Tag Archives: education

Are colleges liberal indoctrination mills?

28 Feb

Last week republican presidential candidate Rich Santorum said Obama was a snob for wanting all Americans to have the opportunity to go to college and get an education. He said this to the cheers and applause of a crowd of happy idiots.

The fact that higher education is good is almost axiomatic. (Don’t worry, we’ll wait while our conservative readers take a moment to google that big word.)

Got it? Good. Moving on.

Why do republicans like Santorum despise higher education? Simple. They view colleges as indoctrination mills where faithful, pure, and impressionable young people go to be brainwashed by a bunch of godless Marxists.

I would say the problem is that they are unable to accept that reality has a liberal bias, but I think the issue is deeper than that.

I don’t think they understand the concept of reality in the first place.

Without understanding the concept of reality, any argument made to stress the importance of reality might as well be in an alien language. They simply aren’t capable of comprehending. This isn’t because they’re bad people, or that they’re inherently stupid, just that they’ve never been exposed to the concept and have consequentially built up their entire world view on a foundation of ignorance.

I think this lack of an understanding of reality is the driving factor behind not only their disdain for education, but their mistrust of science and fervent religiosity. (But I’ll get to that in a moment)

How to do you about explaining reality?

Well, right now you’re in reality, whether you know it or not. It is the same as a fish that might not realize it is in water, but nonetheless is swimming in it. This place you’re in, it has laws. We don’t know every law there is, but we’ve been steadily finding out. So far we know this about the laws: You can’t break them.

This is not like a law against speeding where you can break it, and then get a ticket. You are not physically able to break these laws.

This place you’re in, it does not care who you are, how much money you have, or how strongly you feel about something. It will act in accordance to its laws and if you refuse to play along, you do so at your own peril.

So how do we know how to act in this place that has its own laws and doesn’t care about us? We watch. We test something and see how it works. If it does work, it fits with reality, if it doesn’t, then we must abandon the idea because it doesn’t fit. This may be extremely uncomfortable because people often have a lot invested in an idea, only to find out that it doesn’t fit. (And then a lot of them try to ignore that it doesn’t fit, only to eventually be destroyed for not playing along)

The richest, most powerful man in the world can stand on a beach and command the tide not to come in, but reality doesn’t care. If he refuses to move, he will drown. (That’s called natural selection, but that’s a different topic)

Unfortunately, republicans grow up being told that the world they live in is a certain way, even though that’s not how the world really is. Again, it’s not because they’re evil, or stupid, they are simply misguided. The older people telling them how the world is were also misguided by their parents, and their parents before them. Nevertheless, the children are taught to respect authority and that not questioning (faith) is a virtue.

The big disconnect comes with the idea of testing your views against how reality works to see if they stand up. This notion of testing is the heart of the scientific method. This disconnect also explains why conservatives are hostile to science. They just don’t operate that way.

College is a testing ground. People go to college in order to test ideas and see how they work. It is safer to test ideas in college where people outside won’t be impacted if something doesn’t work. Would you want a bridge builder testing a new design on an actual bridge that your family had to drive across? No. You’d want them to test it elsewhere to make sure it works, THEN come build the bridge.

College is a free market of ideas. This is possibly the only place we can make an analogy that conservatives might understand. What is the free market? Companies that are able to adapt survive, companies that don’t, fail.  (Also a form of natural selection!)

In college, ideas that work succeed, ideas that don’t, fail. So with this in mind, lets look at colleges.

Yes, colleges tend to be more liberal. A conservative would look at that and think “well obviously that’s because all the teachers are Marxists.” The truth is, it is not that the professors are Marxists, it is that conservative ideas fail the test against reality. If they passed, if ideas like “less access to birth control=fewer pregnancies” held true with reality, then you’d see colleges backing that.

Colleges are instead a reflection of reality. If colleges look liberal, it’s because reality is liberal.

So what’s a conservative to do? Change and adaptation are antithetical to conservatism, so instead the buckle down and shove their fingers in their ears even harder. They denounce education, denounce learning, and try everything they can to undermine the threat to their understanding of the world. This usually is in the form of disuading people away from education, like Santorum just did, cutting funding to education, or even building up their own bubble.

It is possible for a child to go from home school, to a private evangelical college, to the job place without ever having to come in contact with a new idea. Naturally, the results are disastrous, but since they’ve been brought up to believe that the conservative  world view is unquestionably correct, the fault for failure must always rest with some foreign enemy or saboteur.

