Vigilante book banners


As we ponder how to keep freedom in America in the middle of Banned Books Week, I worry about the dangers of vigilantes acting to effect a ban on a particular book, despite official actions.

How to fight these anti-reading, anti-American vigilantes?  People in Lewiston, Maine, came up with the fantastic idea of simply buying more books.

Vigilantes sometimes check out the books they want to ban, and then simply don’t bring the book back to the library.  If there’s no book on the shelf to be checked out, they reason, no one else can check it out.  One such vigilante in Lewiston, an activist in favor of homophobia it appears, refused even a court order to return the book she wanted to ban, Robie Harris’s It’s Perfectly Normal.

Cover of Robie Harriss childrens health book, Its Perfectly Normal

Cover of Robie Harris's children's health book, It's Perfectly Normal

Jail time for the vigilante?  Oh, the law would allow that.  But instead, freedom fighters purchased four more copies of the book for the library.

Voting with ideas.  What a concept!

Full text of the American Library Association press release, below the fold.

City Won’t Seek Jail for It’s Perfectly Normal Protester

A standoff of more than a year ended August 29 in Lewiston, Maine, when city officials decided not to pursue further action against JoAn Karkos, who has refused to return the Lewiston Public Library’s copy of the youth sex-education book It’s Perfectly Normal that she borrowed in the summer of 2007 to keep it out of circulation. Karkos had defied an August 27 district court order to return the book and pay a $100 fine and was threatened with jail time if she did not return the book by 4 p.m. August 29.

“We feel there’s little to be gained,” by seeking imprisonment, library Director Rick Speer told American Libraries. “It would help her be a martyr and may bring public sentiment to her side.” He noted, however, that because of the case, the community expressed its support for the library on the issues of theft and censorship.

Karkos’s efforts also failed to make the title unavailable for borrowing in Lewiston. An August 29 city press release noted: “The library now has four copies of the same book, all donated by others, instead of the one that existed, [and Karkos’s] right to use the public library has been suspended and will remain so until such time that she complies with the order.”

Posted on August 29, 2008.

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54 Responses to Vigilante book banners

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, you might want to read this post at PlanetJan:

    http://planetjan.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/teaching-sex-ed/

    Like

  2. lowerleavell says:

    I am willing to pay more in taxes, yes. I would rather pay more in taxes to fund life than pay my taxes funding the death of the innocent as I do now. I would rather see my tax money given to the preservation of human life than millions given to environmentalists who are many times actually harming nature by their antics. I would rather my taxes raised to defend life than give billions out to greedy corporations who will selfishly use them to pad their wallets. I would rather pay more in taxes giving people an opportunity at life than pay the billions that are wasted in pork barrel spending. Yes…I’ll pay more taxes for that.

    Yes, I am outraged about rape, ok?

    Nick said, “And yet you ignore the fact that there are far more kids in the foster care system even now then there are couples willing to adopt them.”

    Mostly that is because of the high cost of adoption in the states. Many are driven to adopt from other countries because of the problem. I don’t agree with everything Rick Warren says, but he’s definitely got that one right in that we are in a crisis need for adoption reform. My wife and I would be willing to adopt (have seriously talked of it) if we could afford it. We support missionaries in our church who work with orphans and abandoned children. It’s not something we simply say, many in Christianity are making a huge impact.

    What your post sounds like to me is that you are putting a dollar figure on life. How much are you worth Nick? $50, $1 million? At what point does a society say “kill ‘em” if they cost a certain amount of money?

    Nick said, “Oh and since you claim that you believe all life is sacred there is one last thing. There will be no…absolutely none…no dealth penalty in this country. After all, brother Christian of mine, Jesus was killed because of the death penalty and if as you say God and Jesus frowns on abortion then They also frown on the death penalty.”

    There is a vast difference between taking the life of the innocent and a just penalty for a violent, horendous crime against the human race. As a Christian, I take God at His word who said that, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.”(Genesis 9:6) Enough said there.

    By the way, Jesus did not die as a result of the death penalty – He freely gave His life – no one took it from Him. He is not a martyr.

    Like

  3. Nick Kelsier says:

    You have had such accusations leveled at you, Lower, because you have demonstrated no willingness to take responsibility for the costs that will be incurred if you are given what you want.

    I have not seen you say you are willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the increased number of prisons that would be required under your desire.

    I have not seen you say you are willing to see your taxes raised to pay for the health care costs incurred by the pregnant women who you are demanding give birth to their babies if those women are unable to pay such costs themselves.

    I have not seen you display any moral outrage at demanding that a 10 year old girl give birth to a child that was conceived when she was raped. Nor have I seen you display any moral outrage at the idea that a 10 year old girl is physically able to give birth without suffering any physical harm. Nor did I see you express any moral outrage at the Catholic church punishing her.

    I have not seen you you say you’re willing to see your taxes raised to pay for such things as to improve the foster care system. After all..I seem to recall you saying that all those mothers could just give their kids up for adoption. And yet you ignore the fact that there are far more kids in the foster care system even now then there are couples willing to adopt them.

    You want to prove that this isn’t about you trying to dictate to other people and that you’re not trying to punish women for having sex? Then fine, here’s the deal.

    This is in exchange for making abortion illegal:
    You will not object to any…any..I repeat…any tax hike that goes to pay for any of the things I said above. In fact you will fully support it. As long as you and your family aren’t driven into poverty you will accept those tax hikes.

    If you are financially able to support it, you will provide foster care or you will adopt.

    You will not object to comprehensive sex ed in the schools. You will not object to the distribution of contraceptives even to teenagers because that lowers the number of abortions.

    If a woman is raped and suffers additional trauma because of your forcing her to carry the baby to term the finanical responsibility is also yours. You may get out of that one if you agree that abortion should be allowed if the health of the mother is in danger or if she was raped.

    Foster care homes..I’m talking about the group homes that are a bit like orphanages will be palaces in comparison to how orphanges used to be. And again..the financial burden..the taxes used to pay those will be willingly paid for by you and the rest of the so called “pro-life” crowd. That will be to prove that the pro-life crowd cares as much about children after they’re born as before they’re born.

    The health care costs and education costs of those children in such situations will come out of your taxes. If those taxes need to be raised to pay for it..so be it..that is what you are willing to do.

    Since you would not see to punish women, their doctors or the guys who got the former pregnant if they had an illegal abortion, you will pay the costs associated with making sure that no illegal abortions takes place period.

    Oh and since you claim that you believe all life is sacred there is one last thing. There will be no…absolutely none…no dealth penalty in this country. After all, brother Christian of mine, Jesus was killed because of the death penalty and if as you say God and Jesus frowns on abortion then They also frown on the death penalty.

    The above is the proof that you’re not the hypocrite I think you are. That you’re willing to pay..and indeed…if necessary pay a high price to get what you want. Well? Do you?

    Like

  4. lowerleavell says:

    I wouldn’t think it would be not having access to them since there are a lot more churches and family counselors in this country than there are abortion clinics. They may not have access to a dad, but that again is a matter of teaching young people about the sanctity and benefits of married parenting.

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  5. James says:

    Of course, those options are preferable. Nevertheless, many women who seek abortions are either ignorant of those options or don’t have access to them.

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  6. lowerleavell says:

    James,

    I was thinking it was more an argument for dad’s to be more involved, an argument for adoption, or an argument for families asking a church or family therapist for counsel.

    Like

  7. James says:

    lowerleavell,

    “Should Hitler have been aborted? No. Should he have been raised better? Oh yeah!”

    I think this effectively illustrates why abortion should be an option for women. How many abortions do you think occur because the mother doesn’t have the capability/resources to raise a child? If you make abortion illegal and force so many young women ill-equipped for the task to raise children, you simply foster an environment suited for producing people who should have been raised better. You foster an environment suited for producing more Hitlers.

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  8. lowerleavell says:

    No problem. I don’t either. Thanks for the well wishes, Ed. I merely thought you were allowing Nick to do your responses for you.

    Like

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    We’re testing. The Lege is in session. Some Scouts verge on Eagle, others need other stuff. Who has time to post at all?

    Like

  10. lowerleavell says:

    Nick, did you notice that since you jumped in, Ed hasn’t felt the need to respond at all? You’ve done that several times in other discussions and Ed just kind of drops out. Just thought it interesting.

    Nick said, “Actually, Lower, I’m pro-life. I just recognize the hypocrisy inherent with the rest of the pro-life crowd. And I’m against the death penalty too.”

    The hypocrisy? Nick, do you actually know how to talk to me instead of…who knows who you’re talking to? Usually when you write something I get the notion that you don’t read a word I say but debate with a presupposed viewpoint that you think I should take. How is that a valuable use of time? You wonder why I dropped out on the other thread?

    I am genuinely surprised that you are pro-life. Happy to be wrong on that one.

    Nick said, “And your position, Lower, also would lead to the deaths of innocent babies. See that’s the hypocrisy. Your position would make abortion illegal..therefor it would cause more of a blood bath because not only would the babies be dying..but so would the mothers. But then apparently you don’t give a $%)!* about them.”

    Of course I don’t care – you know me better than anyone. All I care about is advancing an agenda that gives guns to kids, poisons water, melts the ice caps, pollutes the air, and killing women. Yeah, I can see that you’ve got it all figured out and have revealed my true dark intentions. Are you a psychic or something? Scary. Now, back to reality…
    – You know very well that cases of rape and medical problems cover only about 7% of all abortions. Obviously if there is an irreconcilable problem, like a tubal pregnancy, there is nothing that can be done to save both the baby and the mother. I’ve never personally met a person who was pro-life who didn’t desire to save the life of the mother when it was seriously threatened. However, these arguments are simply an excuse for the other 93% of abortions, are they not?

    Nick said, “And if you think a rapist should be castrated then really…you don’t understand rape and have no idea what you’re talking about. If you think castrating a rapist would stop that person from raping you are out of your head.”

    It may make a pretty good deterrent – especially date rape, which constitutes a high percentage of rape in this country. I did not say that castration should be the only punishment. That would put a dead-beat pedophile back into the same home with his victims, which is insane. I meant that it should be added on to whatever jail time we already give, and protection that is already given to the victim. What punishment do you think would stop the crime? The current ones don’t seem to be helping.

    Nick said, “The laws of the United States answer to the US Constitution, not the Bible. You can quote the Bible all you want but when it comes to the laws of the United States it doesn’t matter. So you have no absolutely no legal justification to ban homosexual marriage.”

    That’s because our founders wouldn’t have had a clue that we would be having this discussion 200 years later. Such thoughts would have been unimaginable! Perhaps that’s why a voter mandated (not legislative) constitutional amendment (like what we did here in CA) is necessary.

    You said, “Spare me your supposed moral outrage about abortion. This isn’t about saving lives for you. This is about your deep seated desire to control women, to treat them as property. You want to tell people how to live their lives according to your religious beliefs.”

    Of course – can’t you see that I’m rubbing my evil hands together even now? Mwwahh…the power!!! Nick, if you even knew .05% about me, you’d know how wrong you are. How can you make such wild, asinine accusations and still expect to be taken seriously?

    Nick said, “If this was really about saving lives for you, Joe, you would be advocating positions that actually lower the number of abortions instead of trying to make it illegal.”

    I am and I have. I advocate and fight for educating women on baby development – 4D ultrasounds, etc. to help them understand why life is the correct choice. I advocate raising kids properly in order to prevent un-wed pregnancy, rape, etc. I advocate marriage counseling that helps parents understand that it is not just an inconvenience when that “oops” happens. I’m doing my part.

    Making abortion illegal will not change the hearts of the people of the US. Abortion should be illegal only when the people of this country are convinced that it is wrong – it should not be something forced upon them.

    Like

  11. Nick Kelsier says:

    Actually, Lower, I’m pro-life. I just recognize the hypocrisy inherent with the rest of the pro-life crowd. And I’m against the death penalty too.

    And your position, Lower, also would lead to the deaths of innocent babies. See that’s the hypocrisy. Your position would make abortion illegal..therefor it would cause more of a blood bath because not only would the babies be dying..but so would the mothers. But then apparently you don’t give a damn about them.

    And if you think a rapist should be castrated then really…you don’t understand rape and have no idea what you’re talking about. If you think castrating a rapist would stop that person from raping you are out of your head.

    And as for your desire to not get in a debate about homosexual marriage and the Bible and the Constitution. Fine then this is the end of the debate on it. The laws of the United States answer to the US Constitution, not the Bible. You can quote the Bible all you want but when it comes to the laws of the United States it doesn’t matter. So you have no absolutely no legal justification to ban homosexual marriage.

    Spare me your supposed moral outrage about abortion. This isn’t about saving lives for you. This is about your deep seated desire to control women, to treat them as property. You want to tell people how to live their lives according to your religious beliefs. If this was really about saving lives for you, Joe, you would be advocating positions that actually lower the number of abortions instead of trying to make it illegal.

