Blogs Feb 24, 2013 at 11:12 am


Holy shit!
I wonder if there isn't something about late adolescence that makes one especially vulnerable to religious propaganda. Maybe it's a function of education. Or both. For whatever reason, I've noticed that young people between 16 and 20 tend to be easy prey for religious groups. These groups respond to this exposed artery by lunging right at it, creating whole wings of their church to target this specific age group. You will notice that every church has a youth pastor-but nobody seems to have a middle-age pastor or a pastor specifically for the elderly.

Taking advantage of one's mental weakness is probably the lowest form of indoctrination. It is equivalent to urging a drunken person to bet everything they own on a card game, or persuading those in emotional turmoil to sign contracts. Late adolescence is a time of life when one is simply not in their right mind. Insurance companies recognize this, and charge more money for a driver under 24 than one over that age. The military recognizes this, and aggressively recruits people in this age range to do things no sane human being would ever agree to. And churches are no different.

I am leery whenever I see someone running an organization that works with young people. Child-abusing priests aren't outed for decades after their crimes, since their youthful charges are intimidated with threats of hellfire if they come forth. Its only later in life when they realize that hell is just a convenient tool of manipulating the faithful.
I'm so glad my mom gave me the advice she did about sex before marriage. She and my dad were both virgins when they got married, and she said to make such a big deal out of it made the first time seem disappointing. On her wedding night, she said her thoughts went along the line of, "Is that all it is, that's what I waited for?" If I'm remembering right, when she told me this, I was already having sex and she knew it. So she was basically saying, "You did it right, we did it wrong." I'm sure she wasn't thrilled that her 17-year-old daughter was having sex, but I'm glad she recognized that there wasn't anything she could effectively do to stop it. Hooray for parents who live in the real world! (And thank you mom for helping me get on the pill!)
Jiminy Christmas, Dan, could you please edit that headline? There might be children reading this. Such vulgarity.
So who wants to lay bets on how many of those kids will get laid over that weekend?
@5 - When the "reporter" accidentally bumped that one girl's boob, I expected an orgy to break out.
Who would have sex with the hosts' terrifyingly-white wax hands?

Also: "You got peer pressure out in Iowa?" Alternatively, he could've said, "Has peer pressure made it's way out to Iowa yet?"
Well now, to each their own I suppose. Celebrate diversity in all its forms. Nobody's being bullied here. You're not going to loose sleep if these kids abstain from sex until they are married, or even gay married.
@2 It does seem to be the time when many people acquire their -isms: dogmatism, Marxism, Objectivism, imperialism, botulism.
The teen abstinence group at the church I went to as a kid acted exactly like these teens and almost all of them were fucking each other. They talked just like these kids and when no adults were around, they all made fun of it.

I'd guess most of these kids have already had sex, or will within the next couple years. Except for the really ugly and/or awkward ones.
I really hope they cleaned up all those supid little placards at the end of the day so the government didn't have to pay for it.
@8 but that's not what happens. A culture that holds up sexual purity as an ideal leads to more STDs, more teen pregnancies, more short-term marriages and more kids with divorced parents. Because deep biological urges tend to trump these superficial public vows.

These vows aren't about keeping teens from having sex; they're about creating shame that the church can then absolve, for the low, low price of your obedience, your votes and your money.
1994 was a long time ago... I wonder how many of those kids got laid that day and have teenagers themselves today? If nothing else, it's fun to look back on the headset/mike combos.
My most Christian high school friend and his girlfriend never kissed. They would say "I love you" to day other all day, every day, but felt like kissing should wait. I thought this was deeply weird and off base. Of course their "courtship" fell apart first semester freshman year of college.

Years later, he got married so he could have sex. At least that's what his mom said.
How old is that video? 90s? 80s?

Probably before the internet. Kids these days are meeting up on Craigslist and posting pictures of themselves naked on Tumblr.

Those fools lost.

@8 I think it's a mistake for people to wait for marriage before having sex. It's good to learn if you and your partner are sexually compatible before getting married to them.

Besides, people are marrying at a much older age than at any other time in recorded history. The idea that people are going to wait until their 20's or 30's to have sex is ludicrous and quite frankly not healthy as well (both physically and emotionally).

