Abstain If You Will

I have written several posts about my opposition to abstinence-only-until-marriage “education”. I oppose these programs for a variety of reasons based on strong evidence and sound reasoning. Today I would like to discuss the subject of abstinence until marriage from a slightly different angle.

I have never intentionally implied, nor would I want it said, that I oppose abstinence. Well, I oppose it for myself, but I’m a forty-two year old woman who is well-informed, mature and responsible enough to make that choice. Oh, and I’m married, but as you may already know, marriage is not a deciding factor for me when it comes to making decisions about sex.

What other people choose to do or not do, and under what circumstances, is their own business, though. And that is the subject of this post.

According to an article by Julie Sternberg, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, by age 20, 75% of Americans have had sex without being married. By age 40, that number increases to 95%. Premarital sex is a cultural norm in the U.S. — and has been for decades.

That said, it has never been my intention to criticize those who do choose to abstain until marriage. If that is important and right for you, then that’s what you should do. But you should also realize that your choice is not based on science or facts, but on your personal values and ideologies that may not be shared by the next person — and that’s OK!

We are all entitled to our own views about sex and marriage, and to make our own choices about them. But what abstinence-only-until-marriage programs try to do is take moral and religious ideology and dress it up as science in an attempt to frighten, control and manipulate people into following a religious moral code. That is what I have a problem with, rather than with people abstaining for personal reasons.

Abstain, if you will. You don’t need to explain or justify it to anyone. It is your choice, and your choice alone. You don’t even need a reason, much less a bunch of factually incorrect reasons. And if you abstain because of your religious beliefs or your faith; because God says premarital sex is a sin, shouldn’t that be enough?

It seems to me that you do your faith a huge injustice and undermine your god by attempting to justify your decision in some other way. Especially when that way is a lie.

Bottom line: do it, or don’t. I support your right to make that choice for yourself. But don’t lie about it, and don’t try to impose your moral code or religious principles on me or my child, especially not on my tax dime.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

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12 responses to “Abstain If You Will

  • Postman

    Dammit, Lottie! Now I see that it’s your support of abstinence that has caused so many people to shoot me down in bars, restaurants, theatres, racetracks, and on one memorable occassion, outside a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting.
    You know how it’s meant to go. We atheists are for sex with anything that will hold still long enough, regardless of race, gender, phylum or marital status.

  • Lottie

    Sorry, Postman. I hated for you to find out this way. You might as well know, too, that I’m declaring war on Amsterdam right after the first of the year.

    The power is utterly intoxicating.

    You know how it’s meant to go. We atheists are for sex with anything that will hold still long enough, regardless of race, gender, phylum or marital status.

    It has to hold still? You mean you don’t carry restraints when you leave the house?

  • Postman

    “It has to hold still? You mean you don’t carry restraints when you leave the house?”

    Tu, tu tu! Look who’s the Atheist Croesus. She can afford “restraints” and to “leave the house”.

  • waltzinexile

    I’m just going to bookmark the comments page so I can come back when I’m in dire need of a laugh. You guys are awesome.

  • Lottie

    Postman: Nah… I just prioritize. πŸ˜€

    Waltz & Terra: Glad you’re enjoying it. Postman and I have been asked to take our act on the road. I’m sure you can imagine our surprise. I mean, “act”? I still don’t get it…

    . πŸ˜‰

  • thehun

    Blarg! Am I the only one who seems to have had their icon dropped. Stinkin’ wordpress.

    Okay, so I think I’m caught up with this post.

    Lottie, Lottie, Lottie, don’t you know that being against Abstinence-Only means that you are against abstinence and are promoting telling kids to have sex and lots of it.

    I thought you made your self perfectly clear, but what do I know, I’ve been AWOL so I probably missed out on something.

    Now I’m thinking of not hitting the “submit” button to post this comment, because i know my icon won’t show up… stinkin’ wordpress.

    Blarg.

  • Lottie

    Yeah, I guess my cover is blown. I must have protested too much. I might as well confess that I’m taking my son to Amsterdam for his 16th birthday. We can loaded and then hit the red-light district.

    . 😯

    I can see your icon. Same thing happened to me recently. All I could see was a black square, but other people could see my picture. I cleared my cache and cookies and… voila.

  • thehun

    Clearing cache and cookies… blarg! That requires effort (hey maybe that’s why I don’t update my blog!)

    I’ll have to try that… like when I’m really bored or something, if you guys can see it, that’s good enough. πŸ˜›

  • Lottie

    Yep! I can see it, so if you’re not bothered, then don’t bother… πŸ˜†

  • pinkespresso

    Great post–I couldn’t agree more. I have no qualms with abstinence itself: if you feel your God says not to have sex yet, then… don’t have sex! Voila!

    Seriously, great post. You’ve managed to say what I’ve wanted to for ages, only eloquently and well.

  • Lottie

    Thank you very much! I’m glad you stopped by.

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