A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Abuse and Pharisaism: The Merciless Handling of the Scriptures

I read the following account in the New York Daily News this morning:

When a woman is impregnated during a rape, “It is something God intended,” Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday during a televised debate. Even in cases of rape and incest, the Hoosier State’s treasurer said he believes abortion should be prohibited. “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen,” he said.

Ok, let’s be clear.  I am against abortion.  Or more positively, I hold to the doctrine of man being made in the image of God, and therefore human life being in a category all its own, far different than mere animal or plant life.  You shall not murder.
But just because this issue of abortion is such a hot topic and for the most part Christians are opposed to abortion, we still dare not fail to think carefully about Mourdock’s statements here.  Think about it.  He means that if, for example, a 12 year old girl is raped by a family member and becomes pregnant, the law needs to say that she cannot have that pregnancy terminated. [Cut me some slack.  I'm not totally up on the "correct" language to use in connection with this abortion subject.  "Pregnancy terminated" is probably objectionable to some people because it doesn't describe human life plainly enough.  They may be correct, but I am a novice here].  Or if a woman is raped by an evil man and becomes pregnant, the law must require that she bear that child.
These things are sticky wickets for sure.  But here is my point and this is my main point.  Pharisaism handles the Word of God without mercy, as Martin so well pointed out in his comments several posts back.  It fails to consider the spirit of the Scripture.  Now, let’s take that 12 year old incest victim as an example.  What about her life?  What about her mental health?  You see, it strikes me that people like Mourdock do not get it when it comes to abuse.  “Hey, she has the baby and moves on with her life.  So what?”  That kind of merciless, cold thinking.  But if a pregnancy actually threatens the life of a mother, do we not allow for the option of ending the pregnancy?  If she is going to die physically because of complications?
Ok, the more I write here, the more I feel like the can of ethical worms is getting more tangled, but I hope you understand what my primary aim is here.  I don’t think Mourdock or his kind know anything about God or about mercy.  That is why he tells us that we need laws in place that order, in every case, a 12 year old incest victim to not have options and then, most cruelly, he stamps God’s will on his position.  It was God’s will that this happened to you.  Yes, God ordains whatever comes to pass by what theologians call His decree.  But those same theologians also recognize that Scripture teaches us that God hates evil, that He is without sin, and that He hates what happened to that 12-year old girl.
Mourdock’s position is like the permanence view of marriage — boom, boom!  No divorce for any reason!  Or the Pharisees’ view of the Sabbath.  Hard, fast, unbending, and without mercy.
Yes, even in the handling of such a vital issue as abortion and the protection of human life, we can become Pharisees.  And that is never good.  So let us take care lest the leaven of the Pharisees turn us into merciless beings who further victimize victims.

53 Comments

  1. Hope

    Oh wow, I hope I didn’t read what I just think I read. Are you actually saying that you think murdering the innocent child created by rape or incest makes it any better? Surely you don’t think 2 wrongs make a right? I have been following along and been encouraged by your views in helping abuse victims, but to say that taking the life of an innocent child is ever acceptable, even for the mental “health” of a rape victim, is just wrong. How is that person going to do mentally after murdering their child? Even if conceived in undesirable, even horrible, circumstances, it is still a child. It is still a person created by God. Now I am starting to question your views on other things, and this is not good for a woman looking for help from an abusive situation. I really hope I am misunderstanding you…

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hope – I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I don’t claim to have the answers to every one of these difficult situations. But my point here is that the attitude of this congressman is the attitude of abuse. It makes, let’s say again, a 12 year old who is pregnant by an evil, wicked act of incest, into a perpetrator – a murderer, to use your own terminology. God calls us to protect human life. We have Pharisaical “Christianity” running around abusing the abused and condemning them if they divorce their abuser. And I am saying that there are parallels here in this situation. What about the human life of the 12 year old? What are to implications of a 12 year old girl carrying a baby of an incestuous “father”? Do these people understand that this puts the life of the girl in danger – real danger? Or do they thing that it is really no big deal for her to have the child and then move on with her life. Furthermore, where is the talk of the evil about what the perpetrator did? Is HE not the murderer in fact for having committed this wickedness in the first place? At minimum, there is no way I would ever support what this congressman said as he attributes evil to God and twists the victim’s view of God. It is merciless and that is the characteristic of the Pharisee.

