Friday, July 20, 2007

A Strawman by any Other Name

Kevin McCullough is an idiot. There's no getting around it. Of course, people that read his column already knew this. After all, this is the brilliant mind that's said liberals (and feminists) hate "real" men, actively want to impoverish America, that liberalism and Christianity are oxymorons, described a Democratic debate on a channel focused on gays and lesbians as "pandering to perverts", argued that pro-choice Presidential candidates must therefore have supported Cho Seung-Hui shooting up his school, and my personal favorite, suggested Hillary Clinton's views of black voters are equivalent to a plantation-owner's to house slaves. Yeah, no race card there, asshat.

So it's no surprise that Kevin's newest bit of journalism is a bit, shall we say, sensationalist. Apparently, liberals' newest priority is getting your kid to have as much premarital sex as possible, with double-points for every abortion. So says Kevin, anyway.

Liberals want your child to have sex. They want this to occur in spite of your religious, health, or parental objections. They are willing to substitute false thinking for solid fact on the consequences of what will happen. And they do so while simultaneously insulting you and your child's ability to comprehend, discern, and choose behaviors that make the most sense.

Speaking as a liberal, Kevin, I'd have to say you're full of crap. I could care less who has sex with who, or how. If it's consensual and both parties are of age, I say go nuts. (This, by the way, has not been the position of social conservatives that want to legislate what people can do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, or failing that, the backseat of their car. Apparently liberty only applies above the belt.)

In the best of all possible worlds, there would be no conflicts between teenagers' desires and those of their parents. Kids wouldn't be pressured into having sex, or, alternately, threatened with being disowned and evicted by Mom and Dad if they were caught kissing a boy.

The reality is that I have no right, and frankly no business, to tell people how to raise their children within their own homes. I might disagree with your decision to go through one of those creepy Father-Daughter-Chastity Wedding Oath things, but I can't do anything about it.

The public schools, however, are supposed to be above ideology. The public schools are supposed to be about information. And so it is a problem when social conservatives, in government and outside it, work to ban sex education from the classroom because they think it's wrong. Not only is that moronic (and, when their kids are in the minority, self-absorbed), it's downright dangerous. You can screw up a high school science class by telling the kids that the universe was made last week and at worst, they're going to be laughed at once they get to college. But giving kids no information about sex- or actual misinformation- can really screw them up, especially if they wind up having sex later without any idea of what's safe. The idea that the best way to encourage people to not have sex is to withhold information about it makes the whole exercise seem almost punitive, even malicious, not unlike refusing a teenager driving lessons to ensure they don't go joy-riding in your car. I want to plan ahead to the worst-case scenario, and the reality is that there is no fail-safe in place for abstinence-only education. As soon as you go "off the derech" and begin experimenting, you're in free-fall, especially if people have actively misled you on things like how you get STDs or told you lies about condom effectiveness.

common sense tells us that the chances of incurring a teen pregnancy and then the possible tragic consequence of abortion, or the still very difficult consequence of a teen birth are affected by one's behavior. If a teen girl chooses to save sexual activity until she is married, she has zero chances of getting an STD, becoming pregnant, having an abortion, or out of wedlock birth. If a teen boy chooses to enhance his skills of communication, consideration, and leadership - instead of always trying to get in a girl's bed then he too avoids the heartbreak of STD's and responsibilities of pregnancy that he is not prepared for.

Wrong again, Kev. Obviously, part of it is behavior, but part of it is also education. A teen girl can choose to have sex monogamously (or with multiple partners) and, if she knows what she's doing, can avoid all of those negative consequences. Denying her the ability to know what she's doing and what her options are actually negates the possibility of her making any choice for herself. You've already decided for her.

The truth is kids understand these simple concepts. And it is an insult to the teen's intelligence and nature to presume they don't. Faith based parents are pro-actively teaching their kids about the very simple reasons why sex before marriage will bring them confusion and destruction. Liberal parents do not, thus why they view all children as unable to control their drives any better than rabbits in the spring time.

If you're so confident in the ability of "faith-based parents" (??) to properly educate their children the way they want to, then why push absintence-only ed on all public school students? Let them learn that masturbation is a sin in church, and save the lectures on condoms for the Sex Ed teacher. That way everyone can make the right choice for them.

Kevin concludes with one last barb:

The truth is we humans are capable of controlling every choice we make, and if we simply understood the natural outcomes of those choices perhaps we'd make better ones.
Perhaps the truth also includes the reality that as teens, liberals did not control their choices. Perhaps they did live their lives as animals copulating with anyone, and in people like President Clinton's case nearly everyone they ever had an eye for.

For what it's worth, Kev, there was very little sex ed talk in my (liberal) house- I already knew the basics before it was an issue, and was fairly uninterested in any of my peers. That and social awkwardness were enough to keep me away from dating until college. For me, the decision came down to the fact that it wasn't worth all the trouble, hassle and anxiety, particularly during adolescence, to bother with- but that was a choice I was able to make precisely because I knew at least some of the nitty-gritty details about sex and the risks involved.
If all I'd been told was, "don't do it," and had no knowledge about why or how to practice safe sex, I might have been more likely to experiment and, when I did, to not know what I was doing, or how to do so intelligently.
Can't wait to see Kevin's latest e-crap. I'm thinking the next one will be something like, "Why Liberals want to Sodomize your Children with Fair-Trade Asparagus." No, that'd be too witty.

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