By Erin Sherbert
By Howard Cole
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By Leif Haven
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Kate Conger
We nod our heads collectively.
"Kids say, 'Well, marriage is good, but if you really love each other, if you're in love, it's OK to have sex,'" the woman says, her mouth dropping open with disbelief. "Is that love? No, it's not."
Her mouth drops open again.
"These are kids from Christian homes. Do you know where they get it from? Friends, media ....
"Let me tell you: MTV started out bad and is only getting worse."
Then the bubbly woman prescribes an easy solution: "Protect your eyes, protect the music you listen to!"
An effective method of eye protection, she notes, is a practice known as "Look and Drop." When a guy sees a woman and feels lust, he should train himself to immediately bounce his eyes away -- Look and Drop!
"The mind works fast. This trains him to look away. He doesn't allow the visual image to take hold," she explains. "That's why pornography is so dangerous. Porn sets unrealistic expectations on women."
I do a quick Look and Drop around the room, wondering whether the speaker is including amateur porn in her analysis. After all, the amateurs set some very realistic expectations.
"Great [that] we're getting our message out there: Co-habitation is not the goal. Awesome [that] we're getting our message out there," she says, noting that marriage causes less disease, alcoholism, and depression than "living in sin." "We have the studies. We have the documents. We have science backing us up. But the message that society gives off, that's our battle."
Finally comes the opportune moment to utter my catchphrase: "Guns don't kill; having sex with unmarried people kills!"
If God says you should save yourself for that one special person in your life, the one you're going to marry, then all bets are off once you get divorced. Because God lets you sometimes save yourself for a second special person in your life.
WHAT PART OF "WAIT UNTIL MARRIAGE" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!
My favorite forms of entertainment (in no discerning order) have to be:
And, of course, teens doing skits about abstinence.
"We're going to start out with a skit," announces a tall, lanky guy with glasses who helps coordinate the SWAT Team, a group of perky kids (tall, lanky guy; chunky blond gal; and, correct me if I'm wrong, Daddy's little girl -- all adorned in matching SWAT Team T-shirts) who go around to high schools and do skits about teen abstinence.
I don't think that, in this case, "SWAT" stands for "Special Weapons and Tactics," but something that involves not having sex. Anyway, it's clear that the SWAT Team aims to get other kids to TAKE THE PLEDGE.
"This skit is called 'The Pieces of My Heart' skit," the lanky guy says.
A female volunteer is brought up from the audience. Chunky blond gal narrates as tall, lanky guy holds a paper heart. She says that he and his girlfriend decide to have SEX. Complications. "She breaks up with him and breaks a piece of his heart."
Tall, lanky guy tears off part of his heart and gives it to chunky blond gal. This same interaction occurs again. More sex. More paper-heart-tearing.
"Now he has a really dinky heart," explains the chubby gal. Tall, lanky guy presents the paper-heart remnant to the audience volunteer, who portrays the future wife of the now-small-hearted man.
"So how does that make her feel?" asks chunky gal.
"Not good," admits the audience volunteer.
She directs her attention to the lanky guy. "How does he feel?"
"Like poop!" he blurts.
Here comes another fun teen abstinence skit.
"Does anyone want this $20 bill?" asks Daddy's little girl, pulling out some currency. Assuming this is not a trick question attached to a moral lesson correlating directly to teen abstinence, I quickly raise my hand and shout, "I do!" Some old ladies also raise their hands. (This better not be a trick.)
"How about if I crumple it up and step on it?" She does just that to the currency -- American currency! "Would you still want it?"
"Yeah!" I scream, waving my hand. "I'll have it!"
Then comes the lesson: "This is how we deal with born-again virgins. You're still worth the same. You can always start over. You can always change."
Ohhhhh! I get it. This is not about free money. She's simply making an analogy. This is great news, being that I'm a newly born-again virgin myself (though I'm not entirely sure how that works, physically speaking, for women; do Christian scientists cultivate laboratory hymens in petri dishes?)
But there's a more important message: Those who decide to have sex are nothing more than something crumpled up under one's shoe.
"Are you still giving away the money?" I ask.
In steps the SWAT Team's mom adviser. How does the adult adviser suggest that teens curb their libidos? By setting boundaries!
"As a couple, you should agree, 'At this point, we're going to go no further, and we're going to be safe,'" she explains. She looks at a handout titled "Progression of Sexual Activity." It's a chart divided into three sections: Safe Intimate Zone (spending time together, holding hands); Caution Zone (simple kiss, prolonged kiss); and of course the Danger Zone (not only sexual intercourse and petting, but also French kissing. Why? It explains: "He's aroused").