Matt Walsh, Robin Williams and how ignorance can lead to unkindness

"Who is Depressed?" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Who is Depressed?” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Did you know that over 350 million people suffer from some sort of depression worldwide? Did you know that children, not included in this statistic, can suffer from it as well? Did you know that only a small percentage of depressed people have access to treatment?

Matt Walsh wrote a very unkind post about Robin Williams and his suicide. It is not only unkind towards Williams, but towards his family and friends, towards all people who struggle with depression, towards families and friends who are dealing with suicide, and towards every human being who cares about other people.

Actually, I’m glad Walsh wrote this piece. It exposes his usual disdain for real live people, his frustration with their inability to fix themselves into what he thinks they should be, and his obsession with applying a superficial layer of religious fantasy over our broken world and our struggles within it. Not only that, but it is a prime example of how unkindness is not necessarily rooted in a wicked personality, but can simply be the bad fruit of ignorance and confusion.

So I would like to help Matt Walsh and his fans understand depression, suicide, and humans.

First of all, I googled “clinical depression” and this is the first entry that came up. There are also pictures of Robin Williams everywhere, indicating that people want to understand this disease. Apparently something Walsh isn’t interested in.

How is clinical depression caused?

  1. Biological differences
  2. Brain chemistry
  3. Hormones
  4. Inherited traits
  5. Life events

Here are just a few the signs of clinical depression:

  1. depressed mood
  2. no pleasure in most activities
  3. weight and appetite gain or loss
  4. insomnia or increased desire to sleep
  5. restlessness or slowed behavior
  6. fatigue
  7. feelings of worthlessness, or excessive guilt
  8. troubling thinking and making decisions
  9. recurrent thoughts of suicide

Walsh doesn’t understand depression. Because he doesn’t want to. It conflicts with his religious world view. As a result, I think he has a problem understanding life. In fact, because of this I think he has difficulty understanding humans.

Walsh should notice that all five causes have nothing to do with choice. We can’t choose your biology, our brain chemistry, our hormones, our inherited traits, or our life events. These are things that happen to us. It doesn’t matter how strong or healthy we are, how intelligent or informed we are, how loved we are, how spiritual we are, how positive, prosperous, popular or determined we think we are, sometimes things beyond our control come pounding down on us without warning. Like the unrelenting surf, sometimes we can experience the seemingly inevitable erosion of all our resources. Even if we could even think in terms of decision and choice, no options seem to lie before us.

Even though I’ve never been diagnosed myself, I can remember times when I’m sure I was depressed. I also know people very close to me who have struggled with it. Depression often doesn’t make any sense. Everything should be fine. Yet somehow the organism rebels against everything we believe and know to be true and gets depressed anyway. There’s nothing we can seem to do about it. We fall into a black hole, and most if not all of the above signs of clinical depression appear on the scene and establish dominion over our lives.

Walsh’s argument is:

  1. You can choose not to kill yourself. It all comes down to choice. In other words, with just the right amount of willpower you can overcome all obstacles in your life. Not only does Walsh seem vastly ignorant of Paul’s struggle with the will, but he also seems completely ignorant of how much more difficult it is to will something when all our resources are weakened, inhibited and even paralyzed by factors beyond our control.
  2. Just be joyful! Walsh believes that we can debate drugs and therapy all we want, but in the end the only thing that beats depression is “joy”. It is a clear indicator that he used the deeply theological word “joy” rather than “happy”, because Walsh believes that if you have the light inside you, then darkness can’t dwell there at the same time. If we are truly joyful, we can’t be sad. If we are truly loved, we can’t feel unworthy. If we are truly alive, we can’t think of death.

Is Walsh saying that if only Williams was smart and strong enough he would have made the right choice? If only he was a Christian? A believer? If only he was loved? If only he was truly joyful? If only he had light within him, then he wouldn’t have had this darkness?

If this is what he’s saying, he’s unbelievably ignorant of humanity. Willfully ignorant. He claims to have experienced this himself. It’s one thing to experience it, but it’s another thing to learn from it. I don’t think he learned anything. Rather, he chooses to embrace a religious wishful thinking, and to impose its ideology on everything.

  • Walsh himself says wealth and popularity don’t help. I think WIlliams would agree.
  • Walsh also thinks that being loved should help. I think Williams would not agree.
  • Walsh also thinks that you just need to be happy. I think Williams would have a smart remark that would get us all ROTFL!

Walsh closes with, “There is always hope!” Is there? What about the mothers who kills their children before the invading soldiers rape, torture and murder them themselves? Is there always hope for them? Or for the starving, thirsting children in a drought-ridden country? Is there always hope for them? Or the famous, wealthy celebrity who is loved by his family and so many others, who gives happiness to millions, but who just can’t seem to overcome the insurmountable forces of depression to the point where living is not longer an option?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Walsh was right… that we could just decide to be happy and loved right now?

But that’s not life, is it?

Meet other people who are real, honest and deal with these issues in an online community, The Lasting Supper.

Read my story of Sophia who struggled with her own depression.

COMMUNITY       TALK       BOOKS       ART       TEES

PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT OR EXPRESS THE OPINION OF THIS BLOG, NAKEDPASTOR, OR THE WRITER, DAVID HAYWARD, BUT ARE SOLELY THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

You may also like...

99 Responses

  1. Doug says:

    I read the blog, which was appalling, but I'm still not clear on who Matt Walsh is.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Connie says:

    Thank you so much for saying this. As a Christian and recent sufferer of depression, I felt ill reading Walsh's blog. I am desperate for the church to take an honest look at mental illness and stop shaming those who have it.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. Michelle C. says:

    Matt Walsh is self-described "purveyor of truth". He really thinks his perception of things is absolutely true. He appeals to fundy/evangelical christians. I wish everyone would stop clicking on the link to this blog; it's only bringing him more hits.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. Thank you, for speaking out.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. Tana says:

    Bravo!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. John says:

    I read as much as I could stomach by Mr. Walsh. I have spent a lot of years with this problem. It took me four years to, first, get control of my temper. After that there were thoughts of suicide and uselessness. There were drugs, as many as four at one time. Then several years of therapy.

    God may be able to fix anything, but, I also can see where He does not want us to become complacent; with no thought of taking care of our selves. Mr. Walsh has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. He is so sure about his religion that he is blind to any other possibility. For this I am sad for him.

    As for what he says.... I have no words right now for what I would like to show him. Let him be willfully blind. I know what it is like to be lost in that world. And depression is a world in itself.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  7. Pat Pope says:

    Amen and amen. I think this paragraph here says it well and describes where so many Christians live:

    "Walsh doesn’t understand depression. Because he doesn’t want to. It conflicts with his religious world view. As a result, I think he has a problem understanding life. In fact, because of this I think he has difficulty understanding humans."

