Several things I did not say

Apropos of this better-late-than-never missive from our new site’s first troll, I’d like to spell out a few things that I did not say in this (admittedly angry and sarcastic) post.  If WordPress would let me write in crayon, I’d do it, and I’d RITE REEL BIG FER U CAN GET IT.

I did not say or imply (because I do not in fact believe) any of the following:

1. Anyone who supports sexual abstinence is an idiot.
2. We have no control over what we do sexually.
3. Self-control is for idiots.
4. All government HIV/AIDS spending should be on “condoms, medicine and home care”.
5. People cannot control their urges.
6. All urges are natural.
7. All urges are good.
8. People should be able to do “whatever they want” and bear no consequences for their actions.
9. Claude Allen “proves” anything about “black people”.
10. “Black people” should keep their mouths shut.
11. Claude Allen should necessarily go to prison.
12.  Anything bad should happen to Mr. Allen (or anyone else) in prison.
13.  People of color have some obligation to follow some “script”.
14. People of color represent a threat to “our” power (a statement jam-packed with ridiculous assumptions about me, about “us”, about power, and about race politics).
15. Most Americans are too stupid to realize what’s good for them.
16. “Pocketbook issues” are all that matter.
17. There is something wrong with blue-color Republicans (again, some fascinating assumptions being made about me and “us”, but whatever).

Two more general observations:

1.No where have I ever made mention of Claude Allen’s race, because it’s 100% irrelevant.
2.I have no problem with promoting abstinence, especially to young people, but prevention programs   – regardless of their theoretical underpinnings – should be proven to work.  Under the guise of “faith-based initiatives”, Allen and his ilk have promoted a two-track system where condom-based prevention activities that are proven effective are subject to extremely high levels of scrutiny (and the administrative overhead that comes with that), whereas totally unproven abstinence-based programs get funded with almost no oversight.

All HIV prevention activities funded by the federal government are required be proven effective (PRIOR to their use) in terms of actual outcome measures – things like pregnancy rates, STD prevalence, etc.  However, in 2001 the Bush administration dropped those measures as they apply to “faith based” organizations, replacing them with a set of measures that do not include real outcomes, but rather that are based on teens’ sexual beliefs, attitudes and intentions.  Beliefs, attitudes and intentions are factors in behavioral outcomes, to be sure, but let’s be clear about this: you don’t get HIV from your beliefs, your attitudes, or your intentions.  You get exposed to HIV through specific behaviors, and the evidence that abstinence-only programs are effective at changing or preventing behaviors just isn’t there. 

The approach this administration has taken to HIV prevention in the US is a waste of taxpayer dollars.  To believe that any criticism of the programs and policies of Allen and his co-ideologues is some sort of put-down of religious people entails believing that religious people are stupid, and that is an idea that you introduced into this conversation yourself.  As a Christian and as an American, I hold no such view of the American people, religious or otherwise.

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14 Responses to “Several things I did not say”

  1. mdhatter Says:

    I wish I had a troll.

  2. Pinko Punko Says:

    Mike A is a massive cobag. Seriously, junior high logic at its most dire and ridiculous. See, Res, there’s a little thing that GOD gave the people and that is agency- there is right and wrong, and people DECIDE between those two things, so really the only thing to do is to promote what is RIGHT, and if people’s bad choices lead them to AIDS, they will have a big long talk with St. Peter when they die. Just like when people decide to be homos, they can’t control their wrong urges. Duh!

    Thanks Mike A!

    Since you were playing the put words in people’s mouth game, are the words I put in your mouth accurate? Perhaps not quite, but it’s the same argument you use, and it is not based in reality or empathy for other living creatures, it is based in your sociopathic desire for homogeneity in thought and behavior.

  3. almostinfamous Says:

    you also forget res, that claude allen’s evil twin is the one that did all the bad things.

    and congrats(?) on your birthday present(the troll)

    and sorry i’m late to the party but you guys eat way too much pork for my taste.

  4. Adorable Girlfriend Says:

    Seriously, why even validate this guy? If he cannot even leave a blog address, just be Mr. No Blog, Mike A., WTF do we care? Cobag wimps are not worth our time.

    If you are going to troll at RoD with your girlie panties on, you shouldn’t expect anything in return. Hence, he’s not getting anything from AG. You put on your big boy pants and maybe AG will go a few rounds with your bigot lame ass. Thems is the house rules.

  5. Brando Says:

    I am an example of why abstience-only doesn’t work: I went to Catholic school for 12 years. Mom and Dad are pretty Catholic, too, so growing up it was Canon for breakfast, Dogma for lunch, and Papacy for dinner, with maybe a little Exegesis for dessert if I was good.

    The Catholic Church doesn’t exactly promote extramarital sex (well, outside of the priesthood it doesn’t). I had Catholic sex education, which sounds like the setup to a joke, morality classes, and so on. Not to mention mother told me, yes she told me, stay away, you’ll never know what you’ll catch. I couldn’t watch R movies or even PG-13 at first for fear of boobies inciting a hormone riot.

    And yet, midway through high school, all of that preparation for not having foreplay fell away like scales from a blind man’s eyes. I didn’t even give it a second thought. The only thing all of my frightful Catholicism did was scare the bejesus out of me about getting a girl pregnant. So I headed to that pit of Satantic scholarship – the local library – and read all the sex books I could get my hands on, boned up on birth control, and made sure I had an adult education (as Hall and Oates once sang).

