Hey, Newsbusters — Christians DO commit honor murder

by CynthiaYockey on December 18, 2009

We have a DVR and I record NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles because the former is one of my favorite shows and the latter has Linda Hunt, which makes it just interesting enough to tolerate. I also squirrel away various movies for my father, so on Tuesday I recorded “Gone with the Wind,” and something else instead of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” I watched my recording of “NCIS” yesterday, so I was not surprised to see Mike Sargent at Newsbusters take issue with the “NCIS” plot where (spoiler alert) a newly converted Muslim Marine is killed, while he was praying, by his brother (was he wearing a West Point uniform?) for shaming the family by becoming a Muslim — in other words, he was honor-murdered in much the same way that Muslims murder THEIR family members who convert to Christianity.

Wait, is it hateful of me to point that out?

Well, that’s not ALL — the man’s father was a retired colonel who had a religious awakening after his wife died that was so profound he became a minister of an unspecified, but clearly hate-filled Christian denomination, and HE was so shamed by his son’s conversion that he paid his son’s Marine buddies to beat him up to get him either to convert back, or stop converting — the writers made it sound like the conversion was a long involved process, but last I heard, all you have to do is recite a prayer — I think it’s the one Obama loves to recite in his excellent Arabic, but I could be wrong. Oh, AND the honor murdered Marine’s wife was cheating on him. Only the noble, upright, good, African-American Muslim chaplain, who was a fount of Islam-promoting quotes, supported him through all the unjust trials and tribulations heaped upon him after embracing the one true faith.

I really never thought “NCIS” would have a jump-the-shark plot for me, but this is close.

However, I have to take issue with Sargent’s assertion that Christians do not honor-murder:

The issue with this is clear: I have yet to see a report citing a Christian suicide bomber, or a Christian honor-killing, anywhere in the world. And while not all Muslims are terrorists hell-bent on killing all non-Muslims, an inordinate amount of terrorists are Muslims. Nor are these terrorists particularly upset with a lack of acceptance of Muslims by the Christian West – in fact, the issue seems to be more based non-religious points. In the end, equating Christians to extremist Muslims is more than a stretch – it’s intellectually dishonest.

Think hard, think VERY hard. There IS a group of people that Christians honor-murder without a peep of protest, remonstration, repudiation or consternation from conservatives in general and social conservatives in particular.

Christians honor-murder their gay and lesbian teenagers by throwing them out of the house when they discover they are gay or lesbian.

Randall Terry threw out his gay son, Jamiel, when he was a teen.

I have found no evidence of any Christians denouncing Terry for this — although Jamiel is alive, I doubt that he is doing as well as he would have with a very prosperous father paying for his college tuition and living expenses.

Alan Keyes threw out his teenaged lesbian daughter, Maya, after SHE spoke at a protest in Maryland to mourn the death of one of her gay friends who was thrown out by his parents as a teen and died of starvation.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has a downloadable report on homeless gay and lesbian teens and summarizes the problem at the linked page as follows:

Of the estimated 1.6 million homeless American youth, between 20 and 40 percent identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

Why do LGBT youth become homeless? In one study, 26 percent of gay teens who came out to their parents/guardians were told they must leave home; LGBT youth also leave home due to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Homeless LGBT youth are more likely to: use drugs, participate in sex work, and attempt suicide. Also, LGBT youth report they are threatened, belittled and abused at shelters by staff as well as other residents.

Christians: you do honor murder. And your churches and your friends and your political party ALL seem to approve and smile and even feel sorry for YOU instead of your abandoned, betrayed child, or the child you drove to suicide.

So — Mike — I want to know: are you going to denounce honor murders of gay and lesbian teens by their own Christian parents? Or gloat and say they have it coming? Deny, deny, deny? Or redefine the practice to make it look good?

When I write about second-class citizenship being costly, destructive, and even deadly to homosexuals, THIS is an example. And when I write about the solutions I am trying to connect good, honorable people with the reality that on the subject of homosexuality, the religious leaders who denounce it have led them astray for reasons of personal greed and lust for power and that equality for homosexuals will make our society more stable, more moral, more supportive for marriage, safer because more people will be allowed to serve in our Armed Forces, and more loving because fewer children will be thrown out of their homes and abandoned children will have more potential homes to adopt them.


