SPOILER ALERT: If you're not familiar with It's a Wonderful Life or Miss Saigon, you may not want to read this! :)
Suicide is a very controversial area. Some people advocate for euthanasia (AKA suicide when you're sick), while we can involuntarily hospitalize someone who wants to kill themselves with they are mentally ill. I deal with suicidal people on a daily basis. And this is not a one-time thought of suicide, the people are often chronically and severely suicidal. Even the kids with whom I work.
Suicide is often described as sin. However, the more I understand and work with suicide, the more I have come to challenge that idea. From my experience, the idea of suicide as sin comes from the assumption that people suicide because they do not see the value in their lives and want to throw that away, thus rejecting a fundamental, valuable gift from God.
However, that is not always the reason for suicide. It often is not the case. It's a Wonderful Life and Miss Saigon are perfect examples of suicide for other reasons. In fact, I would argue that suicide in those shows occur out of love for others.
In It's a Wonderful Life, George considers suicide to save his family financially. Everyone in the film agrees this is a poor choice, but should we really condemn someone when they are willing to sacrifice their life to help the rest of their family? Now, there are other reasons he considered suicide, which was a loss of hope, but still that was not the only reason.
An even more potent example is in Miss Saigon, which I saw for the second time at CSUF this weekend. In it, Kim kills herself in order to give her son the life she believes he deserves. This suicide had nothing to do with selfishness, hatred of life, or anything we usually condemn with suicide. Rather, it was pure love.
These kinds of examples kind of challenge our assumptions about suicide, I think. What say you?