My case for HB 363 (sex ed bill)

The new sex education proposal, HB 363, has drawn lots of attention (and emotion) on all sides. And for good reason. HB 363 obviously represents more than a sex education proposal. It represents another front in the culture war over Utah values, how we see ourselves as human beings, how we view the proper role of government and, ultimately, how we view freedom.

Sex education in our public schools should address the choice, not the means. Furthermore, it should prioritize helping us to become our better selves, not our selfish selves.

This is my case for HB 363.

The most important idea to understand about lasting freedom is that it requires us to be our better selves. Most of my arguments with libertarians are over this point. Freedom is not simply “individual liberty” or “economic freedom.” Those qualities are important components of freedom, but incomplete. A complete definition is that freedom is the sum of liberty and virtue. Freedom requires human beings to be their better selves. Of course, implied is that we know what it means to be a human being. 

A second important point to understand about lasting freedom is that government should be limited. But not in the way many people understand the meaning of “limited government.” To help human beings be our better selves, we surround ourselves with social encouragements: family, friends, religion, community groups, philanthropic and civic groups, educational opportunities, etc.

We also create governments. For instance, becoming our better selves requires people living in community to create rules about how we’re going to get along. This is the reason we have a system of justice in America. If we didn’t care about becoming our better selves, in the name of lasting freedom, we’d simply revert to the Wild West rule of law – every man for himself.

In this context, government has a limited role to play in helping us preserve our lasting freedom. That’s the meaning of limited government. That’s the proper role of government. Government has a limited role in helping us become our better selves. Many legal scholars refer to this role as “educative” – meaning the law not only restrains, it educates.

So how does sex education in public schools (i.e., government schools) fit into this broader theory of freedom?

Simple: a society interested in lasting freedom requires human beings to responsibly procreate and avoid irresponsible choices that burden society. Responsible procreation, as we’ve discovered over millennia, happens within the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman.

In other words, responsible sex education in our public schools must be set in the context of no sexual relations outside of the bonds of marriage. And that is the point of HB 363.

Critics of HB 363 insist the purpose of sex education in our public schools is to prevent, as much as possible, the unfortunate consequences of sex outside of marriage. It’s an “insurance policy” of sorts, they insist. They say it’s the only reasonable thing to do given that most Utah youth will have premarital sex. And, after all, if we can keep our youth from experiencing the ill consequences of pre-marital sex, why wouldn’t we?

There is a charm to that argument, especially if one doesn’t believe in the freedom construct I just shared. In other words, if the goal is simply to “sell insurance” to our youth in public schools, why not “sell insurance”?

The critic’s slogan is “education, not ignorance.” So, in that spirit, let me educate these critics.

Selling kids an “insurance policy” regarding premarital sexual relations doesn’t protect any youth from sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. The universal and public availability of contraception does not guarantee that any youth will use it. The only consequence-free sexual relation between youth is no sexual relation at all.

Yes, premarital sex is a reality. So, too, are sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies even when contraception is at hand – quite literally meaning that the effective mitigation of these ill consequences from premarital sex is about the “choice” youth make, not about the “means” whereby they have sex after they’ve made the choice. Comprehensive sex education is all about the means. Abstinence-only sex education is all about the choice.

This is the point where our understanding of the proper role of government becomes relevant. Sex education in our public schools should address the choice, not the means. Furthermore, it should prioritize helping us to become our better selves, not our selfish selves. Comprehensive sex education is all about our selfish selves (i.e., attempting to mitigate the consequences of poor choices). Abstinence-only sex education is all about our better selves (i.e., attempting to influence the choices youth make).

We don’t teach youth how to drink liquor, not even responsibly. Nor do we teach youth how to consume narcotics, not even responsibly. We tell them not to. Teaching youth to have “safe sex” is like teaching youth to “drink responsibly.” Can people have “safe sex”? Yes. Can people “drink responsibly”? Yes. But in both cases we don’t teach youth to do either. We tell them don’t do it at all.

We are not arguing about the availability of contraception in a free society. We’re arguing about the availability of contraception in our public (government) schools. While I have my personal opinion about the work Planned Parenthood does, my concern about Planned Parenthood is in the context of government-funded and endorsed activities. The fact is that anyone can visit Planned Parenthood, in person or online, and get whatever “education” they need about sex. The question for us is should our public schools provide under force of law what Planned Parenthood provides voluntarily? My answer is no, for all of the reasons I’ve articulated.

Lastly, our governments, in their proper role, must be encouraging the best expectations and personal responsibility within our youth. Comprehensive sex education, as has been so clearly defined by the critics of HB 363 themselves, caters to a culture of dysfunction. It assumes the worst about us as human beings (i.e., that we will unavoidably choose to make poor choices) and it serves up attempts to mitigate those consequences by seeking to perfect our “skills” within the dysfunction.

Think of the timing of this educational process. Both comprehensive and abstinence-only sex education are premised on educating youth prior to a choice being made. Even most supporters of comprehensive sex education aren’t cheering on youth to have premarital sex.

Proponents of comprehensive sex education (i.e., opponents of HB 363) are attempting to influence the choices of youth in a good way, just as proponents of abstinence-only sex education are. The difference is that comprehensive sex education undermines, or at least severely contradicts, that attempt to influence those choices. Because law is educative and public schools are government schools, youth receive a mixed and confusing message under comprehensive sex education: Public authorities tell me no, but then go out of their way to show me how. That contradiction is a misuse of government, in my opinion, and certainly an injustice (even an insult) to our youth.

Abstinence-only sex education, as embodied in HB 363, is the only just, rational and consistent way to influence the choices of youth in public schools about proper and healthy sexual relations. It is the only justifiable instruction in such matters if lasting freedom is an important consideration to us.