Ideas such as "abstinence is the only way" are ideas that are pushed by religions in the developing world. They are ideas that are hurtful for the development of the developing world, for women around the world and for the human race in general (7 billion people are too many people on this planet). Religions that espouse abstinence only attitudes need to be wiped of the face of the earth and their ideas need to be swept into the dustbin of history.
@13: 1994!

We were all just randomized. Nice going Dan.

I grew up with this, and forced to be with these people. I can honestly say that (for me at least) all these people are so repellent that I never WANTED to have sex with any of them. In that sense, I guess, it made youthful abstinence easy.
A lot of those kids weren't going to lose their virginity any time soon anyway.
OOOOMG...I didn't go to the march, but this is like my teenage years on display. Wow, thanks for the flashbacks! What was on my wall throughout high school? That's right, a Petra poster! I watched Josh McDowell preach in his jeans and jean jacket and thought about buying an "I'm Not Doing It" t-shirt.
FWIW, I would say most of these kids didn't have sex then, which isn't to say most lasted until marriage.
@16: You are entitled to your opinions, which I share except for your lack of respect for others, whose free will and self-determination is just as important to them --- as ours is to us.
Phoebe and Sargon - it's not the abstinence itself that's hurting anyone. I couldn't give a shit whether or not they want to wait or don't.

But speaking as someone who grew up in that tradition, I do have a negative view of the abstinence culture, because of all the shaming and judgment that comes with it. When you learn, as an adolescent, that your natural biological functions and urges are "dirty" and "sinful" and that you're wrong to feel things that are actually perfectly normal for you to feel, it has a damaging effect on how you view yourself. As a practice, there's nothing wrong with abstinence. As a Christian subculture, however, it's just one big ball of repression and slut shaming, and it doesn't do anyone any favors.
@8 & 19,

It doesn't bother me that some kids choose abstinence... provided that choice is freely made.

But this video is loaded with a big helping of guilt and shame and social pressure and lack of knowledge about human sexuality, pregnancy and STDs. It looks sweet and harmless, but it isn't. This kind of nonsense actually leads to higher rates of teen pregnancy and STDs.
How old are these kids now? I would love to see follow-up interviews.
This is a Simpsons parody isn't it? Isn't it?

They're driving STAKES into the ground. "Are you wet? I'm very wet." "There is no condom that can protect you from a broken heart." Then they talk to Petra! Petra! The lady in a turquoise suit does a rap! "Thanks to everyone who's placed their hands on this wonderful event!"

How is this not a Simpsons parody?

People 16-20 are looking for purpose and meaning in life. Religion is there to be that purpose. Like that "nice guy" who proposes after the first date and turns into a creepy stalker when you don't want to see him anymore.

I think this kind of thing might also arise out of the sense that when kids turn that age, parents "lose" them to pop culture and peer group, so there's a huge push to provide a "safe" church-approved outlet. Want to see a rock band? Here is a Christian rock band! Want to have fun with other teens? Here is a thing with other Christian teens!
@2 Actually there is something about it.

The thing is that people in that age group are in a transitional period in their lives. I don't have the studies handy but most groups that are asking people to make major life changes, such as charismatic religious movements, tend to target people who are in some form of transitional period.

I can't recall the particulars but it has been speculated that this is because people who are not in a transitional period tend to be more resistant to the(sometimes radical) change that these groups tend to require.
When they bend over to pound in their little flags, if you listen carefully, you can hear assholes whistling like a jug band.
Wracked with guilt. Every last one of them. *That's* what is so wrong about the whole virgin/slut shaming meme these cults push. But you don't catch std's if you're not doin' the nasty, or so they tell kids.
Thanks for the cute little blast from the past, Dan. To think this was a year AFTER the '93 March On Washington for gay rights....
The groupthink on display in that vid is revolting. I'm so, so glad I was raised semi-Catholic, and not this hollow, veneer-Christianity.

To Phoebe- I'm not going to 'celebrate' their diversity any more than I will support the opinion of the KKK. They are free to run around on the Nat'l Mall and try to want someone they are told is good for them (without evidence), and I won't stop them one bit from making all the bad choices they want in life.

I will, however, stand on the sidelines and point out how vapid, pointless and truly damaging their actions are (à la dirge @12 and others), to themselves and to the culture at large.

