An American Tale … December 12, 2011

In Melbourne, Florida


Muriel was sixteen years old–and she was pregnant. She was engaged to Jeremy, who had been off to State College for three months, beginning his studies to become an architect. The problem was that Muriel was only two months pregnant. The other problem was that she had never had sex with Jeremy–because he was nineteen years old and she was, as they call it, jail bait. They were in love–but desperately avoiding lust.

There was a third problem–Muriel also insisted that she’d never had sex before–with ANYONE. Some people laughed; others became infuriated. Why didn’t she just admit that she and Jeremy had lost control and the end result was a baby?

Now, Jeremy got a call from a friend about the conflict arising in the town over the issue. He left college and hurried home. He was greeted at the door by Muriel’s father … and the county sheriff. He was arrested on the spot for statutory rape. After all, there was no other explanation. A nineteen-year-old had gotten a sixteen-year-old pregnant and it was illegal.

Muriel pleaded her case, but to no avail. Some of Jeremy’s friends bailed him out of jail and he met secretly with Muriel. Jeremy was hurt. Muriel insisted that she had not had sex but that she was nonetheless pregnant. She further complicated the relationship by telling Jeremy that she’d had a dream and that she believed the baby was a gift from God. Jeremy cautioned her to not share this story with anyone lest she be considered “tetched” and sent to the booby-hatch.

But those professionals did show up, some of them suggesting that Muriel put the baby up for adoption after the birth. Matter of fact, arrangements could be made now for such a maneuver. One of the counselors from a local women’s organization recommended that she consider abortion because of her youth and inexperience. Muriel explained to them about her dream and that she had not been with anyone sexually, but of course, no one believed her.

Six agonizing months passed–of interference, critique, delayed court dates, morning sickness and public ridicule. Jeremy became concerned because Muriel was losing it. He decided to skip town–to run out on his bail money and take her to a cousin of his in a small town several states away. As they journeyed, a terrible blizzard hit and their car slid off the road. They were forced to seek refuge in a nearby bed and breakfast. It was full–and even if it hadn’t been, much too expensive for their meager substance. Jeremy asked the proprietor if there was anywhere they could stay. She replied no.  He explained to her that Muriel was pregnant and was about ready to give birth. The owner of the bed and breakfast became quite distraught and ordered them both off the property. Jeremy had to do something. On the land of the bed and breakfast there was a barn. He took Muriel and they went inside the barn to seek shelter for the evening.

Meanwhile, things were happening in the world. A bright, shining light had sprung up in the sky. Most people thought it was a new comet or perhaps even an asteroid heading towards earth, causing a great fear amongst the populace. But three astrologers from Iran suddenly appeared at an airport in New York City, explaining that they wanted to investigate the light and trace its source. They believed it was a foretelling of the arrival of a great leader. The three Iranians were stopped by customs and arrested, put into jail and interrogated for fear that they were terrorists.  After two weeks, it was decided to deport them back to Iran.

Meanwhile, back at the barn, Muriel went into labor and gave birth. Jeremy was frightened out of his mind. There seemed to be no escape for them. Suddenly, there was a soft knock on the barn door. Jeremy nervously and awkwardly called, “Come in.” He figured it would be the proprietor and that the jig was up. Instead, in walked four guys who had been out working on transformers and lighting poles in the middle of the storm to try to restore power to the neighborhood. They sheepishly explained that they had seen a vision in the sky, telling them to come to this specific barn–to see a baby that was going to become a king. Jeremy was suspicious.

As all this was going on, suddenly the barn door flung open and in walked the proprietor with the local sheriff. They were both shocked to discover that the young girl had given birth, so an ambulance was called to rush her to the hospital in the midst of the storm, where the two of them, Muriel and Jeremy, were separated into different rooms until a decision could be made about the future of their relationship and the child.

The four workmen were arrested for trespassing, but later released, as the proprietor chose not to press charges.

In the hospital, Jeremy desperately tried to see Muriel, but was unsuccessful. After several days of deliberation, it was determined that the newborn baby would be put into foster care and that Muriel, who persisted in her story of a dream and a non-sexual pregnancy, was placed into a twenty-eight-day program for rehabilitation and analysis. Jeremy was sent back to college with the threat that if he ever saw Muriel again, he would be arrested and the charges for statutory rape would be enforced. The Iranians, who had come to follow the light in the sky, tried to escape custody to continue their study. Two of them were shot and killed and the other returned to his homeland.

In a matter of three weeks, the whole event was over. Medals were given to Homeland Security for preventing what might surely have been an attack on the nation. The sheriff and the proprietor of the bed and breakfast were praised by the community for level-headed action and for protecting an infant from what most certainly was his disturbed mother.

And the little boy grew up and became an American “everybody.”

You see, there is an importance to timing. And there’s a value to those who have a courage in their conviction. Because in our American Tale, everything was done correctly.

Unfortunately, political correctness rarely has any touch of the grace of God.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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