Thursday, December 09, 2004

A + B = WTF????

Rivka and Echidne both focus on the alarming “white natalist” movement, which is a pretty lame attempt to cover up white supremacist ideals in anti-choice lingo. Blatant racism has been pretty well marginalized as a universal negative today. But dress up those marginal beliefs in a cute little onesie and you garner instant credibility in today’s abortion/baby-obsessed media. Next thing you know, the KKK will be hiring Anne Geddes to produce annual calendars for them with precious white babies all dressed up in mini capes & hoods.

There’s always been a strong element of religious fundamentalism in the white supremacy movement. They’ve always justified their hatred in Biblical terms, with America cast as the new Promised Land and white Americans cast as the new Chosen People. And they’ve gone right along with the Jerry Falwell’s of the world in casting the women’s right’s movement as their common, natural enemy. I’d provide some sources but frankly I don’t have the stomach to surf down that slimy rabbithole today.

So, it’s nothing new. What is new, and frightening is, they’re taking advantage of the current Shrub-boosted ascension of the general religious fundamentalist movement to try to weasel their way back into the mainstream. Yes, this is alarming, but on the other hand I think it might prove to be a good thing. Finally, the more moderate Repubs who voted for Bush based on selfish financial and safety concerns, and *not* religious concerns might actually be forced to see exactly who they’re in bed with.

Actions speak louder than words, and if anyone looks at the apparently self-defeating actions of the religious right, their primary intentions do become crystal clear. First, promote abstinence only sex ed, which has been proven to correlate to kids getting married younger . Specifically, 50% of kids that take “virginity pledges” get married by age 23, compared to 25% of kids who don’t (and incidentally, they both end up with the same rates of STD) .

Repubs make it very clear that it’s *unwed* pregnancy & teen promiscuity that are their biggest issues, not necessarily lowering the rate of STDs or pregnancy overall. It's the sex, not the repurcussions of that sex that worries them. Here’s their interpretation of the same study regarding virginity pledges. As you can see, they come up with polar opposite conclusions based on the same data. They claim these pledges result in “no negative effects”, because pledged kids wait a little longer to have sex, get married at a younger age to have sex, and therefore any pregnancies resulting from that sex are “in wedlock”.

What they totally ignore are the studies that show that 1) The younger people are when they get married, the higher their divorce rate. Many bloggers noted following the election that in the Bible belt states (where abstinence programs are most popular) the divorce rates are higher. Experts blame two things on this phenomenon – lower incomes; and higher tendencies to marry young. It’s a well known fact that average income is dependent upon education level. It’s also common knowledge that marriage & parenthood usually comes at the expense of education.

But again, our Republican buddies at the Heritege Foundation poo-poo the correlation between poverty (specifically of children) and maternal education rates. They claim that a stable marriage is more important. Again, totally ignoring the fact that younger marriages are more likely to be unstable and the fact that marriages where the partners are economically disadvantaged and uneducated are more unstable.

But by some freak of logic, the Heritege folks don’t draw the obvious connection that 1) early marriage is a negative effect of abstinence only sex ed; which results in the additional negative effect of 2) lower incomes; and as a result of both; 3) more unstable marriages and higher divorce rates. Even though the statistical results of that connection are plain to see - decade after decade.

What boggles the mind is how obvious this self-defeating cycle is to everybody except the Bible-blinded religious right. It makes perfect sense why folks in the Bible Belt and other Christian communities are so overly concerned about divorce rates. It's a bigger problem there. But in trying to solve that problem, they just keep going back to the self-defeating philosophy that is causing that problem in the first place. Or worse yet, going one irrational step further and blaming other people for their self-inflicted problem; namely, homosexuals, atheists* and feminists.

Since nobody can be that stupid (can they?), I'm led to conclude their primary intent really is to promote the "barefoot & pregnant" Christian lifestyle. Everything they advocate ends up resulting in that outcome. They really are trying to breed an uneducated, impoverished army who will eagerly suck up their irrational hatred for all things "other" and gladly lay down their votes (if not their lives) in the interest of world dominion. Really, what other conclusion can you come to?

*Did you know? Atheists & Agnostics have the lowest divorce rates of all religious groups.

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