Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Government Wants to Climb Into Bed With You

I grew up in Arizona. I was born in Phoenix back when it was a little farm town, lived in that state until I was, I don't know, thirty, I guess. Out there, we have a different way of seeing things, a different way of living.

People out there don't like the government telling them what to do. You might want to sit around naked in your RV in the middle of the desert, watching TV and listening to the mourning doves; you might want to drive around the city with your pickup truck jacked up five feet off the ground, completely covered with amber lights that serve no purpose and no muffler; you might just want to go to work in the morning and come home in the evening and cook some meat on the grill in your backyard and have a cold one and watch the stars come out. Whatever, the last thing people want is the government telling them how they should live their private lives.

So I admit, I'm still a little uneasy with this Washington culture. I just can't get used to some of this.

Here's USA Today ... yesterday:
The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.

The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it's a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.

"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."

Abstinence education programs, which have focused on preteens and teens, teach that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. They give no instruction on birth control or safe sex.

The National Center for Health Statistics says well over 90% of adults ages 20-29 have had sexual intercourse.

But Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children. Abstinence message goes beyond teens

Does that strike anyone as a little out of line? How does the United States government have anything -- anything at all -- to say about the sexual behavior of adult citizens?

Listen to what the gummint monkey-monk says:
Government data released last month show that 998,262 births in 2004 were to unmarried women 19-29, the ages with the most births to unmarried women.

"The message is 'It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children,' " Horn said. "The only 100% effective way of getting there is abstinence."

There you go, there's your tax dollars at work. There is the federal government telling you you ought to wait until you get married.

I mean, wow, I'll bet this has really changed a lot of people's behavior, don't you? Honey, honey, stop that, I just saw on the tee-vee that the govmit don't want us doin' this no more, we gotta stop.
The revised guidelines specify that states seeking grants are "to identify groups ... most likely to bear children out-of-wedlock, targeting adolescents and/or adults within the 12- through 29-year-old age range." Previous guidelines didn't mention targeting of an age group.

"We wanted to remind states they could use these funds not only to target adolescents," Horn said. "It's a reminder."

Skipping down a little...
For last year's state grants, Congress appropriated $50 million. A similar amount is expected for 2007, but the money has not yet been allocated, according to the Administration for Children and Families.

"I think the program should talk about the problem with out-of- wedlock childbearing — not about your sex life," [Sarah] Brown [director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy] says. "If you use contraception effectively and consistently, you will not be in the pool of out-of-wedlock births."

Yes, interesting. That's what makes the issue clear, isn't it?

You're an adult. You are one of the ninety-plus-percent of adults who have sex. You're not married and you have no intention of marrying, thank you. You use contraception, let's make it easy and say the female member of the relationship takes the pill.

Bingo. No babies.

If that was the issue, the government would be promoting birth control pills and condoms.

Funny, though, they're not. They're trying to extend abstinence-only "education" to include adults. The federal government wants adult citizens to stop having sex.

So tell me again, why is this any of their business?


Blogger andrea said...

how about spending some money on Ethics training for elected officials- and I don't just mean Mark Foley? I think our gov't needs to heal itself- too many elected officials seem to think their position is a way to personal wealth in office(by taking bribes, giving out lucrative contracts, making deals) or to smooth the way for the big job with the company they helped when they leave office.

November 01, 2006 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The demeaning assumption by the Bushites is that no adult is grown-up or responsible unless marriage is desired, sought ater, and achieved... that committed, unmarried parents must be berated and scolded.


November 01, 2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So here you can have highly educated adults, even the ones who specialise in this area, getting told by the government not to have sex because of possible out-of-wedlock birth?

It seems like common sense has been completely lost.

November 01, 2006 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'how about spending some money on Ethics training for elected officials-"

Hey, how about some training in constitutional law so MCPS will stop trying to infringe on the rights of its citizens to practice freedom of religion?

November 01, 2006 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"that committed, unmarried parents must be berated and scolded"

Incredible as it is, I don't think anything in Jim's posts hinted at anything like that.

Sounds like they are giving states permission to use this money if desired to promote marriage among promiscous young adults. Rather than "berating and scolding", it would probably involve creating a favorable image for marriage. Society would be infinitely better off if it worked.

November 01, 2006 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It seems like common sense has been completely lost."

When you have lunatic fringe groups compaining about the government favoring marriage among parents, then, yes, someone has completely lost their common sense.

November 01, 2006 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said,Hey, how about some training in constitutional law so MCPS will stop trying to infringe on the rights of its citizens to practice freedom of religion?

One is free to do whatever they like. Separation of church and state while in those classrooms.


November 01, 2006 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey, how about some training in constitutional law so MCPS will stop trying to infringe on the rights of its citizens to practice freedom of religion?"

ALL Americans are free to "practice freedom of religion."

But you must remember that your freedom of religion ends where my freedom of religion begins and visa versa.

November 01, 2006 11:42 PM  

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