Friday, January 14, 2005

Dear Constituent: F*** You!
So a few weeks ago Christine sent a letter to our man in Harrisburg, Rick Santorum, about the President's idiotic and dishonest "abstinence only" education programs, better known as "Lying to ourselves and our children about sex." Let's just say that she doesn't approve of these programs. Yesterday we received a letter from Senator Homophobe that reads:

Dear Ms. Beardsley:

Thank you for contacting me regarding federal funding for abstinence education programs. I appreciate hearing from you and having the benefit of your views.

As you may know, abstinence education programs are funded through the annual Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. The Senate and House versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2005 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bills were combined with several other appropriations bills into one final spending measure (H.R. 4818). On November 20, 2004, the House passed the FY 2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill by a vote of 344 to 57, and the Senate passed this measure with my support by a vote of 65 to 30. This legislation provides a total of $186 million for abstinence programs for FY 2005. Included in this figure is $50 million for the abstinence-only education block grant,k $31 million for Adolescent Family Life prevention projects, and $100 millino for the SPRANS abstinence-only education program. President Bush signed H.R. 4818 into law (P.L. 108-447) on December 8, 2004.

Please know that I understand your concerns regarding this matter. As the Senate considers abstinence education programs, whether in the context of the FY 2006 appropriations process or during reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, I will be sure to keep your comments in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me. If I can assist you further with this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to call on me again.

Rick Santorum
United States Senate

Shorter Rick Santorum: Dear Christine, I got your letter objecting to abstinence-only education programs, and I just wanted to personally write you and tell you that we green-lit a bunch of no screwing legislation, and that when I help pass more of this legislation in the future, your letter will be in the back of my mind. Yours truly, Senator Homophobe.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

On a (somewhat distantly) related note:

Living in Cairo, I think we mainly get sitcoms on satellite that are unsuccessful in the U.S., so hopefully this is not a huge national trend. That said, 3 of the most-watched sitcoms that we do get hee include clear messages about teen pregnancy that I find kind of interesting.

a) Grounded for Life: Two teenagers at a Catholic highschool have sex, she gets pregnant, they get...Grounded for Life (and then, somewhat interestingly, 16 years later they don't stop their own teenage daughter from having sex with her boyfriend in her bedroom on a quite regular basis...but I digress).

b) Still Standing: High School prom queen tries to make "real" boyfriend jealous by going out with loser...gets pregant, marries loser, life ensues.

c) Reba: In my personal favorite, mom and dad split up because dad has knocked up his office assistant and he must now leave one woman to marry the other. This occurs during the same week that his teenage daughter is herself knocked up. Two highschool kids get married and live with Mama Reba. In-house childcare enables them to go to college, but mom's always there to remind them of their responsibilities.

So, what's the deal? When one recalls that a mere 5 years ago Monica and Rachel fought it out over who could have sex when there was only one condom left in the apartment, this seems to be a kind of shocking about face.

I'm sure this stuff all goes in cycles, but...I'm still disturbed by the clear and present message: "Have sex in high school and your life will be ruined." I suppose "Wear a condom and get on the pill" makes for much less amusing television hijinx.


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