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Matthew Warren was the 27 year-old son of famous evangelical minister Rick Warren, known for his invocation at the 2009 Obama Inauguration, his best selling book "The Purpose Driven Life," his antipathy toward LGBT people and his support of the anti-LGBT rights movement.  Matthew died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last night at the Warren family Friday at Matthew's own home.  According to a statement released by the family, Matthew had suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts for some time, and had received unspecified treatment for his struggles with mental illness.

First, my deepest condolences to the Warren family.  No parent should have to suffer the loss of their child, and the death of a child by suicide is particularly hard for many families to bear.  All too often, we read about young people taking their lives to the point that many in our society have become numb to the pain these individuals suffered every day.  Anyone who has lived with a person, or been a caretaker for a person with anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders knows too well that pain is real and debilitating.  I don't agree with Rick Warren's views, but I do feel empathy for the the pain he must be feeling right now over the death of his son.  I've come close to losing people whom I cared deeply about to suicide.

I don't know if any good can come out of such tragedy, but I hope that, after reflection on the true teachings of Jesus and much soul searching, Rick Warren decides to reassess his intolerant views regarding gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and the transgendered.  Many of them suffer under the burden of societal animus, an animus fueled by many popular evangelical Christian preachers such as Rick Warren.  Many of LGBT youth commit suicide after long periods of bullying and often abandonment by their own family members. The pain they feel - is it so different than the pain your own son felt before he died, Mr. Warren?

Perhaps I am hoping for too much.  It is not easy to change the habits of a lifetime.  Still, what better memorial to Matthew Warren's life could there be than for his father to support the people he previously disavowed and despised, to finally preach that they too are God's children?  You have asked for us to pray for you and your family, Mr. Warren.  Very well.  My prayer is that you find a way through your grief over the loss of your son, and that in doing so, you use your position of influence in the evangelical community to turn away from hatred and intolerance and come out in support of LGBT individuals, their rights and their lives.  Your family statement says that Matthew was ...

"... an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room."

I have no reason to doubt that assessment of Matthew's character, despite the demons he fought against during his far too short life and which ultimately led to his decision to kill himself.  I only ask that you, Mr. Warren, consider whether Matthew would have wanted his father to continue your anti-gay ministry, or whether, out of compassion for LGBT people who have suffered so much, Matthew would want his father's heart to change, and for you to publicly recant all your former hateful opinions and statements about LGBT people.  I ask you to ponder whether Matthew would want you to keep your grief to yourself, or, instead, to use it as a positive force to help others.  At least consider the possibility that he would want you to fully accept that all men and women are brothers and sisters and that everyone is deserving of love and respect regardless of their sexual orientation.  To have you preach love and inclusion, instead of preaching bigotry and hatred.

That is my prayer for you.  That is my prayer for you.  May God give you the strength in the days to come to see past your grief and accept the power of love, not just for those who are like you, those who believe as you do, but for everyone.

Originally posted to Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Angry Gays and Milk Men And Women.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm not asking anyone (51+ / 0-)

    to accept my prayer as their own.  A lot of people have reason to be angry with Rick Warren.  Many of you may not share my hope that he could ever change.  And perhaps you are right.  But I chose to hope the man is capable of redemption.  And I am truly sorry for Matthew's death.  Having experienced close calls when friends and family have attempted suicide, I know that no person, no family, is immune from such a tragedy.  I feel fortunate not to have lost any people I love to the demon of depression and suicide.

    In any event, if you read this, thank you.

    Steven D

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:38:29 PM PDT

  •  My appeal to Warren.. (40+ / 0-)

    If you know any family in your congregation who is dealing with someone who has a serious mental illness, such as your son was.
    Please tell them to remove any firearms from the house.

  •  Where did he get the gun? (5+ / 0-)

    And when they say "mental illness" are we using today's definition or one from the 50s?

    •  The reports do not say re: the gun (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, cotterperson, kyril, aitchdee

      The family's statement indicated Matthew had dealt with depression most of his life.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:58:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From my link (12+ / 0-)
      "No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now," the pastor wrote in the note, a copy of which was sent to CNN.

