It's difficult to know where to start. I could cite the statistics that show that these programs don't work, and in fact, teenagers who sign "abstinence" pledges are MORE likely to engage in unprotected, premarital sex than their more well-informed peers. But citing those statistics is like spitting into a hurricane.
What has left me reeling is the following statement made by a state representative from Missouri, who actively compares those who support sex education to terrorists.
State Representative Cynthia Davis of Missouri prefiled two bills for the next session of the Legislature that she said "reflect what people want." One would remove the state's requirement that all forms of contraception and their potential health effects be taught in schools, leaving the focus on abstinence. Another would require publishers that sell biology textbooks to Missouri to include at least one chapter with alternative theories to evolution.
"These are common-sense, grass-roots ideas from the people I represent, and I'd be very surprised if a majority of legislators didn't feel they were the right solutions to these problems," Ms. Davis said.
"It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go," she added. "I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back."
Ms. Davis needs to hear from people across the country, regardless of their position on contraception. Comparing people you disagree with to terrorists is a form of fascism. Yes. The "F" word. My letter to her is below.
Luckily, not everyone in Missouri is ready to get lock-step behind the Davis brigade. Columnist Sylvester Brown, Jr. has a lot to say in response to his fellow misery-loves-company staters. And sometimes, letting people hang themselves with their own words is perfect.
Mohl said Waxman's report doesn't consider the versatility of the nation's "say no" programs.
"There are many kinds of programs. It's not fair to brush us all with the same stroke. There's no single curriculum. Our program is developed locally, and I can assure you, there are no religious overtones."
It's nice to know that Ms. Mohl likes to be stroked. Perhaps if stroking oneself was part of sexuality education, there would be fewer incidents involving farm animals in Missouri.
But, lest we think that fear of sex is a red-state phenomenon, the following story comes to us from Massachusetts. Seems there are pharmacists who object to doing their jobs if it involves dispensing contraception to unmarried women.
Do not crawl back under the covers. Do a search to find out what bills are before your state's legislature. And while you're at it, please drop a note to Ann Coulter's soul sister in Missouri.
My letter to Cynthia Davis:
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 05:59:40 -0800 (PST)
From: "Lorraine Berry"
Subject: Thank you
Dear Ms. Davis,
Thank you for your efforts to eradicate the ability for people who
disagree with one another to have a conversation. You're right: We
should not be talking to those with whom we have differences. It's so
much more effective to label the other side "terrorists." That way,
we've dehumanized them, and, well, you can't talk to animals now, can
Comparing those who advocate for a medically based approach to sexual
education (as opposed to one based on Christian Fundamentalist
morality) to terrorists hijacking a plane was an act of political
cowardice. It is beyond the pale of civil discourse. It is not the
compassion toward one's fellow humans that Christ taught. It is, Ms.
Shame on you.
Hiding in Plain Sight