I don’t know why I’m writing about this. It’s not a topic I’ve ever cared about, but I just read this article and it got me interested in doing some more research:
CDC study: Many teen moms didn’t think they could get pregnant, didn’t use birth control
I’ve never seen an episode of Teen Mom or any of that other pap, so this isn’t some comment on how messed up the whole situation is, or how teens today are so stupid.
One sentence stuck out to me most in the article, and in classic journalism fashion, it was buried at the end (so that the casual reader will never see it):
“But it’s important to remember that the overall teen birth rate has been falling for some time, and recently hit its lowest mark in about 70 years.”
That’s right, 70 years.
Please take the time to really look at that data. The blue line represents the teen birth rate (being compared to the overall birth rate). When was it the highest? In the 1950s, that magical era that is often meant when you hear the code words, “the good ol’ days.”
Now, look at this map of data from 2009, which represents teen pregnancy rates:
This comes from the State Health Facts site and I recommend you check it out to get the full breadth of the information available
All those heathen states along the coasts seem to trend lower. And in the south, where Jesus is still their co-pilot, well, they seem to like it bareback.
The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life says, on average, 71 percent of Americans believe in God. The most religious state is Mississippi, where 91 percent believe in God. The bottom 10:
1. Maine 59 percent believe in God.
2. Massachusetts 60%
3. Alaska 61%
4. California 62%
5. Nevada 63%
6. Colorado 63%
7. Oregon 63%
8. New York 64%
9. Washington 64%
10. New Jersey 66%
Let’s see if we can all do a little comparative analysis. Of all the states in the dark blue, how many of them are in the top 10 of the godless list?
Wait, did you say none? That can’t be right. Everyone knows when God is taken out of the schools and people stop giving Him His due, that’s when all things go to hell.
(By the way, that God-fearing state of Mississippi is one of the dark blue states, in case you missed it.)
What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing.
No, it doesn’t mean that being an atheist makes you a better person, or that you are better off living in a state that is less religious. It doesn’t prove that there is no God, or that Christians are hypocrites. It doesn’t even prove that atheists have less sex, or safer sex, or better sex. It doesn’t prove a damn thing.
And that’s the point. Because it also doesn’t prove the opposite.
The religious in this country often point to alarming statistics or tragic news stories and say, “See, this is what happens when you take God out of schools.” Now, besides the fact that I already wrote on how faulty the premise is, the point is, nothing happens when you take God out of schools. I don’t believe that secularization magically makes teen pregnancy rates go down, but it obviously doesn’t make them go up.
I believe in secularization because we are a secular nation. We are a secular world that just so happens to be inhabited by religious people. I can live with that. But religious faith has no place in setting public policy, and I think the trend of teen pregnancies is proof that a secular agenda that encourages sex education in public schools is working.
Personally, I would bet dollars to donuts that those teens in the CDC study (the original article above) who were unaware they could get pregnant are from religious families who don’t talk openly about sex. But even if that isn’t the case (and we’ll never know), at least we can focus on the good news. Teen pregnancy is declining, and has been for some time now.
But that doesn’t make as eye-catching a headline.