Tuesday, July 17, 2007

G.K. Chesterton's Modern Thoughts: Part II Suicide....Bombs

During the summer after my Sophomore year in High School, a local tragedy shocked the neighborhood. The sister of the kid who mowed our lawn came home during his parents first ever vacation to Europe, first vacation during parenthood, period, to find her brother, our lawn guy, hanging from his ceiling. Dead. The cause of his despair? His two best friends got accepted to their dream college. He was convinced he'd been denied since he got no letter that day. His acceptance letter came three days later, but he wasn't around to open it.

The tragedy, besides his shortened life, was his parent's horror and shame. Devoted Catholics, they now lived with knowing their son suffered eternal damnation. Whether true or not, that was their belief and they were doubly devastated. They lost their son twice over.

Suicide. It's all the rage these days. It's the most-beloved tool of the would-be destroyers of the West. It is a telling tool. One learns much from an enemy's war craft. This is an enemy who holds nothing dear--not even his own life. The message he sends gets muddied, though, in this multi-culti world unwilling or unable to fathom evil. Smart ones are afraid of the implications, should evil be acknowledged. To save themselves this double-bind, the word martyr is used as a substitute. This despicable attempt to elevate evil and obfuscate truth will be death to us all should the message get permanently warped. G.K. Chesterton had this to say:

Grave moderns told us that we must not even say "poor fellow," of a man who had blown his brains out, since he was an enviable person, and had only blown them out because of their exceptional excellence. In all this, I found myself utterly hostile to many who called themselves liberal and humane. Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not; that is his crime. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. but the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for it's sake.

About the same time I read a solemn flippancy by some free thinker: he said that a suicide was only the same as a martyr. The open fallacy of this helped to clear the question. Obviously a suicide is the opposite of a martyr. A martyr is a man who cares so much for something outside him, that he forgets his own personal life. A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything. One wants something to begin: the other wants everything to end. [Orthodoxy]

People will protest that the Islamic suicide bomber believes paradise awaits him and his death ushers in the new beginning for others. This, of course, ignores the fact that he isn't willing to kill himself alone, immolating or bleeding his beliefs as a witness. The Islamist wishes to kill all things. And with his suicide vest, he often succeeds.

Unlike the Christian martyrs who were killed, publicly and who died as a witness to the message of life, the Islamist, murders himself and everyone else, even his so-called brothers, to glorify death. The Islamist murders with the dull knife, causes pain, perpetuates pain. They are lords of chaos, confusion and hopelessness. They win by provoking despair. They conquer by terror. Suicide is the perfect vehicle for the Islamist. It expresses hatred for all living things.

That so many within Western civilization admire these maniacal murderers reveals the depth of deception. Whether under a dark spell or willingly believing the lie, those who defend the Islamic suicide bomber or secretly admire the courage to carry out such destruction mean trouble for those who see the bomber for who he is: evil personified.

**************

I had trouble understanding the sin of suicide as a kid. To see my friends parent's anguish not just for a life cut short but a soul lost, troubled me. It still does. Surely the Deceiver himself deserves the blame for the sort of adolescent sadness that would lead to suicide instead of waiting with hope. I wouldn't presume to judge my friend's heart, but I can discern his actions: by committing suicide he gave up. He couldn't think of one thing to live for. Dying, in his warped mind, saved him. According to his parent's theology, trouble followed him.

Trouble follows all who embrace suicide as a viable option for problem solving.


More on the life of a suicide bomber.
Chesterton: Part I

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a very troubling topic indeed. Young people and teens who feel such deep despondency that the only way out is to kill themselves, is in my opinion an echo of a cry that was never heard. What a sad story...had he only just held on a little while longer. How would a parent ever move on after something like this?

I wonder though, if the energy behind it is different than the suicide bombers who kill themselves and everyone around them because of the religious ideology they hold. I don't know - but somehow it does not seem the same to me. Not at all to say, that the first is more acceptable...only to say that I don't see the same "evil" in it as I do with the second. The first seems more of a final cry, the second seems more of a final damnation to themselves as well as those around them.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anon,

That's what I think, too, but when Chesterton wrote this, he wasn't thinking about suicide bombers. Such a beast didn't yet exist. He was writing of the evil of someone suicidal.

Even for my neighborhood friend...some evil had to take hold. He knew his parents dogma and he still took that dramatic action. Even if he didn't believe in eternal damnation, he knew his parents did. This strikes me as a very angry choice.

It seems someone has to be very angry to commit suicide. No matter if the outward appearance is "sad".

David said...

Orwell wrote that when he was at boarding school, and enduring the common bullying by administrators and other students, he read George Meredith's Lucifer in Starlight. The line:

"The army of unalterable law"

..seemed to him to apply to the way things were at the school--if you weren't from a titled family, if you weren't an excellent athlete, then you would be treated like garbage--that these things were a permanent aspect of existence.

I think this is fairly common among adolescents: that they view temporary problem as part of "the army of unalterable law" from which they will never be able to escape.

Anonymous said...

I guess I brought in the suicide bombers because you mentioned that in your post here. I have to agree with you that yes, there is something very angry about getting to a point of wanting to end it all. Suicide is suicide, I suppose. I have always heard that depression is anger turned inward. The outward appearance is deep sadness, turned to despondency and hopelessness.

My husband's mother has a long time friend who's son committed suicide right in front of her in their garage. He called is mother out there to tell her something and once she was in the garage, he pulled a pistol to his head and killed himself.

Another situation: a woman once became so depressed over circumstances in her life that she thought there was no other way out. She was influenced by hormones that were tampered with by birth control injections. That was discovered later. One evening she bought a tone of sleeping pills and wrote notes to a few friends. Before taking the pills, she knelt and prayed to God, she screamed at God, she hit her pillow with all the strength she had left in her and than a breaking came. She knew somehow that God was still there with her. After many hours of silence, she threw the written letters away and threw all the pills away. Was she depressed? Yes. Was she angry? Yes. Did hormones have a part in this? It was discovered that she was in a menopausal state due to this particular birth control method.

Suicide is a very serious issue. One never knows just what can trigger it. It would be interesting to do a study on the people that are able to rise above almost anything due to their faith, and those that do not have any kind of faith at all.

Very interesting topic today.

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