The real tragedy is that, with these people in control of the country, when they refuse to move for the tide, we all drown.

Radical religion’s war on education

18 Nov

Today I was listening to the Reasonable Doubts podcast and they had a really interesting segment on the religious right’s attack on education. Here is my summary of what they had to say:

It is a well known fact that on average the more educated a person is the less likely they are to be conservative or religious. (Yes there are highly educated conservative and religious people, but the data shows that these people are anomalies)

Education and exposure to different cultures/people/worldviews has a corrosive effect on religious faith and conservatism. The radical religious right’s response to this fact is to isolate their children from the world with home schooling, while simultaneously working to undermine public education. My non-American readers might be shocked to find out that here in America parents can homeschool their children with little to no qualifications or curriculum standards; in essence they can teach, or not teach, anything they want regardless of their own education level.

Often in the United States you will hear defenders of homeschooling put forth statistics that suggest homeschooled children excel in all areas, especially scholastic aptitude tests. The fact is, all of these statics are bogus and poorly collected. There is an excellent article in the Peabody Journal of Education by Dr. Eric Isenberg titled “What have we learned about homeschooling?” In the article Isenberg examines the quantitative data on homeschooling, how extensive it is, and how it is collected and then goes point by point showing that essentially it is a black hole.

We do not have good data on homeschooling or its effectiveness. Why? Because the religious right fought hard to make sure the government wasn’t allowed to collect such data. They deliberately want to keep it as unclear as possible. If data was accurately collected it would show the appalling low level of education these homeschoolers are receiving.

The conservative religious right has set up a system where homeschooled children can go from their sheltered home “education” straight to private religious fundamentalist “universities” without ever encountering an idea or person who might challenge their faith. These students then graduate from these “schools” and are often hired as government aids to work for conservative officials. This was recently very prominent when Bush was in power. A lot of his aids were from these private religious institutions. He legal defense team was made up of “Liberty” “University” graduates, a “school” 10 minutes from where I went to college. This system and it’s goals of raising up fundamentalist children sheltered from opposing view points has a name and a website, “Generation Joshua.” (There is an interesting NY Times Best Seller book by Michelle Goldberg on this subject titled “Kingdom Coming.”)

Another way these religious fundamentalist schools affect the public is through tax vouchers for private schools. Through tax vouchers, the public has to subsidize families who choose to send their children to private schools instead of public ones. The political spin is that this is about “school choice,” but if you see past the bullshit it’s really about back-door public funding for religious schools. Almost all private schools in the United States are religious. The guys on Reasonable Doubts even pointed out that the even some of the few officially “secular” charter schools are actually very religious in their curriculum while remaining outwardly worldly.

Public education is a blight for the radical religious right. Pat Robertson, infamous televangelist and founder of Regent “University”, had this to say about tax vouchers: “They say vouchers would spell the end of public schools in America. To which we say, so what?” Jerry Falwell (the same as Robertson and also founded his own “school,” “Liberty” “University”) had this to say on the matter: “I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, there won’t be any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Luckily the fat bastard died before that could happen, but his minions are hard at work trying to advance his “vision.”

These institutions are bastions of conservatism and religion. Here students are taught what to think as opposed to how to think, and their curricula are carefully crafted to be as bias and twisted as possible. “Liberty” “University” even went so far as to ban liberals. The fact is that the radical religious right’s worldview cannot survive in the free market of ideas. When exposed to the sunlight of different cultures, people, points of view, and education in general, it shrivels up and dies. To protect their fragile children from reality, the religious right sets up system whereby students are exposed only to “approved” ideas. I find it hilariously ironic that conservatives like to claim liberals are like Maoists and Stalinists while they’re the ones with thought police institutions with portraits of Jesus on the walls.

I wish I changed my major

13 Nov

Starting college I was a history nut. I loved doing historical reenactments, I loved reading history, I loved historical movies, everything. I remember consciously telling myself that I was going to major in something I love, regardless if it would make me money. I didn’t want to spend the next four years working at something I didn’t care about to get a job in a field I didn’t care about, so I majored in history. While at college I worked really hard. I skipped parties to study and was constantly working on my research papers. I ended up getting a 3.7 (out of 4) for my major related coursework, and a 3.2 for everything else (languages made me struggle).

