Thou Shalt Not Disagree With Me

Here’s another story of good ‘ol “Christian Values”:

“A West Virginia high school student is filing an injunction against her principal, who she claims is threatening to punish her for speaking out against a factually inaccurate abstinence assembly at her school… alleges her principal threatened to call the college where she’s been accepted to report that she has ‘bad character.'” -Via Think Progress

Katelyn Campbell
Photo: Chris Dorst/The Charleston Gazette

I absolutely hate hearing these stories, especially because lately it feels like there are so many I can’t even keep up with who the current bigots are. This story is stupid on two fronts, though, so it takes the cake.

First off, this story is especially upsetting for me because I come from a community that, like the West Virginia school that Katelyn Campbell attends, has an incredibly high rate of teen pregnancy. Although our school had the true sex-ed curriculum that is required here in California, we were forced to attend these abstinence-only assemblies to be fed a whole host of lies regarding sex (I specifically remember being told by one presenter that masturbation will lead to your penis falling off), several of them occurring before the point in our high school careers that sex-ed was taught.
The worst part of it was that most of us knew that they were lies anyways; half of my classmates were already having sex and could verify that their genitalia hadn’t turned black. You know what we didn’t know, however? How to actually prevent pregnancy. The presenters were too busy yelling at us about fire and brimstone to tell us that condoms can have their effectiveness reduced if you don’t put them on right. During the first semester of my freshman year, 2 girls out of my 29 student honors science class got pregnant. For those unfamiliar with honors classes, those are the smart ones.
All that said, at least you can explain all of that behavior by saying, “Yes, all that may stupid and closed-minded, but the Bible does say you should remain sexually ‘pure’.” You would be absolutely right in saying that (though I think we can all agree the Bible isn’t the best source of policy). However, I don’t remember the part of the bible where Jesus commands that you threaten a 17-year-old girl until she cries for wanting to tell the truth.

“According to Campbell, her principal said, “How would you feel if I called your college and told them what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are?” Campbell alleges that Aulenbacher continued to berate her in his office, eventually driving her to tears.” -Via Think Progress

How do you even justify this kind of behavior? I mean, he essentially tried to blackmail a teenager into keeping her mouth shut because she, and I can’t emphasis this enough, wanted to tell the truth. In my opinion, his reaction to a young girl disagreeing him is completely antithetical to the teachings of Christ, as well as just flat out unprofessional for a school administrator. If the primary reason for education is to produce a productive new generation, how is teaching your students to never argue or question their superiors going to help the country?
Then again, his little temper tantrum did get her plenty of prestige at the school she’s attending next fall, so I guess things have a way of working themselves out sometimes.
As a progressive Christian in America, Tristan became frustrated at how the christian political perspective had been completely monopolized by the Religious Right. He triesto be a counterweight to the Right’s argument that liberalism and Christianity are not compatible, specifically on the subjects of LGBT rights, women’s rights, gun rights and rights of the poor and disabled.You can view Tristan’s website at and follow him on twitter @JesusWasALefty.

[Originally published at Jesus was a Liberal on April 19, 2013]

Peacock Panache is a news analysis blog focused primarily on civil rights, LGBTQ activism, church/state & atheism issues, women’s rights, and politics.


Loading Disqus Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Loading Facebook Comments ...