The redemption of Levi Johnston

In the continuing daytime drama that is the Palin family, Bristol is forgiving Levi, Levi is learning to change diapers … Continued

In the continuing daytime drama that is the Palin family, Bristol is forgiving Levi, Levi is learning to change diapers and Mama Sarah has issued a press release. After Bristol and Levi announced in People magazine that they were back together and engaged, Sarah Palin, hiking Mt. McKinley, issued a press release. In part, the press release comments, “Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives.”

Bristol actually does seem to have a grip on the basics of repentance, redemption and forgiveness. Levi needs to help take care of their son, get a job and generally shape up in the responsibility department. No just forgive and forget for Bristol. Now, giving a single Mom a “15 minute break,” which Bristol proudly says is Levi’s contribution to child care, really isn’t all that much help. That means Bristol has the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day to cope with Tripp. It’s the right idea, though.

Levi has apologized (repentance), is learning to be a hands-on parent (redemption), and Bristol is attempting to imagine a new future for the three of them that lets go of the resentments of the past (forgiveness). That’s the basics of the spiritual work of redemption and forgiveness that needs to get done for these young people to form a healthy family and I wish them well. They’re going to need all the good wishes they can get.

Sarah Palin seems to be having a harder time, as seen in her admission of “struggle” with the whole dynamic of repentance, redemption and forgiveness. It’s true that this kind of whole family work of reconciliation is not easy and simple. What is most alarming in this family drama to me, however, is that Sarah, Bristol and Levi have not talked. “There has not been anything where all three of us [have been together],” says Bristol.

Parenting by press release is not going to get this family back on track. The hard work of redemption and forgiveness requires a lot of face time, and it is essential that Bristol, Levi and Sarah all talk honestly with each another about what actually went on, what needs to change and how that change will come about. You can’t do that through press releases.

It is so poignant that Bristol hopes for a future where the family does get together and they have all put aside anger and recrimination. She wants a nice family Thanksgiving. “I see the future like that being possible, where we can all have Thanksgiving together and not have it be awkward.” She’s 19, she’s a single Mom, and she wants the ideal American family Thanksgiving. Of course she does.

But Bristol is not going to get her family Thanksgiving unless Sarah Palin comes down off of Mt. McKinley and talks to these kids–a lot. Put in the face time, Sarah. That’s the hard work of parenting and it is big part of the struggle of redemption and forgiveness that all families have to navigate at one time or another, my own included.

  • RobertCurleyJacobs

    Nice to see that this couple can get back together and make amends.

  • pgr88

    Dear Ms. Thistlethwaite.After reading NEED2KNOW1’s comment, do you ever just wonder to yourself – why do I bother to write a column at all??

  • robfield

    IF they get married (which I doubt) I give it 6 months max.

  • ratfishtim

    Excuse me, but doesn’t Levi have a family? Why is this just about Sarah Palin- known to be an awful mother to Alaskans? I mean, Bristol says she was “scared and intimidated” and didn’t talk with her mother about her plans.Why isn’t there anything about Levi’s mother and sister? So far, they are not sure they will even be invited to the wedding.So much for redemption and forgiveness.

  • Chops2

    Needtoknow1 made as much sense as Palin’s quitting speech

  • Leathnm

    Where is Todd Palin in all of this? Doesn’t he have a voice in this family? I find it sad that Bristol does not have a good relationship with her mother. Sarah needs to stop behaving like a child and become the parent/mother and grandmother that Bristol wants and needs.

  • obx2004

    Where is Todd Palin in all of this? Doesn’t he have a voice in this family?HAHA!!! Not…at…all!

  • Bushwhacked1

    Is Levi Johnson “redeemed” or simply jumping on the “Caribou Barbie” gravy train? Guess we’ll find out after “rides off into the political sunset”, bankbook in hand.