While in college I hit upon the idea of being an archaeologist. My professors told me I needed to know at least Latin, French, English, and German fluently to be a medieval archaeologist, so I took language classes, much to the detriment of my grade point average. A favorite history professor got me an internship with a local archaeological dig and I spent two semesters getting up super early to go scan a backlog of slides or dig in the red clay earth. It was primarily 1800’s archaeology, which was not at all what I was interested in, but I liked the people and I needed contacts if I was to enter into archaeology as a field after undergrad.

I spent two of my summers at field schools, one at the local archaeological place outside my college, and the second in Newcastle, UK. I spent the summers getting up early and working long days. All of this because I wanted the experience and the contacts. Back at college I worked extensively on my senior thesis, taking it to history conferences around the region and presenting it. I even won a grant to do research at another university’s archives and was selected as a special scholar at a prestigious military school. As one of a handful of selected scholars at that school, I had to double the length of my thesis. All the other students at my college had much shorter thesis requirements, so there wasn’t as much stress on them. Still, I wanted the contacts and experience so I did it.

Then senior year everything changed.

My now ex helped me see that I wasn’t very happy every morning I came back from the dig, covered in dirt, sweaty and aching. “Maybe archaeology isn’t for you” she suggested. It scared me, but I thought she was right. I’m not sure if I was burned out because I disliked 1800’s archaeology so much and I would have been fine if I was working at a castle, but I decided not to be an archaeologist. Suddenly all those mornings getting up extra early, the hours spent in the field stooped over a patch of ground, the hours scanning slides, the money spent sending me overseas for a summer, all of it was for nothing. Yes they were valuable in the experiences they gave me, and the wonderful people I got to meet, but let’s be realistic: It was all for the goal of becoming an archaeologist. Suddenly I didn’t have that goal anymore.

Meanwhile on the history front, I was getting tired really fast. The extra work for that military school’s scholar program was really burning me out on history. My professors kept pushing me to go to gradschool, but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a dark archive looking over dusty old books. I also did not want to teach! Everybody keeps telling me “Oh you could teach!” and I want to hit them. I hate children and I hate the idea of standing up in front of a group of them trying to get them to care about Charlemagne. I became a history major because I loved history, not because I wanted to teach it. Well now I’ve lost the spark and I’m mildly indifferent to it.

At the same time all this was happening, I quit my living history group. I had been doing this hobby since I was twelve and I finally got fed up. My passions were collapsing across the board. Then my girlfriend of three years left me for an older man, my grandmother got pancreatic cancer, I graduated and left my home for four years, along with all my friends, to live with my parents in the conservative/religious deep south where I knew no one. Needless to say, I often contemplated suicide.

I can’t tell you how furious and frustrated I am. I worked hard. I played by the rules. And now it’s all for nothing. I’m stuck in the worst state in the country, in the middle of the worst economic collapse since the great depression, and my degree is worthless. All my hard work is worthless. You see, you can’t do shit with just a BA in history. Maybe if the economy was better and I was in a better state, it might be worth something, but unless you go to gradschool to get a higher degree, or teach, you can’t do shit. I have no applicable skills. I can write research papers and use MS word. Lovely. I don’t have any market specific skills like a computer science major, or a chemistry major might have.

“Oh, but college is not supposed to get you a job afterwards! You go there to learn!” I used to believe this wholeheartedly, but now I call bullshit. You see, college is so ridiculously expensive today, it’s prohibitive. Unless you’re rich, the only way you can get a college education is by taking on so many loans you become an indentured servant for the rest of your life. College has become so expensive it’s now an investment. Nobody but the independently rich go to college with the idea of “just learning.” You spend the money to get an education that will get you a higher paying job. Don’t get me wrong, I love the humanities and I think they are our collective soul. I am in no way saying funding for them should be cut. That would be disastrous. I just wish I majored in something else.

Towards the end of senior year, I really got interested in astronomy and chemistry, thanks to the help of one of the best professors I had. I really wish I majored in something like that. My friend, who was a chemistry major, has been able to find work easily, same with my biology major friend. I’m really fascinated by those subject, yet I hate math. (I know math is pretty important in science) I’m frustrated because at the start of college, I had no way of knowing my interests would dramatically shift right before I graduated. What would have happened had I majored in chemistry? At the time I would never had thought about it. At the start of college I loved history. I was so excited to be out of highschool and able to load up my schedule with all the history classes I could handle.

I really regret it now.

