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Condoms bad! No sex, good!
November 20, 2002 10:14 AM   Subscribe

White House Wages Stealth War on Condoms The government is waging a covert war on condoms. Fact sheets on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus have disappeared from government sites. Right wing activists have been appointed to the the presidential AIDS panel. Government audits of AIDS activist groups who protest these policies have begun. So, apparently only evil-doers have sex outside of marriage, and they deserve to die horrible deaths.
posted by dejah420 (166 comments total)

 
Liberals elected into office -> they push their agendas
Conservatives elected into office -> they push their agendas

It sucks, but the sky isn't falling. People are still free to use common sense and good judgment, with or without the government's watchful eye. When they start pulling condoms from the shelves of the 7-11, then I'll be worried.
posted by dhoyt at 10:21 AM on November 20, 2002


Thanks, dejah. Once again they want to preach absitnence to a bunch of people who have no intention of being abstinent. So in order to encourage them, they say condoms aren't effective enough? So they're discouraging people from using condoms? When will these people wake up?

There should be a requirement to have at least one HIV positive person on this AIDS panel. But then Bush would have to be in a room with somebody who's a dirty fornicater! Icky! This makes me sick.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:34 AM on November 20, 2002


"It sucks, but the sky isn't falling."

So...... The fact the US government wants to discourage sex out of marriage isn't a problem for you? This seems okie-dokie? Government agencies tasked with public health and safety should be ideology driven?

Sorry. No. Wrong. Safety and health are not moral issues.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:35 AM on November 20, 2002


The sky IS falling.
posted by machaus at 10:39 AM on November 20, 2002


There should be a requirement to have at least one HIV positive person on this AIDS panel.

Just as you wouldn't appoint a felon to the Supreme Court, you wouldn't go to a dentist with bad teeth, and you wouldn't go to a mechanic who has to take the bus to work because his car is broken, it doesn't make sense to specifically seek out someone infected with a disease to a panel on how to fight it.
posted by oissubke at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2002


dhoyt- It's one thing to apply that tautology to things like fiscal initiatives and foreign policy, where there are several schools of thought and no consensus about what's right.

Health policies (as y6y6y6 pointed out) should be faced on things like, oh, scientific studies, which are numerous and almost universally in agreement that condoms prevent AIDS.

... must... not... look at truth...
posted by mkultra at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2002


The fact the US government wants to discourage sex out of marriage isn't a problem for you?

It's not a problem for me. It should be discouraged.

Government agencies tasked with public health and safety should be ideology driven?

I think you'll find that those who wait until marriage to have sex, and then have a monogamous relationship, have a significantly improved "public health and safety" factor when compared with Joe College out chasing down casual encouters with sorority girls.

Prevention is more effective (and cheaper) than just treating the symptoms.
posted by oissubke at 10:42 AM on November 20, 2002


The fact the US government wants to discourage sex out of marriage isn't a problem for you?

Well, it's a problem for me, just like the lack of healthcare for the uninsured is a problem for me. It's not a problem for conservative Republicans pushing a right-wing religious agenda.

The system is broken, the sky is falling, and Republicans, the ones running the government, would like to discourage pre-marital sex.

it doesn't make sense to specifically seek out someone infected with a disease to a panel on how to fight it.

Ridiculous. Mechanics cars break down, so they want to fix them. People have AIDS want to know how to fix it, and can contribute insight into the life of someone living with the disease.
posted by mikrophon at 10:43 AM on November 20, 2002


What's the point of wearing a condom if Saddam and Bin Laden are going to nuke your city, anyway. Can we get some priorities, people? Fighting terrorism is the president's job, anyone who criticizes his other policies will be held directly responsible when Saddam sends his nukes to NYC.
posted by cell divide at 10:44 AM on November 20, 2002


Just as you wouldn't appoint a felon to the Supreme Court, you wouldn't go to a dentist with bad teeth, and you wouldn't go to a mechanic who has to take the bus to work because his car is broken

So you're suggesting AIDS victims are disqualified as expert witnesses? Because, like a bad mechanic who can't fix his own car or a dentist who can't fix his own teeth, the AIDS victims are to blame for not fixing their illness? Am I reading this correctly: you're blaming the infected, grosso modo, for the disease? Are you suggesting they were asking for it?
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:46 AM on November 20, 2002


Prevention is more effective (and cheaper) than just treating the symptoms.

Prevention ... like condoms?
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2002


Well, it's a problem for me, just like the lack of healthcare for the uninsured is a problem for me. It's not a problem for conservative Republicans pushing a right-wing religious agenda.

Religion has nothing to do with it. Discouring extramarital (including premarital) sex goes a lot further toward promoting the public health and safety than does dumping tons of money into free condoms because "the stupid masses are going to do it anyway".

It's a public health issue, not a religious or ideological one.
posted by oissubke at 10:50 AM on November 20, 2002


White House Wages Stealth War on Condoms

If you're not with us, you're with the condoms.

it doesn't make sense to specifically seek out someone infected with a disease to a panel on how to fight it.

Actually it makes perfect sense to have someone who has lvied with HIV or AIDS on a panel that deals with that disease, just as it would to have a cancer patient on a panel dealing with cancer. Also, oissubke, your comparison of an HIV + person to a felon or a dentist with bad teeth is juvenile and ignorant.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:51 AM on November 20, 2002


What's the point of wearing a condom if Saddam and Bin Laden are going to nuke your city, anyway.

I don't know about you, but if there's a nuclear blast I wouldn't mind having an extra layer of protection.
posted by oissubke at 10:52 AM on November 20, 2002


Who says a country can't be hijacked.
posted by four panels at 10:54 AM on November 20, 2002


It's not a problem for me. It should be discouraged.

What does "should" mean? On what basis?

"Marriage" is a religious concept; sexually-transmitted diseases are a health issue. Why should the government even be allowed to link the two?
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:54 AM on November 20, 2002


Also, oissubke, your comparison of an HIV + person to a felon or a dentist with bad teeth is juvenile and ignorant.

Oh, come on, you know that's a cheap shot. I was attempting to illustrate the principle of "We're getting together a group to fight XYZ, so let's get someone who failed to fight XYZ."

Someone with HIV is very comparable to someone with bad teeth. To put that person on an anti-AIDS panel is equivalent to having a dentist with bad teeth.

I'm not saying that people with HIV are bad people, or they're criminals, or they're sinful, or any other such rubbish. I'm just saying that selecting someone who has a medical condition to advise others on how to avoid it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.
posted by oissubke at 10:57 AM on November 20, 2002


I agree with dhoyt. I'm not shocked at all that this is going on at all. And yes, you are allowed to assert your agent even if it is wrong, not grounded in fact or just plain counter productive so long as one/the government does not violate external constitutional restraints. That is the price of living in a place, at least in theory, were dissent is allowed and all views are allowed to be expressed. I strongly disagree the White House's new agenda, but that does not take away their right to purse it. I guess MIFIers would prefer a leviathan or perhaps a Big Brother to for force people into doing what is “right.”

I will use my power to oppose these policies via free speech, the ballot box, and if were in office, by government action. The same document and ideals that gives me right do my agenda are simply being used to pursue and the agenda I oppose.

I am not so close minded to think that just because my views are not being implemented I am being oppressed.

On preview: The merits of the condom debate are pointless. This an issue of one's right to pursue their point of view with in the laws of the US

Marriage" is a religious concept; sexually-transmitted diseases are a health issue. Why should the government even be allowed to link the two?

Try telling that to people who pay taxes. You can get married in the eyes of the state without the religious component.
posted by Bag Man at 10:57 AM on November 20, 2002


"Marriage" is a religious concept; sexually-transmitted diseases are a health issue.

Marriage is a social/legal concept, not a religious one. Marriage is found is almost every society in the world, regardless of religion. Atheists, you'll be surprised to know, get married with great frequency.

People who engage in a monogamous social/legal union are significantly less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases than those who are not.

It therefore makes perfect sense for the government to encourage people to participate in said social/legal union, and to discourage activity that is much more likely to spread disease.
posted by oissubke at 11:00 AM on November 20, 2002


It's not a problem for me. It (sex out of marriage) should be discouraged.

What century are you living in? It is scary that people such as you exist.
posted by eas98 at 11:01 AM on November 20, 2002


Religion has nothing to do with it. Discouring extramarital (including premarital) sex goes a lot further toward promoting the public health and safety than does dumping tons of money into free condoms because "the stupid masses are going to do it anyway".

I thought the big reason why abstinance-only education fell out of favor 20 years ago was that it does not work. In addition quite a bit of research shows that the more comprehensive the sex education program, the less likely teens are to have sex.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:02 AM on November 20, 2002


From the point of view of one who is opposed to sex outside of marriage: I disagree with attacking condoms. If one disagrees with sex outside of marriage the only thing one can do is engage in dialogue. Forcing someone to do something has no good effect.
posted by grehy at 11:03 AM on November 20, 2002


When they start pulling condoms from the shelves of the 7-11, then I'll be worried.

It'll be too late, then.

It's a public health issue, not a religious or ideological one.
That's exactly why people with religious and ideological agendas should stay out of it. Wanna preach abstinence? Cool. But people will have sex anyway, it's been like that for the last 5,000 years. They'd better do it with protection, not to be infected and die a horrible death

And oissubke, Ty Webb is right. It just wasn't your best example ever, don't try to defend it half-assedly, we all make mistakes -- and write dumb comments -- somehow

And dejah, thanks for the FPP
posted by matteo at 11:04 AM on November 20, 2002


I think you'll find that those who wait until marriage to have sex, and then have a monogamous relationship, have a significantly improved "public health and safety" factor when compared with Joe College out chasing down casual encouters with sorority girls.

As many women and men will tell you a monogamous relationship **is not** an individual choice. You can't slide up to fast-marriage counter and order one. "I'll have the monogamy combo please". There is always another person, sometimes called a spouse, who is beyond your control involved. Marriage does not prevent infidelity and hence is no protection against AIDS. I don't want to have my health based on faith unless it is faith in science. The safer everyone is, married or unmarried, promiscuous or chaste, the safer I am whether I am married or unmarried, promiscuous or chaste.

"We are gathered here today to join this couple in holy AIDS prevention for better or even better public health and safety."

Lately, I have been wondering if the United States is suffering from some sort of sneezing allergic reaction based on the God Bless America's I have been hearing. Perhaps it is an allergy to Liberty?
posted by srboisvert at 11:04 AM on November 20, 2002


I'm just saying that selecting someone who has a medical condition to advise others on how to avoid it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

So someone with breast cancer should not be talking about early breast exams or any other such nonsense..

Stop opening your mouth -- it's starting to stink in here.
posted by eas98 at 11:04 AM on November 20, 2002


oissubke: Which marriage should people wait for to have sex? Their third? With 50% of first-time marriages failing I think it's a little naive to say that waiting for marriage would be the ideal way. What about the growing population that is rejecting marriage in the classical sense? What about polyamorous and open relationships? Abstinence is great and everything but it is idealistic in the extreme. We are animals, and reproduction is a large part of our mental make up. To think that most of the population would abstain from something so basically mammalian is a pipe dream at best.

I don't think the government should be discouraging sex in any capacity. It should be encouraging safe sex practices which work and funding research in more solutions.

Bag Man: As far as using free speech to fight this new trend. I think that is exactly what is happening with this discussion and the article which spawned it.
posted by botono9 at 11:04 AM on November 20, 2002


Religion has nothing to do with it. Discouring extramarital (including premarital) sex goes a lot further toward promoting the public health and safety than does dumping tons of money into free condoms because "the stupid masses are going to do it anyway".

So this is about money is it? Frankly, I think this is all about religion. I hope the second coming of christ happens via a monogamous relationship.
posted by machaus at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2002


Just as you wouldn't appoint a felon to the Supreme Court ... it doesn't make sense to specifically seek out someone infected with a disease to a panel on how to fight it.

link posted as an occasional public service: Logical Fallacies
in specific

posted by fishfucker at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2002


"It's not a problem for me. It (sex out of marriage) should be discouraged."

What century are you living in? It is scary that people such as you exist.


Can you explain why it's scary people have alternative viewpoints?
posted by gyc at 11:07 AM on November 20, 2002


i realized one moment after hitting 'post' how incredibly snarky that sounds and hit the stop button, but... oh well. sorry folks. next time i'll hold my tounge.


it is a good link though
posted by fishfucker at 11:08 AM on November 20, 2002


Someone with HIV is very comparable to someone with bad teeth. To put that person on an anti-AIDS panel is equivalent to having a dentist with bad teeth.

I'm not saying that people with HIV are bad people, or they're criminals, or they're sinful, or any other such rubbish. I'm just saying that selecting someone who has a medical condition to advise others on how to avoid it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.