    Like

  12. lowerleavell says:

    Nick,

    I simply do not have the time nor the desire to get into a homosexual marriage debate or about the Constitution vs. the Bible. Personally, I simply wanted to share my thoughts about our ultrasound, that’s all. :-)

    Thanks again Ed for being happy for my wife and I about our baby. :-) Just wanted you to know that I’m not a hypocrite to say that even those going through tough times shouldn’t consider an abortion when I’ve never been in them – I’m living in a very tough time. :-)

    Like

  13. lowerleavell says:

    Should Hitler have been aborted? No. Should he have been raised better? Oh yeah! It’s funny that you’re so “pro-choice” but I’ll bet you don’t even believe in the death penalty (most liberals don’t). Maybe I’m wrong (and I hope I am), but you’d rather kill innocent children who have done nothing to deserve death than to take the life of the monsters who have committed rape and have murdered the innocent. I wonder if people like you would even have given Hitler the death sentence for his crimes against humanity. Ironic that liberals fight for the guilty to live and fight to kill the innocent. How completely backwards! Hitler deserved to die – not for being born, but for becoming a murderer of the innocent! Honestly, I challenge you to show me how defenders of the murder of the unborn are any different! Unborn babies deserve to die…why? They’ve earned death by doing what?

    Again – straight to instances of rape as your only defense. Why don’t we just both work together on eliminating as much rape as possible and we won’t have to worry about abortion.

    I agree with you Nick that the father should be held to account as well. So, there’s one “pro-lifer”. :-) Personally (as I’ve said a lot on this thread) I believe a rapist should be castrated – without an anesthetic. But maybe I’m too harsh.

    Nick, I’m glad you weren’t aborted so that we could have this discussion. My religious beliefs also tell me that it’s wrong for people to rape – should I stop voicing that opinion too? You seem to think its morally wrong. What if I thought rape was ok and thought you were just a religious nut who was infringing on my rights to my own persuit of happiness? Obviously it would be lunacy right? Now you get my perspective with abortion.

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  14. Nick Kelsier says:

    And as for the book, Lower, you have every right to decide for your own kids what they can and can not read.

    however, Lower, you have no right to make that decision for other people’s kids. That is where that person went wrong.

    And as for homosexual marriage, Joe, where in the US Constitution does it say that the laws of the United States answer to the Bible?

    Like

  15. Nick Kelsier says:

    Should Hitler have been aborted, Lower?

    See that’s the problem with that argument.

    Let give you an example of why you’re wrong. In Brazil, least I think it was Brazil, a 10 year old girl was raped and impregnated by her stepfather. The catholic church excommunicated the girl for having an abortion. Tell me, Lower, a 10 year old girl should be forced to carry a baby to term why?

    And you say that abortion is murder and should carry consequences. And yet I have yet to see any of your precious “pro-lifers” ever say that the father should be held to account.

    So I have a suggestion for you. Quit trying to tell others that they have to live according to your religious beliefs.

    Like

  16. lowerleavell says:

    Should Nick Vujicic have been aborted?

    lifewithoutlimbs.org

    Like

  17. lowerleavell says:

    Also, I guess you did point out HD as a reason people should be allowed to abort in addition to rape victims. Let me ask you, do people who have HD have no right to life? Who are we – who is even a mother, to choose whether or not a child with HD should live or die? Can she make that choice after the baby is born? No? Why not? So why before birth? Mercy killings makes you sound almost like a Nazi. You’ve opened up a dangerous can of worms if you qualify what level of livelihood should live and die. What about people with Downs? Congrats, you just killed one of some of my friend’s beautiful children. What about children with Muscular Dystrophy? Congrats, you just killed my hilarious uncle who has a wife and four kids. What about killing off people with MS? About 4 of my friends die. What about people who are born with Autism? Two precious boys in our congregation would be dead. One other boy who comes to church was born with no ears – should he have been aborted? We as a church love him so much! The point is that you’re not killing off unwanted tissue – you’re killing people – disabled and challenged maybe, but people none-the-less. The state should never sanction such action. And yet, my tax dollars are even supporting such abominations! For shame!

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  18. lowerleavell says:

    Again…you point to rape as your only defense of all abortions. Thanks for the reminder as to why I dropped this discussion in the first place – and why I intend to do so again.

    Thanks for the compliment on the solid argument for choosing life. Whether it is moral, legal or not, everything in life is always a choice. I never said that women didn’t have a choice – whether legal or not, women still have a choice. What I did say was that life is the moral choice and murder is a choice that should carry appropriate consequences.

    In a perfect world, no government should be needed to tell people that it’s wrong not to rape – or even to murder their unborn baby. I agree that state intervention is much less than desirable because rape shouldn’t be in a man’s thoughts and contemplating an abortion shouldn’t even be a thought on a mother’s radar. So sad to see how far our society continues to fall without Christ. The only way state intervention would be positive is if the state is controlled by the will and morality of the people – as our founders intended – which is quickly becoming a thing of the past as we are close to an oligarchy and the morality of the people continues to decline.

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s nice that you have the ability to choose, Joe. I’m happy for you and your wife. These choices should be personal, I think. The state should not have the power to tell you that your baby must be aborted.

    Nor should the state have the right to tell someone in different circumstances that their baby cannot be aborted. Forcing a 9-year old girl to carry to term a baby that was the result of rape would be unconscionable, I think. Forcing a woman to carry to term a baby known to be a victim of Huntington’s could be cruel.

    I see you making a solid argument for choice, and not an argument for state intervention with a one-pregnancy-fits-all solution.

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  20. lowerleavell says:

    Hey Ed,

    Not coming back – just don’t have time, but thought I’d share something here that goes back to this discussion.

    My wife and I are expecting our third child, due in September. By all accounts it was an “oops.” :-) We were not trying, nor were we prepared for such a thing to happen. Also, we were recently dropped by our insurance company because it just got too expensive, so we switched to a major medical plan that does not cover pregnancies at all – so we’re faced with a 3rd child, with no insurance to cover the pregnancy and labor, and no extra income since I received a small pay cut this past year as the economy has even hit our church. What should I do??? Abort the baby? Sadly, too many parents look at it that way – timing’s just not right – can’t afford it – just not convenient right now. We fit many categories of those who contemplate abortions.

    We have two boys right now and my wife has always had a fiercely strong desire for a girl. Last week we went to the ultrasound and got a great 4D ultrasound which showed that we’re expecting the most beautiful little girl. : -) Wow, what we would be missing out on if we had looked at this pregnancy as a “punishment” or an “inconvenience” or something else, and simply aborted this child. God gave us this “accident” because I personally believe He knew that if we waited until we planned it out, we’d have another boy. : -) So, even though we at first saw it as a potential negative (in that it was unplanned for) that we would come to love, God gave us the biggest blessing for our family that you can’t imagine.

    Two things I want to tell you about this ultrasound visit. The first is that we went to a place where the technician had 35 years of experience with ultrasounds. She’d been around pretty much from the beginning of the technology. The topic of abortion came up and she shared that she has always been bothered by abortion but it never really personally impacted her for a long time until about 20 years ago a young woman came in and the ultrasound indicated she was having twins. The tech was so excited for her and told the girl she was about 12 weeks along. The girl said, “Oh good, now I can go get my abortion!” The tech was crushed. – Two children at once – discarded like trash.

    The other thing I thought I’d share was something that brought me to tears – the tech shared with my wife and I that before the 4D ultrasounds, she knew that the babies moved and so forth, but really couldn’t watch what they were doing, you know? She told us that she has learned so much from the new technology. These babies are so incredible – they even display personality, complete with intellect, emotions, and will (all the necessities of intelligent life) – our own baby was snuggling up to the placenta – she said she notices that girls often do that because they like (displaying mental capabilities) the feeling of the velvety placenta. She also nudged my wife’s stomach a few times and we were able to see our baby get upset and begin kicking my wife’s bladder. Is our baby past vitality (as you define it)? No – she’s only about 19 weeks along – far from the baby being able to survive well on its own. The tech shared with us (remember, someone who is a profession who has 35 years of experience with babies in the womb) that she doesn’t care what some people say; she knows that these babies are alive, and are people (her words) and she works with groups that help young women who are contemplating abortions by giving them free 4D ultrasounds so they can see their baby alive for themselves. She couldn’t believe that anyone could choose to end such a miraculous gift. God bless her for her work!

    Maybe I can’t convince people like you hard-liners who agree with our president that children are pretty much “punishments” but I plan on continuing to be in the trenches where it matters, helping people understand that these are human children, not choices, and to exterminate their lives is a flat out crime against the most precious of God’s creation.

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  21. lowerleavell says:

    Boy Edi, if God really were as you described, you’d be right for rejecting Him. However, you’re view’s pretty skewed, so just understand you’re looking at the Bible through tainted glasses. For example, your verse in Psalm 137:9 is talking about the fact that Babylon had killed Israel’s children in that manner and it was predicted that the same would happen to Babylon (which actually did, by the way – thanks for pointing out a prophesy that came true). It wasn’t a command to do it, it was a prophesy that it would happen.

    Also, the Bible does NOT condone slavery (though they did have a credit system that including working for your creditors until your debt was paid off – which was called slavery. But the concept of slavery that we know of, like what was done to African Americans is not condoned by the Bible).

    The Bible mandates being good, peaceful citizens of whatever nation you belong – at the time that piece of Scripture was written, Nero was the emperor and he was killing Christians and STILL they advocated being obedient to the laws of the nation (as long as they didn’t go contrary to Scripture – like denying Jesus). Christians should be model citizens in a country. Since a king/emperor was the type that people understood, that was the example that was used. It would make no sense if they listed all the types of possible governments and said, “obey presidents, primeministers, kings, tribal leaders, chiefs, your representatives, etc.” It just says, “governing authorities.” So, again, there is no “biblical mandate” for a king. The only Biblical mandate that DOES advocate a king is having Jesus as king of your heart and life.

    Since I live in the greatest country in the history of the planet which has done more to share God’s cause than any other country in the history of the planet (including Israel, btw), I’m very content to stay right here, thank you very much! There’s plenty of people (like yourself) who need to be told that God loves them and desires a relationship with them, right here in the good old USA. I’m terrified that the days of our republic and democracy are at an end and we are seeing our first “king”, but that is yet to be seen. We’re already in an oligarchy (ruled by judges), but I’m terrified in living in a theocracy too – that’s why this “Obama worship” stuff scares me!

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  22. Ediacaran says:

    Loweleavell, here in the United States, “We the People” established government. We gave up on kings, such as were “ordained” in your bible. We forbid religious tests for public office, per the Constitution, and the 1st Amendment established what Thomas Jefferson referred to as a wall of separation between church and state, and he should know since he was one of the primary agents who persuaded Madison to introduce it along with many other rights included in the Bill of Rights.

    As for your particular religion, remember the Treaty with Tripoli during the Founders’ time: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    It took awhile, but the U.S. also gave up on slavery, which your bible condones. We also don’t stone people to death for working Saturdays, as your bible requires. Here in the States, a modern-day Lot (and daughters) or Abraham would ideally be arrested for some of their acts (incest, attempted murder, etc.) You mentioned rape, murder and infanticide – all acts advocated by your bible in particular cases. Numbers 31, Psalms 137:9, etc. Not a very good moral or legal guide, that bible of yours.

    If you want to live under theocratic sharia or the equivalent, or biblically-mandated kings, then find a theocratic country to which you can move. If you decide you can live peaceably with the rest of us under our non-biblical form of government, and uphold and defend the Constitution, you are welcome to stay.

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  23. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, why is it that whenever we chat about this, you always go back to women raped in Sarajevo? You seem to want to justify all abortions in every case because of a handful of cases of rape in Europe. Rape represents roughly 1% of all abortions in the US. Do you not remember that I already clarified myself several times on the rape issue? I’m not going to do it again. If you want to know the answer to your question that I’d already answered, just read our discussion from earlier on this thread.

    Why is it that when talking about things they agree with the governement, liberal people never use the term “Big Brother?” My what word games you play Ed – how you use words to add clout when you have no real substance.

    I do NOT think Big Brother should be the final authority – obviously. Nor do I think the mother should be. As a Christian, I believe that God is the ultimate authority. Idealy, people wouldn’t get abortions because they love God and desire to do things His way. However, God ordained government’s to protect their citizens and above all, the sanctity of the lives of the innocent. It does so by outlawing rape, murder, infanticide, in most cases euthenasia, etc. You wouldn’t give a person a gun and tell them it’s their choice to murder their infant child or not, would you? You wouldn’t say, ” ‘Big Brother’ shouldn’t make those decisions! The parents should have a choice!” You’re being inconsistent. Government can (and should) be a good thing, when defending people’s lives.

