Revolution#141, August 24, 2008

Christian Fascist Logic and a High School Health Textbook

a letter from a reader

I’m writing to express some disturbing observations from my high school “Health” class in regard to sexuality and the views of contraception. The book my school uses is the Glencoe Health textbook (Glencoe/ McGraw-Hill publishers, 2005). These are the same publishers that caved in under pressure in 2004 by the Texas State Board of Education to omit reference to contraceptive information and referred to marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In my edition, the point on marriage isn’t mentioned in that way exactly, although it definitely implies it by referring to it as a “life long commitment” in which you make “adjustments to marriage and your spouse” (e.g. women “adjust” yourselves to submission) and that pregnancy is something that comes out of marriage. It also has a whole thing on violence and drug abuse, and how a drug user is harmful to the community and has “cost the nation’s economy.” I’m telling you, at distorting truth this book gets an A+!

But I wanted to specifically tell the readers of Revolution about my book’s reference (more like non-reference) to contraception and its demonizing of sex. For starters, since I have finished the class (I’m going into my junior year) I’ve gotten through the entirety of the book (agonizing to sift through four tons of bullshit to find an ounce or two of truth). But since I’ve gone through the whole book, the word contraceptive, condom, diaphragm, spermicide or anything that involves HEALTHFUL PROTECTION AGAINST STDs IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED! When abortion is mentioned, it’s when they talk about pregnant women drinking alcohol and that causing harm to the fetus!!! This is a very dangerous thing; high school students not knowing about protection is scary.

In regard to how sex is looked at, I’ll quote from an online interactive study guide from the Glencoe website:

Many teens avoid the risks to sexual activity by choosing abstinence—the deliberate decision to avoid high risk behavior. Only abstinence will provide 100 percent protection against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Practicing abstinence requires planning and self-control, the ability to use responsibility to override emotions. There are many reasons to practice abstinence. Sexual activity has many short- and long-term consequences. In addition to legal consequences [sic], it can seriously harm an individual’s physical, mental/ emotional, and social health. The use of avoidance techniques and refusal skills can help you practice abstinence and reduce the risk of being pressured into sexual activity.”

And in one place in the book they clump drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and sex as “high risk behaviors” (as a close comrade said, the only thing missing is rock ’n’ roll)! This is the logic they play up: Sex is bad; unless you’re married and reproduce. They make you think there’s no way to avoid it. This is straight up the logic of the Christian Fascists. And it’s crazy to think of what kind of physical harm they speak of when they’re not telling us about protection against STDs! The mental and social harm they speak of is true, because of their oppressive logic being promoted, not some universal “looking down on” those “sinners”; it comes from somewhere (i.e. their Bibles and Oval Office).

But it’s long past the need for human sexuality (a wonderful and beautiful thing in and of itself) to be distorted by exploitative and reactionary relations. Communist morality is opposed to any form of sexual plunder and subordination, and to the flourishing of a safe and equal human sexuality. The message that we were carrying at the gay marriage celebration in San Francisco was “Celebrate Gay Marriage! Christian Fascists Go Back to Your Patriarchal Cave!” But we also gotta unchain human sexuality from oppressive conditions, as part of the struggle to emancipate half of humanity—women—and the rest of humanity altogether. We need to explore—on a scientific and non-religious basis—prevention methods against STDs and specifically the fight against HIV/AIDS. But right now it’s distorted by capitalist fetters. We need revolution! =)


Bay Area Revolution Club

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