    • Dear Hope, I have yet to read all the comments on this thread, but I just want to offer this. When I read Jeff’s post, I didn’t hear him saying either Aye or Nay to the act of abortion in the case of that postulated 12 year old girl. Rather, I heard Jeff critiquing the manner and language style of that politician. I heard him saying “that man’s got the mind-set of a Pharisee. He lacks mercy and kindness.” And with that view of Jeff’s, I agree.

      So Jeff wasn’t saying “It’s acceptable to take the life of that unborn child.” He was saying “It’s unacceptable to talk about rape + incest + abortion in the way that politician did.”

    • Laurie

      Its not a question of abortion, as what I can understand here, but the attitude that God intended the evil thing to take place that is being communicated. Taking the life of the child that did not ask to be conceived by evil means is one thing…calling the evil act and the conception thereby the will of God is another thing entirely.

      I know what I would do/would have done in that situation…I would have had the baby. As to whether I would have kept the child or given it up for adoption, that is hard to say. But one thing is sure, I cannot presume to say what is right for another person in such a situation. Which may sound like a cop out…because I AM against abortion. I am not trying to ride the fence here but I know that you cannot enforce godliness, righteousness or faith on someone else. At the same time, godliness, righteousness and faith is the place to find the strength to not abort the child, and strength to overcome the pain.

  2. Laura M

    I agree with you, Jeff. When Todd Akin make his statements about legitimate rape recently, I think he would have seemed less abrasive if he had tempered it with compassion for the victim. He could have suggested harsher punishments for rapists or some idea for compensation for the victim to balance his statements. Even outrage that women are being attacked with such frequency would have been appropriate. Compassion seems to be no where in his agenda, even if for no other reason, it would have made good political strategy. Eventually, I expect that these type of candidates will be trumping a position to outlaw divorce.

    • Hope

      I would agree that compassion is needed for the victims of rape, but not in the form of killing preborn children.

      • Jeff S

        Hope, I really don’t think that anyone is advocating killing unborn children as a form of mercy.

        Mercy DOES mean our first response to a 14 year old girl impregnated as the victim of a horrendous act of abuse is NOT “the pregnancy is God’s will, don’t get an abortion or you are a murderer”. It’s an incredibly complex topic on how to show mercy to this young girl and we cannot boil it down to that sound byte.

        If such a girl does get an abortion, I will say it is wrong to hold her completely accountable for this. Many women get abortions because they know of no other choice or they believe (maybe absolutely correctly) that they cannot handle it. Is there a church surrounding this girl with compassion and support, willing and equipped to deal with the years of emotional turmoil that will follow the birth of the child? Is there a family willing to raise the child and give it a life, or is that left to her? If we as the church do not step up and provide everything this situation needs then we are as guilty, probably even more so, than the girl who is pregnant.

        I actually absolutely agree with the statement that God wanted to create that life if it happens, but that sure isn’t going to be my focus when talking with this girl who is a child herself in a situation most adults would find near impossible to handle in a healthy way.

  3. Hope

    But Jeff, God permits divorce, but He does not permit a mother taking her innocent child’s life. I would have to say that the perpetrator is a rapist, not a murderer, and that the victim will not be a murderer unless she chooses to take her child’s life within her. That is a choice she makes, not the person who raped her. I am not saying it’s an easy choice. I’m not saying it won’t be hard to carry such a baby to term. But taking the life of that child does not fix it and does not make it right. Also, studies have shown that abortion is not necessary to save the life of a mother. You can do a search and find several articles, but here is one http://www.charismanews.com/us/34151-study-abortion-not-necessary-to-save-mothers-lives

    • Jeff Crippen

      Hope – what do you think of Mourdock’s statement that we tell these people God intended for it to happen? That really is the main point of this blog post.

      • Hope

        It seems to me he said that God intended the baby to be made, but at the end of the article it says he doesn’t believe that God ever intends a woman to be raped. I do not believe God intends women to be raped. As far as God’s intentions of a baby being formed, I honestly don’t know how to answer that. We see in scripture that God forms babies in the womb…

        What I do know for sure is that taking the child’s life in the womb is not the correct response, because it is murder. The child had no part in the rape and is not a perpetrator to be punished.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Hope – you may well be right and I may well be wrong. I do appreciate your input and it is certainly food for thought on my part. I still conclude that this fellow’s words and thinking are not the friend of abuse victims though. To me they ring of the attitude that is so often brought down upon victims of abuse — that they are to blame, that this suffering they are in is God’s will for them, and so on.

        Thanks for your comments and input though. I hope that you stick around with us here.

  4. Jeff S

    Jeff, you certainly are fearless, I’ll give you that.

