Elizabeth Smart and the Case Against Christian Abstinence Education

Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and raped for nearly a year when she was 14, never thought about running away from her captor despite having opportunities to do it, and part of the reason had to do with her religious upbringing. The 25-year-old said as much as at a recent forum about human trafficking at Johns Hopkins University:

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Humanist Weddings on the Rise in Scotland

Good news from Scotland today: new figures show that Humanist wedding ceremonies are on the rise in Scotland. Not only that but religious wedding ceremonies are in decline. The figures have been published as part of a broader policy of support for gay marriage ahead of the Humanist Society Scotland’s annual general meeting which takes place in Glasgow on Sunday. Scotland has a proud heritage of unbelief and rightly champions David Hume as one of the fathers of modern skeptical philosophy.

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True Love Waits… and Waits… and Waits

After a day filled with serious posts about abstinence, I thoroughly enjoyed this article from LarkNews:

You can read the whole thing here.

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High School Student Fights Back Against Abstinence Speaker at Assembly, so the Principal Threatens to Warn Her Future College About Her

It’s incredible that some public high school administrators still haven’t learned how to vet assembly speakers to make sure they’re not spouting religious-based nonsense.

In Charleston, West Virginia, George Washington High School recently brought in Pam Stenzel to speak about the importance of making good decisions.

Unfortunately, in Stenzel’s mind, abstinence is the only good decision when it comes to sex, and anyone who’s had any sort of sexual contact with someone they weren’t married to is going to pay the price for it.

Just check out what she says at the 3:10 mark in her promo video below:

If you have sex outside of one, permanent, monogamous… partner who has only been with you… If you have sex outside of that context, you will pay. No one has ever had more than one partner and not paid.

Bullshit. Sex, by itself, isn’t a bad thing. You have to be emotionally ready for it. You should know how to protect yourself. You should know that abstinence isn’t a dirty word if you choose to stay that way. But having sex doesn’t make you a bad person.

That’s not what Stenzel told the students, though:

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Are Interfaith Marriages with Atheists on the Rise?

It seems a bit out of place at The Economist, but the rise of interfaith marriages is a fascinating subject for discussion:

Yet American rates of inter-faith and inter-denominational marriage are rising, to the point where 45% of marriages in the past decade have involved either two religions or Christian doctrines that clash seriously…

There are a lot of reasons for this, as the article points out: People are marrying later in life so family traditions no longer weigh as heavily on their minds. Marrying someone of a different faith is no longer as taboo as it used to be.

I wonder, though, if atheists break those trends.

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