31 thoughts on “free birth control handed out at middle schools”

  1. i have a three year old daughter and this scares me. What is going to be available to my daughter when she turns 11. It also scares me that an 11 yr. old can go and get this with the consent of a parent but after that everything is confidential. I feel that when my daughter is 11 i dont’ want to be told that I can’t find out what is going on with her medically. This is very scary to me. One more pro for homeschooling.

  2. I know this might sound crazy, but I am actually not that opposed to this…I mean, forms of birth control are already available for middle schoolers in EVERY community, without parental consent – all they have to do is go into Walmart. If a kid is getting it through the school, at least there will be some adult who gives it to them that they might be able to talk with. It might not be much, but its more than the self-check-out line at Walmart.

  3. “Well, they’re going to have sex anyway…right?”

    I could barf. I have yet to meet a middle school student mature enough to handle sex as it is…or even a relatively mature conversation with the opposite sex. Now birth control? Yikes!

  4. Yes, we in Maine are very proud and excited. I’m frustrated because on the one hand I do think it’s alarming in that it will enable students. On the other hand, I work with a lot of troubled middle schoolers in my community who are actively sleeping around. What do we do about the kids who are in broken homes with alcoholic, drug addicted parents who could care less about what they are up to? They have a completely misguided perception of love and how to receive it, and now in my small town in Maine there are dozens of middle schoolers very sexually active. I’m not saying I’m in favor of making contraceptives available, but at the same time I am terrified these twelve and thirteen year old girls are going to get pregnant … and that all of these kids are going to so slammed with STD’s by the time they are twenty …

    So I guess I hate that it’s come to this, and I’m embarrassed it’s my state that’s making the national news over it … but at the same time, I’m very scared for these kids. All that to say, I don’t like it, but I’m not too worked up about it. And I don’t like that I’m not too worked up about it. I think when I finished college I was a lot more idealistic and would have been leading picket brigades and letter writing campaigns.

    Okay, so now I’m just rambling. Just a bunch of disjointed thoughts and reactions. Don’t mind me!

  5. I think this is great! Really. Idon’w it may seem strange for a MS student to be having sex, but we have to face reality, they are. Not all of them, not even most of them, but there is a portion of the MS population that is having sex.

    While we should be endeavoring to find ways to postpone the onset of sexual activity, in the meantime we need to be about preventing the more dire consequences of having sex – pregnancy and disease, both of which have very real impacts on the number of people living in poverty.

  6. the point made by matthew that middle schoolers have a misguided perception of love is exactly the reason why this is bad policy. can you imagine the hopelessly-in-love 12 year old girl, who realizes her boyfriend might walk, deciding she can keep him by quitting her birth control and having his baby?

    we’ve already seen the mindset of “they’re going to do it anyway” ruin our schools system. “they’re not going to do their homework anyway” so, no more homework… “they’re not going to learn the subject matter anyway” so we dumb everything down so they still “pass.” the same mindset within the drug culture drives the idiotic notion of “they’re going to do it anyway, so lets make sure they have clean needles.” we’re too willing to view people as nothing more than animals operating on base instinct, with no capacity to choose between right and wrong. there’s power in the gospel of Christ, but we’d rather substitute birth control and lowered expectations. it’s nothing but laziness and selfishness on the part of people who should know better. we’re letting our kids down in a huge way.

  7. This is definitely a scary situtation but that’s mostly because of the reality of pre-teen sex. For those that aren’t willing to grasp that middle schoolers are having sex: Remember the fifth graders caught for having sex in class? Yes, this mentality even starts younger than middle school…

    If girls are willing to sacrifice their morals to have sex, having bc available isn’t necessarily telling them that they can now go and explore. Bc doesn’t protect against STD’s so if they are going to lower their standards and have sex, then they’ll do it despite the risks of STD’s. In other words, they’d also do it despite the risks of pregnancy. The bc is just there for those that are already in that mindset. Sure, there will be a small amount of girls that will now take this opportunity to start having sex, however, this decision started in their hearts, not with the handout of bc.

