Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Elizabeth Smart

I was amazed to see how many people forgot about her. But I guess I only remembered her because I happened to have cable in those days and watched a lot of CNN. I think the whole Mormon thing intrigued me too. And, a beautiful, blond little girl is memorable.

Anyway, I went to Amazon last night and it was there that I learned that she has an autobiography out. And then I read an article or two about her and saw a short video clip about her. The last thing I had previously heard about her was a few years ago that she got married. I remembered thinking that she was too young for that, especially given her horrendous experience. But I wished her well.

She is one of those people that you just want to hug and love and give her something to make up for what she lost. But you can't give innocence.

You can give honour. I honour her. I honour all those who would do what she is doing in light of what she suffered.

I was particularly impressed by her words about why she wanted to write her story (or, rather, have her story written). Please watch the clip here:


"Aren't we happy they survived?"

Yes, Elizabeth, we are.

We are happy that you are a member of the human race.

If we could consider her a celebrity, and I suppose we can, she is the one I would like to meet some day.


I was inspired to write this post after having read Sarah's excellent post here.

Sarah talks about daring to do hard things. Elizabeth inspires me to do this too. As you can intuit, I am having trouble committing to a difficult course of action at the moment. One of the reasons why is a feeling of unworthiness and a fear of failure. Sarah's piece helps with those things, and a fortiori so does Elizabeth. So, thanks, ladies!

(I can just sense my friend Elena googling 'a fortiori' right now.)


  1. Colin...I was totally speaking from experience so my post was as much about getting my own butt in gear as it was for anyone else. Glad it spoke to you though...

  2. Thank God for google. Wink, wink. Elizabeth smart is the reason that I check my kids' windows each night at bedtime.

  3. Did you read her indictment about abstinence-only education, or more accurately, "purity culture"? I found it fascinating, and heartbreaking. She was taught so adamantly that a man prefers a 'virginal bride' that she believed she was 'worthless' and unloveable after her assault . How devastating.
    It's certainly worth considering, though, because some Christians (or in this case Mormons) emphasize a very external version of purity that can lead to a whole host of emotional issues in the young person who is being taught these things.

  4. Thanks everyone.

    Jenna, I was going to bring up that issue in this post, but decided not to, as I just wanted to focus on her courage, etc.

    I agree with her on this. For instance, I don't like how our bulletins at St. Hedwig's have tended to refer to religious women saints as 'virgins' rather than as 'religious.' The men are not referred to as virgins (which is a pagan thing and, in my opinion, misogynistic). I really don't care if someone is a virgin. I don't want to know. What I care about is their present chastity. St. Augustine famously dealt with this issue in the first book of City of God, where he talked about the rape of Christian women during the sacking of Rome. He said that that made no difference to one's chastity.