    BTW, you’ll hate this video speech by a 12 year old, but hopefully someone reading your blog will appreciate it. They had to stop comments on the video because of the insults and threats brought against her.

    youtube.com/watch?v=wOR1wUqvJS4

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  24. Ed Darrell says:

    I think the advertisers missed a lot of points. They suggest that Obama was an unwanted child — not so. They suggest that his mother contemplated abortion — not so, so far as we know.

    And I think you missed the danger of their point. They are arguing for a form of eugenics. Obama was the good stuff, they say. We should select good kids, they say.

    I find that message offensive, patronizing, and factually in error. I’m rather surprised that you don’t see the eugenics claim in this ad as a problem (Or am I imagining that you took after eugenics earlier? It’s a common complaint among anti-choice advocates.)

    When I proposed the opposite scenario, you said it was unfair — the Moslem woman in Sarajevo, raped by a Serbian with the sole intent of making her pregnant to bear the child of the man who murdered her father, husband, and first two sons. Should we require her to bear that child? The world says that’s a war crime — even Bush agreed, and Sec. of State Rice led the UN Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing such rapes as war crimes. Allowing the woman to choose an abortion becomes an act of mercy in such a case, a step toward amelioration of the war crime.

    Everything between Obama and that child of the rapist is in the gray area. You think Big Brother should be the decision maker in those cases, and I think the mother should be. That’s the only difference between our stands, really. You’re unwilling to let women choose on the Obama side — though Obama’s birth surely is a refutation of any claim that women choose badly — but I wonder whether you want to eliminate a woman’s choice at the other end, too. Do you? Should we require abortion in the cases of war-crime rape? If we do a one-size-fits-all Big Brother decision on one end of the spectrum, doesn’t justice require that we do it on the other end, too?

    If you don’t require the Moslem woman to get an abortion, you’re being inconsistent. You give choice to one woman, but not the other. If we deny the Moslem woman the right to abort, we compound the war crime, we become accessories to war crime.

    On what basis should we be inconsistent? Why not leave it up to the woman in almost every case?

    Like

  25. lowerleavell says:

    I think you copletely missed the point of the ad. Basically the point is that life is full of positive potential that if allowed to develop, could even become the president of the United States.

    Obviously there is a negitive side to those who are given the opportunity to live. What would have happened if Adolf Hitler’s mom had gotten an abortion? That’s obvious, but the fact that he being born is not the reason he became a monster – several factors played into his becoming a monster, just like many factors played into Obama becoming president. The point is though, that Obama could never have become president if he was never allowed to be born. It demonstrates the positive potential of life – nothing more. Yes, there’s negative potential, but negative potential is no reason to abort a child.

    No, it wasn’t a racist ad, obviously!

    It’s sad that this ad couldn’t make the Super Bowl, but go-daddy ads were just fine.

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    I didn’t miss that the ad completely misrepresented the circumstances of Obama’s family, no. Among other things, when Obama’s parents married, no one predicted that his parents would get divorced, and that his father would essentially abandon the family later. Those sorts of things could not be considered because they were years into the future.

    Plus, that’s a dangerous path to tread. I’m sure you’ve seen the Freakonomics figures on how abortion produced a decline in crime. If the ad really wants to make a case that we should disallow choice, what are you going to say when another advocacy group posts the Freakonomics data in a similar ad?

    I think it’s dishonest to take a case where the mother wanted a baby as an argument against any aspect of family planning, especially abortion.

    Here’s the argument the ad makes, in short: “Barack Obama was a mixed race kid who made good, therefore abortion should be outlawed.” It’s a grand non sequitur as an argument, and if the logic were acceptable, then every kid sentenced to prison would be an argument in favor of abortion, by exactly the same logic. The U.S. now leads the world in imprisonment, so, by the logic of the ad, we have the strongest need for abortion.

    I don’t think a jail sentence means a kid should have been aborted any more than another kid’s success is an argument against abortion. Neither one deals with reality where a woman has an unwanted pregnancy, and neither sheds much light on who should be making the decisions. I think the decision should be chiefly that of the mother, you think it should be up to Big Brother. Obama’s birth sheds no light either way.

    Or did I miss something else? Was that a hidden, racist ad in favor of anti-miscegenation laws? I hope not.

    The network determined not to put advocacy ads on during the SuperBowl — a badly reasoned ad doesn’t make me think the network was wrong.

    Like

  27. lowerleavell says:

    Did you really miss the emphasis of this ad? It demonstrated that there was every “excuse” in the book (except maybe a child with DS) to have an abortion. She chose life, and the person grew up to be the first black president.

    You always have a choice. I have a choice whether to go on a murdering rampage or not. I never would do that, but I do have the choice. Choice speaks nothing of morality. You have the choice to abort your child or not, but when you really understand the potential of life, like this ad demonstrates, it makes the choice a whole lot easier.

    Like

  28. Ed Darrell says:

    Confusing, no? Is it an ad for choice or against choice?

    It makes a good case for wanted children — no question about Obama being a wanted child.

    I was also curious about the emphasis on being raised by a single mother. Most abortions in the U.S. now are obtained by married women with other children.

    Maybe the group doesn’t want us to know those facts.

    Like

  29. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,
    Have you seen this comercial that was too “controversial” for the Super Bowl?

    onenewsnow.com/Blog/Default.aspx?id=404524

    Like

  30. Kassandra says:

    I agree with this book.every child is going to find out about sex one way or another.
    its a new generation and children have to understand how life works. Than they going to find out another way and and not the right way.this book has all what a child should read about sex. Sex is every where now…on the internate,televison,streets,and more places and all this things children do have access to.so by now a child of 10 has an idea what sex is but should surely know more.

    Like

  31. lowerleavell says:

    I’m all caught up. If you wish to discuss this further, that’s up to you. But just so you know, if you do drop it, it’s not because I didn’t reply to every one of your posts but because you chose to not continue the conversation.

    Sorry that there are no breaks in paragraphs on my posts. I put them into microsoft word and when I posted them it took the lines out. I tried to put lines back in but when I typed ‘enter’ it posted it. That’s why I had duplicate comments before – I hit enter twice. Sorry.

    Like

  32. lowerleavell says:

    You said, “The neo-Christian view that life begins at conception, rather than at “quickening” as the traditional Christian view held.”

    You are so backward on history it makes me wonder how you glory in your accuracy. You don’t seem to want to give Scripture any credence (even though the Bible always describes an unborn child as a “child” – not something that ‘becomes’ human – I mean, even though a child is not fully an adult doesn’t make it any less human because its form changes and develops, it’s simply at a different stage of life). What you are arguing for is the Jewish persuasion, not the Christian. Even the Jewish persuasion sees abortion as abominable if the life of the mother is not directly threatened. Even if the mother’s life was threatened they would cut off the child’s limb to try to save both – after all the limbs were gone and they still could not save the mother, then they were permitted to abort the baby. Let me set the record straight on historical Christianity by giving some quotes of church fathers:

    “It is not permissible for us to destroy the seed by means of illicit manslaughter once it has been conceived in the womb, so long as blood remains in the person.”- Apologia, cap 25, line 42 (Tertullian)
    In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in the seed. – Apologia 9.6 (Tertullian)
    Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” – De Anima (Tertullian)
    …those who give the abortifacients and those who take the poisons are guilty of homicide. -First Letter 8 (Basil)
    (Basil also made no distinction between a perfectly formed child and a deformed child.)
    Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74] ). (Barnabas)
    Those who use abortifacient medicines to hide their fornication cause not only the outright murder of the fetus, but of the whole human race as well” (Paedogus 2:10.96.1). (Clement of Alexandria)
    It wasn’t until Augustine that anyone in the church even questioned whether abortion was murder (no wonder you like Augustine). Augustine still taught that mid to late term abortions were murder though and was alone in his views until much later in history. So, Ed, tell me where your stand on abortion is compatible to either historical or modern Christianity?
    You said, “You propose no penalty to God for aborting the fetus, nor can we possibly distinguish between this act of God — murderous act of God, if we accept your rather tortured definition of murder — and error by mom.”
    WHAT??? Am I sovereign? Am I all powerful? God is God, not me. Do you really think that God is a murderer by allowing miscarriages (by my definition of murder)? Dude! Ed, if you do, can you do me a favor? Can you drop the title “Christian” from your rhetoric of who you are because accusing God of being a murderer is like accusing Obama of being a conservative Republican? It’s insulting to God, and yes I can defend it scripturally if you desire to go there. No act of God can be defined as murder.
    “Your grandmother and grandfather have the right to avoid treatment for their afflictions, too.”
    That’s true, but last time I checked, suicide is a common law crime, isn’t it (although it’s hard to punish someone who’s dead, so what’s the point?)? You don’t have the right to end your own life or the life of someone else. You can do it without punishment (again, how?) in the US, but it’s not a right guaranteed by the constitution. You have the right to life, not the right to end it prematurely.
    The analogy with abortion breaks down quickly because it is tantamount to assisted suicide which is illegal in 49 states. Except with abortion the one who is being assisted in death doesn’t get a say.
    “The sperm that fertilizes the egg is alive, as is the egg, prior to fertilization. If you’re really concerned about protecting all human life, do you seriously propose to do something to protect all sperm? All eggs? Why? How? On what godly basis?”
    While what you’re saying is pretty well impossible, I do think there is a principle against self mutilation, isn’t there? Have you heard of the 51/50 principle? Those who seek to harm themselves are thought to be insane. So, even if abortion was part of a woman’s own body, self mutilation is a mark of insanity.
    You said, “Even the uneducated nomads who told the first tales that found their way into our Bible understood these areas as non-bright-line decision areas. In the Old Testament, in the New Testament, a baby isn’t a baby until birth.”
    Ok, again, you’ve just got it backwards. A baby is always a baby in the OT and NT, with no distinction made. Even if (and it’s a big if) you argued that conception isn’t when life began, the Bible makes it clear that life is found in a person’s blood, Deuteronomy 12:23, which happens at 4 weeks old. The Bible also always describes those in the womb as children in many, many cases. A pregnant woman is “with child” not “with fetus.” Elizabeth conceived a “son” gave birth to a “son” (same Greek word [uios] which is the same word used for someone who is born), and the “baby” leapt in the mother’s womb. Even Mary was called a mother before Jesus was even born (Luke 1:43). The Bible simply makes no distinction pre-birth and post-birth as to if it is a child or not. Again, you have no Biblical leg to stand on in abortion. You have no historical Christian leg to stand on. You have nothing but convenience and people’s desire to have sex without consequences.
    You said, “Are sperm alive, too? Eggs? Why not? They contain the possibility of life. They are different from their parent, genetically, unable to make a clone like other cells, even hypothetically.”
    Every cell is alive. Every cell in my body does its job until it dies. From what I understand, my body replaces 50,000 cells every 3 seconds. That’s amazing! Again, there is a difference between allowing life to run its course and self-mutilation. My sperm have what, a 24 hour life expectancy? They run their course, but I wouldn’t mutilate myself or make myself a eunuch. Ugh. Willful destruction of life is what we’re talking about.
    You said, “In a parasitic relationship, biologically, that may kill the mother. Surely you don’t think this is adequate to grant rights. Tapeworms meet the same criterion. At what point does a woman get her rights back?”
    I’m all for protecting the life of the mother. Most Christians are. But 90% plus of abortions are not about the life of the mother. If you simply want abortions because the mother will die if it is not performed, then that is a legitimate argument. But that’s not what you’re advocating. And tapeworms aren’t humans.
    You said, “When does the woman get rights in your scenario?”
    When she makes the choice to engage in sex. That’s why rape is so gray because the woman didn’t make the choice to engage in sex. If a husband and wife are ready to be done with having children then I for one don’t see a problem with a vasectomy or “tying the tubes.” My wife and I are not ready for another child, but we know that there is a possibility of it happening because neither of us have had that procedure. Any woman who engages in sex, pre-marital, marital, or extra-marital, should understand that the possibility of getting pregnant is very real. That’s one of the many reasons why sex inside of marriage alone is so important.
    You said, “The typical woman who gets an abortion in the U.S. today is a married woman with at least two children already.”
    Again, abortions of convenience that have nothing to do with the life of the mother. Abortion is not a contraceptive!
    You said, “Frankly, any claim that these woman “shrug their shoulders” and say “Who knows and who cares,” is repugnant, misogynistic, misanthropic, and irrational.”
    Well, I hope not. Ignorance is NOT bliss, but if women are doing this with full knowledge of what they are doing and still going through with it…that’s almost worse.
    You said, “When does a woman get at least the same rights the fetus gets?”
    A woman has the right to life, doesn’t she? That’s all I’m advocating for a fetus. That would be equal rights, right?
    You said, “You’ve got the concordances, I presume. I don’t. Look it up. Murder isn’t just killing. It refers to people, not fetuses, not unborn babies, who are members of one’s tribe. It doesn’t prevent killing for self-defense, it doesn’t prevent killing in war. It doesn’t prevent dashing the heads of babies on stones in warfare — one more area where modern humans have achieved greater morality than the characters in the Old Testament, I think — and it doesn’t say women are not humans when pregnant.”
    I’ve already cited what the Bible says about unborn children, but I could elaborate if you need me to. You’re statement almost sounds like it was the Israelites who dashed the heads of babies on stones. It wasn’t – other countries did it to them. Modern humans are still barbaric, or haven’t you heard of Darfur? When did the sex trade stop? When did slavery stop? Humans are just as morally bad as they were back then and you defending abortion demonstrates it.
    You said, “How do you justify rating a woman as less than human because she’s pregnant? My recollection is that scripture doesn’t do that. Is there a basis for the state stepping in to play God, where God doesn’t?”
    I’m not sure how I’ve done that. Saying a woman doesn’t have the right to kill another or have a right to self mutilation (whichever side of the issue you’re on in the baby being alive) is not making her less than human, is it?
    Thanks for your time on this Ed. I do respect you and your position. I simply believe it is historically, biblically, and ethically wrong, even if you are sincere.
    Ok, I’m all caught up. If you wish to discuss this further, that’s up to you. But just so you know, if you do drop it, it’s not because I didn’t reply to every one of your posts but because you chose to not continue the conversation.

