Texas Christians Emerge, Dazed and Blinking, From The Dark Ages!by jason on Sep. 19, 2011, under Abortion, Arizona Families, AZ Politics, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Education, Fundamentalism, God & Bible, Government, Sanity, Science
Texas and Arizona have a lot in common. Both states feature hot summers and legislatures dominated by Christians who work tirelessy in pursuit of bringing the ”Good ‘Ol Days” back to their state. And by “Good ‘Ol Days,” I think they have something along the lines of the Christian dominated 1300′s Europe mixed in with a generous helping of national fascism from 1930′s Germany in mind.
However, these legislatures have a problem. Something keeps intruding upon their dream of dictating a state-wide utopia (“God’s Kingdom”). Satan’s minions – A.K.A. teenagers - are (gasp!) interested in having sex. This shocking behavior is increasing, despite the best efforts of God-fearing Texans and Arizonans to ensure that the only message kids ever hear about sex could be a line from the South Park TV show’s school counselor: ”Sex is bad, mmm-kay?”
That such a message is utterly ineffective should surprise no one who is not so completely brain-addled as to have forgotten their own teenage years. The states with the most Christian influence in their legislatures pressure their government school districts to implement abstinence-only education. That those states then end up with the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation should also surprise no one.
Apparently a tiny sliver of enlightenment has finally managed to enter Texas, and some government school boards there are trying out something called ”Abstinence Plus” education. According to the Texas Tribune, this means covering contraception “along with abstinence education.”
I find it hard to muster more than half-hearted enthusiasm for anything that goes on in the government schools. And to me, this ”Abstinence Plus” program sounds a lot like telling the kids ”Sex is bad, mmm-kay…but just in case, here’s a condom.” Yet when I compare that to the relentless abstinence only push coming from the Christians in Arizona, Texas almost starts to sound like a progressive state.
I am the parent of one teenager and another child rapidly approaching the teens. My wife and I homeschool them, and so we happily avoid all of the government school nonsense in this state. But it also means that we have the responsibility of fully explaining this topic to our children. Of course it’s an uncomfortable conversation – for both parents and teens. We’ve done our best to tell them everything they want to know about it, and then everything else we think they ought to know about it. We help them get information about it from other sources when they want. Our philosophy is that more information is better than less, and we don’t claim to have all the answers.
Unfortunately, most kids aren’t homeschooled. So the least that our government schools could do is convey the basic biological facts, the risks and the means to mitigate them, and the relevant social considerations in a way that supports teens in making the best decision possible. Unfortunately, we have government officials who don’t want kids to know that kind of information, and do everything in their power to see that they don’t. Imagine! Working to make sure that kids in school don’t learn about something!
Here’s a message for the “abstinence only” crowd: Better decisions are made based on having more information and knowledge; never by having less. Your approach, to teach as little as possible from only one perspective, results in teens making worse decisions than they would be able to make if they had more and better information. The teen pregnancy rates are just more evidence that control through deliberate ignorance and brainwashing is a bankrupt, dark ages philosophy.
Kids will learn what they want to learn. Teens generally want to learn about sex. Parents and schools should get over their hangups and do their job by teaching the best available knowledge on safe, respectful, and responsible sex.
So what’s it going to be, Arizona? Do we promulgate ignorance, or provide an education to our children?