Advice about Sex from Our Government

I do so hate waiting for the bus. This evening, leaving the local community college building, I was just dreading another dull wait at the bus stop. What I really needed was some light reading material to make my time at the bus stop pass more enjoyably. Glancing at a table beside the door I was astonished to see a collection of free literature–and several on the topic of sex. What kind of information about sex do they peddle at a community college?

Settling in at the bus stop beside a very happy and possibly enebriated young gentleman, I glanced at the titles of my selections. Two were from the U.S. Government Department of Health and Human Services–Office of Population Affairs and dealt totally with abstinence. : “What is abstinence?” and “Teen Talk: Many Teens are Saying ‘No’”. If you absolutely have to read them, they are available online at http://opa.osophs.dhhs/gov/publications. The other publifcation was from a Democratic administration, city’s Department of Health, and titled “El control de la natalidad –para usted y su pareja.” or, in English “Birth control for you and your partner.” With a glance at the guy next to me, who was speaking English in slurred fashion, I chose the Spanish language publication.

The Spanish language birth control one turned out to be pretty explicit. “Birth control gives you the control”, it announces. “Risking yourself with sex means risking your future. Unplanned pregnancy can obligate you to change your plans, deprive you of your liberty, and make it difficult to gain your objectives.” Pretty straightforward. Then it took off in the abstinence direction.”But the only sure way of preventing a pregnancy is not to have sexual relations. There are many ways to demonstrate affection without the necessity of sexual contact. You and your partner can:
-talk
-hug each other
-laugh together ”

Is my high school Spanish really up to this? juntos=together, reir means laugh? Reir juntos. They are saying that instead of having sex you can just laugh together? Hee hee, like this: oh, my darling beloved, instead of having sex, let’s just laugh together. ha, ha, ho, ho, hee, hee. Now, was that as good for you as it was for me? After that little chuckle, the pamplet describes 7 ways to use a condom correctly, mentions the pill, the 3-month injection, the diaphragm, the phone number for the STD national hotline, and contact information for all the public health clinics in the area.

So much for the Democratic sex literature. What about the Republicans?

The “Teen Talk” bulletin doesn’t look like it’s for the teens at this adult learning center–who are trying to learn English or get a GED while holding down full-time jobs. It’s full of big words like ‘epidemic’, ‘consequences’, ‘guilt’, ‘conflict’, and ‘incurable’. The only option discussed is abstinence. It’s full of the only kind of advice available before the advent of contraceptives.””Sex is not what makes a relationship work.” “Stay busy with sports and group activities”, and “Saying ‘no’ can be the best way to say ‘I love you.’” Maybe that would work for teens, but it would send most adults to divorce court. Oh, here’s a little gem: “The one sure thing about having sex is that you may be in for problems you don’t want to deal with.” Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Everyone should be so lucky to have problems like that.

The “What is Abstinence?” pamplet is written on a 6th grade level, and it’s not just about abstinence from sex either. “If someone tries to give you alcohol or drugs…Say no and tell an adult you trust. The person may be trying to get you drunk so that you will have sex.” Hmmmm. And “Choosing not to have sex means you’ll be able to focus on other things, like sports, friends and school.” Does that mean if someone chooses not to have sports, friends and school, they can focus on sex? Something is not quite right about this advice, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Update: this article was migrated from a different website. The comments appeared on that site and are a bit less child-friendly than I would like. But I have re-read them all and don’t really find anything worth deleting or censoring.

25 Responses to “Advice about Sex from Our Government”

  1. Ralph Says:
    September 29th, 2006 at 8:52 pm e Well, I for one object to all this sex on television.I keep falling off!
  2. Damen Says:
    September 30th, 2006 at 12:30 am e Honestly, it pisses me off that the government is now refusing to take the time to give out proper information to horny teens.It really, really pisses me off and I’m not joking in any way when I say that.
  3. Ralph Says:
    October 1st, 2006 at 12:46 am e Name me one thing they ARE giving out accurate information to the public about any more.
  4. Thaily Says:
    October 1st, 2006 at 5:11 am e Guilt is a big word?
    Since when?
  5. Alan Says:
    October 1st, 2006 at 9:13 am e The “teen talk” pamphlet is divided between boxes with factoids like “One in four teens who has sex gets an STD”, leading questions like “Do I know how to tell my partner I don’t want to have sex now?”, and sample dialogues for refusing sex “I don’t feel like I have to give you a reason for not having sex. It’s just my decision.”The guilt thing appears in a box of questions:

    “Should I Have Sex Now Or Should I Wait?” ..
    -If we’re fully committed as a couple, why not wait until we’re married?
    -Am I willing to to (sic) risk STD’s incuding HIV/AIDS and maybe becoming sterile so I can’t have a baby?
    -Am I willing to risk getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant?
    -Am I ready and able to support a child on my own?
    -Can I handle the guilt and conflict I may feel?
    -Will my decision hurt others-my parents, my friends?

