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September 17th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Rick Warren opens up about son's suicide in exclusive interview


By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Lake Forest, California (CNN) - Rick and Kay Warren stood outside their son's home, sobbing in each other's arms.

They knew.

They had talked Matthew, 27, off the ledge many times. But not this time.

A nod from a police officer who inspected Matthew's house confirmed their worst fears.

“I just hit the ground,” Kay Warren said.

On April 5, Matthew Warren killed himself with a gun after a lifelong battle with mental illness.

“The day that I had feared might happen one day, since he had been born, and the day that I had prayed would never happen … happened,” Rick Warren told CNN's Piers Morgan in an exclusive interview.

For the first time since Matthew Warren's death on April 5, Rick and Kay Warren are speaking out about his troubled life, how the tragedy changed their faith and their new mission to draw attention to mental illness.

The full interview aired Tuesday night on CNN’s "Piers Morgan Live" at 9 pm ET.

In 1980, Rick and Kay Warren founded Saddleback Church,  now one of the largest in America, in Orange County, California. Twelve years later, Warren published "The Purpose Driven Life," a runaway best-seller that catapulted the pastor into stardom.

At the same time, though, their son Matthew Warren struggled with borderline personality disorder and deep depression for much of his life, the Warrens told CNN.

He had a loving family and access to mental health care, but not even that could spare him, they said.

Matthew was a young man with a "tender heart and tortured mind," Rick Warren said.

“If love could have kept my child alive, he'd be alive today, because he was incredibly loved,” he added.

The Warrens also spoke during the interview about how their son's death has affected their Christian faith.

GALLERY: Rick Warren over the years

“I never questioned my faith in God; I questioned God’s plan,” Rick Warren said. “God isn’t to blame for my son’s death. My son took his life. It was his choice.”

Slightly more than half of Americans - 53% - think that churches should do more to prevent suicide in America, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research, a Christian company based in Nashville.

Evangelicals and other Americans appear to disagree, however, about using religion to overcome mental illness, according to the LifeWay poll, which surveyed some 1,000 Americans and was released on Monday.

Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone. Sixty percent of Americans overall disagree.

The Warrens want to spread the word that even though their story had a tragic ending, “there’s hope,” Kay Warren said during the interview with CNN.

“It’s so important that people know, no matter how desperate their despair, there is hope, and not to give up.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Death

soundoff (1,210 Responses)
  1. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I suppose if Rick's God were responsible for the death of Rick's son, then by definition it would be good. Blame wouldn't be the right word for it.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  2. VegasSmitty

    What a shame Piers Morgan doesn't off himself. He wouldn't be missed!

    September 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  3. mckee

    Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess one day.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      Will this occur before or after the heat death of our sun and the annihilation of our solar system or the collision between our galaxy and that of Andromeda Galaxy?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So no "free will" then huh?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      What has my tongue done wrong?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      mckee is referring to General Zod. Or maybe Ming the Merciless.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • mark

      Blah blah blah...shut up.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • ms jackson

      Typical evangeli$t. Turning his son's suicide into yet another self aggrandizement. "Look at me, I'm so noble"! etc.The overfed capitalist's son killed himself and Warren'll be damned if he's not going to come out on top as a result. Of course God isn't responsible for your son's death. Gos is also not responsible for Rick Warren's millions of $$$. That was Satan who enriched then trampled this false prophet's money driven joy. Do the devil's work and you'll get no protection from God. Nanner nanner.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        To quote a previous poster... "Blah blah blah...shut up."

        September 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        what an insightful comment! Gives us much to contemplate throughout the day.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  4. supremejustice

    Knowing this happened to the son of a guy who so desperately deserved such a tragedy almost makes me want to believe in God.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Console yourself with the thought that there is no judgement in atheism

      September 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
      • ms jackson

        ...or any theism for that matter. Dead is dead so be careful what impossible and shaming notions you confuse your children's heads with.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • M

      Dude, as an atheist I have to say you are really, really screwed up. Got get some help. You never wish harm on folks.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Nobody deserves tragedy dumbass... not even a christard like Rick Warren...

