From World Net Daily:
Dad links son’s suicide to ‘The God Delusion’
Says atheism-promoting book hidden under mattress, last page bookmarked
A New York man is linking the suicide of his 22-year-old son, a military veteran who had bright prospects in college, to the anti-Christian book “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins after a college professor challenged the son to read it.
“Three people told us he had taken a biology class and was doing well in it, but other students and the professor were really challenging my son, his faith. They didn’t like him as a Republican, as a Christian, and as a conservative who believed in intelligent design,” the grief-stricken father, Keith Kilgore, told WND about his son, Jesse.
“This professor either assigned him to read or challenged him to read a book, ‘The God Delusion,’ by Richard Dawkins,” he said.
Jesse Kilgore committed suicide in October by walking into the woods near his New York home and shooting himself. Keith Kilgore said he was shocked because he believed his son was grounded in Christianity, had blogged against abortion and for family values, and boasted he’d been debating for years.
After Jesse’s death, Keith Kilgore learned of the book assignment from two of his son’s friends and a relative. He searched Jesse’s room and found the book under the mattress with his son’s bookmark on the last page.
The first inkling of a reason for the suicide came, Keith Kilgore told WND, when one of Jesse’s friends came to visit after word of his son’s death circulated.
“She was in tears [and said] he was very upset by this book,” Keith Kilgore said. “‘It just destroyed him,’ were her words.
Then another friend at the funeral told me the same thing,” Keith Kilgore said. “This guy was his best friend, and about the only other Christian on campus.
“The third one was the last person that my son talked to an hour before [he died,]” Keith Kilgore told WND, referring to a member of his extended family whose name is not being revealed here.
That relative, who had struggled with his own faith and had returned to Christianity, wrote in a later e-mail that Jesse “started to tell me about his loss of faith in everything.”
“He was pretty much an atheist, with no belief in the existence of God (in any form) or an afterlife or even in the concept of right or wrong,” the relative wrote. “I remember him telling me that he thought that murder wasn’t wrong per se, but he would never do it because of the social consequences – that was all there was – just social consequences.
“He mentioned the book he had been reading ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins and how it along with the science classes he had take[n] had eroded his faith. Jesse was always great about defending his beliefs, but somehow, the professors and the book had presented him information that he found to be irrefutable. He had not talked … about it because he was afraid of how you might react. … and that he knew most of your defenses of Christianity because he himself used them often. Maybe he had used them against his professors and had the ideas shot down.”
He then explained to Jesse his own personal journey of seeking “other explanations of God’s existence” and told of his ultimate return.
“I told him it was my relationship with God, not my knowledge of Him that brought me back to my faith. No one convinced me with facts. … it was a matter of the heart.”
Keith Kilgore believes it was a biology class that raised questions for his son, and a biology professor at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y., where his son was attending, who suggested the book.
A school spokeswoman told WND that the “God Delusion” was not a part of the biology curriculum, and several of the professors she contacted said they had not even read the book. However, the spokeswoman was unable to contact all of the professors in the department and could not state that none of them had suggested the book to Jesse.
Local police also did not respond to WND inquiries about the investigation into the death.
“One of his friends, and his uncle (they did not know each other) both told me that Jesse called them hours before he took his life and that he had lost all hope because he was convinced that God did not exist, and this book was the cause,” Keith Kilgore told WND.
Keith Kilgore, a retired military chaplain who has dealt with the various stages of grief and readily admits he’s still in the “anger” stage over his son’s death, said his son apparently had checked the “Delusion” out of the college library.
“I’m all for academic freedom,” Keith Kilgore said. “What I do have a problem with is if there’s going to be academic freedom, there has to be academic balance.
“They were undermining every moral and spiritual value for my [son],” he said. “They ought to be held accountable.”
He suggested the moral is for Christians simply to abandon public schools wholly.
“Here’s another thing,” he continued. “If my son was a professing homosexual, and a professor challenged him to read [a book called] ‘Preventing Homosexuality’… If my son was gay and [the book] made him feel bad, hopeless, and he killed himself, and that came out in the press, there would be an outcry.
“He would have been a victim of a hate crime and the professor would have been forced to undergo sensitivity training, and there may have even been a wrongful death lawsuit.
“But because he’s a Christian, I don’t even get a return telephone call,” the father told WND.
He said he tried to verify the book assignment himself several times, without getting a response from the school.
Jesse Kilgore blogged on NetPotion and Newblog, and the writings that remained mostly addressed social ills and how anti-Christian many of the world’s developments appeared to be.
Dawkins, considered one of the world’s most outspoken atheists, is a professor in the United Kingdom. He came to prominence in 1976 with his book “The Selfish Gene,” promoting evolution.
In his “Delusion” treatise he claims that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that faith qualifies as a “delusion” – a fixed false belief.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul that had been deceived by the hate-filled mockery of self-important atheism.
See my posts that demonstrate why an atheist can so easily and casually take his own life: