The Folks at Liberty Counsel Are Either Completely Oblivious or Awful Spin Doctors

By now, you’ve probably seen this hilarious attempt to preach abstinence… by way of a bear:

That video, intended to promote the Day of Purity, was all over the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago. Everyone was mocking it. Even the Tosh.0 bloggers got in on the action:

Taking stuffed animals on a date is a great way to stay a virgin whether you want to or not.

But it’s especially effective if your stuffed animals sound like they drive a windowless van.

So, if you’re the über-conservative Liberty Counsel, and you support the Day of Purity, what do you do about all the attention?

You pretend everyone’s watching the video because they support abstinence:

Day of Purity Gains International Attention with Video Clip

A short video promoting sexual purity hit a quarter of a million views today. People from more than 175 different countries and regions have watched the student-produced video that was designed to spark interest and start conversations promoting sexual purity. The number of views reached over a quarter of a million in just the past 10 days. It is the goal of the Day of Purity to equip teens, youth, parents, friends, and individuals with the facts to encourage sexual purity until, and loyalty within, marriage.

We are thrilled that the message of waiting for marriage is reaching so many people! We are excited to spark a conversation about the physical, emotional, physiological and even financial benefits of waiting for marriage.

Umm… do they really not get it?! (I know, I know… they totally get it. They’re just trying to manipulate their gullible members.)

Here’s the truth: We’re laughing at you. We don’t support you. We’re not watching the video because we approve of your message. Abstinence is a personal decision, not an Order From Above.

I know these people deny reality on a regular basis, but c’mon, this is pushing it… don’t believe me? Just read the comments underneath the video. And if they know people are watching the video because it’s just that bad, then admit it or ignore it. Don’t spin it to suggest otherwise. Didn’t the Bible say something about liars…?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    Their message is certainly “getting out”, but the conversation that they think is there is drowned out by the mockery.  Also, take a look at the ratio of likes vs. dislikes.  I’m surprised they didn’t disable comments or the rating function.

    • http://www.awaypoint.wordpress.com Valerie Tarico

      They’re somehow filtering comments to maintain a balance they approve of.  I posted the following and got a message that my comment was awaiting approval.  I didn’t even know you could do that on Youtube.

      As best I can tell from the muddy research, an abstinence commitment cuts the annual pregnancy rate about in half. An IUD or implant cuts it by 99.8 percent.  88 percent of abstinence pledgers have sex before marriage including over 80 percent of evangelical abstinence pledgers.  Even with Jesus looking over your shoulder, an abstinence pledge is a shoddy contraceptive.   Imagine if the Pill worked as badly as prayers and promises. 

  • observer

    Actually, I think they are aware of it, they’re just spinning it in their favor. If you read between the lines, it’s technically true; everyone from all over the world is giving it attention, and the “message of waiting for marriage” is getting out to people. What they DON’T say is that the message is being hit with negativity.
    To put it simply, they’re only talking about the attention the video’s getting, but they never mention that the attention’s negative.

    I guess they’re going by the false-thought that popularity=something good. Certainly fooled you, Mr. Mehta. No offense.

    • Georgina

      Yep, and on the wedding night it becomes, “and I guess you can’t cook either”

  • http://twitter.com/gingerjet gingerjet

    Any guy who gets advice on sex and love from a stuffed bear is gay. 

    • Anonymous

      Unless it’s Sexual Harassment Panda.

      • Anonymous

        Or possibly Pedobear

        • Ubi Dubium

          She’s too old for Pedobear.  Pedobear would be whispering in his ear “Has she got a little sister?”

    • Anonymous

      And what’s wrong with being gay?

  • Lauren S

    I think they know its ridiculous.  It looks like a student produced thing where they were trying to be funny. 

    But I would like to point out that this is by FAR the least offensive purity ad I’ve ever seen, and I like how it subverts the traditional roles.  Normally the woman is the gatekeeper because men can’t control themselves.  This is a much more positive message.  HE decides its not the right time for him with the help of his teddy bear conscious.  That is actually kind of awesome. 