    Dean,
    Do you really think that a “hopelessly-in-love 12 year old girl” (that is willing to have sex) is only going to have sex because she can now take the Pill? If she’s in that mindset, she’ll go that route with or without the Pill. Handing out bc is not saying that education will now fly out the window, it’s just a precursor to a wealth of information to children today. Our “flesh” is animalistic, Dean. Yes, they are “operating on base instinct” and have problems with choosing between right and wrong. Especially with their “world” of Spears and Lohan leading the way for their decision-making while the adults are mentally absent. While children are operating in this mentality, let’s protect them.

    People, this is not a new phenomena. The world is just getting much more information due to media and technology advancements. I bet that there have been middle school students having sex since before I was born. If bad information is getting to “our” children and teens then we need to start supporting and encouraging the good information getting to “our” kids as well. Bc is good for the children and teens ALREADY having sex.

    I’m so tired of the mentality of “Shh…let’s not talk about it and see if we can brush it under the rug.” We aren’t in the 1950’s anymore.

    For those opposed to bc handouts: Would you rather the girls that are having sex and possibly pregnant get abortions?

  8. Earlier I said this scares me and it does. Yes middles schoolers are having sex and that is sad! I agree with everyone who says why not keep them from getting pregnant. My issue is that once these girls get the consent from their parents to go to the school clinic then everything is confidential. They are 11 at the youngest. I guess maybe I would want to be involved with this issue with my daughter. But I know there are parents that are not that involved with their kids and some parents would be mad and take that anger out on their kids if they found out. But what a world we live in that someone would have to keep that kind of information from their parents. i grieve for these kids and worry about mine. Either side you are on you can’t win. Kids are going to have sex whether you give them a pill or a condom or whether they have anything at all. Maybe we really need to show these kids some positive love and how to show each other love. This is a really sad situation.

  9. I have never been so dumb founded as a few years ago when a parent came to me concerned because she felt I shouldn’t be addressing ‘adult’ topics like sex and drugs (I was new at the church and she wanted to make sure I knew what to teach). She told me that the middle school years were the last time of innocence in a kids’ life before they got into all that stuff in high school. I just kind of stared at her … I had volunteered at the local YMCA two nights before and chaperoned the middle school dance … it was pretty much the opposite of innocent … and her middle school daughter was bumpin’ and grindin’ and touching and whatever else right along with the rest of ’em.

    People just don’t get what middle schoolers are into now a days. It’s scary to me what kids are doing and terrifying the ignorance that so many parents seem to have about it.

  10. jen said:
    Our “flesh” is animalistic, Dean. Yes, they are “operating on base instinct” and have problems with choosing between right and wrong. Especially with their “world” of Spears and Lohan leading the way for their decision-making while the adults are mentally absent. While children are operating in this mentality, let’s protect them.

    jen, i couldn’t disagree with you more. in fact you contradicted yourself. first you said our flesh is animalistic and kids are operating on base instinct, then you turned right around and talked about “choosing” and “decision-making.” instinct has nothing to do with choice. animals lack the capacity to choose and make decisions… they operate on instinct. perhaps you dont make the distinction between the animal world and humankind, which is, at the very least, poor theology. to maintain that adolescents are not capable of operating on a higher plane than an animal is insulting. i do agree with you that many adults in kids’ lives are mentally (or worse) absent. that’s why i say that lowered expectations is the result of laziness and selfishness on the part of people who should know better (parents and other supposedly caring adults). Christians claiming to have the best interest of kids at heart, promoting bc because “you’re going to do it anyway,” rather than getting in the trenches and promoting a moral lifestyle, is indeed lazy. as old and tired as this cliche is, it still applies: there’s no right way to do a wrong thing.

    i work at a children’s home as a houseparent to teenage boys. i have several guys who skateboard and think it would be great fun to skateboard off the roof of the house. i told them no and explained the obvious why… “you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself, not to mention possibly damaging the roof, so you arent allowed to do it. and if i catch you doing it, you’ll have consequences.” now, after i told them they are not to skateboard off the roof and that they’d be in big trouble if they do, do you expect me to go buy a bunch of mattresses and pile them beside the house because “they’re going to do it anyway”?? or, i tell my kids they are not allowed to drink, and explain to them all the legal, moral and health-related reasons why they are not allowed to drink, and i tell them that they will be in big trouble if they do drink. it would be idiotic to then say “but because i know you’re going to do it anyway, i’ll go to the liquor store and buy it for you, and you and your friends drink it here at the house where you’ll be safe.” of course i may be making a very false assumption with that part about “you’ll be in big trouble if you do.” maybe folks dont believe that parents ought to be forbidding their middle school kids to have sex, i dont know. in any event, i find no command or suggestion in the bible to give a teaching on something and then enable people to do the exact opposite.

