Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 04, 1893The Increasing Number of Suicides A Self-Murderer is a Coward; Suicide is a Mortal Sin (Editorial)
The unfortunate mania of suicide, from which even our small community is not free, has grown in recent times to alarming proportions. It is unusual to pick up a newspaper without finding within its pages reports of suicides.
According to the calculations of the English statistician, William Matthews, the number of suicides in the world amounts to 180,000 per year and with every year, this number increases.
In this craze for suicide, Saxony leads the rest of Europe with an average of 400 suicides per million inhabitants. In the past year in Berlin, 370 people committed suicide, while 155 attempted suicides were reported.2
Statistics show that in the last decade--1880 to 1890--the number of suicides in Europe has increased by seventy-five per cent over the decade preceding it. The same conditions exist in America. Here suicides in the large cities are even more frequent than in Europe.
The growth of suicides even among children is alarming. In less than a year's time, sixty-two child suicides occurred in Berlin; of these, forty-six were boys and sixteen were girls; twenty-four of the children were fifteen years old, fourteen were fourteen, nine were thirteen, seven were twelve, and one was not yet seven years of age!
In high schools, the principle cause seems to be fear of examinations, in lower schools, fear of punishment. Other causes cited were: frustrated ambition (!), unsuccessful love affairs (!!), arrogance, anger, indignation, physical suffering, etc.
In all cases, the main fault is undoubtedly a lack of the proper religious 3and moral background; at the same time, a lack of the realization that suicide, in full possession of one's sanity, is a crime against God, a crime against one's self and family, one's church and country.
The common misguided belief that there is anything heroic in a suicidal act must be destroyed. When, during the war in Egypt, suicides began to increase in the French army, Napoleon issued the decree that every self-murderer would be branded a deserter and a coward.
Religion is the strongest defense against the temptations of suicide. A true Christian endures with fortitude every hardship and misfortune that befalls him; in those years when the Christian faith blossomed, suicides were unknown, or at least were very rare.
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