    Like

  33. lowerleavell says:

    Hey Ed,

    I wanted to get in one more post on your site before the election. As I’ve said, I’m not a big McCain fan, but from the other side, I cannot imagine simply “hoping” that your candidate of “hope” will not let you down. I am so sad because if he gets elected it really does mean that the era of freedom and democracy for this country is unofficially over (though it’s been dying for years, even in a Bush government). I love my country and I feel like crying over the horrible discernment of the American people…to even consider Obama for their president. I would much rather have had Hilary if you had to choose between the two. At least you know what you’re getting yourself into with Hilary – with Obama…no one knows just how far left he’ll take the country and it really scares me. I am no prophet, but I seriously believe that Obama will be the turning point of our country from freedom into socialism, communism, or something worse. And it breaks my heart. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you don’t remember much about the history of how tyrannical leaders came into power in either Eastern or Western Europe. Ok, enough said. Back to the abortion discussion:

    I said, “The ability to survive on its own has never been the issue with me.”
    You said, “That doesn’t make any sense. If you’re asking that women’s rights be taken away for an entity that you know cannot be viable, that’s even more repugnant. Have women no rights at all? No right to life, liberty or pursuit of happiness? No right to control medical procedures in their own bodies?”

    It is verifiably accurate to say that a baby in the womb (zygote, fetus, embryo or whatever inhuman term you want to use to make abortion seem less heartless) is separate from her mother. No, it cannot survive without the mother, but it is NOT the mother. Yes, a woman has rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, those rights are limited to her own body, not the body of another individual. How many times must we go round and round about this? Can you or can you not admit that the baby is a separate entity from the mother and is alive?
    You said, “At every probe, you push the rights of the woman farther underground. When, in your view, does a woman get any protection of her rights at all? How can you defend that view as not misanthropic?”
    You are saying that abortion is a woman’s right, but again have not demonstrated how. I could contend that murder is a right. I could contend anything I want is a right, but that doesn’t make it a right and doesn’t make it cruel for you to say murder is not a right. So, your false views of “freedom of choice” have no ground until you demonstrate what gives a woman the right to destroy a human life that is not her own. Even if it IS her own body, self mutilation is not a “right” to anything but a trip to the mental ward.
    You said, “One more reason that the decision in Roe v. Wade looks like an astounding act of statesmanship. We cannot work in a society that claims an unviable zygote has precedence over its mother.”
    Again, no one said precedence OVER its mother except you. Equality for all, isn’t that the way America should be?
    You said, “Medically, this makes almost all medication of pregnant women a violation of the baby’s rights. Aspirin for a headache, ibuprofen for muscle pain, a glass of wine before the pregnancy test takes effect. a trip to the gym, a breast x-ray, routine dental work, treatment for a sinus infection — all of these things could cause injury to the baby. Since you grant the baby full rights, we have to appoint a guardian ad litem to stand up for its interests, and go to court (since the baby can’t sign the consent form) for every minor affliction the mother has.”
    There is a reason why amusement parks say that women can’t go on roller coasters and why there are warnings on alcohol, prescription drugs, and cigarettes for people who are pregnant. There are reasons why pregnant women are supposed to take special vitamins and have special diets. We already have what is needed in place. The only difference here is that one child is wanted while another child is not. We get it dead on right when the mother wants the child but get it completely backwards when the child is not wanted by the biological mother. You want to take every position to an extreme while everything that is needed is already in place…with the exception of abortion.
    You said, “I think your position is amazingly naive in a legal sense, and in a life sense. There are not enough lawyers in the world to defend all the babies God Himself will take. There is no CSI team conceivable that could tell the difference between the baby God takes and the baby accidentally flushed by the mother’s 10K run to raise money for breast cancer research.”
    Are you serious? Come on, there is a big difference between an accidental miscarriage and willfully and purposely going to an abortion clinic and allowing someone else to kill your baby. I do my best to make sure my kids are safe from harm. Sometimes I wrestle with my boys and sometimes they get hurt. It’s called an “accident.” Sometimes people do things accidently that affect others – like in traffic. There is a huge difference between accidently getting into a traffic accident and speeding down the freeway at 120 miles an hour going the wrong direction and killing someone in a head on collision. That’s murder. That’s the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion.
    You said, “Alive” isn’t enough to merit full protection of the law as a human.”
    Why not? I’m alive, aren’t I? You’re alive too, right? Shouldn’t our rights as humans be defended? Alive sounds like a pretty good demarcation for protection of the law to me! Who died and left us to be God to determine what life is valuable enough to exist and which one should be aborted? You do realize that the famous verse, John 3:16 says that Jesus died for the whole world, right? God makes no distinction of which life is more valuable than another (He died for every life) and neither should we, because every life is precious and a gift from God, is it not? See, you’re trying to view this through pragmatism and not through the lens of “What would Jesus Do?” How can you do that as a Christian?
    (BTW, your new slogan should be “pragmatism works” because everything you argue is not filtered through Christ, but through humanistic philosophy.)
    You said, “Extending legal rights to her baby and suspending her rights only makes the fights more bitter, the decisions more harsh. Our experience over the past 10,000 years or so is that taking these decisions from the mothers tends to increase the numbers of abortions. If you’re for the baby, and not really just trying to punish the woman, you’re going the wrong way.”
    A very pragmatic comment and speaks nothing to morality. If it’s right, it’s worth defending. If it’s wrong, it’s worth condemning. You really have bitten into the apple of Post-Modernism, haven’t you?
    You said, “Who has to give up their bodily fluids, blood pressure control, and bladder comfort so your grandfather can live? No one. Can your two-year-old take food and hugs from your grandmother, or must your wife be the only one who does that? There is a clear distinction between a person outside of a womb, a person who can breathe, eat and eliminate on her own, and a fetus inside a woman well prior to the sixth month of gestation.”
    I agree that there is a distinction and I’m glad you have made it so that when those who are fighting for abortion start fighting for euthanasia and infanticide for handicapped children, you and I will be right there together fighting against it, right? Those statements are to demonstrate that while no one gives up anything inside their body, many people give up time, money, energy, etc so that my grandfather can have life. How about those with diabetes? If we don’t want them, should we just take their shots away so they’ll die? How about those with asthma or pacemakers? A freedom from dependence on something else to exist is one of the weakest arguments for when life begins that I’ve ever heard.
    The beauty of a mother is that the dependence is taken to the next step. That baby’s survival is in the sole possession of the mother. Ultimately she does get to decide if that baby should see life (they are capable of murder if they choose), but that isn’t freedom of choice, it’s a sobering responsibility that many women don’t always think through. It’s an act of love and responsibility to bring a baby into this world. Again, this goes back to a flippant view of sex. The discussions are very closely linked.

    Like

  34. lowerleavell says:

    Ed,

    I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten to write you back on your post, but this has been one of the busiest weeks of my life so I have not had time to respond. Here’s something from a discussion with my brother a while back:

    “I was going into the BSU library today with an unopened plastic bottle of tea. Bright and shining was the sign that forbade food and drink in the library. Instantly this blog came to mind [discussion on when life begins]. Since the tea had not been opened and removed from the bottle, it was, because of Roe v Wade, not a drink. And inside the bottle, that liquid inside was not tea. Technically, I could walk into the library without hiding my drink.

    So I did, and no one stopped me.”

    The question of a woman having the freedom to do what she wants with her own body totally goes away if the woman is a believer in Christ. Why? The Bible says it best:

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price (paid for by Jesus’ blood); therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

    Even if it IS your body, it is to be controlled by God, not by your “rights.” Does abortion “glorify God in your body and in your spirit”? or are we merely trying to justify something we all know is wrong, if we simply are honest with ourselves?

    For atheists…I can see no moral reason why an atheist would have a problem with abortion….or murdering someone for that matter. Legistical problems and consequences, yes; but moral problems, no. That’s why I am appealing more to those like Ed who say they are “believers” and why abortion is a “heart” issue rather than a legislative issue.

    Like

  35. lowerleavell says:

    Hey, my latest post went into the filter, though I’m not sure why.

    Like

  36. lowerleavell says:

    Ok, last post to reply to.

    You said, “As long as you’re in 2 Timothy 2, notice what it says about doing the right thing, and about stupid and senseless arguments, a couple of verses later.”

    Spending your time discussing things that have no impact on anyone (like whether the Sons of God in Genesis were fallen angels or sons of Seth or whatever) are senseless arguments. So, how many angels can fit on the end of a pin anyway? We are also cautioned not to generate strife but be patient, and humbly correct those who are in opposition to the teachings of Scripture. In regard to sex education, you said it is a life and death issue for children – hardly a “senseless argument”, wouldn’t you say? The passage goes on to say, “if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

    Again, as I asked you in the abortion discussion, who’s will are you doing here? God’s? You have yet to defend how abortion is in accordance to Scripture. Same with making sex cheap and not just for marriage.

    You said, “The truth is that masturbation is normal, common, and in most cases cannot cause harm to youth. As a pragmatic medical matter, recent research confirms that males who masturbate in youth tend to have lower rates of prostate disease including cancer.”

    Pragmatism should not govern actions alone because you failed to consider morality in this equation. Is it common? Yes. But so is adultery. Does it cause harm to youth? Pornography sure does, and it is directly tied. Selfishness does, and it is directly tied. Is it normal? Yes, and so is all selfishness, lust, and pride. I can imagine that masturbation does help the prostate considering our bodies are designed for sex. But again, adultery could help the prostate too, but does that make it ok? You haven’t demonstrated how masturbation is morally ok, not just pragmatically so.

    By the way, this verse in 2 Timothy isn’t just talking about masturbation, and it would be absurd to say so. It is all encompassing of immoral thoughts and actions, sexual, financial, fame, or anything else people lust after. But, sexual lust of all kinds certainly applies and we should run away from them, not write books about “how to fulfill youthful lusts.” Maybe that would have been a better title for “It’s Perfectly Normal.”

    You said, “Males over the age of 40 who are very sexually active or who masturbate instead face very much decreased risks of prostate disease, and avoid the highly-elevated rates of prostate cancer of those who are neither extremely active nor masturbate with some frequency. I usually joke about testosterone poisoning, but in this case, it’s serious.”

    I joke that too much testosterone is why I went bald, which actually may be true. I think if a husband and wife are incapable of sexual relations then masturbation is a viable option for the couple. 1 Corinthians 7 tells us that our bodies are not our own but rather we have given them to our spouse and we are commanded not to “defraud” them of what is theirs. That doesn’t mean that a husband should demand it 7x a week. It means that each in the relationship are seeking to please the other in mutual satisfaction. Again, sex is a gift for marriage and is intended to be pleasurable for both. If a married couple have a fulfilling sexual relationship, those testosterone levels shouldn’t be a problem.

    You said, “I well recall when the Boy Scout Handbook and other books for youth said masturbation would lead to mental illness and, perhaps, physical illness. These statements are not only not true, but counter to research findings.”

    There should be no need to lie about something, even for good intentions. If that’s what the handbook said, they were wrong. But, again, it isn’t a point for masturbation being right either.

    “You, coming from that branch of Christianity that is obsessed with sex, think that line must refer to sex.”