    First off, I think that we pro-lifers need to admit that sometimes there are more complexities to the issue than we generally acknowledge, especially in cases where the mother is in danger. We must show compassion to victims and those who suffer.

    The second thing I’ll say is that when it comes to the life of the mother vs the life of the unborn child, I don’t think there is anything immoral about choosing the life of the mother. In fact, I may be wrong, but I think most pro-lifers will make an exception in this case (because here these issue is not over whether to take a life, but which life to take).

    When I was still married, I told my wife that if the decision came down to me and it was between her life and our unborn child, I would choose to save her. I don’t think that position is unbiblical or anti-life.

    Of course this was thrown back at me later on when by her own actions my wife put herself in danger, and rather than neglect our son to go after her I chose to get him to a safe place first. The first words she said to me where “you chose him over me”.

  5. I think I understand what you are trying to get at here, Jeff.

    I think you are trying to say that when an act of rape causes the victim to become pregnant she is essentially revictimized by now being put in a position where she must either endure 9 months of what amounts to continued abuse because of the circumstances that caused it, or else she must decide to victimize another human being so she can get on with her healing. In short, one way or the other she must now become a part of the rapist’s abuse, either of herself or of the baby.

    This thing needs to be discussed in a way that maximizes the rape victim’s emotional ability to chose to carry the baby to term. She needs to be supported and affirmed from the get go and not pre-assigned the identity of murderer, or potential murderer. I’m not sure how that would work, to be honest, but that is what needs to be done.

    Here is the footage during the debate where Mourdock said these things:

    http://www.therightscoop.com/left-is-misconstruing-mourdocks-comments-on-abortion/

    I see they have titled this “left is misconstruing mourdock’s comments.” It would not surprise me if this was true (I didn’t read the NY Daily News article).

    What seems to have happened is that Mourdock too got caught in the sticky wicket. The left is forever trying to get full acceptance of abortion in this country and wants everyone to take that view so this must be borne in mind when considering these things. They forever frame these things in terms of having to chose between the baby (fetus, in their terms) and the woman. They always frame it as a Sophie’s Choice. There is no good end to the way they promote it. They don’t intend for there to be.

    Incidentally, Mourdock did say he holds abortion if the life of the mother is an issue.

    As to whether he knows God’s mercy or not, I don’t know. I do think there are wiser ways to handle this than what he said. But it may be the problem is more in allowing the left to frame the issue than Mourdock necessarily being an abusive man. For all we know, he may very well be struggling with this too and has no desire at all to inflict further harm on the rape victim.

  6. MeganC

    I think I get what you mean, Jeff. His language . . . “It is something God intended . . .” would rattle me, if I were the victim. It would be too easy to follow the logic (in my mind), “God intended this new life in me; God intended for me to be raped.” I think a better angle would be that God could create something new in the midst of horror; God can (and often does) make something good out of our pain. A new life growing in me after a rape would be an overwhelming thought . . . I cannot even fathom. At the same time, I would want the freedom to wrestle it out in my heart and mind. I could NOT HANDLE having someone tell me what I must do in that moment — or that God intended it — even if He did. Sensitivity would be key. Mercy can speak better than what that man spoke.

  7. I’ve always been rabidly pro-life and I did not get that Jeff was advocating abortion. I thought he was simply pointing out the lack of mercy in the statement, “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen,”
    he said.”

    Hopefully the senator was misquoted and/or taken out of context. God does not go about sprinkling magic impregnation dust on those who have relations, forced or otherwise. Pregnancy is a natural consequence of certain biological processes set in motion way back when God first made us male and female. Sometimes God intervenes (a virgin birth or a barren woman like Hannah) but most of the time, those processes chug along in a most predictable manner.

    Once life is conceived, does God have a say in what is right and moral concerning that unborn child? Absolutely. But lets stop with the, “God intended it to happen.”

    God is great and kind and merciful and loving and he can take a horrible circumstances if we give it to Him and makes something beautiful. That is the message that rape victims, incest victims and others with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies need to hear– they do not need to be abused again by those in authority proclaiming that what has happened with God’s will and/or His intention.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Ida Mae, Barnabas, Jeff S, Megan – and Hope too. I told you I was a novice here in thinking through all of the scenarios and ethics connected with abortion, euthanasia and so on. I know I am against abortion, but how to apply that conviction in all situations can be tricky. Yes, the main point I was trying to make in this article was that we must handle people with mercy, and Pharisees don’t. Telling a rape or incest victim that God intended it is simply not merciful. Hopefully, as Barnabas pointed out, Mourdock would not actually tell this to a victim.

