Dispatches from the Creation Wars

New Jersey Refuses Sex Ed Money

And good for them. New Jersey has turned down Federal funds for abstinence-only sex ed because of the absurd restrictions that come with it:

The Corzine administration has rejected federal abstinence education money because new rules won’t let teachers discuss contraception and requires them to describe sex outside marriage as potentially mentally and physically damaging.

State health and education officials sent a letter Tuesday to the federal government saying such requirements contradict the state’s sex education and AIDS education programs.

The state had accepted the $800,000 each year since 1997, but said new rules give them little flexibility.

Good for them. Several other states have refused the money as well. Sex education that does not mention contraception is not sex education at all, it’s deliberately withholding information that might save their life.

Comments

  1. #1 Becca Price
    October 29, 2006

    Ed: do you know, is Michigan one of the states that has refused federal sex ed money? because what my kids are learning in their HS Health class is described as “abstenence plus” which the Health teacher described as stressing abstenence but also giving contraception information.

  2. #2 tacitus
    October 29, 2006

    Sex education that does not mention contraception is not sex education at all, it’s deliberately withholding information that might save their life.

    It’s actually worse that just withholding information. At least some of the abstinence programs distort the facts about condoms so much that the kids are led to believe that using condoms doesn’t provide any protection at all.

  3. #3 Skemono
    October 29, 2006

    [N]ew rules … requires [sic] them to describe sex outside marriage as potentially mentally and physically damaging.

    Uh. Really? Anyone know where I could look at these rules?

    And Ms. Price, the states refusing federal money are listed as New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, and Maine.

  4. #4 llewelly
    October 29, 2006

    It’s not ‘sex ed money’. It is called that to manipulate the unwary. It is funding for dangerous fundamentalist christian propaganda. And it will kill people.

  5. #5 merle
    October 29, 2006

    right lewelly abstiance kills. condoms never break after all. and kids can always have abortion pills now that the liberals let them buy them anywhere. make tax payers pay for drugs when they get aids

    its never anyones fault but the conservatives and the godly. kids mess around and get diseases or pregnant and its the fault of the people who told them not to do it

    but i guess now that evoluation is taught as fact and creation is banned kids just think morality is a figment of stupid peoples imagination.

  6. #6 Matthew
    October 29, 2006

    I think you’re battling a straw man there, merle. Lewelly said abstinence-only sex education kills people, not abstinence for crying out loud. And he’s right, of course. Fewer people get diseases when they have proper sex education.

    So the question you should ask yourself is whether stopping diseases and unwanted pregnancies is what you actually want from sex education or if what you want is your sense of morality enforced on others.

  7. #7 argystokes
    October 29, 2006

    Matthew, I think you’ve fallen for a loki troll. Merle’s self description from his blog:

    a true american patriot, because i love america and im a born again christian. only christians are real americans because our founding fathers were all born again christians.

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    October 29, 2006

    I perused his blog too and he has to be a troll. No one could actually be that stupid. Here’s my favorite part:

    i never was in the military but regret that because i think all men should serve their country. i think the draft should come back because to many young men take their freedom from granite.

    Presumably he means “for granted.” No one could be that stupid and still operate a computer. He’s trolling.

  9. #9 tacitus
    October 29, 2006

    merle may be a troll, but there are Christian leaders out there who have gone on record stating that they would prefer their kids be exposed to the full risks of unprotected sex than be taught anything about safe sex.

    It doesn’t matter to them one jot that while studies have shown that abstinence only programs may delay teens from having sex, it’s only by a few months, and when they do have sex, they are less likely to practice safe sex (no surprise there). All they worry about is if you commit a sin, you should be prepared to suffer the consequences.

  10. #10 mark
    October 29, 2006

    Anybody have a link to one of the recent reports that talk about how the participants of abstinence-only programs have higher pregnancy rates than students in full-information programs?