      "You who watched Matthew grow up knew he was an incredibly kind, gentle, and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He'd then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.

      "But only those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America's best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided."

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 12:59:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What kind of mental illness does one suffer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        'since birth'?  I have never heard of mentally ill babies or toddlers.  Yeah mentally challenged but not mentally ill.  I guess because they aren't naming the illness it just brings up more questions at least for me.  Normally when someone dies they say "so and so suffered from blank".  Then our collective response is "oh I knew someone who had that.  Tragic."  Instead we are focusing on suicide.  Ok, but why did he do it?  I only ask because the family offers an explanation and says he suffered from a mental illness he had since birth.  Ok, which one?  Is it rare?  I thought most physicians hesitate in diagnosing children until they reach a certain age.  Suicide is a gift that keeps on giving.  It forever changes those left behind and the best thing we can do is focus on prevention.

        •  The illness may be there (5+ / 0-)

          but not manifest itself till later years -- puberty is often a trigger for many mental health issues. That was when my brother-in-law's bi-polar with schizophrenia first showed up according to my mother-in-law, but it took some time before it was fully diagnosed. That doesn't mean it wasn't there beforehand. There are also things like ADD, ADHD, and such which manifest themselves far earlier, and provide their own set of challenges which can contribute to depression -- in that case it's more of a societal depression rather than brain chemistry related, but it's still just as brutal. As someone who attempted suicide in 8th grade, I know how brutal it can be.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:33:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They named "depression." (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Steven D, wader, jan4insight

          That is a brain disease in many cases and can be resistant to treatment. Heredity can lead to a predisposition for it, so it is there from birth. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are specifically trained for that specialty, and computerized brain imaging has led to new brain treatments. Situational depression is treated differently, as are bi-polar and no doubt many other types.

          Frankly, it is heart-breaking to me that anyone is despondent enough to take their own life. Unfortunately, depression is sometimes unbearable and ends in suicide. It's a terrible way to lose any loved one, but especially your own child.

          "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

          by cotterperson on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:35:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, c'mon. Is that really something we need to (7+ / 0-)

          ruthlessly interrogate? First of all, there are plenty of child psychiatrists that do treat depression and bipolar disorders in children. Second of all, there are plenty of things parents and children "know" through an intuitive, observational level. I'm bipolar, and, while I wasn't a "bipolar" child, I was an intensely moody child. I felt things the way my sister didn't.

          I don't think we have any business questioning what a parent "knows" about a child, whether it's been verified by an expert or not. FYI, the experts really aren't. Psychiatry isn't a very well understood field. It operates on a lot of unproven assumptions. It's speculative, and so is parental perception.

        •  OT, from birth (0+ / 0-)

          I heard from someone with a mentally ill child that a study was done (Columbia University?) that showed that in the particular population the child belonged to (depression in childhood then schizophrenia in adolescence) one of the earliest indicators was in early infancy--as babies they sometimes held their bodies totally rigid.

          I know a family whose baby did this, too, but she grew up only to have mild depression (fortunately).

          Prayers for Rick Warren now? I don't know. . . . . Depression and suicide--really tough issues.

  •  You're a better person than me, props nt (10+ / 0-)
  •  My sympathy and compassion... (7+ / 0-)

    ...is for the deceased, not for his absolute piece of shit father. Until reading this story now, I did not know that Rick Warren had a son with depression, but I have no doubt that Rick Warren's failure as a father and failure as a human being was a key cause of his son's depression. One does not preach hate and not harm those that hear that preaching. Rick Warren is a poison.

    •  Perhaps you don't know a lot about depression. You (25+ / 0-)

      might want to learn more before making such a broad statement. Children of even the best parents can become depressed, and children of terrible parents can avoid it. You literally have no grounds whatsoever for assigning the cause of Matthew's depression and blaming it on his father's parenting (if Warren saw your comment) would accomplish nothing but increase his pain.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps you would like to talk... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prinny Squad

        ...to my therapist. I know a shitton about depression. I nearly fucking killed myself because of the preachings of people like Warren telling me that I was sinful and evil and that all I had to do was pray to Jesus in order to be straight and thus when that didn't happen after an entire year of praying every day I turned to suicide to keep something as evil as I was from living. I know depression and I know suicide; we're on a first name basis with one another.