Even assuming that you're right, your argument is limited to people who contracted HIV through voluntary unprotected sexual conduct. While that group is certainly a significant portion of all those with HIV, it is most definitely not an exclusive list.

Your argument, even on its own limited terms, is also wrong because it assumes that the sole purpose of the AIDS panel is prevention. However, when the job of the panel is also to support research into a possible cure, don't you think people infected with HIV would have the greatest incentive to make sure it's done properly?

As for the pre-marital sex issue, I think that's been covered well by others.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:08 AM on November 20, 2002


Just think, when we're saying "I told you so" in a few years, we'll have the proof right here on the Metafilter database.

Note: will work for any point of view.
posted by password at 11:10 AM on November 20, 2002


Oissubke, your analogies are ridiculous and dangerous. Would you deny that someone with diabetes is particularly informed as to the struggles of a diabetic? Would you ask their opinion when evaluating treatment? Of course. Your moral relativism has clouded your logic.
posted by maniactown at 11:11 AM on November 20, 2002


Bag Man: As far as using free speech to fight this new trend. I think that is exactly what is happening with this discussion and the article which spawned it.

Um, that's part of my point (I'm gald we agree) and that's why I jointed the discussion. However I was reacting to how people were saying it was wrong for those who disagree with us to exercise their freedom to change the world as they see fit. In a "free society" we must tolerate the existence of views beyond those hich we hold.
posted by Bag Man at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2002


I'm just saying that selecting someone who has a medical condition to advise others on how to avoid it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

It certainly does make sense to include on the panel a person who has made a mistake (that is, assuming this particular person became HIV+ through their own mistake, which isn't always the case) and has had to live with the consequences, as this, at the very least, will add weight to any of the panel's recommendations.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:14 AM on November 20, 2002


oissubke, I personally would rather people wait until they are married or in a committed relationship to have sex too. That's how I lead my life, and it makes the most sense to me. However, you cannot legislate morality, nor can you hide your head in the sand and pretend that the preaching of abstinence in schools, churches, organizations, etc. is going to make a dent in the spread of STDs or unwanted pregnancies.

To take away the dispersement of knowledge about AN alternative to YOUR way of life, that is proven time and time again to work on some level, is simply cutting off the nose to spite the face. The end is obvious. There are many different paths to that end. To say that one is NOT a path is a bold faced lie. The administration is lying. That is what I have a problem with. Free condoms in schools are not the solution. But they are part of a solution. If they help to prevent only one percent of teenage pregnancies, then they are worth it. Take the blinders off. It happens. Let's help it not happen with such frequency.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:14 AM on November 20, 2002


Can you explain why it's scary people have alternative viewpoints?

'Tis scary when said people try to enforce them upon others..
posted by eas98 at 11:16 AM on November 20, 2002


let me not add to the general fray over ostriches in the Bush Administration and on MeFi...let me just say that whether or not in one person's view premarital sex is a "public health" or a "moral" issue, there is no question that our President and his minions strongly believe the latter. not only was abstinence education a big plank in the Bush platform, he has appointed some medical personnel to powerful national policymaking positions who are conservative to the point of having their research questioned by their peers because of its religious overtones. not to mention HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who coined the phrase "Jesus hates welfare mothers." so we can argue til the cows come home about how it *should* be done, but the disturbing fact is what *is* being done to shape government programs to the ideology of the Christian right. a debate about condoms good vs. condoms bad wouldn't bother me as much; what we're talking about here is Uncle Sam proclaiming "The Lord frowns on condoms, thus they're bad."
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2002


Someone with HIV is very comparable to someone with bad teeth. To put that person on an anti-AIDS panel is equivalent to having a dentist with bad teeth.

Not really. It's like having someone who has developed bad teeth and is now in treatment on a panel to help develop ideas to prevent others from developing bad teeth. It seems as though that would be a good perspective to add to such a panel.

And the Orwellian Doublespeak Organizational Name of the Year Award goes to the "... the Texas-based Medical Institute for Sexual Health. To promote abstinence is to promote an ideology, not practical medical advice. It's as if the American Medical Association came out with new ergnomic workplace tips that included, "You won't get carpal tunnel syndrome if you quit your job and run free and live off the land in the wilderness, like Gaia intended."
posted by 4easypayments at 11:22 AM on November 20, 2002


Bag Man, your logic is confusing. So, in your mind, we should be allowed to discuss this as much as we want, but not come to the conclusion that they are wrong?

We may tolerate alternate viewpoints, but we don't have to tolerate a particular action if we as a society decide the harm outweighs any benefits. I can tolerate the administration's viewpoint that sex outside of marriage is wrong. But I refuse to tolerate the actions they take due to that belief which then have a negative impact on public heath.
posted by pitchblende at 11:23 AM on November 20, 2002


'Tis scary when said people try to enforce them upon others..

So does this mean the government should never pass a law? Since there will always be someone who disagrees with a that law, should we have no laws?

How about the view the condoms should be given anyway free? Should that view be forced on people who don't believe it? Should only eas98's views be forced on people? Show eas98's view that that views should not forced on others be force on others? eas98 sure thinks so and wants Big Brother to make it so.
posted by Bag Man at 11:24 AM on November 20, 2002


serafina
Didn't Thompson also say "Welfare mothers make the Baby Jesus cry"?
See how much love he gets from all those nice people who lock arms in front of abortion clinics (warning: link to creepy Operation Rescue site, no graphic stuff tho -- just don't surf the site carelessly, there's graphic stuff hidden there)
posted by matteo at 11:27 AM on November 20, 2002


Quoting one, but replying to all for simplicity's sake.

From the point of view of one who is opposed to sex outside of marriage: I disagree with attacking condoms. If one disagrees with sex outside of marriage the only thing one can do is engage in dialogue. Forcing someone to do something has no good effect.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I do not believe that sexuality should be legislated. I don't believe that condoms should be outlawed. I don't believe that the government should stop funding for sex education. I don't believe that ignorance is bliss. I don't believe that people who have sex outside of marriage are terrible people and should be thrown in jail.

I don't believe in any of that, or in most of the things that several thus far have implied that I believe.

I believe that the government should make reasonable efforts to promote public health by educating people about what can happen to them, and by promoting healthy behavior.

Abstinence before marriage is healthy behavior. It's simple. It's cheap. It's not a moral or religious issue, it's just a practical health issue, and I have no problem with the government promoting a simple and cheap social behavior that helps to prevent the spread of highly unpleasant (and expensive) diseases.

It's no different from politely informing drug users that maybe they shouldn't be sharing needles, or encouring people who have a cold to wash their hands.

If you don't want to wash your hands, more power to you. fight the system. Big brother is not trying to oppress you by encouring you to wash your hands, or brush your teeth, or eat n servings of fruits or vegatables each day.

These things are social behaviors. Sex is a social behavior. Saying "This is outrageous!! The government is promoting abstinence before marriage!! Down with Bush!!" is as silly as writing a manifesto about how the government is oppressing you by demanding that you eat fruits and vegetables.
posted by oissubke at 11:30 AM on November 20, 2002


I'm just saying that selecting someone who has a medical condition to advise others on how to avoid it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

It makes perfect sense. When someone discovers an he has an illness such as HIV or cancer he typically becomes incredibly informed about hiscondition. He is living with it after all. Who better to be a proponent of medical research than someone who has tried all the cocktails and lived with all the side effects of the treatments?? Who better to advocate safety and education than someone who is part of the subculture (teen, gay, gay teen, uneducated straight adults who think they are immune to HIV) that he is trying to protect. Education is more than just pushing information on people; it is understanding where their thoughts are coming from and trying to work within the psychology of the subculture. So some straight guy who knows nothing about being down in the trenches, living among gay people, being a part of the gay subculture, should be regulating how HIV prevention education among gay people should be disseminated? THAT doesn't make a lot of sense.

It's the same with DARE. Pushing anti-drug education on kids does nothing until you try to understand why kids take drugs. Pushing sex education on gay people does nothing until you understand why SOME (a lot, but some) gay people choose to have unsafe sex knowing the risks.
posted by archimago at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2002


Bag Man, your logic is confusing. So, in your mind, we should be allowed to discuss this as much as we want, but not come to the conclusion that they are wrong?

We may tolerate alternate viewpoints, but we don't have to tolerate a particular action if we as a society decide the harm outweighs any benefits. I can tolerate the administration's viewpoint that sex outside of marriage is wrong. But I refuse to tolerate the actions they take due to that belief which then have a negative impact on public heath.


You always have the right to express your mind and take action. I was not arguing against that. In fact I was arguing for that very thing.

I am arguing against the notion that just because we think Bush's argument is "wrong" give him no right to pursue or express it. That's all. I hope I hade myself more clear.
posted by Bag Man at 11:33 AM on November 20, 2002


...how the government is oppressing you by demanding that you eat fruits and vegetables.

Well, I believe there is a concensus that eating fruits and vegetables are, all things considered, better for you.

Abstinence cannot be concluded to be better for anyone. For an example, just look at what's happened to the poor repressed individuals posting here..

If you want to argue that it is 'safer' to Just Say No to sex, and therefore the government has reason to stand on that platform, I would argue that it is safer to walk than to drive, or to even stay home than to leave the house, but yet I don't hear you advocating that the government participate in the Stay at Home -- It's Safer program.
posted by eas98 at 11:38 AM on November 20, 2002


oissubke

No one is saying that the government is wrong to make statements like "abstinence works." However, years of scientific studies have all demonstrated that if abstinence before marriage is presented as the ONLY solution to dealiing with the complicated and dangerous question of sexuality, than a large portion of the population will engage in the sexual activity they were already planning on engaging in, but they will simply do so uniformed, causing problems like transmission of STDs and Pregnancy. I don't know if condoms should be handed out free in schools. But I do think that schools, and therefore, government informational resources on the subject, should be required to provide those wishing to learn about the subject with rational scientific evidence. In this case that condoms work well to prevent both STD transmission and pregnancy.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:41 AM on November 20, 2002


Can you explain why it's scary people have alternative viewpoints?

Um, I don't think the point is that alternative viewpoints in general are scary. I think the point is that this specific viewpoint is scary. Can't viewpoints be scary?
posted by callmejay at 11:42 AM on November 20, 2002


Oissubke: the issue here is not that the government is promoting abstinence before marriage. Abstinence is the most effective way to avoid pregnancy/STDs, and we should damn well be saying so.

The issue is that the government is promoting abstinence prior to a monogamous heterosexual relationship at the expense of every other viewpoint and contraceptive method. If the government is funding any form of education, it has an obligation to provide an unbiased account of all views and positions. The Bush administration's sexual education policy singularly fails to do so.

And on preview: what pjgulliver said.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:43 AM on November 20, 2002


However, years of scientific studies have all demonstrated that if abstinence before marriage is presented as the ONLY solution to dealiing with the complicated and dangerous question of sexuality, than a large portion of the population will engage in the sexual activity they were already planning on engaging in, but they will simply do so uniformed, causing problems like transmission of STDs and Pregnancy.

I agree. I didn't say that abstinence should be promoted as they only form of sexual education. I didn't say that other forms of sex ed should be abolished.
posted by oissubke at 11:48 AM on November 20, 2002


If you want to argue that it is 'safer' to Just Say No to sex, and therefore the government has reason to stand on that platform, I would argue that it is safer to walk than to drive, or to even stay home than to leave the house, but yet I don't hear you advocating that the government participate in the Stay at Home -- It's Safer program.

Talk about your logical fallacies...If I must get into the merits: Why can't the government just advocate both? Not having sex does prevent STDs, but so does using a condom during the old in-and-out. That's at least was I was tough at my private high school back in the day.

I agree with Yelling At Nothing on the merits.
posted by Bag Man at 11:49 AM on November 20, 2002


I do not believe that sexuality should be legislated. I don't believe that condoms should be outlawed. I don't believe that the government should stop funding for sex education. I don't believe that ignorance is bliss.

I believe that the government should make reasonable efforts to promote public health by educating people about what can happen to them, and by promoting healthy behavior.


Oissubke, I'm glad that you and I are in agreement about this. I would encourage you to read the original link, if you haven't done so already. The following quotes from the article are what really frighten me:

"A fact sheet on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus has disappeared from the Centers for Disease Control Web site. According to lawmakers who have protested, the missing sheet was based on public health data showing that "latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing transmission of HIV" and other sexually transmitted diseases. In its place is a notice: "Being revised."

