Abstinence is a Sin!

First, let me be clear. I am not joking about this. I am being as serious as an atheist who believes that real sin lies only in harming others can be on the subject. For religious readers, if I have any, I hope this encourages thought and dialog. I welcome all serious responses regardless of whether we agree on the topic.

So, here are my points about why I believe abstinence is sinful from both a biblical standpoint and more importantly to me why abstinence only education and the encouragement of abstinence pledges and the like are inherently sinful.

  • Many people today believe that birth control is sinful. This is based primarily on Genesis 1:28 which states in part, “Be fruitful, and multiply”. Therefore, even condoms, which prevent sperm from getting to and fertilizing eggs, are sinful. Therefore, anything that prevents sperm from getting to and fertilizing eggs must be sinful. Abstinence performs exactly the same task. Therefore, abstinence is a sin. I don’t actually agree with the interpretation of birth control as sinful based on Gen 1:28. But, for anyone who does, abstinence, the rhythm method, withdrawal, or any other means of reducing the likelihood of egg fertilization, must be equally sinful. Note: It’s also time to inform your priest that celibacy is sinful. Whether your priest keeps his seed to himself, spills it on the ground, or into the hand, mouth, or anus of a choir boy, his non-reproduction is as sinful as using a condom and very much more so if a choir boy or other child actually is involved.
  • Next, the dirty little secret is out. Abstinence doesn’t work. Since a great many people find it hard to overcome their hormones, especially raging teen hormones, abstinence often results in unwanted pregnancy, especially teen pregnancy. And, nothing increases abortion more than unwanted pregnancy. Whether or not abortion is sinful is another question of Bible interpretation since it is never ever mentioned by name, despite having been a common procedure throughout biblical times, even predating the authorship of the Old Testament by many centuries. However, since many people today, especially Christians, believe abortion is sinful, anything that increases abortion must be sinful. Therefore, abstinence, and especially abstinence only education, is sinful due to its ineffectiveness at preventing pregnancy.

How do I feel about all of this sinning? Well, as an atheist, my view of sin is only in negligently or deliberately causing unnecessary harm to others. I don’t believe any form of consensual sex among adults is sinful. I don’t believe abortion is sinful. I do believe that policies that increase the need for abortion are sinful. Why? Well, if unintended pregnancy can be dramatically reduced through education and birth control, then not educating people and giving them access to birth control causes them to go through an unnecessary medical procedure. While that procedure is far safer and cheaper for the mother than childbirth, it is far more expensive and risky than birth control.

Now onto real results. Here’s a good article on the success New York City is having with sex education and contraception.

With sex ed, contraception–and Plan B–NYC teen pregnancy rate drops

Here’s some information on just how badly Abstinence Education does at preventing STDs and pregnancy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstinence-only_sex_education#Effectiveness

This next is a lengthy report. However, reading the conclusion is probably a good start.

http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/impactabstinence.pdf

In fact, this one paragraph of the above article may be enough if you don’t have time to even skim a long study.

The main objective of Title V, Section 510 abstinence education programs is to teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage. The impact results from the four selected programs show no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence. About half of all study youth had remained abstinent at the time of the final follow-up survey, and program and control group youth had similar rates of sexual abstinence. Moreover, the average age at first sexual intercourse and the number of sexual partners were almost identical for program and control youth.

That about says it. Abstinence only eduction does nothing except waste our tax dollars.

The Center for Disease Control agrees.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6013a5.htm?s_cid=mm6013a5_w

Implications for Public Health Practice: Teen childbearing is associated with adverse consequences for mothers and their children and imposes high public sector costs. Prevention of teen pregnancy requires evidence-based sex education, support for parents in talking with their children about pregnancy prevention and other aspects of sexual and reproductive health, and ready access to effective and affordable contraception for teens who are sexually active.

And now, I’d like to point out that all of today’s views on sinning do not actually come from the Bible. The views come from preachers who interpreted it to say what they wanted it to say.

As for the bible’s banning of contraception and abortion, please someone show me exactly where either is mentioned by name. Both existed in biblical times. Silphium was so popular as a birth control method and for other uses that the plant was harvested to extinction. The first recorded abortion was in Egypt in 1550 BCE, predating even the Old Testament, and from the same part of the world. So, Moses and presumably Jesus and of course God would have been very aware of it. Yet, abortion is never mentioned in the Bible, either the Old Testament or the New. Nor is birth control. And, the authors of the Bible were certainly not squeamish about matters of sex.