      September 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Jayber Crow

      The level of insensitive comments here and elsewhere on internet forums is shocking. I wonder if the people who write such things would say them in person? For example, the people who say Warren deserves such a tragedy – would any of them, given the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with the man, say that to his face? Do the skeptics who don't believe in God also not believe in evil? Based on some of the comments right here on this message board, I'd say the presence of evil is alive and well in the human heart, and abundantly apparent.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        your challenge is a red-herring. A belief in god is not the opposite of evil. In fact, a belief in god has led many times to horrific evil. Nice try, though. You have been thoroughly brain-washed at your church of choice.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • Rett

        Jayner, i agree with you. I think the depravity of man is one doctrine that, to me at least, is abundantly evident.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  5. waitiseesomething

    He said that his faith in God was not affected, but he questioned God's plan. Belief in the Christian god is predicated on the belief that he is all-knowing, and all-powerful. If you believe he is not infallible (that his plan might be wrong), then how can you continue believing in the Christian god? It's like how people still believe that the Bible is 100% accurate about some things (you shouldn't even question it!), while admitting that other things are not true (ignore what you don't like).

    Further, if he believes that god has a plan, and that this must have been part of his plan (we can assume Warren believes this because this led him to question the plan), then how can he not blame god for having that within his plan? He instead blames his son, calling it 'his choice.' How can he have it both ways? It sounds like he is searching for ways to rationalize his undeterred belief in god rather than using analytical thought to take the evidence he is presented with and come to a logical conclusion.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  6. Willy

    Mental illness is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain similar to how diabetes, for instance; is a problem with insulin or the bodies ability to use it. Mental illness has been treated for many years with medicines which sometimes have bad side effects. The medical community has just recently begun to discover how these medicines work. I pray that they will be able to develop medicine or treatments that will work even better and have fewer undesirable side effects.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Boruch N. Hoffinger

      My condolences to the family.
      Most mental illness is caused by lack of the function of 'Hod.'
      This is related to poor interpersonal relationships and turning
      friends into enemies...lacking appreciation for others.
      Suicide, according to 'The 7 Noahide Laws' is a great EVIL.
      Tragic, and needless, loss of life.
      The same way the suicide took his own life...he/she might take yours.
      It is murder...plain and simple.
      The so-called 'chemical imbalance' comes from 'bad living.' Living Good produces
      a good balance.
      Much of modern psychiatry is an attempt to show mercy to the merciless and
      make money. This fools people into thinking they have no responsibility for their
      actions...dreamworld...the psychiatrists and others live in such a world of arrogance.
      Check out 'Hod' Jewish Mysticism Here are ALL THE ANSWERS.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Stupid runs deep in you young Padawan...

        September 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • Willy

        Many people have for many years assumed that mental illness is caused by environmental factors. I and most people who have seen it first hand disagree. It usually takes environmental and physical factors to "create" mental illness. You can find people who had "perfect" environments in which to develop but they still developed mental illness. You will find people who have had horrible environments to grow up in and never developed more then just anger or slight depression. The environment, the way a person thinks, whether you have faith or not can make the illness worse or even more manageable but the underlying problem is in the brain. To say this takes responsibility away from someone who is mentally ill is ignoring the fact that people who are mentally ill still can know what is right and what is wrong. I personally know a person who is mentally ill and he knows what is right and wrong. He is a strong christian and has a strong faith. Without those I have no doubt that he would be dead by some means. He is an inspiration to me as he continues to do what is right even thought he is mentally ill. God has not cured him yet, but we still pray. Until God cures him the medicine makes him able to live his life.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          ... I have no doubt that he would be dead ...

