suggest a reason why it represents “news we never heard.”
Where was the outcry? Unless I missed something, only one person asserts that a book reading assignment from a college professor is responsible for his son’s suicide. This is a tragic story but no one seems to really know the reason why this young man took his own life. Usually in cases of suicide, the deceased leaves a note but there is no mention of a note in this article. You and I, and the rest of Hubberville, can offer theories until the cows come home and, in the end, we will still not know the cause of his action.
Your theory, Pam, if I read you correctly, is that he killed himself because he was “bullied” by non-Christians. That may be a valid theory. We all know that bullies are everywhere. Yet, it remains an unsupported theory subject to acceptance or rejection by others. We also know that one of the goals of college is to encourage students to find their own evidence to support their beliefs and not to blindly accept arguments that they have not examined and validated for themselves. In this environment, it seems natural for a professor to suggest additional reading to one student who challenges the validity of arguments found in the reading assigned to the students as a whole.
I found two other opinions of Mr. Kilgore to be very interesting. He is quoted, "This guy was his best friend, and about the only other Christian on campus.” Is he saying he really believes that his son and his friend were the only two Christians in the student body? The other point is when “he suggested the moral is for Christians simply to abandon public schools wholly.” This conclusion seems to be a huge leap to make for someone who begins with the feeling that a book reading assignment from one college professor is responsible for his son’s suicide.
Thanks for the link to this article, Pam. It is always interesting to read about things not widely covered in the more popular media.
Outrage at what? It is a very sad thing that this young man commited suicide but it most certainly was not the fault of the teacher, the school, the education system or the author of the book. He was obviously a very troubled and confused young man. If we are going to blame any of the afore mentioned why not blame the father who obviously painted such a harsh picture of what it meant to be a Christian that the boy, when he had trouble, felt that he could not discuss his concerns with Dad. I am not saying that Dad was to blame I am mearly pointing out that the kind of logic employed to get to the conclusion that any of the entities mentioned could or should be held accountable can be used to to plant the seeds of doubt on anyone this boy had contact with. At the end of the day only he and God know for certain what happened.
I had not heard of this. That is very sad. I agree with some that a book could not make a person kill themselves, but that is a straw man. The question is influence, not determinism. For a young man who is dealing with life's issues, is atheism likely to lead to hope or despair? Atheism is not usually associated with being a "hopeful" point of view and I doubt is going to help a younger man as he struggles with life's issues, especially a man that want's a life that's not just free, but meaningful.
From the atricle "Here's another thing," he continued. "If my son was a professing homosexual, and a professor challenged him to read [a book called] 'Preventing Homosexuality'… If my son was gay and [the book] made him feel bad, hopeless, and he killed himself, and that came out in the press, there would be an outcry.
"He would have been a victim of a hate crime and the professor would have been forced to undergo sensitivity training, and there may have even been a wrongful death lawsuit.
"But because he's a Christian, I don't even get a return telephone call," the father told WND.
That's so true and would have led the charge, Maddie.
Says you. But some people find their reason to live in "farce." If it keeps people good, happy, and alive, don't knock it.
I wouldn't blame Dawkins' book for this. It's just incidental. It's fairly apparent that the boy was depressed. However, some people find materialist atheism, the idea that this world with its fleeting pleasures and abundant hard knocks is all there is and there is nothing better, nothing perfect, depressing.
As for teaching practice, if religion has no place in public schools, neither does atheism. The professor had no business promoting his belief or lack thereof over any other.
Obviously the young man was depressed. We are not talking about grade school or high school, but university level learning. At this point, as an adult, one should have the ability to think for one's self and critically analyze theories and what they mean to your own world outlook.
This article was written with a certain biased point of view in mind.
I am a theist, but I don't want to be lumped in with those who would promote such a view of 'Christian' victimization and quote, quote, 'values' instruction.
Yes, it would be asking some too much to do good simply for doing good rather than a mythical favored afterlife for their belief. I think it would be interesting to see how many believers faith are strong enough to read his book without letting the devil in.
I read Dawkins' God Delusion three years ago, it's a good book, in fact I'm writing a hub around it at the moment and I'm going to offer if from Amazon, I may as well make some cash from it as well as High Priest Dawkins!
Personally I would make it required reading for every Christian so that they can decide whether they are disciples of Christ or non believers.
If ALL Christians read it, our churches would be more dynamic because only those who had a Holy Spirit relationship would be there and we could start making an impact again in this sick world.
Honest answer.... my guess, and I'm basing it on Europe, would be about 70%, in the States don't really know, I have about 50 buddies on the list I write with, but all of them are mature strong believers so for them 100%.