They describe incest, rape, homosexuality, and even bestiality. They laid down laws requiring the parents of the bride keeping the fucking bloody sheet (literally on both counts) from the wedding night to prove their daughter’s virginity. The authors were not prudes. Yet, they left out any mention of birth control or abortion. BTW, Adam and Eve had two children. Abraham had two children with different women. Perhaps the commandment to Adam to be fruitful and multiply meant that he should have the number of children he could support adequately, not a huge herd of malnourished street urchins. Many of the biblical matriarchs and patriarchs did not have as many children as even Roman Catholics do today, let alone orthodox Jews who take the fruitful and multiply command more literally than the Catholic church and hence marry young and have sex only when the woman is most fertile. Yeesh!!

So, now that you know that neither birth control nor abortion is sinful, but abstinence only education is very sinful for causing both unwanted pregnancy and abortion, what will you do?

If you’re a parent, will you teach your children the facts of life? Will you keep a drawer with an adequate supply of condoms for them? Will you advocate that your school teach children how to avoid abortions rather than hoping that yours will be among the few who can keep their hormones in check against many generations of evolution prompting them to do otherwise?

If you’re really opposed to abortion, you should try to reduce it by proven effective means of reducing unintended pregnancy. If you oppose birth control and sex education, it’s time to face facts, you are pro-abortion.

I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice.

P.S. I hope this post didn’t come out too choppy. I was trying to make a few related points and may not have segued well between them. The points I hope I’ve made are:

  1. Abstinence is as much of a sin as any other birth control method. Either preventing potential children is a sin or not. Not fucking is no different than fucking with birth control from that standpoint.
  2. Abstinence only eduction is sinful two ways. First by teaching the sin of abstinence. Second, by being ineffective and thus causing unintended pregnancy and abortion.
  3. Finally, the perceived sins of birth control and abortion do not originate in the Bible. Any priest or minister who tells you otherwise has either not read the Bible, is ignorant of the existence of both birth control and induced abortion in biblical times, or is lying.

(Update 3/13/2013)
P.P.S. If anyone doesn’t understand the reason I felt the need to write this post, this is it in a nutshell. It’s all about people like Pat Fagan who ignore the basics of biology and post lies regarding human history to further their delusional beliefs and to enforce them on others. Pat, birth control has been around and in wide use since centuries before Christ. So has abortion. People are biological organisms, not robots.

Family Research Council: Unmarried People Should Be Denied Birth Control And Punished For Having Sex

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27 Responses to Abstinence is a Sin!

  1. C_Andy_3 says:

    I don’t know what school you went to but abstinence has only been taught as a part of sex ed, never the core. The public school in California (one of the most liberal states in the Union) that I graduated from taught all forms of birth control. Abstinence is the only way to 100% prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. If you are an Atheist, why do you care if it is “sin?” Let us Christians worry about that with God, the ONLY one who can decide what is sin. YOU have obviously NEVER read the Bible. God says he knit us together in our mother’s womb (which in case you missed that section in sex ed class, it’s Conception, you know when that little squiggly guy connects with the egg) Having sex outside of marriage is fornication which God declares not only sin, but the WORST sin because sexual sin is against the body. And my final point, you CAN NOT say abstinence does not work as an absolute declaration because I waited until marriage as did my husband and MANY of my friends. Now I do not follow every rule in the Bible because I can’t, i’m not prefect but my Creator is and He loves you regardless of this silly essay you just wrote. I was on this website looking for big bang theory flops but I am glad I ran across yours because I can’t believe people come up with this garbage..abstinence a sin!

    • I seem to have touched a nerve. Sorry about that. However, since my own nerves have been touched way too many times by Christians trying to legislate their religion on the rest of us, I’m only so sorry. At least my headline successfully got your attention.

      “The public school in California (one of the most liberal states in the Union) that I graduated from taught all forms of birth control.”

      As did mine in New York. However, our tax dollars are being burned all around the country teaching abstinence only. Perhaps if you had clicked through any of the links …

      “Abstinence is the only way to 100% prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy.”

      And yet, abstinence only education is the least effective way to prevent either because of millennia of human evolution.

      ‘Atheist, why do you care if it is “sin?”’

      Excellent question! Thank you for asking. I care because a small but growing and extremely vocal and powerful minority of Christians in this country are doing an excellent job of creating a Christian nation out of a country that should instead be proud to be the world’s first constitutionally secular nation.

      “God, the ONLY one who can decide what is sin.”

      And yet, later you say that you do not follow all of his laws. How do you decide which ones to break? Only God can make that decision. And yet, you do it all the time. You don’t follow every law in the Bible because many of them simply don’t make sense. You pick and choose. You use your own moral compass given to you by evolution. If you were to actually follow the laws of the Bible, you would be arrested.

      “YOU have obviously NEVER read the Bible.”