          Based on what? People who have faith die.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • Willy

          @In Santa : Based on the fact that I have known this person his whole life I know that his faith has kept him strong in his darkest hours. That is how I can summarize that he would have been dead without his faith. You use what helps you, I'll cling to what helps me.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Alliance)

      Praise science!

      September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Boruch N. Hoffinger

      Pure nonsense.
      If a person murders others (Or similar) then their chemicals go
      'out of balance.'
      So, you, and the other misguided 'scientists' and 'thinkers' are looking at a results
      after the fact....EXTRAPOLATING Therefore you convince yourselves that this
      was the same situation before the evil.
      Evolutionist make the same error. They EXTRAPOLATE by taking present
      conditions and assuming, because of an AGENDA that this existed a long time
      ago...or prior.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • Boisepoet

        You are just bursting so much with ignorance apparently you feel the need to shower it upon us...

        September 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I reiterate... stupid runs deep in you...

        September 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
      • Willy

        Murder is wrong. Mentally ill people know this. By the way, medicated mentally ill people are no more violent then the general population but of course "sane" people murder as well.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Anonymous610

      Thank you for your most apt analogy of diabetics requiring insulin. Mental illness is a hidden disability. I have suffered from major chronic depression and bi-polar disorder for decades. Meds and my faith in a higher power are what have kept me from committing suicide many times. I take my meds religiously (forgive the pun) and I also pray every day to be rescued from this illness. A therapist once told me that "suicide makes complete sense to the person who is suicidal." Please don't judge others if you haven't walked in their shoes. Many people who take the path of suicide feel so hopeless that it seems like the only way to make the pain stop. It's not about being selfish. It's about losing the perspective you need to make sound decisions.

      September 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Rett

        Thank you so much for sharing. My family has a history of depression and a couple of suicides and it is a challenge. I will pray for your healing and well-being.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  7. LouAZ

    "A clear conscience is the sign of a bad memory. “ – Unk

    September 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  8. philtrum

    Religion cannot treat mental illness. Religion is a mental illness.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Keksi

      Yes it can,it can not treat stupidity and ignorance like yours.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Tell that to Lisa McPherson

        September 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • supremejustice

        I guess that "Love Your Enemies" stuff doesn't suit your particular religious persuasion.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • steelerguin

      Congratulations philtrum you win bone headed stereotyper of the day award! Now go pick up your "intolerance is fun" t-shirt.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • WhatintheWorld

        And they award for "Pot Calling the Kettle Black" goes to:

        stellerguin for claiming someone is intolerant. Not to say that the religious, throughout the history of mankind, have the market cornered on intolerance, but they own the block.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          The religious are mentally ill... so some allowances must be made... remember "Hate the sin, Love the sinner..."

          September 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • steelerguin

          What....I didn't say all "philtrums" were bone heads. So you can't pin the stereotyper on me. I don't think intolerant applies either since I didn't say he had mental illness. I think he is wrong but that doesn't make it intolerant.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Brian

      bigot.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  9. Lynn123

    I didn't know Rick Warren had a son who's had mental issues all his life. How did Warren deal with his son while also growing a huge church and writing a best-selling book and all the other things? I can't imagine doing all of that at the same time. It doesn't make sense to me.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • GAW

      The sad story is that many pastor's kids fall into that dilemma. Many of them get the leftovers.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • steelerguin

        Agreed, but that outcome affects a lot of kids whose parents are driven by their careers no matter what career they have.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Warvet55

      I agree, ministry starts at home. You can't build a church that size and take care if your family.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • mjbrin

      the same way other families whose children have a severe mental illness. one day at a time.
      what is hard for many to understand their son became a legal adult at 18. Family is very limited on what it can do to help an adult child. In an odd way it was good that he had a way of making a good amount of money so they could help pay for any or all of his son's treatment, when he was willing to be treated.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  10. McBob79

    Silly article. The Warren's never said that prayer would solve this person's mental problem no more so than prayer would so cure terminal cancer. The surveys mentioned about evangelicals is another attempt by the media to discredit those of faith and make them out to sound "crazy".