    Are you discussing this with me, or all of fundamentalism? I sense that a lot when talking to you, that you’re not discussing things with me, you’re discussing it with all the other fundamentalists that you have contended with over the years. Let me just be clear, I’m not a “fundamentalist – noun.” I really couldn’t care less if I was part of a group called fundamentalism. I am a “fundamentalist – adjective.” I desire to be characterized as a Christian, not a Fundamentalist (too close a term to Jihadists these days – you could say that the term “fundamentalist” has been hijacked by terrorists-literally). When fundamentalists are wrong, they should be called on it. When they follow Christ, praise God. The fundamentals of Scripture are necessary, and I will contend for them as well. But fundamentalism as a movement? My loyalties are to Jesus Christ, not fundamentalism. Masturbation is NOT a fundamental to the faith, and so even if we disagree on it, “let everyone be persuaded in their own minds.” If you believe you can masturbate to the glory of God and be pleasing to Him, then go for it – it’s between you and God. But please, discuss stuff with me based on my personal position, and those from Scripture, not the fundamentalist movement.

    You said, “Masturbation is probably much less harmful than the lust for television I see in many kids, including kids from “good Christian families,” or the lust against books.”

    I’m not going to argue with you there. I just let my two year old watch a kids program on Disney. After it was over he threw a temper tantrum because he wanted to watch more. You are right about the lust for TV. Good statement!

    I’m not sure what you’re saying about the “lust against books.” Many Christian families that I know really encourage their kids to read books. My five year old was reading at age three because he was constantly surrounded by books, letters, and phonics. I think you can distinguish between lusting against books and lusting against morally putrid books. But, going back to 2 Timothy, a Christian should correct in humility, love, and with patience, using Scripture as the authority…not with Patton militancy.

    You said, “I see a campaign against masturbation as exactly contrary to the scriptures in that verse, Joe. Timothy is speaking broadly, urging against youth-like bad judgment that leads to overindulgence in anything. You overindulge in sex obsession, and focus on masturbation.”

    Again, are you debating me, or fundamentalism? If I recall correctly, I merely objected to masturbation being encouraged and even illustrated to 10 year olds. You are the one who turned it into a discussion, not me. If you merely want to respect my belief that probably 90% or more of child masturbation and desire for pornography is “youthful lust”, then don’t turn this isn’t a huge issue. I merely believe that it is inappropriate to teach and demonstrate to 10 year olds how to masturbate. Disagree. Fine. But overindulgence in sex obsession? Is that really called for?

    This whole discussion is about a book on sex. I’m not sure how discussing it is “sex obsession.” We’ve talked about a whole slew of things in the past year and how many months, but sex isn’t a common topic. Frankly, I’m rather uncomfortable doing so. I think your complaint against me is unfounded. Wouldn’t you agree?

    You said, “You confuse rape with sex, a confabulation which leads to wrong conclusions. Rape is more a crime of control than a crime of sex. Rape is rarely driven by sex obsession, but usually driven by the rapists’ having been humiliated previously. Often that humiliation involves a sexual matter.”

    I think you are talking about serial rapists and I was more talking about date rape. In date rape, I would think that it would be more just going to far and the girl wanting him to stop and he refuses and forces her because of selfish lust. What I was contending is that when sex is seen as something for purely selfish fulfillment, then a woman is seen merely as a means to an end, to get what you want. That would encourage date rape.

    You said, “Good sex education, which explains that sexual attraction is normal and not sinful per se, is a great weapon against rape.”

    I completely agree. Fulfilling those attractions prematurely or selfishly is not the agenda of this book however.

    You said, “Informing a child that masturbation is normal is often a first step toward creating a well-balanced, healthy adult out of that child, an adult who is not driven to seek gratification in sex with other people, but instead seeks healthy and loving relationships first. I’ll wager the mental health research favors the approach used in It’s Perfectly Normal, at least so far as preventing the nurture of rapists.”

    You can contend that to be the case, but it seems 180 degrees backward to me. I would think that if a child is first taught to seek healthy and loving relationships and not view sex as something for purely physical gratification, but the ultimate act of physical and emotional love (beside sacrificing ones life for another), then it would go a long way in preventing rape.

    You said, “Relationship education needs to start from a foundation of a healthy individual.”

    That’s why relationship education needs to start when a child is still a baby. They need to see Mommy and Daddy love each other all their lives. They need to see a consistent, healthy, loving relationship between their parents. They need to see a physical desire that makes them desire it for themselves. Education is often modeled, not just lectured. This is an education that simply cannot be taught in a classroom, but is lacking in too many families.

    You said, “Do you really want to give your kids the idea that you’ll love them less if they masturbate? Surely you don’t want to tell them God will love them less.”

    What? Love them less? No. I have repeatedly told my children that I will love them regardless of their behavior. They will always be my sons and I will always love them. I may not always approve of their behavior, and there are consequences for behavior, but that doesn’t change my love for them. Love is not something earned by behavior, it is theirs because they are my children and will always be so.

    You said, “I think, ultimately, you’re confusing telling the straight facts about masturbation with something else. It goes back to what I see as your tendency to want people to be punished for thinking about sex.”

    Where are all these wild accusations coming from? When have I ever said that people should be punished for thinking about sex?? Really Ed, where are you getting these ideas? They’re not from me. Sex is a healthy, God-given gift for a husband and a wife. Children should be anticipating it and looking forward to the day when they have the same kind of loving relationship with their spouse that they see in their parents. They shouldn’t be afraid or ignorant of what’s going to happen on their wedding night. But there is a healthy way to anticipate, think about, and look forward to sex, and there is a lustful, selfish, and cheap way of looking forward to sex. And there is premature indulgence on something that was intended to be beautiful. I’m advocating the healthy and beautiful way of sex education.

    “I think the book’s view of sexual development in kids is healthy, and more likely to lead to a healthy adult who is willing and able to seek healthy adult relationships, both sexual and non-sexual.”

    See, there is a problem there. You have relationships (both sexual and non-sexual) being in the plural. I would advocate non-sexual relationships being plural, but sexual relationships being in the singular. This is the big chunk of the problem. Those who are writing about sex and those who are in public education (though you don’t directly teach sex, you do share the common view of sex education, I believe), that sex is not just between a husband and a wife. Yes, sexual development is healthy – in anticipation of marriage, not finding a fellow 15 year old to gratify your body with, albeit in a “safe“ manner. It’s not just finding a fellow 25 year old to shack up with as long as the sex is good. And you wonder why families are falling apart? It starts young, and books like this are going a long ways to discourage healthy, monogamous sex, but encourage cheap, selfish sex, including homosexuality and lesbianism. How is this healthy?

    I actually agreed with your article from the New York Times (surprised I would agree with anything from the NYT!). Who in this article are the ones doing the teaching? The parents! The article does a good job of articulating my position. Parents need to teach their children, even if it is younger than they think is necessary. My son is five and he already knows some basics of sex. He doesn’t believe in the stork, but knows that babies are from mommy and daddy and come out of mommy’s belly. He also knows that his body is different than a girls and that their bodies are designed by God. He also knows that Mommy and Daddy love each other and wants to marry someone like Mommy. For a five year old, this is healthy relationship/sex education.

    You said, “It’s Perfectly Normal strives to provide that inoculation against evil, and the weapons of good information, so kids can grow up, and grow up healthy and sane. I think those are noble goals, ably advanced by the book.”

    I agree, they are noble goals. I do not question the goals of either side. Accurate medical information was ably advanced by the book, but the moral aspect of the book failed miserably.

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  37. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe said:

    You said, “I think so. Your position is based on your assumption that a zygote can survive as soon as fertilization takes place, which is demonstrably false, and then upon a further assumption that a full set of human rights must then be attributed to that zygote. You claim abortion is murder.”

    The ability to survive on its own has never been the issue with me.

    That doesn’t make any sense. If you’re asking that women’s rights be taken away for an entity that you know cannot be viable, that’s even more repugnant. Have women no rights at all? No right to life, liberty or pursuit of happiness? No right to control medical procedures in their own bodies?

    At every probe, you push the rights of the woman farther underground. When, in your view, does a woman get any protection of her rights at all? How can you defend that view as not misanthropic?

    My question is how can something “die” if it was never alive? Needing someone else to survive doesn’t make something less alive. It merely makes its life dependent on another – but it’s still a life.

    One more reason that the decision in Roe v. Wade looks like an astounding act of statesmanship. We cannot work in a society that claims an unviable zygote has precedence over its mother. Medically, this makes almost all medication of pregnant women a violation of the baby’s rights. Aspirin for a headache, ibuprofen for muscle pain, a glass of wine before the pregnancy test takes effect. a trip to the gym, a breast x-ray, routine dental work, treatment for a sinus infection — all of these things could cause injury to the baby. Since you grant the baby full rights, we have to appoint a guardian ad litem to stand up for its interests, and go to court (since the baby can’t sign the consent form) for every minor affliction the mother has.

    Don’t we? If that scenario is inaccurate, then you’re conceding that the baby doesn’t have full rights.

    I think your position is amazingly naive in a legal sense, and in a life sense. There are not enough lawyers in the world to defend all the babies God Himself will take. There is no CSI team conceivable that could tell the difference between the baby God takes and the baby accidentally flushed by the mother’s 10K run to raise money for breast cancer research.

    “Alive” isn’t enough to merit full protection of the law as a human. Real life isn’t lived on a bright line demarcation between black and white, but instead in the entire range of grays. Decisions in that zone are best left to the woman involved, and when necessary, her physician, and her family. Extending legal rights to her baby and suspending her rights only makes the fights more bitter, the decisions more harsh. Our experience over the past 10,000 years or so is that taking these decisions from the mothers tends to increase the numbers of abortions. If you’re for the baby, and not really just trying to punish the woman, you’re going the wrong way.

    Again, if completely left to his own instincts to survive, my two year old would more than likely die if we left him to completely to himself to survive. So, he is still dependent on someone else for survival. Should we move the abortion age up to three (or 21 in some kid’s cases), to when they can independantly survive without the aid of anyone else? On the other end of the spectrum, my Grandpa has had four strokes, and while he can still walk and somewhat talk, could never survive on his own. My Grandmother has skin cancer and would die without treatment. Are you supporting euthanasia? They are dependant on another for survival, aren’t they?

    Who has to give up their bodily fluids, blood pressure control, and bladder comfort so your grandfather can live? No one. Can your two-year-old take food and hugs from your grandmother, or must your wife be the only one who does that? There is a clear distinction between a person outside of a womb, a person who can breathe, eat and eliminate on her own, and a fetus inside a woman well prior to the sixth month of gestation. The neo-Christian view that life begins at conception, rather than at “quickening” as the traditional Christian view held. You’re not making any decent case for claiming life begins at conception, at least not here. The fetus is unviable. A spontaneous abortion is indistinguishable from most actions the mother might take that cause the same result. You propose no penalty to God for aborting the fetus, nor can we possibly distinguish between this act of God — murderous act of God, if we accept your rather tortured definition of murder — and error by mom.

    Your grandmother and grandfather have the right to avoid treatment for their afflictions, too. Why would we deny a woman the rights you so easily concede to your grandparents and children. Isn’t a woman a human, too?

    Making abortion illegal does nothing to clear up any of these ambiguities.

    Life is not made by magic wand. Real life decisions don’t allow a hatchet-made decision between “living and non-living.” The sperm that fertilizes the egg is alive, as is the egg, prior to fertilization. If you’re really concerned about protecting all human life, do you seriously propose to do something to protect all sperm? All eggs? Why? How? On what godly basis? Even the uneducated nomads who told the first tales that found their way into our Bible understood these areas as non-bright-line decision areas. In the Old Testament, in the New Testament, a baby isn’t a baby until birth.

    Again, I’m asking you to defend your position on when life begins. If it is alive, then you are killing it in an abortion. The life that you are killing is a human embryo/fetus/unborn baby. If you want to tell me that it is ok to kill it, then that’s a different discussion, but you haven’t even admitted that it is alive yet, with different DNA, blood, etc. from its mother.

    Again I wonder, how far are you willing to carry this extreme and impractical view? Are sperm alive, too? Eggs? Why not? They contain the possibility of life. They are different from their parent, genetically, unable to make a clone like other cells, even hypothetically. How can you say life begins at conception when scripture doesn’t say that, when we have no way to determine such a thing, when there is so little human feature? If you’re resting your argument on “potential to be a human,” then you’ve semantically conceded that it’s not human, which is another reason to let the mother’s rights override.

    On what basis do we allow the fetus rights we deny to the mother? Is not the mother alive, too? On what basis do we deny the parent rights you demand for the fetus? Why isn’t a woman worth as much as a fetus, in your view?

    It’s not the mother’s body – it’s a living being.

    In a parasitic relationship, biologically, that may kill the mother. Surely you don’t think this is adequate to grant rights. Tapeworms meet the same criterion. At what point does a woman get her rights back? What balancing of rights do you propose here? At what point does the impregnated woman get to make the point that carrying the child is not easy, and may be fatal?

    If you say it’s ok to kill that living being because it’s dependant on someone else to stay alive then we can have that discussion, but you haven’t even admitted that you are killing a living human being yet.

