Suicide and Depression Vs. Modern Medievalism

robin williams

If there’s anything more saddening than hearing about the death of Robin Williams, it might be hearing some of the commentary about his demise that came from certain clueless and classless ideological fanatics.  Civilized and civil behavior requires a certain amount of respect toward the newly deceased, at least for a few minutes. But no sooner had rigor mortis set in than certain individuals began vying furiously for the honor of having produced the most insensitive and idiotic response to the news

The ever-dependable Rush Limbaugh concluded that Williams killed himself out of the “guilt” attendant upon “political leftism”; and when there was an outcry over his utterances, he blamed the whole thing on — what else — the librulmedia. Shepard Smith at the ever-dependable Fox “News” suggested that Williams killed himself because he was a “coward”.  (Smith, unlike the others mentioned here, at least had the decency to apologize later.) . Chris Fields, an official with the Minnesota GOP, thought the mourning of Williams’ fans was, somehow or other, a golden opportunity for him to urge them to vote for the candidate of his choice — and he continued politicizing repeatedly even after  a fellow Republican admonished him to “Shut. The Fuck. Up.” because he was “making an ass of all of us”.

Not only political hucksters, but religious hucksters, weighed in and cashed in. The ever-dependable Westboro Baptist Church Tweeted hateful comments about Williams and threatened to picket his funeral.  Popular Christian blogger Matt Walsh declared (as one of his “absolute truths and alpaca grooming tips” — I’m not sure which he was intending) that “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice”, and went on to say some other insulting things about depressives (more about that in a moment).  The Family Research Council — DING! DING! DING! (sorry, that alarm always goes off whenever the word family appears in the name of an ideological organization) saw the opportunity to hawk a supposed cure for homosexuality.  WorldNetDaily, not content to refer to depression and substance addiction as figurative “demons”, posited that Williams literally was in league with “demonic powers” that eventually destroyed him — and oh by the way, they just happen to have little video that tells you all about other celebrities who’ve done the same, available at the special low price of only $15.95.

There’s nothing new about this type of exhibitionist opportunism. That’s just the kind of thing these people do, and they’re never going to let a perfectly good tragedy go to waste. Ever. But it underscores just how little the American public understands depression and suicide — which are inextricably bound together. Smith and Walsh are symptomatic of a mindset that holds that depression and suicide are voluntary; and that Williams should have been able to just step back and look at his life in perspective, and make the correct choice. But at its worst, depression is something that totally takes control of you. Williams in his final hours  probably was no more capable of being rational than a Fox anchor or a holier-than-thou religious blogger.

We have pious religiosity to thank for much of the current attitudes about suicide and mental health issues.  But these attitudes are more of medieval than biblical origin. The Bible contains no specific injunction against suicide; moreover at least two of its most vaunted heroes — Saul and Samson — did themselves in. The notion that suicide is a “sin” for which one will “go to hell” originated with writers during the Middle Ages — most notably Dante. And as for the mentally/ emotionally imbalanced, they were often presumed in the good ole days when religion ruled the world to have been possessed by or in league with evil spirits, and subjected to whippings or worse.

Christian fundamentalism has not evolved much, if any, beyond the medieval phase. (Fanatics no longer burn “heretics” at the stake, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t if they could still get away with it.) It’s still a jarringly contradictory combination of fatalism and free will doctrine, stitched together by the conviction that prayer can alter anything, including the will of God — unless He invokes His power of veto. No wonder Christians are so often confused about what is or is not within their control. No wonder people like Matt Walsh can be so condescending toward people like Robin Williams.

Religionists passing judgment on suicides are likely to point to a set of stone-engraved rules for living that they inaccurately call The Ten Commandments and mistakenly believe are to be found in the Bible. (See previous postThe Myth(s) of the Ten Commandments). One of them admonishes flatly, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”; and the traditional inference is that this applies even when the killer and the killee are one and the same. Your life, folks believe, is not your own, and it’s inexcusable for you to deprive God of the fiendish delight of tormenting you indefinitely.

You know as well as I, however, that there are asterisks on the stone alongside the words. The same God who commanded his people that they shalt not killeth also instructed them to slaughter their enemies by the thousands and stone to a pulp anyone who ran afoul of this or that tribal taboo. Likewise, even today many people who consider themselves Good Christians have no problem with capital punishment or aggressive warfare that annihilates innocent men, women and children all over the place.

And yet…

Suicide still remains strictly taboo, under any circumstances.  Walsh declares it to be a “bad decision. Always a bad decision.”   In part because it entails a “willingness to saddle your family with the pain and misery and anger that will now plague them for the rest of their lives.”  Notice that word willingness. While Walsh insists that he doesn’t consider depression to be a sign of weakness, he also says:

I know that in my worst times, at my lowest points, it’s not that I don’t see the joy in creation, it’s just that I think myself too awful and sinful a man to share in it.

