Friday, July 27, 2007

The Kind of Village it Takes

Recent books and studies seem to indicate disturbing sexual trends among evangelical Christians. And this time we're not talking about their pastors or political leaders. The new attention is on evangelical teenagers, who reportedly start sex earlier than their mainline Protestant peers.

One gleeful headline on an Internet site recently read: "Evangelical Girls Are Easy….(whole article here from WaPo, reg req)

While this is an American stat, I wonder if the same thing is happening here up north. I’ve heard from folks that the most promiscuous kids here in Lethbridge are Mormon. I’ve been told that they take a Clintonesque approach to defining “sex” and even have a tag line (“oral is moral”).

While Mormons and evangelicals are two very different theological animals, their stance on teenage sex is indistinguishable (as it is from most mainline churches)

Of course, many of my Lib friends will use the stat to show that conservative Christianity isn’t “working.” Some of my conservative confrères will want to dispute the stat.

But if evangelical Christian teens ARE having sex earlier then we have to ask “why.” Without judgment. Because parents need to know what they can do to help their children make healthy life choices.

Gerson suggests that evangelicals merely offer lectures and sermons on the evils of premarital sex, which, apparently, doesn’t do the trick.

But I think that’s too easy an explanation. For those of us who’ve been around evangelicals for awhile (Cleetus accuses me of being too cozy with the Religious Right) know that evangelicals don’t just preach, they accountability build systems.

While I’m a critic of so-called “sin management” theology, you can’t deny the lengths to which evangelicals go to make sure sinful behaviour doesn’t go unmonitored.
So, what’s going on here? Are these teens simply being rebellious? Are they starving for intimacy?

We need to find out. Inquiring parents want to know.

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