When role models fight

by beagooddad on September 1, 2006

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An eleven year old girl had an abortion in Columbia recently making news in a couple ways.

First, she had the first legal abortion in Columbia. Columbia just recently changed the law to allow abortions. The girl had been being molested by her stepfather since she was seven and was eight weeks pregnant. Tragic story. The director where the abortion was performed said “We were faced with the petition of a girl who wanted to go back to playing with her toys.”

Second, the medical team that performed the abortion has been excommunicated by the Catholic church and “Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, said in addition to the doctors and nurses, the measure could apply to ‘relatives, politicians and lawmakers’ whom he called ‘protagonists in this abominable crime’.”

We teach our children that people like policemen, firefighters, doctors, and priests/pastors should be role models. What do we do when two role model groups conflict? How do you explain this to your children when they ask?

This could be a good time to explain the difference between government laws and church laws to your kids. One set of rules has to take priority over the other, but that is a decision that you and your family will have to make for yourselves. Either way, both sides should be explained.

In this case, you could point out that the doctors were trying to help the girl. It is probably not very safe for an 11 year old to have a baby. The doctors were trying to protect her.

The church, on the other hand, is trying to protect society as a whole. They set down guidelines that apply to large groups of people and cannot bend the rules for every individual situation without the risk of their rules quickly becoming meaningless.

Your opinions might very well be different. Mine are not quite as friendly. But, make sure you do not simply bash one side if you expect any individuals in that group to remain a role model for you child. If you expect your kid to listen the next time a doctor tells them they have to take their medicine or a pastor tells them they need to avoid cheating on their homework, those groups need to keep their credibility with your kid. Each side has a reason for their decision. Explain the reason and then you can talk about why you support that individual decision or not.

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