“The Glove Affair”, a sex education / AIDS fundraising event, is so ridiculous that even the (self professed) liberal columnist who described it on the opinion pages of the LA Times expressed queasiness about letting her thirteen year old daughter attend. Not that it stopped her from allowing the youngster to do just that, mind you, or even from trying to defend the event , but she definitely had to perform some serious mental, spiritual and emotional gymnastics to try to rationalize it.
The mother is right to be queasy. According to the propaganda, the aim of the event is to help kids “understand that having sex is serious business.” Just the opposite, of course, actually occurs. Sex is completely trivialized, as evidenced by this almost surreal scene:One by one I pulled the following from her white plastic sack: a condom; pamphlets on masturbation, oral sex and intercourse; the “Rubber Bible,” featuring alternative names for prophylactics, such as “gent tent” and “peenie beanie”; and an information wheel labeled “Condom Comebacks,” which included a list of excuses boys might make for not wearing a condom and possible rejoinders a girl could offer.
Him: “It doesn’t feel good.”
Her: “I’ve got moves rubbers can’t stop.”
I tried to play it cool. As it turned out, I was a little too cool. While standing in the kitchen with my daughter and her friend, getting all the post-party gossip, I absentmindedly reached into the bag and handed my
8-year-old son a squishy red toy that resembled one of those ubiquitous M&M
The girls burst out laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked. They
snatched the trinket from my son and turned it upside down. Printed there was
the web address stopthesores.org. This was no candy icon; it was a toy syphilis
lesion, bright red, with feet.
There are a couple of truths to understand about this
situation that might help this mother realize why she was queasy and help her
stop trying to rationalize this idiocy.
First, unmarried teenagers having sex is a moral issue. As much as the folks at The Glove Affair would like to keep it in the realm of simply public health and safety, the fact is that sex with someone other than
your marriage partner is adultery and therefore a sin. The distinction between a moral issue and a public safety issue is not minor, as the steps required to address them differ radically.
For example, five year old children playing around the pool is a public safety issue that is outside the realm of morality or sin (issues involving parental duties notwithstanding.) Having toddlers swimming in the pool is not inherently right or wrong. It is basically a health and safety issue. I’m sure most of us would desire that five year olds take part in
swimming under only proper conditions, such as being well supervised or having sufficient swimming maturity to handle the situation. We may go so far as to encourage parents to have their children wear life jackets at all times when
they are playing around a pool and want them to be well trained in life jacket application. However, we would never speak of a five year old in the pool as being objectively wrong or right. As such, the goal of pool safety would
not be to keep kids out of the pool, but rather to keep the potential bad consequences of that action to a minimum. In
the same way, parents like the author of the Times piece don’t claim to see anything moral or immoral about teens having sex – they just want them to do it safely. Therefore they concentrate on issues like condom availability and application.
However, how would they treat the issue of their sons or daughters wanting to steal cookies out of the cookie jar; or cash out of the secret cash jar; or unmarked bills from the local bank? One hopes that they would understand that these are moral issues. While there are public safety and health issues to be considered in undertaking any of these actions, the main thing to understand about them is that they are wrong and to be discouraged.
But what if we didn’t treat them that way? What if we considered them outside the realm of morality and simply did whatever we could to keep our children from dealing with the potential harsh side effects of stealing. For instance, we could spend time and money placing one of those nice rolling library ladders, with a large, stable deck to stand on and rails on the sides so that our child could climb up to the height of the cookies or money jar without risk of falling. We could provide non-breakable plastic cookie jars to reduce the danger of glass shards penetrating the child’s tender skin should the jar fall. We could make sure our kids were outfitted in the latest bulletproof Kevlar (not to mention provided with a powerful getaway car) should they ever want to knock over the local Wells Fargo. Kids will be kids, after
all, and you want them to have as few negative consequences for their actions as possible.
Of course this is ridiculous. Moral issues must be treated differently than issues that are strictly about public health and safety. That is because there are no grounds, Biblical or otherwise, for encouraging people to sin by trying to protect them from its temporal consequences Sin is to be avoided. That is the bottom line.
The reason for this is that the consequences of sin are far greater than any public safety or health issue that might arise from their practice. The consequences of sin is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). Sin leads to death. Therefore rather than trying to protect people from sins consequences, we should be trying to keep them from sinning. Their eternal destiny is at stake:
My brothers, if one of you should
wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever
turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover
over a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
That is why Jesus can say
“You have heard that it was
said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks
at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If
your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better
for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown
into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it
away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole
body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-29)
Rather than try to reduce the temporal effects of lusting, Jesus says you must stop it completely, even if it causes you more pain and discomfort.
I would hope that we would try to keep our kids from becoming thieves, even if it meant putting a gate in front of the kitchen door or taking away the keys to the getaway car. I would hope that parents would be so concerned with their kids having sex that they would do whatever they had to in order to keep illicit activity from happening. Condoms and syphilis toys are nothing compared with eternity apart from God.
“But you can’t stop it”, they say. Nonsense. This is the second truth to understand. The idea that “kids are going to have sex anyway” is a false premise. Nobody is forcing kids to have sex. They are not robots; they have free will. The entire
liberal argument rests on the idea that kids have no ability to resist temptation. It is simply not true.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
We need to be training our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), not encouraging them to sin by focusing on protecting them from its consequences.