    we know that there is no birth control device (other than abstinence) that is 100% foolproof against pregnancy. so my question to you would be, if a kid DID use birth control and it failed, and she got pregnant anyway, would you want to see her go get an abortion? your reasoning for passing out BC in middle school is that the kids that are inclined to have sex are going to have it anyway. therefore a kid that is already inclined to have an abortion is going to have one anyway, so i guess that would mean you’d tell her that’s ok too, right?

  11. Children cannot walk into Walmart and walk out
    with a birth control prescription. Cannot.

    What a split, here. On the one hand, schools cannot
    dispense a tablet of ibuprofen, but on the other hand,
    if a parent signs a generic health clinic release so
    the child CAN be treated at the clinic and get that
    ibuprofen, that same generic release allows her child
    to go on birth control pills without her consent.
    Hormones for 11 year olds? Without a family history?
    Without parents knowing?

    Is this REALLY the place of schools?

    Perhaps this town in Maine could contact Planned
    Parenthood and encourage them to open an office there,
    if there isn’t one already. Andd if there is, then for goodness
    sake, refer kids there rather than get the schools involved
    in this.

    As for the 60s being the time of “shut up and
    sweep it under the rug,” are you kidding me? Um,
    I grew up then and you might remember your history
    that it was the beginning of the sexual revolution
    and ‘free love,’ largely led by the new pill.

    Yes, those of you who know the ‘real world’ of middle
    schoolers ARE onto something. I also know that real world,
    and I do think we’re capitulating if, as a society, and
    that’s what is happening in microcosm of a local school
    board, now says, “well, sure let’s dispense birth control
    at school.”

    Folks, it ain’t working in that Maine town. They’ve been
    handing out condoms to middle school kids for the last
    SEVEN YEARS. So, now they’re gonna go more full scale
    and offer the pill, too.

    And as the parent of a middle schooler and as an educator,
    I strongly say no. No matter how we couch it, it does give a message that we ARE capitulating and are giving our tacit approval.

    Guess I’m really surprised that folks who are posting here
    are taking this viewpoint. Why not work with those same
    kids who are at risk? And by that, I don’t mean hand out
    birth control, but get to know them, befriend them, mentor
    them.

    Frustrated, I am.

  12. Dean,

    Since it seemed that your entire comment was directed toward me, I’ll address all of your paragraphs:

    Paragraph 1:

    I never contradicated myself. Humans (as well as animals) do act on base instinct. Teenagers AND adults alike. Do some adults and teenagers maintain discipline and hold back? Yes. Do some adults and teenagers go against their fleshly desires and refrain from immorality? Yes.

    Regarding what you wrote about animals lacking the capacity to choose and make decisions…well then, I guess all the animals that I’ve had throughout my life were some rare breed that could be taught to listen and stop digging up our yard and chewing up our furniture. They chose to follow the instructions they were taught.

    I never stated that adolescents aren’t capable of operating on a higher plane than animals (be careful of putting words in other’s mouths), however, some adolescents make good decisions and some make poor decisions, just the same as adults.

    I’m not saying animals are identical to the human race but you’d be ignorant to say there weren’t similarities. I was merely pointing out the similarity.

    Paragraph 2:

    Putting down mattresses might be a good idea. I keep knives and medications and chemicals out of reach from my children. Just in case. Because not all children listen the first hundred times you forbid them to take part in something. I also hide razors and knives if I know a cutting teen is coming over, I hide any magazines that show too much skin if I know a man dealing with sexual immorality might see them and I put away the alcohol if I feel an alcoholic might be tempted. There’s no fault in fault-proofing.

    Your comparison of handing out alcohol to minors being the same as handing out bc is not accurate. Handing out alcohol to minors is more along the lines of telling some minors that they could have sex and then providing the room; I absolutely don’t agree with either. You mentioned “maybe folks dont believe that parents ought to be forbidding their middle school kids to have sex”, have you never met a child rebel against what was forbidden??

