Your Curmudgeon has been off the internet since Wednesday night, when a lightning storm fried our super-duper AT&T modem. The demise of the modem also knocked out our telephone lines, so all we had to connect us to the world was an old cell phone. Anyway, we’re back.
After catching up on an accumulation of email and an ark-load of news articles, we decided to post about this: Award-winning Filmmaker Warns that Suicide Rates Will Soon Explode. It’s a press release touting the latest film from Ray Comfort, best known for his starring role in Ray Comfort’s “Banana video”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Experts report that suicide in the United States has already reached epidemic proportions, with more than 40,000 taking their lives each year. The rate for teens has tripled since the 1950s, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death among college students.
Well, what would it be for college students — Alzheimer’s disease? Then Comfort’s press release says:
Filmmaker Ray Comfort, whose movies have been seen by millions, expects that trend to only increase. He identifies two major restraints in American culture that have kept past generations from suicide, which are lacking in society today. “In the 1950s more than 98% of Americans believed in the existence of God, so comparatively few chose suicide because of their religious convictions that it is morally wrong,” Comfort says. “The second restraint was that those who believed in God had purpose for existence and the hope of eternal life.”
Wikipedia has an article on Suicide in the United States, but it doesn’t mention religion (or lack thereof) as a major cause of suicide. Among other factors, they say: “Suicide has been associated with tough economic conditions, including unemployment rate.” Well, what do they know compared to Ray Comfort? The press release tells us:
Comfort notes that in recent years, more than ten million people have cast off the belief that they are morally accountable to God and that life has any meaning, which he attributes to a rise in atheism and belief in naturalistic evolution.
Someone should inform Comfort that Correlation does not imply causation. Otherwise, someone could claim that illegal immigration into the US is causing increased suicide.
There are quote marks around this next excerpt, so we assume these are Comfort’s own words:
“Atheism not only offers freedom from moral responsibility, but it means that there is no restraint against suicide. Couple life’s pains with a purposeless and hopeless worldview, and taking your life becomes a viable option.”
To our surprise, Comfort’s press release cites an authority for his proposition, but it provides no link or footnote. Also the ellipsis in the middle of it is in the press release, so make of it what you will. Here it is:
A study on suicide by The American Journal of Psychiatry confirms this perspective. It reports, “Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts…Furthermore, subjects with no religious affiliation perceived fewer reasons for living, particularly fewer moral objections to suicide.”
Hold on, dear reader. Before you swallow that deadly potion or pull that trigger, you should know that Comfort offers help. We’re told:
To combat this epidemic, Comfort has produced a new film called “EXIT: The Appeal of Suicide,” which he hopes will make a difference in the lives of many. “‘EXIT’ is a unique film, because it answers the big questions that the secular experts can’t answer, and at the same time offers hope to the hopeless.”
Isn’t that wonderful? If you’ve been reading Darwin and thinking of ending it all, perhaps Ray Comfort’s new film will straighten you out. Here’s the rest of the press release:
He’s also written a small companion book, How to Battle Depression and Suicidal Thoughts, that presents inspiring truths through a fictional encounter with a suicidal man.
We can’t find an Amazon listing for that “small companion book,” so it’s probably just a pamphlet. The last thing in the press release is a link to a trailer for the film. We hope this news reaches you before it’s too late.
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