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Sarah Palin's Daughter--What Should We Think? (We=Evangelicals)
Crosswalk ^ | 9/6/2008 | Dr. Ray Pritchard

Posted on 09/06/2008 5:28:51 PM PDT by markomalley

A friend asked me why evangelicals think it’s okay that Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter got pregnant by her boyfriend. I think the exact wording was, “Why are we so excited about it?” Hmmmm. That’s not exactly the way I would put it.

I don’t know anyone who is “excited” about a teenage girl getting pregnant out of wedlock. This seems to be a point on which there is near-universal agreement. Getting pregnant outside of marriage is always problematic, but when you are a teenager, the difficulties are magnified. This isn’t a liberal or conservative observation—just a statement of reality. 

However, I think the question is meant to go to a different point. Why are evangelicals willing to overlook the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s daughter? Well, it is a useful question, given that everyone I have talked to (an admittedly unscientific sample) seems to love Sarah Palin. Count me in that number. I thought she did a terrific job in her speech on Wednesday night at the Republican Convention. But what about her daughter getting pregnant outside of wedlock?

Here’s a simple answer. Sarah and Todd Palin are not the first parents to have a child make this sort of mistake. And it’s not just the getting pregnant part. It’s as much the part about being sexually active in the first place. Given that most of us knew nothing about the Palins ten days ago, we aren’t in a position to say anything about how they raised their children. But Bristol Palin is hardly the first child raised in an evangelical family to get pregnant out of wedlock. We might be surprised if we knew how often this happens. That isn’t meant to excuse anything. Sin is sin, wrong is wrong, but is helps to remember that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and “there but for the grace of God." 

But doesn’t it reflect poorly on the parents when children make bad choices? The answer is yes and no. Certainly it has cast a shadow over the whole nomination of Sarah Palin, and it has given the media another opening to attack her. But her daughter’s pregnancy does not disqualify her for public office. By the same token, I would argue that a similar situation would not automatically disqualify a pastor from serving in a local church. Note the word “automatically.” Sometimes churches have demanded a level of perfection in pastoral child-rearing that James Dobson couldn’t possibly meet. 

It’s not what the children do that matters as much as how the parents respond. 1 Timothy 3:4 tell us that a spiritual leader must “manage his own household well.” How do you measure that? The real test of any manager is how he responds when trouble comes. Anyone can manage an organization when you have plenty of money in the bank, when your market share is growing, and when everyone is happy. Great managers rise to the top when the waters are rough, when money is tight, when the market is down, and when times are tough.

Do they cover up the truth or do they face reality?
Can they demonstrate wisdom in how they respond?
Do they keep their people united?
Do they have a plan and will others follow their plan?
Can they remain positive and calm when others are panicking?

These are the traits of good leadership—and you only see this when unexpected trouble comes. Leaders rise to the top in hard times. And that’s why I think pastors (and other spiritual leaders) ought not to be trashed or suddenly dismissed because of family issues. It’s how they respond that makes the difference.

Regarding Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter, so far so good. Her daughter did not abort the baby, which many people would have advised her to do. And she and her boyfriend plan to be married and keep the baby. Good for them. I can’t imagine that Todd and Sarah Palin are happy about their daughter’s pregnancy, but as far as anyone can tell, they have responded with grace and courage under an enormous media spotlight. They have done well, their family seems to be rallying to the cause, and they are setting a good example of how to handle a crisis when the whole world is watching.

Evangelicals of all people believe in sin and grace. We admit our sin and we cling to the grace of God. We face the consequences, we seek forgiveness, we love each other, and we go forward together.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: evangelicals; mccainpalin; palin; palinfamily; teenpregnancy
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Libs just don't understand this concept...
1 posted on 09/06/2008 5:28:51 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Life happens. Period.


2 posted on 09/06/2008 5:31:22 PM PDT by xcamel (Conservatives start smart, and get rich, liberals start rich, and get stupid.)
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To: markomalley

What should we think? That this is none of our business?


