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Posts Tagged ‘abstinence’

Bristol Palin: Mr. Olbermann–Sorry We Can’t All Be As Perfect As You

Posted by Adrienne Ross on December 2, 2010

By Adrienne Ross –

Bristol Palin respectfully, but forcefully, took down “perfect” Keith Olbermann today. His decision to attack a 20 year old speaks volumes about how childish he is, and the manner in which she handled him speaks loud and clear about her level of maturity. On Facebook, Bristol writes:

Recently, a left wing commentator named Keith Olbermann attacked me for being a spokesperson for abstinence education and for being an Ambassador for the Candies Foundation, which promotes teen pregnancy awareness and prevention education. He went so far as to call me “the worst person” he knows, apparently, for my efforts to educate teenagers about the real world risks of premarital sex.

Accusing me of hypocrisy is by now, an old canard. What Mr. Olbermann lacks in originality he makes up for with insincere incredulity. Mr. Olbermann fails to understand that in order to have credibility as a spokesperson, it sometimes takes a person who has made mistakes. Parents warn their children about the mistakes they made so they are not repeated. Former gang members travel to schools to educate teenagers about the risks of gang life. Recovered addicts lecture to others about the risks of alcohol and drug abuse. And yes, a teen mother talks about the benefits of preventing teen pregnancy.

I have never claimed to be perfect. If that makes me the “worst person in the world” to Mr. Olbermann, then I must apologize for not being absolutely faultless like he undoubtedly must be.

To Mr. Olbermann let me say this: you can attack me all you want. But you will not stop me from getting my message out about teen pregnancy prevention. And one day, if you ever have a daughter, you may change your mind about me.

Bristol Palin

Hopefully Olbermann–radical far-Left loon that he is–has learned a thing or two. The logical thing for him to do now is acknowledge he was out of line and way off base, but I don’t expect it. Who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise me.

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Bristol Palin Signs Up to Speak Out

Posted by Adrienne Ross on May 18, 2010

By Adrienne Ross –

Bristol Palin told us some time ago that she wants the experiences she’s had in her own life to make a difference in the lives of others. She has begun making that difference by promoting abstinence. The abstinence message needs to be delivered far and wide, and I applaud her for being a vessel to do just that.

After giving birth to her beautiful baby boy, Tripp, she discovered the challenges of being a teenage mom. Although her son fills her with incredible joy, she understands that her situation has been made easier because she has such a strong support base. Not everyone has a family to stand with them as the Palins have stood with Bristol. The love, stability, and encouragement she’s received have made all the difference in the world. In spite of what her mother, Governor Palin, would call “less than ideal circumstances,” Bristol is a good mother doing a good job. God bless her.

Her message to people now is to “pause before you play.” In other words, wait. Is that hypocritical, as some people have asserted? I mean, how dare she, who did not wait, tell others to wait? Actually, what Bristol is saying is abstinence is the only 100% fool-proof method to avoid pregnancy, and she’s embracing that in her own life. And is it ever hypocritical for one to learn from her experiences and then to share those lessons with others? No, it’s called maturity, wisdom, and plain old common sense.

Bristol is taking her abstinence message a step further now. She has signed with Single Source Speakers and will be influencing even more people as she shares her personal story–about abstinence and a number of other topics.

New York Times reports:

Bristol Palin is hitting the speakers’ circuit and will command between $15,000 and $30,000 for each appearance, Palin family attorney Thomas Van Flein said Monday.

Van Flein confirmed a report by celebrity news website RadarOnline that the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed with Single Source Speakers. He added her exact fees will depend on factors such as which group she’s addressing and what she must to do prepare.

Bristol Palin, 19, is listed on the speaking group’s website as available for conferences, fundraisers, special events and holidays, as well as women’s, youth, abstinence and ”pro-life” programs.

Her fee is denoted by four question marks, meaning ”Call to discuss!”


[Van Flein] said he believes she’s interested in expanding her message beyond teen pregnancy to include her experiences on the campaign trail and in the media spotlight; her parenting approach; and her outlook on life.

Before I left for Alaska last summer, our youth pastor’s wife said, “Tell Bristol Palin we’d love for her to come talk to our youth group.” So…if you’re reading this, Bristol, how ’bout it? A trip to New York?

