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When I returned home, I went to the library where Mom kept a huge leather-bound Bible. She’d once told me that the Bible had all the answers. I was seven years old and had never read the Bible on my own, so I turned to the back of the Bible to see if there was an index. Sure enough, I found the concordance.
I looked for the word “bastard” — and there it was. The concordance directed me to Deuteronomy 23:2, where I read: “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”
My heart froze. I thought those words meant, “A bastard can never go to Heaven. A bastard is damned to Hell, and so are his kids and grandkids, down to the tenth generation.”
I snapped the book shut — and I didn’t open a Bible again for more than 25 years. Of course, that verse had nothing to do with Heaven or Hell — but how could a seven-year-old understand such things?
I thought, “That’s why my birth mother got rid of me! Nobody wants a child who’s going to Hell! And Mom’s so religious! If she finds out I’m going to Hell, she won’t want me anymore!” So, at age seven, I began to hate myself — and God.
The story of my spiritual and emotional redemption is in my book “Twice Adopted.” But the story I’m thinking about now is the painful story of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son.I keep hearing chattering heads on TV referring to the boy as Schwarzenegger’s “illegitimate” son. It makes my blood boil. Listen, there’s no such thing as an illegitimate child. There are only illegitimate parents.
And Arnold, I hope you read this: Your son is not the bastard. You’re the bastard. You’re the illegitimate parent.
I don’t say that to insult you. I say it for your own good. I say it because you need to face these facts. You’ve been a bastard up till now, but you can change that. You can man up. You can sit down with your son, acknowledge him, apologize to him, admit that you failed him, promise to love him, and begin to protect him from ridicule.
That boy is going to need a lot of love and affirmation from his father. Why? Because the bastards in the media have gone after him, publishing horrible, humiliating stories, putting his picture on the Internet and subjecting him to ridicule at school.
Arnold, you’ve always played a hero in the movies. But now the whole world knows it was just an act. How would you like to be a real hero for a change?
It is time to stop being a bastard and start being a father.
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