Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turning Kids into Artful Dodgers

Like Charles Dickens's youth-corrupting character Fagin in his novel Oliver Twist, Utah's governor has "reviewed the situation" as the movie Oliver put it. In doing so he has vetoed a bill that would have required that public schools confine sex education to teaching abstinence before marriage, in other words, no teaching about methods or means of contraception. While the bill passed both the house and senate, the governor seems to have ignored what our elected officials spent months studying out, discussing, and voting on, and has taken his marching orders from some loud, wrong-thinking, self-serving groups including Planned Parenthood and the PTA. Does he forget our country is a representative republic, that policy-making is not up to noisy mobs?

Schools teaching minors about contraception is wrong from every angle. It's authority figures saying to teenagers: You shouldn't have sex but we know you're going to, so here's how to do it without getting pregnant or sick. Besides the fact that kids don't plan ahead, think such things won't happen to them, and won't use contraception anyway, the unseen emotional, psychological, spiritual, and far-reaching familial and generational damage pre-marital, promiscuous sexual relations can have on young people is being completely ignored.

It is the same as teaching kids: Shoplifting is wrong, but since you are going to do it anyway, go ahead and enjoy the thrill of the act and the jewelry and clothes you have no right to. In fact, we are going to encourage you to shoplift by educating you on the various shoplifting skills you'll need to avoid being caught, stopped, arrested, fined, jailed, or having any immediate negative consequences whatsoever. Like Fagin did, we'll make everything nice and cozy for you here in school so you "consider yourself at home, part of the family," comfortable learning about and discussing all manner of thievery no matter what your parents have taught you about honesty and virtue and all those silly old moral values.

Dickens nailed it when he named Fagin's star pupil the Artful Dodger, a mere child who in turn trained other children in the art of pickpocketing. Are the "educated" students who artfully help themselves to illicit sex while dodging STDs and pregnancy the ones who will get the pats on the back, the extra credit, the A's in sex ed class? And will they in turn train other students?

It's a great comparison. Premarital sex is always wrong. Shoplifting is always wrong. Teaching kids how to do either of these things in ways that promise to keep them safe from negative consequences is immoral any way you look at it. Even if kids used contraception, even if it always worked, what about their attitudes, their principles, their future relationships, and their eternal souls? We honestly wonder if some proponents of contraception for kids really want them to use it successfully at all. Planned Parenthood would certainly lose abortion customers. Don't be fooled. What they really want is for kids to have sex.

Opponents of abstinence-only sex ed say they are all about the more information you give kids the better decisions they'll make. The problem occurs when childhood is disrespected, human nature is ignored, and the wrong values, attitudes, and information are taught. Our schools should be accountable to uphold traditional moral values, which values encourage youth to become strong, virtuous, upstanding citizens. Instead, they are allowed to teach minors how to avoid consequences for wrong-doing, which encourages them to become weak-willed, underhanded sneaks.

Fagin was not a good guy. He exploited children, training them to be clever pickpockets in order to pad his own pockets by fencing their ill-gotten gains. Somebody is getting something out of giving in to the licentious environment and training kids in artful licentiousness.