Up the junction
Posted on May 5, 2011
Just in case you missed it, here’s a link to the text of Nadine Dorries’ speech in the House of Commons yesterday when she presented her ten-minute rule bill to Parliament – Sex Education (Required Content).
And here’s a list of the 67 MPs who voted in favour of the nonsensical proposal to “require schools to provide certain additional sex education to girls aged between 13 and 16; to provide that such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity.”
Is yours one of the 67? If they are, you’ve got until January next year to help change their mind, because that’s when the bill is set to get its second reading.
Now while I agree with those who are saying we shouldn’t panic about the prospect of US style abstinence-only sex ed (which has repeatedly been shown not to work) being taught to girls in our schools because there’s very little chance of Dorries’ bill getting through in the end, I’m also firmly of the view that we can’t afford to get complacent about this either. Dorries is on a mission, and as long as the voters of Mid Beds keep electing her to that bloody seat, she is not going to give up. And she’s not on her own.
Dorries did an interview recently (an interview incidentally in which she claimed to have a witnessed a foetus during a late-term abortion “in a uterus flinching away from the cannula as it was being inserted“, which is the first time I’ve heard her make that particular claim – she usually sticks with the Hand of Hope nonsense) with Ed West for the Catholic Herald, in which she said: “I need religious support. It is our core support. I need the churches being more involved, and the churches have been pathetic, pathetic, during the abortion debate in their support for what I was trying to do.”
Which wasn’t entirely truthful (no change there then). Okay, so maybe Dorries didn’t get the support she wanted from certain church establishments, but what she did get instead was a lot of support, and a lot of help, from certain figures on the religious right in this country. Andrea Minichiello Williams to name but one:
Williams is the director of the Christian Legal Centre and CEO of its sister organisation Christian Concern. She’s also former Director of Public Policy for the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, and is as big a fundie as you’re likely to find this side of the Atlantic. According to the Dispatches film posted above, she actually wrote the anti-abortion amendments that Dorries submitted to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill as part of her 20 weeks campaign in 2008.
But Andrea Minichiello Williams is also a trustee for TnT Ministries, a charity which teaches people ‘how to teach the bible to children‘, and which also publishes teaching materials. Unsurprisingly TnT Ministries have drawn up a syllabus for those working with 14-18 year olds: it’s called The Junction, because apparently “If your youth group is in the 14-18 age bracket they are at a junction — a vital point in their lives where they need help to study the Bible in a way that is challenging and mind stretching.“
Anyway, here’s their take on sex and relationship education for 14-18 year olds:
“By going through Bible passages in Genesis, Romans, Corinthians, and Ephesians, the group will discover God’s purposes for sex and relationships in the world that He has made. They will also discover God’s answer to the problem of our sinful natures and how to flee from our evil desires in a world marred by sin.”
And here’s one of the Bible passages they’ve chosen to help young people discover ‘God’s purposes for sex and relationships in the world‘:
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:26
As you’d expect, the rest of the chosen passages are all about sin, shame, and the resultant hell and damnation for those who succumb to their ‘sinful natures‘ and ‘evil desires’.
Let’s just hope that Nadine Dorries doesn’t call on Andrea Minichiello Williams to help her draw up her bill on abstinence-only sex education for girls.
I wouldn’t put it past her though.
For more on the links between Dorries and the religious right, see Unity’s post at the Ministry of Truth blog – The Hidden Agenda Behind Dorries’ ‘Right to Know’ Campaign.