  8. As expected, Mourdoc is getting the once over for his comments. His response:

    “I’m a much more humble person this morning, because so many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make,” he said. “And if, because of the lack of clarity in my words, that they came away with an impression other than those that I stated a moment ago, that life is precious and that I abhor violence and I’m confident God abhors violence and rape, if they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it. I apologize if they came away.”

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/10/24/mourdock-doesnt-get-the-full-akin-after-rape-comment/

  9. I haven’t read the article, but I’ve seen it posted around facebook. I AM that girl. It wasn’t incest but I was sexually abused for years by a cult leader. And got pregnant, and against my will, was tricked into an abortion. And I will tell you that 100% of my heart longs for that baby. I can not wait to get to heaven and finally meet her. I know the abuse led to it. But I also know that she was my baby, and I would have loved her regardless of how she came to be. I don’t think God intended any of the cult and abuse to happen to me, but boy did he take something horrible and make it beautiful. I am much less judgmental toward others and have much more compassion. I understand Gods love and mercy in ways I never would have been able to. And I don’t think the baby was a mistake. I think she was a consequence to the actions against me. But SHE didn’t do anything wrong. Nothing. And I love her with all my heart. (No, I don’t know if she was a she or he, but I hate calling babies “it”, so I settled it in my mind and named her Amber-Jacob)

    • MeganC

      That just made me weep, sweet Merri. You have a beautiful heart of mercy. And a tremendous ability to love. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

      • You are welcome Megan! It’s never easy to share, but always worth it :)

    • Wow, Merri. Thank you.

      • Merri, thank you for sharing this. It takes these conversations out of the abstract to here from people who have really been there- my heart aches for you. You are a true survivor.

        I know someone I’m very close to who had an abortion the month before she was married to the babies father- she didn’t feel like she had any other option. I’ve listened to her describe that time in her life and it was very dark, as was a lot of the subsequent marriage.

      • Thank you, at this point, I do feel like a survivor and not a victim, thank God! It is hard to place yourself in the shoes of someone like me, because it isn’t really that common; not a big percentage of abortions are because of rape. But, God can heal us, He can use anything at all to work for His glory…even heinous crimes of abuse. It’s so easy to put Him in a box, but He is so very much bigger than I can imagine. He is The Healer, that I do know.

      • You are welcome!

      • You are welcome

    • Just Me

      Merri, Your strength and your love for God is amazing. Thank you for sharing. You have blessed me today.

      • Aw, thank you! It makes it all worth it–to share something like this–when it blesses someone else :)

      • I want to say thank you too, Merri. Hearing your true story was very powerful. And someone else may read your comment, in days to come, and be moved by the grace of God to make a really tough decision, knowing that He is upholding them… Bless you, and thanks for coming to our blog and sharing so transparently.

      • Oh my goodness, Barbara, I am so thankful for such a wonderful group of people, who have said the most grace filled things to me for what I have shared. It is truly healing to hear such kind non-judgemental words. I do hope someone is helped by my story, and that a life (or two) are saved. Thank you all for how you have responded to me, and I am honored to have played a part in this!

      • :)

  10. Joyce

    Yes, merciless is right. I’m a rabid pro-lifer as well but I have talked to many women from many backgrounds and situations and things are not always that simple. Now I have a new perspective: what if a woman is impregnated by a horrible cruel abusive man? He will have the right to fatherhood and continued connection to that woman and her child for 18 years. There is actually a case I read about recently where a young teenager was raped and the rapist was seeking visitation with the child, who is now a toddler. When I was staying at a battered women’s shelter, another woman there had a baby and a few weeks later had to turn that baby over for visitation with the man that beat her. I couldn’t understand how any court would think that was okay. Maybe that is just me. But I think our merciless family law courts might prevent some abortions if visitation and custody weren’t handed out so indiscriminately.

    • Exellent points, Joyce.
      There is a sinister underbelly to that scenario you are describing. Serial pedophiles often target single women who have kids from former relationships, in order to get access to their children under the guise of being the partner/husband of the woman. So it’s only one short hop and jump from there to imagine a serial pedophile getting some woman or teenage girl pregnant, then pushing for access to the new child, so as to have another child they can molest…
      If you want to know more about how serial pedophiles operate, and how we can protect our kids against them, read the book ‘The Socially Skilled Child Molester.”

