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Dishonoring a man’s death to fit a narrative

When it comes to gay people in the Mormon faith — or in evangelical denominations — you can count on our friends in the media to detail the oppression they suffer even if the only evidence of said oppression is the narrative the journalists provide.

Our friend Sonicfrog caught the Advocate peddling this very narrative in the story of the death of a Gay Mormon man.  The headline contends that his suicide “points up tensions“, but the tensions they write about come not from the details of the man’s life, but from the commentary of “some”:

As friends mourn the death of Chris Wayne Beers, a gay man and former Mormon missionary and church employee who took his own life Sunday, some are noting tensions between LGBT people and the church, which opposes gay relationships.

The only person quoted in the Advocate’s piece didn’t even know Beers: “While struggles with his faith may not have been the direct reason he took his own life,” this man said, “I’m hard pressed to imagine that there isn’t an indirect cause, at least. . . .” This leads Sonic to quip with a question, “Project much?

There is no indication in the article that he was very devout, or that his family had dis-owned him. The main interview of the article didn’t even know the guy. Mitch Mayne does not give any indication of knowing any of the details of this mans life.

Read the whole thing.  My blogging pal notes further that on Beers’s “memorial page, there is a reference to the fact that his own brother Jeff had also passed away. That could be just as much or more of a weight on Mr Beers than the conflict between church and being gay.”

Perhaps, his faith did indeed create personal conflict, but here the narrative trumps the facts provided.  They provide no evidence that it did.

A man has died.  His family is facing a terrible loss, a great sorrow.  We should not politicize this.  As Sonic says, “people get all the facts before you try to make this guy a martyr. Otherwise, you dishonor him in death.”

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16 Comments

  1. And someone from the other side (opposing POV, not the afterlife) has already tried to have a go at me, even before my post got linked by anyone. So, the pro-gay / anti-religious lobby is trolling the internets for discenters.

    Reminds me of the time I called some of Atty Gen Jerry Browns pro-green policies retarded and one of his minions immediately jumped down on me from out of nowhere, as my post was not linked anywhere. They are apparently ever vigilant.

    Comment by sonicfrog — March 24, 2012 @ 3:06 am - March 24, 2012

  2. Dishonoring a man’s death to fit a narrative

    Meanwhile liberals are exploiting the death of a kid in Sanford so Sharpton and the Black Panthers can remain relevant or to push their fascist gun control ideas. Florida prosecutors and the FBI have said that there’s nothing that can be done so what we have is an expensive dog and pony show to keep the “outraged” happy until the story disappears.

    Comment by TGC — March 24, 2012 @ 3:15 am - March 24, 2012

  3. Perhaps this sort of “projection” should be called the “Giffords Effect” which causes the rent-a-mob crowd to grasp at any straw to fire up some pet rage by forcing the idea of a sinister connection.

    Letterman had A-Rod raping a 14 year old girl during the 7th inning stretch for laughs because it was Palin’s daughter. The “hilarity” was in debasing the mother and using the child as a prop. And, he got laughs aplenty from the crowd who came for snark. It wasn’t until Letterman had a negative blowback “epiphany” that he made an awkward attempt at sincerity over snark.

    The gay left has shown itself often enough to be classically witchy in taking the stage on the mere sniff of red meat.

    Let the man rest in peace without all the dancing on his body.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 24, 2012 @ 9:50 am - March 24, 2012

  4. I hope this man’s family can find some peace…losing two sons…tragic. Breaks my heart…just as the death of the 17 year old in FL. These events should not immediately be about orientation, race, economic situation, etc…but about compassion for the families and prayers (if you are inclined) for the repose of the soul’s of the deceased. How many take their lives or lose them in such tragic ways where no attention is paid because it would not allow activist to profit or gain time in front of the camera (or…would result in negative coverage, such as the fact that now George Zimmerman, instead of being a white assailant is revealed as Hispanic)? So sad.

    Comment by hellocat — March 24, 2012 @ 10:09 am - March 24, 2012

  5. My uncle, a very smart man, is a liberal-turned-conservative. He summed up the liberal mindset succinctly: My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the facts.

    The politicization of death while the body is still warm is obscene. People have no shame.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — March 24, 2012 @ 10:17 am - March 24, 2012

  6. I’m going to sit this one out, except to note the following as my reason. In discussions with sonicfrog over the years, I’ve seen him make some good points like here, or when he’s on against AGW theory… and some poor ones in other areas. ‘Poor’ meaning, very weakly-supported repetition of malicious canards from the Left: Bush tortured, OWS is somehow a constructive protest, Breitbart lacked integrity, etc. (And more, but I never kept a catalog.) The bad stuff has killed the enthusiasm or praise that maybe I should have, when sf gets around to the good stuff.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 24, 2012 @ 10:54 am - March 24, 2012

  7. The death of Trayvon Martin is being similarly exploited. Funny how the MFM knows exactly what motivated George Zimmerman (racism) but is still baffled by what could have motivated Islamists who murder people, like Nadal Hasan or Mohammed Merah.