    In spite of the scary tone about pregnancy and STD’s, the word ‘condom’ is never used, there’s no STD hotline number, and contraception is never mentioned.

  6. Ralph Says:
    October 1st, 2006 at 7:18 pm e Can’t wait until the federal government issues its pamphlet on DRIVING:“Should I Start Driving Now Or Should I Wait?” ..
    -If we’re fully committed employer and employee, why not make my boss wait while I take the bus?
    -Am I willing to risk getting paralyzed or maybe getting brain damage so I can never work?
    -Am I willing to risk killing someone or getting killed?
    -Am I ready and able deal with the guilt of contributing to global warming and destroying the world?
    -Can I handle the guilt and conflict I may feel?
    -Will my decision hurt others-my parents, my friends, people all around the world?Oh, and how about its pamphlet on GOING TO CHURCH:“Should I Go to Church Now Or Should I Wait?” ..
    -If we’re fully committed as a deity and a worshipper, why not put off going to church?
    -Am I willing to risk going to the wrong church and maybe believing in the wrong God?
    -Am I willing to risk going to hell?
    -Can I handle the guilt and conflict I may feel?
    -Will my decision hurt others-my parents, my friends?Or this government pamphlet on JOINING THE ARMY:

    “Should I Join the Army Now Or Should I Wait?”
    -Am I willing to risk getting my limbs blown off or getting brain damage?
    -Am I willing to risk killing someone or getting killed?
    -Am I ready and able to cope with the possiblity that I may be ordered to commit war crimes?
    -Can I handle the guilt and conflict I may feel?
    -Will my decision hurt others-my parents, my friends, the people I kill?

    And, last but not least, the government pamphlet on OPENING A BOTTLE OF SODA POP:

    “Should I Open this Bottle of Soda Pop Now Or Should I Wait?” ..
    -Am I willing to risk eye damage from contents under pressure?
    -Am I willing to get my eye poked out, or poke out someone else’s eye?
    -Can I handle the guilt and conflict I may feel?
    -Will my decision hurt others-my parents, my friends?

    Thank you, thank you, federal government, for protecting me from myself by amplifying my hysteria about everything out of all proportion to reality.

  7. Alan Says:
    October 1st, 2006 at 10:11 pm e LOL, I like the army one.If you liked that one, you’ll love their little checklist of “Some Questions To Ask Yourself” before making “your decision to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to having sex.”

    -When I get married, will I be glad I waited to have sex?
    -Would my parents approve of me having sex now?
    -If I have a child, am I responsible enough to provide for its emotional and financial support?
    -If the relationship breaks up, will I be glad I had sex with this person?
    -Am I sure no one is pushing me into having sex?
    -Do I know how to tell my partner I don’t want to have sex now?
    -Am I absolutely sure my partner is not infected with an STD including HIV/AIDS?

    Reminds me of the couple who waited to get married until they had everything in order, financial security, etc. By the time they were ready, they were old and gray and had to walk down the aisle on canes. If you listen to the Republicans, you will die a virgin.

    BTW, Ralph, some consider falling off to be part of the excitement. Just remember to set the rabbit ears out of the way first.

