As sad as Tiffany Toribio’s child murder case is, from reader comments we can assess that there are more Tiffanys out there – women who are at their wits end and women who are undergoing tremendous pressures resulting from our nation’s economic woes and a lack of emotional, financial and spiritual support. What can we do to help prevent these women and families with dependent children and insufficient resources battle the depression, the anxiety, and the feelings of helplessness that might eventually push them over the edge? And what can we do to help teens and young adults – both male and female – see the need to exercise safe sex practices to avoid unwanted pregnancies that result in abortion and child abuse?
This time, I am challenging organizations and individuals to come forward, to get involved and to share insight and information on what can be done to help women like Tiffany and others who resort to child abuse, abortion, and murder when their backs are up against the wall and they feel that there is nothing left but to take drastic and desperate measures. Perhaps, we have looked the other way when we saw a mother abusing her child—physically or verbally. Maybe we have contributed to the problem by being too afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals or not wanting to become involved somebody else’s problems. The Bible teaches us that we are to be “our brother’s (and our sister’s) keeper. Our involvement can change a mother’s desperate situation – whether we offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a loaf of bread, or a ride to a mental health counselor’s office. As Christians, we need to do more than just talk about the Tiffany Toribios and the Susan Smiths that kill their children; but we need to become involved in their lives and learn to recognize the signs that can push women to commit despicable acts.
President Obama has suggested that measures be taken to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and provide financial and emotional support for women who decide to carry their babies to term. By providing not only financial and emotional support, but also spiritual guidance, we can most help women and teens in crisis find the God who is more than enough for any situation no matter how dire. If Tiffany Toribio had the presence of mind and the conviction to revive her son, Ty, one time; then surely she possesses a conscience that can be led to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life.
I am not advocating the death penalty for Tiffany, although her crime of premeditated murder may warrant death. But I am advocating that social and faith-based agencies, clergymen, and churches put to death this notion that the problems women face which drives them to desperation are too big for us to handle. I challenge organizations and individuals to take a hard look at how we can render a greater service to teens that engage in risky behavior like premarital and unprotected sex, just because their peers consider “hooking up” the thing to do. And we need to help women realize that there are other recourses, such as adoption or even surrogate motherhood, instead of abortion for unwanted pregnancies. As Christians, we need to reach out to single mothers that struggle with keeping food on the table and a roof over their babies’ heads; and we need to work with young men to educate them about responsible parenting. Instead of turning our heads and looking the other way, we all need to become willing participants in the village of life, taking time to help raise our children in a nurturing environment that provides the tools for their survival.
As parents, we need to lead by example and not be afraid to chasten our children. Demand that your sons pull up those baggy pants and stop looking like they are ready to jump into bed at a moment’s notice. Absentee fathers, come back home, stop hanging out in the street, and lead your sons with a pure example of fatherhood. Treat your wife with respect, ditch those “other women” and teach your son how to love women, instead of calling them a derogatory name reserved for female dogs. And mothers, demand that your daughters dress like ladies and not whores, and that they cover up their nakedness and stop advertising their “goods” to the world. Teach your sons and your daughters that they are of value and that morality and decency need not be compromised for popularity and pregnancy, even for a government check. Instill within them the same values that our parents and grandparents taught us: that marriage is still honorable and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
I challenge anyone out there: social worker, teacher, parent, minister, neighbor, or friend: let us take on the responsibility to ensure that there are no more Tiffanys and that there are no more Tys, no more women and children – in or out of the womb-- that have to suffer being suffocated, dropped from buildings, burned in microwaves, set on fire, drowned in bathtubs, scalded with hot water, stabbed with knives, or shot with shotguns. As a Christian nation, WE know better! We are not as the heathen who have no God, no conscience, no technology and no tools to provide a safe haven for our offspring. The challenge is before you. Let’s take it and make this world a better place for children, mothers, fathers, and future generations.
For more info: email firstname.lastname@example.org