Read the full NY Times article here. You can also read MotivationTruth articles about Bristol, her commitment to abstinence, and her son, Tripp. Read “Bristol and Tripp; Wisdom Beyond Years” and “Bristol Palin Embraces Abstinence; Oprah Suggests Retraction?

(H/T C4P)

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The Left’s Trouble With Abstinence

Posted by Shane Vander Hart on March 26, 2010

Abstinence-only education is effective.    Abstinence itself is 100% effective every time it is tried.  There are many myths surrounding it that are unfounded that are proclaimed in promoting comprehensive sex education.  Abstinence-only sex education just drives the left bonkers.  When that happens they turn on the snark.  Rob Asghar, author of Lessons from the Holy Wars and contributing blogger at The Huffington Post, wrote a post entitled “Bristol Palin and The Trouble With Christian Sex.”  He, of course, decides to point to Bristol Palin as an example of what is wrong with abstinence-only education.  I’ve blogged on Bristol Palin before and don’t intend to say much here.  I do want to point out this, to say a teenage mother can’t be an advocate for abstinence is akin to saying a former drug addict can’t speak out on the dangers of illegal drugs.  Who can better do just that than someone who has experience the pitfalls. 

Enough said about that.  What I really want to take time to address is  the three fundamental problems that he feels arises from Biblical sexual instruction framed around his main premise that, “Christians simply have an idealized notion of sex and relationships, one that’s increasingly divorced from the reality and the direction of the larger society.”

1. Its rules weren’t intended for modern society.

Asghar writes:

Whether the human body developed gradually over millions of years or suddenly around six millenia ago, God or Mother Nature installed sexual plumbing that slips noisily into gear around age 13 and keeps churning noisily for decades. Yet human society has developed in ways that increasingly delay marriage till 30-something. The body and mind are hardly silly to rebel.

The focus on abstinence, on "presenting one’s body as a holy and living sacrifice to God" (to use Paul’s term), is in 2010 a great way to never meet that special someone. Christianity is so fearful of experimentation on the part of singles that it encourages passivity instead. The notion is that "God will deliver the right person in His perfect timing. I shouldn’t upset His plans or force His hand and get into inappropriate entanglements." Given that marriage is being delayed more than ever, it’s little wonder that many quality people that I knew in church have moved into middle age solo, against their will and better judgment and deepest longings. And it’s little wonder that some of those who married did so with people outside the church.

It is true that some people are putting off getting married until later in life.  It also true that some view adolescence lasting until age 25.  He says that human society has increasingly found ways to delay marriage.  I can’t deny that.  I don’t think it’s healthy or appropriate to view a 22-year-old as an adolescent however.  It’s ironic that on one hand as David Elkind, a child psychologist and professor emeritus of Child Development at Tufts University, notes in his book, The Hurried Child, we do push our kids into growing up too fast and they end up mimicking adults – giving a sense of pseudo-maturity.  Elkind notes, “We see these adolescents mourning for a lost childhood.”  On the other hand (perhaps a direct result of the push to end childhood) we extend adolescence to the age where instead getting married and starting a career or family like they did a generation ago, many still refuse to take on real responsibility or make a commitment.

But I digress.

Let me challenge the main premise behind what he is saying with his point.  That not engaging in sexual behavior “experimenting” is passive and the Christian Single will never meet that special someone.  Can I say this one of the major reasons a lot of marriages end in divorce?  Far too many relationships are built on the foundation of sex and physical attraction and they as a result lack depth.  Marriages need to be built on love, intimacy and commitment and that is often lacking when the physical aspect of a relationship is the center of attention.  It is possible to meet a future spouse without the presumption of a sexual relationship… I’ve known many people who do get married after college after meeting their future spouse there, and I’ve know many older Christians who found their spouse later on.

All without acting like a bunch of minks.

2.  It promises more than it can deliver.

Asghar writes:

It criticizes all premarital liaisons as dangerous or at least misguided, and it pooh-poohs any possibility of even some redeeming or meaningful engagement with another human being. And it sets the marital bed up as a far greater good. This leads to the common complaint of various married Christian friends, which is that married sex isn’t what it was cracked up to be. Distress over the mundaneness of it all, anger at the lack of interest on the part of a spouse, and curiosity about what else may have been out there prior to marriage may not be terribly different from what anyone else feels. But Christians’ sense of disappointment is more real and palpable.

