Middle School Ponders Birth Control

Wow. I saw a portion of this story on the news this morning and found the article here.


lucas said...

That is unbelievable!!!

Jeff said...

Oh, I'm going to get in trouble for this, but I think that is a great idea.

Until we, as youth pastors/ministers/leaders, do a better job of helping youth understand both the religious and the physiological reasons for abstinance, we're better off with preventative measures rather than acting like a mob complaining "they shouldn't be doing it in the first place". The fact that they are is a failure on our part.

Yes, the parents part too, but if the parents fail in their job, why should the youth suffer? "who sinned, this man or his parents?"

Kurt Johnston said...

Jeff, no 'trouble' with me.
My angle with all stories like this is why do we expect those who don't know Christ to act as if they do? Of course kids are getting sexually active at a younger and younger age because our culture promotes it, and of course our societal institutions will respond the way they always have.

While I don't feel like we (the church) carry all the blame, I do think we should open our eyes to the urgency of the situation and to the fact that our traditional methods of making inroads into the communty and public discourse haven't worked real well.

As for 'preventive' measures. I gotta believe the school district is smart enough to come up with alternatives to this lazy approach. Forget about faith and christianity....It's just plain lazy and, I believe, shows a lack of true compassion to kids to take the easy way out by handing out birth control to students this young.

Jeff said...

Exactly. Clearly a condom is a short term solution. Cancel that. The condom is a short term STRATEGY. If there is a long term strategy in place as well, Bravo!

Though I would like to see more strategies that spend less time saying "don't" and more time saying "I love/cherish/accept you, even without (or especially without) sex."

Erica said...

Hey there, Kurt! I've been reading your blog for quite some time now, and I've gotta say I look forward to it lots! :) On to the topic...

I posted about this very thing on my blog yesterday. My opinion is that yes, kids are having sex and it's a bad situation, but we shouldn't be making it even easier for them to do so. We should be helping them make good decisions and loving them and helping them. And it's kind of like drugs - we don't give out pipes and needles and teach kids how to use them "safely" just because we think they might do drugs. At any rate, this is definitely a hot topic of the moment - could really be a great way to start talking more in youth group about just these things. Thanks again for your great blog!

Jeff said...

Erica -

You say that condom distribution makes it easier to have sex. Even though that is the official stance of a lot of our evangelical leaders, and makes a great sound bite for TV, I would respectfully submit that it is a fabrication.

I'm not trying to be crude with this, but I can honestly say that there is nothing easier to sex when using a condom. It may make a nice sound bite, but it is patently false.

Of course, this has got me to thinking about the actual usage of a condom by a 13-year old. Are they using normal condoms? Normal condoms for the most part come in one-size-fits-most. Most 13-year olds are going to come from the south side of that bell curve. I may object to condom distribution not because it facilitates sex, but because it is a strategy that may at the very start only be effective with a fraction of the student population.

Mike said...

I am reading the two books I know of by the author Wendy Shalit. These are "A return to Modesty" and "Girls Gone Mild". I recommend both of these books for those of you who are currently seeking a different view point to the "They are doing it anyway" mentality. I am not a fan of this point of view. I think it is a lazy way of looking at things and frankly is not the way God calls us to call out sin.

Wendy is not a Christian, which for me, in a strange way makes her point even sharper, as she doesn't have a "religious fundamentalism" view point to hide behind. (That is another post)

As to the Church's responsibility to Calling Out Sin, (my words) let's get on it. I think it is reasonable to be upset a someone giving a 13yr old permission to engage in something that can be so dangerous and hurtful for someone who can't possible understand all the consequence of their actions.

This near rant is coming from the Father of three little girls.

Erica said...

Jeff and others -

Just to clarify, since I guess this came across wrong, I don't think that PHYSICALLY it is easier to have sex with a condom. That's ridiculous! Of course not! :) I meant that it is easier to decide to have sex knowing you have a condom hidden away to use. Kids who have at least filtered through some of the stuff that they've heard about STDs, pregnancy, etc. know that a condom should be used for safety and to help prevent pregnancy. If there is one readily available and they have been considering taking the leap, then they are probably more likely to go ahead. If they don't have one and don't feel comfortable walking into CVS to get one, then that might hold them off a little while longer.

I know that you may be thinking "holding them off a little while" isn't so great, but really, for some kids, all they need is a little longer to think about it to make a good decision. And with the length that relationships last for kids that age, really, a little while could make quite a difference.

Paul Turner said...

Hey Kurt,

Firt time caller. I hate to agree. In the middle school in question it was such a small amount of students who received the pills the media and the church makes it sound like every girl their takes them. We (christians and the church) have a way of blowing things out of proportion to create sound bytes. God help us.

Oh, hey Kurt just finished my first e-book called Crime Scenes from the Bible. Would you like a free copy and maybe field test a few or just review it and let me know what you think?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Paul Turner