3 posted on 09/06/2008 5:32:21 PM PDT by TommyDale (I) (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: markomalley
Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old pregnant daughter of vice presidential ...

4 posted on 09/06/2008 5:33:17 PM PDT by littlehouse36
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To: markomalley
Libs don't understand that getting knocked up out of wedlock is not a good thing, but that there is repentance, and then forgiveness. And then you move on, and make the best of it.

They like "moving on", don't they?

Yes or No.

5 posted on 09/06/2008 5:34:27 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: TommyDale

what I find hillarious is that the dems keep saying she is not qualified for the job she is NOT running for. It is irrelevant.

Obama is now running against the VP position? weird.


6 posted on 09/06/2008 5:35:41 PM PDT by television is just wrong
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To: markomalley
Its confuses liberals because the Palins didnt react the way the cartoonishly hateful image of Christians, that liberals themselves made up, would have reacted.
7 posted on 09/06/2008 5:36:23 PM PDT by mthom
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To: markomalley

As a Christian, here’s what I think.

There is no way I will ever congratulate her on sex outside of marriage. We don’t celebrate and appluad people for doing the wrong thing.

At the same time, she appears to be doing the right thing, having made wrong choices. She is being responsible, they are planning to marry, and have the baby. They appear to be repentant about it, and know they messed up. You do not need to take a heavy-handed approach with people who already know they have screwed up big time, but want to be responsible for what they have done. We can encourage them to make sure they do the right things, and we are glad her parents are giuding her and her boyfriend and encouraging them to do the right things.

We take no pleasure in their failures. Simply pointing them out is not the same thing as reveling in them and trying to destroy someone with their mistakes. Their hypocritical enemies, who defend those they like from intense scrutiny, and crucify others they hate for things they’d let their friends and allies off the hook for, will use this to destroy them. And this is the evil, the proud, a proud look the Lord despises.


8 posted on 09/06/2008 5:37:43 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: markomalley
Libs just don't understand this concept...

No, it is all foolishness to them. And because of that, like the Irish Times article you posted said, Palin will never be acceptable to them.

9 posted on 09/06/2008 5:38:16 PM PDT by tbpiper (Obama/Biden: Instead of Ebony and Ivory, we have Arrogance and Insolence.)
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To: markomalley; Grizzled Bear

> A friend asked me why evangelicals think it’s okay that Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter got pregnant by her boyfriend. I think the exact wording was, “Why are we so excited about it?” Hmmmm. That’s not exactly the way I would put it.

If we were alive 2007 years ago, what would we have thought of Mary mother of Jesus? She was pregnant by the Holy Ghost “out of wedlock” to Joseph...

In the case of Mary, all was well so far as God was concerned.

In the case of Sarah’s daughter, what did Jesus have to say about the woman taken in adultry? About the Samaritan woman? About Mary Magdalene?

Grizzled Bear and I often have these “What Would Jesus Do?” discussions — I find them fascinating. And instructional.


10 posted on 09/06/2008 5:39:45 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: markomalley

Someone said on a thread here that if all the couples who were pregnant when they got married voted for McCain, he’d win in a landslide. Come on - she has a loving and supportive family, a committed fiance, and plans to marry and bring up the child. She’s young, yes; but she’s not a 9-year old forced to marry a 45 year old under the religion of pieces.


11 posted on 09/06/2008 5:40:36 PM PDT by hsalaw
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To: littlehouse36

She has great legs, just like her mother. :P


12 posted on 09/06/2008 5:41:25 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: DieHard the Hunter; wagglebee; NYer; Salvation; Dr. Eckleburg; nmh; Quix
Grizzled Bear and I often have these “What Would Jesus Do?” discussions — I find them fascinating. And instructional.

I would think that the operative phrase is "Go and sin no more."

Given the intention of Bristol and Levi to marrying each other and raising their child (with the support of the Palins), I think we don't have much to worry about here.

A general ping to folks with a religious interest.