        I want Rick Warren's pain increased: he has explicitly made a shitton of money off of inflicting pain on people like me. He deserves pain; his deceased son did not, but he obviously grew up surrounded by the poison that is his father and that obviously contributed to his depression. You are oblivious if you think that Warren's poison did not affect his son. Depression and suicide are the explicit, direct result of Rick Warren's life's work.

        •  I'm very sorry that you have suffered from and (15+ / 0-)

          struggled with depression. I am also sorry that you were in an environment like the one you describe, and that it contributed to your depression.

          I will repeat, though, that depression is a large subject. Good parents can have children that are depressed. Bad parents can have children that are spared the scourge. It's not a simple one-to-one map.

          I have also struggled with depression. In wrestling with it I have learned a great deal about it, both from a personal perspective and my own depression and also from a wider and  more clinical one. I will repeat: you do not know the specific origins of Matthew Warren's depression.

          You are free to want Warren's suffering but bearing a grudge or desire for revenge is like taking poison and expecting your enemy to die.



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:29:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed, and well-put (8+ / 0-)

            I was depressed even as a young girl, long before sexuality was a thought in my head.

            And my mom was a good mom. She almost literally chained herself to me upon realizing how depressed I was.

            All of love is not enough to take away my depression.

            Unfortunately, no amount of love is.

            If all it took was love and good parents, I would have been spared from this wretched, horrible disease.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:44:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Rick Warren preaches hatred. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Prinny Squad

            It is literally what he has dedicated his life to doing. There is no way that that didn't affect his son.

            I don't understand the eagerness some liberals have for defending Rick Warren. I don't see the same eagerness from them to defend Fred Phelps, yet they both preach the same thing.

            •  I am somewhat puzzled by this. What I am (0+ / 0-)

              familiar with from his writings is "The Purpose-Driven Life," which can't be called hateful that I can see. He was opposed to marriage equality but questions of homosexuality were a very small part of his speaking and writing as far as I can see. Can you cite some sources?



              Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

              by Wee Mama on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:54:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Reading this account doesn't make (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jeff in nyc



                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:02:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Prinny Squad

                  it makes him sound like he suffers from command hallucinations, at a minimum.

                  "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                  by kyril on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:14:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm literally too sick for this shit again. (0+ / 0-)

                I feel like absolute shit now because all this has done is remind me of how even people who should know better don't. I don't feel like revisiting all the infuriating conversations that happened on this site when Obama picked Rick Warren to do the prayer during his first innauguration. We could never get a large number of people here to understand why it was so offensive then. There'll be no chance of getting you to understand now.

              •  Meh (0+ / 0-)

                I know society demands we follow certain protocols during "away from keyboard" interactions. These protocols have a certain goal in mind, which is not the pursuit of truth. The goal is instead to perpetuate certain falsehoods which are necessary to maintain certain social orders.

                Frankly, I am willing to compromise. I will continue to follow such protocols during "away from keyboard" interactions, but on the keyboard in anonymous web forums I will vehemently and passionately pursue only the truth. Screw anyone who feels offended by my insistence of stating true things on anonymous web forums no matter what the subject, time or place.

                This is something which we ought to do away from the keyboard as well. "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" Wishy-washy redundancy. "Is it true?" is the only question we should ask, for only the truth is necessary and kind. History shows that false beliefs is what stunts human progress.

                One of those false beliefs is homophobia.

            •  I don't defend the preaching of hatred (4+ / 0-)

              You are correct that Rick Warren has spent much of his life and dedicated his considerable talents in large part to preaching hatred and intolerance. You are almost certainly correct that this affected his son. But neither you nor I have the information that would be required to know whether or to what extent Matthew Warren's illness was triggered or deepened by that experience; no one on earth has that knowledge.