I want so desperately to move out of this state, to a more liberal, less religious part of the country, and then eventually to Canada. I’ve lived in the conservative religious south my entire life and it’s smothering me. I’m tired of constantly being the hated minority. I want to live somewhere that isn’t so repressive. Not to mention I hate the heat. Yet with no skills I find myself applying to make sandwiches, shelve books, or work as an office assistant. None of these are jobs I really want to do, and with a worthless degree I’m essentially starting four years later than everyone else. I feel I’m going to be stuck in South Carolina for years to come, trying to get a job that will give me the skills needed to move. I probably won’t escape and finally be able to start my life until I’m 30. It just makes me want to die…

Liberal states vs conservative states, which are better?

10 Aug

EDIT: I just want to point out to everyone that while I will continue to approve comments for this post, I no longer reply to it. Feel free to continue to comment, but I won’t be taking part. ALSO, this post is from 2010. Some people seem to be unable to read dates and thus believe that somehow invalidates the information below. It doesn’t.

Further Edit. The New Republic did a great piece comparing and contrasting red states and blue states with updated information for 2012. You can find that article here.

Here is the 2008 election map of red states and blue states:

What I would like to do is go down a list of things like poverty, crime, education, religiosity, suicide rates, obesity, etc.. to see what the top ten states are in each category, then see if those states are conservative or liberal. This should paint a picture of the difference between conservative states and liberal states. A lot of these statisics will be coming from State Master, a neat little site that has all these statistics in one place. So let’s begin, shall we?

Richest states (per capita)

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Delaware
  3. Connecticut
  4. Alaska
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Wyoming
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York
  9. Minnesota
  10. Virginia

Highest percent bellow poverty line (per capita)

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. New Mexico
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Arkansas
  6. West Virginia
  7. Kentucky
  8. Texas
  9. Alabama
  10. South Carolina

Looks like on average liberal states are better at economics and keeping poverty down that conservatives states.

Most Educated

  1. Vermont
  2. Connecticut
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Jersy
  5. Maine
  6. Minnesota
  7. Virginia
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Montana
  10. New York

Least Educated

  1. Arizona
  2. Mississippi
  3. New Mexico
  4. Nevada
  5. California
  6. Lousiana
  7. Alaska
  8. Alabama
  9. Hawaii
  10. Tennessee

Liberals also seem to be on average more educated that conservatives.

Most Unemployment

  1. Mississippi
  2. Alaska
  3. Michigan
  4. South Carolina
  5. Kentucky
  6. Oregon
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Illinois
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Tennessee

Fewest Unemployed

  1. Hawaii
  2. Wyomming
  3. Virginia
  4. Florida
  5. North Dakota
  6. Idaho
  7. Nebraska
  8. Alabama
  9. Vermont
  10. South Dakota

Looks like unemployment is a problem for everybody, regardless.


  1. Vermont
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Massachussettes
  4. Minnesota
  5. Maine
  6. Iowa
  7. Utah
  8. Hawaii
  9. Nebraska
  10. Connecticut

Least Healthy

  1. Louisiana
  2. Mississippi
  3. New Mexico
  4. Nevada
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Texas
  7. Florida
  8. South Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Alabama

People in liberals states are on average healthier than people in conservative states.

Highest Taxes

  1. Hawaii
  2. Wyomming
  3. Connecticut
  4. Minnesota
  5. Delaware
  6. Vermont
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Jersey
  9. California
  10. Michigan

Lowest Taxes

  1. Texas
  2. South Dakota
  3. Colorado
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Alabama
  6. Missouri
  7. Tennessee
  8. South Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Arizona

Liberals pay more taxes than conservatives.

Receive the most federal tax dollars

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New Mexico
  3. Mississippi
  4. Alaska
  5. Louisiana
  6. West Virginia
  7. North Dakota
  8. Alabama
  9. South Dakota
  10. Kentucky

Receive the least federal tax dollars

  1. New Jersey
  2. Nevada
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Minnesota
  6. Illinois
  7. Delaware
  8. California
  9. New York
  10. Colorado

Despite the liberals paying the majority of the taxes, the conservatives are the ones taking the most out of the tax pool. This phenomenon is called “Red State Welfare”. Conservatives decry the evils of government and taxes, and then turn around and take the biggest fist full from the cookie jar….way to go hypocrites.