In reality God seems to have hidden His 'remnant' amongst all the 33,000 denominations that man has created, and the reason is that when Mark & Cº get stronger, and as the AC starts up, being hidden amongst a whole lot of pew warmers will be a safe way to stay alive when the real persecution starts, so there are a whole heap of people out there who have been going through the motions and singing their hallelujahs, paying their tithes and doing their good deeds, but they still are not actually 'sold out' to Christ.
Then there are those who are hidden and will stay that way, though it seems we are now near enough to the end for the cry "Come out of her my people" to be shouted from the rooftops.
I was asked to preach at a church once and had no subject until I got there (I'd been asked a month before) when God said, preach on OSAS, so I did, I preached a safe preach in a safe church of older people who had been Praising the Lord for longer than I had been out of diapers, and the preach was:
"I believe in Once Saved Always Saved"
Relief big time from all the elders....
"But the emphasis is in the word 'ONCE'..."
Then I outlined what Christ sets out to be the standard for 'knowing' Him and asked "Do you fit the bill"
Pandemonium and it took 20 minutes for the mob to die down, the pastor (who was alive) told me it took him two weeks to explain what I meant and to calm things down.
So you tell me, how many do you think would be shaken out of their beliefs?
Dawkins is very logical, but then so am I, and I did get to a point about one third through when I was asking God "Why am I reading this?" - and then I found out why and had the antidote to his premises that will set any real believer back on course, or advise a pew warmer how best to make his exit and start enjoying what life he has left before the end.
My theory, if you are a Christian because you fear Hell, you're probably lost anyway... I changed teams because I saw that God won and it's no fun being with the losers, even if they do get all the glory here on earth.
Besides which I had gotten a little too deeply involved with the other team and I became aware that I had demons on my back, so I wanted to get free from them NOW, like whilst I'm alive, because they were problematic enough here and now, so I did not want to face any afterlife in their presence.... if you see what I mean!
Anyhow, there's a hub hers so I'll stop and you can read more if you want to when it's posted!
I don't really fear "letting the devil in." I do rather have a natural intolerance for groundless accusations that whole groups of people are delusional simply on the basis of having different beliefs. And I'm not masochistic enough to try to slog through a book the author has been gracious enough to say in the very title, "I Think You, Madame Reader, Are Delusional."
A hate crime must be attached to another crime. Challenging a person's belief system is not a crime. If it was, you would long have been sent to jail.
Of course, the real gist of it is that if the father is to believed, he committed suicide not because he was bullied but because he lost faith and found himself agreeing with those who challenged him. It is, indeed, a very difficult thing to have what you believe in shattered.
If someone is planning to be outspoken in their beliefs in a science course, I think it is only natural that the professor challenge him as he had been challenged. It sounds, though, like there was more going on for this young man than simply questioning his faith.
The only real proof in the article is a bereaved father lashing out. Suicide is senseless. I lost someone I loved very dearly this past year and dealing with it was often more than I could handle. I can not really convey the anger a person can feel towards everything and everyone when they feel that someone irreplaceable has been taken far, far too soon. Often times, that anger is directed as much at yourself as it is at others.
Here is a quote regarding the deceased's crisis of faith from the article I did not read but you, apparently, did.
"He mentioned the book he had been reading 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins and how it along with the science classes he had take[n] had eroded his faith. Jesse was always great about defending his beliefs, but somehow, the professors and the book had presented him information that he found to be irrefutable. He had not talked … about it because he was afraid of how you might react. ... and that he knew most of your defenses of Christianity because he himself used them often. Maybe he had used them against his professors and had the ideas shot down.""
here near me we had a homicide on thanksgiving day one of the victims was a 6 year old girl it disturbed me greatly that the parents of the slain girl said god took her home. god didn't shoot anyone . why do the faithful blame god for everything?
i sat in front of a mirror for hour with a gun to my head crying my eyes out. i slashed my hand to the bone while saying to someone you want blood here it is. you know what drove these acts? a incoherent rush of emotions . no faith no religion no books . just confused fear and hate
a) God had a "higher" purpose for him, so "He" decided to take him early. So all is well and nobody should be upset at God.
b) There is NO God, and the "reality" of the situation hit him so hard, that he couldn't go on any longer. He became a VICTIM from years of religious brainwashing. Just like child rape victims take their lives after years of abuse, when they finally discover what reality is.
When things go well in a Christian's life, they praise God. When things go bad in a Christian's life, they don't blame God.
I think you would find that in law the USA allows freedom of religion WITHOUT persecution alongside freedom of sexuality, but it's not my country and hey! maybe you guys feel that the American way of freedom, tolerance and fairness is outmoded anyhow in todays 'new age'.
