Mama June: What were you thinking?



Mama June. Mama June. Mama June.

How could you?

Welcome back Mark McDaniel, the convicted sex abuser who abused your own daughter?

No man is worth the value of a daughter well-loved.

Has all this fame and fleeting fortune (Just ask Kate) muddled your brain?

Your daughter says you didn’t believe her when she told you.

Like so many women, you chose to believe a lie and the liar who told it.

Are you really so desperate for love that you are willing to put all your children in harm’s way?

So willing for the pretend of romance that you have sacrificed your primary source of income, a reality TV show that depicts the worse kind of reality – a mother who cares less for her children then the men who abuse them.

The ironic thing is that this may very well be the first time in the history of reality TV that the drama is for real.

Time and time and time again across this nation women just like you, Mama June, put their children in harm’s way, shacking up with abusers. Inviting known sexual predators into their homes and exposing their children to further abuse, sometimes, oh, so many times, participants in that abuse themselves, trading the sexual favors of their young daughters and young sons for drugs, for food, for the comfort of a warm body in the bed next to them, for the false reassurance that somebody loves them.


Mama June is one of the stars of the hit reality TV show "Here Comes Honey Book Boo." The show was cancelled this week due to reports that Mama June had rekindled a relationship with a convicted sex offender.

Mama June is one of the stars of the hit reality TV show “Here Comes Honey Book Boo.” The show was cancelled this week due to reports that Mama June had rekindled a relationship with a convicted sex offender.

You know what the public says about women like you, Mama June? Women who put their children at risk? They say you are dumb. Stupid women. I hear it all the time. I may have even said it a time or two.

But here’s the thing, Mama June, I know you aren’t dumb.

Only selfish.

Your entertainment at the cost of your children’s exploitation. An exploitation that will consume their lives from the time of the abuse forward.

I have girlfriends, whom I love, who had mothers like you. They have grown up to be bright and beautiful women. But broken, too. Broken because they know they will never be able to enjoy the love of a mother the way God intended. Their mothers betrayed them in the most heinous of ways.

Some women don’t need Halloween to roll around to be reminded of how truly terrifying life can be. They lived it everyday of their childhood.

Do you know, Mama June, that a child has to tell an adult three times that they are being abused before any adult will even listen to what they are saying? Do you understand how much courage it takes for a child to speak out against their abuser?

Karly Sheehan knew her abuser by name. She could say his name clearly. Yet, even when asked, she would not speak his name. Not even after he ripped out nearly every hair on her head. Especially not then. He told her he would kill her and he did. Yet when the EMTs arrived at his house that afternoon with a child dead on the floor, what did he worry about? The marijuana in the closet. He was more concerned that the police would find a marijuana grow in the closet than he was that they would find a battered three-year-old on the floor, dead.

That’s how little value abusers place upon children.

Your response to all of this has been to deny it.

Mothers who make their children barter always deny doing so.

You insist that this is a “private family matter” and that you are handling it all “behind closed doors.”

That’s exactly what abusers hope victims will do, will say.

Keep it quiet. Don’t tell anyone. That’s the mantra of a man or a woman who abuses a child.

You want to know who is not surprised by your actions, Mama June?

The people who work child advocacy centers, who work as CASA volunteers, the doctors who assess these children, the coroners who do the autopsies on the 1,600 plus children killed every year by abusers on US soil, the social service agent who has 40 plus kids on their caseload – all of whom have been abused, the teachers who plead with the Department of Human Services to please intervene and remove that child from the home where they are being abused, the police officers who come out to the house to arrest the person who abused the child.

They are never, ever surprised.

They are used to mothers like you lying to protect the liar who abused your child.


Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Karly Sheehan: The true crime story behind Karly’s Law.



Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.



about 8 years ago

Dr. Mary Pipher's book, The Shelter of Each Other--Rebuilding Our Families, offers some critique of the culture in which parents are raising children these days. That is, those who actually want to raise them. The commentary from one of Pipher's sources observes that we have created a new class of individuals today, people who are neither adults nor children. They are biologically capable of reproduction, and they do so. But acting as moral and responsible adults seems not to have accompanied the chronology of years. Celebrity seems to abet that process markedly. The less attention we pay to celebrity of all kinds and the more attention we pay to our neighbors, the better off we will be. In our neighborhoods is the only place where we can really make a difference--and precisely where we should.


Karen Spears Zacharias

about 8 years ago

There is a good sermon embedded in those remarks, Roger. About the need to pay attention to the reality of each other. Keep it local takes on a whole new meaning when applied not to shopping but to ministry. This will be the first time in a long time that I won't be attending the Veteran's Day activities at The Wall. It's odd how unfamiliar I am with what Veteran's Day looks like within my own community.



about 8 years ago

Not in DC??? Me neither. Meanwhile, it can be good for us to contemplate the loss of life from another flag's vantage point. Here's Bruce Cockburn's voice as it accompanies the photos of the body of a young Scot being brought home to Glasgow. Look online and you can find another video of still photos featuring the Canadian singer's voice, words and music in honor of Canadian soldiers who have paid the highest price. In either case, the losses might be national, but the pain is always local. And the healing, too. Cockburn's song is one of the best laments I've heard in my lifetime.


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