Most Suicides (per capita)

  1. Wyoming
  2. Montana
  3. Alaska
  4. Nevada
  5. New Mexico
  6. Oregon
  7. Colorado
  8. Idaho
  9. West Virginia
  10. Arizona

Fewest Suicides (per capita)

  1. New York
  2. District of Columbia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Connecticut
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Illinois
  8. Maryland
  9. California
  10. Ohio

Looks like you’re less likely to kill yourself in a liberal state than in a conservative one. I wonder if the general liberal attitude of acceptance and tolerance over the conservative tendency to be repressive and controlling has anything to do with this…

Most Teen Pregnancies

  1. Texas
  2. New Mexico
  3. Mississippi
  4. Arizona
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Arkansas
  7. Lousiana
  8. Oklahomoa
  9. Tennessee
  10. Georgia

Fewest Teen Pregnancies

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Vermont
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Connecticut
  5. Maine
  6. New Jersey
  7. Minnesota
  8. North Dakota
  9. New York
  10. Pennsylvania

In a liberal state you’re less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. Maybe the fact that liberals are better educated and promote the teaching and use of contraception has something to do with this. How’s that abstinence only sex education working out for ya conservatives?

Highest Firearm Death rate

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Louisiana
  4. Wyoming
  5. Arizona
  6. Nevada
  7. Mississippi
  8. New Mexico
  9. Arkansas
  10. Alabama

Lowest Firearm Death Rate

  1. Hawaii
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Jersey
  5. New York
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Minnesota
  9. Maine
  10. Iowa

Looks like you’re more likely to die in a gun crime in a conservative state than a liberal state.

Most binge drinkers

  1. Wisconsin
  2. North Dakota
  3. Minnesota
  4. Iowa
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Nevada
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Nebraska
  9. Illinois
  10. Deleware

Fewest binge drinkers

  1. Tennessee
  2. Utah
  3. North Carolina
  4. Kentucky
  5. West Virginia
  6. Mississippi
  7. Arkansas
  8. Georgia
  9. Florida
  10. Idaho

Conservatives win here. It looks like liberals might have a drinking problem…

Most religious states

  1. Mississippi
  2. Alabama
  3. Arkansas
  4. Louisiana
  5. Tennessee
  6. South Carolina
  7. Oklahoma
  8. North Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Kentucky

Least religious states

  1. Vermont
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Alaska
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maine
  6. Connecticut
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Colorado
  9. Oregon
  10. New York

No surprise here, conservative states are also the most religious, yet despite this they have the highest teen pregnancies, higher gun crimes, lower education, more suicides, more poverty, take the most in federal money, and are the most unhealthy states. Guess that kinda kills the whole “putting our god into government is good”. Looks like the more godless a state is, the better it is to live in. Except for binge drinking, looks like liberal states do a lot of things better than conservative states. No wonder these people want to take the country “back” and not forward.

PS EDIT: found this chart, backs up pretty much the same conclusions. (I can’t seem to get it to format right, but the original pic link is here.

If only money mattered

25 May

Natural selection is the engine that drives evolution, but it is not restricted to just living organisms. In nature, natural selection’s goal is the production of more offspring. The more babies an organism can have, the more successful it is. It’s beautiful and simple.

Yet this engine can be used to drive other things besides making robins redder or deer run faster. Natural selection is at work in capitalism as well. Here the goal is to make more money instead of more babies. Businesses that do well, or make more money, prosper while businesses that don’t make money flounder and die. The whole process works to make businesses more efficient. It cuts off the fat and makes everything leaner.

Yet in a system where only money matters, what about entities whose goal is something other than making money? Museums, libraries, parks, etc. I guess these would fall under “public goods”, or services that can’t be measured in dollars and cents. In order to survive in a system where only revenue counts, these entities would have to be given protection, usually in the form of subsidies and tax exemption. Though I feel there are some who would have a problem with this, like the developer who wants to plow down a park to build another mall.

I guess what I’m trying to say is there are things that are very important to me that don’t make money. I and other patrons of these entities are too few in number when compared to the masses to financially support these institutions. Normally, under the rules of natural selection, that means they should wither and die. What is to be done? Is it right to tax other people to support things that I cherish?

In the US we have a constitutional republic. People vote, but it is not a pure democracy. Our founding fathers knew the dangers of a pure democracy, that it would lead to mob rule, and instituted a republic where, although the majority would rule, the rights of the minority were respected. Can the same thing be applied economically? Should it be applied?

What would an unregulated system where only money mattered look like? I think it’d be a world where museums, libraries, and theaters would die off. Maybe not entirely, but there would be drastically fewer of them than we have now. Educational programs of all kinds would wither and die, unable to compete with “American Idol” or “Dancing with the stars”. Everything would be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, for that’s where the most money is.

Waste your life, be an artist….

24 Feb

So the other day I came across this website. At first I didn’t get the joke and was pretty pissed off.