No matter how you slice it, it’s still that time-honored smug WASP pastime of blaming the victim. (Indeed, many smug WASP neocons refuse to acknowledge that there is any such thing as a victim at all.) I recall reading about a woman who had been molested by a relative as a teen, and when she confided to her minister about it, he replied, “Let’s pray for your forgiveness.” That’s the kind of lunacy that results from a worldview that maintains that on the one hand God and His agents have total authority over you, and yet on the other, that you are totally responsible for whatever circumstances you find yourself in. The kind of worldview incorporating the notion that, just by committing the offense of being born, you’re graded a sinner by default.

To be sure, there are indeed some suicides that (apparently) are willful acts. These include those situations when an individual has a painful terminal illness; and it is their conclusion that their protracted living under those conditions will cause unnecessary pain, grief and expense to both them and their loved ones. Which doesn’t seem to be such a problem for the anti-suicide moralizers.

But the vast majority of suicides are the result of depression, which is a topic very close to home for me. I had a severe struggle with it myself. It runs in my family. I even had a cousin who committed suicide at age 17. None of which qualifies me to determine what is in someone else’s head unless they tell me. And to the best of my knowledge, Robin Williams wasn’t talking to anyone as he tied the knot around his neck. Walsh claims to be able to speak authoritatively about depression because he’s suffered from it himself. It’s hard to imagine, however, that he’s endured any but the mildest emotional turmoil if he can be so presumptuous and judgmental. And even if we assume that he’s really been through the mill himself, that does not put him in anyone else’s shoes. Depression is not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon; nor, for that matter, is suicide. 

Yet he professes to know beyond a doubt that Williams died of “choice”  His ideology demands it, so it must be true. He joins the ranks of such experts on the topic as Tom Cruise (a religious fanatic of a different stripe) who know more about depression than do the professionals. He doesn’t go so far as to say, as Cruise did, that “there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the body”, but he does insist that it has a “spiritual” element, whatever the hell that means. Well sure, depression has a spiritual component if you choose to look at it that way. So do mud wrestling and nuclear warfare. And how exactly does that change anything? People still slit their wrists, get dirty, and fry.

For Walsh, the prescription for depression is simple: “joy”. It’s the only thing that really defeats depression, he says. Just inject more joy into your life, and you’ll never succumb. Well, yeah — and the key to immortality is simply to refrain from dying. But telling a severely depressed person to experience joy is like telling a blind man to go out and gather some yellow flowers.

The law has long recognized the validity of an “insanity plea”, based on the premise that people sometimes commit atrocious acts that they are not responsible for because they are not in control of their faculties. Most people accept this as reality, as long as you’re talking about one person killing somebody else. Yet when it comes to suicide, we’re still in the Dark Ages. 

Suicide and depression have always been with us, but that doesn’t mean we have to view them as they’ve traditionally been viewed. It’s the Twenty-First Century, folks; and we have unprecedented tools at our disposal to save people from this horrible affliction called depression, and to prevent many suicides. But our feet our still mired in modern medievalism.

Don’t believe it? Cool. Let me tell you about an informative little video that details how many entertainers have sold their souls to the devil. I can sell you as many copies as you like for the amazingly low price of only $49.95 each.

 

(UPDATE: Matt Walsh has done a followup to his original piece, in which he backtracks a bit, and tries to clarify some false inferences some readers have made, and tries to distance himself from the medieval mentality. But he still insists that he knows beyond all doubt that suicide is always a choice.)

15 thoughts on “Suicide and Depression Vs. Modern Medievalism

  1. Actor Robin Williams or his full name-Robin McLaurin Williams. Mork and Mindy when that came out in 1978 (I was 8 years old) was the first time I saw him act. Seen some of his movies with the best 1s being Jumanji (1995), Good Will Hunting (1997)and Jakob the liar (1999). The last movie I saw him in was Happy Feet 2 (2011) & hope to see the 3d Night of Museum movie he did before his death that has not been released but hopefully will be. He was a talented actor but had problems with depression, alcohol and drugs. Now why he committed suicide, only he knew. We don’t know if he had traumas which caused his depression. While you hope a patient fully tells their Dr. of problems that they have, many do not fully report all their problems which they keep secret. Yes, he got help for depression but we do not know if he had traumas that he would not want others to know, not even his counselor.

    Just because a person is successful, does not necessarily mean that they are happy. Oprah is a successful woman and a billionaire but only she knows if she is happy-the woman has had traumatic experiences in her life when she was teenager. Robin M. Williams was a talented actor and he maximized on his talent though he suffered from depression and must repeat-Only he knew why he committed suicide & let’s recall his talent. You don’t always know the traumas a person has had in life & for years Robin M. Williams made the best of his talents though in the end he killed himself.

  2. P.O.P., I read the FRC link you gave & the FRC is right. Rehabilitation doesn’t always work as it failed in actor Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams) case to treat his depression, but it would be a bad idea to ban therapy to treat depression because that often fails.

    FRC is right on the dangers of homosexuality & making that comparison. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health as smoking is. People who engage in homosexual/lesbian conduct have more medical problems caused by homosexual/lesbian conduct. I believe the negative views of homosexual/lesbian conduct is the right view because there is something wrong with homosexual/lesbian conduct and again, they must make it a crime to do sex changes.