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    I never heard of the guy either. So thanx, Michelle C.
    And I won't click -- those idiots are a dime a dozen.
    And it is not only the know-it-all Christians who are dumb about depression.
    Great picture, David -- depression, fear and anxiety hide everywhere -- behind many smiley faces.
    Almost everyone knows someone intimately who is or has suffered from these -- if not themselves.
    Even secular folks generate bullshit about mental health but the bad thing about religion is that is is a tool that can wrap the same bullshit in sacred, holy clothing -- making folks afraid to doubt.
    Embrace Doubt !

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Luke says:

    Being in a family system where depression and suicide are present, Walsh has no idea how hurtful and just plain dumb his words are. Not even going to click on it.

    Just wrote a reflection from my POV. It's pretty much: walk alongside, don't try to fix, just be there for someone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    An even better exploration of what depression is like comes from Allie, the mastermind behind the webcomic Hyperbole and a Half wrote about her struggle with depression.
    Adventures in Depression is awesome, yet I found Depression Part 2 I found particularly poignant.

    Thank you for doing this comic and speaking out against such unhelpful 'advice' like Walsh gives.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  10. Doug says:

    Well, of course, everyone knows that if you really have Jesus in your heart, you shouldn't ever be depressed. In fact, you should be able to simply rise above ALL your problems, because you have The Victory (insert trademark here).

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  11. heatherc says:

    Well, Matt did not nail it. There are some truths in what he wrote, but he was fairly far from the mark.

    I think I can say the same about what you've written here, Dave. There is some truth in this, but you are quite shy of hitting the mark as well.

    I have been reading a lot of stuff about depression the last day and a half. As I have read a whole lot about depression in the last 25 years, which is right around when I was first diagnosed. I'm glad people are talking about it, but social media and blogs offer such a vast range of opinions, if you're in the midst of a depressive episode (and I'm not right now, thankfully), it is just confusing.

    Not sure this post was very insightful or helpful. Thanks for trying.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  12. Brandi says:

    I only stomached about 2 paragraphs of Matt Walsh's ignorant post before heading down to the comments to tell him to study the subject. Thank you for THIS article, speaking the truth of a very serious disease.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  13. Amy says:

    Wow, thank you for this. I don't even think he understands how disheartening his words are to someone who deals with depression. It's great that there are people willing to stand up and say he's wrong!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  14. Robin Janney says:

    Yeah, I'm not sure I'd be able to read it right now. I've been struggling enough with Robin's death and all the crap because he took his own life. It's bullshit to call him a coward, or any of us who struggle with depression. There is a dark side to joy.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  15. Sandy N says:

    I read Walsh's post, and what I find unkind, hopeless, and ignorant is your response to it. Although depression can have very real physical causes, we are NOT just flesh and blood. As a Christian, I know there is something greater out there; God. He is more powerful than body chemistry and brain misfires, and He is able to overcome EVERYTHING in this world. Do you understand that? Everything. Would "everything" include depression? Absolutely.

    Does depression "feel" hopeless? I can tell you "YES!", from first hand experience. But as we should already know from Jeremiah 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things. Our feelings lie. Often they are a reflection of the Enemy's lies. To defend those lies is to side with Satan. Someone does not need to kill themselves when they are depressed, they do have a choice. They can hang on. It can take a lot of faith when the darkness closes in, but it is possible. They are NOT helpless, not even in the face of a chemical reaction. And, just like Walsh said, when we glorify the "peace" and the "freedom" that supposedly comes form suicide, we ENCOURAGE people to do it themselves. Our lies of peace and freedom give them an out, give them a reason, and essentially work toward stripping their hope. When we tell them these lies we become instruments in their destruction. That is not ok.

    I can not stomach a conversation where someone claims to be a Christian while simultaneously perpetuating the idea that God isn't more powerful than a chemical imbalance, a hormone, even a life event.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  16. Jarred H says:

    Sandy, you say that you "can not stomach a conversation where someone claims to be a Christian while simultaneously perpetuating the idea that God isn’t more powerful than a chemical imbalance, a hormone, even a life event."

    I'm not sure whether David is perpetuating the notion that God isn't more powerful than any of those things. However, you have opened yourself up to the old problem of theodicy. Whether or not God is more powerful than those things, He has chosen to allow those things to continue to afflict people. Why? What is your answer for that? Some people struggle to hold out. Some people's strength and will, yet God does nothing to ease their burden? What is your answer to that? Is God heartless? Does God not care about those people? Or do you simply blame those people and claim their faith was not strong enough?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  17. Depression and the drive to commit suicide is not a choice. But willful ignorance certainly is. Bad choice, Matt Walsh.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  18. Luke says:

    "I can not stomach a conversation where someone claims to be a Christian while simultaneously perpetuating the idea that God isn’t more powerful than a chemical imbalance," and yet people still are able to beat God and commit suicide. Jarred's questions are more valid in this line of thinking than ever before. Looking forward to your answers Sandy.

    I do believe there's hope, there's always hope. But I don't suffer from chronic depression. Those who are in my life who do say that sometimes there simply isn't hope. The best they can do is call others who still have it and ask for a loan for a little while.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Sandy, kindly fuck off if you think suicidal thoughts can be easily driven off by scripture. They come back. Repeatedly. The feelings of worthlessness only cycle in and out of the head, and no amount of biblethumping is going to end it. Depression doesn't go away with prayer, but with practice and prozac and patience (here, understanding how depression works and how it is chemical and we can't always control our hormones and brain shit).

    Walsh proves himself to be a pile of shit. No apologies for swearing. David's commentary is spot on - so many people are ignorant and uncaring as to how mental illness works.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  20. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Even if we are more than flesh and blood, THE PAIN AND ANXIETY AND FEELINGS DO NOT GO AWAY. EVER.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  21. Missy says:

    Who is Matt Walsh? I read his post. Then googled him as I had never heard of him and discovered a LOT of people don't like him.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  22. Pat Pope says:

    Sandy, where did David indicate or perpetuate, as you say, "the idea that God isn’t more powerful than a chemical imbalance, a hormone, even a life event"? I didn't get that from his post.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  23. Matt is right on! I refer to it as mental WILLness because the slide towards mental illness usually – USUALLY – begins with one’s willful rebellion against Jesus. Of course mental illness can be caused when others abuse, bully, neglect or are non-supportive when one faces trauma. Perhaps Robin was abused or bullied at some point, or perhaps he was unsupported when one or more traumatic events occurred in his life. Perhaps his own mother or siblings hated him. Such factors could have helped cause his depression. I don’t know, but I do know that how he chose to live certainly DID have a major impact on causing his depression. We become like the company we keep. We become like the places we go. We become like the things we do. Robin's depression probably was his fault because he hadn't surrendered his allegiance to Jesus.