    Well, legally, scripturally, it’s not a human being. I thought that was already decided. Killing an unborn baby is not the murder contemplated in the Decalogue, in any version of the Decalogue. It’s not a human being. It has potential of being a human being if it is allowed a parasitic relationship with its mother for 281 days. If the woman consents, we get a human. If the woman doesn’t consent to making a human, what gives anyone the right to play God and strip the woman of her own human rights? When does the woman get rights in your scenario?

    If you are going to kill a baby, it should be done with full knowledge of what you are doing, not just a shrug of your shoulders saying, “Who knows and who cares?”

    Again, I think your statement here reflects a grand inexperience with women who make decisions about reproduction. I’ve never known any woman to take such a decision cavalierly. I hear stories of some who do, but that’s not reflected in the statistics. The typical woman who gets an abortion in the U.S. today is a married woman with at least two children already. Frankly, any claim that these woman “shrug their shoulders” and say “Who knows and who cares,” is repugnant, misogynistic, misanthropic, and irrational.

    When does a mother get the right to control her own body after careful reflection, in your view? When does a woman get at least the same rights the fetus gets?

    In addition, (and I feel like I’m asking a politician, because you rarely actually answer my questions) can you tell me from the Ten Commandments – (“Do not kill/murder”) which is in essence Theology 101, how is willfully killing an unborn life NOT tantamount to murder?

    You’ve got the concordances, I presume. I don’t. Look it up. Murder isn’t just killing. It refers to people, not fetuses, not unborn babies, who are members of one’s tribe. It doesn’t prevent killing for self-defense, it doesn’t prevent killing in war. It doesn’t prevent dashing the heads of babies on stones in warfare — one more area where modern humans have achieved greater morality than the characters in the Old Testament, I think — and it doesn’t say women are not humans when pregnant.

    How do you justify rating a woman as less than human because she’s pregnant? My recollection is that scripture doesn’t do that. Is there a basis for the state stepping in to play God, where God doesn’t?

    By the way, a baby isn’t even a zygote anymore pretty well by the time you even know you’re pregnant.

    And why have you abandoned the traditional Christian view that a baby isn’t alive until “quickening?” Nothing to do with politics, is it?

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  38. lowerleavell says:

    You said, “Yes, I was arguing against vigilanteism, and using the example of a book that dispenses critical, life-saving information about sex to kids who badly need it. Telling kids the truth about sex is responsible, in my mind, especially compared to the lying about sex that has been the hallmark of the “abstinence only” perpetrators.”

    I don’t exactly remember saying that kids shouldn’t learn about sex, do you? I never objected to some of the information in the book. What I found inappropriate for children is the graphic illustrations, the “how to” of masturbation, oral and anal sex techniques (which they only need to know if you are assuming they ARE going to be engaging in sex), homosexual relationships as healthy and normal, and abortion as a viable option. I don’t object to kids having an understanding of what sex is about, as long as it is accompanied with educating them to the proper time and place, the loving relationship needed, and the unconditional love it is intended for.

    Do I believe that books like this should be “banned” by libraries? No, but I’m sure there must be a better book out there somewhere on sex – minus the immoral filth.

    “I have yet to find an abstinence only organization that gives the straight information to kids, and from my public health background, I regard those behaviors as tantamount to murder.”

    I wonder if they do, just not with the above objections that I stated. Maybe they don‘t, I‘m not sure. “Lifesaving information” is fine, but some of this stuff is from a purely moral-free world view, which has no business being in a book about sex. I have no problem teaching a kid about sex if they aren’t taught all the morally repugnant things of this book.

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  39. lowerleavell says:

    You said, “I think so. Your position is based on your assumption that a zygote can survive as soon as fertilization takes place, which is demonstrably false, and then upon a further assumption that a full set of human rights must then be attributed to that zygote. You claim abortion is murder.”

    The ability to survive on its own has never been the issue with me. My question is how can something “die” if it was never alive? Needing someone else to survive doesn’t make something less alive. It merely makes its life dependent on another – but it’s still a life. Again, if completely left to his own instincts to survive, my two year old would more than likely die if we left him to compltely to himself to survive. So, he is still dependant on someone else for survival. Should we move the abortion age up to three (or 21 in some kid’s cases), to when they can independantly survive without the aid of anyone else? On the other end of the spectrum, my Grandpa has had four strokes, and while he can still walk and somewhat talk, could never survive on his own. My Grandmother has skin cancer and would die without treatment. Are you supporting euthanasia? They are dependant on another for survival, aren’t they?

    Again, I’m asking you to defend your position on when life begins. If it is alive, then you are killing it in an abortion. The life that you are killing is a human embryo/fetus/unborn baby. If you want to tell me that it is ok to kill it, then that’s a different discussion, but you haven’t even admitted that it is alive yet, with different DNA, blood, etc. from its mother. It’s not the mother’s body – it’s a living being. If you say it’s ok to kill that living being because it’s dependant on someone else to stay alive then we can have that discussion, but you haven’t even admitted that you are killing a living human being yet. If you are going to kill a baby, it should be done with full knowledge of what you are doing, not just a shrug of your shoulders saying, “Who knows and who cares?” In addition, (and I feel like I’m asking a politician, because you rarely actually answer my questions) can you tell me from the Ten Commandments – (“Do not kill/murder”) which is in essence Theology 101, how is willfully killing an unborn life NOT tantamount to murder?

    By the way, a baby isn’t even a zygote anymore pretty well by the time you even know you’re pregnant.

    You said, “I believe there are greater crimes than murder, including oppressing other people, and including especially forcing people to forego control of their own bodies for unclear, ambiguous or unfounded reasons.”

    Oppressing people is greater than murder? So, Stalin should have just killed every man woman and child in Russia instead of oppressing them? Hussein, and Kim Jung Il should have just killed everyone? Hey, it’s better than oppression, right? So, what Egypt did to Israel (slavery) was worse than the Holocaust? Are you saying that you wouldn’t have as much of a problem if tyrannical dictators just killed off their subjects instead of oppressing them? Are you sure you don’t want to take your statement back? I’ll give you a free pass if you do, because I’m not sure if you thought that one through to its logical conclusion.

    Is this really an either or scenario? Is it oppression of people or murder? Are you actually admitting that abortion is murder but is better than telling people they can’t murder? Should we tell Bin Laden he was ok for murdering all of those Americans because we don’t want to oppress his rights? So, should we tell mothers that they can kill the life in their womb because it is better than that life being given up for adoption or making the mother go through labor? Are you sure you don’t want to re-think this because if it IS murder (which you’re coming dangerously close to admitting in your statement) then I for one would say that it is better to go through labor than to exterminate a life just because there is no emotional attachment. If you are admitting to abortion being murder, then a defence of it is nonsensical.

    If killing an unborn baby is killing a life, then is it not irrelevant that the life is inside your body and dependent on you for survival? Yes, do what you want with your own body. Fine. But when there’s another person’s body at stake, it’s a game changer, isn’t it?

    You said, “I don’t think we should concede to Big Brother our reproductive rights.”

    I agree. That is why I believe it should be a ballot initiative by states; voted for by the people, not Big Brother. It’s not something that should be forced upon the government, but rather voted upon by the people. I don’t think morality should be legislated. That is a big difference between China and the US – of course, judges usually overturn the will of the people, so we’re not like China, we’re like an Oligarchy more than anything. Now we have to vote to change the California constitution because of legislating activist judges. It’s just wrong regardless of whether or not I like the vote that the people passed. I would be opposed to a judge overturning voter legislation, even if I disagreed with the vote.

    You said, “So, to your position that women’s rights disappear at fertilization of an egg in their body, I have to stand up and say “hey, that’s not right, and here’s why.” I’ve already said why.”

    Um, not really, no. You haven’t defended how it is ok to destroy a life or defended your definition of when life begins. You can scream, “Foul!” all day long, but until you demonstrate how, and why, then you haven’t said very much. We talked about rape, which you never replied to, even though you didn’t really want to discuss abortions for convenience sake (90%+ abortions) until we talked about rape. So, I talked about it, and you didn’t answer and the conversation faltered. You have not demonstrated how aborting a child is a right or how it is the woman’s body, not the child’s body. You have not defended 90%+ of the abortions in this country, just the ones that are morally difficult. You have not demonstrated as a Christian how Jesus’ character and teaching would condone abortion. So, no, you have not said “here’s why.”

    You said, “You have not been swayed, and I don’t think you’ll be swayed until you confront the situation with someone you love, or perhaps a member of your congregation you respect.”

    While not the pastor, I have been there when people we contemplating abortions. I’ve talked with a few who have had them, but most (if not all) of the people in our congregation here are pro-life. Apparently, you have had to either personally encourage an abortion or be a part of someone’s life that had to have one. If that is the case, I am discussing this with a brick wall, because for you to admit that abortion is morally wrong, you would have to admit that you personally were wrong in your recommendation, which is a hard thing to do. But, it is no different than turning to Jesus, admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, something very difficult to do, but there is forgiveness, even in abortion for whatever reason.

    You said, “I still think you should work to reduce abortion numbers, rather than punish people who have abortions — but I don’t think I’ll sway you to that view, either.”

    I think those who have had abortions legally should not be civilly punished. They will have to stand before God with their decisions, but in the US, it has not been illegal. If the people of the US voted to make abortion illegal, that’s another matter. I agree, and I think we should be working to reduce the number of abortions – which is a matter of the heart, not just policy.

    I’m out of time, but will try to write more another day.

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  40. Ed Darrell says:

    As far as masturbation goes, I would see it again as a cheapening of what was intended for selfishness. 2 Timothy 2:22 says to flee from youthful (or inferior) lusts and follow righteousness, faith, love, peace…While it doesn’t address it directly, it takes a blanket approach to things that are inferior to what God has intended. I agree with the sages, but it’s more of an indication of our self seeking natures than our desire to express our passions in love and faithfulness to our spouse than anything else.

    As long as you’re in 2 Timothy 2, notice what it says about doing the right thing, and about stupid and senseless arguments, a couple of verses later.

    Directly these verses address the issue of whether we ought to tell the truth to kids. The truth is that masturbation is normal, common, and in most cases cannot cause harm to youth. As a pragmatic medical matter, recent research confirms that males who masturbate in youth tend to have lower rates of prostate disease including cancer. Males over the age of 40 who are very sexually active or who masturbate instead face very much decreased risks of prostate disease, and avoid the highly-elevated rates of prostate cancer of those who are neither extremely active nor masturbate with some frequency. I usually joke about testosterone poisoning, but in this case, it’s serious.

    I well recall when the Boy Scout Handbook and other books for youth said masturbation would lead to mental illness and, perhaps, physical illness. These statements are not only not true, but counter to research findings.

    My experience is that normal kids don’t have problems with masturbation except when they get astounding guilt trips because they think it’s sinful. Of course, as you know, that’s not something that can be grounded in scripture except with general terms, such as your claim that Timothy urges we avoid youthful lusts. You, coming from that branch of Christianity that is obsessed with sex, think that line must refer to sex. Many others of us look at that as similar to the urgings from the ancient Greek philosophers, that moderation is to be preferred in all things rather than excess. Masturbation is probably much less harmful than the lust for television I see in many kids, including kids from “good Christian families,” or the lust against books.

    I see a campaign against masturbation as exactly contrary to the scriptures in that verse, Joe. Timothy is speaking broadly, urging against youth-like bad judgment that leads to overindulgence in anything. You overindulge in sex obsession, and focuse on masturbation.

    Masturbation is normal, generally does not lead to any form of disease, and can be therapeutic. This book lays the foundation for those teachings for kids. You offer no alternative that provides similarly accurate information. Why not tell the kids the truth?

    I mentioned this part of the book because it encourages kids to think of sex as something that is for self gratification. Encouraging a self-centered approach to sex would be the first step in developing a rapist, an adulterer, or even just an insensitive lover, if you ask me. Instead, I see a fundamentally different approach is needed to the whole topic. Sex is the ultimate act of love, devotion, and respect of the opposite sex. It is an opportunity to show them their value and to fulfill their desires as they fulfill yours. Do you see the difference? One isn’t just sex education, it’s relationship education (which includes sex), which starts at an even earlier age than kindergarten. One is beautiful. The other is cheap. One is shallow and superficial, the other is deep and very intimate. One is easy, the other takes commitment and love. I know which one I want to encourage and educate my children in, and I would venture to guess I’m not the only parent.

    You confuse rape with sex, a confabulation which leads to wrong conclusions. Rape is more a crime of control than a crime of sex. Rape is rarely driven by sex obsession, but usually driven by the rapists’ having been humiliated previously. Often that humiliation involves a sexual matter.

    Good sex education, which explains that sexual attraction is normal and not sinful per se, is a great weapon against rape.

    Informing a child that masturbation is normal is often a first step toward creating a well-balanced, healthy adult out of that child, an adult who is not driven to seek gratification in sex with other people, but instead seeks healthy and loving relationships first. I’ll wager the mental health research favors the approach used in It’s Perfectly Normal, at least so far as preventing the nurture of rapists.