    Again, I wasn’t saying that bc should be handed out and we should nix the guidance and instruction. I believe both should go hand in hand. There should not be bc given without counseling/mentoring the child first…

    Paragraph 3:

    Of course I don’t think babies should be murdered. You are claiming that handing out bc is similar to taking part or agreeing to an abortion. Now you’re being ridiculous.

    Oregonian,

    I do know and love history. Read what I wrote again, I stated 1950’s not the 60’s.

    Just to reiterate in case anyone else would like to direct their comments toward me: I do agree to hand out bc but to ALSO get to know, befriend, and mentor them. But anyone who’s ever been a rebellious teen and anyone who has ever gotten to know, befriend and or/mentor a rebellious teen knows that, sometimes, your greatest efforts just aren’t good enough. Sometimes some precautions need to be established.

  13. jen…
    our views of nature, child rearing and probably theology are not even in the same book, much less on the same page. there is nothing either of us will be able to persuade the other on, i’m afraid.

    my bottom line is, and always will be: i cannot, in good conscience, teach and claim to believe a biblical principle (say, the immorality of sex outside of marriage) on the one hand, and then on the other hand say “but here, let me show you how you can go against God without suffering any consequences for your actions.” how can Christian mentoring of middle schoolers include passing out BC to them? that’s a hypothetical question, btw. no need to answer since i maintain that one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. thanks for the opportunity to dialogue, though.

  14. Jen,

    Well, it was my aging middle-aged eyes that read the “5” as a “6”. Yikes! Sorry ’bout that.

    Yes, I agree that sometimes precautions need to be established. I HIGHLY disagree, however, that it is appropriate for a public school to hand out birth control pills to 6th, 7th and 8th graders. They’ve been handing out condoms for 7 years at those middle schools and, still, there were 17 pregnancies (not including abortions) in four years.

    It is NOT the school’s business to be loco parentis in this type of situation. Send kids to the local planned parenthood, if you want to do that. But I strongly stand against the handing out of birth control pills or patches at middle school.

    But then again, at my child’s educationally progressive school, they’re sending mixed messages to the 6th, 7th and 8th graders. On a recent field trip in a public place in a major U.S. city, the teacher instructed the girls to change their clothes behind a towel. Whaaaattt?? Oh, and they also told them that at this public school, if they go to the monthly school dance and a boy asks them to dance, they MUST say YES to the first dance request because he might have a crush and you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Ditto boys have to say yes as well. Hmm . . . so when said boy asks you out, you have to say YES the first time because you don’t want to ‘hurt his feelings’ and YES when he asks to have sex ’cause you don’t want to ‘hurt his feelings.’
    And these are the same people I want to encourage my child to go to a school health clinic to get birth control? Do I trust them with my child in that way? Are you kidding me?? And that’s a kiddo with a strong family that so far has kept communication lines wide open.

    Really, is this what we want our public schools to be involved with? Dispensing birth control pills and patches?

    Oh, and I DO work with kids from very difficult family situations in a school setting.

    I surprises me that so many people posting on this list whom I presume have similar faith that I do are endorsing these steps.
    Man, have we totally thrown in the towel?

  15. Hey, Lets put out some fires with that can of Gasoline over there- Great!

    4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

  16. Thanks, Ken,I was hoping that someone would comment on God’s word. He needs to be the One we go to in everything. We need to project the light that is in us and be in the world, not of it. Build your relationships with these kids, give them the word of God and let Him do the rest.

  17. When do you all (those OPPOSED to saying bc is ok for kids that are struggling with making the right choice and staying abstinent) feel it’s ok to talk to minors about protection from STD’s and pregnancy? What age is the right age? Is abstinence the only thing that is ever allowed to be mentioned?

    2 Timothy 4:3 was shared.

    Here is 2 Timothy 4:1-2
    “I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”

    and 4:5
    “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”

    Unfortunately, for anyone taking a stand on either side of this issue, there is no bible verse referring to birth control. Bc wasn’t around then. Either side can claim that a verse is supporting their own opinion on this matter.

    Bc isn’t the cause of sex. Until the cause is addressed in the minor, protection should be taught. Of course, abstinence is the only 100% protection but if that isn’t happening should we abandon every other safety protector?

