Abstinence and the New Conservatives

I just found this article by US senator Sam Brownback and Ed Feulner, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. The article addresses the emphasis that US public education places on condom purchase and use, rather than abstinence. It states that in spite of the demonstrated efficacy (or lack there of) of abstinence education, schools continue to focus on condom use and birth control. I don’t have the same interpretation of this research as Senator Brownback and Mr. Feulner, but that’s not what’s bugging me today. I can say that the conservative argument about sexuality is increasingly becoming an aesthetic reconstruction of the struggle against nature.

It used to be the Marxists who argued for the struggle against nature, but our days are seeing increasing numbers of conservatives arguing for a radical battle with biology. Citing the Heritage Foundation, the article states that, “when compared to women who begin sexual activity in their 20’s, girls who initiated sexual activity at the age of 13 or 14 were less than half as likely to have stable marriages…” and a whole bunch of other bad things. They then go on to advocate the promotion of sexual activity among primarily women who are far past the age at which nature has prepared humans for sexual activity. It is the conservatives who are now arguing that reproduction should be reserved for a period of time so late that the health of mothers and their infants is becoming questionable.

I’m not saying this is wrong. I don’t know what’s really right or wrong when it comes to questions like this. It’s just the nature of their point is quite surprising to me. Here are people who call themselves conservative, but whose moral position is quite clearly one that opposes natural processes. Historically, it’s been radical groups, often associated with the writings of Karl Marx, who have spoken about the struggle against nature. Today, in 21st Century America, it is the so-called ‘Conservative Right’ arguing aesthetic reasons that nature is wrong and they know better. In a sense, the conservatives have become the radicals.

Perhaps they do know better because I sure don’t. But I can say, it sure is interesting what ‘conservative’ has come to mean.


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