    Relationship education needs to start from a foundation of a healthy individual. Instilling guilt is contrary to good relationship formation, and it frustrates relationship education. Do you really want to give your kids the idea that you’ll love them less if they masturbate? Surely you don’t want to tell them God will love them less.

    I think, ultimately, you’re confusing telling the straight facts about masturbation with something else. It goes back to what I see as your tendency to want people to be punished for thinking about sex. I think the book’s view of sexual development in kids is healthy, and more likely to lead to a healthy adult who is willing and able to seek healthy adult relationships, both sexual and non-sexual. In searching scholarly publications for views about the book, I stumbled across the fact that the book is offered for sale to nursing and psychiatric nursing students as a valuable source of information and as a model of good counseling.

    I think you’re looking at the world through the wrong end of whatever scope you’re using, Joe. Here’s a view, from a New York Times article about this topic and this book, that I think you should consider:

    “If you’re talking about how babies are made, there’s no age at which it is harmful to learn that the penis goes into the vagina,” he said. “Yes, it’s true that exposing a child to sexual stimulation is harmful. But telling a kid how babies are made is very different.”

    The general cultural environment has become so vulgar, the early-approach advocates say, that sex education has become a race: parents must reach children before other forces – from misinformed playground confidantes to pubescent-looking models posed in their skivvies – do. “We need to get there first,” said Deborah M. Roffman, a sex educator and the author of “But How’d I Get in There in the First Place? Talking to Your Young Child About Sex.”

    If not, these advocates warn, children will gather their impressions anywhere and everywhere: from prime-time television jokes about threesomes, Internet pop-up ads for penis enlargement pills or even more explicit Web sites. When the Rev. Debra Haffner’s son typed “Katrina images” into Google’s search box for a school project, he ended up staring at photographs that had nothing to do with the hurricane, said Ms. Haffner, a Unitarian Universalist minister and the author of “From Diapers to Dating.”

    “When parents say to me, ‘But my child is too young, I want to keep them safe and innocent for as long as I can,’ I say, ‘Do you take them grocery shopping?’ ” Ms. Haffner said, referring to the naughty poses and headlines featured on magazines at the checkout counter.

    We can’t live our children’s lives for them, and we can’t always be there to protect them against the world. We need to inoculate them against evil with good information. We need to arm them to fight evil with the best information we can give them about what is real in the world, what is bad, and how to behave to stay healthy.

    It’s Perfectly Normal strives to provide that inoculation against evil, and the weapons of good information, so kids can grow up, and grow up healthy and sane. I think those are noble goals, ably advanced by the book.

    Like

  41. Ed Darrell says:

    I had thought that you were defending against vigilantes, which I can see your point and logic in and actually found myself agreeing with you in many ways. I was mainly wondering why you picked this particular book, considering it’s undisciplined approach to sex responsibility (except possibly a “don’t forget your condom”). I do know it was the most disputed book, (I believe it was in 2005) in the library system though. Maybe that’s why.

    Yes, I was arguing against vigilanteism, and using the example of a book that dispenses critical, life-saving information about sex to kids who badly need it. Telling kids the truth about sex is responsible, in my mind, especially compared to the lying about sex that has been the hallmark of the “abstinence only” perpetrators. I have yet to find an abstinence only organization that gives the straight information to kids, and from my public health background, I regard those behaviors as tantamount to murder. Failing to tell kids about how to save their lives and reproductive organs is a sin in my book — in my Book, too, if you catch my drift.

    If you don’t want your kids reading the book, tell them not to read it. I don’t think you should have the right to keep me or anyone else from getting lifesaving health information from our local public library.

    Like

  42. Ed Darrell says:

    By the way, I assume we’re done with discussing abortion? I’m not convinced I should enter into another discussion that we’ll get involved in and then get left wondering if it’s just a time issue, if I’ve ticked you off, or if you’re actually conceding the discussion, or what? I’ll fully answer your post tonight, but don’t expect to be seeing very many long posts in the near future (I know, I’m sure you’re happy with that) :-). I don’t mean to be a bother or nuisance, but I do believe there are things for which I must stand up and say, “hey, that’s not right and here’s why.” This book thing is such an issue.

    I think so. Your position is based on your assumption that a zygote can survive as soon as fertilization takes place, which is demonstrably false, and then upon a further assumption that a full set of human rights must then be attributed to that zygote. You claim abortion is murder.

    I believe there are greater crimes than murder, including oppressing other people, and including especially forcing people to forego control of their own bodies for unclear, ambiguous or unfounded reasons. I don’t think we should concede to Big Brother our reproductive rights. You think it’s okay, hoping Big Brother will always agree with you, though the only other nation where these rights have been conceded so, the Peoples Republic of China, Big Brother has determined that pregnancies must be terminated, even past the 30th week, and even into the 34th week in cases we know about.

    So, to your position that women’s rights disappear at fertilization of an egg in their body, I have to stand up and say “hey, that’s not right, and here’s why.” I’ve already said why. You have not been swayed, and I don’t think you’ll be swayed until you confront the situation with someone you love, or perhaps a member of your congregation you respect.

    I still think you should work to reduce abortion numbers, rather than punish people who have abortions — but I don’t think I’ll sway you to that view, either.

    Like

  43. lowerleavell says:

    I oppose people living together before marriage, which is a little different, but similar. This “we’ll try it and see” approach to relationships is basically telling the other person, “as long as you make me happy, I’m going to stay with you.” It’s not a “I’m in this relationship to love you and benefit you” which is the unconditional love that is intended for marriage.

    The difference is that the solution to the people living together’s problem is to either make the committment to marry and have unconditional love for each other, or recognize the relationship as merely self serving, separate, and pursue a loving relationship with that person until they can love them unconditionally, or to go separate ways entirely. Either way, sex without committment is cheap. In a homosexual relationship, the problem cannot be solved by getting married, because it is still an inappropriate relationship regardless of monogomy because it is outside of what was intended for sex and relationships.

    Like

  44. Ed Darrell says:

    I’m short on time as well. I’ll try to cover all the issues, Joe, but it may be best to do some in short snippets.

    Excuse me if I doubt your sincerity. You say

    I told him that I want to be free to express my disagreement with the lifestyle without being called a bigot and said I would have a similar problem with a heterosexual living in an adulterous relationship and want to be able to be free to believe that adultery is wrong as well.

    Then, may I assume you oppose marriage for people who live together, as well as marriage for homosexuals?

    Like

  45. lowerleavell says:

    In response to your cautions from using Genesis, the foundational principles to heterosexual, monogamous marriage are in Genesis – again, another reason to the importance of Genesis. Let me just quote the commentary verse in Gen. 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” I don’t see God endorsing homosexual marriage, pedophilia, adultery, pre-marital sex, polygamy, bestiality, or anything else anyone out there has thought of, in there anywhere.

    As far as Scriptures against homosexuality – it goes far beyond Genesis and into the very discussion of the human condition without Jesus, which is found in the early chapters of Romans. If anyone out there hasn’t read Romans, or John for that matter, please do so – it may change your life!

    You said, “If you cite Genesis to me, I’m going to point out that the actions condemned in Genesis are not loving homosexual relationships, but criminal sexual humiliation…”

    I don’t see that distinction stated in Scripture about Sodom and Gomorrah, do you? Can you point it out to me if I’m missing something? If you say it was with their desiring the angels that God sent to Sodom and Gomorrah, I would point out to you that the city was going to be destroyed before they even went to warn Lot, so that isn’t it. I do not think that Sodomy (the name came from Sodom, obviously) was their only sin, but they definitely made the practice famous.

    Let me quote for you from Romans 1, that way I can just let the Bible speak for itself on the issue – that’s usually the best course anyway, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools….For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.”

    No commentary needed.

    I’ll just reply to your desire for me to be on the homosexual marriage bandwagon. Because we were designed for one man and one woman to be joined together – excluding everything and everyone else. I just can’t back gay marriage anymore than I can back adultery. Both nature and Scripture declare it to be “unnatural.”

    “If you want your kid to learn about oral sex on the playground, keep the book from your kids. They’ll know you think it’s bad, and they won’t tell you about when their friends start urging them to perform sex acts with them.”

    Or maybe I should help guard who their friends are and build a keep a close relationship with my children? When did parents stop doing that btw? I just put my son to bed and spent 20 minutes just sitting and chatting with him about his day. You’d be amazed at the questions he comes up with – just to get out of going go sleep! Babies have come up, and I am confident that if we are honest with him, and give him accurate information, and don’t shy away from the tough questions, he will feel free to come to us. However, as a loving parent, I should know my child well enough to recognize his maturity to being ready for more information.
    I loved the comedian who said he told someone he and his wife home schooled their daughter. The person replied, “You home school? Aren’t you worried about her socialization??!” “Um, yeah, that’s why we home school!” I personally learned about oral sex as a teen from one of our more distinguished presidents. Thanks Bill.

    You said, “Learning about something is not the same thing as advocating it.”

    If you truly believed that at your core, then you would have not one problem allowing creationism taught in a classroom to expose kids to world views and alternate hypothesis because learning about it is not advocating it. You’ve got a double standard there. I agree with you though that other view points are good for kids to understand at appropriate ages and times.

    You said, “The entire issue is whether there is to be accurate information or inaccurate information.”

    I see your point of view, and I appreciate what you’re trying to accomplish in that. I do understand that you want what’s best for the kids – that you want them to be safe and healthy and know what’s going on. That actually is admirable and I think we sometimes do a disservice for demonizing those we disagree with, because many times, like in this case, both sides have good intentions and motivations, which is a good place to start.

    Accurate information is right and good to have. I take issue that this book is teaching accurate information in regard to the cheapness of sex, the legitimacy of homosexuality as being deemed simply another choice, abortion propaganda (if you can use the word, can I too?), etc. Also, it is not just the accuracy of information that I am interested in, but the quantity and timing. I would challenge that this book, while written on a 10-12 grade level, is not age appropriate (though some things in it are). I maintain that even a child who is wrongfully experimenting in sex doesn’t need the encouragement of almost a “karma sutra for kids” (Oh dear, I probably gave the author ideas for another sequel) handbook of “how to.” 10-12 year olds are by no means mature enough to make life long, potentially emotionally and physically damaging decisions and I would think that even those who are all for teen-sex would strongly discourage it. At 10-12, all a kid needs to know is accurate information that prepares them for life on a level that they can handle (where do kids come from, what’s the difference between the sexes, puberty, the basic essentials about sex – and above all, how to say “NO!” and why) and no more until they’re ready for it. Some kids are ready earlier, some later – that’s one reason for parental involvement. Otherwise you are putting them into a situation they are seriously not prepared for.

    You said, “If this book is banned, what other sources of information are there?”

    There were no age appropriate books describing these things before 1994 (the year the book was published)? There aren’t any other resources to help parents? Oh yeah, those parents…wouldn’t they be a source of information?

    I’m not saying parents are perfect – in fact, in our country, we’ve created our own problem. In the previous generation, we told the parents, “let us raise your kids and teach them everything they need to know about life, for you” and the parents actually agreed (to some large degree or another). Those kids are now parents and now are actually demanding that the schools teach their kids what is their primary responsibility – to get them ready for life. Teachers are having a horrible time because they not only have to teach kids, they now have to raise them too! I agree, teacher salaries are too low! The one sad thing about that “Do you believe in me” video, is that, if I remember right, he never asked if his parents believed in him. I hope they do! So, it isn’t going to be an easy battle to get lazy parents who don’t know anything else, back into their parental role, so what I’m proposing isn’t an overnight switch, otherwise you would see a dramatic increase of STDs, etc. because by and large, parents are turning more and more responsibility over to the state. So, while I’m advocating parental education of many life issues (sex being a big one), I’m advocating parental education (as in the parents being the ones getting the education) and the schools being an assistant to the parent instead of brushing the parent out of the way. Parenting seminars and classes are in desperate need! That’s one angle as a pastor, that I can very much help out the education system in our country. Train parents to be parents! This takes time, I understand. But it’s not too late.

    You said, “If a kids asks, a parent is too late in giving the information. Too often, the kid doesn’t bother to ask.”

    Again, see the above paragraph for a lot of those reasons, and also because parents aren’t doing their jobs of knowing their children! They’re too busy working hard (legitimately in most cases) to get ahead so they can provide for their children, that they almost forget to rear their children. My desire is to have the same type of relationship with my kids that I did with my parents – that I could come to them about anything. And I did – sex, you name it. I have wonderful parents and I’m very blessed. Not all families are so fortunate, and again, it goes back to the core problem that we are by nature, selfish at our core when we don’t know Jesus.