Actress Beatrice Arthur died on April 25, 2009, at the age of 86, and I wrote a remembrance of her here. It was announced at the end of October that in her will she left $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center for homeless gay and lesbian teens in New York City. After Ellen has the story, along with some lovely photos and video clips:

The Ali Forney Center’s executive director, Carl Siciliano, said in a statement, “We are overwhelmed with gratitude that Bea saw that LGBT youth deserve as much love and support as any other young person, and that she placed so much value in the work we do to protect them, and to help them rebuild their lives.”

The center plans to purchase a new building to house 12 additional youths with the funds bequeathed by Bea Arthur, and name it in her honor.

“We work with hundreds of young people who are rejected by their families because of who they are,” Siciliano said.

In fact, the center works with over 1,000 young people a year, offering emergency and transitional housing in seven locations, as well as drop-in services that include clothing, food, HIV testing, medical and mental health treatment, and educational assistance.

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Tinderella December 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

The concept that parents have a right, or even a duty, to kill a child who is viewed to have dishonored them is NOT a Christian concept. The concept that a person has any right to kill another person is NOT a Christian concept, except if it is done in self-defense or in defense of others, which would include military service, though many Christians are opposed to war. As was pointed out in the comments at Newsbusters, the oft-repeated claims of violence in the Bible ignore the fact that the violence is all in the Old Testament, and the Christians are all in the New Testament.

You wrote: “Christians honor-murder their gay and lesbian teenagers by throwing them out of the house when they discover they are gay or lesbian,” but throwing teenagers out of the house is NOT honor murder, or any kind of murder. Honor murder is murder done to avenge the parents’ honor (really, the father’s honor, because wives can be honor murdered, too) or standing in the community. It’s done by beheading, running someone over with a car, stabbing, bludgeoning, etc., and it’s done by Muslims, supported by their religion.

Saying “You can’t live in this house any longer” is not murder nor is it done only to gay and lesbian teenagers, or only by Christians. Plenty of heterosexual teenagers are made to leave home because they are sexually promiscuous, using drugs, selling drugs, running with gangs, and just generally out of control, refusing to obey their parents. When parents have tried everything they can think of, often including expensive therapy, to get their kids back on a sane track and nothing has worked, sometimes they tell them to move out in order to save their sanity, their marriage, and their other kids. Sometimes the kids can go live with other family members. More often, defiant kids run away of their own volition because they refuse to play by the house rules, thinking they have all the rights and their parents have none. If you don’t have first hand experience with rebellious teenagers, you can’t comprehend the problems parents experience, or even the ones teachers experience. It can be very ugly. When I was growing up, we kids did a lot of sneaking around to do things our parents didn’t approve of but if we got caught we threw themselves on our parents’ mercy, rather than telling them they were stupid old fucks who had no right to tell us what to do, as kids do today and have done for many years now.

When kids are out on their own, whether they were made to leave home or ran away, they can get into all sorts of trouble and they can wind up dead, but the same things can happen while they’re still living at home if they are careless about who they associate with, where they go, and what they do. It is natural for teenagers to make a break with their parents, and they need to do it to become independent. The problem is that there is no accepted way to do that today. Back when kids took on apprenticeships at 14, and went to live in their master’s home, family tension was relieved and the kids were beginning their adult life. The concept of adolescence hadn’t even been invented. Childhood led into adulthood around puberty. Now most kids are at home until they’re at least 17 and they reach puberty earlier so it’s difficult for them and their parents. What’s the answer?

submandave December 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I do not support a parent disowning a child simply because they are gay, but neither do I support your use of the clearly defined word “murder” as an analogous substitute for the word “disown.” I understand that your personal life experiences may make this issue hit home a bit harder than for me, but one thing that I believe distinguishes an intelligent conversation, and especially a concervatively advanced argument, is clear and accurate use of language and terms to do so. Too often the political left use what I call sin-inflation to generate enhanced emotional response against their target, and I uniformly despise it as a crass attempt at manpulation.

