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Mothers Who Kill Their Children: A Discussion About Justice

Updated on May 18, 2016
Shedding Light on Issues We Hate to Face
Shedding Light on Issues We Hate to Face | Source

Justice, Repentance, and Forgiveness for Mother's Who Kill their Children?


How should we respond to the issues surrounding mothers who kill their children?

After a sad incident I unexpectedly crossed paths with a man from Charleston, S.C. who said that he was stunned over the tragedy that had just occurred in his region.

I was focusing on the immediate needs of a relative and didn’t know what he meant at first, so he was surprised that the story about a mother who killed her children was not on my mind.

He began to “preach” to me about the issues related to not judging other people and forgiveness. Why he began this conversation with me I’m not quite sure, but since we were in a waiting room I politely listened to him in hopes that he would listen to my reply.

As he parroted phrases from the tide of humanistic thinking that has swept our country I thought about the blindness that so many embrace because they haven't been taught to think with common sense, but there was more to the problem this man struggled with...

Truth invites scrutiny, but error demands tolerance.

The Discussion About Mothers Who Kill Their Children Begins


When he finished I pointed out that the Bible does not say that we should not judge other people. I urged him to give consideration to the entire counsel of God’s Word and not to take phrases out of context.

As I talked to him about how the Bible teaches that though we must be careful about judging another person’s heart or their motives, we are to judge both good and bad behavior, commending one, standing against the other. The truth about the dangers of giving forgiveness before there is repentance began to dawn in his eyes as we talked.

I also explained that while the Bible warns us about the consequences of splitting hairs over small things, it is very clear about serious matters of character and crime. Harming other people through lies, thievery, predation, and murder, are serious matters that should not be treated lightly.

For the good of an offender as well as all victims and the related community, a justice system should respond appropriately to violent acts. I spoke with this man about the importance of addressing serious matters like mothers who kill their children according to their scope and scale through our country’s legal system.

The question of whether the South Carolina mother who killed her baby boys two weeks ago would have, at the very least, thought twice about committing her crime if Susan Smith, 1994 murderer of her two baby boys, had been given the death penalty hung heavy in the air. The man’s head turned thoughtfully as I asked him that question and made the point that a country’s legal system has a valid responsibility to speak to general society through its judgements against crime.

Our country’s imperfect legal system continues to develop. It is flawed and it will never be perfect, but its foundation was built on Judeo/Christian principles that support efforts to give both freedom and justice to our citizens.

Incomprehensible is the only word to describe some crimes.
Incomprehensible is the only word to describe some crimes. | Source

The thinking shifts in other countries, though, and the practice of Sharia law is eye-for-eye. When they say that eye-for-eye judgements are God’s Word for today’s societies they reflect the fact that the nations practicing Sharia law (or something similar) completely reject the New Testament.

Picking and choosing what suits them from the Old Testament at any given moment is bad enough, but the rejection of the New Testament increases the insanity of their way of life. What they claim brings peace and order merely covers the underlying terror that ordinary citizens live with every minute of every day, especially their girls and women who are subject to brutalizations which our minds can barely grasp.

As the news of the latest mother who killed her children in South Carolina broke in my area, an article on a Saudi judge seeking eye-for-eye judgement against a man who paralyzed another in a fight was also highlighted. Little information about that fight is available, making it impossible to answer the natural questions that come up. After all, aren’t two men who fight equally responsible for the outcome unless there is something unfair involved, such as an ambush, or one with a weapon blindsiding the other?

We can’t know the answers to such questions regarding this particular case from the Saudi world, but we can examine Sharia law in general and ask ourselves some obvious questions about their way of life. We should most definitely examine what is happening in our country as well as our world where Muslim people groups are occupying new territories. Among all the obvious questions, we certainly should ask ourselves how their stated religion’s mandates to blot out those who reject their way of life relate to their moving into other countries at high rates.

While legal systems in all countries should accept their responsibility to address crime, a system that is open to scrutinization by both the common people and other branches of government is the only wise and safe system. Systems that are “open” only to a distinct branch of government, a specific religious system, or to any other single group are always the most corrupt. Public examination is one of the best checks against corruption, because, as one of my favorite quotes puts it, “Truth invites scrutiny, error demands tolerance.”


Does the Problem of Mothers Who Kill Their Children have Answers?

Though no method of human government is perfect, for countries that do allow the most freedom to its citizens is (and therefore its government is) only as honorable and decent as the people’s self-government. Clearly, self-government is at an all-time low and self-indulgence is the rule.

