Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Mother's Grief and the Cruelty of Strangers

This is another heartbreaking story that I have to comment on.

The Internet has such power for so many amazing, good things. Blogging has brought me wonderful friends and such fun. But individuals with twisted minds and radical agendas can make it an ugly, ugly place.

A young mother in Indiana has been happily writing her ‘mommy blog’ about her charming little family, The Real Life of a Redhead. Sadly, in August her new baby was born with a serious congenital heart defect. This young woman has spent weeks in the hospital at her baby’s side, away from her toddlers and husband at home, frantic with worry and fear. Yesterday, at age seven weeks, her baby boy lost his fight and his tiny heart failed.

Many people have rallied around her, offering condolences and prayers. But incredibly, horribly, a grass roots group of fanatics is denouncing and condemning her as a murderer because she had the baby circumcised!!

These anti-circumcision “activists” are spewing hate across the Internet, leaving messages on her blog such as “…she got exactly what she deserved…I hope she feels guilty for the rest of her miserable life…”
They are even planning a demonstration at the hospital where the baby died.

There are so many wonderful people in the blogging world that it makes this kind of hatred all the more stunning. Who would be so cruel to a grieving mother? I suppose the same people who would hold up a sign that says “God Hates Fags” at the funeral of a young Marine.

Zealots have tunnel vision. The world is black and white and their way is the only way. As a young mother, I chose an attachment style of parenting, breastfeeding, the family bed, having my babies at home. But I had respect for people who chose a different parenting model than I did. As I used to tell the couples in my childbirth classes, every family has to make their own best choices for them. There is no formula for raising a family, you have to do what feels right to you. There are many good ways to be a parent.

The people who are verbally assaulting these two heartbroken parents are despicable. Many of them proclaim themselves to be Christians, but I cannot conceive of anything less Christian than inflicting more pain on a suffering family.

I would love to see this story spread to as many people as possible to support Jill and Shane. Please pray for them. Send compassionate thoughts their way. With only one income and heavy expenses, they are also hurting financially. Donations are being accepted by the funeral home, which is listed on Jill’s blog.

And, finally, please pray for the cold, callous hearts of the merciless radicals who put their own ideology ahead of simple human decency.

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The Mother said...

From what I can piece together (and I am at the mercy of the press reports, like anyone else), there is almost no doubt that the poor child should not have been circumcised while struggling for his life. It was an elective procedure (and regardless of how anyone personally feels about circumcision, it was an elective procedure), and we just don't do those on anyone in severe distress for other reasons. It was a bad call, much of the blame for which should fall on the shoulders of the doctors.


There is no excuse for going after a grieving mother to advance one's own agendas. There's no excuse for drooling over a child's death because it supports your ideology. There's no excuse for using hatred to promote an ideal that's supposed to be about protecting children.

I have every sympathy for this woman, and every antipathy for her attackers. It's simply inhumane.

Myrna R. said...

So sad, Marie. Glad you speak of true freedom and compassion.

Marie said...

T.M.: I thought exactly the same thing. From the mom's blog this baby sounded incredibly precarious, so why on earth would they do a circumcision!? But, as you say, that was my own personal thought. I do not know what other circumstances there were and I certainly would never publicly second guess a mother whose baby had just died in her arms. And she is just a kid herself. Her words just rip your heart out.

There is no excuse for her attackers behavior. They are beneath contempt.

Myrna: Thank you. :)

Anji said...

I hadn't heard about this before; It's so hard being a parent trying to do the right thing.

I'd just like to add, that my younger son was circumsised at 13 for medical reasons. Perhaps there was a reason we don't know about?

Marie said...

Anji, that is such a good point. We have no idea what the specifics were, therefore we cannot second guess the decision.

All we can do is share the heartbreak of these young people. And raise our voices against intolerance.

Becky Andrews said...

So indeed so sad. Compassion and love is what is needed.

sara said...

I am praying for this family. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. I am at a loss of words that someone who calls themself a christian can be so hateful and intolerant!