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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

We wrote about this issue in our post "Sarah Palin and the failure of Abstinence-only Education."

Elena Perez

Sacramento, CA

Sep 16 2008 - 1:45pm

Web Letter

I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Lerner's statements, with a few exceptions.

First, from my experience, children emulate their parents' attitudes, thoughts and actions. And while I admire the liberal concepts of legislating morals and responsibilities, I know full well that human beings are incapable of doing right. Historically--from the Garden of Eden until today--we simply can't seem to get our "God-like image" set as priorities.

Second, while I commend Mr. Obama for such wonderful ideals as teaching young men to become responsible fathers, i.e., zipping up their pants, getting a job and providing for that human being they helped develop in a moment of lust and passion, I don't appreciate the idea of spending $50 billion to provide such an education. A good swift kick in the pants and a high school vocational training program (already available at most public schools) should more than adequately prepare a teenager for reality's responsibilities.

Third, all these programs and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollors being spent to "help children understand sex and avoid sexual perverts" aren't necessary. I firmly believe that the American home is the place to provide such an education. However, with so many single-parent (female) head-of-households and the poor excuse for parenting because of the lack of two, different-sexed parents, it is a wonder that any child living in an American home today under these circumstances has a clue as to what is right or wrong.

Finally, I believe it is time for the American family to be reborn and rejuvenated. How? That is the question. As long as individuals are not held accountable for the "raising" and developing of their own offspring--the government or someone must intervene to eliminate the void created by adults who simply prefer to propagate and allow their children to develop in a much less favorable environment than animals, living in the wilds of nature.

Maybe it's time to start testing children at puberty to determine if they are capable of providing the love, nurturing and protection an infant-to-adult requires for full development. If such tests prove a person incapable of caring for offspring, perhaps it's better for both that future child and society that those individuals not reproduce children. Instead, they can be sterilized and go about their merry way passionately having irresponsible sex throughout their lives without damaging other human beings' lives--or society as a whole for that matter.

The only real solution to the problem of teenage pregnancy, in this, or any country, is simply the return to Christian values, taught in a Christian home, by adults who live by a moral example. These Christian parents can oversee what their children read, watch and do, while providing the appropriate role models for their children to follow.

Then, tax dollars, and the government can be concerned about the issues that cannot be resolved within the four walls of the American family home. And perhaps these other, equally important issues will be of a far lesser concern, because the establishment of democracy and moral responsibility begins in the home.

A high school English teacher,

Marcus P. Bennett

Longview, TX

Sep 13 2008 - 8:55am

Web Letter

The high rate of teen pregnancy in the US is not a failure of abstinence-only education, as the author suggests, but an indicator of its success. Although they might not say so openly, in actual fact, advocates of abstinence education support teenage pregnancy, teen moms and teenage marriage. It is perfectly consistent with their patriarchal worldview. Just think about the logical consequences of their positions on sex and child-bearing. They are against sex-education, contraception and abortion. They are all for familial support of teenage pregnancy and teen-age moms (things happen). They expect teen fathers to marry the teen mom. They are all for sending their teenage sons off to wage war against the heathens in the "holy lands" and so on and so forth.

Teen moms are a natural outcome of this mindset. It goes like this. Don't teach your teenager anything about sex or how to avoid getting pregnant. When she does, don't allow any choice other than marrying the father. Now the mom is precluded from furthering her education or getting a decent job. She must stay home and rear the kids. Of course the father can only support the family by joining the army and going off to war. It all fits together as the ideal set of Republican family values, which is nearly identical to Nazi family values.

Dennis Etler

Boulder Creek, CA

Sep 12 2008 - 11:29pm