American conservatives seem to be quite outspoken about how it’s evil and immoral when adults marry children in other countries, so why don’t these same people speak up when Christians do it in the US?
The NY Times reported on the terrible events Sherry Johnson had to endure.
When she was only 11 years old, Johnson was raped by a 20-year-old member of her church and she became pregnant.
“It was forced on me,” she told the Times. Child welfare authorities started investigating because she was pregnant with a 20-year-old’s child, so her family and church officials decided the best way to avoid embarrassment and a criminal case was to marry her off to her rapist.
My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do I act like a wife?’” Johnson remembers today, many years later. “She said, ‘Well, I guess you’re just going to get married.’”
So she was. A government clerk in Tampa, Fla., refused to marry an 11-year-old, even though this was legal in the state, so the wedding party went to nearby Pinellas County, where the clerk issued a marriage license. The license lists her birth date, so officials were aware of her age.
The judge approved the marriage to the rapist so the investigation would end, “What we want is for you to get married,” the judge told her.
Johnson said she was raped not only by the 20 year old she was forced to marry, but also by the minister.
“It was a terrible life,” Johnson says, noting that she missed school and spent her time changing diapers and fighting with her rapist, who eventually gave her 9 children. Her husband would occasionally abandon her and leave her with all the responsibilities.
“They took the handcuffs from handcuffing him, to handcuffing me, by marrying me without me knowing what I was doing,” she says, referring to the jail time he would have faced for raping her as a child,
New Jersey lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill that would raise the age to 18 to block child marriages, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it in the name of “religious freedom.”
The United States hypocritically condemned child marriages in other countries as a “human rights abuse that contributes to economic hardship” in a State Department document last year.
This disgusting and unethical practice has to end everywhere, especially in the US.