  18. These sexually active middle schoolers WILL have an STD before they are 20! New strands of STDs are being discovered and many of the known STDs can not be treated with meds that have been used for years. The new shot to pervent cervical cancer DOES NOT work against ALL strands. The birth control birth that causes a female to have a period once every three months is killing many. Is this what we want to give the youth of today? Will they be around for tomorrow?

  19. jen… since middle schoolers are not of the age of consent, basically what you are doing when you promote BC to that age group is giving your approval to statutory rape. according to a Life Dynamics report on child predators, 60-80% of underage girls that become pregnant, do so at the hands of older men. while condoms, BC pills & patches may (or may not) protect against pregnancy, and BC pills & patches DEFINITELY do not protect against STDs, NONE of it protects adolescent girls from the emotional and mental trauma suffered at the hands of the men who victimize them. how do you reconcile Scriptural mandates of purity and protecting children, with the promotion of BC for underage kids, especially in light of these facts?

  20. I am absolutely in shock that a school is being allowed to make a MEDICAL decision for other people’s children. I cannot understand why anyone would think that this would prevent pregnancy and STDs. This will only promote them. By handing out birth control pills to young girls, you are essentially telling them that they are protected. Even if a nurse were to tell them that the pill doesn’t protect from STD’s, 11, 12, and thirteen year old kids are not usually mature enough to listen. This will only cause young girls to start using the pill in place of condoms, and as a result, STD’s will be invading our middle schoolers. This is NOT protection. And it is extremely frightening to me that a school now has the power to give out something that should only be prescribed by a doctor who has a medical history. I’m also pretty sure that a Dr. would get in a lot of trouble for giving a prescription drug to a child without a parents consent, so why is it ok for the school nurse to do it? I don’t want to homeschool my kids, but if this is what it comes to when they reach middle school in our town, they WILL be learning at home.

  21. Dean,

    First of all, I do not promote nor do I approve with statutory rape. Once again, I do NOT promote sex. I have never known any girls to be having sex with “older men”. Any girls that I have mentored have ALL been at (or above) consenting age. Some of these girls started having sex as young as 10 years old. Any girls that were on birth control had parents that allowed the bc to be administered.

    In regard to the study you listed, since the study is a report on child predators, was that report stating that out of the 100% of girls having sex with older men that 60-80% of them got pregnant?

    Since passing out bc so young is a new situation, this whole experience has taught me to over-analyze my beliefs. You have definitely made some great points (biblically and morally) and I can see exactly why you believe what you believe and I completely agree with you. However, and strange as it may be, I can not neglect my stand on the importance of teaching these young kids (that are having difficulty making good choices) to be safe. I keep coming back to why I keep sharp objects, cleaners and medications out of reach from my children. Although I have made it clear that they are not to touch them or go near them, there’s still that knowledge that they may test those boundaries I’ve set up. They are still young enough to wonder. They are merely curious and their curiosity will often cause them to make choices that I did not agree with or choices that I tried to teach them not to make.

    Growing up, I was only taught to refrain from anything immoral and unbiblical. I was taught not to do drugs and not to have sex but never given the education of what would happen if I did these things or how to protect my body if I choose to compromise my soul. If I ever chose to engage in anything sinful or immoral, I was never taught the safety aspect of what I was involved in. Although I agree with you, as odd as it seems, I also disagree with you. I’ve spent days trying to get my mind around how I can completely see your point of view but still agree that children need to be taught to be protected if they make stupid choices. Maybe it’s the fact that they are too young to (legally) make a consenting choice of sex and that’s why they should be protected. Along the lines of your point, children in Maine are of consenting age at 16 years old. So, if they are to have sex before that, it is illegal because these kids (boy and girl) were not considered at an age where they could make a logical choice. Hence my point; they are too young to make the choice on whether sex should happen, meaning some are too young to understand the exact implications of what that illegal (and immoral) action would bring. This actually goes against what you were stating. It seemed as if you were stating that all middle-schoolers know right from wrong and all have the ability to make choices. Then why have a legal sexual consent age? I don’t agree with you on that point. I know kids below AND above that legal consent age (and some adults) that have difficulty in understanding consequences of their actions and they have difficulty in making good choices. It’s for these kids that I feel safety should be taught.

