Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bristol Palin

So, I've been thinking... thinking and chatting with folks, and I have some thoughts to share. Regarding Bristol Palin's pregnancy, in some ways I don't care. Her decision to have the baby/not have the baby, marry the father/not marry the father isn't really all that important to me. Most of us were having sex in our later teens, so to judge her would be highly hypocritical. It's her business - as it should be.

The grander issue to be contemplated is Palin's history of positions regarding sex-education is schools. Although today, some texts claim that she supports "comprehensive sex education in schools," "according to her response to a candidate questionnaire during her gubernatorial run, Palin does not favor "explicit sex-ed programs" which, in the context of the questionnaire, included 'explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools.'" * Wikepedia, Political positions of Sarah Palin

This I find worrisome. Not because I disagree - which I do - but because of her daughter, Bristol's, pregnancy. To be an opponent of sex-ed programs and then have your high school age daughter turn up pregnant, is embarrassing. The Palins can have any position they want on this issue - it's democratic - but to run for office with such a firm stance on this issue, and have your daughter (who should be one of the highest priorities) get pregnant is hypocrisy. In the case of Sarah Palin, I find this to be not only a professional failure, but more importantly a parental one.

Just my thoughts...

4 Comments:

Blogger Jodi said...

It makes me crazy! You are only asking for trouble by not informing kids on how to stay safe. Of course you hope they won't need the information, but without it you get pregnant or worse you get STDs that you have to live with for the rest of your life. Comprehensive sex education should be mandatory. Not every child lives in a home with the financial resources to care for a teen pregnancy. Bristol is lucky. This situation is not enviable. It should be avoided and the way to do that is through comprehensive sex education, because obviously, abstinence only education didn't work in this case!

September 18, 2008 12:52 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

I agree! I also find it interesting that they keep talking about her "decision" to keep the baby because if Palin's beliefs were law, there would be no "decision" available. The same goes for her "decision" to have the baby with Down's syndrome. Why did she even bother with an amniocentesis, especially because there is always a small chance that it could cause a miscarriage?

In a way, the pregnancy is fitting. Palin was pregnant when she eloped. Her first child was born 8 months after her secret elopement. So clearly it's a family value she's passed on.

Were it Obama's 17 year old daughter, he wouldn't even be a candidate.

September 18, 2008 8:20 AM  
Blogger Jim-the Classical Liberal (Views from the Right) said...

You miss the point...she does not support "explicit sex-ed programs" which, in the context of the questionnaire, included 'explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools"

The reason for it is simple...it is the job of parents to educate their children in this area. It is not embarrassing that Bristol is pregnant...she is human and has human failings...it is not a professional failure nor a parental failure...it is the failure of Bristol to live up to the high expectations of her parents. It has nothing to do with Governor Palin's policy view.

Brisol could have easily become pregnant while using contraception...how do we know whether or not she did? Abstinence is the only way the pregnancy would have been guaranteed not to happen. That is the simple fact of the matter. Abstinence education did work in this instance...if one does not wait until marriage to have intercourse, there are consequences to one's actions. Lesson learned...

September 19, 2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to comment on this, normally I try to keep my views to myself, but on this one, I cannot.

According to your argument, if I, as a parent, decide to run for office, and one of my children, contrary to everything they have been taught, has some type of breakdown and assaults someone, then I am both an unfit parent and unworthy to run for office?

The fact that you call her failure a parental one, I find to be a bit... unjustified. As parents, you teach your children right and wrong, and to think for themselves. Eventually, their decisions become just that, THEIRS, and the responsibility and consequences of those actions are theirs. Do we as parents share some of that? Absolutely, because we are the ones that taught them (US, not the schools). But all of it? Never. Teaching them to be their own person should be high up on the list of goals.

But, that teaching should be the responsibility of the parents. Schools are there to educate our children on history, math, etc. Moral responsibility? No. Different people have different moral standards, will you teach them all to our kids, and let them decide which ones work for them? Or, will you discriminate against those that the school masters disagree with? For instance, drinking, drugs, underage sex, etc. Some parents feel it is part of growing up, and that's how the young adults learn, while others say that they are all dead wrong, and some choices have no leeway. As soon as you expect the schools to start teaching morals, the country will go down the tubes. (Oh look, just about where we are at.)

Sex ed in schools? Absolutely. Explicit sex ed in schools? No. Passing out contraceptives? No. That responsibility belongs to the parents, not the school system. When it crosses the line between education, and morals it goes from teachers to parents. Where is that line, what's right and wrong, what should the school say, and what should the parents say, etc. I don't know that I could describe it, but if you ask my children, I'm sure they can tell you, because I take my responsibility as a parent seriously.

Can we blame the parents when children go bad? Yes, to a point. You have to draw a line somewhere, because they eventually grow up and make their own decisions. Does that make us failures as parents?

I don't know. They never taught that moral compass to me in school.

They're my children, and I'll always love them. Will I agree with all their choices? No. Does that make me an unfit parent? No. That makes my children just what they are, unique individuals, who can lead their own lives, not the one that is chosen and mapped out for them.

September 24, 2008 5:43 PM  

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