I think that the reason why so many victims of bullying commit suicide is not, primarily, because the pain in their lives is unbearable, but because they see suicide as the only possible way of obtaining justice and, more important, as a way of helping to stop the pain of other victims in the future.

I think that, for all intents and purposes, Jesus committed suicide.



  1. Disagree and agree, sort of. IMO most suicides are trying to end pain. However, borderline personality types, like Lee, are trying to seek revenge or punish, call it a misguided false sense of justice. Whereas saints and martyrs are seeking true justice or sacrifice to save another.

  2. I think my use of the word “primarily” is apposite. But, I expect sometimes my suggestion may be a secondary, enabling reason or not present at all.

    The resurrection was a revenge of sorts.

  3. As long as even one person (or even a pet) loves you, there is no gain or positive outcome from suicide. We have more we can accomplish IN the world, giving our love, figuring out God’s will and doing it. We are asleep at the wheel for not creating a world more safe for our lgbt children.

  4. The problem is John that in making that valid statement you are heaping more guilt and pressure onto people already bearing more guilt and pressure than they can stand. Such people have already worked out that the love in their lives is not worth putting up with the pain in their lives.

    They shoot horses, don’t they?

  5. I don’t buy it. I’ve seen parents and family who have lost a loved one to suicide. It is an infliction of a lifetime of pain on not just one other person, but multiple people. Yes, the person who commits suicide has pain, but in their selfishness, they multiply the world’s pain beyond measure. It is a poorly developed sense of empathy, and Christ cannot be charged with that, surely.

  6. Can’t go here.


    “Look for the good”.

    [Part of continuing series of 12-Step slogans responses to MP posts]

  7. But isn’t that exactly what Jesus (or the Father or both of them) did to his family and friends?

    Isn’t that what Bonhoeffer did? Or Victor Romero?

  8. I am looking for the good, JCF. But there is some real bad stuff up ahead coming towards me like a train in a tunnel. Perhaps the last chance of avoiding it went sour today.

  9. MP are you suggesting that it is suicide to stand by your principles knowing you will be murdered for them? That reasoning suggests the ’60’s statement, “Better Red than Dead.” Even though I agree with that cute phrase, I don’t agree with the general interpretation that principles are meaningless and not worth dying for. My ‘conscience’ is the only connection with the divine that I know. I will never lie about who I am and I will stay alive to encourage others to do the same. Murder and suicide are quite different, even here.

  10. But isn’t that exactly what Jesus (or the Father or both of them) did to his family and friends?

    No. Jesus did not commit suicide, nor did the martyrs. Other people killed them. Nor was it, or so I believe, the Father’s will for Jesus to die for our sins. What kind of god is that?

    Jesus and the martyrs were obedient to the Father’s will, and the consequences were that they were killed, but they did not commit suicide.

    Sometimes people commit suicide because they can’t help themselves, but never delude yourself into thinking that suicide, undertaken by a person of sound mind, is a noble act. The wreckage left behind is horrific.

  11. I would agree that martyrdom bears some elements of suicide – hence the concept of a suicide mission in war, for example. The decision to choose certain death over violating ones principles.

    I have no doubt that an unexpected suicide devastates the family and friends left behind. However, in the face of insurmountable pain or suffering, I believe that suicide is a valid choice. Where we run into trouble here – most people will accept that in the face of physical pain, but will deny it for unrelenting emotional pain.

    Yet, I would argue that one can choose death simply because one has decided they are done and it is a good day to die. Think Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude. In this situation, pain isn’t the driving factor.


  12. I am considering it as a lifestyle choice, actually, Chelliah. If I have nothing left to live for would there be added benefits to suicide on top of just me avoiding being bored for another twenty years?

  13. MadPriest, is it only about you? What about your wife? What about Glenna Rose and Delphi? What about us?

    Life can take surprising twists and turns, and we are sometimes surprised by joy. Really!!! You’ve stood with me to persuade another person not to take the way of suicide. You spoke with greater power because you had been in the dark place where that person was, and you were still here to tell the tale. Who will stand with me next time? There’s no end to the possible good you may yet do in this world, but not if you’re dead.

  14. This isn’t a depression thing. And yes, other people have to be included within the calculations. I’ve never contemplated the futility of the lives of most of the people in the world, myself included, before without being in a delusional state. It’s a strange feeling.

    But, as I said to JCF. If joy isn’t just round the corner, an inevitable pain will arrive that I will not be able to bear. That pain will be felt by others and I have the opportunity now to protect them from it.

  15. MadPriest, if you’re not depressed, and you’re not delusional, (which I confess I find somewhat hard to believe) then I suppose I must rest my case. You seem to have worked it all out very neatly.

    I’m sure what you think and what you feel right now is real and true to you, but it sounds like bullshit to me. But then what I think doesn’t really matter.

  16. Perhaps we have stumbled onto why suicide has and is considered a sin, complete with condemnation to hell. For it keeps us from ending meaningless lives chained to a mill wheel for fear of the consequences.

    Mimi, representing the prevailing cultural attitude believes one cannot end ones life without being depressed or delusional.

    MP (and myself) suggest one can reach a point where one realizes they are done. Of course, the fact that both of us are still here plugging along pondering the unthinkable suggests Mimi may be right.

