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They Are Coming for Your Birth Control: Condoms are “Murder” and Contraception is “Rape” November 19, 2012

Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Women.
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Photo: 100 Red Flags.

by Robin Marty, Senior Political Reporter, RH Reality Check

November 16, 2012 – 10:00am (Print)

Note: Think that anti-choice politicians and activists aren’t trying to outlaw contraception?  Think again.  Follow along in an ongoing series that proves beyond a doubt that they really are coming for your birth control.

How do you make an extreme anti-choice advocate angry? Suggest that not being forced to have one child after another after another after another might be a positive goal toward which to work.

Human Life International is aghast at the idea that global groups might think it would be beneficial to both women and their families that they have some control over when they get pregnant, spacing children far enough apart to be able to recover physically between births and actually care for the children that they give birth to. In fact, the idea is so upsetting, they are up at arms with the assumption that their tax dollars might somehow go to fund this — despite the fact that it would save money in additional medical costs.

Via LifesiteNews:

Declaring birth control a right means “everyone else must pay for…the new right” Clowes told LifeSiteNews, “even if those forced to pay for it may object to it on moral grounds. This violates the more basic human right of freedom of conscience, which has for some time now been dispensed with by UN ‘human rights’ champions.”

The UNFPA estimates “222 million women have an unmet need for contraception” and that providing this “need” will cost $4.1 billion.

Providing such funds, the report states, “would save approximately $5.7 billion in maternal and newborn health services” – an argument similar to that made by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the United States.

The article claims that IUDs and hormonal contraception both work to keep fertilized eggs from implanting, causing “abortions.” But even more interesting is the comments, where even barrier methods of contraception is considered “murder” of children. As one commenter stated, condom use is “murder in potential as much as a conceiveved [sic] fetus is human life in potential.”

The answer to avoiding all murder is still the same: sex only in marriage, and while using natural family planning. Anything else is “rape.”

Yes, you heard me, they are redefining rape again.

For those having sexual relations within natural marriage and want to regulate births, there is natural family planning. Those having sex outside of marriage, be prepared for an unfulfilled life where sexual intimacy is surrounded by unnatural, unreliable, and deadly methods of birth control and is typically an expression of consensual, mutual objectification- which, for all intents and purposes is a form of rape.

The only thing seem to enjoy more than defining rape? Apparently, coming up with new reasons to come for your birth control, of course.

Follow Robin Marty on Twitter, @robinmarty

Benedict XVI on Aids and Condoms April 6, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Religion.
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Joseph S. O’Leary

http://josephsoleary.typepad.com, March 29, 2009

UPDATE: My thoughts are in The Irish Times April 1: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2009/0401/1224243794437.html

Hans Kung has spoken out strongly, claiming the John Paul II and Benedict XVI will be remembered as among the chief culprits for the spread of Aids: http://dieunousaimechretiensetgay.blogspirit.com/archive/2009/04/02/derives-et-esperance.html

(This article also notes how the Vatican is now packing the ranks of the hierarchy worldwide with extreme reactionaries. If there is to be a reform of the Church, it is more and more clear that an overturning of many of these appointments will be necessary. Perhaps concerned Catholics should start to draw up proscription lists of obstructionist Cardinals and Bishops — Caffarra, Bagnasco, Ruini, Castrillon Hoyos, Medina Estevez, Cañizares, Cardoso Sobrinho, Rouco Varela, Ranjith, Burke, Martino, DiNardo, Pell, Pujats, Grocholewski, Meisner, Haas, Okogie, … the list would be very long. The laity and clergy, who have been increasingly shut out of appointment processes, should be allowed to reclaim their voice by having a say in which hierarchs have to go. There are many calls for the resignation of Benedict XVI: http://www.golias-editions.fr/spip.php?article2749. He is apparently unpopular even with those who elected him, if this report has any credibility: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2009/04/01/cardinals_and_bishops_have_run_away_from_the_pope_like_the_apostles_in_gethsemane_says_leading_catholic_magazine.)