              I would never defend the preaching of hatred, particularly in the name of Christ. However, I would always encourage compassion for any human being in pain. I do this in part because I am human, and understand what pain is. I do it in part because I am a Christian, and believe that compassion is the very least we are called upon to offer to our brothers and sisters -- even the most wayward of them -- when they are in need of it.

              I also encourage compassion because, as both a Christian and a progressive, I believe it is important to model the behavior I wish my antagonist to adopt. If I want Rick Warren to understand the pain his preaching has caused, and to repent of it, I must help him acquire compassion, because that is the only way he will arrive at the desired point. And what better way to help him acquire compassion for us than for us to offer it to him?

              As for defending Warren or Fred Phelps, I would not. But were Phelps to lose a child to suicide, illness, or mischance, I would most certainly offer him compassion. Failure to do so would not diminish him a whit, but it would most certainly diminish me. And what would he learn, but that he was right, and I am no better than he thinks I am?

              If you will not or can not offer compassion to Dr. Warren and his family, I certainly will not condemn you. People who have been damaged by others are sometimes unable to respond to those who have wronged them as human beings, particularly if they feel they have not been treated as human beings. But please do not condemn those of us who try to show the Warren family the compassion that the father fails to display to others. It is part of our effort to change him -- and an essential part of our effort not to become him.

              "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

              by pragmaticidealist on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 06:44:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I completely agreed that Fred Phelps is a hate- (0+ / 0-)

                filled person. From what I have read by Warren I don't see hate but rather a concern for human beings to fulfill their potential. Do you have a specific link to Warren's hateful writings or views? To conflate all Evangelicals is like claiming that everyone on Daily Kos has the same views on everything.



                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 05:25:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't conflate all Evangelicals (0+ / 0-)

                  Indeed, if you reread my previous comment I make no mention of Evangelicals as a group, nor do I identify Rick Warren as one. I limit my comments to the two individuals in the comment to which I was responding: Rick Warren and Fred Phelps.

                  That being said, Dr. Warren has a long history of making rather nasty and scientifically indefensible -- and, I would argue, unChristian -- statements against LGBT persons. A quick Google search will  find examples. For instance, he has rather generously described homosexuality as "in the hierarchy of evil ... not the worst sin" and has made a variety of comments implying support for conversion to heterosexuality, though without specifics as to the means. As recently as 2012, he equated homosexuality with "wanting to punch a guy in the nose." On the other hand, in 2009 he called for Ugandan leaders to back away from the more vile positions they were trying to codify into the nation's laws, so he's not as bad as some.

                  I'd be very pleased to hear that Dr. Warren has recanted his positions against marriage equality and the gay community in general, if he has done so. He seems to have focused himself of late to his very successful "purpose-driven" theme which, though I disagree with the underlying theology, doesn't seem to be overtly hateful. However, until he recants his earlier positions and begins to seek actively to undo the damage he and others have done, I and most of the LGBT community will continue to see his work in the unflattering light of his nastier "witness".

                  "Do it in the name of Heaven; you can justify it in the end..." - Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter

                  by pragmaticidealist on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:36:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Yes a childhood friend was diagnosed with (5+ / 0-)

        schizophrenia and severe depression when she was 19 and in college in France.  I will always remember her mother ringing our doorbell frantically so she could make long distance calls to France, while her husband was at their house calling the American Embassy and a hospital in France.  It was the early 7os.  They were desperately and frantically trying to get her home safely. Her parents moved heaven and earth for their kids and they were some of the best parents anyone could ask for.  ( our moms were best friends ).  
        But she was given anything her heart desired, provided an excellent education,  and much nuturing , care, love and when she returned to the states, her mother accompanied her across the country to find the best treatment.  

        To this day,she lives with her sister ( our parents are all now deceased) and her sister looks after her, cares for her, will move heaven and earth for her. She still struggles with mental illness,.

        In the case of this friend, most of her mental health professionals and her family feel there is a genetic link as her maternal grandmother suffered from mental illness and depression even though her parents and siblings did not.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:46:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Punditus Maximus

      People like Warren are catastrophic for people with depression.