      I have read the first five books in their entirety. Have you? When you catch someone working on the sabbath, do you stone him/her to death? Why not? God said you must!

      If a family member came to you and suggested that you convert to another religion, would you stone him/her to death? God says you must.

      If a young virgin were raped inside city limits would you stone her to death? If she were raped outside city limits, would you force her to marry her rapist?

      Yes. I have read more than enough of the Bible. Have you? Show me where Jesus says it’s OK to eat pork. Show me where Jesus says you don’t have to follow the Jewish law anymore. He doesn’t.

      “Having sex outside of marriage is fornication which God declares not only sin, but the WORST sin because sexual sin is against the body.”

      Wow!! You actually just won the most extremist blogger ever to post on my blog award. Are you honestly saying that consensual sex outside of marriage is worse than any of murder, rape, incest, bestiality, torture, stealing, lying, genocide, slavery (allowed in the Bible, BTW), etc., etc., etc.

      “And my final point, you CAN NOT say abstinence does not work as an absolute declaration because I waited until marriage as did my husband and MANY of my friends.”

      Actually, I can and I did. Abstinence does not work for everyone. That’s why teaching it is completely and utterly ineffective. That’s why teaching it increases both STD transmission and abortion. Teaching it also does absolutely nothing to reduce sexual activity or change the age at which people begin to engage in sexual activity.

      “Now I do not follow every rule in the Bible because I can’t”

      Can’t or won’t? Which ones do you break? Do you eat pork and shrimp? Work on the sabbath? Eat bread on Passover? Touch your husband while you are menstruating? Wear a mix of linen and wool? Fail to put the words “Hear O Israel…” on your doorpost and fail to bind them on your head and hand?

      Gee this god of yours makes a lot of stupid rules.

      You know … you’re allowed to question this god of yours. Abraham did. God was happy when Abraham argued with him so well that Abraham beat God in the argument. Perhaps you need to talk to your God about these silly rules.

      “i’m not prefect but my Creator is and He loves you”

      He wasn’t always perfect. When did he get that way? In Genesis, he made a lot of mistakes and some of the heroes of the O.T. called him on them.

      And, no. S/he doesn’t love me. S/he hates me.

      “I was on this website looking for big bang theory flops”

      I do hope you enjoyed that post at least, regardless of your feelings on this one.

      “I can’t believe people come up with this garbage..abstinence a sin!”

      Will you at least acknowledge that IF using condoms is a sin, so is abstinence? Both have exactly the same effect.

      • Oh C_Andy_3, I’d like to ask one more question of you.

        If only God can decide what is sin, then who came up with birth control and abortion being sins?

        Neither is ever mentioned in the bible. God never said either was sinful. So, I repeat my question, who did?

      • C_Andy_3 says:

        Murder is a sin so that’s where abortion comes in. One of the commandments..it’s in the first 5 books of the Bible you say you read. God says he knot us ogether in out mothers womb. when do we enter our mothers womb? upon conception right? at least that what that no good sex ed class taught me. thats where i stand on that. If a dr said abort this baby or you’ll die, I would hope I could stick to it then. I don’t think birth control is a sin. Birth control fails. If God wants me pregnant I think he’s proven he’s capable of doing so whether I want it or not..ie the Virgin Mary (excuse my grammar, I’m having to type from my phone..) that’s MY opinion on that, I do not speak for any religion in particular. I had a very long response to your reply but it got deleted but long story short there are two verses I found that declare it is good for a man to stay single so they can focus on God (your reference to celibacy) and when you called me an extremist for sayin sexual sin is the worst. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. That is what I was referring to.

      • Full reply to come below. This is getting too far indented on the screen.

  2. ECA says:

    1, ABSTINENCE?
    hOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE THEY LET THE COMMON MAN read the bible?? about the 1400’s??
    2. The old testament? comes from where?? The hebrew religion?? its SUPPOSED TO BE.. CHRIST was a hebrew, and he did NOT deny it..and HE DID practice it..

    There WERE reasons to POPULATE..
    most of them deal with FARMING/RANCHING and SURVIVAL RATES of the times. You had a 50% chance you wouldnt be born..50% chance the mother would abort you, it was easy with a few herbs..(I have heard morning glory works well)..

    The world used to be controlled by FOOD.. WHO had it, who wanted it..
    The odds of getting to AGE 2, were not very high..
    The ODDS of being FEMALE and getting to age 2…were WORSE.
    Between the wars, and the fighting, and animals..the Odds of getting PAST 14…made you a MAN..and in most cases…Middle aged.

    IF you had a FEMALE CHILD you had to PAY for someone to marry her(dowry)..which didnt count the cost of a wedding..