  11. #11 Prup aka Jim Benton
    October 29, 2006

    Merle:
    I am going to assume your comments come from ignorance, but not from stupidity, that you are sincere in your belief in what you say, but not so close-minded as to be unable to look at facts that call your beliefs into question. If this is true, then the following article might prove challenging to your certainties:
    Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies

    A First Look
    http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

    Your argument is that — I hope you will accept this reformulation — the teaching of evolution, by weakening ‘morality’ leads to an increase in teenage pregnancies, STDs, and abortions. This article, by comparing rates between the United States and other ‘advanced Democracies” (i.e., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the major Western European Democracies — for some reason Belgium is left out, but I doubt that is significant) of belief in evolution (and, as well, belief in God, church attendance, frequency of prayer, number of atheists/agnostics etc.) and those areas you specifically mention, teenage pregnancy, STDs and abortions, puts your ideas to the test.

    Sadly, they do not come out very well.

    One fact that I believe would surprise you is that the United States, rather than being a leader in the belief in evolution, is, by far, the country that believes in it the least. The charts are not, sadly, standardized, but, as has been shown by other surveys, less than half of Americans believe in evolution, the chart lists them at 40%. The second lowest charted country is Holland, with Ireland and Spain, as well, just below 60%. Japan, Great Britain, Canada and Germany have rates near 80%.

    Similar rates are shown for “absolutely believe in God” (America near 70%, Ireland and Italy the only other countries above 50%, Norway, England, Germany and Holland below 30% and Japan below 10%) “take the Bible Literally” and “Pray at least several times a week.”

    Given this low belief in evolution, it seems, by your thesis that America shoul have the lowest rates of teenage pregnancies, STDs and abortions. In fact, the United States has the HIGHEST rate of any of the countries listed in all of these categories. For some areas, particularly gonhorrea, the figures are astounding, with the US rate being from 6 to several HUNDRED times higher for teenagers compared to other, more secular, countries. The rates of syphillis are also much higher, with both diseases being almost non-existent in Scandinavia, for example. The rate of teenage abortions is also highest in the world — despite the fact that they are legal in the countries studied, and only New Zealand comes close to the number of teenage pregnancies.

    Now the study is hardly perfect, some countries are not studied in some areas, but in no case can you find the “godly, evolution-denying’ United States having a lower rate than the ‘secular, evolution believing’ countries. (And for most studies, the Scandinavian countries which we tend to think of as extremely sexually active, are on the lowest end of the scale.)

    Sorry, but your thesis just doesn’t hold up according to these figures. (If someone can point me to better figures on these areas, please do, I would like to see if the author was as honest as he seems to have been.)

  12. #12 Prup aka Jim Benton
    October 29, 2006

    Had I noticed the other comment by Merle in the WalMart thread, or checked his blog, I might have saved considerable time in replying. Hopefully some of you can use the figures I referred to as a response to honest commenters who hold the same position.

  13. #13 merle
    October 29, 2006

    ed, im sorry i cant be as smart as you or all the rest of you here. i didnt get to go to college and grew up poor working hard all my life. call me stupid call me names. and no im no computer wizzard my son has to help me do a lot of this stuff. i try to read as much stuff as i can but i keep finding more internet places like this where people like me are made fun of. were stupid to you were morons. andy ou liberals wonder why you lost america. you cant elect anyone to office anymore because good decent people like me are fed up with your hatred adn your tinkering with morality.

    back to the subject here- jim benton thanks for taking the time to post that stuff but it doesnt take away the fact that kids who dont have sex arent getting diseases or pregnant. period. i think the programs that teach this may not be doing as well as they should because they are forced to leave god out of it. kids need to be told that its a sin to have sex period unless in marrage.

    again you want facts look back 100 years when people were christian…was their aids? were teenage kids getting pregnant? the world was a better place because people had morals that came from christianity

  14. #14 merle
    October 29, 2006

    oh an one last thing ed and i will leave your blog alone- you say your a libertarian not a liberal. i say 6 of one and half dozen of the other. whats the difference? dont both want big goverment trying to tell us how to live?