    September 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Lynn123

      Don't people with mental illness pray to get well? Don't those with terminal cancer pray to get well?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      The evangelicals don't need the media's help to make them sound crazy. They do a fine job all by themselves.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      So right, people of faith are not "crazy", they are just totally insane to believe in invisible fairies in this day and age.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • steelerguin

        Get your facts straight if you want to be snarky. Show me where in the bible or any religious book it says we should believe in invisible fairies.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Prove to me your god is not an invisible fairy? Please also show that it is not a pink unicorn, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or Wil E. Coyote.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          I know, right? Fairies are ridiculous.
          Seraphim, cherubim, half man/half goat beasts, talking snakes, donkeys and flaming foliage, 7 headed dragons that spew torrents of water and locusts with the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion are, however, perfectly legit.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
        • Wil E. Coyote

          Please don't mock me... I am after all a Super Genius...

          September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • steelerguin

          Come on " what" that is such a lame argument. Let's play your little game. Ok. Ready. Prove to me my God is a fairie, pink unicorn, whatever, etc. See two can play this ridiculous ruse. It's faith. OK. No proof needed and you don't have to believe it.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          You are correct, I do not have to believe it. However, the burden of proof is on the one proposing the idea.

          It does not work the other way around. If I tell you, "I can fly. Prove I can't." That would not be a good argument nor satisfying and, ultimately, an argument stopper.

          Your belief is disprovable. It is, then, a weak proposition. However, everything that has come after that belief in terms of the positions held by the bible, are disprovable and are superceded by far better explanations through science.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved." Ezekiel 1:5-8

          "A spirit glided past my face,
          and the hair on my body stood on end.
          16 It stopped,
          but I could not tell what it was.
          A form stood before my eyes,
          and I heard a hushed voice:
          17 ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God?
          Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?
          18 If God places no trust in his servants,
          if he charges his angels with error,
          19 how much more those who live in houses of clay" Job 4:15-19

          Winged invisible faires, er i mean, angels...

          September 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
      • You aren't using facts

        You're being demeaning again. Really, look the word up. I don't think it means what you think it means.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          demeaning: causing someone to lose their dignity and the respect of others.

          I believe someone must have some dignity and respect before anyone can cause them to lose it...

          September 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Dippy

      Warrens, not Warren's.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • .

        Warren's

        September 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Dippy's Aide

          No @.

          - One Warren said it.
          - Several Warrens said it.

          Warren's means belonging to Warren - as in, Warren's house.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • ..

          Warren's

          September 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  11. Kenny Blair

    I lost a son to suicide as well. Some pain in life is beyound description. God gave up his son, his only son whom he loved to death on the cross. That event is the only thing that helps me make sense of the pain in my life.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      So God's son is dead?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        I can't understand the lack of sympathy for someone who has lost a child to suicide. Making fun of his beliefs, SDFrankie, is downright cruel. If Kenny's beliefs bring him comfort during this excruciating pain, who are you or I to scoff at it? Kenny–my heartfelt condolences for your loss. And may you take comfort in the strength of your faith and prayers.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • McHKAS

          How can one's religion bring comfort when it comes to suicide of family or friends? I was under the belief that persons who killed themselves were forever being tormented in hell; am I wrong?

          Horrible thing to deal with none the less and I sympathize with anyone who has dealt with a loved one killing themself.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • boredofceleb

          @McHKAS: Who told you the person who commits suicide is tormented in hell? I don't believe it says that anywhere in the Bible, so you didn't get it there. Also, let's assume for a minute there IS a god. Why would he punish someone for an ILLNESS that took his life? No more than if a person died by any other illness. Mental illness is very difficult to control, and they are now finding that the SSRI's (newer antidepressants) are more frequently ineffective than effective.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Well, if one of the ten commandments is that thou shalt not commit murder, and suicide is murdering yourself, and you do not also have the chance of asking for forgiveness before you die from your own hand, then you will go to hell. You cannot be saved.

