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Honoring Abstinence vs. Honor Killings

A 27-year-old man was killed by police in Turlock, CA, on Saturday as he kicked, punched, and stomped a toddler to death. The details are truly horrifying:

The suspect had a child's car seat in the back of his four-door pickup truck. The truck caught the attention of an elderly couple at 10:13 p.m. Saturday because it was stopped in the two-lane road facing the wrong direction, Singh said.

As they got closer, the couple saw the man beating the toddler behind his truck and throwing the child on the ground.

I don’t doubt for a moment that Judith Warner would be horrified by all of the above. Still, it’s disturbing that she’d expect all of her readers to be horrified by the “Father-Daughter Purity Ball.” Perhaps she’s suffering from Pauline Kael syndrome, and no one she knows thinks evangelical Christians are normal people. However, in seeming to minimize the horrors of real child abuse by comparing it to Christian parenting, Warner opens herself up to the attack that she cares more about scoring political points than the true well-being of children.

Moreover, everyone knows -- even if they’re not willing to admit it -- that when it comes to child abuse in the name of religion, Muslim parents have a leg up on evangelicals. Any daughter would rather have her father demand that she preserve her honor than become the victim of an honor killing. PJM’s Phyllis Chesler has written extensively about how this crime has made its way to America. Earlier this year in Dallas, Yasser Abdul Said shot his two teenage daughters because he disapproved of their Western lifestyles. Chesler writes that “perhaps their flowering sexuality enraged him because it made him desire them -- and from this he concluded that other men might desire them too and if he could not have them, no man could.”

Amina and Sarah Said would have found something like the “Father-Daughter Purity Ball” to be a welcome escape from the real horror that they experienced during their short lives.