    In any case, Jonathan once again had his hopes shot down, making for a very shitty day and leaving him with a profound sense of futility. I hope and pray that he moves on tomorrow, puts up some awesome music on the blog, finds more dirt on the institutional church and or the hypocrites in charge to ridicule, and shares some witty joke or cartoon to make me laugh, because frankly these days it is one of the main things that keep me going as I sit here patiently waiting to die (emphasis on patiently, Mimi)

  17. Mimi, representing the prevailing cultural attitude believes one cannot end ones life without being depressed or delusional.

    Renz, that’s not quite accurate. I believe that people do make the decision to end their lives without being delusional or depressed. In this case, I’m not certain that Jonathan is not depressed. Maybe he’s not.

    As a child, I was taught that a person who committed suicide went straight to hell. In my young life there were times when I wanted very much for my life to end, but I would never have taken steps to make it happen. I believed the teaching, and, in a sense, I’m grateful for it, because I’m still here.

    I no longer believe the teaching, but I do believe God gives us life, and it is not ours to end.

  18. Thanks for the further clarification, Mimi, I was reflecting back to the limited comment earlier, which was directed more at MP, but did seem to reflect the greater cultural attitude. At the risk of sounding trite, I long ago latched onto the sentiment shared by a character in the movie The Big Chill. They were discussing the suicide of their friend and one questioned why he had done it. Nick challenges that question and suggests that perhaps he ran out of reasons why not…

    Your why nots appear to have included a fear of hell at one time. Mine include the knowledge that it would break my parents and the responsibility I feel towards my animals. My life is not a constant chore to cling to these few why nots. Quite often I see the presence of God and feel God’s breathe flow through my existence. However, when I am most weary and so ready for the peace of what comes next, those why nots give me the strength to persevere.

  19. I hate the web some times. I could swear I sent a comment up early this morning Chicago time, before there were others. Now I do not see it. ;;sigh;;

    Three things:
    1 The idea that Jesus committed suicide by going to Jerusalem knowing John’s fate and the way Pilate did business was a common challenge to the faith in the period before the Edict of Toleration. I think the apologists did a fairly good job of demolishing it. Martyrdom is a bit different. Simply doing the good that must be done and letting the ax fall where it will is not suicide, it is faithfulness.

    2. We are not Jesus. His sacrificial act is not something we can do. That was in a real sense the point of it all.

    3. The decision to accept martyrdom is always one that is difficult and subject to error. In “Murder in the Cathedral” a lovely chancel drama about Becket and Henry, the playwright has Becket face the temptation to seek martyrdom and realized its temptation, “This then is the greatest treason, to do the right thing for the wrong reason.”


  20. I will say this. Among your things to boast of, MP, this is what I believe:

    1) You are an Imago Dei: a chorus of angels precedes you to proclaim your glory!

    2) You are baptized, washed spotless in the blood of the lamb.

    Now, after those two, being ordained ranks #3 AT BEST (I would say being married comes before that, but that’s JMO).

    NEVER, EVER FORGET Nos. 1 & 2. Never!!!!

    [Well, and that my Crazy Queer @rse Self loves you. As do all the other crazy @rses in the OCICBW gang]

  21. To me, this sounds like a clinical depression. Before loosing my heart, mind and bank account to working for a hopelessly politics- ridden church as the dreadful Right Wing was HiJacking the churches in America, I was a nurse who did considerable work in Psychiatry. Additionally, I experienced it (depression)myself and can tell you of that personal experience. I went to bed one night feeling as usual, and woke up in the morning so depressed that I could not go downstairs, let alone get breakfast. Since my salesman husband was travelling, I finally had to call the baby sitter to come over and get the kids off to school. It was a year and a lot of therapy before the grip of it lessened. IT IS A CHEMICAL THING IN YOUR BODY. It’s like the two sides of the coin, one side anger, the other side depression. You have plenty of anger. You feel called to serve the church but right now, most churches are hideously political and raging at them is beating your head against the proverbial wall. You have lots to be angry about, don’t dress it up in talk about Jesus. Poor Jesus gets enough blame already!
    Call your therapist, be honest with him/her. Talk to your GP,and don’t make any major decisions while you are depressed. That includes making any decisions about treating your anger with ending your life. Mimi is right about the bullshit part!
    P.S. you can also be angry with me for telling you this if it helps…..

  22. Gezz what’s goin on here? I go away for a few days and look what happens!

    I think what we need here is a limerick.

    The Mad Priest he did meet the black dog
    Soon he felt that his life was a bog
    He’d forgotten his friends
    At the blog that he tends
    Silly arse, he just needs some more grog

  23. I do not think Jesus committed suicide.

    I think he embraced life so fully and so completely and so very deeply and with such a rush, it felt like death. He became completely transparent to the purest, rawest energy of life itself and held nothing back from it. And at times, it can be so overwhelmingly powerful as to feel or look like death.

    This makes no sense. It is very, um, “gnostic” or “mystical” or whatever. English can be a very limited language and it’s difficult to explain this stuff in English.

  24. 1. The ministry you currently perform is valid no matter what the effing church thinks. The church is not God nor is it the world God loves. It is meant to be a channel of grace and when it’s not, sod it.

    2. You matter to a lot of people.

    3. What Nij said.