At some level, the notion that abstinence in singleness will lead to maximum joy in marriage is a microcosm of the idea that if you show restraint on earth you will have boundless joy in the afterlife. And there are many who, based on how they found the former notion to be untrue, worry about the latter being a bit trumped up, too.

Again Asghar frames relationships as being primarily sexual.  Is it possible to have redeeming or meaningful engagement with someone without having sex?  Yes.  The marital bed is a far greater good, God designed it that way.  He created sex and said it was good within the boundaries of marriage.  Asghar’s citing complaints of various married Christian friends (he seems to rely on anecdotes quite a bit, and I wonder how many people he’s actually talking about here) about the mundaneness of married sex.  Yeah it can be mundane.  But what I find ridiculous is that he thinks the answer is in premarital sex.  I don’t think that remedies the problem, in fact, I think it makes it worse.  Comparisons start.  Remembering previous sexual partners while you are supposed to be making love to your spouse doesn’t exactly help achieve intimacy.

Then you have our sex saturated society and porn culture that sadly has had a devastating impact on marriages in and outside the Church.  When men start comparing their wife to some porn star they’ve seen – well there’s no way that can lead to satisfaction with the marital bed.

It’s much better as Scripture says after being married for years to rejoice in the wife of your youth, as we see in Proverbs…

Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love, (Proverbs 5:15-19, ESV)

Asghar’s advice doesn’t help build what is sorely lacking in our marriages and society at large, and that is contentment.  Having sex before marriage won’t do anything to enhance the marital bed, it will only hurt it.  If you aren’t having the sex life you desired you should ask yourself perhaps we aren’t connecting in other ways like you should as a couple or perhaps you have unrealistic expectations.

3.  It encourages bad faith, not integrity or maturity.

Asghar writes:

Within a contemporary church, you will discover many committed couples who break traditional bounds of romance while pretending to be chaste. They stay overnight, for example, grinding their way past every boundary short of intercourse. I believe Calvin would have had them flogged in Geneva, and I suspect God would have told them to quit the BS and just go ahead and use a condom instead of attempting to play coy.

Theological and ecclesiastical authorities will say that this isn’t what Biblical instruction intends and shouldn’t even be cited as an example of Christian conduct. But few will concede that sex is complicated, and that sometimes the unmarried couple that enjoys sex responsibly but which later breaks up may be healthier than the ones who rationalize loopholes.

There is also the issue of premature marriage. Go back to the huge gap between puberty and marriage that arises due to social changes that extend adolescence longer than ever before. Combine this with Paul’s admonitions that "it is better to marry than to burn," and far too many devout Christian singles end up getting married before they are emotionally mature. They want the sex now, and marriage is the only way they can get it in a way that they think God can bless. So they marry just after graduation from their Christian college, well before they know what they want in a relationship or can bring to it. This is bad faith, and it is thus small wonder that the divorce rate for Christians is roughly the same as for those who don’t live by the Bible’s demanding standards.

Asghar says you will discover many committed couples within the different churches (don’t exactly know what he means by contemporary) who have sex before marriage or are what I call technical virgins (which really is not being pure at all).  I’m sure there are, but there are many who don’t.  And what God would say about such behavior is what he says about any sinful behavior to repent, turn from your sin and flee to Christ.  God is good and in Christ’s sacrifice we can hold to the promise that “if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9, NIV).  Others may not realize the deception, but God does.  We can with confidence go to God’s throne of grace to receive mercy and find His grace in our time of need, (Hebrews 4:16).

Those in Christ still have a sinful nature, and yes they do fail.  And the Apostle John tells us that he who says he is without sin not only deceives himself and the truth is not in him, (1 John 1:8) and even goes as far to say that he is a liar if he does such a thing, (1 John 1:10).   That doesn’t mean we should just give up and live our lives in utter disregard to what Scripture teaches.  Rather we need to immerse ourselves in the Gospel of Christ, remembering His love for us and His sacrifice.  Because only by the mercies of God can we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, (Romans 12:1).  If we approach this as a set of rules we’ll fail, but if that among other things is seen as worship and done out of love and reverence from Christ… well our perspective changes.