    If it were part of a larger series where people make the decision that is right for them and not just one right decision, I would think it wasn’t well done, but whatever. 

    • http://twitter.com/RantBot5000 RantBot Grikmeer

      The Godless Bitches had a different reading of it in their most recent podcast; I can’t recall the argument very well but you can grab it here http://godlessbitches.podbean.com/

  • Pseudonym

    Until I saw this story on FA less than two minutes ago, I honestly thought the video was a Poe.

    I feel embarrassed now.

  • Chris Harmon

    snort
    … that video was about the least convincing thing a teenager will EVER see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick
    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      They’re filtering the comments in that response.

  • Anonymous

    Purity Bear – The brother Pedobear doesn’t want to talk about.

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Purity Bear is relocated to a new parish pretty frequently. No one talks about it.

      • Erik Cameron

        That joke was so amazing I think I lost my purity.

  • Paul808996

    “Didn’t the Bible say something about liars…?”

    Yes. I believe it was “liar, liar, pants on fire” or something like that.

  • Musical Atheist

    Of course the girl’s desire for sex can only be a mistaken belief that it will ‘make the guy love her’. It’s completely impossible she should be suggesting it because she actually wants sex. I watched some of the suggested vids that came up after the purity bear and now can’t find them again, but it broke my heart to hear these young women saying they had sex to make guys love them and then how empty and ‘used’ they felt afterwards. Hasn’t anyone taught them about their own sexual agency? To have sex when they really want to, with a person they actually like and trust? This purity BS only makes their plight worse, by claiming that it’s impossible for sexual relations between two young people who really like each other could be healthy and fine.

    • Anonymous

      What’s even more absurd is instilling such intense guilt in people for all their lives and then expect that they can flip a switch and having amazing sex. Some Christian sects teach that even having sexual thoughts is a grievous “sin”. People are told that sex is a horrible thing before marriage, but on their wedding night they are supposed to let go all of that and have mindblowing sex. It takes some people years to recover from that and develop a healthy attitude towards their sexuality

    • pam

      THIS! I wish they would teach more young women this. I was raised in an extremely conservative Catholic enviornment and I remember how shocked I was when I found out that I had my own sexual desires. I’ve since left the faith, but I still stuggle with the guilt issues that left me with.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNWAM4DYCN4MLBLHFGDHE2YKZM GloomCookie613

        Fellow recovering Catholic here and I know exactly what you’re saying.  The first time I gave myself an orgasm as a curious pre-teen, I actually sat there sobbing afterward because I had been told that what I was doing was wrong and dirty and gross.  I felt downright repugnant because of all the shame and stupidity heaped on me from the time I was a little kid.  Luckily, not long after that, I decided I was pagan and went all naked-accepting, witchy-witch.  At least that woo-woo gave me back the love of my own body before I fully shed the need for supernatural babysitters.  *hugs*  I wish you well in your journey to being fully free of the guilt.  I’m rooting for you! :)

  • Anonymous

    Hasn’t anyone taught them about their own sexual agency? To have sex when they really want to, with a person they actually like and trust?

    Of course not. Girls are taught that their virginity is some kind of sacred gift that is only to be given to their husband, and also taught that giving sex to anyone else makes  you sinful, dirty and broken. They have refined slut-shaming to an art.

    Since the concentration on purity is disproportionately given to girls, it’s often overlooked how denigrating the belief is to boys as well. Girls are taught, sometimes overtly but more often implicitly, that boys are little more than horny dogs with their dicks out ready to penetrate any willing orifice. The pressure is on the girls to retain “purity” because it is assumed that boys will mostly lack any self-control and will be the most enthusiastic about getting in the sack. This has the (perhaps unintended) consequence of making these girls believe that boys are mostly thinking about sex all the time and that they may not love them if they don’t “give it up”. Combine that with an education that teaches them to be subserviant to males and you get girls and women who feel like their sexual agency is anybody but their own, which ironically can lead them to having sex before they are truly ready, marriage or not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/d3st88 Morva Ádám

      Insightful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    The comments on that video are just the ones that were approved. Youtube videos with a Christian message always either have comment approval or comments disabled. Fundamentalists really love their bubble.

