Bad Advice On Bibles And Abortions
Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.
“My daughter is 29, and we recently had a respectful, although heated, discussion about politics, agendas and the candidates. It turned out that we disagree on major issues, and we both can give chapter and verse about why we believe the way we do.
Something came to light, though. She’s not the person I thought she was. She informed me that she had had an abortion. My feelings on this issue aren’t a judgment call. This is a belief system for me, something ingrained in me. If she were a stranger, I would absolutely not be around her. Knowing what I do now, I am crushed.
She’s my daughter, and we have always had our differences. But I feel so strongly about what she’s doing and has done that I no longer want to be in the same room with her. She has a son I adore with all my heart, and I provide child care for him. I feel broken right now and could really use guidance.”
-From “BROKEN IN ILLINOIS” via “Dear Abby,” 22 November 2016
Dear Broken in Illinois,
What a shock it must have been for you to learn, after 29 years of parenting, that your daughter is a human being. Here you were, living your life and minding your own business, and your daughter goes and has an abortion at you, in the past. Of course she’s not the person you thought she was! Humans are not the complicated totalities of their experiences, beliefs, and decisions, but rather the people their parents think they are, forever, until they do something like decide not to stay pregnant just because someone else thinks they ought to stay pregnant.
You’ve got two options here: You can accept that your daughter, like millions of women (and mothers; 60% of those who have ended pregnancies were already moms) decided once upon a time that it wasn’t a great idea to have a child, and broaden your views to include a modicum of generosity for other people’s situations. Nigh unthinkable, of course, but that’s one horrible option.
Or, you can stay true to your beliefs and refuse to interact with the daughter whom you can no longer stand. Now, you may lose your relationship with your grandson in the process, but what kind of example would keeping his mother in your life set? Unless you totally excise your daughter from your life, your grandson may grow up believing that parenthood is not a carte blanche pass to impose one’s personal beliefs on all offspring, who are required to comply with their parents’ wishes indefinitely.
Only you can make that choice. And only you, of course, deserve to have one.
“For the past four months, I’ve been seeing a wonderful, smart, funny man. My mother is worried because I’m 22 and he’s 32. He also has two small children from a previous affair and spent 10 months in prison. I understand her concern and anxiety — I do! But should that stop me from pursuing the first man I have ever truly loved?”
-From “Frustrated but Happy” via “Ask E. Jean,” Elle, 23 November 2016
Dear Frustrated but Happy,
Nothing should stop you from pursuing the first man you have ever truly loved, least of all the fact that you’re so unsure about this guy that you’re asking a total stranger whether you need parental permission to date him!
“I have a question about Christmas gifts from the boss to employees. Is it inappropriate to gift a bible to each person in my office? I also wanted to engrave their names on it.”
-Via “Ask A Manager,” 28 November 2016
Ugh, the holidays are so full of sticky etiquette questions, and gift-giving in the workplace makes things all the more complicated! It’s so hard to know which bible to buy, how much to spend on the engravings, where you will have your employees sign up for their compulsory reading comprehension quiz, what you will require they bring to the religion test potluck, etc.
There’s nothing worse than a colleague or manager who forces their religious beliefs on the folks at work, a legally dubious move that could put a company on the wrong side of employment law. Lucky for you, bibles make wonderful workplace gifts because of how subtly they convey the fact that you assume all your employees share your religious beliefs. After all, it’s just a bible! It’s definitely not literally and exactly like you are making a highly personalized gift out of an ecumenical text specific to a single religion.
Your employees will appreciate knowing that the person who has the power to fire them values them for their work performance and not for something that they will absolutely sue the fuck out of you over.
Lead image: Pixabay