The Failure of Sex Education in the Church

One of the aspects of barrenness that is so awkward is the fact that the “success” of your marital relations (more modernly called your “sex life”) with your spouse is often scrutinized by those around you, either privately in their own minds, or quite publicly to your face. The joining of two fleshes into one in the bonds of holy matrimony used to be treated with such modesty and respect. No one would dare ask you whether you’re “doing it” right or if you’ve tried such-and-such a method. But the sexual revolution changed all that, and in numerous Christian publications we read that the act is a beautiful, natural part of marriage and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We should celebrate our gift of sexuality and teach the children in our Church all they need to know to be prepared for utilizing this gift. But is this what the Bible says? When we blush at the questions about what’s wrong with our reproductive organs, is that for a good reason, or are we just prudes?

Linda's bookLinda Bartlett, former national president of Lutherans for Life, has just published The Failure of Sex Education in the Church: Mistaken Identity, Compromised Purity, which exposes the myths that our generation, as well as our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, have been taught to believe about what children should know to be prepared for marriage, the marital act, and procreation.

Bartlett begins by giving the necessary history of how the Church,  during the mid-20th century, put too much trust in “experts” instead of the inspired Word of God and willingly traded in our biblical understanding of manhood, womanhood, procreation, parenting, and purity for a more “scientific” approach to teaching children about the intimacies of marriage. Falsified, inaccurate, and even perverted studies on the “sexuality” of the human male and female conducted by Alfred Kinsey were presented to universities, medical associations, and church bodies as facts which could not be ignored by enlightened academics. Christianized versions of the sexual revolution’s message were then (and still are) passed down to schools and parents to share with children.

Are just what are some of these myths?

  • Children are sexual from birth.
  • Children should be taught about sex, and with the proper terminologies, beginning in early elementary school.
  • If children are not taught about sex early on, their naiveté could make them prey to sexual predators.
  • Parents aren’t trained to properly teach their children about sex. The schools are the best environments for this to take place.
  • Boys and girls should be taught about puberty and sexuality while in the same classroom, since there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
  • Sex education will help prevent unplanned pregnancies, STD’s, and abortions.

The Church was naive in its promotion of sex education in the parochial schools, Bartlett points out, but not malicious. We were deceived into believing that we are “sexual from birth,” and this brainwashing had the complete opposite effect on our Church members as what was intended. It cleared the way for the acceptance of fornication, homosexuality, birth control, and even abortion as a normal part of life for those who are simply expressing their sexuality – being who they thought they were created to be.

But that’s not how we were created, Bartlett reminds us. The solution to the mess we are in now is our Baptism. This is where we received our true identities as children of the Heavenly Father, not sexual beings created to express our sexuality, but holy beings, created to live holy (not sexual) lives. “It is important,” Bartlett says, “for the Body of Christ to see each member as fully human as opposed to sexual and, therefore, an instrument for God’s purpose and glory whether a child or adult, single or married, in this circumstance or that,” (pg. 108).

Because Bartlett presents such shocking evidence of our deception, she presents her case in the form of a patient dialogue between herself and her readers, including over 100 questions and then answering almost every objection one could think of to the notion that there is anything wrong with the way the Church has been educating her children. Her love and concern for her Church family flow through each section as she gently reminds us all that, “Even well-intentioned sex education in the Church leans the wrong way if built on the wrong foundation,” (pg. 129).

If you have children, if you teach children, if you are related to children, or if you once were a child, this book is for you.

True Love

heartWe’re confused about something in this generation. There’s the mistaken belief that loving someone means permitting them to do whatever they want, that love equals acceptance and tolerance.

Case in point, religion according to Lady Gaga instructs us to embrace and celebrate people as they are today – to tolerate and accept their feelings and actions – because they’re simply born that way. “I’m beautiful in my own way,” she sings. “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself, and you’re set.” She expounds, “Oh, there ain’t no other way.”

If this were true, then a government which loves its citizens would provide a hotel room rather than a jail cell for the man in his forties who desires to bed preteen girls. After all, he was simply born that way.

If everyone is “on the right track, baby,” then we would not limit abortion to just babies in the womb. We would cease such unloving discrimination by age and, instead, allow adults to abort other adults who don’t fit into their own life plan.