      As someone who suffered from depression, I shudder to think what Warren-approved "unspecified treatments" could include.

  •  I am a sibling survivor of suicide.... (10+ / 0-)

    and your thoughts are very well stated. Time for discussion of Mr. Warren's antipathy for the LGBT community should occur later.  Now we should send out prayers, good vibes or whatever we believe in to his family as they deal with such a devastating loss.

    Eric Cantor can kiss my big old Missouri butt!"

    by cyncynical on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:31:26 PM PDT

    •  Time for compassion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cyncynical, cotterperson, wader

      and sympathy today.

      Next week, maybe next month, we can try to learn some lessons from this tragedy.

      -5.38, -2.97
      The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

      by ChuckInReno on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:37:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I would hope we can show more kindness (14+ / 0-)

      and compassion than Rick Warren has shown many people, I do have trouble with the idea that over the years, he's added to people's suffering. He's freely judged others and I bet, presumed to judge them on behalf of God.

      So while I wouldn't say anything mean to Rick Warren right now, and I am truly sorry for his son... Okay, I don't know what I want to say.

      It makes me mad that we're supposed to offer compassion to people who've been dicks to so many people.

      There. That's what I wanted to say.

      I suspect there are a lot of people who would have appreciated some compassion from RW over the years. I wish he'd ask himself if he's entitled to compassion now.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:57:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't have to offer anything to Warren (10+ / 0-)

        And I wouldn't demand that you do.

        We can only do what we are able to do on any given day.

        That's the point isn't it?  Not to judge what someone else is capable of doing.

        Today I feel like offering up the prayer that Rick Warren can change, can undo some of the hurt and harm he has brought to the lives of so many.  Before I heard of his son's death I wouldn't have suggested such a thing.  To be honest I have a low opinion of him and his past actions.

        But I suspect he loved his son.  No person is all good or bad.  I wrote this in the wish that he can indeed change, because I'm sure he's in a world of hurt, and sometimes it takes the experience of great suffering to unlock empathy for others who are suffering.

        However, even if Warren himself doesn't reach that point himself, perhaps someone else might read this, someone who has hated gays and lesbians and transgendered for no reason other than irrational fear and prejudice, and they may find discover the truth that we all suffer equally in this life, and our differences are nothing compared to our common humanity.  Railing against Warren and those like him for me did not seem productive today, however.  

        So I guess I hope that showing compassion and respect and empathy for Rick Warren today, for me, was the best way to acknowledge that humanity, and that maybe he and others like him could, in the wake of tragedy acknowledge those who in the past they have scorned.

        I was raised in a Christian church, and though I no longer believe in many things in the Christian religion I do believe in the primary teaching of Jesus: Love.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  And who is our neighbor?  Everyone.

        Some days I do better at following that teaching than others, as I'm sure you do.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:36:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I get that. I'm glad you can. Truly. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, cotterperson, Steven D, wader

          I just needed to say that I was mad. I'd read somewhere else that there were some mean comments left on news stories about Warren's son's suicide, people condemning those mean comments.

          And I found it hypocritical that Warren had been so critical of others -- an active negative influence in the world -- and now needed compassion, and there are others who will condemn people who can't offer it to Warren now.

          I have a lot of issues with organized religion.

          Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

          by teresahill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:26:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Was Matthew gay? (15+ / 0-)

    I was wondering about that, but have not heard anything about it.  In the closet perhaps?  Very sad in any event.

    The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

    by estamm on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:35:37 PM PDT

    •  That was my first thought, too (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, Dretutz, janmtairy, Ramoth, wader, Orlaine

      you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

      by Dem Beans on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lifelong Depression, My First Thought Would Be No (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HudsonValleyMark, Wee Mama

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:46:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I was wondering too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, a2nite, wader

      If he wasn't, apologies for bringing this into the discussion, but if he was, it might explain a lot, having who he had for a dad. And even if he wasn't, having such an intolerant and egotistical man as as dad couldn't exactly be good for anyone's mental health. I've seen up close the devastating effects of a selfish and cold person on their family, and no one was gay (that I know of).

