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Are pro-lifers teaching young people the case for life?

Scott Klusendorf of the Life Training Institute has an interesting blog post with, in my humble opinion, a somewhat confusing title. Don't be put off by the title; just read the post. As I understand him, what Scott is saying is not that abstinence only sex education is incorrect but rather that for some reason too many pro-lifers he knows who get an opportunity to speak in high schools, Christian or public, are doing only abstinence sex education and not presenting the case for, say, the life of the unborn child and the humanity of the unborn child. Now, if so, that's a problem. Scott is quite clear that this is only his own anecdotal impression, but considering that part of Scott's life's work is making high school presentations giving the case for life and also that he spends plenty of time listening to other pro-lifers talking about what they are doing, his anecdotal opinion has weight.

Teaching abstinence is not a substitute for teaching about the nature and value of the unborn child. The two are just apples and oranges, different parts of what we need to be presenting to young people.

If Scott's impression is correct and pro-life education is being neglected, even when pro-lifers are expressly invited to speak, why is that? Could it be simply some sort of swing of the fashion pendulum? Perhaps we conservatives, given a chance to speak in schools, used to bring fetal models and show pictures of babies in the womb and the like, and then (this is conjecture) somewhere along the line someone told us that we needed to "back up" and "address the root problem" of sexual promiscuity, and from there the straight presentation of the humanity of the unborn child went out of style. Could that be it?

Do readers have any experience that tends either to support or contradict Scott's impression of what sorts of presentations are being made by pro-lifers to high schoolers?

Comments (3)

If Christian schools are teaching abstinence without teaching the grounds for it, the basis for chastity particularly and the virtues generally, and the fittingness by which human chastity in marriage provides an image of God writ into human life, then yes, the schools are missing the boat in a big, big way. And if they ARE teaching all that, then they are teaching the pro-life message automatically: marriage is for children because in the Trinity the perfect union of the Father and the Son springs forth into another Person.

When I was in a Catholic school they were unable to teach that, mostly because many of the teachers had been mal-formed in college to be unable to perceive a true human psychology rooted in the truths of the faith. I suspect that more than half of the Catholic schools are just as badly off now, because more than half the teachers went to so-called "Catholic" schools like Notre Dame and Marquette. Where a school has turned around, it is usually due to a specific local leadership combination (principal and pastor) rather than any top-down improvement from the diocese, most of whose education departments are pretty thoroughly in the hands of the NCEA (just think NEA with a C thrown in). It's not a nice picture.

My impression is that Scott was talking about speakers being brought in, people billed specifically as "pro-life" and as being brought in to give a "pro-life talk." I would think that if that is what you are being brought in to give, you definitely should be talking about the humanity of the unborn child and why it isn't "just a blog of cells" and so forth.

Some of this is a matter of teaching _biology_, not just _theology_, but it's a particular area of biology that the kids may not be getting elsewhere.

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