02 September 2008

Are We Hypocrites Because Our Children Disobey

The recent disclosure that the daughter of Sarah Palin is pregnant has demonstrated once again that the use of reason is not an ability that many American's possess. The argument runs either that abstinence programs don't work, the Republicans are hypocrites because they profess to be the party of family values, the Republicans didn't properly vet Gov. Palin or all of the above. But the pregnancy of Bristol Palin doesn't really tell us anything of the sort.

Sex education in schools, free birth control and the kids are gonna do it anyway mentality have done nothing to curb the numbers of teen pregnancy. An individual who's actions are contrary to the beliefs or philosophy of an organization do not render those beliefs invalid. St. Peter was the Apostle closest to Jesus, knew him the best, and he at least felt, loved him the most. Yet St. Peter was the one who most profoundly and publicly denied Jesus. That does not make the teachings of Jesus a lie or invalid. The Church continues to teach the necessity of celibacy on behalf of its priests. The fact that a greater or smaller number of priests violate their vow does not make the teaching wrong. It doesn't even necessarily make Fr. a hypocrite.

One would assume that the people who make such statements must not have children of their own. Either that or they are so permissive in their parenting that they allow their children to do whatever they want. It is easy not to be guilty of any wrong when you don't have anything to follow. When you send Bobby out the door with a pack of condoms and tell him that "I know you are going to have sex whether I tell you to or not so just make sure you're protected," it must make you feel good about yourself for not being a hypocrite. But as parents we are not hypocrites because our children ignore what we teach them. Fr. Corapi tells the story of his 14 year old sister who was in high school and wanted to go to a football game with some friends. Her mother said fine but she didn't want the daughter riding in a car. The sister protested and the mother refused. This went on all week with his mother holding firm that the sister could go to the game but not ride in the car with the other kids. On Friday she asked once again and one last time was told, No. His mother had a feeling that if she rode in the car something bad would happen. His mother went to work and the daughter to school. And despite all Mrs. Corapi did to keep her daughter from going to the game in the car, her daughter disobeyed, went and tragically was killed in an accident. We are all endowed with a free will and a fallen human nature, a fact seemingly forgotten by progressives and liberals. As parents we know that too frequently despite all efforts our children will go against what we taught them.

Perhaps that is the greatest difference between the two camps. One side believes in standards even though we will not always live up to them. The other side doesn't have them and therefore doesn't need to feel guilty for not living up to them.


Melissa said...

Thank you again and again for this post.

I am much like Bristol, in her current situation. I come from a very Catholic family, well known in our area, and was raised to know abstinence and the Catholic teachings. But I still chose to have pre-marital sex. Why? Oh for a number of reasons, but mostly out of rebellion, tired of hearing that I was the Deacon's daughter and that I was too perfect or too nice. Also, giving in because it relieved my depression (for a moment). After marrying the father of my child concieved just months before the wedding, I renewed my life in a beautiful way. I have done everything to make sure a seemingly selfish path has been repaved a self-less one. Sharing with others my story.

My mother once said that she couldn't help but feel responsible for my decision, as if it was somewhat her fault. But I declare, it certainly was not. My parents said and did everything right in their power. It was me, who despite my upbringing, was drawn into temptation time and again. As a parent, all you can do is teach and pray. Teach and pray. And if your child disobeys, you must forgive, love them still, and you must be there to help them come back to God. I am sure glad my parents did.

(I hope that wasn't too much info?)

Justine said...

Well said, Castellanus and Melissa, both.


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