Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What About the Children?

by M. J. Joachim

I know marriage is a sacrament, and ideally couples should get married before having kids, especially according to certain religious institutions. I’m not knocking marriage or sacraments at all in this post. However, we live in a culture where this doesn’t always happen, sometimes by choice, sometimes by unplanned pregnancies, where children end up being born whether their parents are married or not.

It breaks my heart that those children’s parents are often frowned upon by snooty religious folks. I speak from a Catholic background, but I’ve seen this happen in many organized religious institutions. Are any of us so naive as to believe the children of those parents don’t pick up on the disapproval of their parents?

True love doesn’t make conditions about whether or not a person abides by the rules enough to be loved. It doesn’t shun or disrespect other people, because their circumstances may or may not be ideal - according to who’s standards, btw? Did God say parents of children born out of wedlock are worse people than any other person out there? Did He say the children should be okay with their parents not being good enough for their holier than thou Christian judges, peers dealing with their own set of human imperfections, which may or may not be more scandalous than giving birth to a child, if not as obvious?

It seems to me shunning parents who give birth out of wedlock is a sure way to decrease numbers in the pews. Instead of embracing family, for once a child is born (whether the parents are married or not) a family now exist, organized religion plays a big part in defining family, and when that family doesn’t follow the rules, losing that family because they lack the love to embrace all people in that family, regardless of their circumstance as members of that family.

Somehow I don’t think the God who lived and died for us out of love for us, expects us to behave this way, whether we think we own His morality code or not. Somehow I don’t think it’s very moral to act this way in the first place. Only God can create a life. Judging the parents, which in turn is judgment passed onto the child, whether we think so or not, is pretty much like telling God His choice to make a life in that particular situation wasn’t the best one He’s ever made, which in turn makes me think it might be akin to judging God Himself in a way, and that just can’t be good at all.

Love is the answer, and if it’s not working, increase the dose. I saw that on Facebook the other day, and I couldn’t agree more!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Percentage of birth to unmarried women, selected countries, CDC, US Federal Government, PD-US