    Everyone has access to Jesus, and the everlasting hope He brings! Joy depends on Jesus and happiness depends on happenings.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  24. Jarred H says:

    Ginny, we don't need your victim-blaming garbage here.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  25. Robin Williams was a victim of what exactly, Jarred?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  26. Pat Pope says:

    Lord, have mercy. smh......

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  27. Jarred H says:

    If you really cared to know, Ginny, you would do something like this.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  28. Brandi says:

    Sandy - Can a terminal cancer patient simply read Scripture and be healthy? Depression is no different. It is a disease. Some forms of it can be treated. Some cannot... at least, not to any more of a degree than that terminally ill cancer patient. It cannot be willed away. And suicide is very truly the end result of depression. It's a symptom. It's a result. It is not a choice.

    Ginny - I am a very faithful follower of Christ. I have surrendered to His will. I am fully blessed by what God has given me. I study scripture, and go to Church. I hang around with fellow Christians. And I suffer severe depression. And I have attempted suicide before (luckily, I had good friends who recognized the warning signs). Depression is not a separation from God. It has nothing to do with faith. It is a disease.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  29. Sandy N says:

    @Jarred, "Whether or not God is more powerful than those things, He has chosen to allow those things to continue to afflict people. Why? What is your answer for that? Some people struggle to hold out. Some people’s strength and will, yet God does nothing to ease their burden? What is your answer to that? Is God heartless? Does God not care about those people? Or do you simply blame those people and claim their faith was not strong enough?"

    What makes you think that I, or anyone else, is qualified to answer why God allows what He does. What makes you think that I, or anyone else, even has the right to demand such an answer? His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways. But if you want to get down to the brass tacks of it, as a Christian one does already have the answer to this, in general at least. Men fell, of their own accord. They chose evil, they chose carnality, they chose pain, misery, death. And so have we. This isn't the perfect world we were offered, this is the destroyed world we decided to pursue instead. God cares deeply for these people, and He doesn't want them to suffer. But when we, as people, rebel against Him nearly every chance we get, what do you expect is going to happen? That we will just be blessed for it? Without any effort on our part? We already are blessed far more than we deserve.

    As I said before, we are called to be overcomers. Giving up is the opposite of overcoming. We are promised that if we endure faithfully we will be given all we need, we will be assisted in all we need. Not necessarily in our time table, but in His. A reward we claim through our patience and faithfulness. So yes, if one refuses to endure faithfully than their faith is not strong enough. God made His promises, and He does not lie.

    @Luke "and yet people still are able to beat God and commit suicide." Huh? Where did you get that from? People don't "beat God" by committing suicide. Wat makes you think that by rejecting the gifts given by our creator we would somehow be "beating" Him? He told us we were given free will, even the free will to reject good.

    "I do believe there’s hope, there’s always hope. But I don’t suffer from chronic depression. Those who are in my life who do say that sometimes there simply isn’t hope. The best they can do is call others who still have it and ask for a loan for a little while." Well I do suffer from chronic depression, and I have had a lot of contact with others who have as well, so I know first hand that it IS NOT completely out of the person's control. But when in that state, it is easier to think it is. It is easier to feel defeated, unloved, hopeless, even though it is hard it is also easier. Because then you don't have to fight, and fighting seems so hard. Then you get a bunch of selfish people going on about how "at peace' someone is now that they have killed themselves. That's just great, way to deter someone from that very act (not). You have depressed people in your life? Do you intend to tell THEM that Williams is "at peace" and "free" now that he has killed himself? Do you think that would be a good idea?!?

    @Cecilia "Sandy, kindly fuck off if you think suicidal thoughts can be easily driven off by scripture. They come back. Repeatedly. The feelings of worthlessness only cycle in and out of the head, and no amount of biblethumping is going to end it. Depression doesn’t go away with prayer, but with practice and prozac and patience (here, understanding how depression works and how it is chemical and we can’t always control our hormones and brain shit)"

    First of all, you don't need to degrade yourself by using such language, and you absolutely have zero right to try to degrade me. Your self-center comment proves far more points than it could ever refute. If you had bothered to read my original comment before trying to boost yourself via a rant, you would already be aware that I have first hand knowledge of chronic depression. I know of the cycles, I know of the re-occurrences. What you, however, seem unaware of, is that these are not completely out of most people's control. Maybe YOU haven't learned how to control it, or at least minimize the effects, but that doesn't mean that others haven't learned this very thing. Instead of trying to denounce a message of HOPE, why don't you try pursuing some hope yourself? People do it, successfully. The question is whether you want to be one of those people or whether you want to be one of the ones that chooses to think they are powerless, kneeling at the feet of the depression.

    @Pat "Sandy, where did David indicate or perpetuate, as you say, “the idea that God isn’t more powerful than a chemical imbalance, a hormone, even a life event”? I didn’t get that from his post"

    I never claimed he directly made that statement, but he does certainly imply it. For one, the entire purpose of the post is to disagree with Matt Walsh's post, one of the main points (of Walsh) being that it isn't JUST a brain chemical issue, it is also a spiritual one. Walsh denounces the materialistic view of considering it only a physical problem, and Hayward denounces Walsh for saying that. Walsh thinks that a lot of the answers can be found in God, and Hayward deems this "religious fantasy". Then Haywood questions the comment, "There is always hope!" and seems to openly disagree with it. If you do not know that there is always hope, then you absolutely do not understand scripture because it is FILLED with it. If one denies the biblical truth of hope, one has NO business calling themselves a pastor.

    @Brandi "Can a terminal cancer patient simply read Scripture and be healthy? Depression is no different. It is a disease. Some forms of it can be treated. Some cannot… at least, not to any more of a degree than that terminally ill cancer patient. It cannot be willed away. And suicide is very truly the end result of depression. It’s a symptom. It’s a result. It is not a choice. "

    A terminally ill patient can turn their lives over to God, be faithful, and still (here is one of the keys people hate to hear) DO THEIR PART in the fight against that cancer. And yes, many people who do this very thing ARE healed. A dear friend at church was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told to go put her affairs in order because she wasn't going to live long enough to even see the autumn of that year. That was 10 years ago, I'll be seeing her this Saturday.