Related posts:

This entry was posted in Sex Education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to My case for HB 363 (sex ed bill)

  1. Liz Woolcott says:

    So, wait, when did Freedom also mean limited information? And why should a “limited” government have any value judgements at all – why should it help us “become our better selves”.  A true limited government protects property, provides stability to hedge against physical harm, and provides an avenue for redress of wrongs.   Try defining becoming “our better selves.”  Is it the same for everyone? And to what extent does government help us “become our better selves.”  Consider this carefully because every society has a different idea of what this means.

    As far as influencing the teen sexual activity rate, this could include legislating what teens wear, who they hang out with, where they go, what times they are allowed out, etc..  But, as most of us in Utah – and many other places – agree, this is the realm of parental and familial influence.  And it is far more effective than educational curricula. 

    The truth is this: no one wins when they are prohibited from having the information to deal with life.  While I absolutely agree that society is better off when people choose abstinence until they are married, I disagree that this is a choice influenced by school education curricula.  It is much, MUCH more determined by social interactions, family bonds, peer groups, church groups, etc.  Teaching sex education, therefore, is not about giving them the permission to do something they shouldn’t or about giving them a way out of the consequences of their actions.  It is about facts and information.  Teach them how the body works, how pregnancy occurs, what the consequences of it is, how contraception works, what its pros and cons are, what STDs are and what their risks are.  This will not make them go out and have sex.  It makes them educated. 

    And let’s face it – that information is useful for later on in life, not just as teenagers.  Even happily married, sexually active adults need to know about those things.  Information will not cause our children to behave inappropriately – our lack of supervision and/or their own freedom to make choices does that.

  2. Liz Woolcott says:

    So, wait, when did Freedom also mean limited information? And why should a “limited” government have any value judgements at all – why should it help us “become our better selves”.  A true limited government protects property, provides stability to hedge against physical harm, and provides an avenue for redress of wrongs.   Try defining becoming “our better selves.”  Is it the same for everyone? And to what extent does government help us “become our better selves.”  Consider this carefully because every society has a different idea of what this means.

    As far as influencing the teen sexual activity rate, this could include legislating what teens wear, who they hang out with, where they go, what times they are allowed out, etc..  But, as most of us in Utah – and many other places – agree, this is the realm of parental and familial influence.  And it is far more effective than educational curricula. 

    The truth is this: no one wins when they are prohibited from having the information to deal with life.  While I absolutely agree that society is better off when people choose abstinence until they are married, I disagree that this is a choice influenced by school education curricula.  It is much, MUCH more determined by social interactions, family bonds, peer groups, church groups, etc.  Teaching sex education, therefore, is not about giving them the permission to do something they shouldn’t or about giving them a way out of the consequences of their actions.  It is about facts and information.  Teach them how the body works, how pregnancy occurs, what the consequences of it is, how contraception works, what its pros and cons are, what STDs are and what their risks are.  This will not make them go out and have sex.  It makes them educated. 

    And let’s face it – that information is useful for later on in life, not just as teenagers.  Even happily married, sexually active adults need to know about those things.  Information will not cause our children to behave inappropriately – our lack of supervision and/or their own freedom to make choices does that.

  3. Natalebean says:

    The gaping hole in most of these arguments is providing knowledge of resources (not giving the resources, but knowledge where to find and use them) for every person as they may or may not need to find community resources for various reasons. A larger than desired part of this group are Sexual assault victims that do not speak up or often know where they can look for help. These numbers are staggering especially the reported numbers compared to the standard percentages of unreported instances. For these victims alone and in an effort to educate and deter as many predators as possible, it becomes a public safety concern. This issue is not as simple as you have tried to make it. Think about the person you know who this represents, try to put yourself in that persons place just after the assault and coinciding threats of violence. You are young, panicked and simply want to forget. You don’t report, but later you realize there may be unwanted things resulting from this STD’s for an example. You can’t tell… the threat of violence was proven to you by the act(s) itself. How do you as a young person know where to get help? Most every parental sex conversation never covers this. Help the victims and shine a light into that unmentionable dark abyss.

  4. Natalebean says:

    The gaping hole in most of these arguments is providing knowledge of resources (not giving the resources, but knowledge where to find and use them) for every person as they may or may not need to find community resources for various reasons. A larger than desired part of this group are Sexual assault victims that do not speak up or often know where they can look for help. These numbers are staggering especially the reported numbers compared to the standard percentages of unreported instances. For these victims alone and in an effort to educate and deter as many predators as possible, it becomes a public safety concern. This issue is not as simple as you have tried to make it. Think about the person you know who this represents, try to put yourself in that persons place just after the assault and coinciding threats of violence. You are young, panicked and simply want to forget. You don’t report, but later you realize there may be unwanted things resulting from this STD’s for an example. You can’t tell… the threat of violence was proven to you by the act(s) itself. How do you as a young person know where to get help? Most every parental sex conversation never covers this. Help the victims and shine a light into that unmentionable dark abyss.

  5. Dnknecht says:

    I was told on the news that you had an online petition to support this bill.  I could not see a link.

  6. Dnknecht says:

    I was told on the news that you had an online petition to support this bill.  I could not see a link.

  7. Randall Jones says:

     When the ACLU and others, who do not want to feel guilty for
    breaking the 10 commandments, forced the public schools to remove God and any
    sort of religious values, they substituted the “If if feels good do
    it” immorality. This is opposite to the council of our Founding Fathers
    who stated many times that a free republic requires a religious and moral
    people. Now some sincere but misguided souls want to impose “there is no morality” line of
    thinking concerning sex education. Utah is correct in not providing sex education
    in our valueless public schools. It is a job for families and churches. (By the way, there are plenty of other sources for the mechanics of sex). If the
    amoral school system wants to do sex ed, they can just stick to the fact that
    if you want 100% protection from STD’s and 100% no unwanted pregnancies,
    abstinence is the only option. Everything else is playing Russian roulette with
    our children’s future! Remember, we shut schools down if we even hear of a gun
    in the area, but the same people want to give our children training on how to
    destroy themselves through immorality. Real smart!