A separate CDC listing of sex-education "Programs that Work," meant to give local officials information on scientifically proven methods of reducing risky teen sexual behavior, also has vanished. The list was created at the request of schools that wanted "credible evidence of effectiveness" as they selected sex-education programs, lawmakers say.
"

Why is the government seeking to withhold factual information from the American public? As someone who "doesn't believe that ignorance is bliss", how do you feel about the fact that the new administration's policies are allowing ignorance to spread?
posted by spacewaitress at 11:51 AM on November 20, 2002


I only read about half of the threads and in my general ignorance have decided that i have a right to weigh in on a subject that i know next to nothing about. First off my dad died of aids, and he got it from not using a condom. I'm from south carolina, which has school programs that do not allow the teaching of prophylactics. In new york city girls learn how to put condoms on bananas. In south carolina the withdrawal method is considered a safe form of birth control. Why? because the majority of people in south carolina don't know about pre cum, because it was never discussed in health class. I have read the studies, and they are on my side. I have seen it in my life, and the facts are again on my side. What this comes down to is a bunch of conservatives trying to run other peoples lives. They feel that their views are right, and that others (ours) are wrong. For the conservatives of you out there on mefi shame on you, you have the internet, you have broad access to millions of other peoples view points, desires, and lives. Still you cannot imagine that someone might feel differently than you. This is a hostile attack, but i would like to avoid hypocrisy. I respect that you feel like i am endangering myself by not waiting for marriage to have sex, but it is my self, i take that risk upon myself. You will not need to worry about whether or not i have std's or whether or not i can support the baby. That is for me to stress about, that is the wonder of responsibility. I can even stretch myself and understand the religious backing of it, but that is the point in which are similarities end. In short i don't care if people want to get their freak on, its their business not mine. I think that a lot of conservative people are so frightened by moral issues because they would like to deny that they have urges, vilify these urges so as to make their own desires more putrid and rank. This is a collection of people who in short hate themselves, there is no possible redemption for a group of real hypocrites, for let he amongst us who is without sin throw the first stone. I think that there are none amongst us without sin, and even those who restrain themselves from sining have thought about it a time or to. I guess this rant accomplishes nothing, allows liberals to think I'm right and preaching their view point, and inflames conservatives to the point of calling names and writing me off. At any rate we are stuck with out country, stuck with our leaders so what does it really matter. Stop your bitching and get involved, join the local political societies write letters to your congressmen, Bush feels he has the mandate of a country to preserve our morality for god. That's an 18% religious conservative contingent, where are the stoners, and laborers, and joe schmoe when it comes time to vote. They are at home sitting, bitching about their situation, i must give praise to the conservative few, they are organized and they win elections shame on the rest of us for being so slack.
posted by sourbrew at 11:51 AM on November 20, 2002


This is an issue that makes me so mad at the Republicans (in power) I could scream. What is so freaking hard for them to understand? Abstinence is safest, yes, but people don't want to be abstinent! People will not be abstinent. I mean, Jesus Christ, talk about overly simplistic worldviews. "Sex is bad. Baaaaad. Bad people."

The only thing worse is when they use US foreign policy to discourage things like Planned Parenthood from helping in other countries. Countries which are being decimated by AIDS and staving because they're having too many children due to a lack of birth control.
posted by callmejay at 11:56 AM on November 20, 2002


Abstinence before marriage is healthy behavior [...] It's no different from politely informing drug users that maybe they shouldn't be sharing needles...

So you're for gay marriage and needle exchange programs?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 11:57 AM on November 20, 2002


sourbrew

Wow! You really got that off your chest.

Passionately and eloquently stated. Congrats.
posted by eas98 at 11:57 AM on November 20, 2002


Liberals elected into office -> they push their agendas. Conservatives elected into office -> they push their agendas.

Of course. Schoolchildren know that. The question is--what parts of either agenda should we pursue?

The "stealth" campaign is what disturbs me here. If it were merely a case of the administration using it's bully pulpit to promote it's notion of abstinence, that would one thing. Instructing agencies to withhold available information and intimidating activist groups is something else entirely. This administration doesn't just want to "get it's message out"; it wants to make sure anyone who disagrees with that message is silenced.

Oissubke: You're right. Abstinence will prevent disease. Now just insure everyone abstains and you've got the problem licked. After all, we all know how effective the last Republican "Just say No" campaign was. In the mean time, why should this be an either/or proposition? Provide condoms and condom information and encourage abstinence. How hard is that?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:59 AM on November 20, 2002


If you don't want to wash your hands, more power to you. fight the system. Big brother is not trying to oppress you by encouring you to wash your hands, or brush your teeth, or eat n servings of fruits or vegatables each day.


In this case it's not that the government is promoting abstinence, it's that they're not addressing other options. Yes, other options may be less effective. But ignoring them at the cost of advancing your own single-minded social agenda is reckless.

I mean, does anyone here seriously believe that if the government promotes only abstinence that no one will get sexually-transmitted diseases? I find that hard to believe. Ideally, a sexual education program would address all options, and emphasize their effectiveness. This'd mean abstinence would get prime billing, but condoms would get more than a passing mention.

While I doubt there are any on metafilter, there are people who would shrug and say that everyone who doesn't practice abstinence before marriage deserves to get a disease and die. I've heard them, and they're certainly in the anti-condom lobby.
posted by mikeh at 11:59 AM on November 20, 2002


oissubke, I apologize if I misrepresented your views. I was identifying you with what was frightening to me about the article, which was wrong. For the record, I applaud you for being willing to patiently argue from a principled (not flaming trolling) conservative viewpoint. Even if I disagree with almost every stance of yours. Except for that get out the vote post. That was great.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2002



It makes perfect sense. When someone discovers an he has an illness such as HIV or cancer he typically becomes incredibly informed about hiscondition. He is living with it after all.


They go off and become experts in epidemiology or treatment protocols, able to convert coefficients on dose/response probits into their first-differences marginal effects, knowing the differences between type-1 and type-2 erros and able to wrap their heads around how confidence intervals work? I doubt this.

Who better to be a proponent of medical research than someone who has tried all the cocktails and lived with all the side effects of the treatments??

A scientist, or someone trained to understand those effects, and the distribution of those effects, and the biochemical causes and consequences of those effects, and the significance of a particular rate of side-effect in the population and the covariates of that side-effect occuring.

Who better to advocate safety and education than someone who is part of the subculture (teen, gay, gay teen, uneducated straight adults who think they are immune to HIV) that he is trying to protect.

An epidemiologist or public health professional, who's going to have a much better and finer-grained sense of what works and what doesn't over what timeframe and in what circumstances than an untrained person who's relying on personal experiences and random anecdotes.

Having someone on a panel determining AIDS policy because they themselves have AIDS, and for no other reason, is plainly dumb. You're taking scientific knowledge, a decent approximation to empirical truth, and washing through a filter of an untrained person's hopes and wishes and personal experiences and miseries. Two things happen when you do this. First, you throw away programs that work, and second, you select programs that don't.

Having AIDS or not is utterly orthogonal to whether or not you'd be a good person to have deciding AIDS policies. It doesn't add to or subtract from a person's skills and knowledge, it's a mere irrelevancy. Having a virus in your bloodstream does not impart (or remove) expertise.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2002


Easy, there. What really strikes me on this thread is how much we all agree. To wit: (1) abstinence is the most effective method of birth control and STD prevention. (2) For those of whom abstinence is not a viable option, condoms, contraception, and education should be made available. We all agree on these points. If you can't see that, you haven't been following this conversation very carefully. Let's give both conservatives and liberals the respect they deserve. None of us here are complete idiots.

The Bush administration agrees with the first of these two points, but not with the second. And so insistent are they on this first point, they are willing to withhold factual information from the American people on official government websites. This is the frightenting part. And it should give everyone here pause, liberal and conservative alike.
posted by spacewaitress at 12:03 PM on November 20, 2002


Abstinence before marriage is healthy behavior. It's simple. It's cheap. It's not a moral or religious issue, it's just a practical health issue, and I have no problem with the government promoting a simple and cheap social behavior that helps to prevent the spread of highly unpleasant (and expensive) diseases.[oissubke]

Funny, you mention abstenance in the first sentence, and then you go on to explain what sounds like condom use.
posted by originalname37 at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2002


where are the stoners . . .when it comes time to vote.

Hey!! I've voted in EVERY election since I was 18 and I still do not have the legal right to toke up in the privacy of my own home.
posted by archimago at 12:05 PM on November 20, 2002


sourbrew: you're falling into the same trap the conservatives fall into there. The "facts" and "studies" are on your side, but the government has just as many to call on as you do. I can't speak for withdrawal being a sanctioned method of contraception; if true, that's very disturbing.

As far as premarital sex being your responsibility only, there are some problems with that. You have the ability to bring a child into the world that you cannot care for, and that ability cannot be legislated away. However, to suggest that you are the only one affected by that child, and that it is solely your responsibility, is incredibly selfish. The child will be affected by your inability to care for it, and those living around him/her will be affected by that. If the child at some point needs welfare or other social aid, or winds up in prison, the taxpayer at large is affected by it. So don't tell me that you should be somehow right in your (hypothetical, mind you) desire to bring random children into the world.

Ultimately, people make their own decisions. If you're right, then an unbiased account of the facts should make them side with you, without a need for personal attacks like the ones you're making.

Preview: I'm sorry too, O, if I read too far into your position. Didn't mean to suggest you're in agreement with the government on this one.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:06 PM on November 20, 2002


[People with HIV] go off and become experts in epidemiology or treatment protocols, able to convert coefficients on dose/response probits into their first-differences marginal effects, knowing the differences between type-1 and type-2 erros and able to wrap their heads around how confidence intervals work? I doubt this.

ROU_, let me introduce you to Treatment Action Group.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:08 PM on November 20, 2002


ROU_Xenophobe: Of course the panel should include trained epidemiologists. Do any trained epidemiologists sit on the current panel? And why should this preclude a person living with HIV from sitting on the panel as well?
posted by spacewaitress at 12:09 PM on November 20, 2002


You're taking scientific knowledge, a decent approximation to empirical truth, and washing through a filter of an untrained person's hopes and wishes and personal experiences and miseries. Two things happen when you do this. First, you throw away programs that work, and second, you select programs that don't.


And your examples of this include . . . ???

I said that people become incredibly informed about their conditions. I didn't say that they went to medical school. And ROU_Xenophobe you have completely disregarded my argument that education does not work unless you understand the psychology of the population you are trying to educate.

It scares me that the medical community does NOT consider "a filter of an untrained person's hopes and wishes and personal experiences and miseries." Treat the person, not the disease.
posted by archimago at 12:12 PM on November 20, 2002


Abstinence before marriage is healthy behavior. It's simple.

let me count the ways...ok, so assuming you don't substitute "entering a monogamous lifetime relationship" for the word "marriage," this logic discounts the "healthiness" of sex for those who can't get legally married, or just don't want to, etc. those who can't/don't marry should abstain forever, then? not so simple. thus we need options for non-abstainers, and today's gub-mint is pretending there aren't any, based on a moral/religious conviction that non-abstaining is sinful on its face. tee hee, "on its face." *sarcasm and stress collide!*

and matteo, thanks, yeah, that's the TT quote i was thinking of.
posted by serafinapekkala at 12:14 PM on November 20, 2002


ROU_, I wasn't stating that the whole group should be comprised of HIV positive people. I think we should have people trained in all the sciences that you listed, and an economist, and a public health expert, and a PR professional, and somebody with HIV. If you have all scientists on there, it's not going to be much more effective than a panel comprised entirely of monkeys. Some diversity is in order here, and I think that there is a very large faction that is not represented in something that they live with day in and out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:19 PM on November 20, 2002


For the record, I applaud you for being willing to patiently argue from a principled (not flaming trolling) conservative viewpoint. Even if I disagree with almost every stance of yours.

It took me several years, but I eventually figured out that principles accomplish more than trolling, even if they're not as much fun. :-)
posted by oissubke at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2002


Having AIDS or not is utterly orthogonal to whether or not you'd be a good person to have deciding AIDS policies. It doesn't add to or subtract from a person's skills and knowledge, it's a mere irrelevancy. Having a virus in your bloodstream does not impart (or remove) expertise.

I don't know. Some of the worst examples of public policy usually occurs because stakeholders are not included in the process of drafting the policy. A basic rule of difusion of innovations is that an innovation is never adopted in mass until it becomes culturally acceptable to a group. HIV positive people may not be offering hard-core scientific knowlege about epidemeology and medical trials, but that is not the only kind that is needed in fighting AIDS. Epidemics are not just abstract examples of microrganisms traveling from host to host, but social and cultural issues as well.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:30 PM on November 20, 2002


OT: Oissubke, just so you know, I'm pocketing this post of yours that follows so that I can bring it up in case you ever take a stand against legalization of marriage for homosexual couples. Read it again, won't you, with that in mind? You wrote:

"Marriage" is a religious concept; sexually-transmitted diseases are a health issue.