A scapegoat must be found for recent Vatican debacles, and the lot has fallen on Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, the rather sympathetic press officer of the Pope. Prediction: His replacement will do a worse job of cushioning the Church against papal gaffes. For these gaffes are not gaffes at all; they represent the settled views and method of communication of Joseph Ratzinger for the last four decades. This will not change

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/popes-press-spokesman-to-resign.html 

http://www.kreuz.net/article.8913.html

***

The ‘broken kettle’ argument is frequently referred to by psychoanalysts, and it goes something like this:

‘The kettle I lent you was broken when you gave it back.’ ‘No, it was in perfect condition when I returned it; you never lent me a kettle anyway; and it was already broken when you lent it to me.’

Reading Catholic defenses of the Vatican stance on condoms, I discern the same revealing paralogism:

‘Your teaching is causing mass deaths in Africa.’ ‘No, our teaching is the only teaching that is effective against Aids; even if condoms are more effective, they cannot be tolerated in any case because we see them as intrinsically evil; no one is dying because of our teaching, because it has no influence.’

One thing is clear, in any case. The famous words intrinsice inhonestum of Paul VI in Humanae Vitae are being applied with a vengeance to the use of condoms, even to the point of a quasi-Manichean view of these friendly implements as being the very embodiment of Evil.

The Vatican considers condoms to be so evil that they cannot be used even to save the millions of lives threatened by Aids. Moreover, the Vatican also claims that condoms are not effective against Aids but actually worsen the problem.

http://tv.repubblica.it/mondo/aids-preservativi-non-servono/30667?video

http://jp.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=100582

http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_df88ai.htm

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_20031201_family-values-safe-sex-trujillo_en.html

http://www.wf-f.org/Lopez-Trujillooncondoms.html

http://www.zenit.org/article-8666?l=english

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=6641

http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/topics/hivaids/bishopsopposecondoms.asp

There are, however, sane bishops who support the use of condoms:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/georgetown/2009/03/pope_condoms_and_aids.html

http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/topics/hivaids/bishopssupportcondoms.asp

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/2008/04/10/why-the-pope-is-wrong-about-condoms.html

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/bishop-says-condoms-sometimes-needed.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29404-2005Jan22.html

http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2009/03/this-is-not-bishop-who-says-condoms-are.html

http://thewildreed.blogspot.com/2009/03/in-this-example-of-dissent-i-find-hope.html

http://www.golias-editions.fr/spip.php?article2734

Deeply impressive is the humane and dialogal approach of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?l=JP&hl=ja&v=lkIoGAKf0cg&eurl=http://fathertlistenstotheworld.blogspot.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMKHUSyyf94

Defenders of the intransigent Vatican stand cite the Philippines as a country where abstinence has worked in curbing Aids. But this Filipino voice suggests that this may be an ideological idealization:

http://filipinovoices.com/benedict-condemns-millions-to-die-of-hivaids

A petition may be sent to the Vatican: http://www.avaaz.org/en/pope_benedict_petition/98.php?cl_taf_sign=7141c1859f7afd4ccda82fa4a08f01be

Here are some other protests:

1. Popular:

http://www.derwesten.de/nachrichten/nachrichten/2009/3/18/news-114744837/detail.html

http://namitembo.blogspot.com/2009/03/popes-willful-cultural-deafness.html

http://links.org.au/node/521

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/protests-in-paris-over-popes-condom.html

http://www.france24.com/en/20090322-youths-clash-notre-dame-condom-protest-pope-benedict-paris-protest

http://benoit-catho-homo.skynetblogs.be/post/6827485/ca-devait-arriver

http://jp.truveo.com/Pope%E2%80%99s-condom-stand-challenged/id/3481014947

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/vatican-to-receive-condoms-by-post.html

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,615820,00.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5976192.ece

http://www.repubblica.it/2009/03/sezioni/esteri/benedetto-xvi-32/mappe-25mar/mappe-25mar.html

http://www.dignityusa.org/press/gay-catholic-groups-condemn-pope%E2%80%99s-statements-africa-condom-use

2. From Governments and Politicians:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/5015580/Vatican-in-new-row-over-attempts-to-alter-Pope-Benedict-XVIs-Aids-comments.html

http://www.la-croix.com/afp.static/pages/090326192208.y4trhl15.htm

http://www.la-croix.com/afp.static/pages/090329125553.b0srx1ye.htm

http://www.repubblica.it/2009/03/sezioni/esteri/benedetto-xvi-32/scontro-belgio/scontro-belgio.html