          C'mon, bible beaters. Up your game. You know better unless, of course, you want to hem and haw and change the story and perform mental gymnastics to somehow get them to heaven.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • Madtown

          forever being tormented in hell; am I wrong?
          ----
          Pretty sure you're wrong. Makes no sense for someone to be punished "eternally" for something that occured within a FINITE lifetime.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Rett

          WhatintheWorld, I guess I will be the "Bible beater" that will respond. As a nonbeliever there is probably no response that will satisfy your desire for an answer for how someone can committ suicide and go to heaven when there is no chance for them to ask forgiveness....but to the believers there is the promise that Christ's blood cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness....past, present and future. In my opinion a true believer who has put his faith in Christs sacrifice and then because of wjatever reason takes his own life he is still covered by christ's sacrifice. Now before anyone immediately says that gives you a license to sin let me remind you that the Bible says one who genuinely places his faith in christs sacrifice is a new creature, with new values, motives, ideals......one who says a magic prayer in an attempt to buy fire insurance and there is never an accompanying change does not have any evidence of being a true believer. Only a christian will come close to understanding my interpretation of what I think the Bible teaches so i know that it is foolish jibberish to anyone else...but that is my take on it.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • gemini

        God's son might be dead for unbelievers like you but very much alive for believers like me. Live in peace and spread peace.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        •  

          Godless Vagabond
          So is he dead or alive? He can't be both, can he? Maybe it's Schrodinger's Jesus.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Rett

          Godless, He was dead but is now alive.....does that settle it for you.

          September 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
      • Samuel

        God's son is not dead. He DIED and ROSE AGAIN.
        Also learn to write properly specially when some one has lost their loved one.
        WE can all agree or disagree but let us have sense when we write.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
        • Horus

          Thank you for your belief in me...

          September 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Dippy

          It's "someone." not "some one."

          September 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • ms jackson

          "specially"? thank god you've been possessed with the spirit of proper grammar because commas are sinful!

          September 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • boredofceleb

          @samuel: Yes, it's "especially" important to keep in mind grammar and literacy when we post. The topics of compassion and mental illness are irrelevant by comparison.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Rob

      I am very sorry that your son lost his life in such a difficult way. I do wish you peace.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Sorry for the loss of your son Kenny...

      September 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      No parents should have to deal with their childs funeral before their own. With that said, why would the example of an all powerful creator being who gives man a law knowing he will break it only to supplant himself as the ransom sacrafice he has to pay to himself, gives you some sort of comfort in your time of need? To me this is like saying "Well, I had all sorts of horrible things happen to my family, hurricane killed my wife, drunk driver killed my son, i'm just so glad I have my faith in leprechauns to get me through it...."

      September 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • boredofceleb

        If you had a real faith in leprechauns, and it truly brought you comfort, I would be happy it brought you some measure of relief. (Even though I do not myself believe in leprechauns). Get it? Whatever works for a person......

        September 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Yes, that would be fine if religion and belief stopped there. But it doesn't, does it. It tries to control, manipulate, dictate and separate. It is a tool for repression.

          That is why it has to be fought relentlessly.

          September 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I agree up to the point where said Leprechaun believer is trying to get me to only believe in his Leprechaun because he KNOWS it's real and tries to get me to change my votes on secular laws to be more inline with his Leprechaun beliefs, maybe making it a federal holiday anytime a rainbow appears over the Capital. That is when I tell him where to stuff his Leprechaun...

          September 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • boredofceleb

          @WhatintheWorld: Let's be realistic–it would be impossible to abolish all religion. Let's just keep it out of the secular arena. Best you can hope for. Oh, and for those who try to "convert" me, I simply say "not interested" and walk away. Hasn't been a problem so far. Tolerance is the key to strive for.