    The problem comes with KIDS/PEOPLE having ENOUGH kids on the farm. A farm can only be divided a few times, then it becomes worthless. It CANT FEED YOU or make money.
    The kids had to either DIE or goto the cities..AND then try to find jobs..

    NOW..the Corps have killed off the FARMS. its mostly mechanized..And passed on to 1 other person..AND STILL the kids have to goto town/cities to find jobs. MORE and MORE people in the towns..
    The Corps are in charge of the food.and we have 10000 times as many people in cities.

    The odds of dieing at birth are low.. Getting to age 2, 99%..
    Getting to age 14…OVER 70%..Average MIDDLE age is 40..not 14.
    MORE people are alive today then have EVER LIVED…in TOTAL before 1900.. In the last 100 year the population has gone from 1-2 billion..to over 7billon.. AND the 1-2billion is a HIGH ESTIMATE. because many countries didnt REALLY count everyone..

    • 1. Yes, the Old Testament is the Hebrew bible of the Jewish religion.
      2. Yes. If Christ ever actually walked the earth as a flesh and blood human rather than as an allegorical character, he is unanimously reported to have been Jewish. His last supper was a passover seder. The communion wafers of today represent the afikomen, bits of matzoh, he passed around at the end of the seder adding, “eat this for it is my flesh”, thus beginning the practice of ritual mock-cannibalism sometimes called “swallow the leader”. In the Catholic religion, the dogma states that during communion, the wafer, through transubstantiation, literally turns into the flesh of Christ.

      Yum! 2,000 year aged long pork.

      As for the rest of your post, I agree with it in principle. Though, I cannot confirm the numbers. 50% abortion rate seems rather high to me.

      Remember, there were other plants than silphium that contained estrogen or an estrogen like compound that made good birth control. Silphium was merely the most effective.

      Many plants induce abortion. The expression “to rue the day” comes from the fact that rue was used as an abortifacient.

      I’d expect though that with the birth control plants being used fairly commonly that the need for abortion probably didn’t hit 50%. But, again, I’ve not seen statistics on the subject. Presumably, any attempt at estimating the percentage use of either birth control or abortifacients would be difficult to prove. I doubt such records were kept.

      But, the record of the use of such plants for both purposes did survive. In fact, the Catholic church for a long time was the keeper of the information about what plants could be used in place of silphium after it went extinct, though not immediately after. I believe silphium went extinct before the Catholic church became a significant institution.

  3. Here’s another article stating how real sex education and access to birth control is very important in preventing teen pregnancy. Note that this article specifically mentions how in rural America sex education doesn’t really exist and that people are ashamed to buy birth control in their rural towns where everyone will find out.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/27/opinion/stepp-teenage-pregancies/index.html

    C_Andy_3, I would note one more thing about your success at abstinence. You had comprehensive sex education, as I did. This is proven to delay the start of sexual activity, something abstinence only education does not. So, your own success does not advocate abstinence only education but rather comprehensive sex education. I can honestly say that in large part because of my comprehensive sex education, I have never had sex without birth control.

  4. ECA says:

    http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/ATLAS_EN/html/history_of_marriage_in_western.html

    A little education in this.
    Marriage, IN THE CHURCH, wasnt a practiced thing until the Late 1800’s..That is to say that marriage wasnt DONE in the church.
    In the christian ideal, for along time, they thought Chastity and NO sex were what the bible wanted.
    Marriage wasnt PART of the church. it was private.
    But hormones and such will always speak LOUDLY.
    I will add that Abortion, isnt always happening. I will say this Abruptly. BIRTH killing. Upon seeing that a female CHILD was born, many would kill it. This even happens NOW, in a few other countries. In a few nations, those under 15 that have sex, generally, LEAVE the child to die, if a birth happens.
    Its not just abortion. Its the matter of children being killed at birth. And in the OLD FAITHS, females had no worth.

    With all the death and destruction that was going on..Do you wonder WHY there were so many MEN?? Fighting?? And how there COULD BE so many people killed and 99% of them were MEN..
    I wont say, that MEN left out any mention of females over the years. I will suggest that there were a lot of Birth deaths happening. The only ones to AFFORD females tended to be RICH people who had reasons to SELL OFF their children to keep the dynasties alive, as peace offerings.
    Excuse me for saying this..
    its been said before. Females were barter/chattel/nothing more then LESSER SLAVES..
    but most of this is After the establishment of the major religions. BEFORE that, women had there place. And for SOME REASON, it was decided ONLY MEN knew HOW to run the world.
    Up till recently, even the HEBREW religion denied women, most rights. And I wont even go into Christian ideals that have been written over many times.

    • Regarding the Jewish religion, some sects still deny women the same rights as men. Most though, even among the orthodox, do not do so anymore.