Choosing not to live by the entire counsel of the Word of God (the counsel of the combined Old and New Testaments) is an individual choice in America. Sadly, we have lost sight of the fact that the effects of rejecting God's counsel overlap into every segment of society and are reflected in the homes, schools, churches, prisons, and hospitals of those who will not have His ways.

Who Knows the Way of Justice? Who Can Help Us?

No legal system can solve the problems of any people group. Only Jesus the Christ holds out hope for mankind. He does so on an individual basis for those who seek Him according to His Word.

Apart from the Gospel people are unable to break free from the bondage of life under something like Sharia law or from that which the mothers who killed their children in South Carolina are under. Individually and corporately our race is up against something bigger then we are--the human race needs the Savior.

No amount of entertainment, “busy”ness, drugs, counseling, or so-called works under any religious system can ease the fears or salve the conscience. Something in us tells us that there is “more,” we have a sense that we are "missing something.”

The man who started this conversation last week was struggling with his need to understand God’s Word. As we discussed these related topics he did not put it exactly like I am here, but he sensed that in the end we will each meet Truth.

There is one answer, and God’s mercy is available to all (regardless of gender, skin color, birthplace, education, or social status) who will come to Him in repentance with a humble and contrite heart according to His Word -- John 10:10.




Where can True Justice be Found? Who can We Trust for Time and Eternity?

How is there Hope for Justice? Are Mercy and Justice Possible?

A Great Tool To Help Clarify Life's Issues Day By Day

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    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Jo_Goldsmith11:

      I'm glad you were able to come back and finish reading this hub, and just as glad that you left your input--thank you. It is a very difficult topic, and the related issues are not easy either, but keeping the dialogue going is important and I appreciate that you joined it.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      Okay..I am here. When you are right you are right! This wonderful written hub wasn't as bad as I thought. You raise some interesting questions. I will have to seek out some answers. I can't imagine what goes inside the minds of moms who kill their children. This is a painful subject for me as I don't have a mind to something this unimaginable and yet I suffer with worry and feel helpless. More should be done to bring out this subject and we should create better laws so that our precious gifts will not fall victim and become like us. The values you mentioned are something I have tried to instill in my older children. My sons 19, 21 are in college now and I pray for them to find a strong minded and nurturing woman to marry.

      Voted this up! shared too..:)

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      KoffeeKlatch Gals:

      Thank you for reading this hub and letting me know that it was interesting. It is a difficult topic to think about much, less write about or comment on. Still, you express the heart of most mothers.

      Though it is sobering to think through the issues related to mother's who kill their children, it is important to do so. Thanks for helping to keep the discussion going.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Your article fascinated me. You have brought up so many valid points. I can not imagine ever harming my children but for the mothers who have harmed or killed there children there will be a payback weather here or earth or after death. I truly believe what goes around comes around.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      lifelovemystery:

      Thank you for your input on this hub. I appreciate your visit and your comments on a difficult topic and the surrounding issues very much.

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Though we all develop perceptions and ideas about people, that is not necessarily judging. We know right from wrong and can easily draw the line. The judgement of murdering one's own children will play out in a court of law, and the mother's actions will be parsed by a jury of her peers.

      Ultimately, we are all responsible for our actions, regardless of the underlying cause. God holds the keys of the kingdom and the keys to hell. He will have the final say regardless of what the earthly judge and jury decide in this case.

      I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and the way you have told this story. I look forward to reading more from you RTalloni!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      If I remember right the excuses that these mothers give range widely. The outcomes/conclusions were decided in the court systems and they also vary for each mother who committed such crimes. There is a public record of most details in each case and there are many reports available on the web.

      Thank you very much for reading and appreciating this post, as well as for letting me hear from you on it.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I Enjoyed reading your well thought out hub but would like to know why she did it. It is unthinkable yet it happened. What was the final outcome and was any conclusion reached?

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      PrettySunflower:

      Thanks very much for your input here. Your comment that justice often escapes us is so true, but you also remind me of the passage that teaches us that God does not deal with us as we deserve, that He extends mercy to us--with warning.

      I appreciate your visit and comments--thank you again.