Marriage is a social/legal concept, not a religious one. Marriage is found is almost every society in the world, regardless of religion. Atheists, you'll be surprised to know, get married with great frequency.

People who engage in a monogamous social/legal union are significantly less likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases than those who are not.

It therefore makes perfect sense for the government to encourage people to participate in said social/legal union, and to discourage activity that is much more likely to spread disease.
posted by oissubke at 11:00 AM PST on November 20
posted by clever sheep at 12:31 PM on November 20, 2002


And OF COURSE I forgot to note that the "Marriage is a religious concept" statement was someone's else, and you were attempting to refute it. (Sigh)
posted by clever sheep at 12:36 PM on November 20, 2002


Clever Sheep: Though I agree with your thoughts on gay marriage, you must admit that it is possible for Oissubke to argue that hetrosexual union should be encouraged while still holding to a strong personal belief that homosexuality is wrong and should be limited at all costs. A position I do not endorse, but a morally and logically consistent position none-the-less.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:37 PM on November 20, 2002


If it were merely a case of the administration using it's bully pulpit to promote it's notion of abstinence, that would one thing. Instructing agencies to withhold available information and intimidating activist groups is something else entirely.

Other than a couple of webpages and the appointment of one Dr to a panel of many, what other evidence of this stealth war on condems is there?

And these audits, what kind of audits? IRS audits of 501(c)(_) status? Audits of some gov. funding they receive? Were they in the normal course?

I need more evidence before I get too excited.
posted by probablysteve at 12:39 PM on November 20, 2002


Clever Sheep: Um... pocket all you want, but such an argument would be specious. Of course, I'll just have to wait until there's actually a thread on the topic to comment more.

; )

Great thread, folks. Wish there were more to say on the matter, but oi-boy (et al) seem to have done a solid job.

For my two cents: I'd like to think the the Bush junta was really just "revising" (read: updating) and not outright censoring these materials... but history isn't on my side.

My word, what an awful president we've got... and I thought that Willy was bad.
posted by silusGROK at 12:42 PM on November 20, 2002


Clever Sheep: Um... pocket all you want, but such an argument would be specious. Of course, I'll just have to wait until there's actually a thread on the topic to comment more.

; )

Great thread, folks. Wish there were more to say on the matter, but oi-boy (et al) seem to have done a solid job.

For my two cents: I'd like to think the the Bush junta was really just "revising" (read: updating) and not outright censoring these materials... but history isn't on my side. My word. And I thought that Willy was bad.
posted by silusGROK at 12:46 PM on November 20, 2002


pjgulliver: I suspect that Oissubke's argument that homosexuality is wrong would be based on religious grounds, however. And approving the prevention of homosexual marriage because one's religious worldview says homosexuality is wrong is admitting to the religious element associated with marriage, which he denies.

Otherwise, I'd expect to see Oissubke post that he doesn't like the concept of homosexual marriage one little bit, but that it would be sound social policy for the government to "encourage people to participate in social/legal union, and to discourage activity that is much more likely to spread disease."

And on preview, Vis10n, let me know how this is specious--I'm interested and open to hearing about it.
posted by clever sheep at 12:48 PM on November 20, 2002


I have come to the conclusion that many conservatives are deeply hypocritical, two-faced, and deeply afraid of/concerned by human sensuality and sexuality.

Many hold to this strange fantasy of getting everyone to behave like chaste religious folks, saving sex until marriage (heterosexual, of course), and then restricting sex to the missionary position. And we don't talk about the sweaty details.

When visiting California this summer, I happened upon a free-form drum circle on the shore of Venice Beach. I joined this semi-drunk, semi-stoned crowd for a bit, playing someone's timbales and enjoying the vibe. I was strongly reminded at that moment of what many conservatives seem most afraid of--a sensual letting go. This drum circle seemed, to me, to represent that 60s vibe that so irritates a sector of American society. A multi-ethnic group of drummers, dancers, and hangers on, getting high, drumming, swaying, hurting no one, feeling the shared experience of a very tribal rhythm.

Most anywhere that you find this, many conservatives want to take it away. And if, in your pursuit of this sensuality, you happen upon a great misfortune like contracting HIV, well, too bad, you should have had a monogomous marriage. There's no way properly used condoms could have decreased your risk.

The hypocrisy comes in the never ending list of conservative politicans, church leaders, pundits, etc. who get divorced, take mistresses, cry as their kids get arrested for illegal drug use, etc, etc. And what do we say of people like Dick Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian?

I could go on, but I think the point is clear.
posted by 4midori at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2002


( doh! )
posted by silusGROK at 12:51 PM on November 20, 2002


(clever sheep: patience, man... a gay marriage thread is bound to happen. You know, like death and taxes.)

4midori: the only point that you've made (painfully) clear is that you like painting with very broad strokes -- not unlike the folks you're describing.
posted by silusGROK at 1:01 PM on November 20, 2002


These "abstinence" policies really jerk my ova.
If we'd allowed religous conservatives to dictate scientific standard we'd still be living in a cosmos in which all celestial boddies revolved around a flat earth. This policy is reflective of that same self-absorbtion and utter denial of theological and political inconveniences. They've been wrong before--and they're dead wrong now.

Aside from the clearly misguided attempts to deny information in order to compel a change in behaviour being objectionable--there's the issue of tampering with a body of knowledge that belongs to the public that pisses me off.

Abstinence like any other form of non-engagement is one way to avoid danger (or anything else for that matter) but that does not make it an appropriate (read: pragmatic) strategy for preventative medical policy. And these people damned well know it. This is a wholy inappropriate thrusting of religous influence onto sceintific domain. I honestly don't give a good damn if these men and women believe devoutly that abstinence is next to Godliness. That myopic belief does not grant them the authority to alter the body of knowledge that Americans have paid through the nose to collect through imperical research.

If pious conservatives really meant to promote abstinence for abstinence sake--they'd start by socializing their own sons and daughters to treat themselves and others with great respect (socially and sexually). But that's not "obvious" enough for these folks--they want to be seen as pious, they want to be conspicuous as they add their two cents to the collection plate.

Policies like these have a lot less to do with science than they do with a need to passive aggressively punish women, homosexuals and the poverty stricken for being insolent enough to assert their political and social status.

For being so fired up behind "no sex before marriage", it strikes me as laughable that they have no objection whatsover to screwing people they don't see eye to eye with. Assholes.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 1:02 PM on November 20, 2002


Vis10n--erk, thanks for the reminder, didn't mean to derail. Back to condoms it is....
posted by clever sheep at 1:04 PM on November 20, 2002


I suspect that Oissubke's argument that homosexuality is wrong would be based on religious grounds, however. And approving the prevention of homosexual marriage because one's religious worldview says homosexuality is wrong is admitting to the religious element associated with marriage, which he denies.

I was arguing that marriage is a social/legal institution. This doesn't mean that I deny that there can be a religious element to it. There can be a religious element to food and beverages, too but that doesn't mean that foods and beverages are a religious institution. I firmly believe that marriage can (and perhaps even should) have a religious element, but I nevertheless deny that marriage is a religious institution.

I'd expect to see Oissubke post that he doesn't like the concept of homosexual marriage one little bit, but that it would be sound social policy for the government to "encourage people to participate in social/legal union, and to discourage activity that is much more likely to spread disease."

The notion that sexually transmitted diseases can be significantly hindered by a primarily monogamous lifestyle has nothing to do with one's sexual orientation. It is still a sound social policy.

Does that mean "Aha! Therefore Oissubke must support homosexual marriage!!"? No, it doesn't. As I said, marriage can have a religious element, and my beliefs about marriage lead me to other conclusions.

However, Homosexual marriage is off-topic for the thread anyway, and it's already been debated ad nauseum in other threads.

posted by oissubke at 1:05 PM on November 20, 2002


Why do I see all the italics, and then click Post anyway? Yeesh...
posted by oissubke at 1:05 PM on November 20, 2002


I think there's a really bad instance of "missing the point" going on here.

Oissubke, I'm not sure anyone would deny the effectiveness of complete abstinence greatly reducing the chance of contracting HIV.

That's also not the point.

Let's say that the Republicans had a strong horse-drawn carriage agenda they were pushing. Since they are in power, they begin removing governmental data about the safety and effectiveness of seat belts in automobiles. Then offering horse-drawn carriages as the only "safe" alternative to dying in a fiery crash.

Do you see what the point of contention is now? It's not that anyone is questioning that abstinence is effective. I mean, duh, okay?

It has to do with those in power manipulating the governmental information bureaus to promote a moral (religious) viewpoint.

As serafina said above, it is irrelevant if *YOU* think that it is a moral/religious viewpoint, because our intrepid leader most certainly *DOES*.

On preview, I too am curious as to why most conservatives disapprove of same-sex unions. I mean, all it would do is cut down on pre-marital sex and would assuredly reduce the rate of STDs. Sounds like simple straightforward reasoning to me, right?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:11 PM on November 20, 2002


This drum circle seemed, to me, to represent that 60s vibe that so irritates a sector of American society. A multi-ethnic group of drummers, dancers, and hangers on, getting high, drumming, swaying, hurting no one, feeling the shared experience of a very tribal rhythm.

I think you'd find a lot of conservatives were active participants in that "60s vibe." If they're irritated it's probably because they regret having participated in such cliched love-fests.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2002


I have come to the conclusion that many conservatives are deeply hypocritical, two-faced, and deeply afraid of/concerned by human sensuality and sexuality.

Do you believe that I'm hypocritical, two-faced, and deeply afraid of sensuality/sexuality? Would you be willing to point out exactly how you came to that conclusion about me?

It's easy to make generalizations, so let's be specific here. I see that you politely qualified it with a "many" in order to leave yourself the option to say "Oh, I wasn't talking about you", but come on, we both know you're stereotyping.

You've got a true blue conservative right here. Accuse away.
posted by oissubke at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2002


If they're irritated it's probably because they regret having participated in such cliched love-fests.

Heh. That fits right in with the "HIV+ member of an AIDS panel" argument anyway. :-)
posted by oissubke at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2002


Sourbrew said it best:
What this comes down to is a bunch of conservatives trying to run other peoples lives. They feel that their views are right, and that others (ours) are wrong. For the conservatives of you out there on mefi shame on you, you have the internet, you have broad access to millions of other peoples view points, desires, and lives. Still you cannot imagine that someone might feel differently than you.
posted by blamb at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2002


Not that this is an iron-clad parallel, but it's amusing that the administration tells us that because global warming happens, we should develop ways to deal with it, rather than prevent it - while in the case of pre-marital sex, it tells us that it happens, so we should do all we can to prevent it. And I'm willing to argue that preventing the former - or at least slowing it significantly - would be a heck of a lot easier than even denting the rate of the latter.
posted by risenc at 1:24 PM on November 20, 2002


I need more evidence before I get too excited.

Fair enough. And I assure that I'm not getting excited about this either--at least not in that "sky is falling" way (prediction: criticisms of the current administration will increasingly be met with the response that the critic fears that "the sky is falling.") But the principle stands that withholding potentially helpful or useful information and/or intimidating critics is not a good way to make public policy.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:31 PM on November 20, 2002


How about the view the condoms should be given anyway free? Should that view be forced on people who don't believe it? Should only eas98's views be forced on people? Show eas98's view that that views should not forced on others be force on others? eas98 sure thinks so and wants Big Brother to make it so.

This is pretty obvious, but no one has said it so I guess I will. I'm not sure that I understand how giving condoms away is forcing a belief on anyone. It simply provides the most simple way to accomodate every one's beliefs on the topic.
posted by Raichle at 1:35 PM on November 20, 2002


just one more reason why Bush needs a bullet in the head.
posted by mary8nne at 1:37 PM on November 20, 2002


Always nice to see threads I have a professional interest in.

1. The US government has always been behind society when it comes to condoms and birth control. The reason condoms are legal in the first place is because of war and a 40% infection rate during the last century among soldiers in the field. This is another example of Bush and his spineless cronies talking out of both sides of their mouths. If they were serious about condoms they'd deny them to the armed forces first: but that's not going happen.

2. Condoms and prophylactics are only now coming into the technological age. Just as in so many other aspects of our lives the questions involved in abstinence versus sex are only going to get more complex, far more complex than the average right-wing religious conservative has the mental tools to get their heads around. In terms of trends what Bush, et al. are doing will have no appreciable effect whatsoever. This of course doesn't preclude the stupid position they take but it certainly puts it in perspective.

3. Condom manufacture, numbers sold, and usage are going up on a yearly basis by about 15% a year. The rise in numbers, types, and effectiveness of condoms is only now beginning. Remember the modern condom market only began in the 60s.

4. Both abstinence and condom usage contribute to mitigating STI vectors. Being afraid of abstinence education is just as stupid as being afraid of condom education.

