10/18/09

A series of thoughts

I know I tend to avoid politics and most things related to it with a plague-like vengeance. But here is a post about something political. However, to ease you into, first two comments: I had two gift cards, so I swung by B&N and picked up Wicked and Son of a Witch and then hopped over to Maggie Moo's and bought some ice cream (because who doesn't like ice cream when it's 43 degrees out?).

Onto the politics. I received a news blurb sometime last week to this: The Abstinence Lobby's Lone Wolf. It seems one man (by the name of Raymond Ruddy) has paid a lobbyist $130,000 of his own money in order to lobby for abstinence-only education.

From the article:

The lone wolf strategy appears to be is paying off — so far, anyway. In late September, the Senate Finance Committee approved an amendment to its health care bill from Utah Republican Orrin Hatch that would reinstate $50 million in annual funding to abstinence-only programs. Earlier this year, President Obama removed funding for the programs from his budget. Several studies have found that abstinence-only sex education programs, which teach abstinence but not birth control or other safe sex practices, are ineffective.

The committee approved the overall bill, which makes me wonder if they saw this little funding bit or if it got lost among the clutter. Either way it frustrates me that something so monumentally stupid is still being pushed, even if it is just by one man, because that one man (and his lobby) are still having influence.

I don't have deep thoughts about this particularly, just a general anger, and I needed to share.

6 comments:

  1. Without too much politicizing of the topic to avoid having you not read this entirely: Why should federal money go to EITHER cause (abstinence or prevention)?

    Some believe one way, some believe the other. Why don't we just let those who believe A, teach A, and those who believe B, teach B. If you have $103,000 and want to put it toward the teaching of A, good for you. If nobody wants to put their money toward A, too bad, so sorry.

    This is radical oversimplification, and it leads to about 1001 other interrelated things, but you get the point.

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  2. I think if you let people teach what they want to teach, then you could lead to some pretty skewed ideas getting taught. I'm not saying teaching protection versus abstinence is right, I'd be more inclined to teach both. It just frustrates me to hear that they are going the "abstinence-only" route. Teaching abstinence isn't going to keep kids from having sex. Isn't it better to encourage abstinence and then educate them on how to have sex safely?

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  3. Well, listen, if you want to your school to teach strict, biblical creationism, assuming its a private school, go right ahead.

    I think its borderline negligence to do so to your child, and certainly stupid, but hey, I'm not the kid's parent, and far be it from me to teach your kid something or tell you what to do.

    I'm fairly certain Catholic/religious schools teach only abstinence, to the extent that they deal with it at all. Ditto most home schoolers.

    In their mind, abstinence-only education probably is going to work. Despite the studies showing that Wait Till Marriage vow takers have have sex at the same rate as the rest of the world, and more risky sex, to boot, those vows and Abstinence Balls are still a going on today.

    Abstinence and creation education is already part of a "skewed" education system. Frankly, followers of those things probably think our ideas are "skewed." That's why I support letting people teach what they want at private schools.

    Make education compulsory, ok, but once it becomes "public," you get into a whole can of worms.

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  4. That "skewed" thinking is part of what is great.

    What is skewed to me, probably isn't to you, or your friend, or your neighbor, ad infinim.

    I don't care what skewed view you have or don't have. Teach it to your kids. Heck, worship a hot dog as god, for all I care. Have your kids do it, too.

    Teach your kid that the earth formed when a drip of water from god's eye rolled off the back of a turtle.

    Just don't force me or mine do it and we won't have a problem.

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  5. I can agree to that. I'm pretty much for every school being private (even though we went to a very good public school), although I do wonder about inner city folks and how that would work out, but I don't know all those details (and you don't need to go into them).

    I guess my biggest peeve with this article is that the government would be putting money toward something that is pretty well proven to not work. But maybe that's just government for you.

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  6. Define "works." What "works"? Maybe its not working becaue not enough money has been thrown at the problem yet. Or maybe, without that education, it would be worse.

    The inner city question is a good one. There are solutions, none of them necassarily easy, to the inner city issue that I won't get into.

    But I will say this: Its not as if things are peachy for them now. Really, lots of inner city kids have no hope or any shot at education and are left behind in the current system.

    What more could privatized schooling do to them?

    Which brings me to my another point. Government & its policies, no matter how much they say they are for the little guy, the impoverished, the put upon, are ALWAYS actually in favor of protecting the status quo. The status quo always favors those in charge and those with power.

    Education is a perfect example. We keep the status quo because a new system might not create a utopia for kids in the inner city; as if the current system isn't ALREADY creating a dark, black hell for them.

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