Monday, October 15, 2007

Comprehensive Sexuality Education IS the Moral Response

An article in today's Los Angeles Times describes recent action in the Democratic controlled House of Representatives to provide additional funding for the federal abstinence-only-until-marriage program.

During the coming months, both the House and the Senate will have several opportunities to either eliminate this ineffective program, reduce its funding, or continue it. According to the LA Times article, it seems that no one wants to look like they are voting against abstinence.

But, that's not what a vote to end this program would be. Indeed, a vote to assure that states have the latitude to decide how to implement sex education programs and that programs are both medically accurate and proven effective is a vote to assure programs that might actually have a chance of helping young people delay.

Today, the Religious Institute, with help from our friends at SIECUS, delivered 535 letters on Capital Hill (one to every Senator and Representative) urging them to oppose abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and providing them with copies of our "Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sex Education."

Here's in part what the letter said:

In the next few months, you will be voting on whether to reauthorize abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. As a national coalition of religious leaders, the Religious Institute urges you to vote for comprehensive sexuality education and against programs that withhold critical information from the nation’s young people.

There are strong public health arguments for comprehensive sexuality education, but as religious leaders, we are specifically asking you to keep in mind the moral foundations for supporting sexuality education as you vote – education that respects all people, honors truth telling, and promotes the highest ethical values in human relationships.


Our theological commitment to truth telling calls us to speak out against abstinence-only- until-marriage programs. Programs must be age-appropriate, medically accurate, and truthful. Education that respects and empowers young people has more integrity than programs based on incomplete information, fear, and shame. The fact is that programs that teach abstinence exclusively and withhold information about pregnancy and STD prevention fail our nation’s young people.

Now, it's your turn. Let your Congresspeople know that as a person of faith you want federal programs that both encourage young people to delay and help them protect themselves, either now or in the future.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Here is a link to locate your representative, if you want to use it.
Tom in California

Reverend Bitch Sir! said...

Amen and Amen!