This, I think, highlights a problem with the current state of religiously-based sexual education. It isn't so much that churches should encourage people to screw like rabbits — it's more just that sex education needs to really educate people about sex, not mindlessly propagate religious propaganda.

For instance, when I was going through sex ed, we spent a lot of time on STDs and the virtues of abstinence. We heard a lot of scary stories about condoms failing or birth control not working. Never once (in sex ed) did we get any kind of education as to what a condom looks like or how it works. Never once did we hear about diaphragms or the Pill, except to say that they didn't work all the time. It was just, "Sex is bad for teenagers. Don't do it, becuase if you do, all kinds of nasty things will happen to you."

So what happens when a couple gets married? They've had about the same level of sex-education that I've had, say, and know that since they're both virgins, neither has any danger of STDs. Let's say they get tested, just to be on the safe side — one of them had a blood transfusion done ten years ago, or whatever. Let's further say they're a young couple, as many couples around where I live are; maybe they're out of college, maybe they aren't, maybe they never went. It's a smaller, more rural community, so they're pulling a couple part-time jobs each just to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

They can't afford to have kids.

But they do. Why? Because condoms are only for those heathens who have sex before marriage, and the entire purpose of marriage is procreation. That view isn't just restricted to northwest Iowa — its adherents are making big news across the US, and people around here really believe those views. Most people got "The Talk" from their parents at an early age, so they get the connection between sex and children. In this kind of environment, though, with highly religious parents who didn't give The Talk, and with the dismal state of "sex education," I can see how someone would come to the conclusion that all sex is bad, and miss the causal link between sex and children.

Sex education needs to be practical. It doesn't need to glorify sex or make reading the Kama Sutra mandatory. It doesn't even need to deviate from the "abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs" line. It does, however, need to acknowledge that even committed, married couples can have a use for condoms, birth control, and other methods for preventing pregnancy, and it should teach kids what they're good for and how to use them.

[edit: According to Snopes, the most valuable site on the Internet, the story is more than likely false. I'm pretty confident the point I'm trying to make still stands, however.]