- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Congress has been up to its eyeballs in sex education lately. On Wednesday, the National Abstinence Education Association brought 500 teens to Capitol Hill to talk about how they manage to not “do it.”

Sex education proponents responded by blitzing members of Congress with calls for programs that offer plenty of information about birth control.

The omnibus spending law signed by President Obama cuts funding for a major abstinence program from $108 million to $95 million. But Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, came through for abstinence, with more than $430,000 in earmarks - all aimed at Pennsylvania programs, of course.

Let’s step back from this fray for a second.

Here is one man’s version of the rules for a sexual revolution:

“First, declare the old morality dead.” Sex might have been approved solely as a marital activity, but that old morality doesn’t work in a democratic, pluralistic society.

”Second, destroy the residual influence of tradition and religion.” Old “ascetic ideals” cause needless pain and misery and should be thrown out.

“Third, make everything relative by recasting the traditional as the abnormal.”Except for a taboo on incest, there aren’t any universal sex codes for humans. In fact, by historical standards, Western society’s obsession with premarital chastity is “deviant.”

”Fourth, declare religious opinion unacceptable in any public moral debate, allowing only science to take part.” Religious prejudices and irrational fears have no place in serious sex policy discussions.

“Fifth, advocate choice.” Youths should be exposed to many patterns of sexual health, and then educated about making intelligent choices and protecting their health.

”Sixth, advance the ‘contraceptive’ solution as the sole answer to our social problem.” The new moral order understands the essential value of birth control.

“Finally, seize control of the schools and begin indoctrination of the young in the ‘new’ code.”

These rules for sexual revolution were written 20 years ago by historian Allan C. Carlson, in his book, “Family Questions.”

Mr. Carlson is a conservative who upholds marriage and the natural family, so his list is a warning, not a call to arms. But read his conclusion, which I think still describes us.

“The United States is a nation divided between two moralities,” Mr. Carlson wrote. “Unlike Europe, the great leap to the new morality of sexual freedom fell short” in America. This is because supporters of the “old” morality “were numerous enough and organized quickly enough to deny the advocates of change a full victory.”

But this has left U.S. teenagers “suspended” between two moral codes that are fighting for dominance - and necessarily undermine each other, he wrote.

This historical logjam may be broken at last this summer - in favor of the “new” moral code.

The political stars are finally aligned for sex education proponents. They have isolated the much-loathed Title V abstinence-education grant program, and all they have to do is get Congress to sit on its hands when the program expires June 30.

That would mean one abstinence program down, two to go.

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at [email protected]

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