Voice of the People: Christine O’Donnell’s Abstinence Of Malice

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By James J. Devine

The new Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware has become widely known for her positions against sex: She is a devout Catholic, chaste, anti-masturbation, pro-abstinence-only sex ed, anti-condoms and anti-porn, but her faith-based philosophy could endanger America’s youth if she is responsible for legislating in the real world.

Christine O’Donnell clearly and unequivocally affirmed her desire “to stop the whole country from having sex” while representing the Intercollegiate Studies Institute on a nationally televised edition of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country on November 13, 2003.

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The argument between O’Donnell and Eric Nies, about whether to counsel kids to have safe sex, concluded with this exchange after she agreed that she wants to stop the whole country from having sex:

NIES: You’re living on a prayer if you think that’s going to happen.
O’DONNELL: That’s not true. I’m a young woman in my thirties and I remain chaste.

Simple, straightforward facts will not deter O’Donnell from her ambitious and zealous her abstinence crusade and that is the problem with Tea Brained Republicans: They are operating outside reality.

Teaching abstinence has been proven totally ineffective at stopping teen sex, although frank family discussions are influential and educating kids about safe sex has reduced both disease and unwanted pregnancy. With STDs and AIDS, ignorance can kill our children. Well intentioned as it may be, abstinence only sex education is a death sentence for young Americans who are entitled to the truth rather than indoctrination.

It does not stop there. O’Donnell does not believe in evolution, rejecting science at its most fundamental level. The danger of disbelief in science is frightening, with the Pentagon acknowledging that our greatest risk could result from global warming and the discovery or emergence of unknown dangers rising every day from science and technology.

Leaving questions of life and death to those who live in a fantasy world would be a tremendous mistake as we embark on a dangerous journey through history. Those who reject empirical evidence and instead rely on ancient rituals and mythical stories are not in touch with reality. Faith is believing in something without evidence; it is not believing in something that evidence proves is wrong.

O’Donnell’s positions originate from a sincere religious foundation, but America cannot afford to act on faith alone. Without common sense, the world itself would be at risk.

Left to religious extremists, the world would be enmeshed in a conflict between Islamic fanatics and Christian crusaders — hardly the world a loving creator would want for his progeny.

One of America’s beauties is our right to religious freedom, but when it comes to governing we must all leave behind mystery, miracles or magic and deal with cold, hard reality. Any of us whose conscience is stronger than science or who relies more on faith than facts must exempt themselves from the realm of secular rule.


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