5. The real problem with these types of stances from the government is that they effect funding for research. For instance political concerns have prevented serious studies of anal sex being funded by the feds for decades now. Condoms are not currently studied in correlation to anal sex. This is a big problem that is not alleviated through either this administrations stance or any previous ones.

Hope this helps.
posted by filchyboy at 1:38 PM on November 20, 2002


First off, While I am supportive of abstinence in general as a good idea, I think abstinence-only education is a lousy idea that does more harm than good . But I am also a bit concerned about the notion many of you seem to hold that the government has no business trying to influence the specific choices or the mores of its citizens when it comes to sex. Government has the right to be interested for two reasons:

1) Federal, state and local governments combine to pay for about 56% of the total expenditures on health care in this country. It is paying for the health care of many people with HIV and AIDS as well as other STDs through Medicaid and Medicare. It is also paying for a lot of unintended pregnancies through various public assistance programs (assuming unintended kids are more likely to be poor than intended kids). Given the costs to society and government that are involved with reproductive decisions, the government has every right to be interested in helping people to make responsible choices about sex. (This is not to minimize the competing concerns about protecting privacy and reproductive autonomy of citizens, but we're talking here about changing attitudes more than coercing behavior). We can have debates over whether condoms or abstinence is the best way to reduce these costs to government, but I strongly disagree that the government has no right to be concerned about attitudes about sex that lead to these costs.

2) The state and local governments are already involved in controlling peoples' attitudes toward sex by choosing to teach sex education in the public schools. They didn't have to. They could have left it up to parents to teach their kids about sex, but they decided (probably correctly) that many parents weren't doing a good job. The thing is, once you decide to let government take affirmative steps to indoctrinate kids on a subject, you throw open the door for people to debate exactly what message the government ought to be indoctrinating. You can't say that the schools ought not to be teaching "morality" in sex ed--if you don't talk about abstinance, you are sending just as much of a message as if you do talk about abstinance. There is no way to decide if schools ought to be teaching "abstinence is the best way" or "abstinence is the only way" or "abstinence is one way" or "abstinence was what they did back in the old days", without making some decisions about what moral values we want to promote. As I see it (similar to BagMan's point I believe), there is no other way to have this debate as a society except through the democratic process. The conservative religious folk have won the day for now so they get to have their way regardless of whether it is based on religious beliefs, moral convictions, or public health concerns. The appropriate response should be to attack abstinence-only education as a stupid and dangerous idea, not to attack the very notion of government endorsing a particular moral viewpoint.
posted by boltman at 1:40 PM on November 20, 2002


Other than a couple of webpages and the appointment of one Dr to a panel of many, what other evidence of this stealth war on condems is there?

1. The "couple of web pages" you refer to are official government sites. As Tiger Lily points out, we've paid through the nose for this information. Why shouldn't it be accessible?

2. Even if it is only a "couple of web pages," hiding factual information from the public is wrong. Whether it is small in scope, (as you seem to think), or great in scope (as I feel it is), hiding factual information is just plain wrong.

Also: As I've stated before, this thread shouldn't be an argument about abstinence vs. protection. I think we all have pretty much the same views on this. The real issue is that, the current administration, in its ideological fervor, is suppressing access to factual information. Can we all agree that this is bad? Please? Conservatives too. Can you just admit, for once, even if it is in just this teeny tiny little matter, that the current administration might be doing something WRONG?

And on preview: Mary8anne, those kind of statements are unnecessary, unhelpful, and do nothing to promote civil discourse. What I'm hoping for here is a synthesis, where we can hopefully learn something and move on. I don't think Conservatives are the devil, and I don't want them to think Liberals are, either. Yeesh.
posted by spacewaitress at 1:41 PM on November 20, 2002


mary8nne: If other threads on MeFi are to be believed, you can expect a visit from the FBI right ... about ... now.
posted by risenc at 1:45 PM on November 20, 2002


multiple replies to various people:


let me introduce you to Treatment Action Group.


Hey, cool. AFAICT they can have a (good) representative on a policy-making panel.

Of course the panel should include trained epidemiologists. Do any trained epidemiologists sit on the current panel?

Dunno. I'm far from defending Dubya's prejudices.

And why should this preclude a person living with HIV from sitting on the panel as well?

It doesn't, but if their only qualification for sitting on it is having a virus in their bloodstream...

It scares me that the medical community does NOT consider "a filter of an untrained person's hopes and wishes and personal experiences and miseries." Treat the person, not the disease.

Why? You're not talking about mystical vapors here, this is a virus, a real physical entity, that's killing people. You can work to reduce the rate at which it infects people, or you can find ways to destroy it in the body (or otherwise limit it).

I fail to see how having untrained people on an advisory panel can do anything other than add noise to signal. You'll want to do things like figure out compliance rates with medicine regimens and empirically assess the effectiveness of different prevention programs, but having a virus in your bloodstream isn't going to help you notice which treatment regimen has the best endgame effects or to better interpret a time-series run looking at a prevention strategy.

Epidemics are not just abstract examples of microrganisms traveling from host to host, but social and cultural issues as well.

Yeah, sure. You'll want someone down in the trenches who can come up with new prevention strategies, and that's not-unlikely to be someone HIV+, but again having the virus yourself doesn't make you better at it necessarily.

But that ain't what a panel like that is for, or at least should be for. It's for *assessing* existing prevention strategies and treatments, and there you're going to want hard-nosed people looking for the ways that really do minimize deaths.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:47 PM on November 20, 2002


I fail to see how having untrained people on an advisory panel can do anything other than add noise to signal.

They're not "untrained." Medicine is art AND science and deals with real human beings who have disease. Someone with the disease provides an invaluable perspective that you're not going to get by reading a hundred journal articles or conducting a hundred studies. That perspective IS signal of a very high quality.

But that isn't really the issue. The issue on these panels isn't the appointment of people with AIDS to AIDS health advisory boards. It's the appointment of people with specific ideological axes to grind to health advisory boards. Could you provide us an estimate on how much noise to signal does THAT produces?

Saying "This is outrageous!! The government is promoting abstinence before marriage!! Down with Bush!!" is as silly as writing a manifesto about how the government is oppressing you by demanding that you eat fruits and vegetables.


The issue here also isn't "promotion of abstinence", which is a dishonest, red-herring issue promoted by people who apparently didn't read the linked article or about 50 comments in the thread thus far. The issue is the withdrawal of information on alternatives to abstinence -- information on practices that can approach the effectiveness of abstinence -- information that can be life-saving. And the government would be guilty of a form of "oppression" if they told us to eat "fruits and vegetables" only AND withheld information from us about other safe health practices.

I didn't say that abstinence should be promoted as they only form of sexual education.
I don't believe that ignorance is bliss.

That's so nice. So now you'll let us know when you'll be joining the rest of us in calling for the restoral of information about safe sex from government sources, instead of yet another knee-jerk defense of an administration that is clearly in the wrong even when judged by your own professed "beliefs". I sure didn't hear it from you above. Why is that?

oisubke: It's easy to make generalizations, so let's be specific here. I see that you politely qualified it with a "many" in order to leave yourself the option to say "Oh, I wasn't talking about you", but come on, we both know you're stereotyping.

oisubke: Saying "This is outrageous!! The government is promoting abstinence before marriage!! Down with Bush!!"


Gosh, you didn't seem to have any trouble whatsoever stereotyping and erecting a straw man in this thread about the reaction of people to the actions Bush is taking...and now you're complaining about "stereotyping?" Let's see...the complaint was that "many conservatives are deeply hypocritical and two-faced...."

~wink~

Abstinence is effective in the prevention of STDs and pregnancy. "Safe sex" is effective in the prevention of STDs and pregnancy.

Staying out of airplanes is effective in preventing certain kinds of injury. Pilot education and safe practices are effective in preventing certain kinds of injury.

Just curious....is the Bush administration now withdrawing pilot educational materials and support for flight safety, stacking the upper ranks of the Federal Aviation Administration with truck drivers, and telling us to just stay out the hell out of jetliners? Or is there really something different and disturbing about sex for these right wing folks?

The government of the United States, which is charged with providing for the general welfare, has a legal and moral obligation to continue to provide and encourage education in ALL practices which improve health. Abstinence is one. Monogamous relationships are another. For those who choose monogamy (including marriage), safe sex and information on condoms can STILL be an important need. Information on safe sex is obviously an important need for citizens who choose neither abstinence nor monogamy.

Saying there are no "religious" motivations for these tragic, petty, and stupid acts by the Bush administration and its supporters is a laughable lie.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:06 PM on November 20, 2002


(F & M, if I never see that smug little ~wink~ again so long as I live, it will be too soon...Can't you just use something less smarmy? How about emoticons?)
posted by dhoyt at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2002


mary8nne: "just one more reason why Bush needs a bullet in the head."

Ironically, you probably consider yourself peace loving.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:24 PM on November 20, 2002


It's for *assessing* existing prevention strategies and treatments, and there you're going to want hard-nosed people looking for the ways that really do minimize deaths.

Um ... like condoms?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:25 PM on November 20, 2002


There's an old saying: Silence=Death

(I think it might be time for it to come back)
posted by amberglow at 2:35 PM on November 20, 2002


Please, everyone, stop the vitriolic arguing and just go have sex.
posted by xmutex at 2:54 PM on November 20, 2002


My response to this whole issue is not work or child safe, and can be found on a site that is also not work or child safe. Hmm. It is also kind of gross and not as funny as I thought it would be. Oh well. Assuming you can stomach it, it can be found at SelfHatred.com (right column). You have been warned.
Yes, self link, but it is in the comments and it is on topic and links back to here
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:57 PM on November 20, 2002


Who are the lawmakers that brought this to the reporter's attention?

What are the (former) web addresses of the missing 'fact sheet' and "Programs that Work" listing?

Which AIDS activist groups have received the audits?

Why is this piece so intentionally vague?
posted by yonderboy at 3:16 PM on November 20, 2002


Even if it is only a "couple of web pages," hiding factual information from the public is wrong. Whether it is small in scope, (as you seem to think), or great in scope (as I feel it is), hiding factual information is just plain wrong.

I wholeheartedly agree. However, I'd also like to add that the following information is still available at the CDC website:

A Balance of Prevention Messages is Needed--Including Abstinence and Condom Use

Behavioral science has shown that a balance of prevention messages is important for young people. Total abstinence from sexual activity is the only sure way to prevent sexual transmission of HIV infection. Despite all efforts, some young people may still engage in sexual intercourse that puts them at risk for HIV and other STDs. For these individuals, the correct and consistent use of latex condoms has been shown to be highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV and other STDs. Data clearly show that many young people are sexually active and that they are placing themselves and their partners at risk for infection with HIV and other STDs. These young people must be provided the skills and support they need to protect themselves...

Findings from Scientific Reviews

...In 1993, at the 9th International Conference on AIDS, WHO presented a review of 19 studies that considered the effect of sex education on reported age at first intercourse and on reported levels of sexual activity and found several clear trends:
There was no evidence of sex education leading to earlier or increased sexual activity in the young people who were exposed to it.

In fact, six studies showed that sex education lead either to a delay in the onset of sexual activity or to a decrease in overall sexual activity.

Ten studies showed that education programs increased safer sex practices among young people who were already sexually active...

Later in 1993, WHO published a more extensive review of 35 studies dating back to the 1970s. The overwhelming majority of studies over time, despite various methodologies and country of study, found no evidence that sex education encourages sexual experimentation or increased activity. If any effect was observed, it was virtually always delayed sexual intercourse or increased effective use of contraceptives, including condoms. There were two studies with findings that varied from these trends. While neither study can prove cause and effect, one study found that an "abstinence only" program increased the level of sexual activity in young people, and another study reported an association between sex education and increased sexual activity...


Granted, the page is date stamped July 1997 and could easily be 'revised', but the information is still available, at least at 3.21 PST...
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:23 PM on November 20, 2002


Um ... like condoms?

I didn't take what ROU said to have anything to do with that. I understood his point to be that if you want to scientifically assess prevention strategies and treatments, you want the people best qualified for the task at hand (medical personnel, statisticians, what have you), and not people with personal issues (like being HIV +ve as their one and only qualification) or "ideological axes to grind" (as f/m, who also missed ROU's point IMHO, said). I'd say that it's suitable to have someone on such a panel who has grass-roots experience with people living with the virus, to advise on the various issues relevant to living with the disease (and, importantly, not just their own experience with it), but the viral status of such a person isn't really relevant. I don't think he was addressing the condom/abstinence issue at all, but rather the question of whether having an illness ipso facto qualifies you to educate others on it, in the absence of any other qualification (like running STD prevention seminars or what have you).

