Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poor Oppressed Christians Versus Sex Ed

Recently the Omaha Public Schools announced a new, optional sex education curriculum that departed from the abstinence-only programs favored by Poor Oppressed Christians everywhere. Officials reasoned that since the class was optional, offering it would be no big deal. But they were very wrong. Hundreds of abstinence-only activists showed up and proceeded to disrupt the meeting, which had to be concluded early.

The abstinence-only proponents disrupted the meeting to such an extent that it had to be ended 45 minutes earlier than it was scheduled to be. OPS officials emphasized the fact that students had a choice to opt out of the proposed curriculum. Yet this fact seemed to have no effect on the level of outrage from conservative parents. One woman who was dubbed "puritymom" stood and screamed at OPS educators during the meeting.

"It’s my daughter! My daughter! Who’s going to keep her pure? Nobody! I am! Not OPS! Not OPS!"

So don't have your daughter take the class. How hard is that? Too hard, apparently, for these folks.

Her mindset reflects the general attitude among many in the pro-abstinence movement who believe that sex before marriage will somehow make young people less "pure" or less "good" than they would have been had they waited until marriage. One common lesson in abstinence classes is the "stick of gum" example that compares students (usually female students) who engage in sexual activity to a stick of gum that has been chewed. This type of unscientific tactic has had an especially detrimental effect on victims of rape and sexual abuse.

This highlights the fundamental problem with the Poor Oppressed Christian mindset with respect to religious freedom. If they want to raise their kids as if the dark ages never ended I suppose that's their right as parents, though I find the whole thing pretty silly. Generally these folks are also "abortion is murder" pro-lifers, and one of the few things that has been shown to lower abortion rates is comprehensive sex education.

No, the problem is that the entire point of the Poor Oppressed Christian worldview is to force others to conform to their beliefs whether or not those beliefs are shared. As a Thelemite, I'm strongly in favor of my daughters getting the best sex education possible, and my religious beliefs are diametrically opposed to abstinence-only bullshit. That's the entire point of an opt-out class - parents who don't approve don't have to let their kids attend, but those who want it can get it.

But for the Poor Oppressed Christians that's not enough. It seems as if they are only happy when they are undermining the religious freedoms of everyone around them, all the while insisting that they're the ones whose freedoms are under attack.

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