  8. Ralph Says:
    October 2nd, 2006 at 12:54 am e SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU JOIN THE ARMY:-Would my parents approve of me killing people now?
    -If I kill people, am I responsible enough to provide for the emotional and financial support of my family while coping with post traumatic stress?
    -If the security situation breaks up, will I be glad I killed people?
    -Am I sure no one is pushing me into killing people?
    -Do I know how to tell my country I don’t want to kill people now?
    -Am I absolutely sure my country is not riddled with corruption that might cause them to order me to commit war crimes?Can’t anybody recognize propaganda any more? For God’s sake, read your Orwell–this is a “Youth Anti-Sex League” publication if ever there was one.
  9. Laurie O Says:
    October 3rd, 2006 at 6:24 am e And I’m sorry, what is the government doing talking to our kids about sex? Is this still the 1950’s where parents
    “just don’t talk about this stuff”? Between the schools, church, and now the government, parents no longer have
    any responsibility anymore.When my kid turned 14 I told him if he was thinking of it, I would rather he wait and here’s why …….
    but if that wasn’t going to stop him, please let me know, I would by him a box of condoms.Parents need to be held responsible for their kids actions, not the schools, church or anyone else.
  10. Chaim Lazaras Says:
    October 7th, 2006 at 1:09 am e WHAT IF GOD AS WELL AS DEVIL REFUSES TO TAKE ME « on: Today at 4:52am » Quote Modify RemoveI AM A BELIEVER AND LOVE JESUS AN I AM BORN AGAIN; THOU I DO SIN OF EATING; I LUST SECRETLY BECAUSE I M BORN AGAIN; NEEDLESS TO I MASTERBATE BECAUSE I M GROWING AT MY TENDER AGE; AS SO MANY AMMAZING THINGS HAPPENING ON MY BODY HELPLESSLY WITHOUT ANY CHOICE AND NO CONTROL ON SITUATION; I DREAM OF QUENCH MY ALL OF MY THIRSTS THAT ARE NATURAL; I DO DIFFERENT THINGS TO COOL ME DOWN: AS ALL THIS COOLING REMAINS FOR A VERY SHORT TIME HELPLESSLY;AND THE ENDLESS GUILT BEFORE ;DURING AND AFTER MASTERBATING AS WELL AS TORTURE OF RELIGIOUS AND MORAL UPBRINGING FACED WITH THE NEEDS OF MY BODY; SOMETHING IS TELLING ME I WISH I WAS NOT A HUMAN BUT AN ANIMAL ie DOG OR A CAT OR ANYTHING TO DO DO BODILY OR SEXUAL NECCESSARY THINGS WITHOUT GUILT; OT I WISHED I WAS A ESKIMO OR A CHROKEE INDIAN WHO ARE NOT BROUGHT UP WITH SICKNESS OF GUILT ABOUT NATURAL THINGS. WE MUST HAVE GULT ABOUT KILL MILLIONS IN IRAK: ABOUT ABU GARIB PRISON; STARTING WAR ON THE BASSIS OF LIES; BECAUSE WE AMERICAN MAKE ALL EXCUSES TO SHUN OTHER COUNTRIES TO MAKE WAR AND DO UGLY THING EVEN WE CALL US FOLLOWERS OF JESUS:
    SO I AM SINNER;
    WHAT I EXPECT ATER THIS LIFE; WHEN I DIE; I DO BELIEVE IN JESUS; BUT I HAVE SO MUCH WRONG AS A AMERICAN PATRIOTOR AS YOUNG PERSON BECAUSE OF MY BODILY NEEDS THAT I HAVE NO CONTROLE ON:
    WHAT IF GOOD GOD REFUSES ME TO ENTER INTO HEAVEN AND LATTER DEVIL REFUSES TO HAVE ME IN HELL; WHAT SHOULD I DO; WHERE SHOULD I GO ;WHAT CHOICE DO I HAVE? WOULD GOD BE MORE MERCIFUL TO ME THAN THE DEVIL?
    PLEASE ANSWER ME: AND PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND DO REMMEMBER ME IN YOUR PRAYERS;
    JUST AS MY DAD HAS SINNED AS AMERICAN SOLDIER IN ACCUPING IRAK AND SO I HAVE TO IN MY OWN WAY IN MY THOUGHTS AND IN MY BODY BY LUST THAT NATURE GAVE ME; SOORY JESSUS FOR GIVE ME AND MY DAD FOR WHAT UGLY THINGS THEY DID IN IRAK FOR OIL TO LIE TO START TO WAR AND MORE AS AMERCANS AND IN THE NAME OF FALSE JESUS; BECAUSE REAL JESES believers DONT SUPPOSE TO BE DOING UGLY OCCUPATION AND UGLY THING AND GLORIFY IT:
    WOULD GOD FORGIVE HITLERS ARMY SIMILAR TO WHAT GOD SHOULD FORGIVE AMERICAN ARMY:
  11. Alan Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 1:34 am e Well, Chaim, I would say that youth is wasted on the young.Why anyone would feel guilty about their own sexuality which they did not create is a little beyond me. Genesis says quite clearly that male and female was created by God, and God saw that it was good. Jesus did not have a lot to say about sexuality but did not approve of hypocrisy or harming people. Paul had some nasty things to say about sexuality, but some say maybe he had some personal problem in that area. You also have to remember the early Christians expected the return of Jesus at any moment, and some of the advice about not marrying, etc. is based on the idea that it would be difficult to be trying to give birth during the end of the world. I consider Jesus to be an authority, but not Paul.Different Christians have different ideas about war, as well. Some say there is such a thing as a “just war”, and that it is permissible to kill in self-defense. Others say killing is never justified.But as Ralph points out, the government is telling us to be oh, so careful about sex, but not about war, although it seems soldiering would be so much more lethal. Why now, would they say that? For our own good? Or maybe it costs the govenment money to run public health clinics, pay for welfare (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), food stamps, and paternity determinations, but the government needs that money to give to military contractors like Halliburton. It is in the interest of the government to prevent people from having sex, but not war.Having put off having children until I was in a financial position to take care of them, I now find myself in my 50s with still no children. In retrospect, I wonder if it would have been better for me to have been a little less considerate of the opinions of other people, a little less “good”, and to have had a little more sense of entitlement.
  12. Ralph Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 10:07 pm e Why would the government warn teenagers and young adults about the dangers of sex? To reduce the population in order to save money on public services? Perhaps. But then, wouldn’t teaching them about birth control work better?No, I have a different conspiracy theory. I think the government is scaring young people away from sex in order to lure them into military service. Suppressing your sex drive makes you angry and mean. Then you catch some poor eighteen-year-old boy up at all hours trying like hell not to masturbate, and flash some images into his impressionable mind about how cool it would be to earn money for college by killing people.According to No Child Left Behind, high schools have to let in military recruiters, or they lose their federal funds. And now, any sex America’s youngsters have is likely to be 3,000% more dangerous (as opposed to 97% safer), thanks to the official federal policy of “abstinence only” sex education.You see kids, Jesus wouldn’t want you to take the simple step of using a latex condom just to reduce the spread of a devastating worldwide epidemic by 97%. But if you get drunk and have unprotected sex, well, say you’re sorry and he’ll forgive you–just as long as deep down inside you feel bad about it too.That’s what Chaim is being told incessantly by the advertising, military recruiters, and abstinence-only education aimed at him: turn that suppressed libido into homicidal rage. War: good! Sex: bad! Make war not love!