    Again with repair therapy for homosexuality, that should be there for homosexuals/lesbians who want to change to straight. Whether it works or not, that has to be something they find for themselves. Yes, it should also be the right of homosexuals and lesbians not to go into repair therapy just as I support right of any lucid person to refuse medical care such as if a lucid person’s a heart attack victim and does not want open heart surgery, then it should be their right to refuse this. Yes, proof burden is on repair therapists, but if you aren’t going to have repair therapy for homsexuality/lesbianism, then you may as well not have repair therapy for drug junkyism or drunkardism, because such therapy often fails and high relapses. The same things that you say about repair therapy for treating homosexuality can also be said for many other problems people have. The FRC said it well using this suicide as an eg., only that a famous person committed suicide.

    • Abner,

      Just a reminder about the fact that homosexuality is considered NOT to be an illness as the result of the careful research done by more authorities, educated men, women, gays, or straights, as well as any of the many other diverse types of people you can imagine!

      No matter what I or anyone else says, there are going to be religious groups who misunderstand what being gay means, or will refuse to accept something which THEY CONSIDER abnormal— despite the preponderance of evidence that says otherwise. The old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Gays don’t need to be repaired or “fixed.”

      Most of the Bogus arguments come from those who are biased and want to make the facts fit their beliefs, instead of the other way around. Those perpetuating such false understandings about homosexuals, are usually biased from the beginning, and have a distorted understanding of homosexuality. They also frequently use faulty methodology to bolster their claims i.e. a famous study which linked shorter lifespans to gays, was based on counting the numbers and ages, of gays listed in the obituaries which reported their deaths. Thus, evaluating only the health of those who have already died, and therefore, are in the obituaries to begin with, says absolutely nothing about the very many other gays who remain healthy and are NOT recorded in the obituaries. Its like attending a conference of psychologists and using the facts about those in attendance to decide that ALL psychologists attend conferences. Obviously, examining one particular group of people, can not be used to generalize about the much larger group of all psychologist!—Just like counting gays in obituary columns cannot be used to judge the medical health of all other gays!

      Unlike homosexuality, extreme depression is a mental disorder which is not typical of, say, all middle aged white males—like Williams. There are ways to treat it, and manage the disorder, however, being gay is not a disorder, and doesn’t result from any pathological anomaly.

      I am amazed that you somehow morphed an article intended to dispel some of the myths about depression, into a very flawed affirmation about he myth that being gay is a merely a destructive or unhealthy condition! It’s not the same as drug addiction, or cancer, because those problems are not typical of normal human genetics and hormonal makeup, nor do they manifest themselves as such, or represent proof of some sort of ethical failing or innate criminal mentality considered as being typical of being gay? They can be treated, but a gay person’s sexual orientation does not NEED to be treated or changed, and, gays who suffer from disorders like depression do not have those disorders because they are gay?—more often their depression has to do with being told from birth that, what one personally feels is natural for them, is really some kind of negative, perverse, or (God knows why)—even social subversive condition. Williams case cannot be used as a template including orientations like homosexuality or prove that gays require treatment. Your analogies are wrong and completely without any basis in facts! And are better suited to other topics!

      You can refuse to accept scientific evidence just as you can choose to believe that those with epilepsy suffer from demonic possession—no matter what those darn, “pro-epilepsy ideologues” say, but your denial does not affirm. and cannot disprove real and established facts! I only wish you could understand just how far off base you really are!

      • Peter W. Johnson, last time you said this ‘Even if I tried forever, I wouldn’t even be able to convince you that 12 noon happens during the day, instead of the night! I’m done here. To continue would only be a colossal waste of time!’ Peter W. Johnson, you repeatedly have said that you’re done with my comments on homosexuality, yet you repeatedly reply while saying you’re done.

        Peter W. Johnson, with nature argument you give, stealing and killing are also found among animals. Using animals as a guide to how people should behave is a bad idea. Cannibalism is also found among animals so natural argument is poor. Mainstream psychology/medicine is not to be trusted on gay/lesbian topic and too many people accept what is said w/o challenging or having doubts. If a Dr. says something which offends homosexuals, they get condemned incl. from groups like APA. Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron has talked about the dangers of gay/lesbian behaviors & he has been condemned for years by APA. Dr. Paul Drummond Cameron is right on the dangers of gay/lesbian conduct.

        Even if orientation doesn’t change, it’s best for gays/lesbians to be celibate just as it’s best for a person not to smoke. Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. They must abolish this surgical mutilation. Sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body.

        I am not a Christian but I agree with Christians is on the dangers of gay/lesbian agenda and there are many non-Christians and even some atheists who agree with Evangelical Christians. People distrust mainstream psychologists or mental health ‘professionals’ on homosexuality is because-1. They arrogantly say they’re mental health professionals as though what they say is infallible. 2. They have pro-homosexual biases and are dishonest. Psychology since 1973 in the USA usually has a pro-homosexual bias and not trustworthy. If a psychologist says truth which offends homosexual groups, then it gets condemned by homosexual groups. Peter W. Johnson, psychologists & psychiatrists often have disorders of their own as they deal with people’s problems and the stress of that job can mess up mind, that makes me think their findings on a controversial topic such as homosexuality is useless-having PHD or years of research does not make that valid because repair therapists also have PHD and they did years of work studying homosexuality.