  8. Randall Jones says:

     When the ACLU and others, who do not want to feel guilty for
    breaking the 10 commandments, forced the public schools to remove God and any
    sort of religious values, they substituted the “If if feels good do
    it” immorality. This is opposite to the council of our Founding Fathers
    who stated many times that a free republic requires a religious and moral
    people. Now some sincere but misguided souls want to impose “there is no morality” line of
    thinking concerning sex education. Utah is correct in not providing sex education
    in our valueless public schools. It is a job for families and churches. (By the way, there are plenty of other sources for the mechanics of sex). If the
    amoral school system wants to do sex ed, they can just stick to the fact that
    if you want 100% protection from STD’s and 100% no unwanted pregnancies,
    abstinence is the only option. Everything else is playing Russian roulette with
    our children’s future! Remember, we shut schools down if we even hear of a gun
    in the area, but the same people want to give our children training on how to
    destroy themselves through immorality. Real smart!

  9. JBT says:

    Ignorance is bliss, eh Paul.  First you expound upon the value of discrimination as it applies to gays, and now you are bloviating about the merits of ignorance for Utah’s children.

    Your problem is that you live in a fantasized morally righteous utopian world inside your head.  You really need to get out and spend several days visiting the high schools in our state to see what reality looks and feels like. 

    Most people who are out of touch with reality have a potential to become a danger to themselves and others.  Supporting this wrongheaded piece of legislation that has the potential to harm many of Utah’s young adults fits that definition.

  10. JBT says:

    Ignorance is bliss, eh Paul.  First you expound upon the value of discrimination as it applies to gays, and now you are bloviating about the merits of ignorance for Utah’s children.

    Your problem is that you live in a fantasized morally righteous utopian world inside your head.  You really need to get out and spend several days visiting the high schools in our state to see what reality looks and feels like. 

    Most people who are out of touch with reality have a potential to become a danger to themselves and others.  Supporting this wrongheaded piece of legislation that has the potential to harm many of Utah’s young adults fits that definition.

  11. Michael S. says:

    “Sex education in our public schools should address the choice, not the means. Furthermore, it should prioritize helping us to become our better selves, not our selfish selves. Comprehensive sex education is all about our selfish selves (i.e., attempting to mitigate the consequences of poor choices). Abstinence-only sex education is all about our better selves (i.e., attempting to influence the choices youth make).”

    I have a few words as an opponent. It is exactly the lack of choice here that is most frustrating. By limiting the choice of schools and teachers, we are in effect limiting the information that we are able to provide. I feel that this is exactly contrary to freedom. 

    Smoking and Drinking are poor surrogates for the problem as there are no contraceptive options. They are a very straight forward problem. There is no “anti-drunk” pill. There is no “anti-cancer” cigarette filter. 

    In drivers education we teach about a much more complex problem:
    We teach that you should not speed, run red lights or take corners too fast. If you choose to do any of those things (either by accident or on purpose) you could seriously harm yourself or die. We could stop right there, but we don’t. We also teach prevention methods. Monitor your speedometer, wear your seat-belt, adjust your seat as far back as possible and always watch for oncoming traffic.

    On an even more basic level, when we buy our children bicycles, we don’t just send them off on their bikes with a “don’t hurt yourself” mantra. We instruct them on how to safely use the bike, the risks if the choose not to, and “accident contraception” in the form of a helmet (to mitigate the risk). I even go as far as to provide knee pads and wrist guards. Try putting a ramp out in the yard, get him out with 3 friends, and tell them not to use it. 

    The current sexual education course follows the same idea. You should not have sex, if you do, you could contract disease or become pregnant. I think the issue of contraception is equitable to teaching prevention methods for car accidents. Birth control is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, as seat-belts effectively prevent injury. 

    I think prevention programs are all about “mitigate[ing] the consequences of poor choices”. That’s the idea of prevention. We could simply tell our kids, “don’t speed” and leave it at that. We could tell our kids to ride their bikes safely, but we don’t, we provide accident contraception in the form of a helmet. 

    I’m speaking mostly because I have experience. I am a 31 year old man, I have had 6 sexual partners in my life. I have never been married, am 100% now and have been free from STD’s. I have no unplanned children. 

    I disagree that you must be married to have children. That is a choice that we all make. I disagree that you must be married to engage in sexual activity. 

    And that is ultimately the issue. Neither side likes the government to teach information contrary to our morals. At least with the current state of the system, we teach both. 

    • Paul Mero says:

       Thank you, “Michael S.” No doubt your have “heard” our side make arguments. My advice to you is to “listen.”  It will save you time in writing such lengthy rants.

  12. Michael S. says:

    “Sex education in our public schools should address the choice, not the means. Furthermore, it should prioritize helping us to become our better selves, not our selfish selves. Comprehensive sex education is all about our selfish selves (i.e., attempting to mitigate the consequences of poor choices). Abstinence-only sex education is all about our better selves (i.e., attempting to influence the choices youth make).”

    I have a few words as an opponent. It is exactly the lack of choice here that is most frustrating. By limiting the choice of schools and teachers, we are in effect limiting the information that we are able to provide. I feel that this is exactly contrary to freedom. 

    Smoking and Drinking are poor surrogates for the problem as there are no contraceptive options. They are a very straight forward problem. There is no “anti-drunk” pill. There is no “anti-cancer” cigarette filter. 

    In drivers education we teach about a much more complex problem:
    We teach that you should not speed, run red lights or take corners too fast. If you choose to do any of those things (either by accident or on purpose) you could seriously harm yourself or die. We could stop right there, but we don’t. We also teach prevention methods. Monitor your speedometer, wear your seat-belt, adjust your seat as far back as possible and always watch for oncoming traffic.

    On an even more basic level, when we buy our children bicycles, we don’t just send them off on their bikes with a “don’t hurt yourself” mantra. We instruct them on how to safely use the bike, the risks if the choose not to, and “accident contraception” in the form of a helmet (to mitigate the risk). I even go as far as to provide knee pads and wrist guards. Try putting a ramp out in the yard, get him out with 3 friends, and tell them not to use it. 