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/04/belgium-to-lodge-condom-complaint.html

http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2009/03/18/pour-alain-juppe-le-pape-vit-dans-une-situation-d-autisme-total_1169447_3212.html

http://www.afriquemagazine.com/article/article.asp?id_article=1168340203125

http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cmsSezioni/esteri/200903articoli/42029girata.asp

3. From Health Agencies:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2009/03/the_pope_and_condoms_1.html (an important critique of the much touted remarks of Edward C. Green — hat tip to Michael Bayly. I note that Green actually supports the distribution of condoms, though finding it unsuccessful in Africa because of specific, contingent features of African sexual culture. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html; also: http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=2989.)

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/world-health-assembly-pope-benedict.html

http://data.unaids.org/pub/BaseDocument/2009/20090318_position_paper_condoms_en.pdf

http://www.thebody.com/content/art51035.html

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,613871,00.html

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=19561

http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUKLR110752._CH_.2420

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/cameroon/5007124/Anger-as-Pope-Benedict-XVI-says-condoms-make-Aids-worse.html

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Pope39s-criticism-of-condoms-has.5097019.jp

http://www.golias-editions.fr/spip.php?article2739

http://www.derwesten.de/nachrichten/waz/2009/3/18/news-114788913/detail.html

4. From US Bloggers:

http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/03/follow-up-benedict-on-condoms-dreher-on.html

http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/03/shakin-rattlin-rollin-american-catholic.html

http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/03/condoms-cause-aids-cruel-twisted-logic.html

http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/03/benedict-bush-and-condoms-in-africa.html

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_03/017328.php

http://judiphilly.blogspot.com/2009/03/cartoon-of-day_19.html

http://thewildreed.blogspot.com/2009/03/popes-message-of-ignorance-in-africa.html

http://thewildreed.blogspot.com/2009/03/pope-accused-of-distorting-scientific.html

http://creativeadvance.blogspot.com/2009/03/popes-condom-quandary-facebook-groups.html

http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-culture-of-life-is-really-culture.html

http://rogerhollander.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/condom-papa-the-pope-blinded-by-the-fantasy-of-abstinence/

http://ftmackinc.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/20/2572762-the-pope-aids-the-common-american-religious-charlatan

http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=2975

http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=2928

http://blogs.nyu.edu/fas/dri/aidwatch/2009/03/whose_worse_the_pope_or_the_co.html

5. From Europe:

http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com/2009/03/vatican-is-not-pro-life.

http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Is-Pope39s-stance-on-condoms.5092167.jp

http://freeinternetpress.com/story.php?sid=20724

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/bishop-claims-aids-virus-can-penetrate.html

http://www.golias-editions.fr/spip.php?article2740

http://dieunousaimechretiensetgay.blogspirit.com/archive/2009/03/30/offensive-contre-le-preservatif.html

http://dieunousaimechretiensetgay.blogspirit.com/archive/2009/03/26/rejet-du-realisme.html

http://dieunousaimechretiensetgay.blogspirit.com/archive/2009/03/24/agression-fasciste.html

http://dieunousaimechretiensetgay.blogspirit.com/archive/2009/03/21/eglise-africaine-criminelle.html

http://benoit-catho-homo.skynetblogs.be/post/6819176/agir-de-facon-responsable

http://donfrancobarbero.blogspot.com/2009/03/caro-papa.html

http://donfrancobarbero.blogspot.com/2009/03/caro-cardinal-bagnasco.html

http://www.notiziegay.com/?p=26235

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/437/462057/text/

A number of Catholic defenders of the Pope cite Uganda as an example of a successful condom-free policy: http://anneminard.com/2009/03/18/day-54-pope-benedict-xvi-condoms-and-aids/

http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/archives/2009/03/pope-still-cath.php

However, this cannot be right, since the famous ABC policy means “Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms.” See: http://www.thebody.com/content/art9249.html

Other defenders (or enablers):

http://www.journalducameroun.com/article.php?aid=1008

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTNlNDc1MmMwNDM0OTEzMjQ4NDc0ZGUyOWYxNmEzN2E=

http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/benedict-cameroon-tale-two-trips