    Good luck straightening it all out, Chaim.

  13. Alan Says:
    October 8th, 2006 at 11:16 pm e Of course, it might not be a conspiracy at all, just a social change we haven’t adjusted to yet–it hasn’t been that long since Margaret Sanger went to jail for opening the first birth control clinic. Before birth control, you had to be married to have sex (or ready to get married) because you were definately going to start a family at that point. Now science has given us the capability to have sex apart from offspring, but it hasn’t given us a consensus about the meaning of sex. As a culture have we just become too conflicted about sex so we do some cultural regression and pretend we are living back in an age where the landscape is more familiar.Is that why my parents’ generation used religious swearwords, my generation used scatalogical swearwords, and the teeny-boppers now are screaming the F-word in the streets before they can possibly know what it means?I just can’t see the junior anti-sex league/GI Joe connection, Ralph. My boomer generation grew up with the old sexual values, and some of my cohorts did indeed get pregnant and have to drop out of high school, but we were also very anti-war and anti-draft. Maybe you could make an argument that some people are risk-takers and just have to break out of the sheep-fold, whether it means questioning wars or questioning social values that don’t work anymore, or maybe it just means some parts of the country are still stuck in the 19th century.
  14. Ralph Says:
    October 9th, 2006 at 9:02 pm e In Orwell’s 1984, one of the functions of the Youth Anti-Sex League is to suppress the erotic expression of youthful passion so that they may be expressed in ways that are of more benefit to the state. Note, for example, the almost orgasmic histrionics of the Two Minute Hate.Check out Chris Hedges’ “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.” Hedges does a really good job of daring to say that–for some of its participants–war can provide a thrill that easily rivals sex or drugs.Totalitarian regimes tend to be pro-war and anti-sex, even if they’re not religious. Mao and Stalin vigorously opposed indulgence in romantic love, romance novels, love poetry, etc., because they felt the energy wasted on those outlets should serve the state. And need we mention the pro-war, anti-sex orientation of the nationalist extremists in twenty-first century America?
  15. Alan Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 11:34 pm e Well, Ralph, there might be something in what you say, but remember that 1984 is still fiction. The only reason we learn about for joining the Junior Anti-Sex League is through the protagonist Julia, who hates passing out literature but does it as a cover for all her affairs. And it isn’t sex per se that’s banned. Prostitution is tacitly encouraged as long as it’s with a member of the despised underclass. It is sex with a party member that brings sanctions, because it implies loyalty to something outside the party. (this also means controlling only the sexuality of the women, shades of male control of property inheritance). Mao was hardly celibate. Maybe you could say totalitarianism discourages meaningful sex.
  16. Alan Says:
    October 10th, 2006 at 11:55 pm e “Teen Talk #3 What You Should Know About Contraception!” is now available from Office of Public Affairs.(download if you must from http://opa.osophs.dhhs/gov/publications) What goodies are in store for us from this pearl of wisdom? First,

