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so it stands to reason that a whole mess of ignorance is good for you, right?

The latest from our GOP Frankenstein's laboratory:

Jindal, social conservatives spike school sex survey proposal

BATON ROUGE -- Pat Smith cleared the House of Representatives with her proposal to allow the state Department of Education to survey students in Louisiana schools about their sexual practices. But she ran into organized opposition in the upper chamber Wednesday, as one of Gov. Bobby Jindal's top advisers and a conservative Christian lobbyist jointly asked the Senate Education Committee to derail the effort. Senators complied.

State Rep. Smith introduced a bill authorizing the state to conduct a survey of Louisiana teens' sexual attitudes and practices. Rep. Smith's proposed survey followed closely the form and subject matter of similar surveys conducted by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which yield valuable data used by public health officials in shaping prevention and treatment programs.

Aware of the tender sensibilities of some our state's more devout citizens, Rep. Smith included a provision allowing parents to opt their kids out of the survey, a compromise of good science to personal beliefs, but a necessary one for our oh-so-faithful populace.

The bill passed the state House, but yesterday was killed in the Senate after testimony by Gov. Jindal's chief of staff and the local American Family Association chapter's Kathleen Benefield.

Ms. Benefield objected that the questions in the federal and state surveys contributes to "pornifcation of American girls."

"The bombardment of sexual messages is really interfering with the process" of teaching girls about how to live healthy lives, she said. Benefield did not speculate on any effects on boys. Hit with questions about sex, she said, "Girls get the idea that this is what everyone is doing. They think this is what boys want. ... If you think girls are not getting enough information about sex or don't know enough about sex, trust me, they do."
This encyclopedic knowledge of sexual practices and their potential effects is obvious in our state's sexual health statistics. We are number one in the nation for chlamydia infection and number three for syphilis and gonorrhea. Our teen pregnancy rate is through the roof.

This is, of course, a consequence of teens having too much information about the consequences of unprotected sexual activity. How could it be otherwise?

The defeat of Rep. Smith's bill is typical not only of our state, but the Republican mindset as a whole. Science is bad. Data is bad. Facts lead to moral failure. Better just to go with the fact-free opinions of your society's most narrow-minded, superstitious loudmouths. The Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it.

I am still trying to find the biblical passage forbidding doctors and scientists from inquiring into peoples' health. It's somewhere in there. Probably Leviticus.

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