Monday, June 20, 2005

Easy Target

Well, well. Betsy Hart, one of my favorite conservative columnists, is getting a divorce. I suppose it is not nice of me to rejoice in another's pain. And surely her situation must be painful. And I don't wish that pain on her. There is, though, an element of payback when someone like Betsy has made a living out of harshly judging others' decisions and now faces others' judgment that I admit to savoring.

Betsy has written numerous columns on the sanctity of marriage. Here's a quote from one of them:

"Marriage is about the fabric of civilization, and the responsibility we have to each other and to each other's children to keep that fabric from unraveling. That means that no matter how the media and the Post's divorced poster mom might wish to portray it otherwise, there is no 'good divorce.'"

"Happiness is so often a matter of choice, of getting the focus off of ourselves, and it doesn't always have to be a hard choice at that. Maggie Gallagher writes in her book "The Case for Marriage" that in a broad survey of self-described very unhappy marriages, five years later fully 86 percent of couples who stuck it out described their marriages as "happier" with most saying they were now "very happy." Many of these couples received no counseling."

Let's look at Betsy's situation. Reading between the lines just a bit, it appears that her husband cheated on her. Either he refused to stop or she was too hurt by his adultery to stay married to him. So she "(o)ut of personal integrity and a desire to stand for what I know marriage should be, I eventually took the steps necessary to legally dissolve the union my husband had already discarded."

But she knows "the children and I will be OK. That's because I remember Joseph in the Bible, who could say to his brothers even after they sold him into captivity, "you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good." I fully believe that God is sovereign in this, and is even (somehow) using these terrible events for his own honor and the ultimate wellbeing of my children and me."

Ack, ack, ack. Can I just say ack, on so many levels? First, how can she take the stand that she and the children will be ok after so much anti-divorce rhetoric? Divorce is selfish, remember? Perhaps she should've just tried longer and harder to choose to be happy.

And ack to the notion of God being sovereign over sin. I cannot and will not believe that God uses evil and sin and bad stuff. Even using them for good is an idea that is anathema to me. This is a part of the Bible that I choose not to believe. We may choose to use icky stuff (that would be the religious technical term otherwise known as sin and evil and bad stuff) in our lives for good. But don't try to tell me that God is sovereign over sin. That God countenances sin. I prefer a God who has no influence over sin--or good. My God, last time I checked, gave me free will over such things.

But I digress. Let me wander back to Betsy-bashing. Her next step after divorcing her ratty husband has been to move away from him, from Virginia to small town suburban Illinois. Huh? Thought the family was sacred? Now, not only does she make her children CHILDREN OF DIVORCE but she rips them away from their father, too?

Apparently, she has moved back to her hometown, where her children are now "surrounded and supported by many friends and my large family. We have started a new life in a little town with people with big hearts." You know, that's wonderful and very sweet. But, as Betsy's noted in the past, a village can't take the place of a father. Her children need their father, adulterer or not. What is she thinking, one might ask? Betsy's sounding a bit self-centered to me. How shocking, given her previous rantings against such activity. One might almost think she's human and makes mistakes like the rest of us.


Until tomorrow,


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