    Abstinence is the only 100% sure way to not get pregnant.

    They find this to be such a profound statement they repeat it 5 times throughout the publication. Then they state it in other ways:

    Nothing is 100% sure except abstinence–not having sex (vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse).

    I never knew oral sex could cause pregnancy. Or anal sex, for that matter. You learn something every day. For all you literalists out there, that was meant to be tongue in cheek, um, er, let me rephrase that…

    Then we find also that

    the latex condom is the only method that may provide some protection against HIV/AIDS and some STD’s

    MAY provide? SOME protection? Why do they pussyfoot around? We know how condoms have turned around the Uganda AIDS rate; isn’t this good enough for our own kids? But this phrase is also deemed profound enough to repeat throughout the publication 5 times.

    We aso find the following gems: “Natural Family Planning-not having sex during the 5 or 6 days of the month when it is possible for the woman to get pregnant.” But there are only 5 or 6 days that ARE safe.

    And then there’s the role of marriage in contraception: “the intra -uterine device is “excellent for faithful married couples”–you see how a marriage license increases the effectiveness of contraceptives? And “abstinence from sexual activity until marriage is the only 100% sure contraception.” Gosh, that marriage license sure does protect you from unwanted pregnancy, doesn’t it.

    Of course, if that doesn’t work, the shrine of St. Jude is just down the street.