    I do not agree that the parents of these middle-schoolers will not be informed of their child’s decision in taking hormones, even though there are some parents that I believe should have their parental rights taken from them…but that’s another topic. I do not agree in teaching kids that sex is ok under certain parameters. Agreeing to bc is not agreeing to sex. I feel that agreeing for a child to take bc in SOME cases is for protection of that child’s future and to protect the baby that should not be born to a mom so young.

    Due to the fact that one of my comments didn’t post here and the fact that you are here, directing your comment toward me, I’m going to quote some of what I commented on your blog entry, onto here:

    “All of my comments stem from the article about the middle school that Marko (and you) linked to. I felt it was proper for this school to make this decision based on a couple of important facts. First of all, this school has been handing out condoms for years with no decrease in pregnancy. These middle school girls are getting pregnant. There is no indication of whether or not the babies are being aborted. Also, the girls are not allowed to use the health clinic unless the parent gives permission. Basically, the girls can’t get bc without the parent’s permission. Based on all of that, and to protect the babies born or aborted as a result, I feel that a precautionary intervention is needed.”

    and

    “You also made it seem like those that are pro to bc handouts are basically copping out as youth ministers. Another misguided assumption on your part. You have no idea the tears that teen girls and I have shared. You have no idea the many nights I have stayed awake to talk into the early morning hours with these girls. You have no idea the many times I have put my family on the sidelines to drive for hours to visit a teen in rehab, numerous times. Or the times when my heart nearly stopped as I drove with an overdosing teen to the ER. You have no idea the heartache and countless hours pouring out my heart and love and biblical references to these girls. With that in mind, also know that these girl’s (that you consider “loose”) are struggling every day to just keep from killing themselves. They’ve endured so much heartache and pain from their past and current home lives that (and they agree) they have nearly no capacity to make decisions. They are constantly pulling themselves out of the mire and I’m on the other end just screaming/coaching them onto the other side. In these cases, these girls struggle to find love through sex. They feel they are accepted and beautiful and loved if they just give in to the boys pressuring them. The sexual act alone leaves them even more lonely and self-hating than before. They are drowning and they know it. They also know that I disagree with their lifestyles. They do drugs and have sex and know I don’t approve but also know that if they come and tell me how horrible of a decision they made, I won’t condemn them any more than they are condemning themselves and I will embrace them and let them cry and lovingly guide them onto a more God-focused path. Time and time again, I share with them the struggles of parenting. I share with them the consequences that I lived as a teen using drugs and having sex. I share with them the horrible consequences and I push them toward God. Does that make them stop sinning for good? No. It does help them recognize the pattern that is causing them to sin. It does help them realize (and sometimes catch themselves) before the sin is committed but they still stumble and make mistakes. It is in those times, that I feel bc is a necessity. I do not agree with sex before marriage or sex in any other way way other than how God created it to be and these girls know that. I tell them it is wrong and will result in horrible consequences but if they are going to do it they need to be protected. Yes, “but” is a reality. I love these teen girls as if they were my own daughters but while they are still trying to figure out if they want to be alive and while they are figuring out what is ok and what is not ok, they need to be protected.

    Should bc be given out to every girl going through puberty? Of course not. But there are some girls having difficulty in choosing between right and wrong. There are some girls that don’t realize that sex won’t bring them love. Giving them bc ISN’T enabling them to go out and have sex. Bc isn’t the cause of sex. While trying to change the mentality of the cause, and while we teach these girls how to respect themselves and respect the baby that they shouldn’t have yet, precaution should be taken. Once they learn these things, they’ll (hopefully) be convicted and take the stand against pre-marital sex and lead the way for their generation in living a sinless life. These girls just need to learn what agape love is and until they learn how to love themselves and respect life in general, they will continue in the bad decisions they are making.”

  22. I’ve read every comment completely. It was quite a rollercoaster of emotions, going back and forth between everyone seeming to hate the sin, but everyone also having different views on how to love and protect the sinner.

    What sticks in my mind, this entire time, is something Dean said in his first post, “There’s power in the Gospel of Christ.” I’m not trying to copout on the many swirling details of this conversation here, but brothers and sisters, what are we called to do in this world? Fix it ourselves? No. We’re called to spread God’s glory through the power of the Gospel working in people’s hearts and lives. And we do this, case by case, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, who by the way was very grieved by the Pharisees’ questions about why Moses allowed divorce (Mark 10). Jesus said, “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law.”

