Last Sunday’s edition of the Austin American-Statesman printed an article about Brynn Cameron, mother of Cole Cameron Leinart. You sports fans recognize the last name as that of Matt Leinart, 2004 Heisman Trophy winner and injured quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. The couple attended USC together, where Cameron still plays for the women’s basketball team. They no longer have a relationship. Cameron raises their young son while balancing school and basketball.
In the article Ms. Cameron (a Mormon) confesses the less-than-ideal situation in which she finds herself. Yet, she does have a son that should not be penalized for being offsides. We rejoice she didn’t abort the baby and pray that God open their hearts to his forgiveness in Christ.
With that said, I was sadly taken aback by Ms. Cameron’s statement that closed the article. I was not amazed she said it necessarily, but because of its sad commentary on teenage sexuality in general (Cameron was 19 when she conceived). Perhaps its just Southern California, but I’m sure her “advice” rings true to many teenage girls:
“Although it’s kind of been hard that it’s so public, I want girls to see that stuff happens. Sometimes you get pregnant,” she said.
“Stuff happens” and “Sometimes you get pregnant”? This is what you want girls to know? These statements are disturbing on several levels.
1. Having sex and conceiving a child is not “stuff” happening. Getting gum on my shoe or losing my keys is stuff happening. Creating life is not stuff happening. Can you imagine their son reading this article when he’s 15? He will read that he was “stuff” that happened? “Cole, you weren’t the product of a lifelong covenant relationship of love, forged by the covenant-keeping God. You were merely the collateral damage that sometimes happens because lust has no self-control. Happy Birthday.”
It’s an understatement to say this reflects a low view of God. God creates life. He loves to create life. Do we ever read that God considers life just some stuff that happened. A cosmic “whoops” that he didn’t see coming?
It’s as equally an understatement that this reflects a low view of humanity. The last thing we want girls to see is that they’re mere incubators for “stuff” that may happen. The womb is a precious and powerful gift from God. It was through the womb that God chose to become human. Therefore, we are not to cheapen the blessedness of fertility.
2. “Sometimes you get pregnant” only makes sense if the assumption is you will be having sex. Our world treats humanity (especially teenagers) like animals, who instinctively cannot refrain from sex. So if you’re having sex then, yes, sometimes you get pregnant. But there is a guaranteed way to keep unwanted pregnancy from sneaking up on you: don’t have sex outside of marriage. The next last thing we want girls to see is that having sex is a given. And given that, sometimes they get pregnant.
Further, take it from those who suffer from infertility. Ms. Cameron’s statement is an arrogant disregard for God’s sovereignty in child birth. To speak of pregnancy so matter-of-factly also insults God’s design for women. Childbirth is a God-given, fundamental characteristic of womanhood, without which women must struggle for their identity. Pregnancy is not an “easy come, easy go” or “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose” proposition. Of course, Ms. Cameron has defined what “win” means for her: orgasm without conception. She “lost” when “stuff” happened and Cole was conceived. Oh well, they gambled and lost. It was fun playing on the house, I guess.
While she averages 8 points a game and her “husband” (which he now is according to Scripture) recovers from injury, men and women worldwide struggle to know why “stuff” didn’t happen to them. Why didn’t the “sometimes you get pregnant” happen to the married couple who desire children more than athletic accolades? Couples cry and groan for years while co-eds giggle and wink that they’re pregnant after a one-night stand with Mr. Heisman. Really…has life become this trivial in our culture?
3. Marriage and family (and childbirth) all reflect something far greater than this world can offer. There is no marriage in heaven (Mt 22.30) and presumably then, no sex. Our sense of family will be finally transformed from our physical ties to the union we all share with our older Brother Jesus (Rom 8.29). Therefore, the earthly institutions of marriage and family serve to illustrate God’s redemption of a people in Jesus Christ (Eph 5.22-33). They are God’s visual aids to understanding the gospel: God giving birth to a people in a covenant relationship.
To talk about sex, pregnancy, family, etc. so glibly is to talk about the gospel glibly. To say pregnancy is “stuff” that happens is to say redemption is “stuff” that happens. If covenant marriage is unnecessary then the blood of Christ that inaugurated the new covenant is unnecessary. If it’s not necessary that Cole have a Christ-figure sanctifying his mother, then it’s not necessary for God to have a church that he sanctifies in Christ. If young Cole is an orgasmic “whoops” then the church is a cosmic “whoops.”
We adopted our daughter, who was born because “sometimes you get pregnant.” God considers adoption a huge concept in understanding our relationship with him (Rom 8.15). Does Ms. Cameron think so lightly of how God remedies “stuff” (i.e. sin) that happens?
I’m afraid Ms. Cameron said far more than she intended to say. Let’s make sure our girls don’t see things the same way. Fathers, we may not throw the tightest spirals in the backyard, but we will still be champions in God’s kingdom. Let’s make sure our daughters are trophies of His grace.