  11. Anonymous

    I don’t believe that Jeff is advocating abortion here. I think he is just so dog-gone sick of the mercilessness of the Pharisees in the land, that he just wants us to see it. I personally, do not advocate abortion period, even in that area, but I do believe that as Christians, we need to “take over” so to speak, in that type of event and let the girl know that God did not do that to her, He hates it in fact, and that God will see her through a choice to give life to the baby, in spite of so much being taken from her. That her reward from God will be great, even though she was unfairly, unjustly and wickedly abused. For the guy — life in prison or death himself. Maybe if we got serious about our laws in this country, to actually punish people who commit such horrible crimes, we would not feel such anger, because we would know there was going to be justice for the perpetrator – now. We all know it is coming later. But, as Churches go today, we hide abusers and pedophiles. Just look around! We are seeing it more and more. Making small children repent and forgive their offenders, without involving what God put in place to protect them! Heinous! This is not what God wants. This is man taking over God’s Kingdom — another tower of Babel in fact, adding to and changing God’s Word, as if He needs us to “make it better” or clean up His “errors”, where He just did not have it quite right, as in divorce, and these forms of abuse! We have forgotten that God instituted and oversees the Civil Government. No, not every law they make is good or right or Biblical, but God put them there to protect us and it is okay to use them! We need to stop protecting the wickedness and start dealing with it.

    • Just Me

      Amen! “we need to “take over” so to speak, in that type of event and let the girl know that God did not do that to her, He hates it in fact, and that God will see her through a choice to give life to the baby, in spite of so much being taken from her.”

      And to add a little to that, we as Christians should hold her up and carry her through that to the best of our ability. We have so many catch phrases “God loves you” “God will see you through” “God will carry you” All these things are true. But we (or at least me) have neglected to see that God often times does His work through His people. We should be offering this person way more than words. We should be offering love and protection to all oppressed people through our actions.

  12. Just Me

    This is such a difficult issue. Jeff, I commend you for tackling it. It’s so hard to speak to the scenario when you’re not involved in it. I think if I were the one impregnated by a rape, I wouldn’t terminate. If my daughter were impregnated by a rape and wanted to terminate……..I don’t know. I hope I would just love her.

    My sister was drugged and gang raped at the age of 16. I’m 10 years older than her and our mother had abandoned her due to mental illness, so my other sister and I took care of her in the aftermath. She did take the morning after pill in the hospital. At the time, I remember thinking “what would I do in this scenario?” I don’t think I would have taken it. But my precious sister had suffered a traumatizing experience that I couldn’t even comprehend. I just held her and cried with her. It was all I could do. Judging her and calling her a murderer never even occurred to me.

    I do agree with Hope in the sense that a woman would be left with a lifetime of guilt from terminating a pregnancy no matter how horribly it began (especially if she were a conservative Christian who values unborn life). I don’t think there’s any way to “handle” the situation that wouldn’t leave the woman/girl with unimaginable pain. She either lives with the fact of terminating a life, or she lives with raising the child and having that daily reminder of what happened to her, or she gives the child up for adoption and forever wonders about her child. All these scenarios are heartbreaking. But labeling her a murderer, in my opinion, is cruel.

  13. I can tell you what I would have wanted…both then in the situation, and now looking back (see my previous comment for the story): I couldn’t conceive of it at the time, so I didn’t seek it out, but what I wanted in the midst of all that, was for someone caring and nonjudgemental to scoop me up and care for me in the pregnancy and thereafter. I was in a terrible place, and needed help…the wisdom of women who KNEW God like I know Him now or better. Someone who could hide me (yes, he has looked for me since) and keep me and baby safe and work toward healing of my heart and mind. I remember thinking I’d give the baby up for adoption, but knowing how much I love babies, I am sure I wouldn’t have been able to do that and I would have kept her.

    It is so good to be able to voice these things now, as I didn’t have a voice then.

    Like JustMe said, no matter what “choice” I made, nothing could undo what had happened against me, and the life growing in me. Abortion doesn’t stop what happened, it adds to it. I spent years feeling like a murderer and I thought I should be put to death for what I had done. No words can explain what it’s like to live in that place. Years of regret for what I had done, even though manipulated into it. I now know that I didn’t have the ability to fight him, and I know he would have probably killed me if I didn’t have the abortion to hide his evil acts.

    The only thing that could have potentially changed what happened, and allowed me to have the baby and be healed, would be for other Christians to come along side me, rescue me from the grips of the cult, and offer practical help and wise counsel.