13 posted on 09/06/2008 5:45:06 PM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 ("An American Carol", due October 3rd in theaters!)
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To: TommyDale
What should we think? That this is none of our business?

Yes........Thank the MSM for creating the fodder for battle......

I'm not buying into it tho, that's why you won't get an argument out of me even tho you appear to want one.......

14 posted on 09/06/2008 5:45:26 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Wedgie Syndrome: The inability to recognize humor by individuals alwayls looking for an argument)
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To: markomalley; DieHard the Hunter
How's it going Diehard?

Clearly the daughter screwed up. She's not the first and surely won't be the last.

Almost every politician has a kid who screws up. What we need to watch is how it's handled. If Gov Palin tried to force her daughter into an abortion it would show her as a hypocrite. Needless to say, she didn't do that.

However, I refuse to draw any comparisons to Jesus or Mary in these situations.

15 posted on 09/06/2008 5:48:19 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Secret Agent Man

Amen...


16 posted on 09/06/2008 5:48:36 PM PDT by politicket (Palin-tology: (n) - The science of kicking Barack Obambi's butt!)
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To: markomalley

No they don’t .


17 posted on 09/06/2008 5:48:56 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (In my day,Flunking gym was not an option , even for Stupid Kids!)
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To: FlyVet
She has great legs, just like her mother. :P

Touche & Indeed!
18 posted on 09/06/2008 5:49:23 PM PDT by RedBloodedTexan
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To: Hot Tabasco
What should we do? Well, I reflected on my past sins (ancient and recent) and regretted them all over again, and thanked God again for forgiving me.

And then I decided I was in no position to throw stones.

19 posted on 09/06/2008 5:51:42 PM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: markomalley

Personally I am waiting for the MSM to tell me what to think


20 posted on 09/06/2008 5:53:24 PM PDT by free_for_now (No Dick Dale in the R&R HOF? - for shame!)
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To: television is just wrong
what I find hilarious is that the dems keep saying she is not qualified for the job she is NOT running for

Panic, she is only a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Well, That would be a John McCain Presidency.

The argument concedes the assumption that John McCain won the election.

The BHO campaign no longer has any strength from which to argue. They are reduced to beating up on the VP choice who was relatively unknown less than 10 days ago.

You know, there are more like Sarah Palin out there. Good decent well accomplished folks that would step up.

John McCain was the leader that opened the door. Folks know there are others, and where John McCain showed leadership, other will follow.

Sarah Palin is beginning to demonstrate to the others the new playing field upon which politics will be played and how it will be played.

That truly is reform.

21 posted on 09/06/2008 5:56:18 PM PDT by Dustoff45 (A non-posting Freeper produces far fewer spelling errors)
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To: free_for_now

LMAO! Have you tried emailing Barbara Streisand for her opinion?


22 posted on 09/06/2008 5:57:50 PM PDT by TontoKowalski
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To: Secret Agent Man

Well put.

Non Christians don’t seem to understand that those who put their full trust in the work of Jesus Christ can simultaneously agree with His Word that sexual intercourse outside of the bond of marriage is sin and that He is gracious Saviour who forgives those who confess that sin to Him and trust in His grace.


23 posted on 09/06/2008 5:58:25 PM PDT by RochesterFan
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To: markomalley
Libs just don't understand this concept...

It's more than a matter of understanding. It's blatant prejudice.

Liberals hammered Sara and her daughter because they expected conservatives to respond according to their preconceived ideas of who we are. The ideas/myths formed from Hollywood, Broadway, and Washington politico lies amplified by non familiarity.

They don’t know us at all. They only know each other and are totally confused today because we didn’t do what they expected.

I believe it’s in our best interest not to clue them in for a while. ;)

24 posted on 09/06/2008 6:02:52 PM PDT by kAcknor ("A pistol! Are you expecting trouble sir?" "No ma'am, were I expecting trouble I'd have a rifle.")
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To: Hot Tabasco
..."I'm not buying into it tho, that's why you won't get an argument out of me even tho you appear to want one......."