But we should also recognize that the people running that event are thoroughly overlapped with the people who are ACTIVELY trying to deny my freedom to live as I please and love whom I want. They are the people who pushed Prop 8 in California, and who try to "pray the gay away", and are opposed the freedom to marry in Washington. They are the ones trying to remove funding from Planned Parenthood, and eliminate honest sex education. They are trying to make sure people I love live a harder life than their own. They reserve the right to hate and hurt other people because their version of God's word is the only version of God's word, and that entitles them to trample all over other people's freedom and diversity.

So sure, yay them for brainwashing and emotionally stunting thousands of kids, but stay the fuck away from me.
@ 16 It can be fine to wait I have many the South Asian friend who parents had an arranged marriage and they seem to last, in fact they seem to have a very low divorce rate.

If teens want to have sex then fine, not every teen will wait till college or marriage. From the stats I have seen 70% of teens have sex in high school. But I can't blame parents for not wanting to get their kids on the pill if they don't want them to have sex. Why not have the guy buy condoms, the man can be responsible for the birth control.
"... try to want someTHING..." ...stupid autocorrect.
I am of the view that people should be 18 and in college before they engage in sex, high school is too young. But some kids are going to have sex no matter what so why not educate kids on safe sex.
@2: Yep. They jump in right after puberty when the kid is rightly wondering "what the hell is going on with my body?" The Christianists tell them that God is testing them and even though they are starting to feel 'strange' urges and lots 'naughty' stuff is happening to their body, they need to be pure or else they are going to hell. You see, God hates penises and vaginas, but they are technically necessary so the best you can do is pretend they don't exist until you get God's blessing to use them (marriage).
One of my best friends in high school (well, I guess if it were '94, it would have been junior high) would totally have been one of these kids if she could have gotten to D.C. She listened to Petra and Stephen Chapman (or whatever his name is) and spent all of high school talking about how terrible sex was and how everyone who had sex before marriage was going to hell.

She's 32 and her daughter (born two months before she got married) turned 15 today.
"Religions that espouse abstinence only attitudes need to be wiped of the face of the earth"

@16, that's quite a violent sounding statement. Try reading that aloud to yourself in front of a mirror.
@2, Perry explains it with his stages of intellectual development. Dualism, Relativity, Multiplicity and Commitment. In Dualism, they want an authority to tell them all the answers. It's a great model to read if you work with high school or college kids.
Okay, the dark haired chick with the mic at 4:25 -holy creeping shit her whitegirl rappin' was one of the most painful, squirm-inducing things I've ever seen. Just mortifying.

Honestly though, I don't see anything wrong with kids waiting until they're older if that's what they genuinely wanna do = there are loads of unplanned pregnancies in this age group, and we hardly need more. So if they would actually hold off on screwing in unprotected fashion until they're older, I would be all for this, especially if it could be done in a sex positive manner, which of course it won't be in Silver Ring Thing-land.

What I'm curious about and what was left unsaid in this little video was any mention of masturbation as an alternative and a natural virginity-preserver. I mean, how many times a day do teenage boys get wood? Are cold showers the only allowable option? Or "praying" - which is sorta hilarious. What exactly are you praying for? "Dear God, please make this hard-on go away"? If they were really serious about waiting until marriage and helping people to do so - coping tactics - shouldn't they be preaching from that stage about the great blessing that is masturbation, in allowing you to achieve your virginity goals?

Also not discussed was, what if you don't marry until you're 28? 30? 35? What if you never meet the right guy or gal? What then?

How utterly depressing...
Wow. I was just recently calling Tacoma Traveler a moron and an idiot. But I was wrong. #1 was eloquently spot-on. I have a "Youth Pastor" in my family and it's sad to see the way the church manipulate those kids.
Ugh, I couldn't get all the way through this.

@22: Phoebe, it's hardly free will and self-determination when a young person has been conditioned from birth to show deference to religious leaders and to fear infinite, agonizing punishment for finite crimes, and that religious leader is telling them that engaging in the urges their body wants (even just masturbation) is going to lead straight to that eternal punishment.

Also, this mindset is not positive for society. Purity Culture Is Rape Culture. And don't get me started on all the ways in which the Bible itself condones rape, as it alternately espouses the importance of purity.
I hope Preparation H was the sponsor.
I was in a Nevada church, and I made the True Love Waits promise. I didn't get over it until age 23, when I had thought things over and gone Agnostic. It took me another 3 years to have GOOD sex.

Now I'm in New York consistently having sex with one man who I'm not married to and using protection because I educated myself as to the risks.

