People across the net are all atwitter over the revelation that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, plans to marry the father, and raise the child.
Not that long ago this would have been not much more than a footnote in the campaign rather than major news story. In the past few decades we’ve elevated our societal piousness to unprecedented levels. We’ve taken what was normal for centuries and millenniums and made it abnormal. I encourage anyone reading this to check your own family genealogy before deciding to be too critical of Palin. You are very likely to find that many of your very own ancestors first children were born less than 9 months from when they were married and that many were 17 or younger.
When I was growing up we referred to these as shotgun weddings. The reality was that shotguns were rarely involved, though the look in dad’s eyes towards his new son-in-law could likely do more damage than buckshot. The deathly looks over, both families generally came together and pitched in to help the new couple prepare for and then raise their new child. And these scenes have never been limited to the mountain folks in Appalachia, but cut across every societal, racial, and geographic boundary. YOU and I, my dear reader, are very likely the products of many such events.
And oh my if this had happened in Texas…