Faith vs. Science: The Consequences of What We Teach Our Children

Religious believers do so as a matter of faith. At the same time, many of these same people expect science to provide evidence that far exceeds the standards upon which they accept the words found in the Bible. This contradiction is troubling and merits discussion.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

Have you ever asked yourself what America and the world would look like if the abstinence-only advocating…intelligent design demanding…religious right had the power to enact the legislation they preferred? I don’t know about you, but the thought of this group at the helm of humanity is not only frightening; it could well spell the initiation of a period of irrational repression not seen since the Dark Ages. Even worse, I’m not sure they would possess the restraint to resist the application of Biblically mandated punishments.

Two articles in today’s news led me to ponder the possibilities. I think it’s obvious that there is a boundless commitment on the part of the religious right to impose their beliefs on others. That persistence makes them a formidable foe and it requires the rest of us to be vigilant in refuting and rejecting the tortured arguments they construct. Even worse, each time one of their efforts are rebuffed, they immediately move to craft a more refined replacement.

Pardon the ugly analogy, but this steadfast assault has all the makings of an inexpugnable infection…one that requires timely treatment lest it render the unsuspecting host into a state of perpetual decline. As such, one can never assume that a period of remission will be sustained. Like it or not, these inviolable interlopers are constantly searching for a vulnerability that can be exploited.

This analogy provides a seamless segue into the first article. According to a report in The Washington Post, there is concern that the insistence on abstinence-only education…education that frequently attempts to undermine the merits of condoms…is pushing us towards an expansion of teen sex, STD transmissions, and teen pregnancies.

From The Washington Post:

The nation’s campaign to get more teenagers to delay sex and use condoms is faltering, threatening to undermine the highly successful effort to reduce teen pregnancy and protect young people from sexually transmitted diseases, federal officials reported today.

New data from a large government survey shows that by every measure, the decade-long decline in sexual activity among high school students leveled off between 2001 and 2007 and the increase in condom use by teens flattened out in 2003.

Moreover, the survey found disturbing hints that teen sexual activity may actually have begun creeping up and that condom use among high school students might be edging downward, though those trend lines have not yet reached a point where statisticians can be sure, officials said.

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