I am completely pulling this out of my ass, but I get the feeling a lot of people don’t take art seriously. I mean, sure there are plenty of people who love the arts, and support them, but then you have school districts trying to cut art programs to focus on math and science, the only “useful” subjects…bullshit. The humanities always struggle for funding, most of which is allotted to those “useful” programs. Colleges and universities are even raising the prices for programs that are more “useful” than the humanities.

I feel some people really do think “Go ahead, waste your life and be an artist….” Ok, so what is not “wasting your life”? Getting a degree in business, making money, buying a beach house, getting a hot trophy wife, and retiring on a golf course where you take Viagra to fuck the golf cart attendant? Congratulations you bland worthless prick, you’re just like every other faceless asshole who will die un-noticed.

Yeah math and science are important for making new discoveries and products, but the humanities is our soul. It’s what gives existence meaning. Our experiences as human beings, all the emotions that go with life, that’s what art represents. Artists and those who enjoy art are enriched by those shared experiences and memories. They truly experience life.

So I hope you’re happy on that golf course you nobody….

Christians and premarital sex

10 Feb

Why is it so important to wait to marriage? Well, back when the bible was being written (and up until recently) there was no way to tell for sure if a child was yours. Women were property, their main value derived from their ability to have children. They were property used by men to beget more men. Marriage was primarily a financial transaction where the husband buys a wife from the wife’s father. The father then walks his daughter down the aisle and “gives” his daughter to the other man. It’s all about property. Thus it was important to the men that their “property” not be previously “used”.

The theology behind it was just whipped up out of early church father’s utter disdain for woman and the human body. St. Augustine for example hated women and sex, and from this hate centuries of boys and girls were brought up to be ashamed of their bodies and desires. Your body and desires are perfectly natural and there is nothing wrong or dirty about them. Believing they are can lead to all types of sick disorders and self-loathing.

Besides these side effects, waiting to marriage can have some disastrous consequences. There are plenty of young evangelical men and women who are now rushing into marriage way to early, and for the wrong reasons. They’ve been told their entire lives that they can’t give in to their strongest urges until they’re married, and so these young adults are diving into marriage in their late teens, early twenties, just so they can have sex. They might not have ever dated anyone else seriously, and they aren’t fully ready to support themselves. Financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, and these kids just aren’t set up well enough on their own two feet to be in a marriage.

Here are the divorce rates among Christians, Jews, and Atheists:

Religion % have been divorced
Jews 30%
Born-again Christians 27%
Other Christians 24%
Atheists, Agnostics 21%

(I wouldn’t be surprised if  Born-again is so high up there because the kids rush into marriage just to have sex)

It’s important to experiment in life to see what works for you. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t experience all life has to offer before you die.  I have a housemate that is engaged to a woman he’s never had sex with. The woman does not want to have sex before marriage, and so he’s going to wait 5-6 years (supposedly, if they last that long) to marry her and then have sex. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. What if he marries this person and they don’t have good sexual chemistry? Then he’s shafted for life! And don’t try and say “Well, the other qualities that makes him love her should overpower the lack of sexual chemistry”. That’s naive and unrealistic. Sex matters. You can have a great personality, but if the sex just isn’t good, the marriage/relationship is not going to work.

Telling kids to wait until marriage also increases the chance of teen pregnancy. In September 2009, a study came out showing a link between how religious a state is, and the teen pregnancy rate. Here is an indisputable FACT of life that will not change no matter what any religious book will ever say: Teens will have sex. This has been true for all  time, and will continue to be true forever. Telling teens to not have sex until they are married does nothing to keep them from having sex. Abstinence only does not work. Instead they will just not use birth control and will get pregnant, which raises the number of abortions. (Hint, want to stop abortions? Teach safe sex)

When it comes down to it, sex is all about responsibility. Some people are more responsible than others at different ages. I was very responsible when I was a teenager, many of my friends were not. Now that I’m an adult, I’m even more responsible, yet I know people my age and older who aren’t. It depends on the person. Some people are emotionally mature enough to handle sexual activity in their teens, some are not. If they are ready for sex, they must be responsible enough to also use protection consistently. Diseases are out there and they do not magically disappear when you get married.

If some people feel they are not ready for sex and want to wait until marriage, that’s fine, it’s their body, they can make that choice, but don’t then go and try to tell me I should do the same, that my body is sinful and dirty, that
I should be ashamed just like them. Marriage is an outdated patriarchal institution when it comes to managing sex.