Suicide is not an LOL matter | June 24, Daniel Ruth column
No name, no shame
I could not agree more with Daniel Ruth's perspective on what we have become as a society when we laugh at someone committing suicide. We hide behind the anonymity of goofy online profiles, then proceed to jeer and ridicule someone who took his own life. That stretches well beyond sick into perverse. It deals haymaker punches to my faith in humanity when I read the comment sections attached to stories like that. I think to myself, there must not be that many heartless, myopic and, yes, perverse individuals in this country, state, city. In the back of my mind I hold out hope that it is just a handful of idiots, posting multiple idiotic and cowardly diatribes from multiple pseudo-identities they created. However, it speaks to a core value in America that I see as disintegrating: accountability.
Ruth lays it out plain: "We all know if the LOL dolts had to actually attach their real names to their drooling, the cruel assault on a suicide victim never would have taken place." The kids who bullied that New York school bus monitor all said they got caught up in the moment and ganged up on her when individually they might have held their tongues. I challenge all of you "LOL dolts" to own up to who you are and what you say. Post your picture and your real name instead of some goofy emoticon and pet name. If you can't stand by what you say, you have no business saying it.
John Andrew Warrener, Odessa
Sad about cruel posts
Thank you for Daniel Ruth's thoughtful observations about cruel comments regarding a recent suicide from the Sunshine Skyway bridge. He nailed the reasons these immature people are so brazen on a public but anonymous forum: They are writing for themselves and are just sure that people are shocked at their comments. Most of us are just sad that there are so many unintelligent people out there willing to hide behind a thick curtain to shout their inane and empty thoughts.
Barbara Hodges, Tarpon Springs
Human life devalued
I read with interest your recent column, with which I agree wholeheartedly. However, what I think you failed to see or mention is the question of why people have become so callous with regard to the appreciation of the value of a human life. You attribute it to the anonymity that the social media provide, leading to cowards and "faceless dimwits." However, I believe that you are citing only a symptom of a much deeper problem.
Do you think the fact that our American popular culture has become so indifferent to the value of a human being's life has anything to do with the issue of abortion in our present-day culture? Try to connect the dots here. Any society that obsesses on the "pleasure principle" has cheapened the value of human life. A human being conceived in an act of pleasure becomes a "byproduct" of that primary goal of pleasure and thus becomes an obstacle to more pleasure, becoming a burden to the pleasure seeker, who seeks to dispose of him or her by abortion or abortion-inducing drugs.
Mr. Ruth, if you are honest, you will admit that it is a quick and easy step from taking the life of an unborn child on a regular basis to the devaluing of any human life.
U.S. Catholic bishops just completed "A Fortnight for Freedom," a two-week daily prayer to fight the Obama administration's forced mandate on the Catholic Church to provide abortions, abortion-inducing drugs and artificial contraception to all of its employees. If the Catholic Church refuses to comply with this mandate, Catholic organizations face an estimated $300,000 to $600,000 a year starting in 2013. The church is prepared to close hospitals and charitable organizations under its governance rather than comply with a government mandate that is anathema to what it has believed and has taught for the past 2,012 years, in other words, since Jesus Christ himself founded the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is the only religious institution holding back the floodwaters of a Godless society in which no one will be safe from the whims and mandates of the government.
There is no difference in the loss of human life, be it the life of an unborn child or a person in despair who takes his own life.
Lorraine Parrino, Tampa