The wrong message

National | But here's common sense on sex from an unlikely source

Issue: "Ashcroft 2000?," Oct. 11, 1997

The American Journal of Public Health has concluded that handing out condoms in New York City public schools has not increased the number of kids having sex. Apparently we are supposed to feel relieved.

One wonders about the reaction had cigarettes been distributed at school, with a survey concluding they did not increase the number of kids who smoked. Presumably, the anti-smoking police would launch a program to reduce the number of teen smokers with the goal of persuading kids that even smoking filtered cigarettes (the tobacco equivalent of sex with a condom) is bad for you.

The study concluded that access to condoms in schools is "a low-cost, harmless addition" to AIDS prevention efforts. It depends how one defines "cost." Premarital sex costs more than money, whether it is "protected" or not. There are emotional, psychological, and spiritual costs, but modern government is interested only in the physical. It surrendered its role in the moral development of children shortly after the sexual revolution began and now has traitorously gone over to the other side.

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One reason so many young people are having sex is the loss of objective moral standards. Their models are adults who abandon integrity about as quickly as they abandon their spouses. In one generation, we have passed from the free distribution of Gideon Bibles to the free distribution of condoms. The last I checked, none of the admonitions in the Ten Commandments or the teachings in the New Testament, when followed, cause an out-of-wedlock pregnancy or a venereal disease.

Those who say that kids are going to "do it" anyway do not express similar views when it comes to racism, sexism, or cheating on tests. Why do we assume kids cannot be persuaded to do the right thing for themselves and others and admonish them to rise above their lower nature?

For more than three decades we've had sex education in the public schools. Now we're subsidizing free condoms. But "unprotected sex" isn't the problem. Premarital sex is. That's why 1,000 teenage girls become pregnant every day in America and more than that get abortions. Despite freely administered "information," more than 4,000 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease-daily.

Adults send these kids the wrong messages in the television shows and movies they produce. What kids need to be hearing are messages like the one a Washington, D.C., radio announcer delivered on his Sept. 27 program.

Charlie Warren of WMAL radio has had enough. After hearing that the November Playboy magazine features Suzan Johnson, the flight attendant who attended Frank Gifford in a hotel room last spring, Mr. Warren said, "That's enough. I'm tired of this. Marv is guilty. So that's enough. I'm tired of Marv. I'm tired of Frank. I'm tired of Tyson. The Kennedys. The royal family. Fox TV. NBC TV. And Stern. Howard, I don't care how you do it. With whom. How many times. You're boring me.

"Fox TV. Get some other jokes. Find some writers who know something other than the details of bodily function. The X-Files is OK.

"NBC, you're becoming the new Fox TV. My condolences. Your new show with Kirstie Alley is a notch below crass.

"Hefner, Guccione, and Flynt. You guys have done your part for years. Thanks for making it seem right for weak men to demean weaker women.

"Even Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. I'm sorry, Tom. I don't need to see you feigning pleasure, then lying back on the bed all sweaty. It's embarrassing.

"Publishers, TV and movie producers, sportscasters, athletes, radio personalities, actors, politicians, you all need something to do-and so do we.

"Love your wife or friend, not somebody else's. Throw a Frisbee with your kid. Play some touch football. Build a house. Run a mile. Take to the sea, the mountains, the sky. Shut off the TV and the Internet.... [T]hink about something and somebody else, other than yourself."

That's pretty good advice. Follow it and your kids will be less likely to want condoms from the nurse's office.

© 1997, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas

Cal, whose syndicated column appears on WORLD's website and in more than 500 newspapers, is a frequent contributor to WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Cal on Twitter @CalThomas.


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