        Psychologists and psychiatrists deal with other people’s problems and that can stress the mind. The fact that psychologists and psychiatrists often have problems of their own makes their findings useless because if they can not solve their own problems, then when they research this, they are often wrong.

        Many gays and lesbians who commit suicide do so because they often were childhood sex abuse victims and many have other copathologies such as antisocial conduct, drugs, etc. Gay/lesbian groups say suicide rates are high because of societal attitudes but that is not credible. People who have suffered sex abuse esp. childhood sex abuse have higher suicide rates. Facts are that homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health though pro-gay ideologues such as AMA and APA say otherwise and I think AMA and APA are dishonest on the homosexual topic.

        Main ideas of science and math are always the same (such as freezing temperature is 32 Degrees Fahrenheit, 2+2=4) and with main ideas of science, unless new information is found which changes prior conclusion (such as in 1950s when they found a whale is a mammal not a fish as scientists first thought), the main ideas of science stay the same. I do not believe mainstream science/psychology in the 1960s to early 70s discovered anything new to change conclusions on homosexuality when they removed homosexuality from DSM in 1973. They have as said since 1973 become ideological on gay/lesbian topic. It’s not a conspiracy but it’s ideology. I don’t deny possibility homosexuality could be genetic or inborn for some but that is unproven. Even if it’s true that homosexuality is inborn for some people, homosexual/lesbian conduct would still be bad for health.

        Never have I heard straights blame childhood sex abuse for reasons a man has sex with a woman and fathers children with her. Yet sometimes have heard gays and lesbians say childhood sex abuse is reason they do same sex behaviors. Sex abuse in youth can cause people to behave in ways. It’s not controversial to talk of nightmares, suicides, bed wetting often a result of sex abuse in youth. Yes, it’s a proven fact that childhood sex abuse is a major cause of homosexual/lesbian conduct in adulthood. Anybody who denies the link is dishonest, delusional or both.

        Any conduct can be learned and this includes sexual conduct. There are homosexuals and lesbians who say that childhood sex abuse (especially those who are victims of a gay priest) are reasons why they think they do same sex behaviors in adulthood. Had they not been repeatedly molested, would they have turned out straight instead of gay or lesbian? It doesn’t take an expert to know that sex abuse in youth can mess up the mind and cause people to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. Of course, not all who are sexually abused in youth become gay in adulthood-but the risk is higher.

        No, not all boys who are homosexually raped in youth become homosexual in adulthood & yes, there are many gays who weren’t homosexually raped in their youths. But homosexual rapes in youth incr. risk of a boy turning out homosexual. A kid can become a mugger by living in high crime neighborhood, seeing muggings in childhood and learning this conduct. Yes, there are muggers who were not raised in high crime neighborhoods but still became muggers, but that does not rule out other causes. Many emphysema victims did not smoke and were not exposed to 2nd hand smoke and got emphysema due to bad genes but it would be dishonest to deny truth that if a person smokes, he or she is more likely to get emphysema. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health as smoking is and needs to be marginalized like smoking is.They must abolish sex change maimings. Anyhow, asking/saying the same things to me will get you the same answer.

      • Abner,

        I quit commenting about your remarks on two different articles and their threads, not this one. But seeing as you have tried to continue making untrue comments about the nature of homosexuality, by using depression as a segway, I responded in kind on this post about Robin Williams and the problems with depression. You have somehow have used this current post by the POP to again deny all of the valid research that has been done about homosexuality! So if you will please get back to the current topic I will be glad to do the same. Otherwise, if you consider the information spread by the FRC to be valid, then once again, please show me where their remarks about reparative (or any other kinds) of treatment programs needing to be 100% effective before they are allowed, can be found. Otherwise, please confine your comments to Robin Williams, or the social mores affecting our perceptions and treatments for depression!

  3. POP,

    Even more tragic than losing Robin Williams, is the fact that so many jerks can only think of saying insensitive things about him. To me he seemed to be a very sensitive and complicated person, whose legacy does not deserve such abuse, and, anyone who can instantly channel about a dozen different comedic characters, as well as win an Oscar for dramatic acting can only be expected to be both complicated and admirable at the same time.

    I appreciate your observation that all of the taboos and insensitive remarks directed at those who commit suicide are not just the product of religions gone completely mad, but also represent a medieval mentality that encourages us to heap scorn, and spin specious theories about those who take their own lives. And, I also appreciate your observation that we often are subjected to double-binds as a result of this ignorance. In fact, when it comes to the idea that we are attempting to commit murder when being overcome by our emotional pain, we can feel that this misconception is the last straw that sometimes break the camels back, and, that it only increases our feelings of guilt and hopelessness until our despair becomes unbearable.

