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February 17, 2009

Bristol Palin: Abstinence 'not realistic'

Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said in a recent interview it's "not realistic" to expect abstinence outside of marriage but says teenagers should wait longer to have children.

"Everyone should be abstinent . . . but it's not realistic at all," the 18-year-old told Fox's Greta Van Susteren after Van Susteren asked her whether she had a philosophical or religious objection to contraception.

Palin also said that having sex as a teenager had become "more and more accepted now" among people her age."I think everyone should just wait 10 years," she said. Being a teenage mother "is not glamorous at all . . . your whole priorities change after having a baby."

On a non-Palin note but abstinence note, Christianity Today has offered two recent articles on abstinence.

Comments

That is sad. It basically says because society has changed, the biblical standard for purity has changed as well. Yes, dieing to sin isn't realistic, but it's possible through the power of the gospel.

What a great testimony!!!

Is she bent on singlehandedly bring disrepute to the Christian message about abstinence before marriage (by practice and now speech)?
Good to hear that we have an unrealistic God with unrealistic demands on our lives

Ha! Who said that silence is not golden?
it makes even the fool look wise

Whether or not abstinence is realistic is not the question. The right question is: is it biblical? Is it moral? Once you've made a mistake you have to deal with the consequences but that shouldn't prevent us from acknowledging that abstinence is still the only course of action that is perfectly in line with God's Word and guaranteed not to bring an innocent child into this world before the parents are married and ready to raise it.

When a culture becomes as hyper-sexualized as ours, it is inevitable that promiscuity will increase at younger ages. What the church SHOULD be preaching (if it truly wanted to be Biblical) is that people should be marrying at considerably younger ages than they now do. Alas, thanks to the effeminate nature of todays 'evangelicalism', we've chosen instead to listen to pop-psychologists who gear their messages towards insecure teenage girls and their frigid mothers, or those sad, lonely, perpetually unmarried women in church who - by their actions if not their intentions -actively DIScourage marriage for years and possibly forever. Trust me, when the church preaches a masculine message to real men, marriage and sex never get treated as irrelevant, take-it-or-leave-it subjects.
If you cannot control you sexual desire, then take a spouse.
THAT and THAT ALONE is what the Bible commands for humanity. 'Abstinence' is an unbiblical notion, by the way - Scripture knows only of celibacy, a special but RARE calling from God for a specific task, and marriage. So trying to encourage abstinence for people in their mid to late 20's is guaranteed to bring moral disaster to the church.
Just look around.

Get with it folks! Do you really think she has had time to deeply think about this issue before going public in an interview? She stammered throughout the entire interview and refused to go into detail about why she didn't think abstinence was realistic. Not all 17-18 year olds are mature and able to think before they act.
Bristol is hardly the spokesperson to articulate why abstinence may be unrealistic. Of course most of the advocates of abstinence are themselves married and able to enjoy sex, sort of like a Catholic Priest telling you how to have a good sex life with your spouse.

Why should Brisol's comments be considered ex cathedra? She stammered and stalled through the entire segment here. I am very doubtful that she has given this issue any deep thought. The media wasted its time here. But despite these observations I wish her well on motherhood and I hope she receives the support of her family and friends.

Sexual purity was a problem for many heroes of the faith. Off the top of my head, Abraham, Jacob, Judah, and David all failed in this area. While the Bible is less stringent in polygamy than our culture today, looking at the Mosaic laws, it seems that struggling with abstinence is a part of the fallen human condition.

I watched the entire interview and can assure you Bristol was not supporting teen sex - or any sex outside of marriage. She said numerous times that teen motherhood was not glamorous, that teen motherhood should not be something one strives for and that while her son brings much joy, she certainly wishes he'd come after she completed her education, had a job and got married.

Nonetheless, she honestly reported that peer pressure and a culture of free sex make abstinence difficult to maintain.

I think the real point Bristol wanted to make was two wrongs don't make a right; the sin of sex before marriage should not be covered up by the sin of abortion. Accept the consequences of having to grow up real fast and move on.

Not realistic huh? Have a little self-restraint. It has been pretty "realistic" for me over the last 28 years.

I think her comments weren't conveyed in quite the manner she may have intended, but hey, she's just a kid. What do you expect?

Given that, I suppose there is a grain of truth in what she said about it being unrealistic, but then again, saying that we'll never have poverty is unrealistic and that doesn't stop people from trying to change it.

I don't interpret her comments in the same way I do when liberals claim that "all teenagers do it, abstinance doesn't work." They say it gleefully and with great triumph, like they've won some sort of victory.

Although I am sympathetic that she is young and not remarkably articulate, it is also true that she chose to do this interview and one could wish she had put more effort into it or not done it at all. The interviewer did not exactly grill her but seemed to try to be as fair as possible. The fact that she still seemed very uncomfortable suggests that she was not really ready to be interviewed. I am at a loss as to what she was thinking.

All I can say is that someone who isn't practicing abstinence isn't the best person to make judgements on whether it's 'realistic' or not (I don't think we'd take an alcoholic's advice on whether it's realistic to abstain from alcohol). That goes for any married person, as well, unless they practiced abstinence right up to their wedding day...