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/04/african-cardinal-says-popes-remarks.html

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/04/french-bishops-rally-to-popes-defence.html

http://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20090325_1.htm

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/rc20090329a2.html

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0325/1224243368629.html

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2009/0326/1224243450529.html

http://www.zenit.org/article-25430?l=english

http://www.zenit.org/article-25511?l=english

http://www.zenit.org/article-25485?l=english

http://www.zenit.org/article-25491?l=english

http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2009/03/is-the-pope-more-than-just-another-pretty-smart-theologian.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/william_rees_mogg/article5955647.ece

http://www.spectator.co.uk/faithbased/3466376/questioning-the-will-of-god.thtml

http://www.catholicpillowfight.com/blog759.html

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/george_pitcher/blog/2009/03/18/why_the_pope_is_right_about_condoms

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2009/03/18/the_pope_condoms_and_the_aids_mafia

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_thompson/blog/2009/03/20/the_popes_worst_enemies_are_catholics

http://www.repubblica.it/2009/03/sezioni/esteri/benedetto-xvi-32/risposta-avvenire/risposta-avvenire.html

http://hancaquam.blogspot.com/2009/03/stats-never-lie-media-usually-do.html

http://hancaquam.blogspot.com/2009/03/more-condom-lies.html

http://hancaquam.blogspot.com/2009/03/many-questions.html

http://www.repubblica.it/2009/03/sezioni/esteri/benedetto-xvi-32/risposta/risposta.html

http://lesalonbeige.blogs.com/my_weblog/2009/03/mgr-fort-soutient-benoit-xvi.html

http://www.golias-editions.fr/spip.php?article2738

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1337637?eng=y

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1337717?eng=y

http://e-deo.info/archives/7134

http://e-deo.info/archives/7197

http://e-deo.info/archives/7155

http://e-deo.info/archives/7144

http://e-deo.info/archives/7382

http://e-deo.info/archives/7489

http://e-deo.info/archives/7459

http://e-deo.info/archives/7445

http://eucharistiemisericor.free.fr/index.php?page=1903091_phrase

http://luigicrespi.clandestinoweb.com/2009/03/ratzingher-non-mi-piace-ma-sullafrica-ha-ragione/

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2009/03/popes-message-is-not-problem.html

http://politischunpolitisches.blogspot.com/2009/03/der-gummi-papst.html

http://debatte.welt.de/kommentare/118555/das+lachen+des+papstes

http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=1237227649921

http://www.benoitjaiconfianceentoi.org/Benoit-XVI-et-le-Sida-petit.html

http://www.imgpress.it/notizia.asp?idnotizia=41146&idsezione=4 From this piece one learns that writers in Avvenire, a review associated with the Italian bishops, sees the attacks on the Pope as due to a massive concerted plan in which “the little hand of international Freemasonry” is to be found. And this plot is directed not against the Pope’s views on condoms but against the teaching on social justice that he proclaimed in Africa. This comes from Massimo Introvigne, a controversial student of cults, who claims that modern scriptural exegesis is the work of Satan. So much wackiness among the Pope’s defenders..

http://paparatzinger2-blograffaella.blogspot.com/2009/03/e-tempo-che-la-santa-sede-richiami-il.html

http://www.kreuz.net/article.8919.html

http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2009/04/the-arrogant-gene-the-autobiography-of-richard-dawkins.html

The Pope on AIDS March 27, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Religion.
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 David Dismore, longstanding Los Angeles community activist, essayist, feminist and more.

Private e-mail, March 25, 2009

(Roger’s note: Although I disagree with the final sentence, to wit, that we now have a progressive president, I post this because it is a well-written and erudite condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchy with respect to it positon on AIDS and sexuality)
     I suppose you heard the Pope’s totally
outrageous remarks about AIDS a few days
ago. Even for him – and the bar is set pretty
high here – this was unusually bizarre, and
to discourage condom use while visiting a
continent that’s the epicenter of the epi-
demic was incredibly insensitive as well.

     Pretending abstinence until marriage (age
25 for men, 23 for women) is the solution to
AIDS is like declaring that winning the lottery
is the solution to poverty. (Works great for
some, but hardly a realistic plan for elimi-
nating the problem overall.)

