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Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Ignorance is Bush

Just zip it up

By Leigh E. Rich

Just say no.

No, no, no, no, no.

Thanks, Baby Bush, I’ll try to remember that on my next date as I interrogate the boy, unfortunate enough to have asked me to dinner, on which private religious school he wants to send our future 2.3 Christian children after we have creatively manipulated our tax returns and screwed our government out of funds for those pansy social programs that promise to better the world.

Good thing our illustrious leader has come up with a surefire (and inexpensive!) plan to teach us all abstinence, because such an outing with a potential sweater-vest wearing husband always turns me on. And lord knows, being the evil apple-eating Eve I am, I can’t control myself when dinner dates woo me with their chauvinistic yet suave “family values.”

It’s a sad state of affairs in this, the new millennium—particularly in the midst of Women’s History Month—that Dubya begs for his $135 million allowance from Congress to teach America’s adolescents to abstain from sex as their only form of birth control. There’s no evidence, good or otherwise, that such tactics work. Just ask Nancy Reagan.

The good, ol’ pres, of course, was too busy tooting lines to have noticed the mighty hand the lady in red brought down on adolescent substance abuse.

At least when Democrats throw money at social programs, they delude others—not just themselves—into believing there’s a chance in hell such plans will have some kind of impact.

On the contrary, there is plenty of proof that sexually transmitted diseases continue to be a major health concern in our advanced, industrialized, first-world nation. Why else—other than governmental conspiracy, of course—would the Centers for Disease Control fund 14 STD and HIV Prevention Training Centers throughout the nation?

Under Bush’s regime, however, teen programs that receive a chunk of the sugar-free pie “must deliver a very strict message of abstinence, one that omits any guidance regarding birth control,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

Such “education” not only ignores the oversexed, half-naked, Clinton-Condit context in which we all live, it fails to prepare adolescents for the difficult and delicate task of negotiating sexual relations even within the confines of marriage. After all, holy matrimony and STDs or unwanted pregnancies are not mutually exclusive.

If kids are not to learn about birth control or, say, skills to help them make their own choices, what is left for programs to teach? Masturbation? Finally, Jocelyn Elders would have her last laugh.

Coming on the heels of his Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, what’s next for our pontifex maximus? Just say no to Alaskan wilderness? Abstinence from campaign finance reform? Stop all ballot recounts?

While our current chief turns a blind and daft eye on the problems at hand, our last left a permanent stain on the presidential seal.

And even the mundane subject of new taxation befuddled Papa Bush’s assurance of abstinence.

But we shan’t be cynics. Asceticism is sure to work.

After all, our politicians are models of self-restraint.

Rich, L. E. (2002, March 20). Ignorance is Bush: Just zip it up. CU-Denver Advocate.

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