The subject of the Pro-Life movement in Mississippi has proven to be a subject not to be tackled in one afternoon. This is part two of this three part series. There was a question I asked if nearly all the interviews” Why is there such a discrepancy between Mississippi being a family value state in the Bible belt and yet Mississippi having such high teen pregnancy rate”
A gentleman responded surprisingly to the question with this, “Well a lot of the churches here don’t have love in ‘em. They are about getting bigger, and some of these kids they say are trouble, when really they just aren’t getting any real love. I run a barbershop, and you know how many kids 12, 13, 14 years old I see in my shop but I never seen their parents. ” A young lady I had interviewed later echoed that sentiment.” Church is like Facebook or Twitter here in Mississippi. Only a couple of people are doing it for the reason it was meant for. For other people they don’t have much to do. So people jump in, because they feel left out if they don’t” When interviewing some of the parents in the area they for the most part believed they had an open dialogue with their kids about 4 out of 5 said they did. So I went back and I interviewed the teenagers. I got a different story. Some young ladies claimed either themselves or friends having oral sex as young as 10 or 11 years old. On the flip side, some claim virginity as old as 19 and 20. Regardless of when or if they began to have sex, 3 out of 5 teenagers I interviewed said that they had no or limited communication with their parents about sex. As one young lady said,” some parents don’t care. Others don’t care that they are getting lied to as long as you keep up the image. Some of the parents do the same thing. Run around one way all week and then are completely different in church on Sunday.” When I asked a young lady who was waiting for marriage she said ” I feel sorry for the ones who don’t feel like they can’t talk to their parents about sex I was fortunate that my parents brought me up were we talked about sex and love and what God wants for me I feel it’s sacred and I know friends who feel the same way some made a mistake but god still loves them and I still love them we all stumble but we have to pick each other up” Another said ” it was weird talking to my mom about sex but we did it and I thought was weird when she got a MySpace but now that I am older I am glad she tried.” Many agreed that there was a language barrier between parents and kids as well as a technological one with social media becoming such a large part of teenagers lives “My parents idea of talking about sex was like do u know where your kids are, my dad turns his he to me and say “better not get pregnant, or bring drugs in here.” Mississippi is even considering paying students not to get pregnant
I have heard it said “To be a father you just have to make a baby. To be a dad you have to raise one.” Maybe the same can be said about churches and communities. Maybe sometimes a sense of moral authority is unjustified and counterproductive.