Look, you live in a landfill like our society, you're gonna get dirty. The bad thing about this, for me, is that my opinion or SARAH Palin has tanked for letting her ditsy daughter do such an interview. Stupid stupid stupid.

I think Bristol (and her parents) could benefit from reading the book "Do Hard Things:A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" by the Harris brothers.

Bristol's comment can be taken in so many ways. I believe her comment in this context is that, yes, people should abstain straight across the board. Following her comment I think she quickly realized how unlikely the potential of it happening straight across the board was. Basically, in light of the times, she was saying it probably won't pan out that way.

I LISTENED TO THE INTERVIEW OF BRISTOL. SHE IS ADORABLE AND SHE WILL GROW UP SOMEDAY. I AM SORRY IF SHE REALLY BELIEVES THAT IT IS UNREALISTIC FOR TEENS TO BE ABSTINENT, SEXUALLY. I THINK THIS IS MORE OF A DEFENSE OF WHAT SHE KNOWS IS HER 'MISTAKE' OR SIN. I DO NOT CONDEMN HER. SHE BOUGHT INTO THE LIE AND SHE PUT HERSELF IN A POSITION TO NOT BE STRONG ENOUGH TO SAY NO TO SEX. I HOPE THAT SHE AND MOM COMMUNICATED SERIOUSLY ABOUT THE SUBJECT, BUT I DOUBT THAT THERE WAS REALLY AN ONGOING DIALOGUE OF MOM AND BRISTOL. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE JUST DO NOT DO NATURALLY ESPECIALLY IN THE BUSY LIFE OF TODAY'S FAMILY. SEX IS NOT A NECESSARY ACTIVITY FOR A TEEN AND HER BOYFRIEND. THIS IS BASIC KNOWLEDGE FOR A CHRISTIAN TEEN. THERE ARE ENOUGH WAYS TO DEAL WITH THE LUST, AND HORMONES. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.
DON'T EXCUSE IT AS UNREALISTIC. HOWEVER, WHO CAN BE SAD ABOUT NEW LIFE? THERE ARE THOSE TEENS AND YOUNG COUPLES IN THE CHURCH WHO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN ABSTINENCE. I DO NOT THINK THAT SAYING ABSTINENCE IS UNREALISTIC SHOULD BE THE MESSAGE. WHEN YOU FALL, ADMIT IT AND CHANGE YOUR WAYS. THAT IS IT. GOD IS GOOD AND NOW BRISTOL HAS THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT SHE COULD HAVE. BE ABSTINENT AND GO ON FROM HERE. THAT IS REALISTIC! YOU MAY NOT EVEN WANT TO MARRY THE YOUNG MAN. TAKE TIME TO GET CLOSE TO JESUS AND SEEK GOD'S WILL AS YOU RAISE YOUR BOY AND GO TO SCHOOL. GET INVOLVED IN LIFE, NOT SEX. LOOK AROUND AND SEE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT POPULAR, WHO ARE BUSY WITH STUDIES AND HELPING OTHERS, WHO ARE NOT SO PRETTY, OR HANDSOME OR ATHLETIC OR WHATEVER. LOOK AT THE ORDINARY TEEN, NOT WHAT IS THE STEREOTYPE OF TEEN. MOST DO NOT HAVE BOYFRIENDS AND HANG OUT WITH GROUPS, MIXED OR SINGLE SEX. YOUTH GROUPS PROVIDE THIS KIND OF GUIDANCE AND RESPECT FOR THE OPPOSITE SEX. COME ON PEOPLE...BE HONEST WITH WHAT IS REALISTIC, PLEASE. DATING ALONE AND BEING ALONE AS TEENS IS NOT HEALTHY AND IT IS UNREALISTIC TO EXPECT DIFFERENT RESULTS IF YOU DO THIS...PARENTS NEED TO WISE UP AND PAY ATTENTION WITH LOVE.

In reply to Leonard, who said : "is that my opinion or SARAH Palin has tanked for letting her ditsy daughter do such an interview."

Bristol is legally an adult.


Bristol, by design or accident, has torpedo'd her mom's candidacy for anything higher than dog catcher. No recent mention of the absent father. Wards of the state? You lead by example, Sarah.

Amen Gloria! You are so correct on ALL your points! I have tried to be vocal about these same issues but I'm just "one voice crying in the wilderness". As a victim of the Church's unbiblical perspective on human sexuality, it was rewarding to see this topic articulated so well.

Sorry J.C.; my blog-comment was a response to YOUR entry, not the one immediately above yours.

I kinda figured you meant my post, unpopular. And thank you! I hope I wasn't too crude in what I wrote (and I apologize to any single women who would love to be married but can't find a good man; I honestly wasn't lumping you in with the ones I mentioned, but I didn't clarify my words like I should have), but the church just isn't going to achieve sexual purity preaching 'delayed marriage', the 'gift of singleness' and all that nonsense. I wasn't impugning sexual virtue when I pooh-poohed 'abstinence' teachings, but God didn't make us to be celibates until we're 25-30 years old; and most unmarried Christians that age AREN'T living celibate lives anyway.
God, speaking through Paul, was obviously right - GET MARRIED! The church should be glorifying marriage, not coming up with all kinds of excuses to justify putting it off until who knows when.