    People like you, telling others that suicide is the inevitable end of chronic depression, are culpable if anyone they spout that nonsense to kills themselves. Instead of turning them toward hope you have told them there is none. That is about the stupidest thing one could ever say to a depressed person.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  30. Wendy Smith says:

    The first time I tried to commit suicide, I was 4. I remember it distinctly. Here is some more of my story: I've battled depression all my life. I've even made attempts at suicide-several times. When I was in that state of mind, there are several things that are drumming through your psyche. You hurt--God, do you hurt. In the core of everything you are, the pain is intense. Impossible. And frustrating. You know you should be grateful. You know you should be hopeful. You know that you are hurting the people around you. And that intensifies the pain. And understand that this is pain that you carry around EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every day. You stay because---whatever reason you can find. "I won't let THEM win. (whoever the they is in the individual's life)" "I can't hurt my children (wife, husband, parents, siblings.)" "I can't be a quitter." "I am not a coward." But sometimes, that pain silences whatever reason it is that you are holding to so tenuously. It isn't selfishness. It isn't weakness. It is utter exhaustion of holding on to here. Of going through the motions, hiding or masking the pain with comedy or drugs or exercise or whatever. THAT is depression. It isn't weakness. It is incredible, painful strength.

    I believe in God. I've been involved in the church. I did EVERYTHING....Do you hear me? EVERYTHING to try to not be depressed. Guess what? NOTHING has worked. Not a damn thing! So, unless and until you've walked a mile in my shoes, dealing with depression for a minimum of 42 years of your life, I'm not sure you truly understand the battle. I'm actually proud of Robin for hanging in there for so long. I don't blame him. And I'm glad that finally, FINALLY, probably for the first time in his life, he can have abiding joy and peace. He's earned it.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  31. Wendy Smith says:

    And Sandy....The only person elevating themselves and their beliefs here is you. You have a ton of nerve to call someone out for calling you out on a very UNHELPFUL and completely JUDGMENTAL comment. Trust me. It is okay to be intolerant of intolerance. And I'm intolerant of your intolerance.

    And how dare you say that ANYBODY is culpable for the actions of another?! That is simply incredible.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  32. kris799 says:

    I had to leave a comment on Walsh's blog. If God is more powerful than a hormone, chemical imbalance or world event, He/She/It could end all pain and suffering right now. Christians are not above suffering from mental illness.

    When my uncles, who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, we not being treated, they often claimed to hear the voice of God. Should we have been enthused about them doing that? Should we have not challenged them when they said God wanted them to hurt their loved ones? Telling them to pray and read the Bible when they are hearing God likely would not have helped and only made their delusions worse.

    A depressed person can be a Christian and in a very low moment take their life just like a Christian with a physical ailment can succumb to the disease. The brain determines our thoughts which we act out. If the brain is diseased, out thoughts and actions will reflect that.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  33. Jarred H says:

    "God cares deeply for these people, and He doesn’t want them to suffer."

    If you believe in an all-powerful god, then this claim makes no sense. By definition, an all-powerful god could stop any suffering he doesn't want people to experience. Trying to blame people for their suffering simply distracts from that stark and inescapable truth.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  34. Sandy N says:

    @Wendy "So, unless and until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, dealing with depression for a minimum of 42 years of your life, I’m not sure you truly understand the battle"

    Oops, I'm only 37 and my first suicidal thoughts weren't until I was 5, I miss the mark of your qualifications by a couple of years. Who are you to tell me I don't understand the battle? I've lived it, I've seen others live it. So just because I don't let it define me or search for answers in the bottle of a pill bottle, I don't understand?

    "The only person elevating themselves and their beliefs here is you. You have a ton of nerve to call someone out for calling you out on a very UNHELPFUL and completely JUDGMENTAL comment. "

    Do you see in the irony in your comment? You elevate yourself and your beliefs above mine, while accusing me of that. Then you call my comment unhelpful, when yours certainly is. And you call me judgmental while you judge me. That, my dear, is the very definition of being a hypocrite. The bible speaks widely on hat as well, look it up.

    "And how dare you say that ANYBODY is culpable for the actions of another?! That is simply incredible."

    If you were to tell a suicidal person that suicide brings peace and joy, which was a main part of Walsh's beef with the subject, then that person committed suicide, YES, you would be partially responsible. In fact, you could even be tried in court for your hand in it, similar things have happened before. What is "incredible" is anyone trying to act like such a horrific attitude is acceptable.

    @Kris "I had to leave a comment on Walsh’s blog. If God is more powerful than a hormone, chemical imbalance or world event, He/She/It could end all pain and suffering right now. Christians are not above suffering from mental illness."

    So you are denying the existence of God? Or are you only denying that He has power over the whole universe? And you come to this conclusion from what? The fact that He hasn't made everything cherry and did it on your time table? So God only exists if He does what you want when you want it. It doesn't matter that there are REASONS why we experience suffering, right? It doesn't matter that we ASKED for the knowledge of good and evil by laying claim to it despite the warnings.

    " The brain determines our thoughts which we act out. If the brain is diseased, out thoughts and actions will reflect that."

    So we are nothing more than a collection of biological impulses. No wonder people are suicidal if that thought prevails!

    @Jarred "If you believe in an all-powerful god, then this claim makes no sense. By definition, an all-powerful god could stop any suffering he doesn’t want people to experience."

    If you know anything about the bible then you already know the answer to this, so why are you spouting something that you already know has already been answered? There is a plan in place by which all suffering will be ended. It is spelled out for us clearly. It just isn't right this second.

    "Trying to blame people for their suffering simply distracts from that stark and inescapable truth."

    Keep your lies to yourself because I never once blamed people for their own suffering. Things in life can be tough, hormones can get imbalanced, and so can brain chemistry. But we are more than the events, more than our hormones, and more than our brain chemistry. We are more and capable of more than you obviously realize. Telling power to tap their inherent power is being encouraging to them, telling them there is no hope and their life is going to spin out of control without any way to stop it is UTTERLY CRUEL.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  35. Matt (not Walsh) says:

    As a pastor, I'd love to hear your thoughts much more through scripture rather than common sense or experience?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  36. CCPat says:

    Matt Walsh is one of the many reasons modern America has turned from Christianity. Too much judgment, not enough grace. He speaks as though he is the only keeper of truth. If you don't agree with him, you are flat out wrong. I am not saying that we should approve of much of what is going on in the world today. Jesus LOVED people first and foremost. He called a spade a spade. But Jesus also taught people by reaching them right where they were, not by thumping his chest and strutting his stuff. People like Matt Walsh almost make me feel ashamed of being a Christian. Yes, you can tell people they are living wrong. No, you do not have the right to condemn them. I can't even begin to know what was in Robin Williams' head in his final moments. Neither can Matt Walsh and for that reason he should shut the hell up.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  37. CCPat says:

    I should have said, "Matt Walsh exemplifies one of the many reasons modern America has turned from Christianity."