      Depression is caused by many things, and one of them is environment.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People who are so quick to judge and condemn (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sk4p, wader

        are often hardest on themselves and those around them. So I would guess it was very difficult to be RW's son.

        Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

        by teresahill on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:28:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True but we saw the opposite with this right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader

          wing fundy pastor in our community. He was judgmental and cold to his congregation and to those in the community, quite self righteous. But he was very liberal with his kids and his kids were allowed to go places and do things we were not allowed to do. He and his wife were very gentle and kind to their kids but no one else.
          It was the strangest thing. But to them, their kids deserved things that others did not.  In fact when their daughter was pregnant out of wedlock, the rumor mill said they even offered to take her for an abortion because she was special, different, and what he preached did not apply to his saintly kids.  He would tell his congregation that these kids needed to marry but his daughter never did marry the father. He felt his kids were special and the rules did not apply to them.

          So it can go either way. My dad used to say the preachers kids he knew were the spoiled kids who ran wild.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:54:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well we don't know (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sk4p, jeff in nyc, wader, jennybravo

        and what I had to say doesn't really depend on Matthew being gay or not.  He suffered a great deal.  He saw no way out of that pain other than suicide.  Well, that's a pretty common experience for many people and especially people who are stigmatized.  This my prayer that Rick Warren will come out of the other side of his grieving with a better understanding of the pain that people he has denigrated in the past experience.  

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:42:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's natural to wonder (7+ / 0-)

      After all, suicide rates for LGBT young people are higher than the norm, especially those who lack support.

      So when a young man in a decidedly gay-UNfriendly environment kills himself--like Rick Warren's or Marie Osmond's son--many of us naturally wonder if the severity of hopelessness that led to suicide came from feeling that his essential self was "no good" because of who he loves.

      I doubt we'll ever know. We do know that this poor young man felt utterly hopeless--whatever the cause.

      But, like Stephen, I pray that Mr. Warren makes the connection and his understanding deepens.

      "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

      by cassandraX on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:19:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos (7+ / 0-)

    I didn't hear about his suicide until I read this diary, and I am glad that I heard about this through your graceful words rather than elsewhere.

    It is hard for me to have compassion for a man who so clearly lacks that trait, but in this instance I can certainly muster that.

    I echo the thoughts of what others have said re: the guns. This is precisely why I don't own one, and why no one with lifelong, chronic depression and suicidal thoughts should, either.

    I'm not sure there is a way to prevent them from owning one, but I do know that if I purchased a gun everyone who knows me would immediately get me MORE help, and get rid of the fucking gun.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 01:58:24 PM PDT

    •  Since Matthew (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeff in nyc, jan4insight, wader

      killed himself in his own home we don't know how he acquired the gun or if anyone else knew he had it.  If someone did know about it, I'm sure they are feeling very guilty they didn't find a way to remove it from his possession.  Obviously, if he acquired by his own purchase, it shows the fallibility of our current system of background checks.  A person with a long term history of depression and suicidal ideation should have been blocked from purchasing any weapon.  But perhaps he took it from a friend or from a family member with out their knowledge.  Hopefully more information about how he acquired it will come out in the days to come.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:47:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Background checks don't solve that particular (0+ / 0-)

        problem.

        I have a long history of depression and a couple suicide attempts, but you'll never see that in a background check.

        And I'm actually opposed to background checks that reveal that information. I'd rather ban guns in general than start forcing people to disclose medical information like that.

        One of my uncles is an avid hunter (and bona fide liberal) and suffers from severe social anxiety. I'd hate for him to have to undergo a background check that would reveal he has a prescription for Paxil, and not be able to buy a new gun or ammunition.

        And he is THE MOST responsible gun owner I know.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:51:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is possible because Matthew lived on his own (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        that he could easily conceal the purchase of a gun or most anything else. Unless his parents did a search of his home would no doubt exacerbate the mental illness and depression and anxiety, they might not have known what he owned including a gun.  I have worked with patients who concealed a great deal from their parents once they were adults.  

