Can we be good without God? The question seems somehow abstract, a topic for Atlantic Monthly cover stories and college seminars more than practical applications. So here's another question: Can we keep our pants on?

Ironically, the group that often answers "yes" to the first question says "no" to the second. And some believe that not only can't we stay chaste, but we should not.

"An abstinence-until-marriage program is not only irresponsible," U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said last year. "It's really inhumane."

South Dakota Planned Parenthood apparently agrees. Governor Mike Rounds last summer complained about the state library's teen website link to Planned Parenthood's hypersexual site TeenWire. So Planned Parenthood demanded that the library board also remove a link to CT sister publication Campus Life because it promotes abstinence. If you can't tell teens to have sex, Planned Parenthood says, you can't tell them not to have sex. Not that TeenWire is entirely against "abstinence." It includes such chaste advice as, "Some straight couples use anal sex as a way to preserve the woman's virginity."

Then there's NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, which in mid-July held a "Screw Abstinence" party. The event might be merely juvenile rather than creepy had it not come from an abortion-rights group, notes Focus on the Family's Linda Klepacki. "It's clear NARAL wants your kids to be sexually active because it's good for business," she says.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Education Association, and more than 100 other groups asked the Health and Human Services Department to remove its 4Parents.gov website because it said, "Abstinence is the healthiest choice for teens." The Associated Press said the groups complained ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Bookmarks Subscriber Access Only
Quick reviews of Life@Work, The Power of Hospitality, Sex, Lies, and the Media, and When You're Facing the Empty Nest.
RecommendedFinding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My 'True Self' As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
The Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
World Relief wants clarification over today’s big Supreme Court decision.
Christianity Today
Abolishing Abstinence
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.