  • qqbDEyZW

    Sarah and Todd found out about the engagement the same time the public did. Bristol and Levi never told Sarah of their plans. I pray my daughters don’t disrespect me like that as that’s not the way to raise kids with Christian Values. Bristol looks like she’s having another child but that will be known in 9 months. Sarah had to say something but saying Bristol is forgiving isn’t the right answer. Bristol knew what she was doing and having a teenager have her boyfriend live at your home is asking for trouble. Bristol and Levi took drugs and alcohol which is one of Alaska’s biggest problems. Bristol couldn’t deal with pan handling for money like her mother does now. Will she wear a white dress, why not most woman do and they bring their kids with them. Lies always catch up with you and the Palin Family is seen for who they really are messed up and liars. The wedding will be quick as Bristol said in about 6 weeks. I do wish the couple the best and they should move as far away from Sarah and Todd as possible.

  • lcarter0311

    If anyone needs to be Redeemed, it’s Sarah Palin. But then again, if John McCain had of vetted this woman before he dragged her into public life, none of us would even care whether she was Redeemed or not, or whether she comes down off of Mt. McKinley, or not.

  • lufrank1

    As always . . . Gossip is more newsworthy than energy problems, war problems, financial problems, etc. Remember “Confidential” magazine? It outsold ALL others. Obviously WE are more interested in reading celebrity gossip than ANY thing else.Wait . . .not true for me … first “news” read for me every day is “Sherman’s Lagoon” comic strip.

  • muawiyah

    NYRUNNER101 ~ Yeah, it was typically a far left screed pretty much like you’d find at Huffpo or DU, although it was a tad tame for DU ~ maybe more like the cr*p at “Smirking Chimp”. (And BTW, aren’t you glad the Republicans do not portray Obama the way “W” was portrayed).Now, what might be a “Leftwingtard”? Well, it’s a “leftie”, fur shur, and a “winger”, and I mispelled the last word. That’s not “tard” from “retard”. That’d be so lame wouldn’t it. And crude!!!! Far be it for me to insult the retarded people of this world. They have enough problems.But we all need to get our little pet names past the electronic sitemeisters and their lebenteengazillion prohibited word lists.

  • muawiyah

    LCARTER0311 ~ first let’s get some redemption for the dope addicts in Alaska ~ like Levi’s mother.That’d be good.Time for Levi, himself, to settle down and become a responsible adult. Maybe he should go visit his mom in jail while he’s at it. We are commanded to visit those who are in prison.

  • muawiyah

    Regarding Levi, Sophie Tucker is reputed to have been among the first to say: “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is better.” No doubt something very similar to that is buried somewhere in the Mahabharat.Call it “Ancient Wisdom”

  • momj47

    I agree, she’s probably pregnant again. Daddy Palin may have a shotgun nearby.

  • MILLER123


  • northguy3

    Why do a couple if unwed high school drop-outs need to get educated when they can ride the rightwing gravy train? I smell a reality show pitch. Both have failed at capitalizing on SARAH!! so far but maybe together, they can suck another $300,000 from the gullible.

  • Dungarees

    Now, because there have been so many comments regarding NEED2KNOW1 but the original post isn’t there, I’m lost on what the issue is. If anyone has it, please forward to: xminusone@gmail.comAs for the Palin/Johnson saga, this would be much more fitting for the entertainment pages than the front page. It’s news to those people that have an interest, but it’s not NEWS.

  • wa_idaho_lonewolf

    OOOHHH! HOW SWEET!! so what happened with the “sex out of wedlock thing?” ooops! i forgot hypocracy need not last forever, right? UNLESS OF COURSE YOU ARE “LITTLE MISS TEALADY, SARAH PALIN. OR WAS I JUST BEING RACIST? oh well, nobodys perfect!

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I wonder if Bristol, Levi, and Sarah constitute one of the major faith questions of our time. Or, to put the matter a different way, wouldn’t this article do better in the religion section of the National Enquirer? If it doesn’t yet have one, perhaps, the author might propose it.

  • rcc_2000

    Sarah Palin is an awful mother, who uses her children as stage props. You can just imagine that Bristol has nothing but contempt for her Mother. Will Bristol Palin support Obama in 2012? You betcha!

  • Delongl

    Wow, two teenagers break up and then get back together. What huge news!How about the VP candidate’s family that is now in power? How about Biden’s daughter doing cocaine on video? That should make a good daytime drama in the age of “Intervention?”