This is just sad...taking of one's life is one of the greatest sin's that can be committed...his father needs to blame someone and unfortunetly it is the book and his son's professor. Time will heal and bring understanding of his son's reasons and I'm sure he'll find his son's problems were deeper than he was aware of.
actually, the tragedy is that this young man was so afraid of his father that he felt he had to hide this book under his mattress, instead of feeling free to have it in plain sight and even dicsuss it with his father. to even hint that this book is responsible for this tragedy is absurd.
how a professor challenging a student to broaden his perspective qualifies as 'bullying' is beyond me. we become open to new philosophies, new experiences, new ideas in college - if his father wanted to keep his son cloistered forever, he should have made him go to a religious college. the son should have felt that he could share anything with his father instead of being ashamed of it so that he hid it under his mattress like a dirty magazine.
Sure looks like bullying to me. The teacher used his position and power to attack the boy's Faith, and whether the "law" holds him responsible or not, the Law of God will take it into account. Yep; the teacher would've been accused of discrimination if the boy had been homosexual or a Muslim or some other so-called "civil rights" whiner.
I disagree. Universities are there to challenge one's mind and knowledge, not to break one's spirit. Universities are there to teach "higher learning" which means further knowledge, adult knowledge, but NOT further stupidity, and not to indoctrinate or push a liberal agenda on students.
Univesities do not exist to serve as bully pulpits from which professors can foist their personal opinions upon more-or-less captive audiences, particularly if their beliefs are irrelevant to the subjects they teach.
Atheism is a philosophical stance and has no business in a biology class.
That's rather judgmental. Consider all the facts. It wasn't just the book. He'd been called out and embarrassed in class for his beliefs- in a class where there's really no reason to be discussing atheism in the first place. And he was a military veteran, so who knew what else had happened that had shaken his faith or made him otherwise feel his life was pointless?
There is always the option to quit the class. Students are paying for it. What people need to realize is that they are consumers of this education. Should have complained, quit and taken another class more conducive to learning if this was the case. I would have done it in a heart beat.
Yeah, it sounds like the young man should have talked to someone... Honestly, it reads as if he had been religiously indonctrinated in a very fundamental way and when these beliefs were challenged, didn't have the psychological tools (faith) to combat doubt.
My case against fundamentalism perhaps, unfortunately, proven. Something about 'glass houses' somehow fits.
I'm not sure, but it seems like 17 to 25 is a very stressful time in a young person's life. I think you have to be careful with people this age. Why did this professor give this one student that book? Something stinks here. If the young man was attacking the Professor with his religious beliefs; he could have just shut the conversation down. Why did he destroy this young man's total belief system? It was bullying. I dont like it no matter who does it. If he wasn't attacking somebody with his religion he should have been able to express his beliefs without being ridiculed or attacked or converted.
Obviously you have no idea the depressive effect bullying can have on people. Some people when pushed learn to stand up for themselves. Some people become bullies themselves. Some lash out violently in response to bullying. And some people internalize the hurt that is caused by bullying. They start to really believe they'll amount to nothing. And so they react to bullying with self-destructive attitudes and behaviors.
This is no indictment on US society, but on the act of bullying itself, which does happen in Canada, too. Get your head out of the sand. Maybe learn some of the psychology of bullying and the effects of verbal abuse.
The book didn't kill the boy ... his own confusion did him in. Nowhere does such a book deliver the message ... 'If you are a Christian then you must kill yourself'.
The boy should have dropped the class when he realized it conflicted with his beliefs. Instead, he stuck it out and allowed the class to destabilize his beliefs.
This is no different than someone taking a class on Christian values, reading the Bible, and ending their life because they found themselves to be evil.
Would we blame the Bible for such a death? Most certainly not!
There are Christian colleges for a reason ... they exist to allow theist students a chance to receive an education that won't conflict with their beliefs. If a Christian decides to mainstream among the general populous then they need to understand they will be exposed to views that might not be their own, as not everyone in the world is a Christian.
There are laws against suicide, so even outside the Christian realm suicide is not an acceptable answer. The boy was conflicted inside, and I consider that a tragedy ... but I ask ... how did the father not see the conflict in his son and reach out to remove him from the college?
It's so easy to blame others for things we don't see ... bu we all must accept some of the blame when we miss the signs like everyone else does.
If every other person in the class can read the book without killing themselves then the message in the book is not one of glorified suicide.
Again, I am not trying to lessen what has happened. Suicide is always a tragedy. I'm just saying that we can't fault a book, a video game, or television every time a Christian takes their own life.