Personally, I think education about all forms of STD prevention is the only way to go, let people make up their own minds, but let them arm themselves with up to date, ideology-free, knowledge before they do. It's fine to tell people that abstinence prevents STD's (since it does), but condoms prevent them also, and people have the right to know that.
posted by biscotti at 3:43 PM on November 20, 2002


I'd like to know what Dubya used when he had all his late night-drunken-drugged-frat-boy-sex-romps in college-because you KNOW he did. We've all seen the type. How about his darling drunken, popular, beautiful daughters who, I'm sure, are NOT virgins at this time? I bet 9 out of 10 conservatives out there have had sex at least once using (or their partner using) some form of birth control. The hypocracy of this whole thing is so staggering, it's amazing.

Abstinence just doesn't work. Period. People have sex, will continue to have sex, won't stop having sex, and denying that is just plain stupid. Not only that, it wastes money treating those with AIDS and STD's who don't use condoms because they weren't educated about them. It just makes sense to educate people about all the choices. It's cheaper and safer. And why do conservatives care if I "go to hell" anyway for "sinning sex?"

No, I don't have any "facts" to back that up. It's just common sense. It makes me so angry that our government is run by such small minded and morally superior hypocrites. I wish I could write a more intelligent post, but I'm so pissed, I just can't.

If you don't believe in pre-marital sex, don't have it. But let's educate the rest of the world so we all don't have to pay for their mistakes and propagate the ignorance.
posted by aacheson at 4:12 PM on November 20, 2002


biscotti, that's all well and good. But addressing ROU's question is misdirective bullshit, and that's my point. In a perfect world, a panel assembled to address the spread of HIV and other contact diseases would indeed be composed of the learned few. If those few have a political agenda that goes beyond health into the administration's moral imperative, then they're not doing their job, are they? The point you seem to miss is that we don't live in a perfect world, and a panel has been assembled that is going to promote abstinence and obfuscate other methods of protection. That is the only issue; whether the US government is going to support a promotion of viral murder, or do the right.damn.thing. Um ... like condoms?
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:20 PM on November 20, 2002


But that ain't what a panel like that is for, or at least should be for. It's for *assessing* existing prevention strategies and treatments, and there you're going to want hard-nosed people looking for the ways that really do minimize deaths.

The problem is that any strategy for change (and this is not just with AIDS) must include the grass roots commitment of the affected population in order to be effective. If the panel is going to do more than just sift through published reports, it must have stakeholder buy-in. It is no good having a sure-fire prevention for HIV if no one wants to do it.

Granted, this does not mean that HIV+ status is an automatic qualification. I don't think that anyone has said that. But HIV+ people who work with these issues, and provide good information about how to generate grass-roots change should be part of the process.

4. Both abstinence and condom usage contribute to mitigating STI vectors. Being afraid of abstinence education is just as stupid as being afraid of condom education.

I don't know where this is coming from. I came out as bisexual in the age of the plague and safer sex has always been phrased in terms of modifying behavior to reduce risk in addition to using condoms. However the proposals being fielded from the right are not only to promote monogamy, and less risky behaviors, but also to remove any information about condoms, other birth control and testing.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:24 PM on November 20, 2002


oissubke:
Do you believe that I'm hypocritical, two-faced, and deeply afraid of sensuality/sexuality? Would you be willing to point out exactly how you came to that conclusion about me?

Well...

Marriage is a social/legal concept, not a religious one.

And...

As I said, marriage can have a religious element, and my beliefs about marriage lead me to other conclusions.

Not to mention...

It's a public health issue, not a religious or ideological one.

I won't go so far as to pass the value judgment of "two-faced," and I don't think you're afraid of sexuality. But if you cannot find a better way to argue a pro-abstinence, anti-gay marriage position, I don't see how you can defend yourself against charges of hypocrisy. You cannot define marriage one way as you push it on straight people and another way as you try to keep gays from it. And it's not reasonable to address HIV prevention in a way that is counterproductive in the community in which the issue is most pressing; to then claim that your concern is "public health" is ridiculous.

I would have more respect for your arguments if you admitted that their principal basis was your religious background. The inconsistencies otherwise make you hard to take seriously.
posted by Epenthesis at 4:31 PM on November 20, 2002


I'm gonna violate one of my own personal rules and post a "rah-rah" comment. Fold_and_mutilate, were you ever a carpenter? 'Cause you sure hit that nail nail right on the head!
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:33 PM on November 20, 2002


Sorry sorry for doubling doubling up on the word word.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:36 PM on November 20, 2002


"It's a public health issue, not a religious or ideological one."

Given the nature of reality, condoms will prevent more STDs than abstinence. Hence, it makes sense for a government agency tasked with the prevention of STDs to prominently endorse the use of condoms along side abstinence. Does it not?

Unfortunately our government finds reality to be a burdensome bother which need not be considered. That is - Moral high ground takes precedence over effectiveness.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:53 PM on November 20, 2002


I would have more respect for your arguments if you admitted that their principal basis was your religious background. The inconsistencies otherwise make you hard to take seriously.

Let make it clear that I disagree with just everything that oissubke has said.

However his point about marriage is a valid one. You can be married without a religious element. You can go down to city hall and go before a justice of the peace, and in a non-descript building at 3:42 pm pledge to be faithful to another person (in some states even a person of the sex) and get a lot of tax benefits.

On the other hand some people see marriage as an inherently religious thing. For example, a wedding in a little chapel in a bucolic New England Town in July or August where two people stand before a priest, Rabbi or minister an swear in front of God that will always be together.

Why can’t marriage be divided up? One can view parts of marriage as not religous even if one has taken his or her vows be God? I mean, does God care if you get a tax break? Likely not. Marriage is stable not because of anybody’s God, that's clear from people who are not pious or religious and benefit from it.

oissubke would take the view that marriage is religious (from this point alone one should know oissubke’s bias), but oissubke has expressly left the door open to the view that for some, if not many, marriage is about getting tax breaks and not about God. I think oissubke is being very open-minded at the same time oissubke is letting people know of any bias.

It quite obvious that Bush shares oissubke's views on marriage (at least in word) But so what? I don't think oissubke ever claimed anything about Bush, conservatives or even Republicans. As the for "the government," oissubke can't speak for all the people that went it the allege shift in sex ed. stance or fro all the teachers that teach sex ed. in the thousands of public school.

On another note oissubke has denied being against barring same sex unions. In fact oissubke refures the perecft relations ship as a "monogamous social/legal union."

I can't agree with oissubke's veiws, but please give this guy a break.
posted by Bag Man at 5:33 PM on November 20, 2002


Its true having another child in this world would cause undue problems for others than me. At my current point in life though i would probably opt for an abortion assuming my partner was interested in that. I just didn't feel like opening that can of worms. If not I'm not above supporting what is my "fault" essentially. I have risen to every challenge in life, and if someone in brooklyn can support a family of 3 on welfare than i can support a family of one in South Carolina. As for withdrawal method being sanctioned i was using it to display what people thought was acceptable in the absence of real education. to me that seems like a pretty whack mode of thought.
posted by sourbrew at 6:07 PM on November 20, 2002


oisssubke, I can respect your viewpoint. I've had a few fundamentalist conservative Christian friends ("Some of my best friends are..." / "Not that there's anything wrong with that..." etc.) One question I always ask my Christian friends, just sort of a private poll that I'm perpetually taking, is this: Did you, at some point, decide to become Christian and politically right-wing? Or have you always been, and are your parents the same? Just curious. Thanks.
posted by Shane at 6:43 PM on November 20, 2002


Why can’t marriage be divided up? One can view parts of marriage as not religous even if one has taken his or her vows be God? I mean, does God care if you get a tax break?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving marriage both a social face, a legal face, and a religous face, and having some look upon it as one and some look upon it as the other.
What is wrong is looking at it differently in different contexts, not in terms of understanding the viewpoints of others, but in terms of arguing your own viewpoint -- if someone reads one point of yours and sees you representing your view of marriage (or any topic) differently from elsewhere in your argument, that is hypocrisy.
posted by j.edwards at 7:00 PM on November 20, 2002



Shane... don't know if you want anyone else but oissubke responding to your poll, but I'm also a devout Mormon (which apparently falls in the Fundy group for you). My family is not Mormon (mom's a lapsed Lutheran, dad is agnostic). That said, I'm fairly liberal as many things go (voted for Nader)... so there's not much of a corralary.

As for my political heritage... my parents have never voted in their lives. They have little/no place in their lives for civic discourse... let alone party membership.

posted by silusGROK at 7:32 PM on November 20, 2002


Did you, at some point, decide to become Christian and politically right-wing? Or have you always been, and are your parents the same? Just curious. Thanks.

Normally I'd answer this by e-mail, but my server's down. Hope nobody minds if I field this one here.

I was raised as something of an atheist, both religiously and politically.

I wasn't necessarily taught that God didn't exist, but there was the underlying notion in my family that religion was the opiate of the masses. We never attended church or read any sort of scriptures.

Likewise, my family was not greatly concerned with politics. I didn't even know the difference between Republicans and Democrats until a few years ago, when I voted for the first time and figured that I probably ought to know a bit about politics before doing so.

I don't think I really ever "became" a conservative Republican -- I just realized that it was the political orientation that most agreed with the beliefs I had (and currently have). I don't worship it as an ideology; It's a convenient shorthand for a set of beliefs, many of which I agree with, and some of which I don't.

So, to answer your question: I was given the opportunity by my parents to find my own way and figure out for myself what I believed, and I later found out that conservativism most closely (but not perfectly) reflected the beliefs I had developed.
posted by oissubke at 7:35 PM on November 20, 2002


What is wrong is looking at it differently in different contexts, not in terms of understanding the viewpoints of others, but in terms of arguing your own viewpoint -- if someone reads one point of yours and sees you representing your view of marriage (or any topic) differently from elsewhere in your argument, that is hypocrisy.

Point 1: I was not making a point about my views on marriage (although I do believe marriage has several different aspects), I was just asserting I think that oisssubke got a raw deal. Although oissubke made several different arguments, they did seemed to come together to make a one point. oissubke, am I wrong?

The following is all in the abstract and for the sake of argument only.

Point 2: Changing one's opinion and/or view does not automatically make one a filled with hypocrisy. I don't think anyone is ever of only one mind about anything. Further, good faith argument can convince a person that a held view is wrong (and thus a person changes or modifies his view). And finally, a different fact line often demands one holds different points of view on the same subject.

Boot strapping a person into one view for all time or even one post is just unfair, sometimes.
posted by Bag Man at 7:37 PM on November 20, 2002


don't know if you want anyone else but oissubke responding to your poll, but I'm also a devout Mormon

Word to your mother, Elder. One of these days I need to sit down and make a list of Mo Mefiers so I can keep track.
posted by oissubke at 7:38 PM on November 20, 2002


oissubke


d00d you really need to get laid.
posted by 11235813 at 7:40 PM on November 20, 2002


d00d you really need to get laid.

d00d I "get laid" regularly. I'm very happily married.
posted by oissubke at 7:41 PM on November 20, 2002


Getting back on topic, as it were: a question has been asked which bears repeating. Why is this piece so intentionally vague?

It's an opinion piece proferred with nary a shred of evidence to back it up. Two web pages that are offline for revision, organizations being audited that can't be named, congressional conservatives calling for more audits who are similarly nameless, and so on. Lots of supposition, presumption and worst-case scenario posturing but nothing that anyone could confirm as true save one named appointment who is but one of a panel with thirty-three members.

That's what we're talking about here -- that's what we're taking as gospel. Pardon me for not joining in this massive rush to judgment when the truth hasn't been demonstrated by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by Dreama at 7:45 PM on November 20, 2002


You know what I find very ironic....Due to what I presume is an increase in condom usage, which just happens to be due to the Aids/HIV epidemic isn't the pregnancy rate down these days? The Bush administration would like to see abortion abolished and also would like the Welfare numbers to go down as well. Then isn't it odd that this administration wants to silence the knowledge that condoms are effective against STD/Aids? What hypocrisy! I also just hate people who have lived their lives and made their own mistakes and then want to stand in judgement of how others should live theirs.
posted by SweetIceT at 7:51 PM on November 20, 2002


You know it is very scary that the CDC can be tainted by partisan politics, I want my disease control answers to the right ones not "the right" ones!
posted by GreenDragon at 7:59 PM on November 20, 2002


Changing one's opinion and/or view does not automatically make one a filled with hypocrisy. I don't think anyone is ever of only one mind about anything. Further, good faith argument can convince a person that a held view is wrong (and thus a person changes or modifies his view).

I certainly agree with this; it cannot be successfully argued that people can't change beliefs without bringing in assumptions outside the scope of what I feel to be a vlid argument. However, I do not think that in the course of this thread, any opinions or beliefs have been fundamentally changed. I am open to evidence to the contrary.

