Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dear Mr. Walsh:

I've been sitting on this for a few days, which I realize in "blogger time" is an eternity. Current events today stay current about as long as my morning cup of coffee stays hot. 

But I haven't been able to shake how much I am bothered by the blog post you published last week titled "There is Nothing Brave About Suicide". To be honest, it made me kind of angry. So I decided to write about it, regardless of how stale the subject might now be. 

Before I continue, let's make one thing clear: I don't believe we should glorify suicide. I don't think healthcare professionals should dole out euthanasia medication like candy. I am NOT pro-suicide. Actually, I don't think anyone is. I'm pretty sure that even people who are suicidal don't wish other people would also be suicidal.  

That being said, some of the "points" you made literally made me put my face in my hands and shake my head wondering how you could possibly reach some of your conclusions. I can only hope you  don't truly believe much of what you wrote and did so only to take up internet space and generate page views.

Right out of the gate (in regards to Facebook posts you've seen on the subject) you tell us we should be alarmed because, "Your friends are impressed with a woman's plan to commit suicide."

You say this as if you are comparing people's reactions to how they might react to someone winning an award. Ummm…no. I've seen the words "brave" and "courageous" used quite a few times but I have yet to see anyone comment, "I am so impressed with your plan to commit suicide!" Please. 

You also suggest, "She is a martyr for self-destruction." 

Do you honestly believe that her objective here is for droves of people to line up for a turn to take their own lives? Let's be serious. 

Then there's this one (possibly my favorite line of ridiculousness)…"She is dying with dignity. Which means dying of cancer is not dignified. You are accusing people who die of cancer of having no dignity." 

Wow. I think you should consider developing a new board game called, "Word Twist: A Game that Makes Everything Anyone Ever Says Sound as Horrible as Possible".  I'm pretty sure no one in the history of ever would "accuse" (nice word choice) someone who dies of cancer of being undignified. 

Here's the thing, Matt. Thankfully, I'm not in this woman's shoes. I am not currently facing a road of months of guaranteed pain and suffering. I'm sure she feels sad and terrified and a million other emotions that I can't begin to imagine. I don't want to imagine. No, I don't condone her decision to end her life. It saddens me deeply. But it certainly isn't my place to condemn her for it. 

And neither is it yours.

After reading this particular post, I went back and read some of your others to see if perhaps this one just happened to be unusually harsh. Nope.  

I've got to say, Matt, that I don't understand your brand of Christianity. 

You seem to thrive on telling everyone you don't agree with what they're doing wrong. Oh, how I wish you wouldn't do that. It gives the rest of "us" a bad name.  It is hypocritical, as well as ironic. You frequently reference how people today have tendencies to "play God". But you, in essence, are doing the same thing. Think about it. There are dozens of Bible verses that speak of not judging one another. How it's not our job and we shouldn't do it because there is only ONE supreme Judge. Yet, from what I can tell, you do precisely that in virtually every one of your posts. (P.S. I'm confident the one Judge the Bible speaks of is NOT you.) Just a little something to chew on. 

For the record, I think we should always attempt to change the mind of anyone contemplating suicide. Regardless of their reasons. OF COURSE WE SHOULD. And as Christians, we should share our beliefs. We should encourage others to join us in them. 
We should also be kind. 

Perhaps you could have said…

A poor young woman is suffering terminal cancer and has decided to take her own life. While I have no idea what she is going through, I sincerely wish she would change her mind and choose life. Please join me in praying for her miracle. 

But that probably wouldn't get you as many page clicks as telling a dying woman that her choice isn't brave.