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  38. Cecilia Davidson says:

    The trolls are out in force tonight, and FRANKLY, Sandy, kiss my ass if you think that my using swears to call out your outright bullshit makes my arguments less true.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  39. I don't deny that some people suffer depression but depression is not something that is from God.
    A lot of it comes from the spiritual, opening door by you or your parents or by exposure to satanic stuff
    Depression can be starved off by listening to the word of God and wholesome music. Avoiding horror or tragic movies and programming your mind to focus on the good things.
    I was depressed for years before I got saved and started meditating on God's word daily.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  40. Jarred H says:

    Sandy, if you can't see how your statements effectively blame people for their own suffering, I can only assume that you lack empathy. You are clearly way too invested in your personal theology to question it honestly.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  41. Brandi, to what do you listen? What do you watch? What do you read? Are you protective of your eye and ear gates? With what do you fill your heart and soul?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  42. Luke says:

    "Huh? Where did you get that from? People don’t “beat God” by committing suicide." -Sandy

    I got that from your comment "God isn’t more powerful than a chemical imbalance, a hormone, even a life event." So if this is true, then everyone would be able to beat depression just through prayer. Doesn't always work. Sometimes you can't beat depression through prayer, medication, and 12 Steps.

    Theodicy is an issue here. Compassion however, doesn't have to be. Putting the moral judgment of "Suicide is the wrong choice" doesn't take a step toward understanding others. The grass never grows in the places that we well-trample with our own correctness.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  43. Check this out, folks.

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/14/robin-williams-suicide-is-a-chance-to-revive-the-stigma/?utm_source=The+Federalist+List&utm_campaign=e9a03b2195-RSS_DAILY_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cfcb868ceb-e9a03b2195-53644617

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  44. R Vogel says:

    I still don't know who Matt Walsh is, nor do I wish to. Sounds like a typical Fundie d-bag. What he, and frankly most people, don't understand is clinical depression is not being sad. I even detect hints of this in your post, David, a subtle suggestion that it is a mental state rooted in some non-physical cause. I held similar ideas before I lived with someone who had major depression and OCS. It is a physical ailment of the brain. Like PTSD, like schizophrenia, and a whole host of other mental illnesses. It may start with a trauma, it may not. Even if it does, the trauma uncovers something wrong in the brain. We all get depressed at times, but we come out of it. Clinically depressed people cannot. We all worry about irrational things sometimes, but we get over it and go one with our day. A person suffering from OCD cannot get over it and without treatment is can consume their lives. Not because they are weak or not spiritual enough or whatever, but because they have something wrong with their brains. If someone's spine gets severed and they lose the use of their legs, it is not because they are weak, or not 'joyful' enough, it is because something is damaged. Unless that damage gets repaired, they will not be able to walk. Mental illness is one of the place where our intuitive dualism fails us miserably. I hear people say, "How could he have been depressed? He was so happy, and rich and whatever..." But no one ever said of Christopher Reeve, 'How could he be paralyzed? He was so virile and rich and good looking?"

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  45. R Vogel says:

    G*d doesn't prevent people from getting cancer, not even children. G*d doesn't prevent people from getting Ebola (obviously), G*d doesn't prevent people from dying from Pneumonia or Influenza. If you said that people who got all these things should just stop watching horror movies and read the Bible rather than get medical attention, people would call you insane. Well, G*d doesn't prevent people from getting mental illness, and giving people that same advice is just as insane.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  46. I'm sorry if I communicated "clinical depression is not being sad". I'm certainly no expert, but I do know that much. Thanks R Vogel.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  47. Doug says:

    Thank you, R Vogel. I am in my sixties and have suffered many bouts with deep depression since I was a young child, along with the suicidal ideations that often go with it. By God's grace, I have never made an attempt upon my life. I cling to the belief that God does indeed love me, as do my friends and family members, and that somehow --- somehow --- God does have some sort of plan for my life and that S/He will get me through it, not, sometimes, without medication and therapy.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  48. Mike says:

    He didn't say depression was a choice. He said suicide was a choice. You, like many others have mis read and or misrepresented what Walsh wrote.

    http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/13/depression-isnt-choice-suicide-response-critics/

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  49. Cecilia Davidson says:

    @Theresa Doghor -
    "I don’t deny that some people suffer depression but depression is not something that is from God. A lot of it comes from the spiritual, opening door by you or your parents or by exposure to satanic stuff Depression can be starved off by listening to the word of God and wholesome music. Avoiding horror or tragic movies and programming your mind to focus on the good things. I was depressed for years before I got saved and started meditating on God’s word daily."
    I'm sorry, but spiritual practice ALONE isn't going to remove the problem. It might for you, but not permanently.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  50. Sandy N says:

    @Luke "So if this is true, then everyone would be able to beat depression just through prayer"

    So if this is true? You are actually asking if it is true the God is more powerful than the chemicals in our bodies (that He created,) our hormones (that He created, ) and the situations of the world (that He created, and we messed up)? I've had a look at your posts, it seems you at least claim to be a Christian. But if you were a Christian you would already know that God IS all powerful, rather than thinking that the stingy things of this world could tie His hands. If you truly believe yourself to be a Christian, than you just openly blasphemed the God you claim to follow. I would encourage you, if you wish to be a Christian, to read the bible and see how powerful God is. See that NOTHING is beyond His reach. Learn the amazing things He has done. Then consider how your viewpoint that He is limited and unable in earthly situations completely defies the words of scripture.

    @Vogel "We all get depressed at times, but we come out of it. Clinically depressed people cannot."

    Wow, that is a new one! What makes you think that clinically depressed people can never come out of it?? That is absolutely untrue. The US National Library of Medicine defines clinical depression this way, "Major depression is a mental health condition. It is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with daily life for weeks or longer." Notice how it doesn't say, "and this last forever, with no hope of ever coming out of it." It doesn't say that because that isn't the case. They continue that it can be treated, and treatment isn't always medicine based either. Even talk therapy can treat depression. That is a FAR cry from being something the person can never come out of :O

    " A person suffering from OCD cannot get over it" Wrong again. OCD can be overcome, and people can (and do) recover. According to the Mayo clinic, treatment for OCD may or may not result in a cure, but either way a person's symptoms CAN be brought under control.

    "If someone’s spine gets severed and they lose the use of their legs, it is not because they are weak, or not ‘joyful’ enough, it is because something is damaged. Unless that damage gets repaired, they will not be able to walk." And what of those who have been told they have incurable illnesses or injuries, and then were miraculously made whole? Have you not heard of miracles? Where do miracles come from?

