New York state law mandates that public school students receive sex education and instruction about HIV/AIDS. But some students in New York City can’t get that vital information in their classrooms and have to go elsewhere for it.
Why is this so? It turns out that in the Big Apple, some public schools are operating in buildings owned by the Catholic Church. And the church hierarchy won’t allow this instruction on site. Read more
AU received a complaint that a public high school in Texas was promoting (and effectively planning to operate) a Christian abstinence-only education program at two local churches. The seven-week course, entitled “True Love Waits,” requires students to commit to God and pledge sexual purity until they enter a Bible-based marriage. Read more
While researching my book Close Encounters with the Religious Right in 1999, I visited the headquarters of Focus on the Family (FOF) in Colorado Springs.
During the tour, the guide showed us a large map of the world covered with lights. Each light represented a city where FOF broadcasts were heard over the radio. Read more
Whenever people ask me for a concrete example of how the Religious Right has affected public policy, I point to the spread of "abstinence-only" sex education. Thanks to pressure from Protestant fundamentalist and traditionalist Roman Catholic groups, federal tax money funds only these programs.
This is the case even though polls show most Americans support comprehensive sex education for young people – programs that stress the value of abstinence but also talk frankly and accurately about ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Read more
The announcement by Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant has drawn an interesting response from the Religious Right: It's no big deal.
James Dobson of Focus on the Family issued a statement lauding the Palins and asserting, "Being a Christian does not mean you're perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord." Read more