          September 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Madtown

      Very sorry for your loss Kenny.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  12. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Your righteous indignation that we don't have sympathy (a blatant lie on your part) for a con-artist's dead son is bringing me to tears... (I'm sorry the boy felt the need to off himself... :().

    September 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      It irritates me when my comments post all willy-nilly on the blog...

      September 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • GAW

        or when you respond to yourself 🙂

        September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          At least I responded to myself with the same moniker...

          September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  13. GAW

    Looks like all this talk about Rick Warren is nothing more than a big push for the Piers Morgan interview tonight.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  14. archi

    His answer is in <>. God allow satain do certain things. Why? I am from China, I know that kind of feeling. "Well, Of course Americans believe in God, because God have give them everything." All the world think so. God allow satain to take his son to test his faith. By defending his faith he is defending the Americans.
    Of cause, treat mental illless through professional is a good way to following God too. But never lost hsi faith, he proves his worth of God's trust.

    September 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  15. Frustrated

    What frustrates me is a couple of things with this. The Warren's loss is heartbreaking and I will keep them in my thoughts... but, reason number one, is that The Warren's son was gay. They could not deal with that. They drove him to this with their beliefs... then secondly, they cover it up with an fabricated "mental illness" reason. To them, being gay is a mental illness, and it is very topical right now so it takes the focus off of the real reason. They pushed their son to kill himself because he is gay.

    I can't believe no one has mentioned this?

    September 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mistress

      It has been reported online before but no one wants to acknowledge it. If it is true, they will have to come to grips with it one day. Christianity is proving itself to not be a cure all for the modern world.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Rob

      I didn't know he was gay, but assumed it. Religion has tortured gay people for millennium. And the religious break their vows every single day of their lives. They claim that their god made them imperfect and he forgives them for it. They think they are good upstanding kind people anyway. And they use this crutch to excuse their selfish and horrible behavior every day of their lives. While of course they are intolerant of anyone so much as spitting gum on the sidewalk much less being different. I'm convinced when they face true mortality, they will be horrified, truly horrified, that their unwavering faith fails them.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Rett

        Rob, i appreciate you perspective but there is a better class of Christian you might want to meet. i have nknown scores who faced their mortality with a sense of grace, calm and courage that is quite remarkable....

        September 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
        • You're Almost There

          It doesn't matter if he did, because they would not fit into his paradigm of what he think Christians and Christianity is actually about. He'd probably just ignore it and only focus on the bad minority.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's Warrens', not Warren's. See the difference?

      September 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • .

        Warren's

        September 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Atheist FOREVER

      I did, and you are correct. They told their gay son that he was being basically "possessed by the devil" and that he needed to "pray his gay away". Of course that never really works, and since he was told that otherwise he would burn in the invisible fire pit with the invisible horned red guy and get poked by pitchforks, he felt very guilty, ashamed, and scared.

      In the end, it overcame the poor soul, and this "father" and his foolish supporters drove this son to his grave, at least in part, without a doubt.

      Warren needs to own his responsibility here, but Christians rarely do that huh? Everything in their life is controlled by / happens because of the invisible sky god or the invisible horned devil.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Dan

        Just so you know, a personality disorder and gay persecution are 2 different things. You claimed the 2nd was the reason for his suicide and you have no clue.

        September 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jack

      There is no indication he was gay.

      September 18, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  16. Nother-Son-Of-Ursus.Rexx

    Re: “…Nearly half of evangelicals, 48%, say that people with serious mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can be cured by Bible study and prayer alone. Sixty percent of Americans overall disagree…”

    While i am an ancestral Catholic, reaffiliated to NeoPagan Beliefs, and hence DON'T share the Rev. Warren’s theology, I never, the-less grieve for their lost son/their terrible ‘survivorship’ experience:
    I'm a retired ‘Big Apple’ paramedic!

    …I have ‘agonizing survivorship’ issues of my own!

