I’m still working on the Fundamental Flaws e-book and I’m thrilled to tell you that Ted Williams, a fellow PCC alum, has volunteered to do some chapter illustrations like the one above. I’m getting rather excited about this project!
[spoiler title=”Click to Read–>”]
It is a core belief of fundamentalism that it is the sole responsibility of a child’s parents to mumble through a red-faced and oblique explanation of the facts of life. This most awkward of conversations will then end with the parent rushing off to do something important that they just remembered needed doing in hopes of curtailing any awkward questions. If it weren’t for the encyclopedia and occasional National Geographic wildlife documentary, it’s unlikely that most fundamentalist children would really have a clue as to where babies come from — much less how much fun it is to make them.
The ban against explaining even the most rudimentary aspects of reproduction in a classroom setting would seem to be counter intuitive to a group of people who are obsessed with keeping teens from actually having sex. If your youth group is convinced that “adultery” means “acting like an adult” and that concupiscence is a kind of dessert then how exactly can one be expected to avoid the evil and cling to the good? It’s a case of what you don’t know being able to hurt you.
But the ignorance doesn’t stop there. Even married folk in fundyland often suffer from a deplorable amount of ignorance regarding exactly their bodies work and the amazing number interesting things there are to try when they’ve got some spare time. A few brave fundies will try out a book like the LaHaye’s The Act of Marriage or the Wheat’s Intended for Pleasure but even those are too much for some fundamentalists who think that talking about or describing sex at all is akin to “Larry Flynt pornography” and would likely faint dead away if someone dared to describe how to “Split the Bamboo.”
So what’s a fundy to do? Well, here’s a thought: if you were trying to learn how to speak German, make a soufflé or fly an airplane you probably would try to read books or watch videos or even (*gasp*) talk face to face with people who were knowledgeable and had some training and experience on those topics, regardless of whether they agreed with your position on eschatology. May I be so bold as to inquire what makes learning how to have great sex (or any sex for that matter!) all that different?
In this case, ignorance is not bliss nor is the awkward shame of false piety the same as godliness.[/spoiler]
As a rule, fundamentalists firmly believe that all sex education should happen at home between children and their parents. If the parents happen to be absent, immoral, or too timid to have ‘the talk’ then the fundy church provides them with a safe, caring environment where they can learn…pretty much nothing. Sorry, kids! Maybe someone on the Internet can help you out.
The Bob Jones high school biology text notwithstanding, education about matters reproductive in fundy schools often consists of thundering chapel messages about fleeing fornication. Even there, some kids who haven’t gotten the scoop on what “fornication” means may only know it happens at public schools and liberal churches and probably has something to do with breaking dress code and watching late-night television.
If you were old enough to vote before someone clued you in to where babies really come from…you might have been a fundamentalist.