    Okay, so God allowed divorce because our hearts were hard. Well, which side of that argument would you want to be on if you were sitting by Jesus at the time? I’d be begging, “Lord, make my heart not hard, so I want what You want.”

    It’s a fair question, “Would Jesus want this at the Maine school?” I don’t have that answer (I lean toward NO), but I picture him in the trenches with the kids, crying it out like Jen said. But I also KNOW that power would be pouring from Him to make a DIFFERENCE there, not enable sin. It is a fine line.

    I choose to believe power from Christ is working in us to promote Godliness in the world. I do not believe this school in Maine has any such noble aspirations, especially from the ‘let’s keep parents out of the loop’ tactic they’re using. So I hesitate tremendously to side with that kind of agenda. As Oregonian noticed, they are not getting results there.

    PS- I don’t believe God sent Christ to protect us from consequences. He did it so we would have restored RELATIONSHIP with Him. In my life, God does not seem to mind using consequences to promote my relationship with Him and, stupid sheep that I am, it’s working.

  23. Quick amendment to my own ramblings:
    In Mark 10:5, Jesus gives Moses full credit for writing that divorce law. I may have overstepped by saying “God allowed it.” God is definitely sovereign, but Jesus does not stamp His own name to the law, but proceeds to refute it. Was Moses ‘providing birth control’ so to speak, with or without God’s consent? Hard to say.

  24. I’m a jerk to post three times in a row, but Jen, one thing keeps sticking out to me in what you said: that you keep children protected from sharp objects, etc., in your home, as any good parent would. And I got to thinking, “Don’t we put plastic covers over electrical outlets to save babies from electricution?” And that bothered me, because it seemed like a very similar scenario, until I realized:

    All those household protections seem to be related in one way: total prevention of a BAD experience from happening. But speaking generally, wouldn’t we all agree that God’s creation of the sex experience is a GOOD thing? (wink-wink) Just like Dean described the skateboarders wanting to jump off the roof, that was an excellent analogy, because we’re dealing with an experience kids are choosing because they get SOMETHING good out of it (love, acceptance, orgasm, whatever). To provide ‘protection’ is to enable them to have the good experience, and DISASSOCIATE from the reality of the weighty consequences of that experience (“and the two will become one flesh”).

    All I’m trying to do is point out what I see to be a fallacy in the comparison: protecting children from household dangers could be compared to putting sexually active kids in a straight-jacket to PREVENT the action, but it can’t be compared to enabling them to experience sex free of the dangers and consequences.

  25. jen… the life dynamics study states the following: “According to the most reliable studies, among girls 15 and younger who become pregnant, between 60 and 80 percent of them are impregnated by adult men.”

    i did not say that you were promoting sex. what i did say was that when you encourage an underage girl to “protect herself” you are basically giving your approval to statutory rape. even if the male is not an adult, if the girl is under the age of consent, it is still statutory rape. and as a youth minister, you are a mandated reporter. so if you know that a girl under the legal age of consent is having sex, you are required to report it. i would think that telling her to protect herself rather than reporting non-consensual sex puts you in a rather precarious legal situation.

    have you wondered, as i have, why the 7 years of condom distribution in portland has failed to reduce the pregnancy rate? is it due to a large number of condoms with factory defects? or is it due to the condoms being improperly used or not being used at all (even after being instructed in their proper use by the school nurse)? i tend toward the latter, which leads me to believe that in the case of girls that young, they will most probably not use BC properly either.

    as i reviewed the comments here, i picked up on something you had said in our discussion at my blog (and quoted again above)… “I tell them it is wrong and will result in horrible consequences but if they are going to do it they need to be protected. Yes, ‘but’ is a reality.”

    jen, in the post-modern world “but” is indeed a reality… “you say sex outside of marriage is wrong, BUT i say it’s OK if it works for me.” or, “sex outside of marriage is wrong, BUT there’s a way around it that will lessen or eliminate the consequences.” if we are to teach biblical truth… absolute truth… then we cannot deal in “buts” when counseling or mentoring.

    when Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery and told the crowd that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone, and they left, Jesus told the woman that He did not condemn her, but what did He say immediately after that? He didn’t say “now here’s how yo go about this adultery thing so you don’t get caught…” no, he said “go and sin no more.” that can be our only response to a kid that we are counseling with… let them know we love them, God loves them and He forgives them, now GO AND SIN NO MORE!