      Please remember that the Jewish religion was progressive 2800 years ago. The problem with reading a text from biblical times literally is that morality has changed and improved a lot since then.

      2800 years ago to state that a woman was valued property rather than mere property was a step forward. The Jewish wedding certificate, the ketubah, states that the husband will take good care of his wife. It is a gift from the husband to the wife specifying that he will take care of her. This was a step forward at that time.

      Now, of course, we see treating women as property as abhorrent. Or, at least most of us do … and all of us should.

      So, times have changed. The Jewish religion in general is a bit more fluid. The God of the old testament, especially Genesis, was not perfect. He could be argued with successfully. He could be proven wrong. He made mistakes. Further, the Jewish religion has a long history of interpretation of the bible. It’s called the talmud. Rabbis over generations wrote their interpretations of the bible in there. Rabbis are still interpreting and reinterpreting the bible.

      So, yes, there are a few sects who are stuck in the religion as it was a few hundred years ago. And, unfortunately, it is these sects who are breeding like rabbits.

      But, overall, the Jewish religion does not lend itself to fundamentalism in the same way that Christianity and Islam do. That said when any of sect of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion, deliberately singular, does get stuck in fundamentalism, the result is violent. Rather than banning killing, the Bible is the original book on genocide, practically an instruction manual for it. “save alive nothing that breatheth.” Yeesh! What’d the poor sheep do??!!? And, the trees, how exactly did they sin and displease God?

      The whole of Deuteronomy 20 is among the most violent things I’ve ever read.

  5. Murder is a sin so that’s where abortion comes in. One of the commandments..it’s in the first 5 books of the Bible you say you read. God says he knot us ogether in out mothers womb. when do we enter our mothers womb? upon conception right?

    Actually, two points to this. First, this quote is not from God. It’s from Psalm 139:13. It’s a quote from David. David is saying to God, “For Thou hast made my reins; Thou hast knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

    So, just be clear on whom you are quoting please. David != God.

    Second, even if you accept the knitting analogy, a ball of yarn is not a sweater. When I want to wear a sweater, I need the whole thing, not a ball of yarn. At what point the ball of yarn becomes a sweater is not specified in the Bible.

    Further, causing a woman to miscarry is considered very very different than murder in the bible. Forgetting David and going to God, one finds that God said this in Exodus 21:22-25:

    22 And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow, he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
    23 But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
    24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
    25 burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

    That is very different than the penalty for murder. Take note that in 23 the Bible specifies life for life. Not in 22 under the bit about the miscarriage. If you believe God is the author of the Bible, then God has stated very strongly that causing a miscarriage is not murder. It is not a life. Only if harm follows, then life for life. The life of the fetus is not a life in the bible. I’m glad I looked this up again. I had not remembered that the bible actively asserts that a fetus is not a life.

    So, in fact, you are defining sin and murder rather than allowing God to do so. What gives you the right to do so and then state that only God can determine what is sin?

    at least that what that no good sex ed class taught me. thats where i stand on that. If a dr said abort this baby or you’ll die, I would hope I could stick to it then.

    I should state categorically that I have absolutely no problem with you defining things this way for yourself. I wrote this post because there are many trying to define things this way for all of us. Abortion is as hard to get now in many parts of this country as it was before Roe v. Wade. Many parts of this country do not have access to a clinic withing hundreds of miles. This is religion dictating their values on others. This is unconstitutional and unconscionable.

    I don’t think birth control is a sin. Birth control fails. If God wants me pregnant I think he’s proven he’s capable of doing so whether I want it or not..ie the Virgin Mary (excuse my grammar, I’m having to type from my phone..)

    Well, just for the record, the title of this post and the purpose for which I wrote it, was to point out to those who do believe that birth control is a sin that abstinence is exactly the same. So, if you do not see birth control as a sin, then surely you would not see abstinence as a sin either. But, for those who do see birth control as inherently sinful, so is abstinence and so is celibacy. That is the logic on which this post was based.

    that’s MY opinion on that, I do not speak for any religion in particular.

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinions. As am I. I am voicing my opinion on this in opposition to those who are trying to legislate their opinion on others in this once-great, once-secular country.

    I had a very long response to your reply but it got deleted

    I hate it when that happens. I’m sorry to miss your full post on this.

    long story short there are two verses I found that declare it is good for a man to stay single so they can focus on God (your reference to celibacy) and when you called me an extremist for sayin sexual sin is the worst. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. That is what I was referring to.

    Wow!! Good thing I wasn’t raised a Christian. I would have ended up even more strongly opposed to religion than I am today.

    That Corinthians quote is a horrible statement.

