Thursday, March 29, 2012

AFA Abstains from the Truth

The American (Anti)Family Association has struck again and this time its president, Tim Wildmon, is going for broke. In a recent action alert, Tim writes:

Mississippi has a new sex education law and we need your help! Every school district must have in place either an "abstinence-only" or "abstinence-plus" program by June 30th 2012. Superintendents and Boards of Education are deciding now which approach they will choose.

To see the major differences in the two programs, click here, or on the chart at right for a larger version. Don't be fooled by the name!


Sounds scary, doesn't it? Abstinence-Plus. What evil, vicious ideas will be hammered into the heads of innocent schoolchildren? Let's look at their chart and find out:



According to the AFA, Abstinence-Plus programs will teach your children how to go behind your back for condoms, pills, or abortions. The program will show you how to correctly stretch a condom onto an erect penis (or maybe how to correctly put in a female condom). It will tell kids that fucking is fine and they're going to do it someday - might as well start now because it feels good. And finally, that the program will teach kids that oral and anal sex are great ways to avoid getting pregnant. How can anyone but the most godless liberal get behind such a thing? What can we do fight a program that is:

...simply another name for so-called "comprehensive sex education" a contraceptive-based approach with very little focus on abstinence. The focus of these programs is to increase condom and contraceptive use to reduce risk.

Certainly, we must do something to save our kids from this horror. Right? Well, maybe we'd do well to be skeptical of anything Tim Wildmon says before we get in too deep. The Mississippi School Boards Association, a non-profit organization that represents all Mississippi public school boards, has something else entirely to say about the Abstinence-Plus program. The entire program is worth checking out here but I want to hit some of the relevant highlights.

The ____________________________ School Board believes that every student has the right to accurate information concerning the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.


The district shall utilize an age-appropriate, evidenced based, medically accurate, Abstinence-Plus curriculum from the list of curricula approved and recommended by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), including as one choice the curricula of Abstinence-Plus developed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Department of Health, if such curricula are on the MDE’s approved curriculum list.

They advocate "age-appropriate" and "evidence based" education. Imagine that! They want to help students learn how to prevent pregnancy and reduce STDs. The horrors! I'm swooning in my chair just reading about this. It gets worse though. Let's read the prohibitions and requirements:


1. Prohibits any teaching that abortion can be used to prevent the birth of a baby;

2. Requires boys and girls to be separated into different classes when sex-related education is discussed or taught;

3. Prohibits instruction and demonstrations on the application and use of condoms; and

4. Requires the school nurse employed by the school district to carry out the functions of those strategies to promote consistency in the administration of the program if the district adopts the program developed by the Mississippi Department of Health.

Ok, contrary to the AFA's claims, nobody will be teaching kids how to sneak off to get abortions. Nobody will be encouraging kids to hook up after class. No one will be showing kids how to put the condom on the penis (or go home and practice on Ray Comfort's banana). And the information will be covered by a nurse who actually understands medicine rather than some teacher who can't even say the word "penis" without turning red (and I'm not trying to insult competent science/health teachers - I'm pointing out that Mississippi has many teachers who are also Sunday School teachers and have difficulty distinguishing between both jobs).

Here are the other things that the program seeks to teach (I'm paraphrasing here):

1. That abstinence is good and if you give it up, you might experience some negative consequences.

2. That teen pregnancy sucks and causes problems for everyone.

3. That you should not make unwanted sexual advances and neither should you tolerate them. Also that drugs can lower or erase your inhibitions.

4. That abstinence or a faithful marriages are the only ways to make sure you don't get pregnant too soon or get a disease.

5. That the law prohibits rape and has rules for certain types of sexual conduct and consequences.

6. That the only time people should have sex is when they are in a monogamous marriage.

7. That contraception can't always protect you against STDs and what the risks/failure rates of those methods are.
To be fair, I don't agree with all those points but that's a far cry from what the AFA is telling you is about to happen. The claim that schools will teach your kids easy, guilt-free sex without regard to consequences is not only ludicrous but it's factually incorrect. In fact, parents must opt-in to the program and be given the chance to review the entire curriculum.  They can withdraw their kids at any time and at no penalty.

So why is Tim Wildmon saying incorrect things about the Abstinence-Plus program? Some people might think that he and the AFA staff are genuinely mistaken. However, their unwillingness to ever correct a mistake or issue a retraction coupled with their history of scrubbing websites and pretending they never said anything wrong makes me believe that they are liars. Not just liars, even, but vicious, greedy, evil liars who will stop at nothing to make sure that Mississippi stays as dumb and poor as it always has been and that people will continue to be slaves to the AFA and its holy books instead of thinking for themselves.

Harsh charge? Yeah, it is, but as you can see for yourself, Tim Wildmon has an abstinence only relationship with the truth.