    The current sexual education course follows the same idea. You should not have sex, if you do, you could contract disease or become pregnant. I think the issue of contraception is equitable to teaching prevention methods for car accidents. Birth control is an effective way to prevent pregnancy, as seat-belts effectively prevent injury. 

    I think prevention programs are all about “mitigate[ing] the consequences of poor choices”. That’s the idea of prevention. We could simply tell our kids, “don’t speed” and leave it at that. We could tell our kids to ride their bikes safely, but we don’t, we provide accident contraception in the form of a helmet. 

    I’m speaking mostly because I have experience. I am a 31 year old man, I have had 6 sexual partners in my life. I have never been married, am 100% now and have been free from STD’s. I have no unplanned children. 

    I disagree that you must be married to have children. That is a choice that we all make. I disagree that you must be married to engage in sexual activity. 

    And that is ultimately the issue. Neither side likes the government to teach information contrary to our morals. At least with the current state of the system, we teach both. 

    • Paul Mero says:

       Thank you, “Michael S.” No doubt your have “heard” our side make arguments. My advice to you is to “listen.”  It will save you time in writing such lengthy rants.

  13. racollier says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. What does it mean to be a human being?

  14. racollier says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. What does it mean to be a human being?

  15. No_Six says:

    Without getting into the pros and cons of sex education other than abstention, why is it good to prevent parents from making the decision as to what their children will be taught ??

  16. No_Six says:

    Without getting into the pros and cons of sex education other than abstention, why is it good to prevent parents from making the decision as to what their children will be taught ??

  17. Thomas Fritz says:

    Dear Paul – you have every right to think whatever you want about sex-ed in schools.  if oyu don’t like it for your children, by any means, withdraw them from those classes.  But please, don’t force your morals on me.  I want my children to be educated, which may include issues I do or do not agree with. But I don’t want to shelter my kids from the realities of life. 

    Also, comparing a basic human need like sexuality with voluntary behaviors like drinking doesn’t make any sense.  Humans will have sex, whether you like it or not. 

    You and like minded people increasingly want to impose their morals on a large and unwilling part of the population.  We are not a dictatorship and your efforts will fail, just like all conservative initiatives over the past 50 years have failed, from desegregation, voting rights, abortion, alcohol (going back to the 10930s) and not to gay marriage which is already legal in several states.  It may take another 50 years, but your brand of enforced morals will not work on people who don’t want or need it.  Just leave me alone.  I can take care of my life just fine, thank you.  if you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get want.  You don’t drink, that’s fine.  No R rated movies?  I couldn’t care less.  No sex-ed for your kids?  Your choice. 

    This no sex ed bill was totally fabricated as there was no need at all.  Also interesting is that virtually all bills now in various state legislatures that target women and their health care choice are sponsored by men.  Are they afraid of women who know what they are doing? 

    So get off my back and live your life as you see fit and I do the same, OK?

    • Paul Mero says:

      Mr. Fritz, there are so many problems with your logic and analysis that I’m not sure where to begin.  My wife and I home schooled our children…meaning we paid for our children’s schooling and YOUR CHILDREN’S through our state and local taxes. I’m comfortable with not having children be their better selves as long as I don’t have to pay for it eventually.

      There is nothing stopping you from educating your children…nothing stopping you from speaking to your children (I apologize if you’re mute or they’re deaf)…nothing getting in the way of you sitting your own children down and telling them everything you think they need to know about human sexuality. Well, there is one thing getting in the way of you talking with your kids: you could be a lousy parent.  In that case, I can see why you’d want strangers to do that for you.

      Human sexuality, while innate, is a choice as expressed. You are in control of your choices…unless you are undisciplined…including your choices to express your sexuality.  You’re not an animal, unless you choose to act like an animal.

      I would prefer, indeed, if you would take care of your own kids.  That said, good public health information about human sexuality is not a “judgment” or “preference.” It’s a fact. You can teach your kids whatever you like, but with my tax dollars and using government authority (i.e. public schools), you can expect me and your neighbors to ask you to tell your kids the truth: the only sure way to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies is to avoid premarital sex.

      I’m happy “to get off your back.”  Would you be so kind as to get out of my wallet and not have your kids burden me down the road with their personal dysfunctions? Okay?  I’ll take care of mine…you take care of yours.  But push your preferences and ideas of human sexuality on my kids and others in public school and you’re going to get pushback.  That’s life, deal with it.

      • Michael S. says:

        Paul, I have heard the proponent side of this argument use time and again the phrases “tell the truth”,”be a parent” and “don’t force your ideas on my children”.
        I can address most of these concerns rather quickly.

        “tell the truth” :
        Current sex ed curriculum teaches that the only 100% guaranteed way not to get pregnant or a STD is abstinence. Having home schooled your kids you may not be aware. They also teach ways to protect yourself in the event you choose to have sex. It is telling teachers that if asked, they may not discuss contraception is essentially shielding teens from the truth.

        “be a parent”:
        This is likely the most often repeated phrase. And frankly the most ridiculous argument. Parents of teens that are at risk for STDs and early pregnancy are likely parents that won’t teach their children about sex. Without an option like school sponsored sex ed, they will get the information from often uninformed peers, or trial and error.

        “Don’t force your ideas”
        As a parent of home schooled children you may also be unaware that the class is opt-in. Meaning that in order for children to receive the information, parents must explicitly allow it. There is no requirement for any child to take the class. However had the bill passed, you ideas would be forced upon my children. Teachers would not have been allowed to discuss any aspect outside of abstinence for fear of prosecution. Essentially forcing specific ideas on my children.

        I made the analogy below, when you teach your child to ride a bike, you make sure he knows the risks of riding. You provide him a helmet to protect him from possible
        injury.

        And if you think that your taxes are being used improperly now. Just wait until the welfare system is overloaded with pregnancies and clinic visits.

        And look, i was able to make my points without passive aggressive phrasing and name calling. Until now…

        As a moral bastion of perfectitude i would like to hear how you returned the credits you receive from the IRS for your children to relieve the burden on the tax system for those people without children.

