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Our Taxes Paying for Their "Morality"

Published:

Last Edited: October 31, 2006, 6:04 pm

I predicted it here first. They have finally made the flying leap into our bedrooms. It is no damned business of our government if two unmarried twenty-five year olds want to have sex. This is gross intrusion into our personal lives and has no business in our government policy-making. For the taxpayer to have to pay for their moral agenda is even more insulting.

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Abstinence message goes beyond teens
Millions in federal money targeting adults up to 29


By Sharon Jayson
USA TODAY
10/31/06


The federal government's “no sex without marriage” message isn't just for kids anymore.
Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.


The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.


“They've stepped over the line of common sense,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based group that supports sex education. “To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health.”


Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.


The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.


But Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children.


Government data released last month show that 998,262 births in 2004 were to unmarried women 19-29, the ages with the most births to unmarried women.


“The message is ‘It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children,' ” Horn said. “The only 100% effective way of getting there is abstinence.”


The revised guidelines specify that states seeking grants are “to identify groups … most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range.”


Previous guidelines didn't mention targeting of an age group.
“We wanted to remind states they could use these funds not only to target adolescents,” Horn said. “It's a reminder.”


Last year, 46 states applied for the federal abstinence education money, to fund programs in schools, neighborhood clubs and faith-based organizations.


Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, says abstinence programs are among many messages that have helped reduce teen pregnancy rates. But “the notion that the federal government is supporting millions of dollars worth of messages to people who are grown adults about how to conduct their sex life is a very divisive policy,” she says.


“We would oppose any program that stigmatizes unmarried people,” adds Nicky Grist, executive director of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, an organization based in Brooklyn, N.Y., that advocates for the rights of unmarried people.


For last year's state grants, Congress appropriated $50 million. A similar amount is expected for 2007, but the money has not yet been allocated, according to the Administration for Children and Families.
“I think the program should talk about the problem with out-of-wedlock childbearing — not about your sex life,” Brown says. “If you use contraception effectively and consistently, you will not be in the pool of out-of-wedlock births.”


Entry #78

Comments

1.
konaneComment by konane - October 31, 2006, 6:16 pm
Abstinence is a fair message in the era of AIDS because in the long run our tax payer money pays a sizable hunk for the treatment of those who succumb to it.

The air isn't clean and sex isn't safe anymore.
2.
Rick GComment by Rick G - October 31, 2006, 6:48 pm
B.S.

Obesity is the number one health problem in America today, not 20-year old sex. Are we going to outlaw Big Macs and Twinkies? Are we going to mandate cholesterol tests and outlaw red meat?

The air isn't clean, so does that mean we all have to stop breathing?

Quit letting this government lead you around by the nose telling you what you can and cannot do in your personal life.

If I get AIDS I'm not expecting the government to pay for my treatment and they have the obvious choice and power of not doing so. They can make a law on that, but not the morality of eating, drinking, sex and breathing whatever we damn well please. If I want to breathe paint thinner, drink it or have sex with it, I have that right. If Uncle Sam doesn't want to pay for my treatment, he has that right. This government is not GOD and they are eons away from the American Way, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

There IS no fair message dictating what we can and cannot do in our lives in a peaceful manner. My AIDS is not your AIDS, my obesity is not your obesity. What you are defending is what you are so vehemently against, social program spending. Isn't a $50 million abstinence campaign a social program expenditure? And to what cause...A MORAL decision on how we must lead our lives.

Well I'm not buying this "public good" message and I hope that other free-thinkers see through this charade of governmental control as well.
3.
emilygComment by emilyg - October 31, 2006, 7:23 pm
The less control our government has - the better for us.
4.
ToddComment by Todd - October 31, 2006, 9:39 pm
Yeah, right. I suppose we should be using our taxes to give them free condoms instead, huh?

This is not a "bedroom issue" at all. It is something that saves us all a ton of money, by cutting down on potential long-term welfare cases. I think this is a terrific message for a responsible society to send to our youth. Some people would rather have Madonna teach kids about what's normal than people with Christian values. It's a world turned upside-down.
5.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 1:06 am
Todd,

Yes, it is a world turned upside-down and your response shows just how upside-down it has been turned.

A 25 year old doesn't need to be supplied a condom, be treated for STD's or be regulated for his or her sexual conduct by our government. Maddona is not teaching anyone anything, she's ancient history. Your Christian values are YOUR values not mine. The more I see of the current "Christian Values" in the MSCV (Main stream Christian Values) the less repect I have for them and their sexual hypocrisies.

Drop the religion and the morals and read a good book. "The Libertarian Reader", Classic and Contemporary Writings From Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman, edited by David Boaz, copyright 1997.

Religion and morals belong in churches and our lives. Our government has no place in our churches or our lives and religion and morals are not in the domain of our government.

