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Why You Don't Want Rick Perry Making Decisions About Your Sex Life

The belief that sex is "immoral" pushes Conservatives to support abstinence-only, sex-is-immoral education and policy, even though it is proven to be harmful.

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So while it’s true that Rick Perry is not a particularly smart guy, the difficulty he has here comes from the fact that his stance on sex education is about 95 percent moral and 5 percent practical.

Waldman's right, but the problem runs even deeper than liberal empiricism vs. conservative “morality.” (I question a “morality” that hates something as life-affirming as sex, and believes that it’s so sinful it should result in disease, life destruction, and even death for people who engage in it outside of their incredibly strict parameters.) The problem goes right to the separation of church and state. The belief that sex is “immoral” isn’t a standard-issue moral belief shared across cultural or religious differences, unlike other moral beliefs such as the wrongness of murder or stealing. This is a question of religious freedom, and whether or not religious beliefs that sex is wrong should be imposed on minors. Standing with religious freedom means standing with comprehensive sex education and mandatory HPV vaccines, on the grounds that people who get these things will still be free to believe sex is wrong. In fact, whether or not your religion teaches that sex is dirty, you still benefit from vaccination and education---that way, if you slip up and have sex, you can have a clean, pure guilt trip of self-hatred without having a bunch of unnecessary health problems. And if you ever get over your commitment to such a misanthropic, sex-phobic faith, you will be able to start your new, sex-positive life with a clean bill of health.

But even more for the rest of us, we should have secular, evidence-based policy instead of fundamentalist faith-based policy not just because it has better health outcomes for everyone, but also because the belief that church and state should be separate was baked into our Constitution right from the beginning.