Matt Chatham | contributing writer
“Do you want to have the best sex?”
PureRebellion.org - Click to visit site.
You might have noticed some flyers around campus asking this question in the past few weeks. These advertised Pure Rebellion
, which was a three-hour abstinence-only sex education presentation based on Christian principles and held at the local Calvary Corvallis church on February 24 and 25, at 6:30 PM. In an attempt to appeal to the youth demographic Pure Rebellion presents itself as a revolution against contemporary culture, against peer pressure to have sex, do drugs, and commit violence. Its website describes it as “a full-out assault” in which “presenters speak bluntly about porn, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, addiction, bullying, same-sex relationships, sexting and suicide.”
That it does, and one has to give the speakers credit for their relative openness. The event’s overall message, amid several interruptions for live music, preaching, and prizes, was that abstinence is best until marriage, and that sex outside of marriage, or deviant sexual behavior, can lead only to irreversible damage or even death. This is best illustrated by three of the many speakers: a medical doctor, a promiscuous abortionee, and an ex-gay male.
The doctor, who claimed to give “medically accurate facts,” gave a prescription of abstinence and portrayed sex outside of marriage as leading to a cycle of pain because the brain’s limbic system was designed by God for marriage. She claimed that condoms and birth control are ineffective in reducing risk for pregnancy or STI’s, based on increasing total numbers of sexual infections.
Unfortunately, the CDC actually concludes that treatable STI’s are at record lows and rightly recognizes the role of condoms in reducing risk: “[Condoms] provide an essentially impermeable barrier to particles the size of STD pathogens.” Furthermore, sex was shown as a scary issue, as the “prescription” emphasizes: “it is harmful to you spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially.” In addition, not a single word was said about human anatomy, which one would think is fairly basic to sexuality.
The abortion patient, who had acted promiscuously as a direct result of pornography, had aborted three fetuses and described the procedure as incredibly painful, which made it necessary for her to be held down “as this life was sucked out of me.” She dogmatically asserted the immorality of all abortion based on life beginning at conception. No scientific evidence was brought forth to verify this presenter’s broader claims, and if her assertion regarding the beginning of personhood is to be believed, about half of all zygote-people die without ever being born, according to the ADAM Medical Encyclopedia. This woman would presumably have abortion made illegal, notwithstanding the role it plays in reducing the very teenage pregnancy which Pure Rebellion aims to reduce.
The ex-gay male, who was shown in a video, claimed that his homosexuality had been successfully suppressed through the power of Jesus. Several times presenters referred to same-sex attraction as the result of “sexual confusion” and other-sex gender identity, due to overbearing other-sex influences and name-calling (“fag,” “pussy,” etc). Again, no evidence was provided to verify the assumptions or conclusions given. While it is admirable (and surprising) that homosexuality was even mentioned, heterosexism was apparent throughout. Also, it is not acceptable for homosexuality to be made out to be a disease or sin, which serves only to shame those of us who feel such attraction.
Thus, Pure Rebellion espoused an inflexible view of sexuality which minimizes sexual protection, abortion, and minority sexualities to champion Christianity and “sexual purity.” Pseudoscientific misconstructions weakened assurance in the possibility of safe and enjoyable sex outside of marriage or as a young adult, and homophobia and heterosexism were predominant. Further, rather than providing reliable information to serve a variety of lifestyles, the audience was given abstinence as the only option. It was irresponsible for this program to portray sexuality in the manner it did. Pure Rebellion fails at educating our youth.