  17. Anonymous Says:
    October 11th, 2006 at 10:35 am e I think maybe some of the people who wrote that pamphlet were conceived through anal sex. Think about it.
  18. Alan Says:
    October 17th, 2006 at 10:44 pm e Several times a week I walk past an educational poster on the subject of domestic violence. “La violencia domestica es asunto de todos” it announces. (Domestic violence is everybody’s business.) The photo is a closeup shot of a hand holding a note that says in Spanish, “Please children sit quietly until your subsititute teacher arrives. Your professor is hositalized becasue her partner abused her this morning.”Today I looked at it close enough to read the fine print. It’s sponsored by the mayor’s office and carries the domestic abuse hotline number. Also sponsoring is Verizon Wireless. Then in tiny little letters, “Los puntos de vista u opiniones expresadas…” What’s this then? A disclaimer? “The points of view or opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official or political position of the Department of Justice of the United States or the authority of the department of information of the Criminal Justice (of the state).Why does the U.S. Department of Justice need a disclaimer on a domestic abuse hotline poster?
  19. Laurie O Says:
    October 18th, 2006 at 6:43 am e Because our government doesn’t take responsibilty for anything. They are the victim in all of this.
  20. Comrade Stalin Says:
    October 25th, 2006 at 9:00 am e Hello again Dear Comrades. May I weigh in on this.
    As you probably aware I was a pioneer in contraception
    methods. However instead of latex we used lead.
    The Capitalist government most of the time confuses an
    elbow with their buttocks, (see Joycelin Elders) so to
    expect any intelligent advise from them is how shoud i say,
    oh yes, a Dumbass expectation.
    So yes I have neutrilised govenment from decision making and
    made decisions myself. So STD infected hoypoloy was loaded in
    boxcar # 6557868769087 and sent to my native Georgia where women
    with moustage and smell of goat rendered them Selibate for ever.
    Problem solved.
    I’m however stangely attracted to women with smell of goat, you can
    sprinkle them with vodka to dull the initial shock. Even STD runs the other way.
    Have a Safe Sex wth Two Bagger (see justice Ginsburg)and you all set.Lovingly Yours,
    Comrade StalinP.S. Oh for women I recommend sex with Al Sharpton. Me and Lucifer can’t wait
    to meet him..MMMMMMMMMM..Donuts!
  21. Comrade Stalin Says:
    October 25th, 2006 at 9:08 am e My bad. Almost forgot. If you need to know what a Two Bagger means,
    you get honorable mention in Dumbass World Cup tournament.No pasaran!Cmr. Stalin
  22. Alan Says:
    October 25th, 2006 at 12:11 pm e Comrade, I suspect you might be a three-bagger: one bag for your head, one bag for her head in case the first bag falls off and the third bag for the light bulb, in case the other two bags fall off.With or without goats, may I recommend Stolichnaya as the vodka of choice? First, chill a fancy Arab tea glass in the freezer. At the same time transfer your bottle of Stoli to the freezer. When you’re ready for libation, cut a sliver of lime peel, twist it until oil beads up on the skin, and wipe the skin side of the peel around the inside rim of the glass. Drop the lime peel in the glass and pour a few fingers of Stoli on top of it. Ahhh.
  23. Comrade Stalin Says:
    October 25th, 2006 at 6:17 pm e Dear comrade Alan, please accept warm thanks from
    etire political section of Kremlin on your suggestion.
    We however don’t need Three bags because socialist society
    must save energy, so we disconnect power at night. Hence no
    need for bulb bag.
    Then come to think of it, It’s Ruth Bader! maybe we do need a third bag.Again, my best regards.
    Lovingly Yours,
    Comrade Stalin.P.S. Lucifer is excited to meet Ruth Bader when time comes. He wants
    her to “Love Him Too Much and Long Time”. Kinky little Devil.
  24. Alan Says:
    October 26th, 2006 at 1:21 pm e Well, comrade, if the Lightbringer has three bags and some vodka, maybe she’ll dig him. But I never criticize people for being born ugly, I mean, what are they supposed to do, go and kill themselves so we don’t have to be inconvenienced by looking at them? Ugliness of character is quite another thing; it’s what people make of themselves. It seems that the socialist nations don’t need contraception because they have enough bullets. That is the cause of social unrest, then, population pressures? And the solution to population pressures is social unrest. A nice, tidy, self-perpetuating system. It sounds like you guys got a nifty gig going for yourselves. Except for those pesky details with the light bulbs, of course.
  25. Comrade Stalin Says:
    October 27th, 2006 at 9:21 am e Yes dear comrade Alan, I agree that ugliness is not no be
    made fun of. I had Trotsky for that, till got tired of him.
    Point I’m trying to make, it can be be very useful tool in
    fight with capitalist decadent ways..in Sex. (the word reminds me
    of Lenin’s wife).Every American teenager should have a compusory picture of esteemed Justice
    R.B.G (Almost like R.P.G. LOL, it’s local humor)
    pasted in shower stall. The Sexually Confused can get picture of Trotsky.
    (He was not a Brad Pitt either)
    Hope thats a productive suggestion.
    Those that refuse the pin-ups get to report to boxcar #98077788908 for
    reeducation trip.Lovingly Yours,
    Comrade Stalin.P.S. Heh, “R.B.G. does Dallas”. Illigals run south.
Posted in Education, Government, Sex. Comments Off on Advice about Sex from Our Government

good muslims and good americans

Here is the text of the email titled “Can a good Muslim be a good American” that has been making the rounds since roughly the beginning of August. The first part of the email is the same but there is some slight variation of the ending–here are both endings.

(got this in a email)

I sent that question to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.

The following is his reply:

Theologically – no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.

Religiously – no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)

Scripturally – no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

Geographically – no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially – no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically – no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.

Domestically – no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

Intellectually – no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Philosophically – no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.

Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually – no. Because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Ending variation #1:

Therefore after much study and deliberation…. perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both “good” Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish…. it’s still the truth.

If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above statements, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future.

Pass it on Fellow Americans. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.

Ending variation #2

Therefore after much study and deliberation…perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both “good” Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish…it’s still the truth. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The war is bigger than most Americans know or understand.

I suppose we can never know who really wrote this or why. My first reaction is that the question was supposed to be about American Moslems, but the person asked was an American who supposedly lived in Saudi Arabia for 20 years, and therefore could have had little or no contact with American Moslems. I have not personally received this in an Email, but have only heard about it second-hand. Has anyone else received it and is anyone taking it seriously?

If you don’t take it seriously, how would you reply to it?

