If Anthony Bourdain had been a religious man, would he have killed himself? Probably not. The celebrity chef was found dead today in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France.
As I have recounted in my book, The Catholic Advantage: How Health, Happiness, and Heaven Await the Faithful, there is an inverse relationship between religiosity and suicide: those who are regular churchgoers have a much lower rate of suicide than atheists like Bourdain.
Nice of him to use the opportunity of the man’s death to plug his book.
You know, though, I think he’s sort of right: if you’re told over and over again from childhood on that suicide, in addition to ending your life and bringing grief to loved ones, will only lead to even greater misery as you’re tortured for eternity, I can see where it might dissuade some potential suicides. So let’s take it as a given that you can reduce the suicide rate by being indoctrinated in the Catholic faith (there’s data!) with the side effect that you are increasing fear and guilt to achieve your end. Would it be worth it?
If you could save Bourdain by erasing part of his character, do you think he would have chosen it? He had the opportunity, after all — his father was Catholic.
Would reducing the suicide rate be worthwhile if, instead, we increased the rate of child rape?
I’ll just leave this here.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached a $210 million settlement agreement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, officials announced Thursday.
At $210,290,724, it is estimated to be the second-largest payout by the Catholic church in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. It comes after nearly four years of bankruptcy proceedings and negotiations.
Before you ask…
The largest clergy abuse related settlement to date was reached in 2007 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which paid 508 victims $660 million.
That’s almost a thousand children in just two cases, raped with the collusion of the Catholic church. Is that a fair price to pay? For anything?