    Like you, and many others, I also have had bouts with depression and attempted suicide, or thought about it many times. However, for me, I believe it was a cry for help that has often been answered in ways that have helped. But, for those with clinical depression of a biological nature, depression becomes an overpowering problem that offers no relief, except from a combination of talk therapy, and the right kinds and doses of specific medications. So, people like Tom Cruise are truly showing their ignorance when claiming that chemical imbalances are somehow non-existent, and represent a cop out. And, the Scientology, (a pseudo-impressive sounding name for an unimpressive religion) that Cruise espouses, is really one of the most incredibly bizarre set of beliefs imaginable. His saving grace is that, he finally decided to apologize to Brook Shields after revealing that his mister know-it-all attitude, may have been inappropriate. The fact is, that we now know, that bio-chemistry plays a very powerful role in our mental health, and that even a comic genius like Williams can succumb to chemical imbalances.

    I have a loved one who suffers from bi-polar illness, and she has required hospitalization many times in her life. Once her mood swings are set in motion, they become much too powerful for her to overcome on her own. In fact, when she is in her depressive moods, one can feel the pull of her despair just by entering a room she is in. She is like a collapsing Neutron star on its way to becoming a black hole, and her emotions have complete control of her while they also exert a disturbing force on the rest of us. And no matter what might be said or done, she just cannot overcome them by herself. Most of us who have felt depressed, experience symptoms that are not nearly as severe, and we may recover without being heavily medicated. But, unless those who suffer severely get the help they need, there is often no chance that self-motivation alone can lead to recovery.

    Still, I would feel less comfortable when taking on all the religious contradictions that exert a negative effect on us all, since, for many very good and sane people, faith in an Iconic figure, can also play an important and very positive role in their lives. If one wants to blame atheists, or religionists for all of humanities woes, one can find numerous personal examples that implicate various beliefs. And, many religions do indeed, illustrate how bizarre and hateful, groups like the West-borough Baptist Church, and now ISIS, can be. But on the other side of the ledger, there are positive social causes that have rallied around spiritual principles in order to accomplish truly incredibly just goals—such as the Freedom riders who dared to challenge Jim Crow mentality and ensure civil rights for us all. Often they didn’t even know if they would finish their journeys alive, and many of them sung spiritual songs, to bolster their sagging spirits. People like Bobby Kennedy and MLK went the extra mile and ended up sacrificing all, because they all knew that their causes were worth fighting for. And, although Kennedy’s life may not have consisted of religion at its core, spiritual leaders, like MLK and Gandhi, definitely accomplished miracles by stressing Non-violent principles based on faith. The point is that, while not all religions are loving and sane, they are not all ugly nut case organizations either. That’s why your mention of a “medieval” mentality that colors our perceptions about topics which we don’t fully approve of or understand, is by far, a more accurate and conceptually valid term to use. More than serving to discredit religion, I think that just plain and simple ignorance in general, is really what threaten us, and what sets us back as members of the human race—no matter where that ignorance comes from!

    My own theory is that people like Robin Williams often feel disconnected from the rest of humanity because of their unique geniuses. That might explain the beautiful and powerful way Williams portrayed the Psychiatrist who succeeded in breaking through Will Hunting defenses, and moved him forward into the possibility of experiencing love. I don’t really know for sure, but, as you put it, “Robin Williams wasn’t talking to anyone as he tied the knot around his neck.,” And, unfortunately, his tendency to be eccentric may have come from the fact that he felt so personally different from the rest of us, and thus found it hard to comprehend the many, more ordinary people around him—let alone share his own personal feelings with them. But whatever happened, Williams was the kind of person that most of us can love and admire, without ever personally meeting.

    From our own lack of experiences, we can easily pass judgment on someone else, without personally understanding the road they walk, or without really comprehending their emotional pain. That’s why it is so important to write and read articles like yours that somehow make us understand, (as you also put it so well), that, “telling a severely depressed person to experience Joy, is like telling a blind man to go out and gather some yellow flowers.” We can only understand that our common ideas about mental illness are often wrong, and that, we owe it to those afflicted, as well as to ourselves, to try and really understand—nanoo, nanoo Robin!

  4. Abner,
    Taken from the link to the article by FRC—

    “It would be absurd to ban rehab because it doesn’t work for everyone; doesn’t work 100% by eliminating all temptation; isn’t always permanent; is sometimes undertaken because of family pressure; or because bad things may happen afterwards. It would be equally absurd to ban rehab in order to protect the self-esteem of people who do not consider their alcohol or drug use to be a problem.”

