Part 2 Suicides and society... What ails us?

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Part 2 Suicides and society... What ails us? 

Bottom Line: Yesterday's part one addressed the 25%+ spike in suicides since 1999. Though seldom if ever discussed there's connection in the timeline with the proliferation of violence in our schools as well (Columbine). This was the summation statement that I ended yesterday's story with... According to the American Journal of Psychiatry's largest study on the subject: Subjects with no religious affiliation were more often lifetime suicide attempters, reported more suicidal ideation, and were more likely to have first-degree relatives who had committed suicide than religiously affiliated subjects. 

Though it's seldom discussed in today's society, a belief in God is provably good for limiting violence in society – this includes suicide. Let's take a look at the CDC's report that paints the rest of the picture...   

Here were the catalysts cited for suicide when a cause/catalyst is known (over 100% because many suicides cite multiple reasons): 

  • Relationship problem: 42% 

  • Perceived personal crisis within two weeks: 29% 

  • Substance abuse: 28% 

  • Physical health issues: 22% 

  • Job/Financial Problem: 16% 

  • Legal issues: 9% 

  • Loss of home: 4% 

It's not fair/reasonable for those not in crisis to judge those who are for taking their lives based on one or more of these catalysts. What is fair however, is to filter these issues through the prism of faith. Most people will face many of those issues during the course of life. Most don't, thankfully, resort to suicide but as we know numbers have been and are rapidly rising. According to Gallup's data in 1999, 94% of Americans had a belief in God. By the end of 2014, that number was down to 86%. But that's just part of the story. In 1999, 61% of Americans said God was important to their everyday life. That number slipped to a record low of 51% most recently.  

  • 9% fewer believers in God 

  • Among believers...16% fewer people who feel God is important to their daily life 

  • Suicide rates that've risen 25.4% 

I'm sure there are those that will continue to say that it's a coincidence. But consider what's happened since the Department of Education's incarnation in 1980. 

  • US Education outcomes that've fallen from 2nd to 17th  

  • Removal of prayer, God and related references  

  • A decline in the belief in God  

  • A decline in the daily importance of God in believer's lives 

  • Proliferation of violence starting with the first generation of kids raised under the new standards in schools 

  • A spike in suicides 

And to an extent that there's conversation about solutions what are they? Gun control, mental health evaluations/treatment, hardening schools, etc. Not that there isn't potential merit but attempting to control evil doesn't fix what ails the individuals or society and here's THE question that isn't asked but should be (and explored). Could it be that the proliferation of those with mental health issues coincides with the lack of a belief in God and what our society has done to remove the morality implicit with those values?  

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