Those who don’t happen to think it’s a good idea for 16-year-old unmarried girls to have babies and contract STDs may have to put up with a bit of mockery and sexual innuendo from BBC reporter Richard Alwyn. He tries to claim that the abstinence movement is treading dangerously close to unconstitutionality with funding from the Federal Government under the Bush Administration.
The tightrope that these groups must walk, however, is at the heart of the American constitution, which demands the separation of church and state. The Silver Ring Thing cannot spend Bush’s bucks on God.
But is this ultimately possible? The Silver Ring Thing’s ringmaster, Denny Pattyn, is an ordained minister. Abstinence, he says, is the brainchild of God. He has been preaching it for many years, only now he has a secular medical case to add to his Christian arsenal.
Apparently, Mr Alwyn, the US Constitutional Scholar, sees something sinister here. After all, ministers should be seen but not heard unless, of course, they utter some PC mantra. Then, and only then, will the BBC withold judgement. [Note to Mr Alwyn: In point of fact, the tax revenues spent by the US Government are subject to review regularly when voters let their Congressmen, Senators and President know what they think of their revenue spending every two, six and four years, respectively, when they go to the polls.]
Onstage, 16-year-old Nikki insists that being single is cool. She exalts (sic) her young audience not to cheat, as she would have it, on their future wives or husbands.
[Note to any awake BBC copy editor– I think “exalts” should read “exhorts”. Yes, it is confusing, covering these strange gatherings. Don’t get too flustered, ok?]
Mr Alwyn, it would seem, views the Christian minister heading up the abstinence organisation behind this event as a bit of a nutter. The man actually seems to believe the Bible to be true and encourages the young people in his charge to take its teachings seriously! Whoa!
….Denny [the minister] confides that he believes that the end of the world is nigh and that Christ will return within a generation. And so where does abstinence fit into that vision? Well, abstinence, he says, is a tool to reach young people for God, safeguarding them for the Second Coming.
Amazing–a minister who believes in Christ! What will they come up with next?