Author and motivational speaker Tara White is visiting D.C. this week to promote her new book Don't Curse Your Wedding Bed Before You Say I Do. She is also the guest speaker at a forum tonight for teens at a local church to kick off their Abstinence Only Week. Ms. White, a North Carolina based author, had a book signing at the John 3:16 Christian Bookstore in Lanham, Maryland on Saturday. In an interview, Ms. White explained her thoughts on teen sex, abstinence only education, and homosexuality.
Ms. White shared her own personal story in her book about sex before marriage. She gave some noteworthy advice in her book about how teens should work more on their relationship with God and not each other. She also shared how she became pregnant during her college years by her boyfriend, broke up with him, reconciled and got married after their daughter was born. Ms. White explained that she wished that she had abstinence only education growing up but then dichotomously stated that when she was growing up, sex was a taboo subject in her home. "If I said anything about sex I was told just don't do it. I might have asked a question because again it was taboo. They would just say 'because I said so'." Apparently, abstinence only did not work for her.
Tara White insisted that abstinence only works because it is the only true form of prevention. She passionately disagrees with teaching about all forms of birth control in conjunction with abstinence because it inadvertently gives a green light to premarital sex. "The birth control, that's like saying you're in agreement with it. We want them [teens] to know that this is the way. We're trying to get them to realize and know in their heart that prevention is the only way. You have to be abstinent. Our youth need to be in the know. They need to have information so they can know what to do and what not to do." It is clear that 'being in the know' for Ms. White means only knowing how to say 'no'.
When asked about her views on teaching teens about sexual orientation, Ms. White again presented a divided point of view. She said, "I think that's an awesome idea and then again I would lead them back to Christ and teach them that this is not who God intended for you to be. Some people say 'I was born this way'. But no they weren't. They were born in sin. But to be reconciled to Christ, the image of God. Even with the alternative lifestyles, there's a void. Something's missing. So they're saying 'OK. Maybe this is who I am.' Maybe this is who I am.' They are trying to find who they are. When in the Bible, God tells them who they are. But that's the thing. We have to get to them and bring them back before we start to educate them about anything because they don't even know who they are."
In an answer to Ms. White's charge that homosexuals were not born that way, Mark Fischer, senior vice president for Back to the Basics Please, a non-profit organization devoted to HIV education and support for sexual minorities, stated that this kind of philosophy can lead to highly debilitating damage. "Since the early 1970's, the American Psychiatric Association has deemed homosexuality as a "normal" sexual orientation. Living as a homosexual is not a lifestyle choice. The only choice involves acceptance of the individual's true nature as created by means beyond human control. There is no human "cause" of homosexuality and there is no means for changing same-sex attraction." Mr. Fischer counters the notion that "reparative therapy" otherwise known as "pray the gay away" will make homosexuals straight. "Those who follow and honor God as the all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present Creator of the Universe need to accept the fact that homosexuality, which is not made by human choice and cannot be changed by human effort, is God-made and honor the wisdom of God's design."
As for HIV, abstinence only programs have not shown significant reductions in lowering the infection rates and has cost tax payers more than $1.5 billion. In fact last October, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act. This legislation would end the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all, and transfer that funding to the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) state-grant program. Forty-two states including the District of Columbia requested funds from PREP to fund comprehensive sexual education programs.
As for Ms. White, she affirms that the lessons from the Bible are the only education teens need to know. "God's plan is an old plan but it's the best plan."
**What are your thoughts on abstinence-only versus comprehensive sexual education? Post a comment here.
Is the abstinence-only program still worth it?
**Mr. Fischer's references
Send Candace an e-mail.