People commit suicide because they become in conflict with who they are and want to end the internal struggle. This metamorphosis can only occur when a person questions what they are and decides they want to be something else that they feel they can never obtain.
As a person who has lost two friends to suicide, I can tell you this is how it is ...
Lita, I had the dubious privilege of attending a sociology lecture by a professor who did nothing but mock Christians and brag about the drugs he did in the '60's. I learned very little of sociology from him.
I also was called mentally ill by a professor because I didn't agree with his view that all homeowners are on a type of government welfare program because they get a tax exemption. I was also told after the class that I had to go along with him or leave his class.
Grateful to have the option, I opted to take the same class from a different professor.
Just because you never attended a lecture where one viewpoint was taught as "correct" doesn't mean that professors don't get away with that anywhere else.
I suppose it is possible. And yes, I received probably a more excellent education than I know.
However, even in a class where one prof was promoting a certain artistic/intellectual outlook in contemporary literature and assumed 'I didn't understand' (I'm actually finding it hilarious now, as I am more well-published than she is), I had the where-with-all to know she was full of crap even at 21, .
What I'm saying is that the 'world is always with us'... You've heard most serial killers read Catcher In the Rye. Does that mean the book is responsible for these individuals' killings?
I think not.
The guy was depressed. I find the blaming of the outside world (whatever the incidence is...and obviously, YOU didn't kill yourself in your examples) for a suicide is dangerous...a slippery slope argument.
1. as HUBBERS we should treat others with respect and not judge one another on each others religion, personal beliefs, looks, etc...have some love for HUMANITY, Please everyone
2. This does not surprise me, Dejavu! Remember the PMRC going after JUDAS PRIEST and a few other named hard Rock/Metal bands in the 1980's because some kid was high and killed himself while listening to music, and he just happpened to have a Judas Priest tape in the tape deck... Books and Music do not "MAKE" someone commit suicide...DEPRESSION, ANGST, and other MENTAL INSTABILITIES and even SOCAL ISSUES drive people to suicide..it is not an artist or author, it is problems the person is having that makes them misjudge themselves and commit suicide.. Artists do not kill people by ART..same as Guns do not kill people, people kill people..
people simply neeed to see that the person needed help they did not receive and the end result was tragedy...
A terrible story but what are we supposed to do ? Ban books ? Ban books that are anti-religion ? How many deaths has the Bible been responsible for ? Are we supposed to ban the Bible ? Are we all supposed to pretend to believe in stuff even if we don't just so as not to disturb the true believers ?
Well...Yea! I think you could try to understand. A lot of people grab on to religion as a lifeline. Some people are very troubled and looking for something to believe in out of desperation. Sometime, you just have to be kind, and listen. There a difference between these kind of religious people and the fire breathers.
I have noticed there are so many varied members with unique views. Although I am very interested in participation, I have no intentions of trading in my beliefs or of imposing mine on anyone. Just a respectful curiosity and getting to know fellow hubbers. Thank you for the advices, Holly
But the atheists have a singular ability to avoid seeing how they are exactly like everything they (in their great secular superiority) mock and dismiss. And some of those who like to tell themselves they are of the 'progressive' and 'tolerant' type are the most militant and unforgiving in their blatant, hateful bigotry. Kinda sad really.
Hitler was an evolutionist! Why is this hard for you guys to grasp,? He killed Christians, Jews, gays all to speed up evolution. He had bibles burned. .He used eugenics labs to breed a super white because he thought white, blond, blue people were the most evolved. He used Christians words, and he had himself photographed outside of catholic church to convince his soldiers he was doing God’s work, but it was just a show to gain power. Evolutionary thinking caused the holocaust.
I don't know of any source that cites Darwin saying he was a complete atheist. What he did was document through his travels, the adaptations of plant, animal, and insect kingdom, which he concludes is a type of evolution. What that research did was simply help him draw other conclusions, which only put in question even more a belief in God. However, I know of no conclusive source where Darwin claims to have been an atheist. If so, quote it, so I can know.
Some of Darwin's conclusions are considered archaic, although they were revolutionary in their day. His work was important in helping to see things differently. Those who are threatened by them fear that their own belief systems are not strong enough to withstand such scrutiny. Otherwise, there wouldn't be this intense need to overprotect and fight to the death.
Luckily I'm not American and we don't have that kind of problems in our schools. As it seems all those problems are due to the bad education you get in your education agenda, and what parents teach their children at home. Bad examples creates bad habits. Not my problem.Your country is not mine.
Nobody bullies in Argentina for beliefs or sexual orientation. Bullies here are childish stuff and parents and teachers fix this issues without problem.