        As a parent I think you have made a stellar choice to home school your children. You are able to control all social interactions that your children have. Lets just hope that they have enough information that if the event arises that they need to make a hard decision about sexual interaction they knowvwhat is safe and what isn’t.

        I am glad that the governor was willing to treat teens like the thinking humans that they are and empower them with enough information to make intelligent decisions.

      • Thomas Fritz says:

         Mr. Mero,

        You may have read my letter in the Trib today.  Yes, that was me. That issue has riled me up like few others recently.  I appreciate your reply and did not expect it.  I always enjoy a good discussion, civil or not.

        I make a pretty good living and pay taxes too.  I have two kids and while they visit public schools, I know I support a few more based on the amounts spent per student through various taxes.  

        Let’s leave aside human sexuality, whether it’s innate, how to control it, etc.  Let’s talk money and logic here.

        As I said, I pay for more than my own two kids to be schooled and I am fine with that.  There is nothing worse than illiterate and uneducated people running around. Especially teenagers who think that their partner is sterile and that they cannot have kids.  Especially in Utah.I am from Northern Europe where teenage pregnancy rates are far lower than even here in Utah which supposedly eats morals by the spoonful.  Yes, those socialist heathens have lower rates of teenage pregnancy rates than Utah and the US.  Lower drug use too. Why?  Because they know.  You may teach your kids, but lots of parents don’t or don’t want to.  That’s why we need some public education on that topic. I did talk very frankly about this topic with my kids but I also wanted them to get that info from a neutral source.  I have met more than one very religious and conservative family with teen moms and kids out of wedlock. 

        About the money – yes, you pay for others through your tax dollars, but what’s cheaper: a few dollars for a sex ed class or tens of thousands for unplanned children who more often than not end up in the welfare system and often in prison because politicians here only worry about the fetuses in the tummy and not when they are born.  Why does the US lock up ten times as many people as comparable countries?  Are we that bad?  No, it’s because nobody give a shhh about those kids.  Pevention is always cheaper than the illness.  Not that children are an illness, but you get my point.

        As I said, I pay for more than my kids.  I can’t even begin to list the programs my tax dollars support and which I disagree with, both state and federal.  But we live in a society where we decided to pool some resources and get some things done on a collective, or shall I say socialistic  basis, whether we agree with them or not.  If not, then we have the power to vote.  But if we were to start to accuse each other of having to pay for this or that, then we are in big trouble.  I strongly disagree with giving tax breaks to families with five kids for example. or paying to water lawns in St. George and on and on and on.  That should actually be your position too since you object to paying for my children’s education, whatever that is.  Is math OK, but social sciences not?  If the tax return becomes a 20 page check-the-box list, nothing would get funded.  It could not work.  So the compromise is that part of everybody’s tax dollars funds some programs that you like and some that you don’t.  So your argument holds no water whatsoever since you cannot single out this issue but force me to pay for something else I object to. 

        Don’t worry – my kids won’t burden me with their dysfuntion and I take offense with that language.  They will not have kids out of wedlock, snort meth and do other things to burden your pristine holy land.  Are your kids soooo perfect that you have to resort to this type of language?  Is everybody who doesn’t think like you and Gayle and the rest of that sanctimonious bunch to be viewed with contempt?  I am happy to get out of your wallet if others get out mine and so on.  We are all in each other’s wallet unless we each declare our suburban house a country and refuse to pay taxes for anything. 

        I was never on your back, but YOU push your idea of morality to others like me, so we push back too.  This was a total non-issue until you and Gayle and a few others made it one.  I never pushed my preference of human sexuality to others, least of all to you.  Apparently, 90%+ of all parents in Utah want their kids to attend these classes.  That’s according to a study form BYU, not known to be a bastion of liberalism. You can home school all you want and it doesn’t bother me.  if parents withdraw from these classes, fine with me. So what’s your argument that I push my ideas on anybody? Schools offer a choice to you and you can take it or leave it.

        So both of your arguments about who pays for whom and whether we push our preferences to you are totally ridiculous and the vast majority or Utahns would agree with me.  See the 90% above. You know that you are a small minority with outsized influence in this state.  You probably don’t know that since you only move in circles of yes sayers that agree with you. 

        lastly, please stay out bedrooms, wombs, doctor’s offices, etc. If you don’t want to get bothered by others and their preferences and ideas, don’t bother them either.  Here we go again – you argue “don’t bother me” but constantly push others to obey your ideas of how things are “supposed to be.”  According to whom?  Your moral highness? My daughter probably never heard of you and doesn’t care about your ideas, yet let’s say she gets pregnant and wants an abortion.  Why?  None of your business according to your argument.  All privately paid so as not to burden your wallet.   Yet you come with a battle tank of laws on what she can or cannot do. You want to tell her how long she has to wait, that she maybe gets a vaginal ultrasound, that she has to see pictures of her fetus and what have you.  If you pay with tax dollars I can see your objections (see above though). But if she pays with her own money, it’s none of your or the government’s damn business.  She can think for herself and make decisions about her body without you, thank you.  Your wife/daughters, etc. take care of their bodies under your guidance if they will, and my wife/daughter take care of theirs without any meddling  from others, like all those ridiculous laws that crop up these days. Okay?  Please be consistent in your arguments or don’t make them at all.
        Regards

        • Paul Mero says:

           If your strategy here is to bore me to death with lengthy illogic, you win.  Congratulations.

          • Thomas Fritz says:

             I leave it to others to decide what’s logic and what not.  In my mind, your whole rant for HB 363 was totally illogical and even your puppy Gov Herbert agreed.  You are just angry that he didn’t eat out of your hand this time and you lost. I wish I had seen your face when you heard about the veto. That of Gayle too.   You just resort to the typical conservative position if pressed for logic – tear others down, do a Goebbels and repeat a lie so often until every person who only gets the news from Fox  thinks this is the gospel and then claim moral victory.  Laughable.