And finally, a different fact line often demands one holds different points of view on the same subject.

This I can't agree with; of course, reducing it to absurdity does no one any good, since I'm sure you're not making an absolute statement, but it strikes me that holding two different inconsistent viewpoint about the same matter when arguing different topics is very essentially hypocrisy -- I can't envision a situation wherein it would be excusable to hold two disparite views on the same subject, each one brought to the foreground when convenient to argue a point.
posted by j.edwards at 8:01 PM on November 20, 2002


I fail to see how having untrained people on an advisory panel can do anything other than add noise to signal.

They're not "untrained."


Of course they are, by definition.

Someone with the disease provides an invaluable perspective that you're not going to get by reading a hundred journal articles or conducting a hundred studies. That perspective IS signal of a very high quality.

Disagreement. Someone with the disease, as their capacity as someone with the disease, provides a test case that is invaluable in a controlled experiment. Their opinions and wishes and prejudices aren't made scientifically valid because they have a virus in their bloodstream, or depleted myelin around their major nerves, or whatever. Their personal experiences are only important insofar as they build good data.

Look, if you really want to minimize the number of people dying of AIDS or MS or lung cancer or whatever, that's boring scientific stuff. Having people chime in at that level for no better reason than that they have a disease isn't going to minimize deaths.

Granted, this does not mean that HIV+ status is an automatic qualification. I don't think that anyone has said that.

It's what I read into what people were saying. I've been known to be wrong from time to time.

But HIV+ people who work with these issues, and provide good information about how to generate grass-roots change should be part of the process.

Sure. Because they have valuable information on success rates or on compliance rates with treatment regimens. Their having or not having a virus in their bloodstream is irrelevant either way.

But that isn't really the issue. The issue on these panels isn't the appointment of people with AIDS to AIDS health advisory boards.

It's the issue I cared to comment on, because it seemed exceptionally silly to me. I think Bush is a jackass and that playing with people's lives and deaths to score points with fundy supporters is creepy and evil. There. Better?

But addressing ROU's question is misdirective bullshit, and that's my point

Not intended to be misdirection; just what I was interested in replying to. And, please, call me Xenophobe, or just Xeny. An ROU is what I am.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:01 PM on November 20, 2002


I fail to see how having untrained people on an advisory panel can do anything other than add noise to signal.

Looking at the members of the panel, they cover a wide spectrum of experiences, industries and backgrounds. Obviously the panel isn't solely focused on epidemiology or prevention, but also seems tasked with treatment and outreach issues as well. Given that, having someone who is actually, personally dealing with HIV/AIDS can't possibly be a detriment in comparison to someone whose credential seems to be "Director of Community Affairs" for Levi Strauss, (the clothing company) or a judge -- two of the thirty three currently serving.

That said, there seem to be several board members without any particular affiliation or expertise mentioned. Perhaps they are PWA/H who have been invited to share their perspectives and acts as advocates for their communities.
posted by Dreama at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2002


Thanks, oissu and Vis10n. You can imagine that's not the answer I usually get. Although, one of the most aggressively intelligent people I knew in high school was born again, of his own choosing. -Mormon (which apparently falls in the Fundy group for you...)- Actually, I had forgotten oissu is Mormon--I just remembered in oissu's VOTE! post he declared himself religious and right-wing. I obviously have not read all of this thread and I probably won't.

This is the type of subject that requires a real conversation, not 1,000 messages, IMHO. My only comment would probably be that I think you are approaching the conservative agenda (and the general political agenda, whether right or left, Repub or Demo) and its motives with some naivete. But that's not something I can "prove" to anyone in less than 10,000 words, if even then.

posted by Shane at 8:11 PM on November 20, 2002


What a pile-on.

Here's the short answer on condoms: They are not 100% effective for the prevention of AIDS and STDs, but abstinence and monogamy is.
posted by hama7 at 8:13 PM on November 20, 2002


hama7: Monogamy or abstinence are not, in fact, 100% effective in preventing STD's (try telling that to the people who contracted HIV or Hepatitis B from blood transfusions, or from their dentists, or people who've contracted crabs from sleeping in infected bedding, or people who've contracted herpes or syphilis from shaking hands with someone). Condoms are proven to be very effective in preventing sexual transmission of STD's (which are not all only transmitted sexually), so I don't really see what your point is. Abstinence and monogamy are not for everyone, just as prophylaxis is not for everyone.
posted by biscotti at 8:40 PM on November 20, 2002


Count me in the sky is falling camp. I had to do some research for a client on some national agencies, and I was sick to see the creeping tentacles of faith based initiatives infiltrating our governmental sites. I am not against people having religion, it just doesn't belong in the state. This is just plain getting scary and creepy.

What a sad regression from the days when Surgeon General Koop took a brave and responsible stand, brooking the disfavor of the administration, to issue the national AIDS mailing to 108 million homes with frank sex and prevention talk. At the time, many activists felt it was a day late and a dollar short, something that just didn't go far enough. Today, it looks positively progressive!

Look at the webpage for the Surgeon General's Reports issued over the last 35 years - lots of reports about smoking, some about oral hygiene and phys ed - but only one listed for AIDS in 1992? Click on it and see where it gets you - I can't find a Surgeon General Report, if it's there, it's buried. This for one of the major health epidemics of our time? Shameful. I am against revisionist history when the PC crowd does it and it stinks even more so now because it is meddling with public health.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:48 PM on November 20, 2002


Getting back on topic, as it were: a question has been asked which bears repeating. Why is this piece so intentionally vague?

Thank you, Dreama.

For one, judging by the URL, this is an opinion column. So that doesn't guarantee that it's pure unbiased, accurate facts. Not to mention it all strikes me as some coincidences that are being blown way out of proportion

I, for one, am a proponent of abstinence. As long as no one is cheating on anyone else, it's going to stop STDs with near certainty, and make unwanted pregnancies easier to prevent, and easier to deal with when they happen (after all, you don't need to go on Maury for a paternity test when you're faithfully married now do you?). Not to mention it fits in with my Christian views, which everyone in the world obviously does not share (and should not be forced to share).

I obviously think it should be taught in sex-ed classes and such. But certainly not exclusively. That would, to put it bluntly, be just plain stupid. You would have to be extremely naive to believe that everyone is going to listen, so you need to provide those who are going to be having sex any way the knowledge to protect themselves and their partners.

I never really understood why some people are so decidedly against the very mention of abstinence in a classroom, along with the other usual methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

Some people have suggested that the conservative religious people who are "anti-condom" are "afraid of their own sexuality" and suchlike. Maybe in some cases, but certainly not all. Having a standard, be it religious, moral, or just from common sense does not make you afraid of something.

I could go on to suggest that people are so anti-abstinence are in fact themselves dealing with some sort of repressed guilt or something, but that would be a highly unfair and inaccurate generalization.

Perhaps I'm just an optimist, or maybe just a non-pessimist, but I think the government is smarter than to try an abstinence-only campaign. There's too much of a chance for making the problems worse in that.

You may say that teaching abstinence isn't going to make a large difference. And maybe it won't make a terribly large difference, but teaching a more balanced sex-ed program will have some impact. Just as you could say "if it gets a few people to use a condom that prevents them from getting HIV...", you could say "just if it gets a few people to wait until marriage that prevents them from getting STDs or an unwanted pregnancy or from worrying about them..."
After all, isn't it logical that balanced teaching is always the way to go? Why not make sure that you've equipped people to use all their options?

And I'd just like to remind a few people that being politically conservative and/or a Christian does not make you closed-minded, arrogant, hypocritical, etc. Nor does it mean you were brainwashed into it, or are only following because you were raised that way. I'm not trying to accuse anyone of saying that, but I have gotten the general impression from this conversation and others that several people here at MeFi think so.

I could add a thought or two on homosexual marriages, but I think I've rambled enough for one comment. ^_^
posted by silvermask at 9:05 PM on November 20, 2002


Another thing to add to the irony list: those who miss out on safer-sex education in its most complete form and end up seroconverting as a result will potentially end up on the federal or public health rolls as a means to receive treatment for said disease.
posted by sillygit at 9:20 PM on November 20, 2002


silvermask said..."After all, isn't it logical that balanced teaching is always the way to go? Why not make sure that you've equipped people to use all their options?"

Yes this is reasonable and fits in with common sense. I assume you are aware that many abstinence only programs do not allow condoms to be even mentioned, except for a canned response about failure rates.

It would be great if sex ed were done so that all were fully educated about all options and parents were fully invested in the process. Unfortunately this is rarely the case.
posted by filchyboy at 9:27 PM on November 20, 2002


biscotti: I knew that comment was on its way even as I was pressing the "post" button.

But what I mentioned was "sexually transmitted disease" which, in the case of abstinence or monogamy doesn't get transmitted sexually. AIDS is not contracted via a toilet seat or by shaking hands, (and i've never heard of syphyllis or herpes being transmitted from a handshake, I guess it depends on the type of 'handshake') but tragically tainted blood transfusions do account for some cases.

I think this issue has been debated out, but drunk driving at 90 mph isn't any safer if you put rubber gloves on.
posted by hama7 at 10:33 PM on November 20, 2002


Flitchyboy -

Hm, well, that's too bad. Thanks for the heads-up though, as I was only really speaking from common sense. The last time I took a sex-ed class we were not old enough to have that sort of thing discussed. And really, I'm glad I don't have to take another ^_-
posted by silvermask at 11:31 PM on November 20, 2002


But what I mentioned was "sexually transmitted disease" which,

There's no such thing, really. What we call sexually transmitted diseases are just diseases that can only be transmitted by more-or-less direct fluid-to-fluid contact. Sex is just the most frequent way of doing this. The virus doesn't have any way to check whether you're engaged in innocent handshaking or sweet, sweet lovin'; it's just too fragile to survive long outside a nice friendly bodily fluid.

AIDS is not contracted via a toilet seat or by shaking hands,

It would be if you shake a hand with HIV+ blood or semen on it and you've got even a weensy break in your skin.

(and i've never heard of syphyllis or herpes being transmitted from a handshake, I guess it depends on the type of 'handshake')

Open sore to small cut.

Even direct blood-to-blood or blood-to-mucous-membrane exchange isn't that uncommon; just ask a cop or health care worker how often they get splashed with other people's blood.

And being abstinent won't stop you from being raped, either the standard or date- variety.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:47 PM on November 20, 2002


Granted, it's an opinion piece and none of us can be sure of it's authenticity, but am I the only one that is worried that almost all of us just ate it up and believed it? (Myself Included) Isn't it worrying that we all thought that this was perfectly believable under the current U.S government? Isn't that, in itself, reason to be alarmed?
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 1:52 AM on November 21, 2002


Dillonlikescookies, please see the link I posted to the Surgeon General's Reports page that is curiously devoid of any AIDS reports. Also, the links to demonstrate the way religious initiatives are creeping into all government activities. We have a governement that thinks spending money to clothe nude statues is ok. It's believable because it's happening.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:50 AM on November 21, 2002


I never really understood why some people are so decidedly against the very mention of abstinence in a classroom, along with the other usual methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

Well again, that is not the direction of the current policy. I've attended more than my share of safer sex lectures and workshops and in EVERY SINGLE ONE abstinance was mentioned as a method for avoiding STDs.

What conservatives are proposing is witholding information on other forms of prevention and teaching ONLY abstinance.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:20 AM on November 21, 2002


Perhaps I'm just an optimist, or maybe just a non-pessimist, but I think the government is smarter than to try an abstinence-only campaign.

Silvermask, read the article again. That is exactly what the government is trying to do.

To reiterate:

(1) We all agree that abstinence works, but that teaching about condoms is also necessary.

(2) According to this article, the government is trying to hide necessary, factual information from the public.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I think a lot of people here are missing the point.

Also, I just looked at the article again. It doesn't seem at all vague to me. She specifically mentions the Centers for Disease Control website.

Why can't people here just admit the current administration is doing something wrong? Instead, here are the tactics some posters here are using:

1. Accuse liberals of saying "the sky is falling."
2. Argue a point that is only tangentially related to the main point of the FPP
3. Suggest that even if the current administration is up to something, it's only on "a couple of websites" and thus it is no big deal.
4. When these first three tactics don't work, impugn the validity or reliability of the author of the original article.

Reinforcing my notion that people on the right are interested in winning above all else, and that they will do so at the expense of truth, common sense, and the general well-being of citizens of this country.
posted by spacewaitress at 6:48 AM on November 21, 2002


Here is the URL for the fact sheet to which the article referred:

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/condoms.htm
posted by spacewaitress at 6:55 AM on November 21, 2002


Way to go spacewaitress.
posted by pjgulliver at 7:05 AM on November 21, 2002


Try doing a google search on cdc.gov for the phrase "Programs that Work." I found items on the site that referred to the list, but clicking on the links will return an error message. The actual list is nowhere to be found.