I do not accept the substitution of the term “racism” for “disagreeing with a black man,” nor do I accept the substitution of the term “rape” for “I changed my mind the following morning.” Likewise, I do not accept your substitution of the term “murder” for “wrong-headedly kicking your kid out of the house.” I believe your argument could be made stronger and more relevent to the average American without the hyperbole.
.-= submandave´s last blog ..One more red nightmare =-.

Peter December 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Cynthia, I believe you are talking about pseudo-Christians, the Westboro Baptist Church types. They not only throw their gay and lesbian kids out they throw their straight kids out when they catch them enaging in sex, minor drug experimentation, etc.

Christians do not do this, even as poor a Christian as I was taught to hate the sin, love the sinner. Take, for instance, the Patriot Guard riders who stand tall between those Westboro cult types and the families of fallen troops. Most have no particular stance, one way or the other, about Teh Ghey. Yet they ally themselves with you for this cause.

I have no particular stance, either. In all my years upon this earth no one has ever asked my permission nor my approval to be LBGT (I hope I have the alphabet right) so I reckon nobody needs my permission or approval.

A Christian family would no more throw a kid out of the house for being LBGT than did the Palins throw their daughter out when they found she was pregnant. They thought they had a marriage thing going, then they found that Levi was a weasel. So, they loved their daughter and helped her through, and are still helping her.

That is a Christian family. The Cheneys, with their lesbian daughter, are a Christian family. They live by that seemingly silly bumper sticker, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”.

Slightly OT. If yours were the (beautiful) face of the gay movement instead of those idiots waving their weenies in the gay pride parades, gay marriage would probably be the law in fifty states. And I submit there would be fewer kids thrown away, too.

Tinderella December 18, 2009 at 10:58 pm

As a footnote, this whole post is based on a story at Newsbusters about the plot of a tv show, not a real-life incident. Some tv writer dreamed up the idea of a Christian killing his brother who converted to Islam. This isn’t really surprising as tv writers rarely come up with plots favorable or even fair to Christians. They obviously have Issues and apparently don’t know many real Christians. I doubt they know many conservative lesbians, either, largely because they don’t want to know any conservatives or Christians.

LesbianOutsider December 19, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Taking a different tack here…I’m also generally a fan of NCIS. But this episode was so contrived and so trite, I turned it off half way through. It was nothing more than reconstituted progressive pap. How sad that the men and women of Fort Hood are just about forgotten as the media engages in its never-ending ‘tolerance’ teach-ins.

The show also enjoys denigrating the media’s favorite boogie man, the rural white male. Any time an NCIS episode is staged in a rural setting, you can be sure the slanted, stereotyping will be laid on thick.
.-= LesbianOutsider´s last blog ..Gay Journalist Blasts Safe Schools Czar =-.

Joe December 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Cynthia, it is not that simple. I worked in a Salvation Army shelter geared for homeless youth (while I was in college). I am not saying your scenerio of “Christians” tossing their child out for “sin” is not possible, but I can tell you from listening to these kids’ stories it is rarely just the kid is gay and thrown out of the home to fend for him or herself.

Usually the family of the homeless youth is completely disfunctional and the kid leaves because staying there is worse than being on the street (or when the kid leaves they think it is worse). There is almost always violence, sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol and other serious issues happening in the home. Occasiaonlly kids go on the street because they are recruited by other kids (as if it was some adventure), but that is relatively rare too and when it happens reality usually causes those kids to head back home.

Ad rem December 19, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Peter’s last paragraph says it all…

Joe December 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

And for what it is worth, I do denounce any parent who rejects their child for sexual orientation. That is no less deplorable than a parent who abuses or neglects their child for any other reason. That a parent would do so and try to justify the rejection of their child as something “Christian” is just an added level of hypocrisy.

But I do think what is described in this post is relatively rare. Unfortunately, abused children are not rare, but all too common. The factors that lead to abuse of children is not caused by Christianity, but a result of ignorance, human weakness, and a degregation of societial civility and responsible behavior. Or as Christians and other people of faith like to call it, evil.

Stinky December 20, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I understand your underlying point, but that is NOT “honor murder.” My dad wanted to throw me out of the house and did not talk to me for about a year because . . . I dropped out of graduate school. Yeah, you read that right. And I was paying the tuition myself.

Parents throw their kids out all the time for all sorts of reasons. Calling that “murder” diminishes the actual killings that occur in Muslim families.

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