    Please tell me where any reputable scientific organization, including the APA, claims that any type of therapy that isn’t (100% effective) should be banned? Any group of scientists that do any kind of objective research, almost never attribute a 100% success rate to any kind of group or individual therapy! At least I have never heard of one? What they approve of, is types of therapy that result in a large number of successes, and that do not do further harm to the psychological self-esteem of those undergoing such therapies. That, however, is far from being a given concerning reparative therapy! And, the reason it isn’t, is that the course of treatment continue to persistently reinforcement of the idea that those who are gay suffer from some kind of illness, that can be altered by religious or psycho-spiritual methods. But many who actually think they have been “cured,” usually return to their old sexual practices, except for possibly feeling even more guilty about their own sexual orientations. Believe it or not Abner, this situation is analogous to the way that some elementary school children were once taught to use their right hands for penmanship, even though they were naturally left handed—just because their teachers thought it unnatural to be a lefty! Some kids were traumatized because of that belief!

    What psychologists are concerned about is the psychological harm possible when being forced to deny the natural sexual-orientation that gays have, and then being taught to suppress or channel it into types of sexuality which are actually harmful to the self-esteem of those who have already been constantly told that they are sinful of ill, just for being themselves! The twelve step program that many alcoholics follow to maintain their sobriety, has proven to be something like 70% effective, among those who sincerely follow the program—far from being perfect—but well worth considering for those who cannot quit drinking of their own accord. Reparative sex counseling has nowhere near the same kind of success, and several religious authorities who have been in charge of such programs, have eventually returned to their natural orientations, and even APOLOGIZED for making others experience psychological harm when adhering to their mistaken advice!

    Once again FRC is pulling facts out of thin air and distorting the ideas of psychologists, psychiatrists and reputable scientific researchers everywhere! If you don’t believe so, then please tell me where the APA has EVER claimed that a particular kind of group therapy or counseling produces positive results 100% of the time?—not including the misinformation regularly disseminated by the FRC!

  5. See this rubbish I found on a website which says it’s against sexual abuse of boys http://www.malesurvivor.org/myths.html See what that website wrote:

    Myth #2 – Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.

    Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.

    Here’s my rebuttal to what they call a myth:

    It depends on your definition, if 1 does not define a person who has same sex relations with a young boy as gay, then they call him straight or something else. The priests who molest young boys are gay pedophiles. If a man has sex with little girls only, then he is a straight pedophile. Rush H. Limbaugh’s right when he said Jerry A. Sandusky is gay-and columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemns who he calls gay priests. Those priests are again gay pedophiles, pederasts or homolesters. So there are many homosexual pedophiles such as the gay priests, Jerry A. Sandusky. A person is homosexual or lesbian if they knowingly and willing do same sex behaviors. If a person has homosexual activities with a young boy, then they are a homosexual pedofile. Jerry A. Sandusky is a homosexual pedofile-even if J.A. Sandusky calls himself straight, he would still be gay by behavior definition. But homosexual groups say that he is not gay when his conduct defines him as such.

    Again, it’s sexual conduct or behavior which defines if 1 is straight or homosexual. Even if a person has had opposite sex relations, if they knowingly and willing do homosexual behavior, then they’re homosexuals and lesbians. Just because a person has in past had sex with women, if they have sex with young boys then they are homosexual pedofiles and even for those who call themselves straight their conduct doesn’t change the truth they are homosexual pedofiles. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities. All homosexual pedofiles are homosexuals. All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. Homosexual groups got offended when columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemned who he called gay priests. What those priests did when they molest young boys is homosexuality. Yes, this is repeating but if a person has same sex conduct with young boys and girls then they are homosexual and lesbian pedofiles because again, it’s the same sex conduct which defines.

    That website is shit, when they call homosexual something else.

    • Abner,

      While these comments are completely unrelated to a post about Robin Williams and the social stigma of suicide, and we don’t really need to be discussing this topic on this particular thread, let me put in my 2 cents worth anyway;

      I believe that the term pedophile is intended to specifically label anyone who seeks sex from young children, and that, the gay distinction applies primarily to men or women who enter into ADULT, same-sex relationships—not with children. I also believe that some gays may molest children, but there is no real objective proof that they perpetrate more crimes of this kind, than straight people, or, that most abused children become gay because of being abused by a gay person. Again, a child molester may be attracted to children of the same sex, or not, but the term heterosexual is correctly used to describe someone in an adult heterosexual relationship who feels no compulsion to abuse children. Likewise, the term homosexual, refers to an ADULT same-sex relationship.

      The term pedophile itself, may not apply to specific genders. I think it is more of a general term given to those who molest children. Which sex they molest, is another subset that may not have a specific name—(I don’t know if scientists differentiate such sexual attractions with specific terms )? But when one refers to gays or straights, such a term denotes those who engage in ADULT sexual relationships with the same sex—not with children. Its like referring to a larger group such as scientists, and referring to categories within that field as physicists, astronomers or biologists etc. etc. So while every physicist is a scientist, it would be incorrect to say that every scientists is a physicist.

      However, what I am objecting to, is just that you somehow seem to equate Williams depression and his unfortunate suicide, with some kind of abnormal condition—also erroneously considered to be typical of gay people whose Lifestyle is “unhealthy”—Want to bet that many gay people do not use gyms or healthy foods just because they are gay? Good luck with that!

