Bill Donohue comments on the “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2015” report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Never before have more young people been subjected to “progressive” sex education than today; never before have more Americans been given free condoms than today; never before have more colleges and universities incorporated “safe sex” classes into their freshmen orientation programs than today; never before have there been more public service advertisements imploring gays to take preventive measures than today; never before have more celebrities been hired to promote “sexual awareness” than today; and never before has the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) been higher.
In the 1950s, abortion was illegal, sex education hardly existed, and the pill was not on the market. The rates of abortion, illegitimacy, and STDs were so small that these subjects were rarely discussed. So why is it that today, with all the advances in education and technology, we are going backwards?
Never before have the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis been worse. Chlamydia mostly affects females, and it is young women, disproportionately black, who score the worst. Homosexual men, who are roughly one percent of the population, account for the majority of cases of gonorrhea and syphilis.
So who is suffering the least from STDs? We know from a study published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology that girls who are religious are far less likely to be burdened with STDs than those who are not. Religious beliefs and practices, the researchers found, functioned as “an independent predictor of multiple sexual behaviors directly linked to important clinical outcomes such as pregnancy and STD risk.”
Religious beliefs and practices have proven to be a better deterrent to STDs than education and technology. Yet we are doing nothing to husband the resources of faith communities to combat STDs. Instead, we distribute condoms and lecture on the wonders of “safe sex.” And then we scratch our heads every year when the STD rates get worse. We never learn.
Religion is not the enemy—it’s the answer. But religion scares the free spirits: they don’t want to be told to practice restraint, so they throw it to the wind, living a libertine lifestyle. Then they get sick.
We don’t need to spend a dime more on research. In fact, funding research on STD prevention only increases the likelihood that we will keep our heads in the sand. Money won’t cure a problem rooted in reckless behavior—only virtue will.