    Do you really agree with that? Is one who masturbates really worse than a murderer? Really? But, there’s no victim! Sexual immorality does not harm anyone, assuming all parties are consenting.

    If Hell is full of people who merely had sex out of wedlock or not for the purposes of procreation, I’m going to have a great time there! I sure as Hell wouldn’t want to spend eternity with a bunch of people who feel that masturbation, oral sex, or any other sexual activity not for procreation or outside of marriage was worse than murder. Holy crap!! I’d be physically ill being trapped with a bunch of people who really believed that.

    Yes. I do still think it’s a very extremist statement.

    You’ve provided the biblical support for your view. I really want to know though, deep in your heart. Am I worse than a murderer for having had sex prior to marriage? For having sex that could not result in procreation?

    I think you should do some real introspection, or dare I say it, soul searching on this one.

    Thanks for stopping by and explaining your opinions in more depth. Feel free to keep the conversation going as long as you wish. I am genuinely interested in your opinion, even if the discussion gets heated, or in this case, started out that way right from the beginning. I actually do like heated discussions. It means we both care about the topic.

    • C_Andy_3 says:

      Good point on genesis eye for eye stuff and David saying that God knit him.( I’m going to have to review that in niv, I’m not smart enough for king James;) But if I destroyed your yarn, you could never let the yarn be knit together beautifully into a sweater with your eyes and your wife’s nose and so on and so forth. When I was pregnant the first time, I found out ridiculously early like 4 weeks. I went to the dr and they saw a little flicker and that flicker was the heart beat. At that moment…only 28 days inside my uterus I was responsible for a little heart. Before this pregnancy I was a too scared to make a statement on abortion because I had never been in a situation that would require one and didn’t know what I would do if I was. Well unfortunately that little flicker decided to stop and I lost that baby. I was only 8 weeks along (right when a lot of women get abortions) but that was a baby. It was a little alien looking creature in me but it was a baby and it died. I mourned it like a baby had passed (not as extreme as someone having a stillborn or even a child who had died but I was still depressed) after experiencing that pain over something that wasn’t my fault, I could never imagine doing it purposefully in order to get out of a hard situation (minus regards to my life because I now have a little boy who needs me and a husband, but like I said I would HOPE I could stick with that belief.) why did it hurt my heart so badly if I just lost a group of cells? My point is, that was a baby and the ones being aborted are as well. I’m not good with science and what people believe, but do people believe plan/b is abortion? I don’t from what I know the baby isn’t developed until 4 days after sex and plan b is supposed to be used before that? Let me know the hype surrounding that. In regard to your original post, I don’t think abstinence is taught as the only way to not get pregnant. It was just one part and if there so many kids who ignore abstinence teaching they are also ignoring the condoms, pill and allll the other ways to prevent pregnancy.

      • I’m glad I could at least cause you to rethink the issue, even if you come to the same conclusion a second time.

        As for your personal experiences, I’m genuinely sorry for your miscarriage. It must have been heartbreaking since you wanted the child.

        I have had a different experience. Well, first, I’m a man. So, I could never have your experience. But, a close relative did get pregnant at age 15. She now has two beautiful children.

        Had she been forced to carry to term at 15, she would have become a high school dropout and probably spent the rest of her life in low wage positions inadequately caring for her family.

        As it is, she has two children that she can afford to send to college. She has her own successful business and employs about a dozen people here in the U.S, possibly more. I’m not sure.

        I cannot say why she got pregnant. Perhaps there was still pressure at that time not to use birth control or perhaps the birth control failed. I do not think her fetus would be better off having been born to a 15 year old unwed mother than being aborted.

        Nor do I think the mother’s life is worthless in its own right.

        There are times when abortion is the right answer. I have never and will never have to make that call. I can say though that the government should not be making that decision for anyone.

        Remember a woman is 40 times more likely to die from childbirth than from abortion. So, one must really question the ethics of forcing women to become prisoners of their own bodies only to give birth to unwanted children.

        The same politicians who want to outlaw abortion also want to end any programs to help the poor and needy who will be forced to bear these children. The current Repugnican platform can be summed up by the philosophy that life begins at conception and ends at birth.

        As for terminating the pregnancy, I would also like to point out as gently as I can, that most people do not have a problem with the number of pigs we’re killing for our morning bacon.

        Pigs are particularly smart animals.

        An adult pig has a whole lot more brain power and greater sensation of pain than a human fetus. So, while it may sound heartless to point it out, a pig is closer to an adult human than a human fetus, even though the fetus may grow to become an adult.

        Is the fact that this fetus will become human the only relevant consideration in morals?

        Oh wait. I forgot. You don’t believe we get to decide moral questions. Only God does. Well. God says a fetus is worth money. After that, if there is harm from the incident that caused the miscarriage, then it is eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life. Fetuses are not life.