Try it yourself.

And then tell us we have nothing to be alarmed about.
posted by spacewaitress at 7:05 AM on November 21, 2002


This I can't agree with; of course, reducing it to absurdity does no one any good, since I'm sure you're not making an absolute statement, but it strikes me that holding two different inconsistent viewpoint about the same matter when arguing different topics is very essentially hypocrisy -- I can't envision a situation wherein it would be excusable to hold two disparite views on the same subject, each one brought to the foreground when convenient to argue a point.

Here's an example with Abortion

This is for the sake of argument only. I am not expressing any personal views

Hypo 1: One can be against abortion generally.

Hypo 2: Some people that support hypo 1, still support abortion when the life of the mother or child is in danger.

Here is a way one can change their view based on a different fact line within a general subject. j.edwards, how is this hypocrisy? Seems reasonable that a different fact line sometimes demands one to change one's view. It seems some times to be fair one must change one's point of view based on facts.

Here’s another:

Hypo 1: Murder should be punished by 100 years in jail.

Hypo 2: People support hypo 1 may also support the view "heat of passion" murder should only be punished by 5 years in jail. (i.e. different type of murder and level of culpability leads to a different punishment)

It seems that in the above example the failure to change one's point of view based on different facts is simply unfair and full of hypocrisy. j.edwards, why don’t you agree?
posted by Bag Man at 8:22 AM on November 21, 2002


Sorry, I was out most of the day yesterday, thanks much to spacewaitress and madamjujujive for the backup documents and links. Rock on with your researching selves. ;)

Most of the salient points have already been made, but if I may reiterate what I consider to be the most important ones.

1. Abstinence only programs cannot possibly succeed. Whereas some humans are wired such that they can survive without touch or contact, the vast majority of us are not.

2.) Sex only allowed in marriages leaves out the gay population...one of the largest risk groups for HIV. As long as gay couples are forbidden by religious doctrines written into state and federal law to marry, should they then be expected to never have partners?

3.) People get divorced. Should we outlaw that too? Should adultery be punishable by death?

4.) People get raped. Blood supplies can be tainted. The AIDS virus and other viruses can be spread without sexual contact. Getting AIDS is not a moral issue, it's a medical issue and the CDC should be be a font of medical information, not a moralistic voice for the "social conservatives".

My son will be born in the next week or two. When he's old enough to ask questions about sex, I don't expect the schools to teach him morality, sexual boundaries, or really much else about sexual activity. I plan to provide that information in a way in such a way that I can fully explain his options. But, and this is a big but, I should have access to the studies that my tax dollars have paid to provide.

We, as taxpayers, provided the funding for studies on condoms, on abstinence, on disease transmission, and I should be able to pull those studies up, print them out and use them as teaching materials. For the information to be subsumed into an Orwellian double-plus ungood vacuum because some religious weirdo is afraid of baby making equipment is a travesty.

Morality should be decided by each individual, not by a panel of people who have the power to hide information from the rest of us.
posted by dejah420 at 9:16 AM on November 21, 2002


Originally posted by callmejay:
The only thing worse is when they use US foreign policy to discourage things like Planned Parenthood from helping in other countries. Countries which are being decimated by AIDS and staving because they're having too many children due to a lack of birth control.

100% absolutely right, callmejay. Read that 1st link below

madamjujujive has also touched on a larger subject when she stated:
Count me in the sky is falling camp. I had to do some research for a client on some national agencies, and I was sick to see the creeping tentacles of faith based initiatives infiltrating our governmental sites. I am not against people having religion, it just doesn't belong in the state. This is just plain getting scary and creepy.

Oh it's war alright when, Bush continues his righting war on women

Not to derail the thread of the original topic, I realize it could be a stand alone topic, but to point out what some have stated so far about voicing your opinion and getting your agenda to market with the right candidate who comes up with a solution as opposed to sticking his head in the sand and saying the view is fine from here...

Meanwhile, Vancouver, BC, Canada voted in a new Mayor, Larry Campbell a former camp [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer, ex coroner [TV series Da Vinci's Inquest is modelled on his work as a coroner] who will implement safe injection sites for addicts.

MP's [Ministers of Parliament] challenge plan for drug sites

The Police Chief, a former RCMP chief superintendent expects to see new mayor soon on injection issue

New Mayor hits ground running

This is about citizens telling us they want into city hall, not to be standing outside
posted by alicesshoe at 10:37 AM on November 21, 2002


Wow. Way to go, spacewaitress.

I'm sure this has been said in one way or another, but part of the problem resides in conservatives thinking any mention of birth control or protection from STDs promotes sex, and so better to just not talk about it at all. Thereby ignoring what's actually happening in the real world. Like -- people are dying of AIDS, deaths that can be prevented by using condoms. (thanks for your story, sourbrew.)

Fortunately it's hard to completely erradicate anything on the internet, thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback machine. Here's the article (wrongly) removed by the CDC: http://web.archive.org/web/20010303162548/http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/condoms.htm
posted by Dok Millennium at 11:09 AM on November 21, 2002


I have come to the conclusion that many conservatives are deeply hypocritical, two-faced, and deeply afraid of/concerned by human sensuality and sexuality.

oissubke: I don't believe the behavior of many conservatives is consistent with the policies they advocate.

As stated above by another poster, our current president used to be a wild man, alcoholic--suffice to say he has had a checkered past. And I'll be that if we look at the record of other conservatives, particularly during their college years, we'll see all sorts of crazy college shit going on. Ever been to a frat party?

So now these young conservatives grow up and become politicians and pundits, and rail against the very same behavior, decrying the morality of the wantonly libidinous, and affect public health policy in a way that increases risk.

Its alot like Clinton's famous "I didn't inhale" quote. Of course he did, and he was a two-term president. But he still advocated the same tired drug-war policies we know don't work.

In short: "I may have done something when I was young and foolish, but I'm not going to let you."

And then we have all the politicians with mistresses, fallen idols like Jim Baker, etc, etc.

And here's another problem: This country is awash in porn, sexual imagery and sexual innuendo. But we're strangely repressed at the same time. Conservatives typically champion the free market--you can sell just about anything to anyone as long as its legal. But they hate the effects of this market: condoms everywhere, Eminem being marketed to 11 year-olds, pay-per-view porn at most 4-star hotels, etc.

For the record, I don't believe Eminem should be marketed to children.
posted by 4midori at 11:27 AM on November 21, 2002


Seems the sex-ed 'Programs that Work' list is still on the CDC website.

And an archived copy of the 'effectiveness of condoms' fact sheet is available here, but the nonoxynol-9 information on there is out of date.
posted by yonderboy at 11:56 AM on November 21, 2002


Yonderboy,

How did you find the list?
posted by spacewaitress at 12:29 PM on November 21, 2002


I think there's some space between "abstinence before marriage" and "free sex with anyone you like." Any sort of serial monogamy outside of marriage where you know each other well enough to 1.) be tested for diseases and 2.) have trust that your partner's not screwing around behind your back. Is that so wrong, really? You don't have to be married or adhere to any of the things going along with that (living together, being heterosexual, etc.) Condoms have no purpose in monogamous relationships... there are much more effective methods of birth control which are very underrepresented.
posted by dagnyscott at 1:23 PM on November 21, 2002


on preview - dagnyscott pre-empted me somewhat.

sex, to me, is a fundamental part of being human. along with very few other mammals, we engage in sexual behaviour for pleasure as well as reproductive purposes. this is a very fortunate position. pun intended.
abstaining from sexual encounters may well be a way to avoid some of the risks of infection by STDs, but like any form of abstinence can have detrimental psychological effects if maintained over time. and i believe widespread abstinence can have a negative effect on a society.
if i were to consider a long term relationship, sex would be a fundamental part of the decision. sexual compatability is as important as psychological compatability IMHO.
i know there are some people who have a physiological condition that results in them being unable to enjoy sexuality, but they are few and far between.
sex, drugs (including those manufactured within the brain, as well as without the body), music, food, art. these are the things that we are blessed with during our short time of conciousness in this universe. enjoy them whilst you can.
they are not all there is to life, but they are some of the best bits!
4midori, i read your earlier comment and was struck by the clarity of your observation. whether or not it is banal to some, it struck a chord with me. it reminded me to talk to the most religious friend i have regarding 'spirituality'.
if i look back into history, with my limited knowledge, i see religious conservatives causing problems for society that we are still suffering from. i once attended a drum circle lead by arthur hall, during the session (which included a samba band, african drummers and a military band, all of whom got loose by the end of the session, even the conscripts who were visibly uncomfortable toward the middle of the session when the fun realy started) he mentioned that drumming was banned in europe by the spanish inquisition, except the big bass drum as seen in military bands, which doesn't leave much oportunity for expression. i believe this is true, arthur hall is the kind of guy who would know this type of thing.
the distinction of 'pornography' as different from other forms of art is the invention of religious conservatives in victorian times. we are still suffering from the enforced sexual repression promoted by such religious conservatives.
missionary work/culturcide, crusades, the murder of many ground-breaking philosophers and scientists, racism, slavery, patriarchal female subjugation, you name it, and it is/has been promoted by religious conservatives.
i decided to run these ideas past my religious friend. i believe she is as religious a person as you can be, whilst remaining sane. she is always testing her faith, at least she seems to be. she was brought up by a vicar. she converted to catholicism at the age of 19. she believes in jesus, even after reading 'the mysteries'. as i said, my most religious friend. mental note, try not to sound so much like blackpeopleloveus.com in future
she wholeheartedly agrees with my observation of the damage that religious conservatism has done to our society over the years. we have an ongoing discussion about the nature of spirituality, and what it means to people/the human race. she said that your description of what you experienced on venice beach was what she would call a spiritual experience. this is the kind of thing that the religious conservatives fear - they are control freaks, IMHO. she says she agrees with bishop john shelby spong (the best name in christendom?):
"The church must either embrace all aspects of life or it will cease to be the Church of God."
you may have not specified 'religious' conservatives in your earlier post, but i have decided to add that adjective for two reasons; 1) the people who perpetrate these misdemeanors often seek to legitamise their stance through religious doctrine. 2)non-religious conservatives seem to have a far more pragmatic approach to the subject of sex.
posted by asok at 1:57 PM on November 21, 2002


sorry, arthur hull. sorry arthur.
posted by asok at 2:04 PM on November 21, 2002


I think there's some space between "abstinence before marriage" and "free sex with anyone you like.

I agree, but I don't think that's the point. I don't think it's up to me (or you, or Bush) to make decisions for other people about how (or whether) to engage in intercourse and protect themselves from diseases and unwanted pregnancy. People should have access to the information, it's their decision what to do with it, whether they have sex only within a committed relationship, or freely with anyone they like - empowering as many people as possible with the knowledge of ways to prevent disease transmission and unwanted pregnancies benefits all of us.

Condoms have no purpose in monogamous relationships... there are much more effective methods of birth control which are very underrepresented.

That's crazy talk! ;> Condoms are extremely effective (88-97%) when used correctly (and especially when used with spermicide). They serve a purpose in my monogamous relationship - no other form of birth control meets all our requirements at this time.
posted by biscotti at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2002


I will have a mirror of the removed documents up at safersex.org within 24 hours.

I also will be making a FPP to bring N-9 info up to date.

Stay tuned.
posted by filchyboy at 2:25 PM on November 21, 2002


spacewaitress, here is the succession of links:

cdc.gov
Publications, software & products
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention -- Publications
Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions with Evidence of Effectiveness
View Table of Contents
Introduction
Table 2

So it is publically accessible via the main menu and subsequent links. But I found it with this google search:

sex "programs that work" site:cdc.gov

The first search result is the 'Introduction' shown above.
posted by yonderboy at 5:51 PM on November 21, 2002


madamjujujive, thanks for the link. I was trying to point out to those who were questioning the article that the fact that the majority of us believed it was reason enough to be worried, but oh well.

Can anyone who believes this is not an issue of the government trying to force religious beliefs on the populace please stand up so we can shoot you down?
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:49 PM on November 21, 2002


*ducks*
i'd just like to say i've solved the problem of pre-marital sex.

-never get married-

anyway cookies- what if the governments religion is the
worship of self ? is that ok ?

BANG!
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:22 PM on November 21, 2002


However, you cannot legislate morality

posted by Ufez Jones

I'd just like to say who's definition of morality would we legislate?
posted by agregoli at 11:31 AM on November 22, 2002


Now it seems Wired News has picked up on the story.
posted by yonderboy at 3:15 AM on December 20, 2002


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