Several high schools in Maryland have received complaints after a visiting speaker had students swap gum in health classes to demonstrate how sexually transmitted diseases are spread. Parents were outraged, the school banned the speaker, and so on.
So why does the Washington Post make a big deal about the religious connection of the crisis pregnancy center that sent the speaker to the schools?
Officials of the Rockville nonprofit group could not be reached yesterday for comment. On its Web site, http://www.rcpc.org/index.html, Rockville Pregnancy Center describes itself as a nonprofit, licensed medical clinic and pregnancy counseling organization. One part of the site quotes extensively from the Bible and offers a test “to see if you’re going to Heaven.”
The quoted paragraph falls between a quote from a county health official talking about the health risks of swapping gum and a paragraph that the schools sent letters to parents asking them to contact the health department with concerns. This paragraph falls out of the blue sky.
What relevance does it have to the story? Are they claiming that the religious material on the site contributed to the actions of the speaker? Or is the implication supposed to remind us of the big fight over abstinence-only sex education and how, according to the anti-abstinence side, the chastity-minded folks are Pollyannas whose “crazy” ideas are “dangerous”?
The inclusion of this paragraph was unnecessary and gratuitous and added nothing to the story except as an opportunity to take a swipe at traditional Christian morality and beliefs.