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Conservative radio host Jesse Lee Peterson, last seen saying Andrew Yang (who was born in New York) should “go back to China,” isn’t known for being a thoughtful guy. It’s a low blow, though, to insult someone who just died by suicide.

So of course he did it.

Earlier this week, Jarrid Wilson, a 30-year-old pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship (a megachurch in California), ended his own life. He had struggled with depression for a long time, began a group to help others dealing with the same problem, and left behind a wife and two young boys.

Peterson’s take on that tragedy? Wilson wasn’t a True Christian ™. In fact, he was being controlled by Satan.

“How in the world are you going to help somebody deal with something you haven’t overcome yourself?” Peterson said. “How in the world [can you] call yourself a minister or pastor and you’re depressed? Depression is not of God. Christ came so that you might have peace. God sent his only begotten son that you may have peace and if you are called by God to help others, how in the world is he going to send a depressed person to help another depressed person? That sounds like Satan to me.

Believe it or not, religion isn’t a shield from mental illness. Christians suffer from the same emotional, physical, and mental problems as everyone else. And someone who faces the problem personally may well be an ideal choice to help others deal with it.

Peterson didn’t care. He was too busy taking a few extra jabs at Wilson.

“Jesus came so that you could have perfect peace, folks, not mental illness, not suicidal thoughts, not depression,” Peterson added. “Those things are from Satan and anyone who has those things has not been born of God yet … That is why you are still suffering with those things. All of those things are spirits of Satan and you can’t serve two gods, so, this man, no wonder he killed himself.

I knew Peterson was ignorant, but this is just cruel. Not just to Wilson and those who knew him, but to anyone who fights those inner battles regularly — including plenty of devout Christians.

(via Right Wing Watch)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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