            I am happy to have 90% of the parents in this fair state on my side and you can pout in your corner with that witch Gayle as much as you want.  Maybe Rep. Wright joins you so you can drown your sorrow in fruit punch with jell-o.

            Leave your moralizing to church and within your family and get out of our lives.  I am more than happy to oblige in return and you never hear a peep from me again.  But if you push another stupid idea on me and like minded people and try to take away choice and want to control even a shred of what my daughter does, then you hear from me and others too. They are sick of fake moral apostles like you who think we still live in biblical times.  It is very comforting to know that every year, your position is growing weaker and ours is growing stronger.  It may take a little longer in Utah, but with the influx of outsiders and Starbucks locations, your brand of Taliban like control will become unfashionable. 

          • Thewrathofme says:

            Thank god for people like Thomas! Why isn’t he writing our laws instead of the incompetent Mr. Mero?

      • Mike says:

        Wow Paul. You are doing worse than forcing ideas on kids. You are preventing knowledge from them. Who do you think you are to dictate what my children don’t learn? Is it still freedom if you make laws taking rights away from people? You have lost any credibility you may have ever had by your reply to Thomas (who hit it right on), and your oppression, arrogance, and ignorance will not stand here, as has been shown. 

         ”You’re not an animal, unless you choose to act like an animal.”Actually, yes you are. And so am I. And we procreate just like they do. That’s life, deal with it.

        • Paul Mero says:

           Thanks, “Mike.” How am I keeping knowledge from kids?  Because HB 363 won’t permit the teaching of contraception?

          Is school the only place kids learn anything?  Not to mention, think of all of the information in the world…and what little portion of that information that’s actually imparted in a school — does that mean school are “preventing knowledge from kids”?

          • Mike says:

            Well, yes. That is exactly how.

            School obviously isn’t the only place kids learn anything but it is certainly where they get a significant portion of what they learn.

            Would you rather have them learn about sex through the internet? Thats a scary thought. 

            There is a lot of information in the world, and the fact that schools don’t teach all of it doesn’t mean they are preventing kids from obtaining this knowledge, but passing a law not allowing them to teach it is. 

            I still can’t get over how you call this freedom.

  18. Thomas Fritz says:

    Dear Paul – you have every right to think whatever you want about sex-ed in schools.  if oyu don’t like it for your children, by any means, withdraw them from those classes.  But please, don’t force your morals on me.  I want my children to be educated, which may include issues I do or do not agree with. But I don’t want to shelter my kids from the realities of life. 

    Also, comparing a basic human need like sexuality with voluntary behaviors like drinking doesn’t make any sense.  Humans will have sex, whether you like it or not. 

    You and like minded people increasingly want to impose their morals on a large and unwilling part of the population.  We are not a dictatorship and your efforts will fail, just like all conservative initiatives over the past 50 years have failed, from desegregation, voting rights, abortion, alcohol (going back to the 10930s) and not to gay marriage which is already legal in several states.  It may take another 50 years, but your brand of enforced morals will not work on people who don’t want or need it.  Just leave me alone.  I can take care of my life just fine, thank you.  if you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get want.  You don’t drink, that’s fine.  No R rated movies?  I couldn’t care less.  No sex-ed for your kids?  Your choice. 

    This no sex ed bill was totally fabricated as there was no need at all.  Also interesting is that virtually all bills now in various state legislatures that target women and their health care choice are sponsored by men.  Are they afraid of women who know what they are doing? 

    So get off my back and live your life as you see fit and I do the same, OK?

    • Paul Mero says:

       Mr. Fritz, there are so many problems with your logic and analysis that I’m not sure where to begin.  My wife and I home schooled our children…meaning we paid for our children’s schooling and YOUR CHILDREN’S through our state and local taxes. I’m comfortable with not having children be their better selves as long as I don’t have to pay for it eventually.

      There is nothing stopping you from educating your children…nothing stopping you from speaking to your children (I apologize if you’re mute or they’re deaf)…nothing getting in the way of you sitting your own children down and telling them everything you think they need to know about human sexuality. Well, there is one thing getting in the way of you talking with your kids: you could be a lousy parent.  In that case, I can see why you’d want strangers to do that for you.

      Human sexuality, while innate, is a choice as expressed. You are in control of your choices…unless you are undisciplined…including your choices to express your sexuality.  You’re not an animal, unless you choose to act like an animal.

      I would prefer, indeed, if you would take care of your own kids.  That said, good public health information about human sexuality is not a “judgment” or “preference.” It’s a fact. You can teach your kids whatever you like, but with my tax dollars and using government authority (i.e. public schools), you can expect me and your neighbors to ask you to tell your kids the truth: the only sure way to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancies is to avoid premarital sex.

      I’m happy “to get off your back.”  Would you be so kind as to get out of my wallet and not have your kids burden me down the road with their personal dysfunctions? Okay?  I’ll take care of mine…you take care of yours.  But push your preferences and ideas of human sexuality on my kids and others in public school and you’re going to get pushback.  That’s life, deal with it.
       

      • Michael S. says:

        Paul, I have heard the proponent side of this argument use time and again the phrases “tell the truth”,”be a parent” and “don’t force your ideas on my children”.
        I can address most of these concerns rather quickly.

        “tell the truth” :
        Current sex ed curriculum teaches that the only 100% guaranteed way not to get pregnant or a STD is abstinence. Having home schooled your kids you may not be aware. They also teach ways to protect yourself in the event you choose to have sex. It is telling teachers that if asked, they may not discuss contraception is essentially shielding teens from the truth.

        “be a parent”:
        This is likely the most often repeated phrase. And frankly the most ridiculous argument. Parents of teens that are at risk for STDs and early pregnancy are likely parents that won’t teach their children about sex. Without an option like school sponsored sex ed, they will get the information from often uninformed peers, or trial and error.