We need grace, but as Paul asked (and then answered):

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2, ESV).

But yet that is what Asghar advocates.  His last argument is to point out premature marriages, and then he links it to the divorce rate among Christians.  So Christians divorce because they hold off on sex until marriage and then marry prematurely?  I’ve written on divorce before so I don’t want to get into that here.  I do recognize the divorce rate among Christians is much better than the rest of the world.  I want to challenge a couple things here – first off what evidence does he cite for these premature marriages?  None.  My wife and I married when I was 21 (she was 20), we were the exception, not the norm.  Most of those who were in married student housing at the time were in the Seminary at Trinity International University.  I didn’t know (and still don’t know) that many people who get married why they are still in college.  I’ve been married almost 17 years.  Were we immature?  Certainly, I’d like to think I’m more mature now.  We had our share of problems.

My point is this – marriage is hard.  Age doesn’t necessarily prepare you for how your life changes.  Actually, in some ways, I think it would have been harder if you’re used to living by yourself.  But he also operates under the assumption that is the only reason people marry that young is so they can have “legal sex.”  I think that in most cases is a false premise.  He also looks at maturity in marriage as “knowing what you want out of a relationship and what you can bring to it.”

I would say the “knowing what you want out of a relationship” is the wrong approach.  It’s immature.  It’s looking at “what’s in it for me.”  And it is that attitude that leads to divorce more often than not.  If you go into a marriage looking to have your needs met… you are sunk.  You will be disappointed.  It’s that attitude rather than if you get married out of college as opposed to in your 30s that’s the problem.  Marriage means sacrifice.  If Asghar is right, then why is it more couples in a second or third marriage get divorced?  Why do people who cohabitate prior to marriage tend to have a higher divorce rate.  I’m not saying that getting married young doesn’t come with some disadvantages, but I believe Asghar is over-generalizing.  The fact is most people either outside or inside the church still do get married after college.

You have to hand it to Asghar for setting up a nice straw-man argument though.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  You can keep up with him by following him on Twitter or by becoming a friend on Facebook.

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Bristol Palin Embraces Abstinence; Oprah Suggests Retraction?

Posted by Adrienne Ross on January 26, 2010

By Adrienne Ross –

When I was a kid, I had the utmost respect for Oprah Winfrey. I admired her generosity, her sense of humor, the faith she seemed to hold dear. I was inspired by her story and how she overcame incredible odds as a child. I was so excited when I got accepted to Tennessee State University, for I soon learned that Oprah went there. I eventually chose another school, but for a while I loved the idea of attending Oprah’s alma mater, especially since at that time I had some of the same dreams in my life as those that had become realities in hers. Yes, as a kid, I really admired Oprah.

But I’m not a kid anymore.

Oprah still gives as generously as she always has, and her personal story is still just as inspirational. However, now that I’ve matured, I guess it takes more to impress me.

I had my issues with her refusal to allow Governor Palin to sit on her couch during the 2008 campaign, but I won’t rehash that. We all know how it turned out: Oprah now is quite glad to get the governor to appear on her show, and when she does, Oprah’s ratings fly through the roof. So, as they say, moving on. Besides that, Oprah’s worldview simply doesn’t line up with mine in some very key areas, so I don’t spend my time listening to her talk anymore–haven’t done so for many years now–unless the governor is on.

However, my dwindling appreciation for the former Queen of Talk took a nosedive last Friday when she interviewed Governor Palin and her daughter, Bristol. Bristol has made the admirable, and correct, decision to remain abstinent until marriage. Rather than encourage Bristol to do just that, Oprah seemed to want to talk her out of her commitment. To me, Oprah’s unique position as a role model to so many is incongruous with her belittling of Bristol’s decision–and yes, I did sense some belittling going on.

At the start, I didn’t realize the interview was headed that way. Oprah offered some good advice at first, which is advice that I have shared with single Christian women committed to waiting until marriage, probably saying something close to what Oprah advises.