    The bottom line here is that most of you commenting are very negative. You are happy believing that a person with depression is doomed and are unwilling to consider the possibility that they are not doomed. Then you want to accuse *me* of being cruel? I am the one saying people have hope, you are dooming them to a life of hopelessness forever spinning out of their control. And to boot? This is the post of someone who is supposedly a pastor, yet he isn't recognizing the power of God. Nor are most of the commentors. If you don't believe in God that is your choice. In fact, He is the one that gave you that choice. Is it a good choice? Not in the least, but it is yours to make all the same. But don't claim that you DO believe in God while claiming He is powerless against the things of this world. That is a lie, and it comes from the father of lies. When you spread that lie you are not being an instrument of God, you are being an instrument of Satan. The same goes for those trying to strip the hope of depression sufferers by telling them even God can't help them. You are doing the work of your father, Satan.

    John 8:42-47: 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

    And that is all I have to say on the matter as this is proving to be a den of serpents. Any further questions you have, take them to the Word, take them in prayer, take them to the Almighty God who can do ALL things, even help the doubters here.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  51. Cecilia Davidson says:

    If anything, Sandy N, you're the viper who feels like peddling the snake oil that is YOUR understanding on how mental illness works.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  52. Jeff P says:

    @R Vogel "Mental illness is one of the place where our intuitive dualism fails us miserably..."

    Very wise words.

    Of course Christianity pushes dualism to the extreme so it isn't surprising that those the most vested in dualism/Christianity have the most trouble understanding mental illness.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  53. Jarred H says:

    Let's see if Sandy N sticks the flounce.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  54. Aaron says:

    Mr. Hayward: I don't always appreciate Matt Walsh's blogs - something about a tint of smug superiority - but I thought this one was terrific. It was a clear affirmation of the power of love, joy, hope, and the power and dignity of the human will. He clearly affirmed the pain and complexity of depression. He made reference to his own personal struggles. He offered no easy answers.

    But all you can do is slam this guy. And in a number of cases, you're blatantly ignoring Walsh's actual words and inserting straw men. What I'm curious about is WHY you feel the need for your vicious attack. I'm going to critique your blog, and the attitude of your fans, and share with you what kind of a "vibe" I get from your blog.

    1. You say explicitly that you don't believe there's always hope - first of all, do you seriously mean that or was that just a half-baked idea that snuck into your blog? If you did mean to say that, would you really say to a suicidal person, "You're right, there's no hope for you, go ahead and pull the trigger..."? Is your message to the people of South Sudan really, "Give up hope, strangle your children now"? If you wouldn't say that to a suicidal person, or a desperate Sudanese woman, then what's your beef with Walsh?
    2. Do you believe in the dignity and power of human choice? If so, what's your beef with Walsh? If not, how can you rationally chastise Walsh for writing a blog that you believe he was powerless to resist writing (I suppose rationality has nothing to do with it, you'd just be following your biological imperative...)?
    3. Do you agree with Walsh that humans are a complex mixture of body and spirit, chemicals and choices and soul and intellect and awareness? Or are we nothing more than a chemical cocktail so often gone awry? And if you DO agree with Walsh, what then is your actual beef with him? And if you DO agree with Walsh, why are you obfuscating points of unity in preference for imagined conflict?
    4. I detect, in your writing and in protestations of your fans, a strong strain of an attitude that says "You must suffer as badly as I (or my friend, or brother, or daughter) have suffered in order to comment on my life". And further, "Even if you have suffered as badly as me, if you come to a different conclusion about how to cope with suffering, you have not learned anything, and you are a nasty monster and I must take to the blogosphere to disparage you."
    5. If that critique is even partly correct, do you want to stand by that attitude? I mean, do you want to go to an obese physical trainer to learn how to lose weight? I for one don't care so much about whether or not a trainer understands how it feels to be fat, I want to know if they understand the dynamics of weight loss. Empathy is great, but it's secondary - I have plenty of overweight friends I can get empathy from, I want a physical trainer who can HELP me. Similarly, I'm going to look to mentally well people for advice on mental health. Sorry if that's a cruel position, but I just can't bear the pain anymore, and I need solutions, not just empathy.
    6. Finally, here's the "vibe" I get, and I suppose I'm veering dangerously close to speculation and judgmentalism, but I figure a guy with a blog called "nakedpastor" is open to vigorous critique. Frankly, this blog strikes me as one of those deals where the former pastor figures out that all the other religious people are wrong, and he doesn't want to be one of those "fundie douchebags" (to quote one of your fans), and so he starts spewing cynical knee-jerk vitriol against anything that smacks of conservativism or evangelicalism or whatever. It's supposed to be very hip, and it draws approbation from a crowd of similarly disaffected former church-goers who imagine, perhaps, that they're gaining friends and a hearing for the gospel among the irreligious, but for the life of me I can't see how it's any less self-righteous and self-serving than a pastor who draws a crowd by thumping his Bible and railing against "The Gay Agenda". I certainly hope you're not under the illusion that your act is somehow "fresh" or "creative" or "original", because I assure you that such "I really like Jesus but I can't stand his people because they're so inferior to me" blogs are a dime-a-dozen.

    Basically, Mr. Hayward, besides superficial words and issues, I can't see the difference between your attitude and the attitude of smug superiority that you claim bothers you about Matt Walsh. May I suggest you find a mirror and work on the speck in your eye? I'm heading off now to get a plank removed from my own; I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  55. constantlysearching says:

    my biggest issue was his statement about joy. Does he understand how hard, if not impossible, it is to find joy when you are depressed? It's not that simple.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  56. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Aaron, please summarize rather than bullying with volume.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  57. The last time I critiqued Matt Walsh some people responded with this kind of claim: "You misread what he said!" In other words, they believe that if only we understood Walsh, then we'd agree with him. I say let Walsh be a grownup who is disagreed with instead of just misunderstood. I believe he writes things that many people not only disagree with, but also believe are dangerous. Let him stand by what he writes!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  58. armenia4ever says:

    Okay, assuming everything you said about depression and the extent is has on an individual is true, lets be some what facetious.

    What can I actually do and get away with - what kinds of actions - that I can blame on depression?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  59. John says:

    Faith, and the power associated with it, is only as powerful as the person in whom it resides.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  60. kris799 says:

    Let's also remember we don't Robin Williams' personal faith. He may have believed in God, claimed to be a Christian and prayed for his depression to be taken away. It didn't and he had a moment where he couldn't take it anymore.

    Mental illness has absolutely nothing to do with theology and will not be cured by prayer. And religiosity can often be a sign of mental illness.