Update: This piece was migrated from a different website.  The comments appeared there and have been shortened.  I first heard of this from a friend who had just returned from the Middle East and had a great deal of trouble at the airport, which she attributed to her point of origen coupled with this email piece which was making the rounds at that time.  I hadn’t received the email in question but was able to track down several copies on the web.

7 Responses to “Good Muslims and Good Americans”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    September 16th, 2006 at 10:28 am e Well. A good half of those answers could also apply to Christians, demonstrating why Christians cannot be trusted in America and why we need to declare war against Christians. So,  the short answer is that the e-mail is perhaps the first to sink BELOW the level of spam in my regard.
  2. Alan Says:
    September 16th, 2006 at 1:23 pm e Lower than SPAM, Anon? Surely not that low!Initially I thought this was tongue in cheek, mostly because of the obvious inaccuracies. It would be so easy to go down the list point by point and say, ‘well, the Moslem male is not instructed to marry four wives, he is limited to four wives’, and so, point by point, finding some reason to quibble with each statement. By the time you have finished reading it you are both angry that someone would write something so obviously predudicial, and you have knocked down each argument yourself, thereby ‘proving’ that Moslems are not a threat in America. So is it a very subtle reducio ad absurdum piece that masks a genuine threat to the nation, or does it represent a genuine anti-Moslem backlash on the American Street?

    No, I don’t think Christians should be trusted, atheists either, for that matter. I would trust the constitution and the democratic Process. And myself, of course.

  3. Ralph Says:
    September 17th, 2006 at 12:12 am e I think it’s giving entirely too much credit to a crude anti-religious screed like this to say that its intent is to lull you into the illusion that the religion it denigrates in such a demonstrably false way is no threat at all.If it worked that way, the absurdly anti-Christian screeds we hear out of the fundamentalist madrasas would be lulling Middle Easterners into the impression that America is not a threat to Islam. Do you think that’s happening?
  4. Alan Says:
    September 17th, 2006 at 5:24 pm e I’m afraid you’re right, Ralph. My gut reaction says to take the piece at face value. It’s like thinking about a test question too much, if you change your answer, you get it wrong.I don’t think it’s out of place to try to figure out who is the author and the intended audience.

    The author claims the U.S. Constitution is “based on Biblical principles,” so this signals to me the author is more than a little towards the fundamentalist side of the Christian spectrum. The part about 20 years in Saudi Arabia is plausible; the author would have enough contact with Islam to form an opinion, but in Saudi would be living in a diplomatic section or protected compound and would not be able to mingle freely.

    The format of the piece is not the sort of thing you ordinarily write in a personal letter, so who is the audience? Is it meant to convince the great unwashed American public to trust Moslems even less? Or may be it is aimed at Moslems, putting forward ideas that are deliberately illogical to get them to think about the relationship between Islam and democracy? It is certainly true that democracy has not taken hold in this region. Perhaps democracy is totally at odds with Arab culture and religion.

  5. Ralph Says:
    September 22nd, 2006 at 12:25 am e That “worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years” bit also reeks of the crank.Like that crank call in response to a help wanted ad for an auto mechanic:

    “You have an inspection license?”

    “Hell yeah, I worked on fighter planes for eighteen years. I’ll see you tomorrow and rap you upside the head with a ratchet.”

    “Wait, do you have an inspection license?”

    “Yeah, I got all that crap. See you tomorrow. I’ll bring my toolbox.”

  6. Alan Says:
    September 25th, 2006 at 8:21 pm e Okay, it’s from a tape of ‘crank calls’ put out a few years ago…first the caller claims to have 7 years experience and it’s enough to get him put through to the boss, then he tells the boss he has 18 years experience–it establishes a tentative credibility, can’t be checked right away, but it’s enough to get you to not hang up the phone just yet.The writer claims none of the 99 names of Allah is ‘love’, however my Ninty Nine Names of Allah With some additions published in Karachi lists the 47th name of Allah as Al-Wadud or ‘The Loving’. In Arabic: الودود

    According to the text, “YA-WADUD Anyone who repeats this Beautiful Name of Allah 1000 times and blows on food and such food is consumed by him and his wife together, their differences will come to an end. A strong bond of love and affection will come between them–insha-Allah.”

Posted in Arab culture, Arabs, Religion. Comments Off on good muslims and good americans

WELCOME.

First things first. We start in the traditional bedouin way. Take off your shoes and leave them in the sand by the door. Then, sit down on the farsha, lean back against the pillows, and have some tea.