    • Anonymous

      True, but to be absolutely fair, this video does allow critical comments even though it’s moderated. Check out the top rated comment:

      How predictable of a christian inspired story showing a woman tempting a man. This is just a reflection of the misogyny that permeates the fundamentalist mentality. By the way you people are a bunch of feeble minded cowards for not posting this.

      Now, it could be it was only approved because the commenter goaded them on their censorship policy, but if you look at the full thread you can see that the overwhelming proportion of comments are negative, either critical of or outright mocking the video. My guess is that they are filtering for cuss words.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

        They’re not filter for just cuss words. I posted a comment without cussing and it hasn’t been approved, while many others posted sooner than mine have been. Not sure what they’re filtering out, but I’d bet there would be a lot more negative criticism without the moderation.

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        I posted a comment pointing out a correlation between placing a high premium on sexual purity and violence towards women (Hello, honor killings).  I was very careful not to use any swear words.  It didn’t make it past moderation.

  • cipher

    Umm… do they really not get it?!

    Of course they don’t get it. They also think this is a quality production. These are the people who think a velvet Elvis or dogs playing poker represents the pinnacle of artistic expression. They are the very definition of mendacity.

    There was a sidebar link to a video of a cat waltzing up a staircase that was far more interesting.

    • The Captain

      Hey, hey, hey hey! I have a one-off velvet Elvis in that is defiantly near the top of artistic expression!

    • Pseudonym

      To be fair, most of the atheist bus ads and billboards that are posted here are pretty poorly designed, too. It’d be interesting to see if there’s a statistical link between having an agenda and bad taste.

  • cipher

    Puts me in mind of something Dorthy Parker said. For some reason, she was invited to attend a Yale prom, and gave her opinion afterward:

    “If all those sweet young things present were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    *snort* Oh my god that was so funny! It was like the kind of movie I made back when I was in elementary school. The focus was off on the girl when they focused on her, you could hear ambient sounds, the lighting was bad, they sounded like they were reading off of cue cards, and that bear was just hilarious.

  • http://twitter.com/ElGatoCello ElGatoCello

    This video has the production quality of an Eagle Man commercial.

  • Glasofruix

    “We are excited to spark a conversation about the physical,
    emotional, physiological and even financial benefits of waiting for
    marriage.”Uh what?

  • cipher

    “We are excited to spark a conversation about the physical, emotional, physiological and even financial benefits of waiting for marriage.”

    Translation: “If you disagree, you’ll burn in hell.”

  • Mary

    Why does going into the house automatically mean that they are going to have sex? That is the problem. Young Christians are basically taught that if they spend time alone in a room together then they cannot trust themselves and are going to immediately tear their clothes off and have sex…even if they have never even held hands. Come on, people! Seriously? I think it’s much better to talk to young people honestly about the different ways to show affection and how to use self-control. If you cannot trust yourself to make good decisions and have good boundaries when parents aren’t around, you have a serious problem. Leaving might be one good decision, but a more adult decision would be to hang out together (if allowed inside and if not allowed outside) and just enjoy each other’s company. Geez.

    I think that most Christian groups would be thrilled if a video like this got out, even if it was just because they were being mocked. They still believe that God will somehow use their efforts to make people think. A lot of Christians are used to being laughed at. :)

  • DayofPurity

    Hey – The video got you talking about purity and
    waiting for marriage and all your commenters were thinking about the topic as
    well.   :)  Isn’t that what we claimed to do? “spark
    conversations” right? If we were afraid of controversy, we’d be the save
    fuzzy puppies organization. :)


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