     Condoms, like seat belts, are no absolute
guarantee of safety, but they do reduce risk,
save lives, and ought to be used (though
rarely, if ever, will both be needed at the
same time …)

     Of course, can you really expect gems of
wisdom on sexuality from the C.E.O. of an
organization which arbitrarily bars the female
half of humanity from any and all positions of
authority? Or is composed of men who have
either (a) “successfully” fought and repressed
every normal sexual urge their entire lives, and
have never experienced so much as a moment
of erotic pleasure, real or imaginary, or (b)
associate only shame, guilt and failure with
whatever sexual experiences they have had,
no matter how natural and acceptable they
might be to most people, or (c) are sociopaths
who have never felt so much as a twinge of
remorse over using the power and prestige
of their collar to exploit the weakest, youngest
and most devout members of their flock, safe
in the knowledge that even if they’re exposed,
their bosses will do nothing more than give
them a stern lecture and a plane ticket to a
new location stocked with fresh prey, while
unleashing the toughest lawyers money can
buy on anyone who has the courage to
speak out about their victimization and
ask for some compensation to treat a
lifetime of trauma.

     Hearing the Vatican give advice on sex
is like a peek into that fabled asylum run by
the inmates, or listening to a lecture on effi-
ciency from the Board of A.I.G. Fortunately,
U.S. members of his church stopped listen-
ing to the hired help’s ravings on sex years
ago, and hopefully the rest of the world will
follow suit and minimize the damage still
being done. But, the fact that his remarks
are being met with either amusement or
outrage at a time when more and more
Americans are identifying themselves as
affiliated with no organized religion is an
excellent sign for the future, and those
two facts pleasantly combined to make
my Equinox celebration happier than usual
this year !

     Keep up the great e-mails – even with a
Progressive Administration in the White
House, there’s still plenty of work to do !

Condom Papa: The Pope Blinded By The Fantasy of Abstinence March 18, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Religion.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

condom-papa-20090318-97

by Daniel Vojir   www.opednews.com, March 18, 2009

Late again. The Vatican always comments on things so late in the game that you wonder why it bothers at all. Any important statement by the Vatican on AIDS should have been made in 1982 or at the latest in 1984. Then again, what can you expect from a spiritual guide that apologizes to Galilleo for putting him under house arrest (because of his solar-centric theory) 400 years after the fact? The Vatican also dragged its heals during the Holocaust at the cost of a great many lives. When John XXIII, Paul VI and John-Paul I uttered words about change, all the prelates recoiled in horror! (Note: the death of John-Paul is still questioned to this day). Now it comments on something killing people by the millions trying to prove prevention techniques are not effective:
By The Associated Press
03.17.2009 12:33pm EDT

Pope Benedict XVI said Tuesday that the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Benedict has never before spoken explicitly on condom use although he has stressed that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease. “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,”- the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”-

Some priests and nuns working with victims of the AIDS pandemic ravaging Africa question the church’s opposition to condoms.

The pope also said that he intends to make an appeal for “international solidarity”- for Africa in the face of the global economic downturn.

Since Africa has lately become what the Americas were back in the 16th century, the Church espouses abstinence and “legitimacy” (Roman Catholic marriage) to burgeoning countries with big, healthy, Catholic convert populations. Might it be that Benedict wants to get a sizable share of the continent before Rick Warren goes for the gold (South Africa)? Maybe. So what if people die because their country’s prevention programs were not good. The moral righteousness of the Roman Catholic Church must be maintained. It’s picking itself up from child abuse scandals, dusting itself off, and standing proudly erect for morality. A rather warped morality, but a morality nonetheless.


This morality comes from an arch-conservative mind that started out in life as a Hitler Youth and wound up (before the papacy) becoming the prefect of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition (wikipedia) Isn’t it ironic that a German Hitler Youth should become head of the Inquisition?

What theologian and scholar Hans Kung wrote about the papacy of John-Paul II would be doubly applicable to the current one:

A mediocre, rigid, and more conservative episcopate will be the lasting legacy of this papacy.

