Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mother love

Janette Mercer, 49, was yesterday given a three-year sentence for obstructing the police. Her son Sean murdered 11-year old Rhys Jones as he walked through a car park in Liverpool. In a way it was an accident, he was actually trying to kill someone else; Rhys was an innocent bystander. The police had CCTV evidence of a young man riding away from the scene of the crime on a distinctive mountain bike. Mrs Mercer lied to the police saying that Sean's bike was quite different. Eventually the bike was found dumped at the edge of town and was traced to Sean by DNA evidence. The Daily Mail tells us that Mrs Mercer was working as a prostitute during her son's trial.

She was not the only one sent to prison over the cover-up. The parents of another gang member also lied and they were gaoled.

It is clear that there was an subculture of crime and disdain for the law in that part of Liverpool, but notwithstanding that, it set me thinking about how far one should or would go to protect one's children. I would be interested in what any readers think. A verse to ponder on comes from Isaiah 49:15: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!"


Anonymous said...

This is an age old and difficult to answer question.
Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac to obey his God. At the same time, he banished his first born son Ishmael to please Sarah. How can these two acts be reconciled?

I truly do not know.

I would like to believe that I would offer my children all of the assistance morally and legally proper without helping them to break the law or evade the consequences thereof.

Even here there are most likely "degrees" of what i might consider acceptable. I must admit that I'd be more inclined to aid and abet a child who infringed upon a civil law (so called white collar crime) than a criminal law, but breaking any law is just as morally incorrect, no matter what the law.

An excellent question which i find difficult to answer with conviction.


Wayne said...

The reason the question of "Mother Love" appears to be difficult question is because the actions of people in close relationships are not isolated to the emotion of Love alone but entwined with loyalty.

Love encompasses nurturing, compassion, understanding and sacrifice whereas loyalty need only take "sacrifice" to the exclusion of Love's higher qualities.

Loyalty is a more ruthless or utilitarian quality of survival benefit to more than a single person. Loyalty can fulfill its promised reward of utility absent of all moral consideration provided it accepts sacrifice as its highest watermark.

The mother in your story Terry is pulled by loyalty toward her son more than Love which she desecrates by the apparent abandonment of Love's need to address the wrong in boy's actions by the loving part of his loyal mother.

May you continue to gain strength and well being.