I felt uncomfortable listening to callers and commentators on National Public Radio yesterday morning. The day before, the entire world learned that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's unmarried 17-year old daughter, Bristol, was carrying a child due to be born in about 4 months.
Bristol had sinned. She had violated God's standards of sexual morality.
Critics were quick to condemn her and her mother, but for some reason the baby's father was ignored.
However, Bristol had admitted to her sin. She had resisted any temptation to cover it up by aborting her child. She was planning to marry the father of her child. She was not lying about her sin. She was not promoting her sin as something others should do.
I could not join in the chorus of condemnation. I could not remove the account of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 from my mind. I could hear Jesus' words in my mind, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." I could hear him tell Bristol, "Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."
An honest and responsible young woman who has failed morally does not need the condemnation of the world. If she were dishonest and irresponsible about her failure, she would need to be confronted for her own good, but that was not the case. She has admitted her failure and has been seeking to make the best of a difficult situation in dealing with the consequences.
Bristol Palin and girls like her around the world need mercy. Those without supportive families need others to help them through their difficult times. They need forgiveness and guidance. Some will need a home in which to stay. Some will need families who will adopt their children. They will need encouragement in continuing to pursue honesty before God and responsibility toward others.
I don't want to be among the people eager to throw stones at such girls. I would rather show mercy and help them.