Cool in the Eyes of God

Abstinence-only-until-marriage education brought to you by the state Louisiana (and funded by your tax dollars):

“Tell your friend that abstaining from sex until entering a loving marriage will give her the freedom to achieve [sic] true self-esteem — to be, truly, ‘cool’ in God’s eyes as well as yours and mine.”

“After repenting, ask God to forgive you through Jesus Christ. Then ask Him for strength to resist future sexual temptations.”

“What is not okay? Anything that stirs the desire to sin. (That would include just about anything accompanied by moaning.) The standard is spelled out for us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, which tells us not to defraud each other sexually.”

“The condom’s biggest flaw is that those using it to prevent the conception of another human being are offending God. God intends that sexual intercourse should take place only between a man married to a woman. If people follow God’s plan for human sexuality, there would be no problem with sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, every act of marital intercourse must be both unitive and open to procreation. Any action, including condom use, which has as its purpose of rendering procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.”

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

By the way, these examples were posted on the official website of the Louisiana Governor’s Program on Abstinence after the ACLU reproductive rights won a 2002 lawsuit against the state for proselytizing with taxpayer dollars. Despite a settlement agreement and court order that prohibits the state from “convey[ing] religious messages or otherwise advanc[ing] religion in any way,” Louisiana dove right back into state-sponsored religion as part of its abstinence-only-until-marriage program.

Unfortunately, last Thursday U.S. District Court Judge Porteous didn’t see things our way.

Even though the U.S. Constitution requires the separation of church and state, and forbids the government from favoring one religion over another, Judge Porteous decided Louisiana was within the bounds of the law. (It should be noted that the state only showcased and endorsed religious content featuring Christianity — no other religion was ever specifically discussed.)

I think Joe Cook, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana, put it best: “If telling kids that abstaining from sex will bring them closer to God isn’t a religion, I don’t know what is. Taxpayer money shouldn’t be used to deliver sermons. Period.”

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