If “loving yourself” is all that’s required to be set in life, then paying taxes to support the livelihood of policemen and firemen and soldiers and other civil servants would be bogus.

If we are to avoid hiding ourselves “in regret” for our in-born passions, then racists and terrorists and sociopaths should be hired to run our daycare facilities, schools, and businesses.

If “there ain’t no other way” than loving yourself, then parents should not be bothered with loving and protecting their children. They should create as many embryos through IVF as they want and do with them whatever they want. The important thing is to see their own desires answered and their own dreams fulfilled, not those of their kids.

Lady Gaga, in her effort to trumpet and memorialize and idolize the very passions with which we are all born, endorses the very opposite of love, for true love doesn’t tolerate and accept and serve the self. True love denies the self and its passions and dies for the good of their children.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 [ESV]).”

Sometimes, the greatest act of love we barren mothers can perform for our children is to suffer the absence of them rather than create them to die.


female symbolThank you, Kristi, for bringing this excellent article to my attention. Now, I bring it to yours:

“Fecundiphobia: The Growing Fear of Children and Fertile Women” by Mollie Hemingway

“…the fact is that, as far as the media are concerned, abortion is a sacrament. And keeping the womb empty at all costs during all, or nearly all, of one’s fertile years is the sine qua non of modern American womanhood. Woe to the woman who ‘chooses’ otherwise.”

Over Population

We were greeted by this bumper sticker in Yellowstone last week.

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As Pastor McGuire once said to a morning Bible class I attended in Dallas a few years ago, you can’t take these people seriously. If they were really concerned about over population, they would kill themselves.

But they don’t.

Instead, they go right on living, driving navy blue pick-up trucks, consuming natural resources, sticking non-biodegradable plastics onto their bumpers with toxic glue, urinating birth control hormones into public water sources, and stomping carbon footprints deep into the grass-green earth, all the while encouraging everyone driving behind them to contracept and abort children for the sake of children themselves.

We are such a silly, selfish people.

“A Loving Place, Inside Me”

Dear Church:

Please, read this article by Matthew Hennessey in First Things. He holds the mirror before us all.

P.S. Whenever I highlight an article such as this one, I do not mean to add to the pain of my brothers and sisters in Christ who repent of their use of IVF or their act of abortion. Christ died for those regrets and reconciles us to the Father. I am trying to call out those who justify the creation and subsequent termination of “the least of these” as an act of compassion.


A Calling Out

Both Kristi and my husband drew my attention to yesterday’s USA Today article by Kirsten Powers.

In my husband’s own words:

“I don’t know if you’ve been following the trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (and maybe you shouldn’t because it’s really horrifying, the stuff of nightmares), but it’s truly appalling how there has been basically no reporting on it from the media. [Here] is a very good column on this (purposeful?) failure of the media in USA Today.”

Thank you, Ms. Powers, for calling out the media’s silence.

A Grave Disparity

Robert G Edwards NOBEL MEDICINA 2010Robert G. Edwards, the 2010 Nobel Prize winner of Physiology/Medicine for his development of in vitro fertilization (IVF), died yesterday at the age of 87.

Gina Kolata of The New York Times wrote in a recent article recounting Edwards’ controversial career that, according to the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies, the “technique [of IVF] has resulted in the births of five million babies…”

Not once in her article does Ms. Kolata attempt to tally the deaths that have resulted from Edwards’ awarded technique.

If we consider Edwards’ many failed attempts in the early 1970s to bring an IVF child to full health and vitality outside of the womb; all of the failed attempts at implantation made since then by the medical community at large; all of the children discarded and killed because of their sex, chromosomal abnormalities, perceived lack of vitality, or perceived genetic flaws; all of the children selectively terminated and sacrificed for the vitality of a perceived stronger brother or sister in the womb; and our current, dismal 29.4% success rate of implantation in IVF today, the exponential number of dead children to date is hard to even fathom.

Maybe that is why Ms. Kolata, the infertility industry, the CDC, and so much of the rest of the world choose to simply ignore them.

When will we as a culture start acknowledging the death that results from IVF? Do these children who have died not also deserve our attention and respect?