        Personally, I disagree. A fetus is a potential life. I do not think we should be aborting fetuses left and right. I think we should be supporting programs that reduce the need for abortion while still allowing the choice of an abortion to be made on an individual basis. It is a decision for a woman and her doctor to make. If she wants to involve anyone else in the process, fine. But, she is the one carrying the fetus.

        Anyway, comprehensive sex ed, such as you and I both experienced does reduce the need for abortion. Hell, it even delays the start of sexual activity.

        Abstinence only education does neither.

        With half of all school districts in the south teaching abstinence only sex education, it’s time for us to point out that this policy is immoral and, dare I say it, sinful. It causes real and unnecessary harm to human beings.

  6. Rodnikov Magilovich says:

    I knew one guy who is long since dead that never practiced abstinence. His dalliance got him divorced twice, and alimony for 2 ex wives plus five offspring grew to more than his Gen. Foreman’s pay. He quit the mill to go work in the mid Arctic for the isolation pay. When that dried up, he moved to the wet coast near the Alaska border and isolation pay again where he died drunk while driving a mountain road with another lover! But his words when I last saw him were, “The fucking I’m getting isn’t worth the fucking I’m taking”!

  7. BTW, this conversation has spawned a new thread specifically dealing with the issue of the bible’s statement that a fetus is not a life.

    Bible is Clear: A Fetus is NOT a Life

  8. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Good bible study issues. Various thoughts in no order:

    1. “Go forth and multiply” is certainly violated if one uses birth control including abstinence. But does multiple mean reasonably as in 2.1 kiddies or unreasonably like a Catholic or a Rabbit? And thats on an individual basis, not our species all summed up. Does god command that Husband and Wife multiple to the point that more kiddies cause all the kiddies to suffer in quality of life? Ooopsie–god doesn’t much care about quality of life. Nevermind…. that was a blind alley. So–abstinence and celibacy are both surely violations of gods clear commandments. What about abstinence only education thought??? Seems to me if it is defective and results in more pregnancies than does rational experience, then abstinence education is gods clever way of returning us to the righteous path. Scotty–got to give you a plus one then a minus one. At least you are treading with your head above water.

    2. re knitting a sweater. Its one of the new wave atheists who said that god was to blame for being too ambiguous in what he wanted from us. Still births and early death was so common early on that resources and emotions were held off until a bit more viability was established. It was formal catholic teaching that the soul did not enter the childs body until it was baptized–some weeks after the kiddie was even alive which was on “first breath.” Don’t know what the jews did but they knew nothing about the knitting process which is consistent with not making any pronouncements on it. Silly to apply 21st Cent Science to stone age religion and think you are doing anything except making stuff up.

    3. FREEEEEEEEEDOM===leaving other people alone, especially when it comes to your idiotic personal beliefs. If you want to bring a brain damanged fetus to full term and sacrifice what it does to raise that child to an average age of 12 before it dies===then go ahead. YOU do it. But leave other people the f*ck alone. They might want to abort the damaged fetus in favor of having another one a year later that learns to do more than smile when you change its diapers.

    When god is not exactly specifically clear on an issue==then you are just making stuff up. You, or who you listen to. Thats fine for you. Leave other people alone.

    ((Note: god ain’t exactly specifically clear on any issue. That was a trap for the unwary. Prove me wrong?—-Ha, ha.))

    • … does multiple mean reasonably as in 2.1 kiddies or unreasonably like a Catholic or a Rabbi[t]?

      Sorry, I admittedly changed your quote slightly to note the similarity in breeding between ultra-orthodox rabbi and rabbit.

      Good question though.

      I’m not an expert in either the Talmud or the Catechisms, so, know of no discussion on this point. What I would point out again though is that there is no explicit mention of birth control in the Bible, despite its existence at the time. Maybe Moshe (Moses) didn’t give a crap about it one way or the other. Ditto for abortion.

      My real answer to your question though is I have no idea.

      Many of the patriarchs and matriarchs in the Bible did not breed like rabbi[t]s. So, who knows? To become as numerous as the stars would:

      A) Lobby for the most children one could reasonably have and support in a healthful lifestyle to maximize their reproduction as well as that of their parents. Perhaps these would be moderate rabbi[t]s.

      B) Require a whole lot more planet than we actually have. “The observable universe contains between 1022 and 1024 stars” If we had 1022 people, the mass at ~ 70kg/person would be 7×1024 kg, just a bit more than the mass of the earth and about 1011 times the number of people on the planet today.

      What about abstinence only education thought??? Seems to me if it is defective and results in more pregnancies than does rational experience, then abstinence education is gods clever way of returning us to the righteous path.