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:57:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Parents of Suicide (10+ / 0-)

    I lost a child and through that became part of an organization called the Compassionate Friends. My loss couldn't hold a candle to the pain of the parents of suicide or murder that I saw. For those who are inclined to pray (or send good thoughts) please pray for Rick and Kay Warren's marriage. Roughly 70% of parents who lose children -- particularly parents of suicide -- get a divorce.

    •  I know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      That's one of my greatest fears as a parent.  Condolences for your loss.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:48:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I often wonder if that was an issue for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight

      John and Elizabeth Edwards as granted most of it was the affair that produced a child. But still, I often wonder how much the death of their son affected their marriage short and long term. Elizabeth does discuss it in length in her book, it was a tough time in their marriage.  And I cannot help but think it affected the marriage long term too.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:59:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My prayers to the family as well (10+ / 0-)

    We must keep in mind that there is a Mother in the picture and other family members.  
    To suffer a loss is loss period.  The young man had many problems obviously but there is a time for compassion.   There is a time for rhetoric and debate.  This is not the time.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:13:13 PM PDT

  •  So many die of suicide at that age, for lots of (4+ / 0-)

    reasons as well as for no reason that anyone can piece together. I was depressed from such a young age that I don't know how much of it derived from the way gays were treated and how much was just organic.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:19:56 PM PDT

    •  I'm with you, Jeff. My mental health (6+ / 0-)

      issues started with sexual abuse at a very early age.  I suffered, my family suffered, none of us understood why I struggled so hard.  60 years later I'm free of depression.  I credit a healer who walked thru the terror with me, trusted my ability to survive it, and helped me rewrite the stories I told myself about myself.  

      I wish I could give this gift to everyone who suffers.  Miraculous is an understatement for the change.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 02:38:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I still suffer from depression (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jeff in nyc

        at times -- it's not organic, it's more situational. I really should do something about it, but going though the red tape for the proper referrals is a PITA when I'm depressed, and when I'm not depressed I don't even think about doing it.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:42:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then there's the 42 years of therapy (0+ / 0-)

          that did jackshit!!  I got lucky.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:42:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  My PCP who is a nurse practioner (0+ / 0-)

          prescribed an anti-depressent for me 4 weeks ago. A very dear friend of mine suicided last November and I thought I could tough it out. I told my PCP which anti-depressant and dose because I was on it when my parents were at the end of their lives and she gave me a prescription. I think I will need to be on it til I die.

          "Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall" - President Obama, January 20, 2013

          by savano66 on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:42:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes suicidal ideations and depression affects all (0+ / 0-)

      socio economic , religious,  ethnic groups. It can affect the rich as well as the poor, people in this country and around the world, and people of all religious and non religious backgrounds.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're asking Pastor Warren (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, kyril

    to abandon his meal ticket.  He's likely to view anything like this as pouring salt into an open wound.

    Not that it matters; Rick Warren is Rick Warren and a horrifying tragedy is a horrifying tragedy.

  •  I lost my brother to suicide when he was 33. Yes, (8+ / 0-)

    there were issues, his, Dad's and Mom's.  Where one began and another stopped I don't know anymore.  It's been 21 and 1/2 years.  The broad brush paints a wide swath.  My brother Matt was drug and alcohol addicted, my parents' issues conflicted.
    When one broadly blames parents or anyone without facts one serves only his or herself.  Rick Warren isn't my personal favorite but he has lost his son in the worst way imagine able.  Input here, while thoughtful isn't informed.  We don't know the facts.
    Perhaps we could simply allow this family to mourn in peace.  Really, they'll be just fine without us opining.

    Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

    by nannyboz on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:17:57 PM PDT

    •  Allow them to mourn in peace? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      godlessmath, Dem Beans

      Do you actually think Rick Warren or the rest of his family is sitting around reading Daily Kos comments? Their mourning is not interrupted by anything anyone says here.

      •  Yes, allow them that. No, doubtful they're (0+ / 0-)

        reading DailyKos.  I don't get your point.

        Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

        by nannyboz on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:47:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My point is... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dem Beans

          ...that they're not reading DKos, so nothing anyone posts here in any way whatsoever keeps them from mourning.