    You said, “If you don’t want to teach about it, that’s exactly why we have sex education in public schools. You can pull your kid out of the classes if you choose. But if you censor the information from other kids, you put your own kids at greater risk.”

    I didn’t say I wouldn’t teach them what they need to know, and by the way, I vaccinate my kids. : -) I actually do love my children – I know it’s shocking. I really am trying more than any paid teacher could do, to prepare my children for life. Be thankful when my sons find that cure for cancer and AIDS for my believing in them and their potential! : -)

    You said, “(And, by the way, I don’t teach health. I find it shocking the way anti-public education people assume that every thing they think is evil is taught in every class…”

    Do you mind if I ask what you do teach? I’m assuming either history or science. And I never said I was anti-public education. My grandmother was a reading specialist for 3rd-5th (I believe) for 25 some years and gave me my love for books (especially all things Tolkien). I was public schooled for several years as well. I simply, personally speaking, haven’t found a public school that I would personally send my children to for many years. I know of at least one in South Dakota that I went to that was awesome and probably still is, the way things stay the same in SD. The one we have here is about as close as I have seen for a long time – we even have retired teachers of the school in our church. People move to our community, just because of the high level of education from the school.

    “— especially when, as in Texas, we teach your stuff, and get the highest unwanted pregnancy rates and the highest STD rates in the nation.)”

    You cannot have morality without a reason for it. That’s why strict teaching of abstinence without motivation and reason, does not work. If you are denying a “natural” impulse and delaying self gratification, then you better have a pretty darn good reason, which I do not believe is effectively given in the current abstinence teaching. I’d like to be wrong in that. On the flip-side, we could have every child in this country be abstinent until marriage and still have messed up hearts. The heart is the real battleground, which cannot even be effectively addressed in a public school format.

    “I suppose the question is, do you love your kids and want to give them the tools to keep them happy, sexually healthy, and disease and unwanted pregnancy free? That tool kit is accurate information, mostly, often earlier than the parents wish it would be given.”

    You’re still presupposing they’re going to have sex before marriage. I didn’t (although abstinence is a good excuse when you‘re ugly). : -) My wife didn’t (she definitely does NOT have that excuse -she’s very beautiful!) – our parents didn’t – our siblings didn’t – their wives didn’t (that I’m aware of), and we personally know hundreds of people who didn’t. Abstinence is possible, though not the easy road. There just needs to be a good motivation and reason – love, honor, commitment, value, faithfulness – all being very good reasons. We don’t teach that to kids before marriage and we wonder why affairs are so rampant in our society? We are NOT preparing children for life by teaching cheap self gratification through sex!

    “Charter school kids and home schooled kids have the same or higher rates of STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Evidence enough of the failure of turning a blind eye, I think.”

    Do you actual documentation of these claims? Especially on the home school kids STD rates? I couldn’t find anything online one way or the other. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but my gut feeling is that I should be asking for documentation because it just doesn’t seem to be ringing true.

    I’m going to be kind of in and out for a while Ed. I’m really busy right now!

    Like

  46. lowerleavell says:

    By the way, I assume we’re done with discussing abortion? I’m not convinced I should enter into another discussion that we’ll get involved in and then get left wondering if it’s just a time issue, if I’ve ticked you off, or if you’re actually conceding the discussion, or what? I’ll fully answer your post tonight, but don’t expect to be seeing very many long posts in the near future (I know, I’m sure you’re happy with that) :-). I don’t mean to be a bother or nuisance, but I do believe there are things for which I must stand up and say, “hey, that’s not right and here’s why.” This book thing is such an issue.

    I had thought that you were defending against vigilantes, which I can see your point and logic in and actually found myself agreeing with you in many ways. I was mainly wondering why you picked this particular book, considering it’s undisciplined approach to sex responsibility (except possibly a “don’t forget your condom”). I do know it was the most disputed book, (I believe it was in 2005) in the library system though. Maybe that’s why.

    As far as masturbation goes, I would see it again as a cheapening of what was intended for selfishness. 2 Timothy 2:22 says to flee from youthful (or inferior) lusts and follow righteousness, faith, love, peace…While it doesn’t address it directly, it takes a blanket approach to things that are inferior to what God has intended. I agree with the sages, but it’s more of an indication of our self seeking natures than our desire to express our passions in love and faithfulness to our spouse than anything else.

    I mentioned this part of the book because it encourages kids to think of sex as something that is for self gratification. Encouraging a self-centered approach to sex would be the first step in developing a rapist, an adulterer, or even just an insensitive lover, if you ask me. Instead, I see a fundamentally different approach is needed to the whole topic. Sex is the ultimate act of love, devotion, and respect of the opposite sex. It is an opportunity to show them their value and to fulfill their desires as they fulfill yours. Do you see the difference? One isn’t just sex education, it’s relationship education (which includes sex), which starts at an even earlier age than kindergarten. One is beautiful. The other is cheap. One is shallow and superficial, the other is deep and very intimate. One is easy, the other takes commitment and love. I know which one I want to encourage and educate my children in, and I would venture to guess I’m not the only parent.

    If you want me to debate whether or not a person is born a homosexual, I will not. I am convinced from Scripture that we are all born into a fallen world in need of a Savior. Some of us are prone to weaknesses that others are not. I have no inclination towards alcohol, and yet I personally counsel those who daily struggle with addiction every day – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own struggles. So, perhaps homosexuality is something that some are more inclined to than others, but even in that scenario, it still doesn’t make it right.

    I also want to tell you that this is an area which many professing Christians have been wrong in, to our shame. Jesus never said there was a time that we could stop loving someone. I worked as an assistant for over a year to a man who was openly gay and proud of it (our store closed after that). We worked about 20-30 hours a week together. We worked well together and got along fine. You couldn’t get two people who had totally different world views, but again…God loves Him and wants him as His child – that should be my drive and desire too, right? Right before our store closed, we talked for about 20 minutes or so, thanking each other for not jumping to pre-conceived notions about the other right off the bat. I apologized, because I mentioned that I was sure he hadn’t seen the best side of Christianity – he said he hadn’t. He also thanked me for not pointing my finger in his face and telling him, “you’re going to $#%$ you filthy #$@#! (which is what he’s gotten his whole life – it’s terribly sad). Anyway, I told him that our eternal destinations are not dependent on how good we are or anything we could do to merit it – if it were, no one would make it. His greatest need wasn’t for me to condemn him, because the Bible says that we are all already condemned in violating God’s laws. He simply broke a different one than I did. His greatest need was that he needed to acknowledge his own sins as sin, acknowledge that he couldn’t earn a place in Heaven, and place his faith and trust in Jesus, who died on the cross for him and rose again, to save Him from that sin. I told him that I want to be free to express my disagreement with the lifestyle without being called a bigot and said I would have a similar problem with a heterosexual living in an adulterous relationship and want to be able to be free to believe that adultery is wrong as well. We left on very good terms and kept in contact for some time. I say all that to let you know that I’m not “out of touch” with the “gay community” and am deeply burdened for their eternal destination. Many homosexuals have not had the love of Jesus demonstrated to them, and it breaks my heart. Being gay doesn’t get you any further or any closer to Heaven or Hell. We all miss the mark. Being a sinner who doesn’t know Jesus is the difference, because as someone once said, “Jesus would rather die than live without us – so He did.” We just need to come to Him on His terms. It truly is the Good News, for everyone.

    Like

  47. Ediacaran says:

    “And reality has a well-known liberal bias.” — Stephen Colbert

    Like

  48. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe,

    The old sages say there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who admit to masturbation, and liars. I don’t think the book promotes masturbation. It does teach that masturbation is normal, which is a fact so far as I have been able to discern reading reams of sociological data. There is potential for great harm in telling kids it’s not normal. I also think there is no scriptural command against it, and that it’s a sin to teach that there is (false witness, you know).

    So I can’t understand why you pick on that part of the book.

    It is my experience that sexual orientation is not an issue of choice. You can’t tell us how you anquished over whether to be homosexual or heterosexual, because you didn’t. So I think it’s a little disingenuous to claim that the book will encourage kids to try out other orientations.

    Also, I find that condemnation of homosexuality tends to wreak havoc in teens who are homosexual. I see no reason to load them up with that guilt, especially since, once again, there is little to no scriptural basis for doing so. (If you cite Genesis to me, I’m going to point out that the actions condemned in Genesis are not loving homsexual relationships, but criminal sexual humiliation, of the sort George Bush authorized at Abu Ghraib. Don’t go there.)

    If you want to promote monogamous relationships, then I expect you to be in the forefront of promoting same-sex marriage. Marriage is a tool to promote monagamy. Unless you’re in that picket line, you don’t have ground to stand on.

    If you want your kid to learn about oral sex on the playground, keep the book from your kids. They’ll know you think it’s bad, and they won’t tell you about when their friends start urging them to perform sex acts with them. You might be that one-in-a-million family that doesn’t experience such events, but I doubt it.

    Learning about something is not the same thing as advocating it. The entire issue is whether there is to be accurate information or inaccurate information. If this book is banned, what other sources of information are there? Information vacuums invite bad data, bad information — and when we kill the good sources, the bad sources rush in.

    Yes, there is plenty of curiosity about various sexual practices among 10 year olds, and 11 and 12 year olds. If a kids asks, a parent is too late in giving the information. Too often, the kid doesn’t bother to ask. Have you checked out the rates of STDs lately? An epidemic of reproductive diseases, caused mostly by misinformation.

    If you don’t want to teach about it, that’s exactly why we have sex education in public schools. You can pull your kid out of the classes if you choose. But if you censor the information from other kids, you put your own kids at greater risk. (And, by the way, I don’t teach health. I find it shocking the way anti-public education people assume that every thing they think is evil is taught in every class — especially when, as in Texas, we teach your stuff, and get the highest unwanted pregnancy rates and the highest STD rates in the nation.)

    I suppose the question is, do you love your kids and want to give them the tools to keep them happy, sexually healthy, and disease and unwanted pregnancy free? That tool kit is accurate information, mostly, often earlier than the parents wish it would be given.

    Charter school kids and home schooled kids have the same or higher rates of STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Evidence enough of the failure of turning a blind eye, I think.

    Like

  49. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, I’ve read every excerpt that I could find online after checking out your post – about 20 pages. If you would allow me to use the term, this book is pure propoganda and does more harm to kids than good. Books like this will only increase the sexual activity of kids, IMO, safe or otherwise.

    You wanted your kids to know how to masterbate at 10 and see it illustrated by a cartoon child? You think they should be encouraged to view homosexuality as just another option to engage in or try if they feel so inclined? I thought Christians wanted to encourage monogomous relationships between a husband and wife, but perhaps that too is new to Christianity and I’m out of touch. Do you really think kids need to see graphic illustrations of couples engaging in sexual activity? If this what the left thinks is “age appropriate” for 10 year olds, I shudder to think what is left to discuss with high-schoolers.

    10 to 12 should be taught as their curiousity increases, yes. But I haven’t heard of a ten year old asking how to have anal or oral sex (like this book describes) have you? You seriously are defending this book? And you’re in public education? And you wonder why so many parents want to homeschool and charter school their kids?! This would be a good place to look.

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  50. WTF Chuck? says:

    There are few things that make me almost physically ill but banning books is one of them, whether it is institutionalized or individual.

    The specific book in question is irrelevant. Every parent has the right to decide what their children read. No one has the right to decide what an adult or someone else children read.

    Like

  51. Ed Darrell says:

    Joe, looking at your recovered comment, I wonder now: Have you read the book?

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  52. Ed Darrell says:

    It may be inappropriate for some 10 year olds. It answers the kinds of questions 10-year-old kids have.

    That the information doesn’t get to 10-year-old kids is evidenced sadly in the rate of STDs, pregnancies, and other sex pathologies among 12-year-olds.

    If you don’t want your kid reading the book, tell the kid. Tell the kid why. My experience with kids of that age is that they crave accurate information, and parents don’t give it to them. It is also my experience that kids often don’t want a lecture from Mom or Dad, but appreciate having the accurate information they can read safely, quietly, without embarrassing conversations.

    Especially with regard to preventing HIV infections, yes, this is information I want my kids to have, and wanted them to have when they were 10.

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  53. lowerleavell says:

    Ed, are you defending this book? Have you seen any excerpts at all? Is this what you had in mind when you defended sex education?

    Karkos was wrong to steal – it helps nothing. But I sure wouldn’t let my 10 year old within 10 feet of this book!

    Like

  54. lowerleavell says:

    youtube.com/watch?v=vgVzQSRqiUs

    Off the bat, I believe Karkos was wrong – theft of books is not helping anything.

    But here’s my question, is this book what you’re advocating when you say you want kids to have sex education? I sure don’t want my boys reading this book! Especially, a “how to” on masterbation, anal sex, homosexuality, etc. The book is for 10 years and up. Are you sure this is appropriate? I agree with the video that it borders on pornography and child pornography.

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