Unification News for July 1999

Abstinence & Reality

Robert S. Kittel
July, 1999

The goal of Pure Love Alliance is to educate people, young and old alike, about the importance of sexual purity. However, abstinence is more than cold showers and virgin brides. And it is much more than just a healthy choice; more than merely one of several options that hopefully avoid unwanted pregnancies or fatal diseases.

The standard, as we see it, should be no sex before marriage and absolute fidelity after marriage. While this is not todayís reality, the important question is "What is the best lifestyle, and what are the ideals worth striving for?" To live a pure lifestyle takes courage, commitment, and character. Shall we forgo teaching these three "Cís" to our children and teach condoms, condoms and condoms instead?

Now even liberal sex educators agree that abstinence and fidelity are best. The problem is the distance between this ideal and the reality. Some say the gap is too wide to bridge and label any attempt "unrealistic." But this approach puts our young people at unnecessary risk, given the proven ineffectiveness of condoms. Each year 15.3 million Americans, including 3 million teens, are infected with a new STD. (Falling by Patricia Donovan, 1998 October). Even more dangerous, by giving them no ideal at all arenít we accepting this bleak reality?

What is the reality of the 900,000 teen pregnancies each year? Eighty-five percent were conceived out-of-wedlock; at least 1/3 ends in abortion. The hope is a recent, significant decline in teen sexual activity. But we have only just begun.

The Sexual Revolution, unchallenged for decades, disoriented our moral compass by changing the meaning of words, "disguising infidelity and selfishness as freedom and independence," as Sarah E. Hinlicky writes in Subversive Virginity. More than a change in semantics, they sought to destroy traditional family values. It is time to reclaim our self-respect, ethical standards and the English language.

Abstinence is more than sex-control; it is an integral part of personal character development. Itís about self-control. Itís about being unselfish. Itís about empathy and living for the sake of others. Itís about freedom for allónot license for just a few.

Letís get real. Abstinence is about building strong families, lowering crime rates, providing security for our schools, communities and businesses, increasing property values, and rebuilding our inner cities. But above all, abstinence is about building good character, which is the foundation for true relationships between a man and woman.

Robert Kittel is the president of the Pure Love Alliance

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