Oprah tells the girls in her school in South Africa:

Make the decision before the moment arrives because when the guy is licking on your ear, it’s hard to make the decision! So make the decision before the moment arrives.

I was thinking, Great advice, Oprah. I have always believed that we make decisions about how we want to act in particular situations before those situations arise. We’d be surprised how many things we could avoid altogether if that strategy were faithfully employed.

So I was with Oprah right up until a few seconds later when she said she “bristled” when she read in In Touch that Bristol stated, “I’m not going to have sex until I’m married. I can guarantee it.”

Apparently Bristol’s guarantee of abstinence is what alarmed Oprah, and she asked, “You don’t think you’re setting yourself up?”

At this point I’m thinking, “setting yourself up” for what? My confusion rested, in part, in having just heard Oprah say that she tells the African girls to do exactly what Bristol had just stated she did: make up her mind ahead of time.

Oprah’s rationale was media pressure, that every guy she dates will be harassed with questions about whether Bristol had or had not remained true to that commitment. My thought here was, Hey, let the media blow it up. Better the dudes find out where I stand now than later. Better any interested guy should know where I stand before they even step to me. That way they can keep on stepping if they can’t handle my plan. Truth be told, you can weed out a lot of guys from the jump that way and spare yourself the agony of dropping the “no” bomb on them later. They can’t say they didn’t know, can they?

Oprah, whose young adult life was not without its share of drama, trials, and tribulations, should have sincerely said to her guest, “Good for you, Bristol.” Instead, she asked Bristol if she was setting herself up?! With a steely glint in her eyes, Bristol, who to me looked a bit annoyed, said, “No, I don’t.”

Oprah didn’t say it, so I will: good for Bristol for standing by her commitment, for not backing down, for not allowing the pressure to cause her to cave in to Oprah, who appeared put off by Bristol’s bold declaration of abstinence.

Had I been Bristol, however, I would have answered that question in the affirmative. When asked if I was setting myself up, I would have said, “Yes, Oprah. I am setting myself up…to achieve my goal. I’m setting myself up by doing exactly what you tell the girls in Africa: ‘make the decision before the moment arrives.'”

Hey, if it’s good enough for Africa, it’s good enough for America.

So which one is it? Is Oprah encouraging the girls in her school to strategically choose abstinence, or when they say they have, does she pause five seconds for them to retract or ease their choice? It sounds like double talk to me. Either Bristol is supposed to stick to her guns, or she’s supposed to back out. Again, which one is it, Oprah–a little of both?

When Bristol chose the former, Oprah–chuckling–said, “All right, good luck to you on that!” Belittling, demeaning, and frankly, disempowering.

I get sick and tired of people who purport to be all about the power of women and their ability to accomplish anything, except when it comes to both abstinence and giving birth to a child in less than ideal circumstances. I do not respect trying to talk a teenager, who is already raising a child, out of taking a stand on the issue. If women can do anything, they can do anything–including practicing abstinence.

Months ago, when Bristol once used the term “unrealistic” in reference to teenagers remaining abstinent, people jumped all over her. Friday, Oprah said about abstinence, “Obviously she’s already had sex. So I’m just wondering if that is a realistic goal.” When Bristol indicated that it is realistic for her, Oprah “bristled.” This is Exhibit A of “you can’t win for losing.” This is why one must simply live by the courage of her own convictions as Bristol has purposed in her heart to do–and bump everybody else who doesn’t believe you can. When Oprah shared the statistic that 1 out of 3 teenagers is sexually active, Bristol was unmoved. Her face seemed to say, “Well, I’ll be one of the two.” It may not be easy, but nothing valuable is–and she’s worth it.

Abstinence is a touchy, uncomfortable subject for those who feel safer teaching birth control over abstinence. “It doesn’t work,” the statisticians say. News flash: abstinence, when employed, always works! It’s when it’s abandoned that it’s rendered powerless. Besides, it seems Bristol realizes something that we could all stand to discover: though birth control protects from pregnancy sometimes, there is no birth control potent enough to protect your heart, soul, and mind from the effects of giving yourself to someone who has not given himself to you–through the commitment of marriage.

I say to Bristol in all sincerity, rather than the snarky way Oprah said it, “More power to you.”

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