        “Don’t force your ideas”
        As a parent of home schooled children you may also be unaware that the class is opt-in. Meaning that in order for children to receive the information, parents must explicitly allow it. There is no requirement for any child to take the class. However had the bill passed, you ideas would be forced upon my children. Teachers would not have been allowed to discuss any aspect outside of abstinence for fear of prosecution. Essentially forcing specific ideas on my children.

        I made the analogy below, when you teach your child to ride a bike, you make sure he knows the risks of riding. You provide him a helmet to protect him from possible
        injury.

        And if you think that your taxes are being used improperly now. Just wait until the welfare system is overloaded with pregnancies and clinic visits.

        And look, i was able to make my points without passive aggressive phrasing and name calling. Until now…

        As a moral bastion of perfectitude i would like to hear how you returned the credits you receive from the IRS for your children to relieve the burden on the tax system for those people without children.

        As a parent I think you have made a stellar choice to home school your children. You are able to control all social interactions that your children have. Lets just hope that they have enough information that if the event arises that they need to make a hard decision about sexual interaction they knowvwhat is safe and what isn’t.

        I am glad that the governor was willing to treat teens like the thinking humans that they are and empower them with enough information to make intelligent decisions.

      • Thomas Fritz says:

         Mr. Mero,

        You may have read my letter in the Trib today.  Yes, that was me. That issue has riled me up like few others recently.  I appreciate your reply and did not expect it.  I always enjoy a good discussion, civil or not.

        I make a pretty good living and pay taxes too.  I have two kids and while they visit public schools, I know I support a few more based on the amounts spent per student through various taxes.  

        Let’s leave aside human sexuality, whether it’s innate, how to control it, etc.  Let’s talk money and logic here.

        As I said, I pay for more than my own two kids to be schooled and I am fine with that.  There is nothing worse than illiterate and uneducated people running around. Especially teenagers who think that their partner is sterile and that they cannot have kids.  Especially in Utah.I am from Northern Europe where teenage pregnancy rates are far lower than even here in Utah which supposedly eats morals by the spoonful.  Yes, those socialist heathens have lower rates of teenage pregnancy rates than Utah and the US.  Lower drug use too. Why?  Because they know.  You may teach your kids, but lots of parents don’t or don’t want to.  That’s why we need some public education on that topic. I did talk very frankly about this topic with my kids but I also wanted them to get that info from a neutral source.  I have met more than one very religious and conservative family with teen moms and kids out of wedlock. 

        About the money – yes, you pay for others through your tax dollars, but what’s cheaper: a few dollars for a sex ed class or tens of thousands for unplanned children who more often than not end up in the welfare system and often in prison because politicians here only worry about the fetuses in the tummy and not when they are born.  Why does the US lock up ten times as many people as comparable countries?  Are we that bad?  No, it’s because nobody give a shhh about those kids.  Pevention is always cheaper than the illness.  Not that children are an illness, but you get my point.

        As I said, I pay for more than my kids.  I can’t even begin to list the programs my tax dollars support and which I disagree with, both state and federal.  But we live in a society where we decided to pool some resources and get some things done on a collective, or shall I say socialistic  basis, whether we agree with them or not.  If not, then we have the power to vote.  But if we were to start to accuse each other of having to pay for this or that, then we are in big trouble.  I strongly disagree with giving tax breaks to families with five kids for example. or paying to water lawns in St. George and on and on and on.  That should actually be your position too since you object to paying for my children’s education, whatever that is.  Is math OK, but social sciences not?  If the tax return becomes a 20 page check-the-box list, nothing would get funded.  It could not work.  So the compromise is that part of everybody’s tax dollars funds some programs that you like and some that you don’t.  So your argument holds no water whatsoever since you cannot single out this issue but force me to pay for something else I object to. 

        Don’t worry – my kids won’t burden me with their dysfuntion and I take offense with that language.  They will not have kids out of wedlock, snort meth and do other things to burden your pristine holy land.  Are your kids soooo perfect that you have to resort to this type of language?  Is everybody who doesn’t think like you and Gayle and the rest of that sanctimonious bunch to be viewed with contempt?  I am happy to get out of your wallet if others get out mine and so on.  We are all in each other’s wallet unless we each declare our suburban house a country and refuse to pay taxes for anything. 

        I was never on your back, but YOU push your idea of morality to others like me, so we push back too.  This was a total non-issue until you and Gayle and a few others made it one.  I never pushed my preference of human sexuality to others, least of all to you.  Apparently, 90%+ of all parents in Utah want their kids to attend these classes.  That’s according to a study form BYU, not known to be a bastion of liberalism. You can home school all you want and it doesn’t bother me.  if parents withdraw from these classes, fine with me. So what’s your argument that I push my ideas on anybody? Schools offer a choice to you and you can take it or leave it.

        So both of your arguments about who pays for whom and whether we push our preferences to you are totally ridiculous and the vast majority or Utahns would agree with me.  See the 90% above. You know that you are a small minority with outsized influence in this state.  You probably don’t know that since you only move in circles of yes sayers that agree with you. 

        lastly, please stay out bedrooms, wombs, doctor’s offices, etc. If you don’t want to get bothered by others and their preferences and ideas, don’t bother them either.  Here we go again – you argue “don’t bother me” but constantly push others to obey your ideas of how things are “supposed to be.”  According to whom?  Your moral highness? My daughter probably never heard of you and doesn’t care about your ideas, yet let’s say she gets pregnant and wants an abortion.  Why?  None of your business according to your argument.  All privately paid so as not to burden your wallet.   Yet you come with a battle tank of laws on what she can or cannot do. You want to tell her how long she has to wait, that she maybe gets a vaginal ultrasound, that she has to see pictures of her fetus and what have you.  If you pay with tax dollars I can see your objections (see above though). But if she pays with her own money, it’s none of your or the government’s damn business.  She can think for herself and make decisions about her body without you, thank you.  Your wife/daughters, etc. take care of their bodies under your guidance if they will, and my wife/daughter take care of theirs without any meddling  from others, like all those ridiculous laws that crop up these days. Okay?  Please be consistent in your arguments or don’t make them at all.
        Regards

        • Paul Mero says:

           If your strategy here is to bore me to death with lengthy illogic, you win.  Congratulations.

