Whenever I have an article published I generally get email response. Sometimes it’s quite large and other times there are only a few emails. Often people are very generous in their response to my writing, for which I am abundantly grateful. Sometimes people are really funny. I’m still chuckling over the few people who wrote to tell me that the line in my NFP article saying that the Loch Ness monster does not exist was uneducated and misinformed.
I’m offering no retractions on Nessie.
Nor am I offering any retractions or revisions of my opinion with regard to Sarah Palin’s nomination, in spite of some of the nastiest emails I’ve ever received.
Mary Ellen – In light of the revelation of her daughters out-of-wedlock
pregnancy, your need to rewrite your article if you ever expect me to take you
seriously on work/woman/family issues again. Although she is not Catholic, this
SIN (sex outside of marriage between consenting adults) suggests that her
"balancing act" is not working very well. Further, the best option for this
situation may not be the best option!! We need a Catholic verses a
superficial "oops-evangelical" perspective on this. God Bless. Thanks, JIM –
Evidently Jim has the mistaken impression that women who do not work outside the home are able to raise children that make no mistakes and commit no sins. It’s simply not true and it trivializes the very real pain of having a child who made a choice that not only separates them from God but also changes their life irrevocably. Being a stay-at-home mom does not guarantee perfect children. Being Catholic and having well catechized children does not guarantee perfect children. Neither does homeschooling, private schooling, or anything else short of locking them in a closet until they are thirty.
We are a fallen people and there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to sexual sins. Teenagers falling prey to their urges and using bad judgment is age old and as long as their is sin in the world there will be people to commit them. I’m not by any means saying that we should expect our children to behave badly nor should we shield them from the consequences of their actions However, when they fall we should be there to pick them up, to show them love and forgiveness and to help them make the right and moral choices.I think the Governor and her husband have done that. We should never treat a baby as a punishment (like that other guy running says he would). No where have I seen it reported that they are proud of their daughter’s behavior. The statement says that they are proud of Bristol’s choice to have the baby and they are proud to be grandparents.
“We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all
our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol
came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up
faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to
have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces
the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional
love and support." – Gov. Sarah Palin
She kind of strikes me as not loving the sin but loving the sinner. Gee, where could she have picked that up? The Bible? Church? Certainly not the New York Times or the Democratic caucus. They all have it backwards. Loving the sins-wise.
Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have some difficult times ahead but I have to tell you any woman, regardless of age and circumstance, who faces an unplanned pregnancy and choses to see unplanned joy has my support. This young woman could have snuck off and had an abortion and no one would have ever known. Obviously she has the kind of relationship with her parents where she knows she can come to them and seek help and find forgiveness. I can’t see anything wrong with that.
As for the argument that Palin should not run for public office since she has young children, I’d like to see you tell Nancy Pelosi that. Her children are grown now but she’s been around a while and raised five children while working. She’s been uncharacteristically quiet through all of this. Also, to my knowledge, no one has ever criticized a Kennedy (male or female) for being in public office while the children of many branches of that clan have committed sins and caused scandal left, right and sideways. And could someone tell me what happened to that whole, "the kids are off-limits", thing the press was so respectful of during the Clinton presidency.
So, Jim from Montana, I’m sorry you will no longer be able to take me seriously. I am truly grateful to you for reading my article and writing to me to express your opinion. I think provoking a response and getting discussions going is a good thing. I also appreciate that you refrained from calling me nasty names such as others felt compelled to do.
But I’m still not taking it back.
Barb Szyszkiewicz, sfo says
Amen to that!!
I have posted on this before (http://sfomom.blogspot.com/2007/10/its-not-magic.html) regarding Catholic-schooling and teen pregnancy. There is no magic thing a parent can do to prevent their child from having premarital sex.
But there is something a parent can do afterward: forgive, refrain from judging, support, and encourage their child, and help them to welcome and raise that grandchild (or help them through the process of releasing the child for adoption).
I think Palin’s family’s perspective on this is just fine.
It’s tough enough for a teen to be pregnant without the whole world dragging her and her family through the mud. Give the kid a break!