    @Sandy, I notice you had nothing to say when I explained that my uncles often heard God's voice telling them to do bad things when they were in the midst of a paranoid schizophrenic episode. You wanna give someone like that a Bible or tell them to listen to God (which they are already doing)? Please address this.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  61. Cecilia Davidson says:

    I don't see how faith or lack thereof would make depression better or worse.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  62. Justin says:

    Thanks for your article. Your turning point in it the article reads, "If this is what he's saying, then he is unbelievably ignorant of humanity." You would be right if that was actually what he was saying. But that's not what he was saying. You're wrong. You've created a scarecrow argument, knocked it down, and mocked Walsh in the process. That's pretty ignorant if you ask me. If anyone is reading this article, please consider that possibility that Walsh wasn't actually saying the things the author of the article is accusing him of saying. This author has taken things out of context and distorted it into something else entirely. That's not right. Read Walsh's follow-up post as he makes crystal clear what he is and isn't saying. He doesn't deserve the misrepresentation this article attributes to him. http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/08/13/depression-isnt-choice-suicide-response-critics/2/

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  63. Many are loudly proclaiming that if you cut your arm or get Mesothelioma, you go to a medical doctor for help. Of course, not many would deny that's wise. Those same folks, however, are claiming that depression is NOT your fault. Uh, when you were drunk and fell through a glass door and cut your arm, that WAS your fault. When you smoked for fifty years and ended up with cancer, that WAS your fault. How can the same folks claim that if you suffer from depression, you couldn't possibly have any culpability in that?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  64. Justin says:

    David, I was re-reading your article again and even more blown away this time how badly you've misrepresented Walsh. He NEVER said depression was a choice or a trivial matter or something you just get over. I contend that you've perpetuated massive misreading and misunderstanding of what Walsh actually wrote. I suppose you disagree. Nonetheless, I would invite you to at least consider the possibility that Walsh didn't argue the sentiment of which your accusing him. If you come to that conclusion, it would seem a follow-up blog post of your own would be in order whereby you can apologize to your own readers and rectify this situation. Making an amends such as that would require deep humility and courage, but I would applaud and commend you for doing so.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  65. Paulette says:

    People like Walsh always seem to have a few trolls (hello, Justin!) monitoring websites that have the audacity to contradict him. Thank you, Mr. Hayward for your insightful rebuttal to Walsh's uninformed cruelty. Despite what his trolls have posted, we DO understand Walsh and his ilk all too well.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  66. Justin: Hello again. Like I said before, Walsh says things that I consider not only misinformed but dangerous. I'm not the only one. Either he is unclear, or we aren't understanding, or he is saying misinformed and dangerous things. I think he is a skillful writer and is very clear. I don't think the many people disagreeing with him are misreading him. So the conclusion he needs to be a grownup... and you do too... and accept the fact that he says things that people disagree with and invites strong responses.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  67. Justin says:

    Paulette, you're hilarious! Funny your comment comes this article about ignorance. Aside from Walsh's two recent articles about suicide, I have read two--ONLY 2--other blog posts by him in my entire life. So I'm sorry to let you know, Paulette, but calling me a Walsh troll just demonstrated your own ignorance (Hello, Paulette!)

    David, just consider it, bro. I saw your other post about how you feel about Walsh in general. You already made up your mind what you think about him before you read his recent posts. And you read him through that tainted lens. I am "grown up" and that's why I'm asking you to do a very grown-up thing: JUST CONSIDER the possibility that you got Walsh wrong this time around. He simply didn't say what you're accusing him of saying.

    Again, I'm the least of all a troll. I know that you stand up for what you think is right. And I will stand up for YOU too when someone misrepresents you and slanders you. Guaranteed. And I'm standing up for Walsh this time around because he's being unfairly misrepresented in this case.

    Be blessed, brother.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  68. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Justin, you fail to realize that your being here and trolling in support of Walsh generates traffic for this site, right?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  69. Cecilia Davidson says:

    To quote Tom Clempson-

    "But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.”

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  70. Justin says:

    One of us must misunderstand what "trolling" is. See my comment right before your to Paulette. Can you please explain what you mean by "trolling"?

    Moreover, if someone disagrees with you on a blog, do you call them a "troll" in order to dismiss them? I was under the impression that the comments section is for readers to dialogue. Is it your position that it should only be for readers who AGREE with the post?

    And to answer your question, I'm more than happy that our comments generate traffic for nakedpastor. Great! Good for him. I'm not a regular reader of him or Walsh. I hope both their blogs do well. And I assume I'm welcome to comment on either site. Is that not the case?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  71. Cecilia, don't you understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; a stitch in time saves nine? I have been discussing depression prevention. Most everyone else is focused on how to deal with it once it has already become a stronghold in someone's life, using various types of therapy to keep it manageable. As significant as that is, do you not think it wiser to tackle the ways through which it is allowed to enter one's life, before it gains a foothold? Folks choose neither cancer or depression willingly for themselves. Sadly, at the same time, often, neither do they choose to live in a way to lessen the probability that such destructive conditions will enter their lives. We can all make the wise choice to live a healthy lifestyle in an attempt to keep cancer, depression and many other destructive illnesses or conditions at bay.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  72. Cecilia Davidson says:

    It makes me glad to recognize trolls for all of the posts I see on tumblr :I

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  73. Cecilia Davidson says:

    The arguments coming from Matt Walsh's foaming followers are summarized as follows:

    Depression results from poor choices.
    Depression itself is a choice.
    The treatment for depression is Jesus.

    None of you guys have medical training or degrees in psychology and, from what it sounds like, haven't had to deal with clinical depression (I have - it's not fun, so stop lying about being able to get past it). Stop talking out of your ass about how depression can somehow be cured by making better choices. Robin Williams addressed his poor choices and he STILL had to fight with his demons.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  74. Cecilia, there are lasting consequences to one's poor choices. That's one way God gets our attention.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  75. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Ginny, you honestly have no idea how depression works, and, to be quite blunt, you are a horrible person for saying that EVERYTHING has to be caused by poor choices. It's not my fault I was verbally abused by my father. It's not my fault my mother died of cancer (oh AND SHE WAS A GOOD RELIGIOUS PERSON so don't you dare fucking say that she deserved cancer), and it's not my fault that the state of Texas absolutely hates its arts programs.

    Are you going to say that it's my fault that I, someone who identifies as queer and can't control that, should just put up with the insults? The horrible laws? Or are you going to say something like how my parents must have sinned in order for me to not be a heterosexual cisgender individual?

    I have no time for your asinine, outright pathetic viewpoints. Go back to Matt Walsh's blog so you can cry about how us mean people are treating you horribly.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  76. _garth says:

    What is David a pastor of? It certainly isn't of the Word of God... This article, it would seem, like his others, are rooted firmly in the thinking of this world.

