Abstinence-only sex-education classes are increasing in public schools nationwide. This fiscal year, the Bush administration raised federal funding to $167 million for these “no-sex only” classes. Emphasizing the importance of avoiding premarital sex, such programs are causing a stir.
Religion News Service says supporters of the federal restrictions say teaching teens about birth control encourages them to have sex. Others worry some young people won’t know how to protect themselves when they become sexually active. But what’s being taught isn’t causing the concern—it’s who’s doing the teaching and where the government’s money is going.
In its newsletter the Baptist Joint Committee reports that the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the government’s support of an abstinence-only “evangelistic ministry” program as unconstitutional. Its report says the Massachusetts ACLU branch sued the Department of Health and Human Services May 16 to stop funding of the “Silver Ring Thing” program, which gives teens silver rings inscribed with a Bible passage. The program has received more than $1 million in federal funding over the past three years.
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