Reporter Amelia Naismith attempts a play of words in the first paragraph of her article Ready…steady…don’t shoot.
“Every school and organization…needs to abstain from teaching abstinence-only education to youth.” She means that they should stop entirely, but no one who teaches abstinence-only is expecting young people to never have sex. Instead, the article uses the puerile analogy of a gun, but having a gun does not mean I get to shoot whenever I want. All people, married or not should learn the power of abstinence or they will be perpetually frustrated.
If Naismith’s argument is that telling kids, “Just wait until your are married and everything will be OK” is bad advice, I would concur. It is almost as bad as, “Just wear a condom and everything will be OK.” Our culture is drunk from the sexual revolution and the hangover is sexually transmitted disease, abortion, and divorce. It does not take much sleuthing to see a meteoric rise in STDs and divorce after the popularization of the pill in the 1960s.
To assert that abstinence and monogamy are impossible, is to hold the position that we are no more than animals in perpetual heat. That we cannot but act upon our impulses and the best we can do is minimize the damage. But this is this mindset that caused, and is causing, the rapid spread of STDs, abortion and divorce. We must exercise volition, if we truly wish to love and be loved.
I am pained by the example of domestic abuse mentioned in Naismith’s article. It appears that Naismith is implying that if this woman had had sex with her husband before marriage this would have somehow prevented her turmoil. How? This woman was abused for one reason only: her husband chose to abuse to her. Yes, had she known him better this abusive marriage could have been avoided, but his choice to abuse had nothing to do with her choice to abstain before marriage.
Naismith concludes her article by saying, “Abstinence-only programs can be a political agenda, a religious doctrine, a personal choice. But it is not sexual education.” She fails to recognize that her ideology is a political agenda, a doctrine, and a personal choice. But we must ask, are some choices better than others? We are only 50 years from the sexual revolution, but its only fruits are STDs, abortion, and divorce. Maybe the archaic isn’t so archaic after all?
Timothy N. Nelson