We agree on one point, it's a world turned upside-down.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 1, 2006, 2:46 am
Nobody wants to have sex alone. Since the government as been screwing us for so long, they probably just want to make it a little more intimate.

I don't think there's anything wrong with teaching safe sex, but telling anyone who is old enough to get blown away in a foreign country defending us that he can't legally drink or should refrain from pre-marital sex is hypocritical. "You're old enough to shoot people and get shot at, but you should keep your pants zipped until you are old enough to be responsible." Sounds a little twisted to me.

BTW, if I had a son or daughter, I'd rather they carry around clean condoms than contract an STD, create an unwanted pregnancy or die from AIDS. Naturally anyone would rather their children (esp daughters) stay celibate until 35, but accepting reality now is better than regretting it later. Saying condoms promote sex is as silly as saying passing out clean needles turns people into drug addicts. The purpose of both is to save lives, not preach.


7.
ToddComment by Todd - November 1, 2006, 6:02 pm
Actually, Rick, I think it is YOU who needs to read some more, maybe even the United States Declaration of Independence. MY Christian values?

I think it was YOU in a previous blog entry who went around saying how people do not pay enough attention to the Declaration. (Ah yes, here it is: http://blogs.lotterypost.com/rick_g/2006/09/the-declaration-of-independence.htm)

Well, maybe you could check out the preamble: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

I don't think your aethist/secular values were represented very well, nor were they the historical basis of our country. MY Chirstian values were, however.

And I think MY Christian values will prevent a lot more STDs than your atheist/secular values, thank you very much.

You cherry-pick what you like from our history, while conveniently avoiding all the parts you don't individually like. That is called being "intellectually dishonest."
8.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 7:45 pm
No, Todd, you are being intellectually dishonest. You have chosen 3 words, "by their Creator" to legitimize your religion into our government. OK, let's take your words into context. All rights declared under the Declaration are guaranteed by our Creator. So according to your definitions and religious beliefs, these rights are 100% valid and irrefutable, am I right? Now read the rest of the statement and consider it irrefutable because it is endowed by the Creator. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident: that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed...with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness".

You have jumped from the premise of the statement to a legitimizing of religion in our Democracy based on three words of a thirty-four word statement and then you took a a left-hand turn to swipe at my atheist/secular values and my intellectual dishonesty. I take particular offense at that statement. Since when are you morally better than me or your God better than mine? Who gives you that right to be in judgement of my spiritual beliefs? I do not judge your spiritual beliefs. I simply stated that they do not belong in the halls of Congress or in the Oval Office as our First Amendment implies.

I could pick out three words such as "certain unalienable rights" and argue that I have the right to murder and rape.

I think you are being the "cherry-picker" here.
9.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 7:52 pm
I'm unable to edit my response, but the the intent of the 'religion in our Congress and Oval Office' statement referred to decisions and laws affecting our country, not what their personal beliefs are.
10.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 8:18 pm
And I will continue. Your Christian values are represented by our founding fathers, such as all men being created equal and guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What Christian values are being displayed with the murder of innocent civilians? Are these people being treated as equals and given the simple guarantee of life?

No they are not and these are not Christian values. I went to a minor seminary so believe it or not, I have a grasp of what Jesus taught us (aka, Christian values). It didn't include murder. Fifth Commandment, I believe.
11.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 1, 2006, 8:31 pm
I've referred to this article many times, but after I read your last comment, Rick, I thought of it again and feel it is very appropriate.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1025-25.htm
12.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 8:46 pm
Nancy, that is an excellent example of the hypocrisy of "Christian values" today. I'll take my "atheistic/secular" values any day because I'm able to sleep at night secure in my beliefs.

Thanks much for the link. It is a must read for those who speak the talk but stumble the walk.
13.
emilygComment by emilyg - November 1, 2006, 10:19 pm
nancy - thanks for link. i'd like to share truthout.org
14.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 1, 2006, 10:57 pm
Thanks, Emily. A refreshing change from the MSRWM media we are so frequently provided links to.

I'm revisiting the works of Thomas Payne. What I like the most about him is he can talk about morals and ethics and their relationship to government without invoking religion. Being a philosophy buff, I guess I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

Lord Acton's dictum, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

15.
ToddComment by Todd - November 2, 2006, 12:32 am
Rick,

It does not sound like that Bible study of yours paid off.

You like to avoid logic and valid reasoning by diverging wildly from the topic and making absurd statements. First you were talking about how wrong it is for the government to suggest that people use abstinence to avoid STDs, and now you're onto the subject of murder. Everything in between is similarly all over the map. It's difficult and pointless to debate with someone like that.

I have seen similar reactions from other aetheists I have attempted to debate in the past.

Good luck to you.
16.
Rick GComment by Rick G - November 2, 2006, 4:41 am
I give up Todd. I won't argue with a brick wall. But I would love to see you make that "Bible study" comment to any one of the Fransiscan Brothers who taught me for five years.

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