Thursday, April 12, 2012

Growing a backbone

There's nothing sweet about this cranberry. In her post she's talking about the Dan Rather article and I felt compelled to comment on it along with numerous other commenters. I had my doubts about it getting past moderation on the blog but was then pleasantly surprised to see that the blog author did post my comment along with the others. Several of us thought - kudos to her for putting them there and allowing her readers to see other points of view. Well, the kudos didn't last long. She removed the comments and then did this follow up post. My original comment on her first post was....

You feel sympathy yet you also feel contempt for us? Would you feel less contempt for us if we had spoken up when our children were first stolen from us? Would that make you feel better? Most of us haven't spoken up before now (although I have been blogging about this for a few years) because of the shaming. We were shamed by our families BECAUSE of the church! Our children were taken from us BY the church. Getting pregnant was not a crime but what the church did was criminal. It was illegal for a woman to sign adoption consent forms before the birth of a child but they had  me sign away my rights when I was only 6 months pregnant.

I have a few other things I'd like to say about her post. One thing I found interesting was the information she shared about herself.

"My parents told me that abortion was not an option if I ever got pregnant, and that I would have that baby no matter what (if I ever got pregnant). I took my dad very seriously and used birth control faithfully to prevent pregnancy. I was in one relationship for 6 years, and when that ended, I took almost 3 years off of dating before I started to socialize again, and eventually met my husband."

Fine. Then in the next paragraph she says

"I wonder sometimes that these single women of decades past were even capable of providing a family for their children. Their own moral failings in giving in to frivolous sex instead of waiting for proper marriage indicate impulsiveness or naivete that might mean failings as a mother, as well."

So it was ok for her to have premarital sex yet when we did the sex was frivolous, we were impulsive and naive, we would probably fail as mothers and we were moral failures. Interesting. Did she not realize that her birth control could have failed her at any time? That she could have found herself in the same predicament as the mothers who were sent to maternity homes? Would SHE then be a failure or unable to mother a child? Part of her concern appears to be church teaching on the matter of single motherhood. What about the church's teachings on birth control? Where was her concern when she was "faithfully" using birth control? I thought the faithful weren't supposed to use birth control. More of her post....

"Is this an unprecedented time in history, that single moms are not only exalted but encouraged to take on the task of raising a child without a father present? I can think of no other time when illegitimate children were so tolerated and their mothers were forgiven and championed for the job they do.

This can only be bad for the Church, for it further erodes credibility in the public eye. But even more damaging is the response of the Church to this issue – already the Church accepts single moms, divorce and divorcees in its parishes, and bastard children. This might not be official, written policy, but informally it’s being done. It signals tolerance, which is good, and forgiveness, which is also good, but those are gifts freely given. No remorse or change in lifestyle or commitment seems to be required of women and men who divorce or abandon their children or choose to have children out of wedlock. No chastising or shaming is done from the pulpit (as happened in my younger days from our stern, scary, old-school but entirely correct pastor). I don’t know what kind of counseling is offered to young mothers but I suppose it does little to shame and frighten them into adopting better morals."

First thing I have to say here is... every child is legitimate whether that child's parents are married or not. The marital status of your parents should have no bearing on your standing in your church community. It's a sad statement that children are still being called bastards and the attitude still persists that they are just people that must be tolerated. Here she is also lamenting the lack of shaming by the church. Does she want us to go back to the days of hiding in maternity homes? If not, what type of remorse is she looking for? Keeping and raising your child is a commitment in and of itself. Should a mother run out and marry the first man she finds just so she can say she's not a single mother?

The author of that blog would love to think that the church performed some sort of service that benefited us and our children and that all of us speaking about what was done to us are just out to cause problems for the church. She asks when the accusations and demand for apologies from the church will end. We've only just begun. She thinks the church should grow a backbone and put parishioners in their place. I think the church demanded more from their parishioners than they had the right to and it resulted in the stealing of our children. We are now the ones with the backbone and won't let the church's criminal activity just be shoved under the carpet because some people who have just found their way back to their church feel the need to defend an organization that destroyed families.


  1. Oh but Carlynne, she didn't get pregnant so NO one else has a reason to! Why can't everyone be more like her? She sure tells those "frivolous" women who done went and got themselves pregnant all by themselves how it is!

    She seems so open-minded and not judgmental of other women based on sexist misogynistic stereotypes at all. I would love to hear what she thinks about coerced first mothers who conceived from rape.

  2. I find that people like this woman are often upper middle class. Their education is middle road and they often go to college, get their degree, get a job and then, eventually marry. They are also the prime movers for adoption and adopters rights.

    It is nauseating that the church, any church, is being praised for its self-serving belief systems. Her rant, and yes, it is definitely a rant, is pathetic in that she says one thing and then another - applying only those values that she feels she can meet to the situation. After all, she is a huge slut from her words. Sleeping with a man, any man, before marriage makes you a whore - according to the church.

    Pathetic - give her no power.

  3. Thanks CDH and Lori for your comments. It is pathetic and I don't afford her any power. The only thing she accomplished with her rant is to motivate me to be bolder and continue to speak my truth!

    1. GOOD! Sometimes it is better to speak and sometimes to be silent. This is the time to speak.

  4. wow...what a hypocrite this cranberry is.

    She "faithfully used birth control" so she wouldn't get pregnant and displease her father. But...she was committing a "mortal sin" in the eyes of the RC church...she was having sex out of marriage and using birth control...wrong in the eyes of the Catholic church. Did she not know that...or maybe she rationalized that it was "okay" as long as nobody knew what she was doing.

    Cranberry seems to want for people to be beaten up. She seems disappointed that people she considers "sinners' have not suffered as much as she thinks they should. She implies that abusing people gives the church 'credibility."

    There are people like her whom I know very well...they feel that God has not rewarded them for their so-called "righteousness" and that "sinners" have not suffered enough.
    But I was taught, after I left the RC church that "all have sinned and fallen short" and that we should all be striving to be better, kinder people.
    Any church that abuses people doesn't deserve to exist. The way the church treated unmarried mothers is just another cruel example of more savage program that we didn't need...and one that needs to be answered for.

  5. I pointed out to her that all single moms have done is have a baby. Not murder people, like the Catholic Church. Not molest children, like the Catholic Church. Not steal land and gold and babies, like the Catholic Church. And that if she had any questions she need only consult her nearest history book.

    I mean let's get a little freaking perspective here.