A reader writes:
You don't suppose, even for a second, that people are angry at the social conservative movement for choosing this one particular person to rally around? Show me James Dobson praising Jamie Lynn Spears pregnancy, for example, or any other social conservative declaring her pregnancy to be a great and wonderful thing.
Um, first of all, James Dobson didn't call Bristol Palin's pregnancy "a great and wonderful thing." He issued this statement:
"In the 32-year history of Focus on the Family, we have offered prayer, counseling and resource assistance to tens of thousands of parents and children in the same situation the Palins are now facing. We have always encouraged the parents to love and support their children and always advised the girls to see their pregnancies through, even though there will of course be challenges along the way. That is what the Palins are doing, and they should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances.
"Being a Christian does not mean you're perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord. I've been the beneficiary of that forgiveness and restoration in my own life countless times, as I'm sure the Palins have.
Challenges along the way ... trying circumstances ... confess our imperfections ... Sounds like he's saying teen pregnancy is a bad thing, but that it's important to choose life when confronted with the challenge. Now let's see what some prominent social conservatives had to say about Jamie Lynn Spears. Not much, so far as I can tell: Rush Limbaugh remarked on the pregnancy, and the hypocrisy glove seems to fit in his case, but calling Rush a prominent religious conservative is a little bit of a stretch. James Dobson didn't have any comment on Jamie Lynn that I can find, but Bill Maier, a vice-president at Focus on the Family, told the press that "we should commend girls like Jamie Lynn Spears for making a courageous decision to have the baby. On the other hand, there's nothing glamorous or fun about being an unwed teen mother." The same article that quoted Maier also quoted Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, saying that "too often, sex is presented as having no consequences ... In both of these cases [the Spears pregnancy and the movie Juno, which many pro-lifers praised], the girls are pretty much admitting that they made some wrong choices, yet they are acting responsibly now that they're facing the consequences." And then there's Mike Huckabee's statement on Spears:
"It's a tragedy when a 16-year-old who is not really prepared for all the responsibilities of adult life is going to be now faced with all the responsibilities of honest-to-goodness adult life," he told CBS News in Iowa.
"Apparently, she's going to have the child and I think that is the right decision, a good decision, and I respect that and appreciate it," Huckabee continued. "I hope it is not an encouragement to other 16-year-olds who think that is the best course of action."
"But at the same time I'm not going to condemn her," he said. "I just hope that she will make another right decision and that's to give that child all the love and kindness and care that she can."
So, to recap: Teen pregnancy, bad; carrying the child to term, good; Spears-Palin hypocrisy, not so much.
Update: Here's Bill O'Reilly, falling into the Limbaugh category.
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