On April 11, Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church stated his opposition of California’s assisted suicide bill, Senate Bill 128.
At the Dignity and Courage End of Life conference he said, “I oppose this law as a theologian and as the father of a son who took his life after struggling with mental illness for 27 years.” In April 2013, his youngest son, Matthew Warren, committed suicide after a life-long battle with depression.
He added, “The prospect of dying can be frightening. But we belong to God, and death and life are in God’s hands. … We need to make a radical commitment to be there for those who are dying in our lives.”
Earlier this month, Warren shared more about his son’s suicide on Facebook.
He said, “On this Easter week two years ago, my son Matthew ended his life, and his 27-year battle with mental illness. That day, April 5th, coming 5 days after Easter, was the worst day of my life. On a day where everything in me wants to be quiet and low-key, be alone at home with my Lord and my wife and kids, and just get through the day without having to interact or be ‘on’ or celebrate anything … instead I will be leading multiple Easter services on the biggest Christian day of the year.”
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According to the Christian Post, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County along with other faith groups opposes SB 128. In an official document explain their opposition, the diocese asks, “The claim to a right to assisted suicide raises many questions, not the least of which is this: if there is a ‘right to assisted suicide,’ why would such a right be restricted only to those in the throes of terminal illness? What about the elderly person suffering a slow but non-terminal decline? What about the adolescent or young adult in the throes of depression, demoralization, or despair? What about the middle-aged man who is alone and simply tired of life?”
They added: “While laws may initially erect fences around the practice of assisted suicide — having six months to live, being over the age of 18, having mental capacity, etc.— these ‘safeguards’ will eventually be unmasked as arbitrary.”
Additionally, Brian Johnson of California’s Pro-Life Council commented on the legislation. He said, “California is a targeted state in the George Soros-funded media campaign to ‘embrace assisted suicide’. SB 128 is racing through the State legislature. This bill mirrors the Oregon measure, in which the ‘practice’ is essentially hidden from the scrutiny of both the public and authorities, yet still many abuses leak out. Non-terminal and manipulated ‘suicides’ have been commonly reported. The California measure is being emotionally foisted on the public and lawmakers.”