    I’m (cynically) amused by these clearly irreligious people, who feel, ‘so strong’, in their (so-called) ‘faith’, that they’re willing to quite nearly be guilty of practicing medicine, sans license/training!

    I’m reminded of recent incidents in which, (primarily ‘Christian’), intolerant monotheists have:
    1.) Advised one or more Hiv-Aid’s patient(s) to stop takin’ their meds…& ‘rely’ on ‘faith’!
    With predictable, (nearly fatal), results!
    And…
    2.) A couple of families who DIDN’T take their sick children in for medical assistance, resulting in ‘dead kids’, (and prison/probation terms!).

    Such thinking is, frankly, reminiscent of ‘Creationist / I.D.’ fantasies concerning earth’s age: ‘6-10,000 vs. 4.53 Billion Years’, and other imaginary issues, like the ‘Noaic Ark’ fantasy:
    Less than 100 neolithic hominids, managing ALL earthly life, on a wooden ship slightly smaller/larger than the U.S.S. Intrepid…
    For days, weeks, months…
    All the while preventing the carnivores from consuming the herbivores, and/or, the Neolithics, themselves…

    An ‘animal husbandry’ feat unmatched by ANY/ALL zoos, &/or, animal caretaking organizations, in the past/present civilization.

    Don’t excuse such nonsense as a matter of relying on faith / obedience to a Deity!!
    …Sept.11th., 2001, (in NYC/D.C.), was a matter of ‘faith’, and/or, ‘obedience to a Deity’ by the perp-apostates!

    BTW: As an accidental, (‘Romney_Cized’), survivor of the NYC div. of the Sept.11th., 2001, proselytizing events it remains my opinion: many, if not all, Muslims…
    Hate the hijackers who so piously murdered my 359 coworkers & others, more than I do!

    September 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Jack

    The cruelty I see expressed toward a parent who lost their son expressed by atheists seems to me to pretty much undercut any notion that one can be good (or kind, or even sympathetic) without God.

    I am sure the responses to this post will continue to demonstrate the cruelty inherent in unbelief.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      That is ridiculous. I practice random acts of kindness daily, and wish no ill will on anyone. Your blanket statement makes no sense and is flat out false.

      September 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
      • Jack

        Easy enough to claim – the problem is we have thousands of comments here to the contrary, and no one who practices 'random acts of kindness' says the things said here about a grieving father. Atheists need to clean up their own house.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • kris

          amen

          September 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Rett

        I do not doubt that you do acts of kindness on a regular basis as do many atheists. I would guess that a compassionate atheist and Christian would be disgusted at some of the comments on this story. I personally think it is a sad indicator of the condition of the human heart.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
        • Jack

          It certainly is, though the atheists who are bothered by the cruelty of these comments are unsurprisingly few in number.

          September 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Is it cruel to tell a parent they are responsible for the death of their child when they refused to take their child to the hospital and he died of bacterial pneumonia all becuase the parents believed they could heal him with prayer like the Schaibles second child? (http://jonathanturley.org/2013/04/24/faith-healing-parents-arrested-after-second-child-dies-from-lack-of-medical-care/)

      Well what about telling a parent that their faith was not in fact helping their child, but harming him? We already know that for unstable or unbalanced persons telling them wild stories about invisible imaginary beings like devils and angels can only lead to deeper fantasy realms where some imagine themselves as some chess piece being moved around by the forces of evil and good, in some constant battle for their souls which can become very real to imbalanced persons. Religion is the absolute wrong thing to push on children with mental disorders where they will attribute any side effects of their disorder as signs of the supernatural.

      The best thing we can do for others is expose the scam that is organized religion and all the harm it does to society while it hides behind it's charity and soup kitchens to claim some social good.

      September 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • You aren't using facts

        You know, you should just get it off your chest that your dad didn't love you enough. All this misplaced hatred towards religion for what your parents didn't do for you is really sad. Forgive your dad already and let this hate go. You're only hurting yourself.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I have no misplaced hatred. I love my family even though they will no longer talk with me because I am an atheist. I also read the bible through several times searching for truth, but the more I studied the more I saw the flaws it contains. Does it contain amazing human wisdom passed down from generation after generation thousands of years ago? Yes, and so do other ancient doctrines such as Confucianism. In this regard the bible is not unique. It does however, also contain rules supposedly written by the ancient God of the Hebrews that condone slavery, murder and in cest, which most civilized people find abhorent.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Crazy

        That sucks that they won't talk to you.. I'm sorry, but I suspect you are right about faith contributing to the death of this guy

        September 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • renae

      Its called *disbelief. also, only god can judge. read a book or two

      September 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • trailsofthewinterstorm

      you're disgusting.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Rob

      Have you not seen the cruelty of the religious to atheist, and each other?! Have you not seen how religious people have tortured gays and people that are different? They cast out their own children. If your god lives within, I suggest, keep it there.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Jack

        All men are capable of cruelty – the cruelty being shown simply belies the claim atheists are particularly free from irrational hatred.

        September 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          true enough. But then that is an illustration that your belief in a sky fairy over millennia has done nothing to improve upon the human being vis a vis a nonbeliever.

          So the question is: other than a warm teddy-bear feeling of comfort or how you were raised, why exactly do you choose to believe as you do?

          September 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Jack

          "true enough. But then that is an illustration that your belief in a sky fairy over millennia has done nothing to improve upon the human being vis a vis a nonbeliever."

          Not true – men are much less cruel in a world infused with Christian values then they were previously.

          September 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Really? The most violent repressive countries are the most religious. Coincidence? I think not.

          September 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Jack

          "Really? The most violent repressive countries are the most religious. Coincidence? I think not."

          You mean like Stalin's Soviet Union? Mao's China? Pol Pot's Vietnam? North Korea? Revolutionary France?

          You must not mean them since they were uniformly atheistic.

          September 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • There are times when Turth hurts...

      Jack, Your point has been well proven....

      September 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Mark

      Why is it when people are faced with their own death they seek GOD?

      September 22, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  18. Shawn

    Their son was Gay and his parents will forever have his blood on their hands for the teachings and condemnations they preached from his birth. The world needs to wise up and be accepting of each and every person, no matter their lifestyle.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "gay," not "Gay."

      September 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • .

        Gay

        September 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  19. Mark

    The uneducated lobs at Rick Warren are pretty telling as to the thought invested in those comments. They contribute nothing intelligent. Go start you own church, write a best-selling book, then give 90% of the profits back. Then go out and pay back all the income you ever recieved from your job. Then you will be in a place to judge Rick.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Amen Mark. Amen.

      September 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • WhatintheWorld

      I could never start my own church. My morality and values prevents me from selling lies to the weak and vulnerable.

      However, if I started another business, perhaps I would do that. And do not confuse "salary" with dividends, distributions, royalties and all of the other perks he receives on the church's dime. All paid for. He may be a pastor but he is no dummy when it comes to fleecing others.

      September 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      If that 10% didn't equate to millions of dollars your point would be more impressive.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Rick Warren has a net worth of $25 million.
      Even if he is donating 90% of that to various causes, that's still a quarter of a million dollars a year.
      I don't know about you, but I sure don't make that much in a year...

      September 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I think the 25 million is what he has kept for himself.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • TB

      'Rick' teaches hatred and intolerance. People here talk about having compassion for his loss. What about all of the vile protests that HE has sanctioned against the grieving families and loved ones that have been lost while serving our country??? While I have sympathy for his loss, I cannot understand how he and his church members go out and do the mean, senseless, and downright shameful things that they do and say that they do it in the name of God.

      September 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Cynthia

      I am not commenting on the Pastor, but how does the ability to start a business and make money make you a good parent?

      September 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.