Wednesday, July 04, 2007


The Real Enemy

How about some spine-chilling fireworks for this Fourth of July?

Not the gunpowder and sparkler kind but the sort where hypocrisy explodes a shell of pretense and reveals white-hot ... I can think of no other word for it ... evil.

The theocracy-in-waiting that was the Bush Administration in better days expended no little effort on pushing the notion of "abstinence only" sex education. Among the people it turned to was Pam Stenzel, whose "expertise" in the area was founded on a psychology degree from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. She was appointed to a twelve-person task force at the Department of Health and Human Services to study how to implement abstinence education guidelines, had been invited to the White House and spoken at the United Nations. In other words, she was not some fringe personality (at least by Bush Administration standards) but was someone near to the levers and gears of Federal education policy.

Shift scenes to the 2003 Reclaiming America for Christ conference, hosted by D. James Kennedy, who is a theocrat's theocrat, of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. At these conferences, the attendees do such things as Pledge Allegiance to the Christian Flag (white with a blue field in the upper left corner with a red or gold cross). These conferences are, as Michelle Goldberg writes in her book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, the place "where the Christian nationalist movement drops its democratic pretenses and indulges its theocratic dreams."

Goldberg recounts Stenzel's appearance before the faithful:

... Stenzel told her audience about a conversation she'd had with a skeptical businessman on an airplane. The man had asked about abstinence education's success rate --a question she regarded as risible. "What he's asking," she said, "is does it work. You know what! Doesn't matter. Cause guess what. My job is not to keep teenagers from having sex. The public schools' job should not be to keep teens from having sex."

Then her voice rose and turned angry as she shouted, "Our job should be to tell kids the truth!"

"People of God:' she cried, "can I beg you, to commit yourself to truth, not what works! To truth! I don't care if it works, because at the end of the day I'm not answering to you, I'm answering to God!"

Later in the same talk, she explained further why what "works" isn't what's important -- and gave some insight into what she means by "truth." "Let me tell you something, people of God, that is radical, and I can only say it here:' she said. "AIDS is not the enemy. HPV [Human Papilloma Virus] and a hysterectomy at twenty is not the enemy. An unplanned pregnancy is not the enemy. My child believing that they can shake their fist in the face of a holy God and sin without consequence, and my child spending eternity separated from God, is the enemy. I will not teach my child that they can sin safely."

The crowd applauded.
Not to put too fine a point on it, Stenzel cares less about her own daughter's health and well being than she does theology. It matters not a whit to her that what she is preaching is sure to put her own child at greater risk of disease and premature death! She must first serve her unbending vengeful God ... like Abraham with his knife poised over Isaac ... but with no angel to stay her hand at the last moment.

Which is bad enough and evil enough ... but she wants to do it to your child, too.


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"People of God:' she cried, "can I beg you, to commit yourself to truth, not what works! To truth! I don't care if it works, because at the end of the day I'm not answering to you, I'm answering to God!"

Insanity is something that springs to mind.
Insanity is something that springs to mind.

I've been trying to work up enough compassion to ascribe this kind of hateful action to delusion but I can't. This is not the mere result of being god-besotted, this is willful disregard of the consequences so blatent as to constitute malice aforethought.
Good on you for bringing up Goldberg. If she were my woman, and also not married, I'd totally treat her right. Her book was a damned scary eye opener.

Also, I enjoyed the evolution links.

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