The hit Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, is based on an internationally bestselling book of the same name by author Jay Asher. It chronicles the story of Clay Jenson who has received cassette tapes in a package and hears the voice of deceased classmate Hannah Baker. He's one of 13 people who receive Hannah's story, which details the circumstances that led to her suicide. The show glorifies teenage suicide. Hannah was a victim of rape, cyber-bullying and other evil acts. She kills herself to "get revenge" on the thirteen people who wronged her. This female "protagonist" is shown as a "martyr," thereby displaying the show's complete disregard (and a warped understanding) of martyrdom. It also romanticizes suicide as "heroic."
School districts throughout the United States are issuing warnings against the show, telling parents not to let their children watch it. Unfortunately, you hear virtually nothing (as usual) from the Vatican II sect, and when you do, it's not a condemnation or clarification of Church teaching but only a warped public service announcement regarding "mental illness." The message is that suicide can only be the result of psychological problems, not spiritual ones. The secular schools will only tell the parents "it's not a good choice." (I guess the same could be said of mass murder). This post will put forth authentic Church teaching on suicide.
Direct and Indirect Suicide
Suicide is either direct or indirect, according to both the intention and mode. A person who kills himself from knowledge and choice makes the act direct. The mode is direct if what is done tends by its very nature to cause death (e.g., taking a lethal dose of cyanide). Someone who is mentally ill would only kill himself indirectly. The mode is indirect if that which is done tends from its nature to another end, i.e. to struggle with a criminal wielding a gun. It is wrong to assume that all people are mentally ill, and the suicide is only indirect (although one is free to assume a majority may be psychologically disturbed).
Direct suicide is always a mortal sin that deprives the person of ecclesiastical burial unless they were able to give signs of repentance before death (See Canon 1240, section 3). If the person who attempts suicide is unsuccessful, they are subject to various penalties pronounced in Canon 2350, section 2. If it is doubtful that the person killed himself, the doubt is decided in the decedent's favor that he did not, provided there would be no scandal.
The Sinfulness of Suicide
Suicide is a grave sin for three (3) reasons:
1.It is a most grave offense against the rights of God. The act usurps God's authority over life and death. "Thou, O Lord, hast the power of life and death." (Wisdom 16: 13). Human life has intrinsic worth because it comes from God, and God wills the salvation of all. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took on a human nature and died for humanity, to give all a chance to get to Heaven.
2. It is a grave offense against society. A community has the right to be benefited by the lives of their members. It has a demoralizing effect on those who loved the person. People valuable to society would rashly kill themselves in a fit of depression thinking they are not valuable. Even members of society not able to contribute in any substantial, material way would deprive others of an example of fortitude, or the opportunity to show charity and mercy to the needy.
3. It is a grave offense against the natural law. You cannot "love thy neighbor as thyself," unless there is love of self (not inordinate). Those who kill themselves to escape pain and miseries, incur the greater evils of death and moral cowardice, to be followed by eternal damnation--the greatest of all evils and suffering.
(Material above condensed from theologians McHugh and Callan, Moral Theology, 2: 117-123)
Spiritual Suicide: Vatican II
Vatican II has rendered death the greatest evil to avoid by teaching de facto Hell does not exist, God does not punish, and all religions are equal. Ironically, and tragically, it also gives those overwhelmed by trials an incentive to take their own life. Why not end it all and be happy in Heaven? Arch-heretic Hans Kung, now 89 and suffering from Parkinson's Disease, said he will seriously consider suicide. "No one should endure an unbearable suffering as if it were sent by God," he writes in his last book. Really? Isn't that exactly what Christ did to redeem us on the Cross?
It's been said that suffering is the price we pay for being human. We put an animal "out of its misery," but human life is different for the follower of Christ. No one wants to suffer, but at least we know it serves a purpose. We can expiate our sins, unite our suffering with Christ and merit the conversion of poor sinners. The greatest of human achievements and creativity can come from suffering, such as the paintings of Van Gogh, or the music of Beethoven. All the saints realized the value of suffering and rejoiced to suffer here rather than hereafter. Vatican II jettisoned the primacy of the supernatural order (for the few left in the sect who even believe in it) and suffering is seen as valueless. Hans Kung wishes to imitate Judas, rather than Christ; fitting as both betrayed Him.
Consider the following statistics from jasonfoundation.com:
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
- Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for college-age youth and ages 12-18.
- More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
- Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12.
Now, we have a teen drama that romanticizes suicide. 13 Reasons Why makes it seem that if everyone were nice, no one would commit suicide, and given the problems of life, suicide can be an "honorable" and even "brave" option. Rock singers such as Prince, Ozzy Osbourne, and Judas Priest have songs that glorify killing yourself. The Vatican II sect tells us there is no redemptive value to suffering because we all go to Heaven anyway. Christ told us, " And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. " (St. Matthew 10:28). Suicide kills both body and soul.