Thursday, August 25, 2005

Some Good News

This is the first post in my new series of "good news", news that strengthen our belief in the innate sanity of Homo Sapiens. Of course, there might be no such innate sanity, but I'm going to pretend the question is settled in a positive way.

These news are heartening:

BOSTON - The American Civil Liberties Union and Jenner & Block LLP applauded the federal government's decision today to suspend the flow of taxpayer dollars funding the Silver Ring Thing, a nationwide ministry that uses abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education as a means to bring "unchurched" students to Jesus Christ.

"We are pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services today recognized that the Silver Ring Thing was blatantly misusing public dollars," said Julie Sternberg, a senior staff Attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "As we have said all along, it is improper for the federal government to underwrite efforts to convert teenagers to a particular faith."

In a letter sent today to Denny Pattyn, founder of the Silver Ring Thing, the Department of Health and Human Services expressed concern that the program "may not have included adequate safeguards to clearly separate in time or location inherently religious activities from the federally-funded activities.... Based on the information received to date, we do not believe that actual use of federal funds for its program adequately complies with Federal grant requirements."

I'd like to add that the silver ring might work for abstinence, but only on the male half of the population, and only if it is not worn on the fingers.