      And, when I use what you call a nature or animal argument, I am merely saying that homosexuality is something that does not automatically represent an aberration or an illness. If you think by saying that sexual orientation a natural occurring phenomenon means that I am using some sort of false “nature” or “animal” argument, then would you also criticise me for saying that blond hair, brown hair, incisors and molars, etc.etc. are naturally occurring physical traits shared by all humans—because that would represents some type of flawed (animal or nature) argument— overlooking the fact that many animals also have blond hair, or black hair etc.etc.? I think you’re making too much of that particular rebuttal, because your analogy is not really relevant to what I am saying.

      The reason the POP provided a link to the FRC site, was to provide an example of
      of how some people and/or organizations can spread misinformation to justify their preconceived notions, by ignoring actual facts, and using misinformation to imply things that are just not true—such as the mistaken notion that gays kill themselves because of choosing an immoral “lifestyle,” and then suffering extreme guilt as a result of NOT suppressing the sexual urges that the rest of society makes damn sure they understand is the work of the “Devil,” and/or a sign of their supposed immorality?—Imagine feeling suicidal because the rest of the world tells you from day one that you are a terrible sinner just for being the person God, or nature, created in the first place—or just a poor wretch who could be “normal” if only he or she had the proper kind of counseling and the proper amount of faith to become “cured?” How could that possible cause depression—and who has ever heard such an incredible thing?

      The song from South Pacific says it so well, when using the phrase, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” Woe be it to you, if you dare accept yourself as being entitled to simply be what you are!

      So somehow those gay loving liberals who live a hollywood “lifestyle,” are only getting what is an expected result, of daring to accept liberal ideas, such as the idea that, our common civil rights and our inherent human dignity gives us all the right to be who we are! Depression usually comes from being conditioned, or, “carefully taught,” and then, unsuccessfully trying to conform to the ideas of others, about what to consider normal or healthy—it’s really quite a number to lay on someone—isn’t it?

      • Peter W. Johnson you said this ‘Even if I tried forever, I wouldn’t even be able to convince you that 12 noon happens during the day, instead of the night! I’m done here. To continue would only be a colossal waste of time!’ Peter W. Johnson, you repeatedly have said that you’re done with my comments on homosexuality, yet you repeatedly reply.

        Peter W. Johnson, with nature, stealing and killing are also found among animals. Incest or inbreeding has also been observed in nature. Cannibalism is also found among animals so natural argument is poor. Using animals as a guide to how people should behave is a bad idea. Many gays and lesbians who commit suicide do so because they often were childhood sex abuse victims and many have other copathologies such as antisocial conduct, drugs, etc. Gay/lesbian groups say suicide rates are high because of societal attitudes but that is not credible. People who have suffered sex abuse esp. childhood sex abuse have higher suicide rates.

        Why people take part in gay/lesbian activities is the same as why people get heart disease. Some people take part in gay/lesbian activities because maybe it’s because of biological defect such as hormones or if it’s genes a birth defect. Then some people take part in gay/lesbian activities because of childhood sex abuse reaction. It doesn’t take an expert to know that sex abuse esp. homosexual rape in youth can mess up the mind. There are people who take part in gay activities in adulthood due to reaction from homosexual rapes in youth. I’ve heard some gays & lesbians say that they think sex abuse in youth is a reason why they take part in gay/lesbian activities & it’s hard to know how sex abuse impacted mind. The politically correct psychologists who deny this know it’s possible for a boy to turn out gay as a result of childhood sex abuse, yet deny what they know is true. Of course, not all who are sexually abused in youth become gay in adulthood-but the risk is higher. Any conduct can be learned and this includes sexual conduct.You can rerun again & again that homosexuality isn’t a disease, but again, I say go ahead & cure it.

        Facts are that homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health though pro-gay ideologues such as AMA and APA say otherwise and I think AMA and APA are dishonest on the homosexual topic. Truth is that gay/lesbian groups think it’s Okay for gays to homolest teenage boys. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities.

        Though it’s repeat it must be said again. A person is homosexual or lesbian if they knowingly and willing do same sex behaviors. If a person has homosexual activities with a young boy, then they are a homosexual pedofile. Jerry A. Sandusky is a homosexual pedofile-even if J.A. Sandusky calls himself straight, he would still be gay by behavior definition. But homosexual groups say that he is not gay when his conduct defines him as such.The priests who molest young boys are gay pedophiles. If a man has sex with little girls only, then he is a straight pedophile. Rush H. Limbaugh’s right when he said Jerry A. Sandusky is gay-and columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemns who he calls gay priests. Those priests are again gay pedophiles, pederasts or homolesters. So there are many homosexual pedophiles such as the gay priests, Jerry A. Sandusky.

        Again, it’s sexual conduct or behavior which defines if 1 is straight or homosexual. Even if a person has had opposite sex relations, if they knowingly and willing do homosexual behavior, then they’re homosexuals and lesbians. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities. All homosexual pedofiles are homosexuals. All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. homosexual groups got offended when columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemned gay priests. What those priests did when they molest young boys is homosexuality. NC Register in a past link called it homosexual pedofilia among the priests. Yes, this is repeating but it must again be said that if a person has same sex conduct with young boys and girls then they are homosexual and lesbian pedofiles because again, it’s the same sex conduct which defines. Peter W. Johnson, asking/saying the same things to me will get you the same answer.