    • PrettySunflower profile image

      PrettySunflower 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Justice is a nice word. We would like it but so often it escapes everyone of us - in the way we deal with our children, extended family, even ourselves. How the government deals with justice... how the world deals with it. All are flawed. Its important to have a deep sense of right and wrong and first implement it to ourselves. With that, we need God's help. Thanks for sharing, a well written and well expressed hub.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you, Karen N. Yes, I understand, but as a society we need to face the issues of our day and time with a willingness to address the complicated process of stemming the tide and then turning from everything that encourages the problems. So glad you let me hear from you and helped keep some much needed dialogue open.

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 5 years ago from United States

      Very interesting hub, for me it's impossible to imagine what would drive a mother to kill her own children.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you, Shil1978. There are no easy answers in a fallen world, are there? So glad you found this interesting and that you let me know through your comment because it's important to keep good dialogues going on important topics. So appreciate your visit!

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 5 years ago

      Fascinating read - I agree that a system that is open to scrutiny by the people at large and a system with various levels of checks and balances is the right one and one that can probably correct miscarriages of justice that seem to happen more often than desirable.

      I am happy there is no Sharia Law in our part of the world. I am quite certain that law is more imperfect and open to abuse, apart from being barbaric. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking hub :)

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you, Ashley Gray. The nature of sin is an interesting study. It's dreadful effects are seen in large scale at times. The whole counsel of the Word of God is our need at all times because the dreadful cases that we see started out as small seeds in the hearts and minds of perpetrators.

      So appreciate that you came by with your input!

    • Ashley Gray profile image

      Ashley Gray 6 years ago from Colorado

      Excellent hun, RTalloni! I am so facinated by this and what causes people to do the awful things they do. It can be very difficult not to judge, but it is important to remember!

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you, KoffeeKlatch Gals. Being "judgmental" is an interesting issue all by itself. There is a right way and a wrong way to be "judgmental."

      It is important to maintain the sense in which we need to" judge" in order to stand for right behavior as well as to stop behavior that harms others, particularly children. Otherwise, we are mere animals. If we as a people would "judge" ourselves--our own behavior--more often (and teach children to do the same as they grow up), authorities would have less to do!

      Thanks so much for adding to this dialogue and helping to keep the topic highlighted.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Excellent hub. I was glued to it from beginning to end. I try not to judge. But I do agree with those who feel there is a special place (very unpleasant) for the ones who istreat, kill, maim and so forth their children. A child is supposed to be able to feel safe and protected with a parent, not fear for their life.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      So appreciate your comments to help highlight this topic.

      There is a sense in which we have a responsibility to judge, otherwise we say that anything and everything is okay. We judge by commending right behavior, and we judge by standing against wrong behavior.

      But we don't decide the final judgement. On that, God is very clear.

      Thanks very much for visiting and adding to this dialogue!

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 6 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      Good hub. As you mentioned, I am careful not to judge. That is not my place. However, I believe that there is a special kind of "hell" for parents who abuse, neglect, harm or murder their children.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Yes, I understand where you are coming from. Crime creates very difficult situations that society must grapple with. Unfortunately, the solutions are not usually what we would like, but they are too often the only thing that speaks to the criminal mind and reduces the crime rate. The solution is not the issue, even though we don't like the solution. Criminal behavior is the issue. Hmmm. I feel as if I am writing this comment too generally, and today I have the word "civility" on my mind again, due to listening to the news earlier. My thoughts here are tied to my hub, "Civility and the Tucson Shootings." The two hubs are really not that far apart, but the differences may be why I can't get past generalities at the moment.

      On your end question, actually, I think I would ask, "Where is the justice for the children who were killed in the womb?" Or maybe, more importantly, "Are we seeing the end of our society?" Some would say so, others would say it's about time. Those who see the problems for what they are need to keep dialogues going. Thanks much, much, much for stopping in with your input.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      I just found this hub of yours and while I agree with it, I sill have a hard time with the death penalty, as someone who is pro-life. I'm not sure it should be up to us whether or not someone lives or dies no matter what crime they have committed. I also wonder where is justice for those mothers who kill their children while they are still in the womb?

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Pixienot:

      I appreciate that you stopped by and shared your input because I hope to see a dialogue about the issues mentioned in this hub continue. Thanks so much for helping to keep it highlighted!

    • Pixienot profile image

      Pixienot 6 years ago from Clarksville, Indiana

      I so enjoyed your article. I am deeply concerned about the epidemic of mother's killing their children. Proof that our society is quickly breaking down.

      As with the Caylee Anthony case, it is more and more evident that mothers are becoming narcissitic and passing it on to their children. This type of mother has no compassion and no real emotions. Empathy escapes them, therefore their children suffer and pass it on.