Amen, Mary Ellen! Very well said!
Bridget Galbraith says
Perfect Mary Ellen! The left will never ‘get it’.
Bravo Mary Ellen. Very well put as usual. Congrats on a great article…and stirring up some thoughts. 🙂
Feisty Irish Wench says
I actually railed on this myself in my own blog, having been in near identical shoes to Bristol’s. I was graced with good genes and look younger than I am, and sound younger than I look. Me pregnant at 17 & 18 apparently appeared like I was 13 to many. I couldn’t tell you how many clucks, tsks, and under-the-breath comments I got. I knew I had a difficult challenge before me, but I certainly didn’t need any stones cast in my direction. I haven’t decided how I will cast my vote yet, but I certainly won’t cast judgment.
bravo mary ellen! i am saddened by the comments i am reading on the blogosphere regarding Palin, her family, and her daughter.
i agree with you – she is a true feminist. a role model for our daughters.
Patrick Svoboda says
John 8:7 “He who is without sin among you, let him be the one to cast the first stone at her”
Mary Ellen, excellent!
I think we all need to drop to our knees and pray like we have never prayed before. So far everything I’m reading is it is all about Sarah. As a VP there has to be some consideration about our country and not just about the candidate. I am baffled as to what her platform is to date. I am also baffled as to what McCain’s platform is. My goodness, 84,000 people lost their jobs last month and all we can talk about is McCain being a POW 40 years ago and Palin’s five children. I think they are well taken care of. Who is taking care of my children? Who is taking care of my son in Iraq? Yes it is wonderful that she was selected for the VP candidate, but now it is time to act like a VP candidate and not a pitbull (her words not mine).
I stay at home with my kids.(currently at 8) I homeschool them. I teach them what the Church teaches about morals and virtue. I pray for them. My oldest daughter decided that she knew better. She now has a daughter whose father wants nothing to do with either of them. It breaks my heart–I love my granddaughter. And I love my daughter, too, though I am deeply disappointed in her. I don’t minimize the sin, but I will not let that be my main focus. Some kids make bad choices no matter what they have been taught. The world continues to make promises that it can’t keep. “Safe sex”, etc. Having to go through this in a small town is bad enough, I can’t imagine dealing with this on the scale that the Palin family is. God bless ’em!
Amen! Just this morning I read that now a major Hilary Supporting group has issued condemnation of the media’s attacks on Palin’s ability to run and still care for her family…they actually realized it was sexist…holy moly!
Anyhow, I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for saying what needs to be said so clearly.
…then I read megan’s comment.
megan: You’re taking care of your kids, right? Nobody can do that better than you can, nobody! McCain and Palin’s platform is simple, they beleive in keeping things simple (less governement) so that you are more free to care for yourselves. Less taxation ought to keep more of your hard earned money in your pockets…and then you get to decide how to make it work best for you, your family, and all those you wish to help (via charities of your choice).
Sure they’re not out there promising to give you hand outs left and right (like Obama who is promising the moon everyday)…but what feels better, earning it yourself, or being given everything? And that’s the simple difference between the two parties platforms. Do you want to care for yourself, or do you expect the government to take care of you?
As for me, I prefer to make my own decisions and I don’t want big governement taking over everything. Historically, big government programs only muck things up more. Sure, sometimes they seem to make things better, but usually there are side affects that render these programs more troublesome in the end.
Just my two cents…Peace.
Good for you, Mary Ellen!
Nori Coleman says
You hit the nail right on the head. We Catholics shouldn’t act like pharisees but act Christ-like. Didn’t Jesus warn us about that type of behavior when He came the first time. I am a Catholic Homeschooler and we all know sin still exists.My family and I still use the sacrament of reconciliation, maybe some people don’t need it anymore but we sure do. I think we should be careful of self righteousness.
avis davis says
Dear Mary Ellen, Some of us Democrats also hate the sin and love the sinner. Please don’t make blanket statements such as you did. Some of us are even pro life, go to church, love our children, love our country and trust Jesus. Thanks for listening.