So, Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, is an unwed, teen-aged expectant mother. I thought about commenting on it — on the despicable nature of so much left-wing reaction to this –, but Rod Dreher has done far better than I could have hoped to have.
I’ve known pretty solid families who have had to deal with teen pregnancy because — news flash! — teenagers have minds of their own. I’m thinking of one particular conservative Christian family I know that’s a loving, open, prayerful family. One of their daughters rebelled against her folks, and part of her rebellion included promiscuity. She got pregnant. Her family rallied around her. She ended up marrying the father, and they’ve gone on to have a loving marriage and a happy family
It doesn’t always work out that way, and none of us welcome unwed motherhood. Still, the idea that bad things don’t happen to good people is childish. Nobody believes that. Moreover, if you teach your children that stealing is wrong, but your teenage son gets caught shoplifting, that doesn’t automatically make you a hypocrite or a bad parent. My parents taught me not to drink and drive, but I did it as a teenager. I failed them and the standards they taught me. My failure was my own, not theirs.
I sure as hell don’t blame my parents for my arrest. Hell, my dad’s virtually made a career of trying to instill in me respect for the virtue of discretion; he’s done a better job than I should like to admit, but Heaven knows I’ve been — and remain! — quite the project. Can’t blame my parents for my suspensions in high school, either. Or for the times I made the stock-boy run laps around the store when I was his manager and he frustrated me to wit’s end. Parents do their jobs; mine did, and do, it superbly. We still have minds of our own.