      As for Sharia Law, we need to be so careful to teach our children the truth as it is and make them aware that our freedom as we know it in the USA comes at a price (the lives of our young men and women) and should be held in high esteem and treasured.

      Thank you for this very fine and thought provoking article.

      Voted up, useful and awesome.

      Thank you.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for coming by CMHypno.

      When I published this hub I purposely did not put in links to connect people to news stories about either of the two mothers mentioned in it. As time went by, the details of "why" in each case came to light. Comparing those details with what Scripture has to say about sinful behavior, its clear that sin does have an effect on our mental well-being. That is not to say that post-natal depression is not a real affliction that some women definitely need help with, nor is it to say that these two women do not need help with their problems. I hope they get the help they need--the help that will be real help to them.

      The death penalty might be what is called a "necessary evil." Studies do show that when it is given as punishment for very serious crime, crime in general does go down. However, I know no one who relishes the thought of the death penalty. Actually, I think that everyone I know would agree that it is never a "good thing." Not even the families of victims find real, lasting satisfaction in the death penalty for criminals. It is nothing but sad and it is far from a perfect solution, but it may be the only righteous answer in some cases.

      I wrote a little bit more about the death penalty in a hub on the Tucson murders, and I touch on that case in this comment because there was no doubt about the murderer's guilt. This is a case in which the death penalty could doubtless be given without any concern that the wrong person had been accused and convicted. I didn't directly mention the death penalty topic in my hub about whether prisoners should have access to facebook, but a study on how criminals who commit unspeakable crimes then are housed in prison for a lifetime somehow manage to stretch tentacles outside the prison walls and continue to affect their victims, lead rings of vicious criminals, and exact their own "twisted justice" against those who attempted to bring them to justice. As I write these words there are multitudes of people who live in fear because those who made them a victim are allowed privileges with phones, computers, and eventually to walk free again. We need to always remember that victims need help too.

      Appreciate your comments very much. Mature dialogue is so important to the issues we face.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      I'm not too versed in the Biblical side of things, but in general I think that when parents kill their children, they are afflicted with some kind of mental health issue. A lot of women can suffer from post-natal depression, and much of the time this goes undiagnosed.

      Of course this does not fully excuse a crime as serious as murder, but I think that these people help for their problems as well as a custodial sentence. I can never agree with the death penalty - as I believe that killing other people is just wrong

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      It certainly was not on my mind when he brought it up. I believe a news program may have brought it to this man's mind. However, I don't believe it was random, but that this man wanted to be able to think through the issues we spoke of and that he certainly seemed glad to have more information to help him do so.

      Thanks much for stopping by and commenting.

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      Phoebe Pike 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I can't imagine randomly discussing murders in a waiting room...

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks much for stopping in and for your comments. I appreciate your helping to keep the dialogue highlighted.

      I know what you mean about how you feel. Certainly, there is no forgiveness without true repentance, but the repentance issue would probably require a substantial hub in order to wade through misconceptions about it and get its definition laid out in a way that examines all of its facets.

    • swedal profile image

      swedal 6 years ago from Colorado

      Many great points in this article and I am in agreement. Though I admit that I did not need to be convinced. Being a parent, I don't feel there can be forgiveness for some crimes against children.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      So glad you dropped by. Thank you for your comments. We never know what a day will bring so we surely need to know the One Who does!

    • okmom23 profile image

      Donna Oliver 6 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      RTalloni, Extremely thought-provoking article! I am amazed by the journey each one of us experiences. Thank you for sharing.

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you.

      Yes, not even all of our Founding Father's were true Christians, but they knew the Bible and knew that the principles contained in it were good for mankind. Today, we have leadership and a society that do not know the counsel God's Word has for people. The consequences are heartbreaking, but we can still pray for our nation.

      So glad you stopped by and left your comment--it helps keep the dialogue going!

    • atienza profile image

      atienza 6 years ago from Northern California

      Thought provoking words. We have to bear in mind that although our justice system is founded on Judeo/Christian principles, those who are in place of power in our government and legal system are not always or truly Christian. The world is largely in the grips of negative influence, which compounds its imperfections. There is a call to Christ for all, but how many will heed it?

    • RTalloni profile image
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      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks very much for stopping in! Your comment is very kind. Thanks for encouraging dialogue on these issues open.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Fantastic! You had me nodding my head all the way through your article. I could not have appreciated your work here more. Thank you very much for speaking the truth.