What? Seems more like you are the one trying to want an argument. I made a statement, and if you are reading something that isn't there, you have a very large problem. What happens within Sarah Palin's family is only the Palin Tamily's business.

25 posted on 09/06/2008 6:03:05 PM PDT by TommyDale (I) (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: TommyDale

Palin Family’s business.


26 posted on 09/06/2008 6:03:37 PM PDT by TommyDale (I) (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: Secret Agent Man

They have a difficult road ahead of them. Their future has been changed, and they must follow a different and more difficult path. There is no need to browbeat them.

The libs have such a distorted view of what Christians think, some due to ignorance and others due to malice.


27 posted on 09/06/2008 6:03:47 PM PDT by CASchack
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To: markomalley
My State Rep in Texas is the most conservative member of the legislature, a home schooler, a Southern Baptist Deacon, and in 94 his daughter got pregnant. She did not abort, got married and had the child. God Bless her.

In 83 my biological mother got pregnant, did not abort and gave me up for adoption. My mom and dad picked me up 3 weeks later and have changed my diapers, washed my rear, fed me, sent me to school and taken the best care of me. I have no wish to meet or know my biological mother, but God Bless her too.

28 posted on 09/06/2008 6:05:16 PM PDT by TWfromTEXAS (A war hero and a heroic mother, experience and optimism.)
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To: markomalley

Start with love and the right thoughts will follow.


29 posted on 09/06/2008 6:06:01 PM PDT by kanawa (It's Palin on the breakaway...She shoots....She Scorrrrres!!!)
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To: Grizzled Bear

Gidday Grizzled Bear

> However, I refuse to draw any comparisons to Jesus or Mary in these situations.

I should clarify lest I give offense unwittingly: I’m not really drawing comparisons with Jesus and Mary’s situation, but rather the attitudes of those who may have observed that situation.

They would have been judgmental for all the “right” reasons. And yet they would have been wrong.

Recall that Joseph sought to put Mary away discreetly and he was corrected for that...

In short, as fallable human beings we are probably not the best qualified or positioned to cast judgment on Palin’s Daughter’s situation: our best council is to acknowledge and apply the Divine Ideal as best we can in our own lives, and work out our own Salvation with trembling and fear.

I believe that is consistent with Christ’s admonition about splinters and beams...


30 posted on 09/06/2008 6:09:24 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: markomalley

“What should we think?”

It’s not our daughter and not our baby so “we” know it’s none of our business.


31 posted on 09/06/2008 6:14:06 PM PDT by Cindy
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To: Secret Agent Man

I have a question for you. Because you seem like a very righteous person and I think you will be kind to someone asking a genuine question.

I heard that the two kids were engaged before she got pregnant. Understanding that they were “committed”, would they actually be married in the eyes of God.

I ask because no one ever asked whether she was on birth control that failed or they considered themselves married.

I’m Catholic, the birth control is not allowed with us. How would this work for a non-Catholic?


32 posted on 09/06/2008 6:15:09 PM PDT by netmilsmom (An Obama win? Move to AK, secede, drill, drill, drill!!!!!!)
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To: markomalley

I think Palin’s 17 year old daughter is just fine.


33 posted on 09/06/2008 6:18:52 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote.)
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To: television is just wrong
Obama is now running against the VP position? weird.

I know. That just blows me away. McCain has got to be the craftiest politician in my lifetime (last 51 years).

34 posted on 09/06/2008 6:28:31 PM PDT by gotribe (The right pick!)
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To: mthom

Right. We’re not matching their caricature of Christians, so they’re all confused.


35 posted on 09/06/2008 6:31:58 PM PDT by keats5
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To: markomalley

This matter is the business of the Palin family and no one elses.


36 posted on 09/06/2008 6:32:17 PM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: markomalley

The real reason it’s acceptable, is because she’s a conservative, and we like her.