    • Merri,

      The church needs to listen to people like you. Everything you said makes complete and total sense.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Merri- you added “flesh” to the skeleton outline of this blog post and we really, really thank you. This has turned into a very valuable discussion for all of us. Your comments bring to mind the work of crisis pregnancy centers. We have mentioned women’s resource centers here many times but the crisis pregnancy centers surely must often deal with cases of abuse as well. I bet they have some stories to tell about how churches have treated young women who are pregnant.

      • I am sure they do. I thank you for having this website… a place that is pretty safe, with an audience that understands a lot more than the average person. I did receive help through a crisis pregnancy center who had a branch that reached out to people like me. It was awesome and healing and I realized a lot of my fears about the church were unfounded. As time has gone on, it seems the church is more aware of how abortion effects the moms and they have become more gracious and filled with mercy. Or… I have been going to better churches :)

    • … scoop me up, hide me and take care of me for as long as I needed to heal and recover…
      Those are the exact wishes of many survivors of abuse, whether it be from rape and subsequent pregnancy, or abuse in a cult, or abuse in common-and-garden domestic abuse. You have spoken the thoughts of many survivors, Merri. Scoop me up and put me in a nice safe nest, where I can be fed and looked after and cry my heart out and have as much counseling and support from other survivors as I need, and people to help me take care of my kids when I’m about to hit the wall…
      Yes, come Lord Jesus!
      And if You don’t come soon, move the real church to provide this stuff for survivors. Then the world will see we are really Christ’s followers.

      “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
      (John 13:35 ESV)

      • Yes, when the world sees THAT kind of radical love, the world would know. It would draw them in to know more. It is how it is supposed to be! And, I have since found people in churches, who ARE like that. I am very, very blessed, to be among true Christ followers!

        Speaking the thoughts of other survivors…wow. And all along I felt so alone. ‘Tis why support groups and sites like this so very important. I would love to share my full story, to blog about this and my journey as I do about raising my children with special needs. One day…

      • Merri, if you want to write your story down and send it to me and Jeff Crippen by email, we will consider making it into a post on this blog. The only thing is, we don’t publish novels! Posts can’t be too long or readers don’t have the time to get through them. :)

      • I would love to try to condense my book LOL! I will pray about it and let you know :)

  14. Jeff, I am so blessed by your post. What a man of courage you are to even begin to put voice to your feelings. These are my thoughts and feelings as well. I am grateful to Merri, for giving us a first person perspective, and also to Joyce, who points out the reality of our crazy judicial system that gives a rapist visitation with the child that was conceived and thus keeps control in some way over that child’s mother and the child at least until she is 14.

    This is SUCH a tough situation. There are no good answers. I do believe, however, that Merri should have had a voice in her story. The mother should always have the last say. However, I really can’t imagine how God would “will” a 10 or 12 year old to have her little child-like body forced to carry a child long before she is completely developed enough to do so, and then for this child to have to decide what is to happen to her own baby. I am also very pro-life, but there are a few situations, and this is one of them, where my heart is more concerned with the young mother’s future.

    I do understand, however, Jeff, that your post is more about the comments about the rape & conception being part of God’s plan. Not the God I know. Never, ever, ever.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Morven. Very encouraging. Hard situations require a load of mercy as well as wisdom.

    • Hi Morven, nice to see you here again. I thought you’d dropped off the edge of the earth! :)

  15. Joyce

    Bless you Merri. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that and that no one in the church came alongside you. I bet you would do that for someone though and you would really understand what they are going through.

    • I would do all that I was able, it in a heartbeat!

      • MeganC

        I know Merri would! She has a heart of gold! She was there for me time and time again these last few years. Merri — I had not heard these stories in depth and I am utterly moved. I have wept twice reading over all you have been through. Now, I understand the inner strength I have seen displayed over and over in your life. And why you never judged me but only loved me. You may not have physically scooped me up and taken care of me. But, you scooped up my heart and took care of THAT. And I know I’m not the only one.

      • I am so thankful that you let me :) It helps so much, to know that my story and the treasures I have learned from it, can help comfort others–just like 2 Corinthians says. I would never want to go through that again, or wish it on anyone, but I am eternally grateful for how God used it to teach me, to crown me with beauty and take away my ashes. I was so stunned by what happened to you, and I could not leave you there (where I assumed you must be) and not offer my support.

  16. MeganC,

    You and Merri know each other? That’s wonderful! :D

    • MeganC

      We have known each other since I was 14. :)

      • And reconnected a few years ago thanks to Facebook!

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