Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from World Magazine. Whether because of an upsurge of despair or because they see physician assisted suicide as a growing trend, Hallmark Cards has decided there is a market for suicide cards. Hallmark will feature a sympathy card designed to console a person whose loved one has killed himself. The card is the first in a possible line which will be identified in the rack along with the birthday, anniversary, and get-well categories with a tab labeled “suicide”. Hallmark test marketed the cards in six cities where it met with overwhelming success. Families of those who had taken their own lives reportedly appreciated them while it helps solve the problem of friends not knowing what to say. The line is part of the greeting card giant’s “Lifesong” collection which is designed according to company spokesman Rachel Bolton to celebrate all experiences, beautiful and painful. “There was a resounding response for this kind of card,” she said, “cards that deal with death and dying and spirituality.”
“When someone we love flees from life, it is so hard to understand,” reads the text, “but our compassionate Creator sees clearly into what is beyond our understanding and already has welcomed your loved one home.”
Tom: What do you think?
Dave: You know that’s a news item that I missed and I read World Magazine, but I didn’t see that one. It’s very disturbing. Number one, Hallmark is in the business to make money. So they must think there’s a big market for this card which indicates there must be an awful lot of people committing suicide which seems to indicate they think this is a growth industry. There’s going to be more people commit—I had no idea that there were enough people committing suicide that you could sell very many cards. They apparently have researched this and they think there are a lot of people out there.
Tom: It’s a marketing—they test marketed it and it’s a success.
Dave: Yes, amazing! Then of course, what they are going to say to people who have committed suicide or the relatives of those who have committed suicide or friends that your loved one has already been welcomed by the Creator. On what basis do they say that? The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment.
Dave: Jesus said the rich man in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torment. Now on what basis are they assuring this person that their Creator has welcomed them?
Tom: Yes, what’s the basis of them telling them what they want to hear?
Dave: That’s right. Yes, I find that a very disturbing news item.
Tom: Right. And it also lines up with the whole movement toward euthanasia Dave. Now we have an element out there that further makes euthanasia, that is, dying, mercy killing, whatever you want to call it, taking some one’s life because their in pain, it’s making it more acceptable. Now we have a card to even make us who feel uncomfortable to feel a little bit more comfortable. It’s a tragedy.
Dave: I used to—my wife and I used to own and I administered a convalescent hospital and I dealt with may elderly patients terminally ill. I saw them die. You know what they need at that time is not some false comfort to tell them that you know, death is really nothing, and that you’ll live on in our memories and all of the trite phrases that would be on these cards. What they need to know is the truth. That Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me.” And Jesus himself said—this is not my words—Jesus himself said, “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life. He that believeth not the Son of God shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Now that solemnizes me. I believe that’s true. Therefore I don’t want to give somebody some trite phrase that will give them a false sense of comfort. I want to warn them. And I want to let them know the facts before they take this leap. And then I don’t want to give those who are left behind a false sense of comfort that they can do the same also. What we need is truth. And that’s what we’re trying to contend for.