Today I have sage tea. All summer I drank mint tea from the Jordanian mint plant beside my front door, but now the cold weather has arrived and the mint isn’t growing quite so vigorously. I have a package of sage leaves from the Middle East– the package proclaims it is the product of الأردن Jordan. Jordanian الميرامية merimeeya. Yes!!!

First, a teabag of ordinary black tea goes into a small teapot, along with a small handful of loose sage leaves (maybe two tablespoons or the amount of leaves in two teabags). Then, the water must be boiling, and is poured over the leaves. The tea steeps for two or three minutes. Then you add sugar; for my teapot I use five of the small, small Arab spoons made especially for adding sugar at the table. Pour some tea out of the teapot into a glass and add it back into the top of the teapot to make sure the tea in the spout is the same as the tea in the pot, and you’re ready to drink it. The Arab welcoming ritual calls for small tea glasses, but beside the keyboard I just have an ordinary ceramic coffee mug.

According to bedouin tradition, the guest can claim hospitality for three and one third days without answering questions. But let’s face it, bedouins are curious and start asking questions the minute they start refilling your tea glass.

.

Posted in Arab culture, Arabs, Jordan, Jordanian Food, Middle East. Comments Off on WELCOME.

Twenty Ways to Maintain Healthy Insanity: A New Email Makes the Rounds

I’ve just received an Email from a friend who just returned to Memphis from the Middle East and reports people snarling and losing luggage after seeing the Middle Eastern residency passport stamp. This is attributed to an Email being circulated called Can a Good Muslim make a Good American – “whereby people are being encouraged to make life miserable not only for Muslims, but anyone who works with them.” Has anyone heard of this Email? No one ever sends those on to me.

Anyhoo, if anyone is all bummed out about signing statements, warrantless wiretapping, relatives harshing on their mellow, and new names for torture, or just maybe three days straight of rainy weather, it’s time for some non sequitors and hopefully a giggle. You probably won’t want to share this anyplace where you want people to respond to you like a responsible, mature adult, but here it’s just you and me and no one else knows you’re reading this:

20 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity
1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on
and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don’t Disguise Your Voice.
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something,
Ask If They Want Fries with that.
4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It “In.”
5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks.
Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions,
Switch to Espresso.
6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks,
Write “For Smuggling Diamonds”
7. Finish All Your sentences with
“In Accordance With The Prophecy.”
8. Don t use any punctuation
9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.
10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat,
with a serious face.
11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is “To Go.”
12. Sing Along At The Opera
13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don’t Rhyme
14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And
Play tropical Sounds All Day.
15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends
You Can’t Attend Their Party Because You’re Not In The Mood.
16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name,
“Rock Bottom”.
17. When The Money Comes Out of The ATM, Scream “I Won!, I Won!”
18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The
Parking lot, Yelling “Run For Your Lives, They’re Loose!!”
19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. “Due To The Economy,
We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.”
20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity…….
Send This E-mail To Someone To Make Them Smile.
It’s Called Therapy.

Wasn’t that utterly silly? And don’t you feel better now?

Posted in Humor. Comments Off on Twenty Ways to Maintain Healthy Insanity: A New Email Makes the Rounds

Blessings for a quarter: Selling hope on Chicago’s south side

Yesterday I took public transportation to the doctor on the other side of town–in course of the day I was on 4 trains and 3 buses. Leaving my neighborhood, the bus passes through a Hispanic neighborhood, then a black neighborhood that is even more economically depressed than my own.

An older black gentleman got on the bus and started his rap. Ten years ago the Lord told him to spread a message, he said, showing a piece of paper in his hand. In seven days anyone who took this message from him would receive a blessing. Sometimes blessings would start to be received after only one day. Take the message, he said, and if you can afford it, give me a quarter, a dime. The guy moved through the bus quickly, working the crowd. “Do you want another one” he said to someone behind me, “did you get a blessing?”, then the conversation continued in a lower voice. A couple of people took the message. It was a piece of paper with the title “anointed cloth” and a short paragraph–nicely printed too, not like the poor xerox quality prayers in the St. Jude shrine in the Hispanic neighborhood down the street–along with two 2X4-inch pieces of nylon net in yellow and blue.

The local Ford plant in my neighborhood has already sent everyone on an unpaid summer vacation and announced how many thousands of jobs will be eliminated in the fall. But just up the street they are still selling hope…and people are still buying it.

Posted in Curiosities, Religion. Comments Off on Blessings for a quarter: Selling hope on Chicago’s south side