    I also doubt that David read much (or any) of what Matt said in his blog as he missed the point of what Matt was saying - a point I firmly agree with: "Depression is not just a clinical condition but also a spiritual condition". Yes, Christians can suffer from it, as they are imperfect people like anyone, however I do believe that they have a "Way" out - and that is looking up (to Jesus) and not inward, which is what so much of depression is... feelings of worthlessness, or excessive guilt. These feelings are the root cause of the depression suffered by every single one of the people that I know who suffer depression. I too have gone through this valley, and even been concerned about my sanity, and it was a valley of decision. I have a brother who suffers mental illness and I would also say that that too is as much a spiritual condition as it is undoubtedly now a clinical one. His path there involved drugs as well, and they can cause brain changes - but ultimately his life was a matter of his decisions to that point... as it is for all of us, as it was for Robin Williams.

    As to depression being clinical - you do realise that changes to our brains are both reactive and causitive? This means that what we choose to do, imbibe or think can cause our brains to change over time, and this in turn causes how we behave, act and develop to change. So it is entirely possible for depressive tendencies to cause brain functions to change (this is hardly newsworthy!) - but in EVERY circumstance we have a choice. And that's Matt's point. We have a choice to go talk to someone, or not... or get professional help, or not... stick to the appointment or not... change our diet and exercise or not... and (here's the big one) whether we will live for someone else and not just ourselves, or not... be focused on others and not just our selves, or not... give up our own pity party and find others to help, or not...

    If you are doing anything in this article David, you are perpetuating the myth of diminished personal responsibility - and this does nothing to help people who suffer depression.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  77. Garth: there we go AGAIN with the "if only you understood what Matt meant!" thing. In other words, Matt speaks truth, and if we were just in our right mind, we would see that and agree. NO! Why not let Matt say things that other grown-ups disagree with?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  78. Garth, just this week have I comprehended what's going on in the postmodern church. The nakedpastor, as well as RHE, Shane Claiborne, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and manyyy others, is into Hinduism. That is what he teaches.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  79. Wendy Smith says:

    Ginny, I'm just curious about what choices I could have made before the age of 4 that would have contributed to the depression I've struggled with since before my first suicide attempt at age 4? I'd really like to change whatever decision it was that I made that put me on this path. Please enlighten me?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  80. Wendy, scroll up to read how I already addressed your query. That is, if you really want to know.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  81. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Ginny, the trolling is ridiculous. Please - go back to Reddit or Matt Walsh if you want people to justify your outright hateful commentary.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  82. julie says:

    "First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  83. julie says:

    By saying depression is a spiritual condition, one is saying that if a person isn't spiritually...uh, balanced?...then they are depressed. And I actually have a genuine question about this thinking: If depression is a spiritual condition, then what about all those super happy atheists and agnostics I know?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  84. Gary says:

    Wow - missed all the fun. I am kind of glad I did not see this till the dust settled a bit. There are some pretty disgusting views represented here which I am ashamed to say I once held .

    Thanks David and others for standing up to the bullshit!!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  85. JD says:

    Sometimes folks amaze me. Was Robin Williams suicide an involuntay act. No. Was his depression possibly due to a spiritual deficiency I.e. Low spirit?

    I think yes.

    Wow the idiocy of the posts here astound me

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  86. JD says:

    David you repeatedly comment that Matt is dangerous??? So stating that suicide is voluntary and that depression severe enough to cause that act may be due to a spiritual deficiency? That is dangerous. Actually that is reality. Get used to it.

    Phew dude you are really out if touch

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  87. Gary says:

    Idiocy is right JD. But your accusation needs to be pointed back at yourself. Your comments are based on the worst kind spiritual nonsense, laced with a profound level of ignorance regarding depressive illnesses, and presented with a smug arrogance that reveals a cold heart.

    Wow...just wow.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  88. JD says:

    Gary

    Being out of touch with reality is a form of idiocy. Suicide is most definitely a voluntary act. A sad and violent one but yet still voluntary. Depression is most certainly a low spirit. What would you call it. Mental illness. Well that's another name for feelings out of control which of course can always be a problem. Anger management or lack thereof is a good example . Lack of can lead to violence and death.

    Because Matt called it a spiritual deficiency you are. All up in arms?

    reality is harsh at times. But don't call those who don't stick their heads in the sand names or DANGEROUS (David).

    Silly and childish nonsense.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  89. Gary says:

    The profoundness of your ignorance is almost beyond comprehension. I will not not even attempt to waste time on such ridiculous bullshit!

    "Mental illness. Well that’s another name for feelings out of control which of course can always be a problem."

    I am seriously laughing my fucking ass off at this statement.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  90. JD says:

    Gary you are the joke. Debate the point quit being lame

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  91. JD says:

    Gary

    If you cant make a point without the f word you don't have one.

    But I am more interested in a response from the pastor than crazy Gary.

    Pastor

    Is suicide voluntary act?

    Do you think the motivation could be due to low spirit I.e. A spiritual deficiency?

    To me the answers to both questions is yes.

    That was Matts point. It's not very complicated and doesn't need a lot of elaborate explanation,

    Do you really think this is dangerous thoughts?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  92. I'm assuming JD that by "pastor" you are referring to me? If so I will try to address your question. But I would like to point out that you display the typical kind of question, which isn't a question at all, but a dogmatic statement looking for confirmation with a question mark at the end. In other words, you aren't really curious and you are not exploring. You are simply looking and waiting for others to crash against your rock of belief with a no or get on board with a yes. Can we explore, really, the question of suicide, rather than approach it heartlessly, unintelligently, and judgmentally? Is this even possible. Do we even have the right to judge what "made" him do it? Rather, can we even begin to contemplate that there are conditions so dark and insoluble that the issue of choice makes no sense? Is it possible for you to even consider for a moment that people get to such a point in their lives where choice is not even on the table? Can we consider, for example, that your dogmatic insistence on this matter is, in a way, a kind of suicide, because you have come to a place in your own life where there is no choice? Are you not stuck in your own way of thinking so deeply that you can't even see the possibility of options anymore? Can we be so deeply imbedded in our own ideology that it is a kind of intellectual dead end? You can't help thinking the way you do. And to me that seems very dark and hopeless and ultimately loveless. Is this not a kind of a spiritual deficiency, and a kind of intellectual suicide?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  93. Gary says:

    Actually JD...FUCK is a very useful word. It conveys meaning in a pretty straight forward manner. I will sometimes selectively use it when encountering extreme dogma, ignorance, trolling, or fundamentalism.

    I'll let you decide which of these prompted me to use it with you.
    Hint: You can select more than one. ;-)

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  94. JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  1. August 13, 2014

    JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. August 14, 2014

    JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. August 14, 2014

    JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. August 15, 2014

    JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. August 20, 2014

    JD honestly sounds like the type who would follow a reddit post to harass David for no good reason. Besides, there was no content in his post - only cotton candy made of scorpion pepper sauce and sugar.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>