      • Abner,

        I am no longer exchanging comments with you on the POP’s posts concerning the gay persecution complex, and the controversy about political correctness in regards to the Name (Washington Redskins).

        This post, about suicide, depression and Robin Williams, is not about homosexuality! But when you continue to spread misinformation about gays. I won’t allow you to get away with those untruthful statements.

        If you want to continue discussing Homosexuality, then please post on one of the previous threads on this website, that’s intended specifically for that topic.

  6. What I said:

    “such as the mistaken notion that gays kill themselves because of choosing an immoral “lifestyle,” and then suffering extreme guilt as a result of NOT suppressing the sexual urges that the rest of society makes damn sure they understand is the work of the “Devil,…”

    The word “then,” should be removed to make my meaning more clear—in example:

    “such as the mistaken notion that gays kill themselves because of choosing an immoral “lifestyle,” and suffering extreme guilt as a result of NOT suppressing the sexual urges that the rest of society makes damn sure they understand is the work of the “Devil,….”

    It’s pretty hard to kill yourself and (then) feel the guilt of having a sinful lifestyle?—unless we get into life after death.

  7. P.O.P.-is suicide a choice? Yes, suicide victims chose to kill themselves. But bad events which happened in their lives before the suicide often happened against their will. Child abuse victims are more likely to commit suicide and the bad events of being abused was against their will. We do not know if actor Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams) had bad events in childhood which traumatized him into adulthood which he never recovered from.

    Being successful movie actor and having success in life does not mean a person’s happy. Just because a person is successful, does not necessarily mean that they are happy. Oprah is a successful billionaire but only she knows if she is happy-the woman has had traumas in her life when she was teenager. Finally, I don’t understand how people can go on with their lives such as work after they’ve had a trauma in life such as have a child die. Actor John Travolta (John Joseph Travolta) had a son who died in 2009, yet he still went on with life after his son died.

  8. Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams) movie he made before his death-Night @ the Museum sequel to Night @ the Museum & the Smithsonian Battle will be released December 2014 and unless I’m dead between now and then, I will see that movie. But Hollywood actors in addition to Robin have had sad times in life-we hear more about this because they are famous. Here are other actors (actresses) who like Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams) have had sad times.

    – I dream of Jeannie Actress Barbara Eden (Barbara Jean Morehead and unrelated to actress Agnes R. Moorehead who was Endora on Bewitched). Her son died in 2001 of drug overdose @ 36 years old.

    -Late Actor Bill Bixby (Wilfred Bailey Everett Bixby 3-1934-1993) who played Dr. David Bruce Banner of the 1977-1982 TV Series Incredible Hulk (I have seen all the episodes of this TV show including the 4 TV movies made in 1977 Incredible Hulk, 1988 Incredible Hulk Returns, 1989 Trial of the Incredible Hulk, 1990 Death of the Incredible Hulk). Mr. Bixby’s son died in 1981 when he was 7 years old in a skiing accident. In 1982, his ex wife Brenda Ann Bixby (she guest starred in an Incredible Hulk episode titled Psychic) committed suicide by gunshot-likely depression from their son’s death.

    -Eg. raised in an earlier post of actor John Travolta (John Joseph Travolta) having his 17 year old son die in 2009.

    Barbara Eden (Barbara Jean Morehead) wants us to know her from I dream of Jeannie and the entertainment she gave playing Jeannie. My guess would be that people such as Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Williams) and the late actor Bill Bixby want us to remember them for the entertainment they gave us while acting as Mr. Bixby did when he starred as David Bruce Banner on the Incredible Hulk. But how it ended for all of them is sad.

  9. I saw the movie Night @ the Museum, Tomb Secret on Christmas. While the movie had good special effects the plot was OK. I liked the 2 movies which came before this- Night @ the Museum (2006) and Night @ the Museum, Smithson Battle (2009) more. That is my view on the movie without saying what the plot was. The rest of what I will say on actor Robin Williams (Robin McLaurin Willians) committing suicide and his depression is copy&paste. He was a talented actor but had problems with depression, alcohol and drugs. Now why he committed suicide, only he knew. We don’t know if he had traumas which caused his depression. While you hope a patient fully tells their Dr. of problems that they have, many do not fully report all their problems which they keep secret. Yes, he got help for depression but we do not know if he had traumas that he would not want others to know, not even his counselor.

    Just because a person is successful, does not necessarily mean that they are happy. Oprah is a successful woman and a billionaire but only she knows if she is happy-the woman has had traumatic experiences in her life when she was teenager. Robin M. Williams was a talented actor and he maximized on his talent though he suffered from depression and must repeat-Only he knew why he committed suicide & let’s recall his talent. You don’t always know the traumas a person has had in life & for years Robin M. Williams made the best of his talents though in the end he killed himself.

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