      That’s some very priestly thinking on your part. The problem is, it only works on those who are already religious and want such education that brings forth stupidity. Comprehensive sex ed works. Don’t you think a god that could make abstinence only ed such an miserable failure could make comprehensive sex ed equally ineffective?

  9. ECA says:

    1.Go forth and multiply..
    IS greaT FOR THE OLD FARMS WHEN A GOOD MANY OF YOUR KIDS WERE GOING TO die OR GOTO WAR..
    You could not give/divide your farm up to ALL your kids.. THE others GOTO TOWNS..and try to find jobs..

    3.THAT is choice. And survival is the BASIC thing you teach your child. IF they cant take care of themselves, they DIE.
    In Hebrew the age of 13 is celebrated FOR A REASON.

    You see it int he animal kingdom..really. The parents TRY to help and teach the child to survive. In the first few months, they have to learn it all. tHEY MIGHT HANG AROUND THE PARENTS FOR ABIT, then OFF they go, on their own.

    Im not saying we SHOULD be that way. Im saying this is HOW IT IS. We are the only group that CARES TO MUCH, and sometimes NOT ENOUGH. When do you consider WHAT the child will go thru?
    I can STRAP you in a chair so you cant move, for the rest of your life, and see how you like it..To many dont consider a SMART BRAIN in a body that isnt responding properly.. A handicapped person has the SAME, WANTS NEEDS as you DO/DID…they want SEX, TV, MOVIES, ….Are you going to have a person come in and give them a GOOD blow job??

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      ECA–we are “social animals” and live in extended family groups as do many other species. Baby ants and bees never leave the colony. Same with apes, whales, elephants (adult males excepted). What is unnatural in our species is the very thing you champion.

      Hey!!! Speaking of apes–I found this fascinating and instructive to social animals: seems four low ranked chimps ganged up on and killed the Alpha Male. That is so interesting in our closests relatives. Nice to learn something new.

      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729074.600-gang-of-chimpanzees-kills-their-alpha-male.html

      • ECA says:

        BO,
        the difficulty and antagonism,
        comes with ‘HOW to feed’ this many people.
        What makes Good land, enough land, how much more do we need.

        It tends to be easier to SHIP the excess people out. sned them to another FARM that needs help.
        Send them away to learn/work..because you have ENOUGH people in a spot.
        remember this is the OLD DAYS. before you could poison the ground with chemicals to make it grow ANYTHING..

        NOW with automation..we need even LESS people. AND more people end up in cities and towns, TRYING to find work.
        WHat USEd to take a CREW of 50 to bring in, is NOW, 1 tractor, 1 hauler and is 10 times the crop.
        FARMS now arent a few acres of land..they are 1000+ Acres.. A crew of vehicles Clears 1/2 a state in a week..Then the family of 5? pays them off, and goes to collect the money.
        IMHO, I would love for people to live on a farm for 3-5 years of their lives..

      • IMHO, I would love for people to live on a farm for 3-5 years of their lives..

        We’re not all the same. What’s good for you may not be good for everyone. 3-5 years on a farm? I’d probably commit suicide. 3-5 years out in the bush (on safari, or in safari like locales) and I’d probably never come home.

      • seems four low ranked chimps ganged up on and killed the Alpha Male.

        Chimps definitely get the concept of coalitions within groups. They also get the concept of warfare. They’re basically just like us as far as killing and violence. They’re just not as good at it.

    • 1.Go forth and multiply..
      IS greaT FOR THE OLD FARMS WHEN A GOOD MANY OF YOUR KIDS WERE GOING TO die OR GOTO WAR..

      Regarding farmers needing kids to work the farms, I just thought of an odd question.

      Why is farming the only industry that is not profitable without child slave labor?

      Why do we think this is OK in farming?

  10. Hmm… That indentation from my most recent posts may be a tad confusing. Scroll up to the first thing that is less indent than any given comment and it is a reply to that. At the same level means another comment in reply to the same one. I hope everyone figures it out successfully. I think I’ll do these comments differently in the future.

    I just went back and added quotes in italics that should help to clear up exactly what point my response is intended to address. Hope this helps.

  11. FYI, I just added a note to my original post. Please read the P.P.S. at the bottom of the original. It discusses the psychotic beliefs of one Pat Fagan who seeks to impose his delusions on others.

  12. Here’s another side effect of abstinence only education. Look at what can happen when a student is smarter than the teacher and the principal and speaks up.

    Sin is harming others deliberately and unnecessarily. Abstinence only eduction is sinful.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/04/18/high-school-principal-threatens-girl-for-speaking-out-against-wildly-dishonest-abstinence-only-presentation/

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