          •  I don't think anyone is striving to keep them from (0+ / 0-)

            mourning.  Of course this family is mourning.  I still don't get your point.

            Andy's two-timin' tail run off wiff mah sig line!

            by nannyboz on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 04:04:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think you'll ever get it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dem Beans

              And I'm too tired of being told that I'm not allowed to criticize the homophobe to try again to get you to understand.

              •  Don't hate the homophobe, hate the homophobia? (0+ / 0-)

                Seriously, I doubt that I'm any bigger fan of Rick Warren's than you are.

                Still losing a child is a tragedy--no matter who the parents are.

                I can see the pain in much of what you have written in this thread. I think most of us can. You should never have been treated as you were.

                I could give you a bunch of high-sounding reasons many of us don't think this is an appropriate time to "pile on," but the fact is as the diarist has said that would only reduce us to the level of our opponents.

                Wee Mama wisely points out the toxic nature a different type of reaction can have, at least for many of us.

                None of us have suffered exactly as you have, but speaking only for myself it would be more damaging for me to not to feel compassion for the surviving family members of a suicide than it would be for them.

                I'm not on this site very regularly, but I suspect nearly everyone here shares the hope that you understand: We're on your side.

                It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

                by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 07:51:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I was (0+ / 0-)

        gonna make this same point. Anyone casually trolling the internet, maybe even to see what people are saying about Rick Warren, aren't really affected by his death enough that I should be worried about interrupting their "mourning."

  •  Had Matthew been the child of (4+ / 0-)

    Mr. and Mrs. Nobody, USA, we likely wouldn't even know of his passing.  But, if we did, I'm sure most would feel compassion for the lost soul and his family.  So, I can offer that to the Warrens.   That said, Rev. Warren has perhaps just experienced karma.  What goes around comes around and Warren and his family are most certainly going to be talking about who did what to whom and how those things perhaps led to this tragedy. My experience tells me they're in for a rough time for a long time.  Years.  

    I seriously doubt Rev Warren's outlook towards others will change.  He'll find a way to tell himself he did everything he could.  Maybe he did.  But somewhere deep in that oh-so-sure-he's-right mind of his, there is a niggle...and doubt...and all that he preaches won't save him from it.  He's in for a rough ride.          

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:38:11 PM PDT

  •  "Prayer?... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whatithink

    ..this diary is not a "prayer."

    It's using a man's personal tragedy to pimp a political agenda.

    Warren's son killed himself less than 48 hours ago & you are already cracking wise about Warren's stance on gays?

    This is pretty unbelievable even for Daily Kos.

    If one of Obama's daughters committed suicide & some asshole on redstate.com wrote an article about how they hope Obama's tragedy is successful in transforming Obama into a pro-life champion for the unborn, you & 50,000 other people here would shit a brick.

    I would ask you to delete this dairy, but you've already got your reactionary posse applauding your "prayer."

    To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

    by wyvern on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 03:45:21 PM PDT

  •  I'm fresh out of compassion for homophobes. (0+ / 0-)

    Let Warren suck on his own hardheartedness. Let him be succored by his own sense of moral superiority.

    I know of Warren from close range.  I drive past his church every time I visit my best friend and family. My friend has done work for the church and turned down a job offer because of the heinous morality clause in the employment agreement.

    Warren is a Southern Baptist who, while not the biggest homophobe, gives aid and comfort to the very worst. He has promoted and permitted the very vilest lies and hatred against LGBT people.

    Let others show him compassion for I have none.

    (That sound you are hearing is a paradigm being shifted at Warp Factor Infinity using no clutch.)

    by homogenius on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 05:13:51 PM PDT

  •  I'm remembering Rick Warren's intrusion (0+ / 0-)

    into the Terry Schiavo case and his nasty commentary about her husband and yet, I don't think anyone deserves this and his son certainly didn't deserve to feel there was no way out of the pain he was feeling.  

    "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

    by Leftovers on Sun Apr 07, 2013 at 06:16:11 PM PDT

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