This morning my wife and I were listening to the radio on our way to work. The DJ was discussing a recent New York school that was handing out the Plan B pill and birth controls to girls without parental consent, and numerous people were calling in either for or against the school for doing this.
Obviously the people for it were the liberal type, saying that kids would have sex anyway and that they should be given every opportunity to avoid pregnancy. Many were adult parents that had their children while in their teens, and they reflected on how difficult their lives had been and how they wished they had those types of options back then.
The people against it were the conservative types, and their summarized views were that society is failing these kids by doing this. Instead of teaching abstinence and morals, they are encouraging kids to have sex, and that’s just not right. One lady called in and bashed another lady for saying that kids would just have sex anyway, saying that her kids wouldn’t because she talks to them about it constantly and they know that they shouldn’t have premarital sex.
And I find this serious topic strangely amusing. Not for the topic itself, but because this is just a microcosm of how polarized Americans are today. It’s like nobody seems to notice the gray area anymore. For the people who are for birth control and Plan B, you need to make sure the program is done properly. Handing these things out like candy is going to be problematic. Just like what the naysayers are saying, you are almost encouraging kids to have sex if these things are being handed out without counseling, guidance, etc.
On the other hand, the ones who are against it are missing the point entirely. You can talk to your kids all you want, but kids are kids. They rebel. That’s what they do. And honestly, if you are too strict with them, they’ll just rebel even more. You may go to church and instill religion and morals and fear into your child, but you can’t be with them 100% of the time, and that 1% where you aren’t watching—guess what, your kid could be out there getting pregnant. Don’t be so naïve to think your child is special, either. Unless they don’t have hormones, which would be a medical enigma, they are probably going to have sex before they are out of high school. After all, the average age for virginity loss is 17.0 in males and 17.3 for females in the United States, so unless you have a gifted kid that’s already gone off to college at that age, your kid is probably going to be having sex in his or her senior year of high school.
Regardless, I just love how people get so fired up over topics like this. The school offered parents the ability to “opt-out” of the program by filling out a form. It wasn’t like they were going against the wishes of the parents and forcing the kids to take them. They were just making this available to kids who needed them, kids who may otherwise be too scared to go to their parents—parents like those same conservative ones who swore up and down that their child would not be having sex.
But it’s like that with every hot button issue now. People are either decidedly for or against Obama or Romney. People are either for or against abortion, gay marriage, the Affordable Healthcare Act, over-sized soft drinks, SpongeBob, toe jam. I hate to tell you, folks, but the world isn’t as yin and yang as you make it out to be. What seems like a great or horrible idea to you might be the opposite to someone else, but what in the world ever happened with our ability to compromise?
I was watching a Scott Pelley interview with President Obama last week, and the CBS anchor directly asked the President why he can’t seem to get along with Republicans. And Obama stated, “I’ve joked in the past to my staff and to some Republicans, ‘Look, if you want me to come over and wash your car, walk your dog, I’m game, if it means that we’re actually getting stuff done on behalf of the American people.’” Funny, because I can’t see Mitt Romney doing that. I can’t really see Obama doing that either—but at least he’s saying he’s willing to compromise and work together. But the Republicans reject everything he puts before them, and they dislike his views so much that Romney wants to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act as one of his top priorities. And Democrats aren't off the hook either. What’s up with all of this non-stop mentioning of Romney’s tax returns? Yeah, the guy pays less than most people pay. It sucks, it's unfair, it's BS, but it’s because the tax codes are flawed. Yes, if elected, he probably won't do anything to change that--and may even make it even easier for the super-rich to get more money--but let’s at least hear what he has to offer in his plan to fix our country’s woes. THEN we can vote for the people who can get them all patched up—by WORKING TOGETHER. Let’s not make our judgments until we know each plan inside and out.
Really, all this fighting has to stop. People may not see eye to eye, but let’s at least agree to disagree and move on. Or maybe we just open our minds up a little. Everyone has an opinion, and yet so few of us are ever willing to hear out the other side.
Maybe last night that Seattle Seahawk really didn’t commit offensive pass interference before simultaneously catching the ball even though the Green Bay Packer player had it hugged to his chest tighter than a newborn baby. Ok...yeah...maybe in some instances there really isn't much gray area...