Thursday, January 31, 2019

RELIGION & SEX EDUCATION




Sex education is an important component of learning to become a responsible adult. All youth get sex education from several sources—some more desirable than others. The world’s large religions have specific teaching about sexuality and morality, which can be a challenge for governments who wish to avoid religious teachings.

A recent bill in the US state of Colorado has caused some concern among Christians (reference below). But a Christian sex educator, April Janae,  has looked at the details and writes a post which addresses issues beyond her state. Her opinions are informed by experience and research. With her permission, I have included quotes from her Facebook post. I did not include some text that specifically addressed the Colorado issue. I’ve also included a link to the Sex-Education chapter she co-authored in Christian Morality.

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From April Jonae 30 January 2019

-Parents, it is YOUR job to educate your kids about sex. If you’re depending on the public school system to instill biblical values into your children, then you are in for a rude awakening. It is also your RIGHT to opt out your child from sex education at their school. This has always been the case, and the new bill also permits this. Your child doesn’t have to participate. So chill out with the comments on homeschooling your children if this bill passes. Signing the opt-out form will likely be a simpler option.
-Abstinence is NOT being removed from sex education. Abstinence will still be taught as the best option for teens, it will just no longer be presented as the only option. Contraceptives and medically-accurate info on their effectiveness will be taught as well. In my opinion, teaching abstinence-only is a dangerous thing. There will always be a population of teens that choose to engage in sexual behavior, and we are doing a great disservice to those students by not providing information to them that will reduce their risks of pregnancy and contraction of STIs.

-LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk for contracting STIs and engage in risky sexual behavior at a higher rate than heterosexual youth. So I believe that language that includes them in the conversation about the risks of sex can only be a good thing. Many abstinence-only sex ed programs do not address anything but heterosexual relationships, which causes LGBTQ youth to check out...hence the higher rates of STIs.

-My last thought: please do some research on abstinence-only sex education and it’s effectiveness in this country. When I first began researching sex ed, I assumed that abstinence-only education would have produced the lowest rates of teen pregnancy and STIs. I was shocked to learn that the opposite was true. Historically, abstinence-only programs have not delayed sexual activity, and students who have received abstinence-only education were more likely to experience unintended pregnancy and contract STIs at higher rates than students who receive comprehensive sex ed. That being said, I am not advocating that you stop teaching your children abstinence. I will certainly be teaching my children this principle. I am suggesting however, that we need to consider the facts when deciding what type of sex ed is taught in our schools.

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See Chapter 10 by April Janae (Montoya) and Shonna Crawford  “Tensions and Challenges: Christian Morality and Sex Education.” In Christian Morality. Available at Pickwick, AMAZON, and other bookstores.


FREE exam copies available to instructors and book reviewers from the publisher, PICKWICK – a brand of WIPFANDSTOCK.


You may also be interested in A House Divided: Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures. Also available from PICKWICK and on AMAZON.








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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Conversion Therapist Comes Out & Apologizes


David Matheson, a gay conversion therapist, has come out as gay according to The Independent (24 Jan 2019). The story was also covered by Sky News and other sources.

Matheson is identfied as a Mormon. He has created coursework to help people change their sexuality.  In the coming out story, we learn he left his marriage of 34 years and has begun dating men.

Matheson has not given up his Mormon faith but he did criticize the way he was raised.

According to The Independent, 15 U.S. states have banned mental health professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors.

His apology was directed to those who identify as LGBTQ: "I unequivocally apologize," he said.

Matheson provided a lengthy post on Facebook dated 21 January. In the post, he provides more details about his marriage and experience in dealing with this life-change.

Same-sex attraction and marriage are topics covered in A House divided: Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures available with discounts from the publisher (Pickwick).

Professors receive FREE exam copies.










Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Abortion and Prolife 2019





January 22, 2019 An Iowa state judge ruled the state's "heartbeat" law was unconstitutional (CNN).  In New York, the governor signed a bill allowing women to get an abortion after 24 weeks if their life or health is threatened by the pregnancy. Also, a woman can have an abortion at any time if the fetus is not viable. (TheHill).


Some efforts to pass "heartbeat" bills have been created or passed in the USA. On 27 December, 2018, Governor John Kasich of Ohio vetoed a heartbeat bill. The State senate came close but failed to override the veto. 

The "heartbeat" bills refer to banning abortions after a heartbeat is detected. Currently, fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy (USnews).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported a decrease in abortions by 24% according to USnews.

In a summary of access to abortion in America, CNN reported 400 restrictions in various states since 2010.

Gallup polling from the summer of 2018 found nearly two-thirds of Americans want Roe v. Wade to stand (Brenan, 2018).

Polish leaders are working to make abortion illegal according to Roache in FP (2019).

Irish doctors will soon provide the first legal abortions in 2019. Only 162 physicians have signed up as providers. (Guardian, 2019).

Fetal rights and personhood debates are ongoing. A recent (December, 2018) NYT opinion looks at the issues.

Is abortion a leading cause of death? Snopes (2019) looks at the data and finds a higher frequency of abortions than reported but notes the problem with stories that fail to consider that death is a term that applies to people. When life begins and when a fetus is a person is a constant battle in some nations like the USA. The debate has many nuances and is worth reading to learn how people argue.




Learn more about Christianity and Abortion along with other sex-linked morality issues in A House Divided: Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures available from PICKWICK with FREE copies to professors and book reviewers.