He could also have said avaricious, hidebound, narrow minded and fascist. Perhaps Kung’s most famous quote applies to Benedict as well:

“There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions.”

I seriously doubt that Benedict will initiate any serious dialogue with anyone who goes up against his stance on condoms and abstinence.  

Just a thought.

 

 

http://thedevilanddanvojir.blogspot.com

Dan Vojir is a San Francisco writer and raconteur. His latest attempt is “Sacred Cows Make the Best Hamburger – How to becaome a lion and devour the Christian Right.”

Texas: The state of sex (mis)education February 27, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Education.
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I wish this were a bad joke — the unfair caricature of Texas that you might see on a Prius’ bumper sticker — but it isn’t: a whopping 94 percent of school districts in the lone star state teach only abstinence, according to a new report. Worse yet, the review by two professors at Texas State University found that “sexuality education materials” used in the state “regularly contain factual errors and perpetuate lies and distortions about condoms and STDs.” They also found that classes promoted gender stereotypes, sexual orientation biases, shame and fear. Oh, what fun!

Disturbing as they may be, those top-line summaries of the findings are nothing compared to excerpts included in the report (PDF) from actual teaching materials. Suicide is a favorite scare-tactic: One program predicts non-virginal students’ miserable future, “You know people talk about you behind your back because you’ve had sex with so many people … Finally you get sick of it all and attempt suicide.” There are fun skits about suicide, too. In one, titled “Jumping Off the Bridge,” the moral of the story is put like so: “Giving a condom to a teen is just like saying, ‘Well if you insist on killing yourself by jumping off the bridge, at least wear these elbow pads — they may protect you some?'” (Got it: Handing out condoms = assisted suicide.)

Pre-marital sex presents a triple-threat, though: If you don’t kill yourself, you’ll probably die anyway — and if you don’t die, you’ll probably kill your sex partner. In response to a question about having pre-marital sex, an abstinence-only education video warns: “Well, I guess you’ll have to be prepared to die. And you’ll probably take with you your spouse and one or more of your children.” (Noted: Pre-marital sex = murder-suicide.) Boys are warned that they might kill their girlfriend by having sex: If you give her HPV, she’ll “probably end up with a radical hysterectomy, cervical cancer, and possibly death.” (So, you know, sure, go ahead and have sex, you murderer.) A curriculum for wee little sixth-graders exclaims: “WARNING! Going on this ride could change your life forever, result in poverty, heartache, disease, and even DEATH.” Another cautions in all-caps: “FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO ENGAGE IN SEX NOW IS LIKE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH ALL BUT ONE CHAMBER FULL!”

Suicide, death, murder? These programs gotta be pretty good at scaring teens out of having sex, right? Mmm, not exactly. Texan teens “rate well above national averages on virtually every published statistic involving sexual risk-taking behaviors,” according to the report, and the state has the third-highest teen birthrate in the country.

Virginity pledges don’t mean much, study says December 31, 2008

Posted by rogerhollander in Health, Women.
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(Roger’s note: I am reminded of the quote of former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders which goes something like this: “the most unreliable condom is stronger than the vow of abstinence.”  Those moralistic religious idiots who advocate the criminalization of abortion and these ridiculous “virginity pledges” are, in effect, criminally responsible for the damage that is created by such lunacy.  Prior to Roe v. Wade millons of young women suffered and died from infections resulting from back street abortions.  According to the study cited below, young men and women who take the virginity pledge are less likely to protect themselves when they are having sex because they have been prejudiced against the effectiveness of condoms, and therefore suffer from higher rates of STDs and unwanted pregnancies.  Add these numbers to the millions of casualties that have resulted from the coming to power in the US of the un-Christian Christian evangelical right.)

Theresa Tamkins, www.cnnhealth.com, December 30, 2008  

As many as one in eight teens in the United States may take a virginity pledge at some point, vowing to wait until they’re married before having sex. But do such pledges work? Are pledge takers more likely than other teens to delay sexual activity?

A new study looked at the sexual behavior of hundreds of young people, some of whom took virginity pledges.

A new study looked at the sexual behavior of hundreds of young people, some of whom took virginity pledges.

