Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Practice What You Preach

Ron Sidler provides food for thought:
[B]efore evangelical political activists develop grandiose plans to transform America—or liberals succumb to fears of some new Dark Age—we need to ponder some painful facts. (My emphasis)
On the surface, after reading this article (and the many others like it), it is easy to laugh and point out hypocrisies. But why not focus on the issues. For instance:
In the last ten years, several million of the most devout American evangelical youth have signed the “True Love Waits” pledge to abstain from sexual activity until marriage—but a massive recent study found that 88% had broken their promise.
We should be working on ways to reduce unwanted pregnancies and STDs amongst evangelical youths who apparently have more time to get some than I do these days. If you have been following the papacy you probably know that the Catholic church is moving more and more towards wanting acceptance of birth control. Why not quote this statistic next time you are in a debate to make your case stronger.

I think this is a huge part of the problem that's been exploited ever and over again by the Republicans:
And when it comes to racism, Lord have mercy. In a Gallup poll survey on how people respond to having a black neighbor, evangelicals were more racist than everybody else.
This is an issue that I don't know how to address. I can personally say that racism is very real in this country, but we are going to have to figure a way to beat it. I have a haunch that working with church leaders is a great way, and probably necessary--you can't legislate anti-racist sentiment. Heck, religious people of all stripes helped join in the fight for civil rights legislation. Unfortunately, we seemed to have lost our motivation since then.

Of course, there is promise:
In mid January, over one hundred evangelical leaders wrote to President Bush urging him to do more to empower poor people in his second term. Last October, the National Association of Evangelicals (the largest evangelical network in the U.S. representing 30 million evangelicals) adopted a new document as its official framework for its political engagement. “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility” warns against uncritical patriotism, condemns one-issue politics and insists that “faithful evangelical civic engagement must champion a biblically balanced agenda”-defined in this document, not only as promoting religious freedom, strengthening the family and protecting the sanctity of human life, but also as seeking justice for the poor, protecting human rights, seeking peace and caring for creation.


At May 04, 2005 4:06 PM, Blogger Nell Selander said...

I know that this is not proof that good sex-ed works, but I went to public schools in San Francisco, that from 5th grade taught comprehensive sex-ed (including how babies are made and what contraceptives are and how they work). Out of a class of 60 kids, 35 girls, only one has had a child (and we are all 19 or 20 now). I would say that is pretty damn good for a bunch of "inner-city" kids of diverse racial and economic backgrounds. G.W. should get a clue...

At May 04, 2005 4:19 PM, Blogger Marie said...

The Feminism center for R.I. is working right now on research for a policy paper on abstinence only education. Really I think it's imporant to separate sex education from moral and religious issues. This is about health, biology, and safty. Teens have been having sex since the begginning of time, in our well developed society we need to push to make sure to stop the real threat of disease. Which POOR WOMEN are especially suceptible too with a lack of education. This standpoint has been clumped with slutty liberals in Planned Parenthood. Comprehensive sex ed saves lives (especially those of unborn children if you hold that viewpoint). That should be the bottom line.

At May 04, 2005 5:04 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

I think you are making a moral claim, Ms. Jonas. Isn't saving lives a moral issue? If you take morals out of the equation, then what good does it do to save lives--why not just let them die if you disagree with their lifestyles? (Unless you try to construct a "veil of ignorance" scenario that will lead to inacting sex ed--which might work if everyone is individually rational.)

At May 05, 2005 8:06 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Ah, i meant from the point of view of "sex as wrong so we shouldn't teach about it" moral perspective that the radical religious right often infuses and washington is following! My bad, i should have clarified that comment.

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