Everyone else in that little church group? Still in Nevada, and most are up to 2 babies by now with little hope for so much as a vacation let alone a move.
This reminds me of the little teenage douchemonger who yelled at us (adults, mind you) during the recent "right to life" march. My friend who I was having lunch with is BURSTING pregnant - and ALSO 35 AND MARRIED. Her shirt had some kind of virginity slogan on it and she was being all snarky to us from a few yards away. My friend screamed "I'm married and practically old enough to be your mother, you little dolt!" and the "young lady" devolved into a tirade about working moms and not wearing a ring. Wait until that little bitch is so pregnant her rings (and shoes, and clothes, and SKIN) don't fit, and she has to balance a family budget. It would be just desserts if it was before her 18th birthday.

Not only are they stupid, brainwashed sheep, but they're fucking arrogant little shits. Who the fuck taught that girl that it was okay to address an adult like that? (I have some ideas)

The thing of it is, by making your children more dependent on you later in life, you endanger them more than if you encouraged them to think and act independently.

We all die. Death is real. And someday, you and I will die. If our children are still tied to us by the umbilical cord, they will suffer more as they will have grown accustomed to having su watch over them, rather than watching out for themselves.

Keeping a child stunted like that, keeping them under your wing too long, harms them. Adolescence is when the human body attains its functional independence, and the mind completes it's independence from the parental mind. That's nature's way of saying that its time to let go.

This perverse infantilization of our youth is one of religion's least appealing qualities.
Million Virgin March sounds like the title of an SNL skit. How is this not a total joke?
@28. Your post made me actually laugh out loud. Thanks, made my day!!
@36 they do need to be wiped off the face of the earth, just like the religions of the ancient Greeks and Romans and others.

Religions such as Christianity are destroying reason, progress and could actually destroy our planet. Enough is enough. They need to be destroyed, or at least their influence needs to be reduced substantially.

I'm not talking violence unless the churches start supporting fascism again and try to overthrow our secular democratic institutions (see: religious support of Hitler, Franco, Mussolini). I'm talking through education and through political action.
I was a virgin until marriage. But as has been stated above, that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't married at 19. I held much of the beliefs as in the video.

We are still happily married 12 years later, as I hit the jackpot and he is GGG. I am too! We have similar sexual likes and dislikes. we discussed what we knew about our sexual preferences before marriage, but we didnt know so many things. we are lucky we evolved the same ways. We held off of having kids until I was 28 so I could start my career. Sex hit a lull when the kids were infants, but we are bouncing back pretty hard.

This system can work, but it certainly won't work (didnt work) for most of the teens in that video. In fact, it often does so much harm. I have girlfriends who are so totally frigid in marriage, girlfriends who are happy as non-monogamous folks, yet can't get past the shaming as teens.
Ohhh . . . flashbacks to my teen years, when my church youth group went to a larger gathering and one of these "purity pledge" things was sprung on us. We all hung our names on the wall and pledged our virginity to our future spouses, because it was absolutely expected and anyone who refused would be immediately publicly shamed and branded with a scarlet letter. Even those of us who were already sexually active took the pledge. The only one of us that didn't break the vow was the son of one of the church elders, and I think that was more because of a lack of opportunity than anything else. Sad, sad stuff.
"It's never too late - [God] will take anyone back." Wow, what a great deal - just do whatever you want then pray and claim regret and you're golden!

True love waits - or just lies, or does it in the ass.
That couple from Iowa are a) totally a couple and b) have either already done it and are there to assuage their guilt or c) are about two seconds from doing it. Possibly on the ride back home.
3:08: "Are you wet?" "I am very wet".
You could feel the sexual frustration emanating from the adult woman recommitting herself...
What got me was when I figured out that none of the adults that had spent all that time lecturing us about waiting had actually waited themselves. They never told us that, of course, just about how beautiful and wonderful waiting was. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that I can't think of any of those people for whom it wasn't just a talking point that they hadn't followed when they were teenagers. It's dishonest.

And, of course, since they also taught that gay was totally a choice, it never occurred to me as a teenager that there was another reason than being uber spiritual why those pledges were so easy for me.
Petra Band confirms: Jesus is the ultimate cockblocker.
I appreciate the blog, but I'm gonna go cleanse myself with some gay porn.

Too much christian nonsense I don't want to be reminded of.
I swear on one of those kids virginity Fabio fronted that boy band.

Please wait...

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