ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

The Will of Congress is Being Thwarted

Mr. Gary D. Swant, president of the Sexaul Abstinence and Family Education (SAFE) Inc., is author of this special alert article prepared exclusively for the CAP/RAMP. While he owns intellectual rights to this material, you are free to print it and distribute it as you deem appropriate. The CAP and RAMP have no monetary interests in this and my only involvement in it was preparing it into HTML for posting to the web and in minor editting.

Please note that Mr. Swant informed me in a telephone conversation that the advance of continuing sex education seems to be losing ground. This tells me, as Jodi Hoffman of RAMP indicated that, in one great and complete sweeping move of open and bold opposition against the homosexual agenda, if we as the 'sleeping giant" would make just one concerted nation-wide move we could stop in its tracks. By the same token we - the sleeping giant - could indeed halt sexual invasion of child and parental rights in the name of educaton - in one sweeping move of opposition to it.

Mr. Swant taught biology and sex education for 25 years in the public school system. Upon retirement, he and his wife, Laura Lee founded SAFE (Sexual Abstinence and Family Education) Inc. with the specific goal of facilitating parents to be responsible for their children's sexual behavior. Mr. Swant has received the Montana Biology Teacher of the Year, Environmental Educator of the Year, and State Presidential Certificate of Honor for Excellence in Science Teaching awards, has written several curriculums, and has taught various graduate courses.

Mr. Swant is available for speaking engagements. Please visit his SAFE, Inc. website for further information.

Thank you, Mr. Swant, for graciously giving us the benefit of your expertise.

Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
P. O. Box 177
Granbury, TX 76048-0177

The Will of Congress is Being Thwarted
Gary D. Swant
Sexual Abstinence and Family Education (SAFE) Inc.

In 1996 the U.S. Congress passed welfare reform, earmarking $250 million for abstinence education as part of that legislation. Abstinence education funds are to be distributed to each state over the next five years. This is the first major challenge to the monopoly of the "safe sex" cartel on federally funded sex education. Rather than encouraging abstinence-only programs, as another approach in solving a national crisis in teen pregnancy the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) launched an all out effort to undermine this Congressional mandate. SIECUS first fought the funding of this legislation then tried to change its implementation. After both efforts failed, SIECUS attempted to dissuade governors from applying for funds. Fortunately all 50 states did apply. The most recent efforts of SIECUS have been to discredit abstinence programs using misinformation and half-truths.

The truth is that abstinence-only programs have demonstrated promising results in changing attitudes and behaviors. A longitudinal study of "Choosing the Best" showed strong success with teenagers. The "safe-sex" cartel have been trying to hide their true social agenda and cover the failure of its own programs. The double-message of "abstinence is best, but here is how to use a condom in a responsible way" has been both a STD and pregnancy-prevention disaster.

Recently the cartel have been filling the nation's newspapers with opinion articles and editorials on the woes of abstinence education. Recent articles include, Celibacy and the Absence of Reason, Uncle Sam's Abstinence Act is Unrealistic, and Bill Bennett's Best Friends: No Virgin at Rasing Big Money.

The real point is that the "safe-sex" cartel don't want successful alternatives to receive even a small percentage of the federal funding the cartel have enjoyed for decades. They know abstinence programs work and, if given a chance to be implemented, will end their 26 years of classroom monopoly.

Having failed in stopping the distribution of these funds to the states, parents need to be aware of the latest efforts of Maternal and Child and Health (MCH) bureaus to discredit abstinence. In most states the funds have gone to the MCHs within the departments of state health. Most health departments have never taught abstinence-only programs and don't want to now. The intention of Congress was to have the states distribute the funds to true abstinence advocates. Just the opposite is happening. Let me cite as an example what is happening in Montana. Public announcements of the grant by MCH include statements by their director saying, "We have always advocated abstinence, but I don't know how much good it will do to exclusively recommended it, especially to sexually active teens."

The abstinence program MCH designed, in my opinion, intentionally skirts the intent of Congress. The federal guidelines include very specific language as to how abstinence funds are to be used. Montana's MCH developed a program that distributed the funds within itself rather than to effective program proposals. Abstinence education within the legislation means a program which teaches 1) abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage, and 2) mutually faithful monogamous relationships in the context of marriage, as the expected norm. Further, programs must teach the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by sexual abstinence and must warn of the harmful consequences for the child, parent, and society created by teens bearing out-of-wedlock children.

The response of Montana's MCH to the legislation was to develop a program that "will train community-based trainers, thus assuring accessible, qualified people to help parents gain the knowledge and skills necessary for open parent-child communications about a variety of issues." Parents learning to be "askable parents" is apparently their primary abstinence tool! I called Montana's MCH director and asked "Where are the programs with an abstinence message directed at teens?" The answer was "Oh, we are just working with parents this first year." The purpose of skirting the law is to be able to say in five years, 'See! We tried abstinence and it doesn't work!'

Other states are directing programs to the 9-14 year old age group, but are only evaluating the 15-19 year olds. One state actually submitted a proposal for a soccer program as fulfillment of the intent of the legislation.

The Montana MCH also assigned, without advertising the position, an out-of-office program director who is a chemical dependency counselor with ties to the safe-sex cartel's philosophy. All of this has been done without choosing a citizen advisory council mandated by law to oversee the program.

Those of us who believe in the abstinence-only message here in Montana intend to counter by informing and working with sympathetic state legislators. We will then take our case to our Governor and demand proper implementation of the funds or public exposure of this scam on our youth.

Please call your state's Maternal and Child and Health Bureau - become informed. America's teens need the straight talk the abstinence education law requires. If the legislative intent continues to be subverted state by state, congressional investigations should take place and tax payers should be made aware.

Title V Welfare Reform legislation does not prevent safe sex advocates from continuing their ideology. It was funded to give abstinence educators an opportunity for a foot in America's classrooms. This issue is all about who controls the way we teach the next generation. Do we teach immediate gratification with risk reduction, or do we teach character, discipline, and postponement of personal pleasure in favor of long term benefits? It seems to me that "a rising tide lifts all ships."

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In the blessed name of Jesus:
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Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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