          • Thomas Fritz says:

             I leave it to others to decide what’s logic and what not.  In my mind, your whole rant for HB 363 was totally illogical and even your puppy Gov Herbert agreed.  You are just angry that he didn’t eat out of your hand this time and you lost. I wish I had seen your face when you heard about the veto. That of Gayle too.   You just resort to the typical conservative position if pressed for logic – tear others down, do a Goebbels and repeat a lie so often until every person who only gets the news from Fox  thinks this is the gospel and then claim moral victory.  Laughable.

            I am happy to have 90% of the parents in this fair state on my side and you can pout in your corner with that witch Gayle as much as you want.  Maybe Rep. Wright joins you so you can drown your sorrow in fruit punch with jell-o.

            Leave your moralizing to church and within your family and get out of our lives.  I am more than happy to oblige in return and you never hear a peep from me again.  But if you push another stupid idea on me and like minded people and try to take away choice and want to control even a shred of what my daughter does, then you hear from me and others too. They are sick of fake moral apostles like you who think we still live in biblical times.  It is very comforting to know that every year, your position is growing weaker and ours is growing stronger.  It may take a little longer in Utah, but with the influx of outsiders and Starbucks locations, your brand of Taliban like control will become unfashionable. 

          • Thewrathofme says:

            Thank god for people like Thomas! Why isn’t he writing our laws instead of the incompetent Mr. Mero?

      • Mike says:

        Wow Paul. You are doing worse than forcing ideas on kids. You are preventing knowledge from them. Who do you think you are to dictate what my children don’t learn? Is it still freedom if you make laws taking rights away from people? You have lost any credibility you may have ever had by your reply to Thomas (who hit it right on), and your oppression, arrogance, and ignorance will not stand here, as has been shown. 

         ”You’re not an animal, unless you choose to act like an animal.”Actually, yes you are. And so am I. And we procreate just like they do. That’s life, deal with it.

        • Paul Mero says:

           Thanks, “Mike.” How am I keeping knowledge from kids?  Because HB 363 won’t permit the teaching of contraception?

          Is school the only place kids learn anything?  Not to mention, think of all of the information in the world…and what little portion of that information that’s actually imparted in a school — does that mean school are “preventing knowledge from kids”?

          • Mike says:

            Well, yes. That is exactly how.

            School obviously isn’t the only place kids learn anything but it is certainly where they get a significant portion of what they learn.

            Would you rather have them learn about sex through the internet? Thats a scary thought. 

            There is a lot of information in the world, and the fact that schools don’t teach all of it doesn’t mean they are preventing kids from obtaining this knowledge, but passing a law not allowing them to teach it is. 

            I still can’t get over how you call this freedom.

  19. Pingback: Paul Mero’s Defense of HB 363 Invokes Contested Notions of Freedom, Virtue and the Role of Government « One Utah

  20. Jackson Duba says:

    This is not a troll, so please respect this.

    As some of my close friends on xbox know I have been going through some issues the past 4-6 months in my life. Things aren’t always as golden as they seem and I’ve ****ed up. I’ve lost what was probably the greatest thing that has ever happened to me (My girlfriend of 2 years) and probably won’t get her back. I guess why I am coming on here to tell everyone isn’t to make people feel sorry for me, but rather correct my wrong doings. I’ve been an asshole to a lot of you guys and mainly because I simply did care about this game too much. Halo wars to me was more of a stress reliever than anything else honestly, but as I ‘grinded’ I took the game too serious and ultimately it became like a drug that could alter my mood.

    Now I guess at this point I should clarify what exactly went wrong. As most of you know I am a full time college student with a manager job at subway, and dealing with both of those is very time consuming and stressful. After long days of class and working nights, I often found myself just wanting to go home and play halo wars to relieve stress into the early hours of the morning and only get 2-3 hours of sleep. As for my relationship with my girlfriend she understood and was okay with it, but as time continued she moved on with her life and got new friends. She always wanted me to meet and spend time with her new friends but I was always busy until late at night and I really didn’t give them a chance. It was a huge separation between my girlfriend and I because I couldn’t relate or ever spend time with her and her friends together as a whole, and overtime when I had days off, I just wanted to be alone with my girlfriend and not her friends.

    This led to the inevitable situation that my girlfriend would often want to spend time with her friends rather than me, because we were losing what we once had. When this first started occurring I didn’t mind it and used Halo Wars to drowned it out, in fact that’s what I’ve been doing for past few months and have racked up so many games. As the situation continued to worsen I didn’t take the matter of hand seriously and never thought she would leave me. If we got into an argument or were annoyed I would simply go home and play halo wars to take my mind off things. Well now its over and we are broken up, and shes telling me that she has moved on and it’s finally hit me. I can’t drowned this one out, and I can’t continue to keep doing what I am doing. I need to drop this game, or at least take some time away from it. I need to focus on what is really important to me, and that is her.

    What I want you guys to get out of this message is that I am sorry for everything. I was an asshole because things in my life weren’t completely going the way I wanted them too. I know a lot of people who know me on xbox know that I am a completely different person than on the forums, but that isn’t a good enough excuse. Taking this game too seriously was a big mistake, and I know a lot of you guys who visit the forum are just like me in that aspect. So I want to tell everyone to not fail where I did, and to succeed where I didn’t. If you have someone or something that is important in your life find time for them, and don’t undermine how important it is to them for you to be there with them as they grow in life. Halo Wars will always have its place in my memories, its a close community filled with hatred and trolling, but in a sense we are all very closely alike. I know a lot of you are most likely virgins and have never met a girl, or had a meaningful relationship, but take what I say into consideration for your future. There is nothing worse than losing the most important thing in your life, but I guess that’s what had to be done for me to realize what I’ve become. So here is to a start of change, and a farewell to most of you. I don’t hold anything against anyone and wish you all the best in your futures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>