A new study suggests that the answer is no. While teens who take virginity pledges do delay sexual activity until an average age of 21 (compared to about age 17 for the average American teen), the reason for the delay is more likely due to pledge takers’ religious background and conservative views — not the pledge itself.

According to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, pledge takers are as likely to have sex before marriage as other teens who are also religious, but don’t take the pledge. However, pledge takers are less likely than other religious or conservative teens to use condoms or birth control when they do start having sex.

In the new study, Janet Rosenbaum, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, analyzed the large chunk of data used in all the studies that have looked at virginity pledges: the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In this survey, middle and high school students were asked about their sexual behaviors and opinions starting in 1995-96.

In the analysis, Rosenbaum compared 289 young adults who took virginity pledges in their teens with 645 young people who did not take such a pledge. The researcher was careful to only compare teens who had similar views on religion, birth control and sex in general, regardless of whether or not they took a pledge. Health.com: What should I do if the condom breaks?

Five years after the initial survey the study subjects were aged 20 to 23. Eighty-two percent of pledge takers denied (or forgot) they had ever taken such a vow. Overall pledge takers were no different from non-pledge takers in terms of their premarital sex, anal and oral sexual practices, and their probability of having a sexually transmitted disease.

Both groups lost their virginity at an average age of 21, had about three lifetime partners, and had similar rates of STDs. “And the majority were having premarital sex, over 50 percent,” says Rosenbaum. Overall, roughly 75 percent of pledgers and non-pledgers were sexually active, and about one in five was married. Health.com: Who’s most at risk for STDs?

Unmarried pledgers, however, were less likely than non-pledgers to use birth control (64 percent of pledge takers and 70 percent of non-pledge takers said they used it most of the time) or condoms (42 percent of pledge takers and 54 percent of non-pledge takers said they used them most of the time).

“There’s been some speculation about whether teenagers were substituting oral or anal sex for vaginal sex and I found that wasn’t so,” says Rosenbaum. “But I did uphold a previous finding that they are less likely to use birth control and drastically less likely in fact to use condoms — it’s a ten percentage point difference.”

Rosenbaum is concerned that abstinence-only sex education programs that promote virginity pledges may also promote a negative view of condoms and birth control. The result may be teens and young adults who are less likely than their peers to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. Health.com: Sex and teens: Test your knowledge

Federal funds for abstinence only education programs have increased from $73 million in 2001 to $204 million in 2008. About 25 states apply for such funds each year to educate teens, says Rosenbaum. Sometimes programs are measured by how many teens take virginity pledges, not whether the teens stick to them, avoid sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancies, says Rosenbaum.

“Studies find that kids in abstinence-only programs have negative, biased views about whether condoms work,” she says. Since such programs promote abstinence only they tend to give only the disadvantages of birth control, she says. Teens learn condoms don’t protect you completely from human papillomavirus (HPV) and herpes, which is true, but they may not realize that they protect against all the “fluid-based STDs,” she says. “People end up thinking you may as well not bother using birth control or condoms.”

Virginity pledges, along with a six-hour curriculum, were first introduced in 1993 by an evangelical Christian group, and a 1995 survey suggested that 13 percent of teens had taken such a pledge (current survey data are lacking, says Rosenbaum.)

“Virginity pledgers are very different than most U.S. teens — they are obviously more conservative, they have more negative views about sexuality and birth control and so, even if they didn’t take a pledge, these would be teenagers who would be very likely to abstain anyhow,” says Rosenbaum. About 40 percent of the study subjects were born-again Christians, she notes.

The new study does not suggest that virginity pledges are harmful, says Andrew Goldstein, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, because they were not associated with an increase in STDs or unplanned pregnancies. However, they do seem to be “useless,” says Goldstein, who was not involved in the study.

Promoting the pledges gives a “false sense of security and energy could be better spent in education,” he says. “It is time to stop spending money on these useless programs and funnel it into safer-sex counseling.” Health.com: Six things your teen needs to know about sex

When it comes to advice for the parents of teens, Rosenbaum notes that just about every organization, from Focus on the Family to Planned Parenthood, offers a similar message.

“Parents should talk to their kids about their sex. It should not be single conversation, it should be a continued conversation at the moments that are teachable moments,” she says. “Parents tend to hope that schools will take care of it — they can’t, obviously.”

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