  • rcc_2000

    NEED2KNOW1 is one repressed human being. He seems a little fixated on the performance of homosexual acts. It is clear that he actually is preoccupied with his homo-erotic fantasies and it spills over into everything he says, does or writes.

  • whm99

    Someone please remind me why I should care about the nitwits of the north. Perhaps it’s because one aspect of religious discussion is to focus on things that are patently absurd.We need to get back to more basic, and important, religious questions like what’s the difference between the Vatican and the Mafia? Anyone? Here’s a hint: One of them has a respectable code of honor.Or, “Religion in the 21st Century: Dangerous lies or quaint superstition? You make the call!”Please give Need2know1 a break. He makes as much sense as any of the worlds major religions and really knows how to play those uppercase letters.

  • gonville1

    yeah yeah,,tell it when the next child is born in eight months,does levi has his ged or a job yet?Is his family still in jail and rehab? terrific gene pool in there.

  • judithclaire1939

    The reality is that they both need to create jobs, save money, go to college, buy a house- see how things go and there is always divorce. Or, borrow from Mom and Dad, ask sister to baby sit and both go to some school full time! A Reality Show might work – Good lookin’ always works for tv stars!

  • obx2004

    need2know1: please call your doctor to get your prescription refilled.

  • drjcarlucci

    Now that his 15 minutes of fame on tabloid TV are running out, time to get back with the wife who makes $15,000 per speech so he can sit on his rear and not have to work at the Anchorage Jiffy Lube.What a loser, P.O.S.

  • rd3

    This is proably the most sanctimonious piece of rot I’ve ever read. The Palin Gang is simply raking in all the bucks it can while riding the political gravy train foe as long as it lasts. Palin’s nothing but a 21st century snake oil saleman and the idiots out there just drink it up while the Press keeps filling the trough. How sad.

  • jefinch

    Please remove the offensive comment by need2know1. This kind of nonsense destroys any opportunity for discourse by sane, thinking people.

  • obx2004

    I want someone to explain to me this obsession WaPo has with this backwards family! In the last month, I have seen some article or op-ed piece almost DAILY about what Palin said or where she was or who she slammed or what she prayed to, and so on. Now we get constant ingestion of her kid and this redneck d-bag boyfriend??Now we’re waxing philosphical about their engagement. This is absurd! A reporter said the relationship between Palin and the media is “symbiotic”. I think it’s moved on to parasitic now.

  • Darlene_Jr

    I like Palin but I was not wild about her daughter’s situation. And I am less wild about the fact they are going to take back Levi, who has admitted he lied about his future in-laws. He is no good and Bristol would be better off without him.

  • ZZim

    “They’re going to need all the good wishes they can get.”They have mine, for what it’s worth. Good luck.

  • muawiyah

    WHM99 ~ your lack of real experience with the Mafia is showing.No, there is no code of honor there. Never was. Never will be.

  • muawiyah

    Just like to note that your boy there, NEED2KNOW1, sounds so much like your typical Leftwingtard kneejerker I’m surprised he hasn’t already been given his own opinion column in the WarshPost.But, maybe somebody’s working on that.

  • wireman65

    Thanksgiving will probably be awkward, don’t see how it could be otherwise.

  • areyousaying

    Interesting how we are all so fascinated by this cheap, two-bit Mexican “novella” of an ignorant backwoods family. Next we’ll discover little Ribitt (or whatever they named their kid) has been swept away by a hot air balloon fueled by Sarah’s constant spewing of intolerance, lies and hatred.As for NEED2KNOW1, why hasn’t “On Faith” removed this trash? I’ve had some of Farnaz’s comments removed for less 😉

  • MichelleKinPA

    Please, no matter whatever the Palin parents believe, the daughter will go off and do whatever she wants. She is of age, and can’t be controlled by her parents. Of course they’re going to say we forgive him for his actions. It wouldn’t do much for the public image if they say “our daughter is going to do what she wants, no matter that Levi’s a jerk”.After all, Sarah and Todd started out this way too, albeit without the publicity part of it…maybe it works for this family?