    Comment by V the K — March 24, 2012 @ 10:54 am - March 24, 2012

  8. I think that it is a very dangerous narrative to suggest that gay people are more prone to suicide that anyone else. What the Advocate and others are doing is suggesting that gays are so weak and insecure that so much as the opinion of someone else is enough to want to kill themselves. There have been people who have gone through so much worse (i.e. abuse, slavery, trafficking etc.) but don’t commit suicide. *Why do some gays choose this path?

    *Assuming that is what happen to Mr. Beers

    Comment by MV — March 24, 2012 @ 12:53 pm - March 24, 2012

  9. #7 I’ve been saying that if Zimmerman were a radical muslim, we wouldn’t still have a story. I doubt it would’ve gotten much further than the state line, if that. Sharpton certainly wouldn’t have raised his head from his bed of cash to even comment.

    Comment by TGC — March 24, 2012 @ 1:13 pm - March 24, 2012

  10. Chris Wayne Beers may or may not have had a personal conflict between his faith and his sexuality that led to his suicide. But let’s assume he did. So what? Such conflict doesn’t happen only to gays because of bigoted religious teachings. EVERY person of serious faith will, many times in his life, suffer personal conflict between the demands of his faith and the (baser) desires of human nature. IT HAPPENS TO STRAIGHT PEOPLE, TOO. But I’m sure “The Advocate” can’t be bothered with fact when propaganda is so much more useful for the cause.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — March 24, 2012 @ 5:07 pm - March 24, 2012

  11. MV wrote,

    I think that it is a very dangerous narrative to suggest that gay people are more prone to suicide that anyone else.

    I’m under the impression that a fair number of studies suggest exactly that about gay secondary school kids in relation to non-gay ones.

    Unless by “anyone else” do you mean any other subgroup, no matter how suicide-prone, and not the entire non-gay population.

    There have been people who have gone through so much worse (i.e. abuse, slavery, trafficking etc.) but don’t commit suicide. *Why do some gays choose this path?

    For the same reason people in the general population kill themselves: some people are prone to depression, and some are not.

    Comment by Donny D. — March 24, 2012 @ 5:21 pm - March 24, 2012

  12. So, Donny D….,

    I’m under the impression that a fair number of studies suggest exactly that [commit suicide] about gay secondary school kids in relation to non-gay ones.

    ….does that mean that they are genetically predisposed to commit suicide? Since the world of psychiatry has washed its hands of the whole homosexual conundrum, what do you “rule” as the consensus “fact” that we should hold as politically correct and valid?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 24, 2012 @ 8:34 pm - March 24, 2012

  13. For the same reason people in the general population kill themselves: some people are prone to depression, and some are not.

    Sorry, I can’t let that go by. Many clinically depressed people are never suicidal – because they made a fundamental choice to live “no matter what”. People commit suicide for one of the following 2 reasons:

    1) They feel trapped by a situation: perhaps a terminal illness, perhaps an all-encompassing oppressor, perhaps their own misdeeds (I’m thinking here of the Japanese tradition of seppuku). OK, the situation makes them feel hopeless; but situational depression is not clinical depression (chronic, based on brain chemistry or perhaps genetics, etc.).
    2) Or they want revenge on somebody (by destroying themselves). That’s nihilism; again, not clinical depression.

    Clinical depression (chronic brain-chemistry issue) can of course be present in a suicidal person, but there is no automatic link: a person who is severely clinically depressed may well lack the energy to seriously consider suicide.

    There is some first-person experience in the above; I just don’t care to say exactly where/what it is.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 25, 2012 @ 1:13 am - March 25, 2012

  14. P.S. Above is a general comment, no reference to Mr. Beers in any direction.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 25, 2012 @ 1:50 am - March 25, 2012

  15. #11 I was saying that you have to look at suicide on an individual basis.

    Comment by MV — March 25, 2012 @ 1:06 pm - March 25, 2012

  16. Speaking from firsthand knowledge …the LDS Church does NOT oppose gay relationships but rather gay sex.

    As long as the partners remain chaste the church has no problem with them being gay.

    Comment by The Ugly American — March 26, 2012 @ 2:40 pm - March 26, 2012

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