    I wasn’t a fuck up. I was a good student, I went to church every week, drank a bit but didn’t do any drugs, and generally stayed out of trouble. I just wanted to have sex and didn’t see a damn thing wrong with it. There is nothing my parents or my schools or the Church could have done to change my mind.

    The kicker is, I was far from alone. My friends, all of whom were good, trouble-free kids, had sex before they left high school, too. By the time my junior year ended the haves at school probably outnumbered the have nots. At a Catholic high school.

    I am all for teaching kids about abstinence. I think young people need to hear about the emotional side of sex as much the physical. I think a lot of high school kids probably aren’t ready for sex and need a realistic, helpful way to deal with that pressure. But thinking you can prevent pregnancy and STDs by only stressing abstinence, by not mentioning birth control at all, is completely dellisional.

  6. Res Publica Says:

    So you guys know this choad Mike A.? I’m sure this is one of your fault somehow.

  7. Res Publica Says:

    Brando – thanks for the great comment! I didn’t at all mean to suggest that I support abstinence-ONLY programs, although like most people who have actually had sexual and romantic relationships, I would be the first to advise young people that it’s just a hell of a lot more trouble than it’s worth. Masturbate, teens of America, and enjoy your youth!

    Anyway. My big point was really that the particular abstinence programs supported by Allen et al. were unproven at the time of their funding, and by this point, they’re more or less proven to be ineffective. To say that opposing this programs makes you anti-religious is an insult the intelligence of religious people. These programs are just flimsy cover for the administration to give cash to the churches of which it approves (right-leaning evangelicals and Catholics). They’re pure “meat for the base”, and just one more example of the way this administration uses the instruments of government for nothing more than PR in its perpetual campaign. What actually happens (to the kids or to the money) is of no interest to them at all.

  8. blue girl Says:

    This is the only sex education I got when I was a kid…my mom said to me:

    “Don’t start because you’ll never stop.”

    Now. Thinking about that at my age now — she was right about that. But, I’m not sure why *that’s* a reason not to start to begin with.

    My son — he’s 13 — has had different speakers come to his school — abstinence only, people who talk about aids, he’s learned about birth control in health class, etc. It seems to me he’s gotten a pretty well rounded message about it all.

    But, the bottom line to me is — and it’s scary being a parent of a 13 year old when you know all the hormones are beginning to rage — it’s going to happen sooner or later and I just want him to be safe.

    “My big point was really that the particular abstinence programs supported by Allen et al. were unproven at the time of their funding, and by this point, they’re more or less proven to be ineffective.”

    Proof and logic and evidence and common sense and thinking clearly have nothing to do with how the other side makes decisions.

  9. Brando Says:

    Sorry, Res, my post was in regards to the choad (heck of a job, Choadie!). I read his comment and was also thinking about a recent New Yorker story about how the White House manipulates science for politics. Like you said, if you look at the data, which is the only way to attempt to examine the problem objectively, it’s clear abstinence-only programs are not effective at deterring sexual activity (and pregnancy and STDs) among teens.

    I don’t see what is so difficult about teaching caution about having sex and teaching birth control. They actually seem to go hand in hand to me.

  10. Geenie Cola Says:

    Blue-girl, Res and Brando I totally agree with your comments that you left. I must say it is refreshing to read what you wrote. I get really sick of the whole sex ed debate.
    My parents thoughts were if I even heard the word sex I’d be doing it. They took the “let’s not say or let her see anything that would make her think of sex” that way she will be sure to not have any. Well, that approach just really messes a kid up.

  11. Pepper Says:

    Here’s the only sex ed I received in Kentucky, which came from the PE coach during “Health” class in 8th grade:

    BOWLEGGED COACH, OBVIOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE: “V.D. …”

    CLASS STARES BACK AT HIM

    BOWLEGGED COACH, TURNING PURPLE: ” … it don’t stand for Valentine’s Day. Now … let’s talk about the digestive system.”

    No wonder several of the girls thought you couldn’t get pregnant if you stood up afterwards. Holy cow …

  12. Robust McManlyPants Says:

    Oh, is it sharing time? I love to tell the story of my mom’s idea of “the talk.” I love to tell it so much that I’m almost certain I’ve told it here before, but what the hell. I love this story!

    When I was in seventh grade my mom was driving me home from trumpet lesson (no, really) and all of a sudden blurted out: “You know, homosexuals really mess up their rectums with the way they have sex.”

    I am not kidding. My own mother said that to me. I was twelve. She was turning left onto sixth avenue, off of Main, in my tiny hometown. We were in her beige Cutlass. It is seared into my memory. Seared.

    My dad’s idea of “the talk” was to sit down at the kitchen table while I was eating lunch the week before college (!) started my freshman year and say, “Son, I don’t want to delve too deep into this, but suffice to say I think it is natural for a young man at your age to sow a few wild oats.” Then he stood back up and walked back out of the room. I had lost my virginity nearly a year before. I practically had to crawl under the table to keep him from hearing me laugh.

  13. Res Publica Says:

    When I was in seventh grade my mom was driving me home from trumpet lesson (no, really) and all of a sudden blurted out: “You know, homosexuals really mess up their rectums with the way they have sex.”

    ROTFLMAO!

    A) Anal sex is the last thing I ever, ever, ever, ever want to talk to my mom about. Last! Thing! Ever!!

    B) Did she work as a rectum-inspector or something? Bless their straight little hearts, where do they get this stuff?

  14. Robust McManlyPants Says:

    Man, no kidding. At the time I had this big mouthful of iced tea, riding in the car, and I think my response was “…GULP.”

    We were silent for several minutes and then she asked about my trumpet lesson.

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