37 posted on 09/06/2008 6:38:41 PM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Loyal Buckeye

Wholeheartedly agree !! What the libs don’t understand is that the Palins, evangelicals, and conservatives do not see Bristol’s childs birth as a “punishment” but as a blessed event with God’s grace, regardless of the cirumstances of it’s conception!! May God bless Bristol, her fiance, the Palins and his family, and most of all their child.


38 posted on 09/06/2008 6:43:28 PM PDT by Froggie
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To: markomalley

What do you do when a teenage girl in your congregation gets pregnant? Surround her with love and support. It’s simple. And we’ve just extended that common grace to Sarah’s daughter.


39 posted on 09/06/2008 6:46:02 PM PDT by LikeLight (http://www.believersguidetolegalissues.com)
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To: netmilsmom
I heard that the two kids were engaged before she got pregnant. Understanding that they were "committed", would they actually be married in the eyes of God.

May I answer also?

My answer is, "No." But the act, while certainly sinful, isn't as morally objectionable as "hooking up" with a stranger, either.

FWIW, the penalty for premarital sex in the OT Law was ... you had to get married, and couldn't get divorced. :-) You can, to some extent, view it in that light. (The penalty for a girl who married falsely claiming to be a virgin was death, however. Pretty strong incentive to behave or marry the boyfriend.)

40 posted on 09/06/2008 6:48:13 PM PDT by Campion
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To: markomalley

The only people that are confused by this, have had their image of “evangelicals” spoon fed to them by the media and the Dems. When I get stupid questions from people about “evangelicals”, I ask them to define for me what exactly an “evangelical” is. Try it, it’s entertaining in a sad way.


41 posted on 09/06/2008 6:48:49 PM PDT by Uriah_lost (To the Flag!!)
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To: stuartcr
The real reason it's acceptable, is because she's a conservative, and we like her.

Wrong. But what do you mean by, "it's acceptable"? Premarital sex is "acceptable"? Nope, it isn't.

Not even by conservatives.

Babies, once conceived, are always "acceptable" and should always be "accepted". And loved.

42 posted on 09/06/2008 6:51:25 PM PDT by Campion
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To: Dustoff45
The argument concedes the assumption that John McCain won the election.

I noticed that too.

43 posted on 09/06/2008 6:51:46 PM PDT by supercat
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To: Campion

Not wrong. The entire situation is considered acceptable or not much of a big deal, while if the tables were turned, we would be shredding the liberals. Look at how Chelsea was treated on FR, and she wasn’t even pregnant.


44 posted on 09/06/2008 6:56:08 PM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Very, VERY well said.


45 posted on 09/06/2008 6:56:16 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Campion
FWIW, the penalty for premarital sex in the OT Law was ... you had to get married, and couldn't get divorced.

That only applied, IIRC, if the female was reputed to be a virgin. Further, the male would by his actions forfeit any right to challenge the female's virginity.

46 posted on 09/06/2008 6:58:03 PM PDT by supercat
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To: markomalley

The libs always defend the Hollywood out-of-wedlock births and would damn us to hell if we said it was wrong. However, NOW, according to the libs, we are supposed to be up in arms about this baby. Like usual, they want it their way or no way.


47 posted on 09/06/2008 7:01:54 PM PDT by maeng
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To: Campion

Thank you so much!!!


48 posted on 09/06/2008 7:02:28 PM PDT by netmilsmom (An Obama win? Move to AK, secede, drill, drill, drill!!!!!!)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

Beautifully stated!


49 posted on 09/06/2008 7:02:44 PM PDT by srmorton (Choose life!)
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To: markomalley

My pastor’s daughter, a fine young woman, suddenly had to re-schedule her wedding day some weeks earlier than originally planned, away back in the 1960s. The congregation took it in stride, no anger, no recriminations, just acceptance of our common humanity, all of us sinners, some of us forgiven and forgiving sinners.


50 posted on 09/06/2008 7:08:03 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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