  26. Jonathan and Dean,

    You both have brought up excellent facts that the bible has never taught that we should save people from their consequences, resulting from sin. Seeing that my agreeing to teens being given bc is the same as trying to save them from a sinful consequence is a great point of view to have. Although I still can’t see that handing out bc is enabling sex, I can see that handing out bc (to people having pre-marital sex) is trying to save them from a consequence that should happen as a result of their choice. The stories that I know from the bible show a God that will be by our side as we deal with the consequence to our sin but He (as far as I know) has never stopped a consequence of sin from happening. I agree that consequences are what keep me from making bad choices and consequences are what have taught me that I’ve made sinful choice.

    Dean,

    Not only is that statistic amazingly high, it makes me completely nauseated. Thank you for clarifying that.

    You also brought to light the significance of age of sexual consent. I had not been taking this into account and that makes a HUGE difference in my opinion. The girls I’ve had knowledge of having sex were all above the age of sexual consent. The girls on bc had parents who were knowledgeable of their lifestyle and choices and the parents were the ones making the decision for their teen to be on bc. I do think (now that I’ve been reminded of age of consent) that passing out this birth control to kids below the legal consenting age should be enough to prosecute the adults responsible as they are knowledgeable of an illegal act occurring and yet, they are keeping that illegal info quiet.

    Jonathan,

    I appreciate you pointing out that my protecting my own children is about protecting them from a bad experience, whereas, sex is good (in the parameters that God designed) and protecting someone from the bad consequence of having pre-marital sex is essentially providing a good experience in their sin. However, I do know that even on birth control, God has allowed very bad consequences to still take place with pre-marital sex. So, being pro-bc (to anyone above legal consenting age, of course) isn’t necessarily taking away their consequence. They can still get pregnant (this is another reason why I am now seeing no point in advocating bc for pre-marital sex), they can still get STD’s and still have a HUGELY negative consequence by the crush of their mental and spiritual state of being. So, I agree with you but also wanted to point out that agreeing to bc isn’t agreeing to avoiding the consequence of pre-marital sex altogether.

  27. Jen,
    I’m encouraged by your heart for the girls you’re working with. Thanks for posting and talking this out. I pastor middle schoolers in suburbia, where kids are subtly taught to hide their problems and ‘play church.’ Therefore, it’s a little easier for me to be black-and-white with this because I don’t see as much pain as you do on a daily basis. I have to go digging for it. Yes, kids are still hurting and making dangerous decisions, but going out of their way to keep up the good exterior. But then when things come crashing down around here, they REALLY come down… people don’t like to admit they’re fallen.
    Anyway, thanks.

  28. DEAN,

    Your comments are right on Target! Just because more people are doing it doesn’t mean we change and make a wrong into a right.

    Because teens are having sex at younger ages, not to mention having sex period makes me not only sad but ask-Whay Lord, can I and the teens who are convicted of the truth do to help relay the message that says- Look there is more than just the issue of waiting because the bible says or wait because you really don’t know what love is- NO- God says no because he knows all- He knows how awsome it is when your partner who has never been with another woman/man has no other refrence to compare you too. What are expereincing as a virgin with your spouse will be yours- only yours and it will be incredable and there will be no wrong way. Your partner will believe with every part of his/her body that you are the most beautiful person in and out. The book “Every Young Womans Battle and Every Young Mans Battle” is an incredable tool for christians and non Chrsitians. It is so realistic and talks alot about todays teens, from hooking up, oral sex, porn, masterbation,emotional issues, and STDs.

    God may have made us with hormones but he also gave us the ability to have self control, values and morals.

    I refuse to fold to wrong because some think nothing else can be done- my faith is deeper than this and I hope yours is too.

    There unfortantly will always be the world living in darkness but our responsiblity is to learn truth, believe it, live it and teach it. We were never told we would cure the world of its wrongs, yet we are still commaned to spread truth through all means verbal and non verbal.

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