Children of Shame – A Documentary

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The documentary Children of Shame exposes atrocities committed at a home for unwed mothers in Tuam, Ireland.  The home was founded in 1925 and closed in 1961.

At the time, religion was an important part of the Irish culture.  Purity was viewed as an essential trait and failure to live up to that standard brought extreme shame, so unwed mothers were sent to special homes.

The unwed mothers were forced to live and work in these homes against their will.  They were treated as criminals, even though fornication was not considered a legal crime.

The babies could be put up for adoption by the home, regardless of the mother’s desire to keep her child.  Children remaining in the home were treated poorly.  They were malnourished, abused, and did not receive appropriate medical care.  This resulted in a mortality rate for babies born out of wedlock that was six times higher than the norm.

Legislating morality has been a hot topic in the United States.  For example: should gay marriage be legalized and should birth control be easily available to all women.

However, stories like this one remind me of the dangers of strictly legalizing morality.  The appearance of purity can become more important than people.  The end result is evil acts are committed to hide immorality.

The Immoral Moral Crusader

Robert Bentley, the former governor of Alabama, entered a guilty plea for several criminal charges on Monday.  He also resigned as the governor to avoid the upcoming impeachment hearings.  Bentley admitted to embezzling funds and illegally using state resources to cover up his affair.

During his political career, Bentley opposed gay marriage rights, the state lottery, and legalization of gambling.  Bentley wanted to use legislation to promote his Christian moral values.  Bentley wanted to be a moral crusader.

In actuality, Bentley was an immoral moral crusader.

Legislating morality is a popular political platform; however, it doesn’t fix any problems or address the real issues.  Bentley knew what he was doing was illegal, but he wasn’t concerned.  His problem wasn’t based on a lack of legal consequences.  His problem was based on a lack of character.

We can legislate morality, but it isn’t going to create a moral society.  We need to focus on personal character.  We need to value character above a person’s financial status, fame, or appearance.  If you don’t change hearts of people, changing laws will not be enough to fix our problems.

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