  15. #15 dogmeatIB
    October 29, 2006

    Merle,

    Contrary to your utopian “good old days,” teenage pregnancy did happen in the early 20th century. It also was quite common in the 19th century as well.

    HIV/AIDS didn’t affect people 100 years ago, because the disease was unknown then. The two forms of HIV are closely related to diseases that affect monkeys and chimpanzees … good thing there is no such thing as evolution, or those diseases might spread to humans … oh, wait … too late. There are a number of theories regarding how the disease migrated from apes to man, hunters eating infected meat, reusing needles, workers in labor camps killing and eating infected meat, etc.

    Sorry, but your perfect world didn’t exist.

    Finally, libertarians and liberals actually often have virtually opposite ideas. Libertarians would disagree with the increasing size of government (which is why they are generally angry with the Bush administration). Liberals, on the other hand, would take big government over big business any day.

  16. #16 Russell Miller
    October 29, 2006

    you say your a libertarian not a liberal. i say 6 of one and half dozen of the other. whats the difference? dont both want big goverment trying to tell us how to live?

    Yep. Troll.

    Libertarians are a lot of things. I consider myself to be one, myself. But pro-large-government? What planet are you on?

  17. #17 Matthew
    October 29, 2006

    If he’s a troll he certainly put in the effort. Created a new blog, posted a long laughfest post, registered a crazy email address.

  18. #18 Tyler DiPietro
    October 30, 2006

    you say your a libertarian not a liberal. i say 6 of one and half dozen of the other. whats the difference? dont both want big goverment trying to tell us how to live?

    FYI: Liberals and libertarians tend to find common ground on social issues (such as this topic). But where libertarians favor private, voluntary efforts to government programs in economics, liberals tend to view centralized solutions as being necessary in more instances than the libertarians.

    [/armchair political scientist]

  19. #19 tacitus
    October 30, 2006

    merle, by your logic, if we wanted to stop young people from stealing, we would be better off removing all the locks from all our doors and windows. After all, isn’t explaining to the kids why the locks are needed just encouraging them to engage in the very activity the locks are supposed to prevent?

  20. #20 Alan B.
    October 30, 2006

    Contrary to your utopian “good old days,” teenage pregnancy did happen in the early 20th century. It also was quite common in the 19th century as well.

    Yes, but they dealt with it differently in those days: Pappy got out the shotgun. I suspect that Merle would approve of that solution. (I think that I once read that in 1900 half of all brides were pregnant on their wedding day.)

  21. #21 SLC
    October 30, 2006

    I have not visited Merles’ blog but if he thinks that Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Washington, Franklin, et al were born again Christians, he is living in a dream world. For instance, Madison was a vociferous critic of Christianity in general and the Christian churches in particular. Franklin, although he provided financial assistance to various churches (and the first synagogue in the city of Philadelphia), had no personal religious beliefs.

  22. #22 Fastlane
    October 30, 2006

    I’d like to see a poll that asks the following questions:

    1. Did you have sex before you were married?
    1a. If so, did you use prtaction against STDs, and what form?

    2. Are you married now?
    2a. If so, is this your first, second, etc.?

    3. Are you Christian?
    ______________________________________________

    I’m betting merle wouldn’t like the results.

    Cheers.

  23. #23 Jim51
    October 31, 2006

    SLC,
    Quite right. The –our founders were all Christions– canard just wont die. I’ve never heard from anyone saying such a thing any sense that they have really looked into this historical claim.
    Anyone interested should try reading Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason. Or they might check out Jeffersons religious views.

  24. #24 Ed Brayton
    October 31, 2006

    Jim51-

    Unfortunately, the “our founders were Christians” falsehood is balanced off by the “our founders were deists” falsehood. The founders, as a group, were a mixture. And there were, in fact, very few deists among them. The majority of them were certainly Christian. The leading group, however, were neither Christian nor deist but are more accurately called “theistic rationalists”. There is plenty of nonsense spread on both counts, sadly.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.