I got my very first “blog request”. I feel so honored – this must be how a band feels when their song gets requested on the radio – do they even do that anymore? I may be showing my age….
The request was to blog a response to the most recent outlandish thing that Pat Robertson said. Now I must confess that I typically throw Mr. Robertson in the same pile as Rush Limbaugh – someone to shake my head at, get riled up over for a few minutes and then decide this really isn’t worth the energy.
But this time Pat Robertson spoke in “mama bear territory”. In case you missed it, here are some highlights of what he said: he was responding to a woman’s question about why men, when they found out she was the adoptive mom of 3 children from 3 different countries, were no longer interested in dating her. Mr. Robertson said things like, “a man doesn’t want to take on the United Nations”, it is a “blended family – what is it?”, you never know what you are going to get and referred to one particular child as “a brain damaged child who grew up to be weird.” I really can’t do this 1 minute 44 second piece justice – best if you see it for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhyJpLIpRVA – it is pretty freaking atrocious.
So, here is a quick and off the top of my head and bottom of my heart response:
Dear Mr. Robertson,
I do not watch your show, yet in recent days, I see segments popping up on my facebook page, hear little snippets on the radio and this time I can’t ignore what you have said. Your words were prejudicial and hurtful to a group of people that I dearly love and highly insensitive and harmful to two that I intimately know and love – international adoptees.
Now, I’d be a big fat hypocrite if I said that adopted children don’t sometimes come with special needs and require a strong commitment to figure out new and best ways to parent – I write about that all the time! But the Jesus that I know and love did not call us to a comfortable, easy life but said that to see him we must look to “the least of these”. That could include those with brain damage, as you called it, those without a family, those living as a foreigner in a new land – anyone that society has marginalized. I could go on and on quoting the Bible that you also claim to honor. God reigns in an upside down kind of kingdom. May I respectfully remind you that each and every one of these children that you very callously referred to are souls created by God, and they hold a very special place in his heart and life order – and God expects them to be elevated in the view of those who claim to be Christian. That topic is addressed over and over again in the scriptures.
God is in the adoption business. Romans says, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” I certainly am thankful that God didn’t look at me as brain damaged and weird and discount my worth as an adopted child.
Adopting my daughters was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was headed for a much more self consumed, comfort seeking lifestyle, but God intervened. He privileged me with being mom to two beautiful girls who have truly led to that “abundant life” that I heard so much about and now am beginning to understand. This abundant life has nothing to do with possessions and living comfortably – it has much to do with seeing people and life from God’s perspective and joining in to share life together with all kinds of people in all kinds of places.
I hope that the reason for your harmful and un-thoughtful words on more than one occasion in recent days has to do with an aging mental state rather than a hardened and spiteful heart. An apology to those that you greatly offended is in order. Please consider that it may be time to retire.
Tricia, aka Mama bear
I am sure that I have many friends and blog readers who can add to this incomplete letter. Please feel free to do so in the comment area and I will add it to the letter before I stamp it and send it on to Mr. Robertson.