  • MHawke

    I have a whole new appreciation for my mother-in-law!Cheers to you Martha!

  • MHawke

    I have a whole new appreciation for my mother-in-law!Cheers to you Martha!

  • 1armywife

    Can anyone say, REALITY SHOW? This sham isn’t about faith or forgiveness or redemption, it’s about making a buck off of gullible people.

  • arancia12

    Well that last comment sort of shut down discussion, didn’t it?I am frankly, very, very surprised the WaPo hasn’t removed that vulgar screed, but hey, it’s your web site.

  • nyrunner101

    muawiyah, what makes you think that NEEDTOKNOW is left-wing. I am so far to the left that Marx looks good to me and yet I found his comment so offensive I stopped reading after the first few lines. I even found it more offensive than your leftwingtard comment. Leftwingtard? What the heck is that? Just because we of the left believe in equality and freedom and economic equality for all, are against torture and wars, are the real conscience of America, we are retards? Get a grip.As for Levi, he is 19 for C***t’s sake. I did just as much as he did at that age. I was just smart enough, no, not smart enough, EDUCATED enough to not get them pregnant. He is now doing the right thing. Frankly, I don’t see anything to repent or redeem. There were two people creating that baby that night. The fact is that, after all of this, the publicity, all of it, they managed to have found each other again is kind of touching. I am no fan of Sara Palin but that is irrelevent. I hope Bristol and Levi do last.

  • oregonbirddog

    Horse feathers. The Palin saga is more like watching Lil Abner come to life than witnessing any permiation of a biblical style “Redemtion”.

  • fare777

    Trailer Trash drama. Its the best. You betcha.

  • WESHS49

    All of this Palin “redemption” crap belongs in People Magazine or one of the “rags” that are displayed at the checkout counter at the super market,not in the Washington Post.Maybe the Palins are setting the stage for a soap opera sometime in the future.

  • areyousaying

    So when is Susan going to write about “the redemption of Sarah”?

  • areyousaying

    btw Farnaz, I like you post here – “abrazos”

  • Skowronek

    ” “As parents we obviously want what is best for our children, but Bristol is ultimately in charge of determining what is best for her and her beautiful son.”There’s one little word in there that belies everything she stated prior, ‘but’. BUT negates anything she may have said that sounded remotely forgiving.If I were Levi, I’d make certain to have a food-taster handy if he finds himself a guest, rather than a host, on Thanksgiving. Oh wait, he has two. Bristol and the baby.

  • outragex

    As followers of the “On Faith” blog, perhaps we need to offer a quick prayer for a healthy family for all the Todds and Palins. Then we need to quit gossiping, obsessing over their family drama, and paying attention to it. Use our time instead to call or text a member of our family, maybe even a mother in law. There but for the grace of God go any of our families.

  • minco_007

    Why is it that women get a pass on this? Aren’t they supposed to be more mature then guy’s? Was this an immaculate conception or was Bristol a willing participant. Did Sarah Palin discuss birth control with her? Have you ever seen a more unhappier young man than Levi on the campaign trail? This whole thing smells! Bristol, the apple doesn’t roll far from the tree Palin is not what she pretends to be. Neither is her Mother.

  • robfield

    If they actually do marry (which I doubt) I give it 6 months max.

  • legendarypunk

    1 – I thought Palin wanted to keep her family and childrens’ lives out of the media spotlight.2 – Why is WaPo reporting on this?

  • DavidTR

    Every time I start having pleasant thoughts about the future of humanity, someone like NEED2KNOW1 comes along. The one nice thing I have to say is thank god we live in a country where that kind of speech is not punishable by death. On the other hand, death would be a fairly reasonable punishment for something as blatantly, unnecessarily, and outrageously offensive as that.

  • lats

    If the editors were so kind as to delete whatever offensive comment was left by need2know1, would you please also be so kind as to delete all the comments referencing the original offense? That should lighten up the reading here significantly!

  • nadinem

    …I’m guessin’ she’s pregnant again….