Richard Dawkins and Jesse Kilgore

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There are preliminary studies indicating that individuals who reject Christianity in Western cultures have lower self-esteem than the Christian population.[1][2] There are studies indicating that lower self-esteem is associated with suicidality.[3][4]

Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion along with a community college biology class, have been linked to the tragic suicide of Jesse Kilgore.[5] Kilgore had several discussions with friends and relatives in which he made it clear Dawkins' book had destroyed his belief in God. This loss of faith is considered the cause of his suicide which is not surprising given that there is evidence which suggest that atheism can be a causal factor for suicide for some individuals.[6][7][8][9]

Jesse's father is quoted as saying "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."

Jesse's blog remains online after his death.[10]

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