Saturday, August 30, 2008

Newsweek Gets It Wrong on McCain's Mrs. Right

In Newsweek's article on Sarah Palin, they imply she is an advocate for Creationism:
Palin said during her run that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in schools.

What she said in a debate one Wednesday night in 2006 was:
PALIN: "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. "Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject -- creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."

However, she clarified her position the day after the debate:
In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.

Members of the state school board, which sets minimum requirements, are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

"I won't have religion as a litmus test, or anybody's personal opinion on evolution or creationism," Palin said.

Palin has occasionally discussed her lifelong Christian faith during the governor's race but said teaching creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought to.

Read it all in the Anchorage Daily News.

H/T to Mark Stricherz at Get Religion for the Newsweek quote

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain VP Pick Palin Soft Gay Love

The Christian conservative McCain has picked for VP is described by the gay website queerty as "relatively good on gay issues." Hmmm, they seem to mean she is against gay marriage, but at least supports some gay benefits:
While she opposes gay marriage - as all the national contenders do - Palin's frequently come out in support of her gay friends and insists she's open to discussions on discrimination legislation.

This site actually implies that Palin may be too soft on gays for some conservatives:
This soft gay love could complicate matters with staunch social conservatives, but that voting bloc will no doubt appreciate her strident pro-life and gun rights stance. If Palin and McCain can make the benefits issue look like an issue of Democratic ideals, then that could stop any reactionary outrage. Only time will tell how that will play out.

The underlying premise seems to be that Christian conservatives hate gays or are out to get gays. Well, big surprise, most do not and are not. I think the concern with anti-discrimination legislation is that it is a foot in the door for gay marriage, as was so recently demonstrated by the California Supreme Court.

Read it here.

H/T to Mollie at Get Religion

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Morning Heart Warm -- From Basic Instinct to Cross Bearer

I love a good conversion story:

Joe Eszterhas' latest book is a shocker, but not the kind that made him rich and famous.

The upcoming release from the man who penned dark thrillers such as Basic Instinct and Jagged Edge tells the story of his spiritual conversion and his newfound devotion to God and family.

In Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, to be published Sept. 2 by St. Martin's Press, Mr. Eszterhas describes how his life got turned around during the summer of 2001.

He and his second wife, Naomi, had just moved from Malibu to a suburb of Cleveland - where he had grown up; she was from nearby Mansfield. They felt Ohio would be a better, more wholesome place to raise their four boys (he had two grown children from his first marriage).

A month after the move, Mr. Eszterhas was diagnosed with throat cancer. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic removed 80 percent of his larynx, put a tracheotomy tube in his throat, and told him he must quit drinking and smoking immediately.

At age 56, after a lifetime of wild living, Mr. Eszterhas knew it would be a struggle to change his ways.

One hot summer day after his surgery, walking through his tree-lined neighborhood in Bainbridge Township, Mr. Eszterhas reached a breaking point.

"I was going crazy. I was jittery. I twitched. I trembled. I had no patience for anything. … Every single nerve ending was demanding a drink and a cigarette," he wrote.

He plopped down on a curb and cried. Sobbed, even. And for the first time since he was a child, he prayed: "Please God, help me."

Mr. Eszterhas was shocked by his own prayer.

"I couldn't believe I'd said it. I didn't know why I'd said it. I'd never said it before," he wrote.

But he felt an overwhelming peace. His heart stopped pounding. His hands stopped twitching. He saw a "shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands."

Read the whole Toledo Blade article here.

H/T to Mollie at Get Religion

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More on Catholics for Choice

This blog having received a few visits from Catholics for Choice this morning, I thought I would return the favor and take a look at their blog. (Remember that participation on the Board of this pro-abortion organization cost Rosemary Radford Ruether the Theology Chair at the University of San Diego?)

FYI, I am posting below the 9 issues and projects they list on their website. (I added the numbering for easy reference.) It appears that as well as supporting abortion (#2), they support gay and lesbian sexual behavior (#3) and women in the priesthood (7).
1. The right of individuals and couples to decide on when, whether and how they will form families;

2. Access to the full range of contraceptive choices, safe and legal access to abortion, pre- and post-natal care, adoption and the right to adopt and adequate economic and social support for families and children;

3. Respect for and recognition of gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered persons and relationships with all legal rights;

4. Support and respect, including treatment, prevention and especially access to condoms, for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk;

5. Freedom from all forms of intimate violence, including sexual abuse in the family, relationships and the church;

6. Social and economic justice that ensures that no one is denied sexual or reproductive health services because they cannot afford them;

7. Equality for and non-discrimination against women in government, civil society and all faith groups;

8. Scientific and public policies that are determined by evidence-based research, democratic structures and the common good;

9. The right of faith groups to participate in public policy formation and the responsibility of legislators to legislate without privileging sectarian religious beliefs.

You can visit their website here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Morning Heart Warm

Anglican Pewster just alerted me to this heartwarming story about the 2008 bronze medalist Tasha Danvers:
Tasha Danvers chose her unborn child four years ago over her hopes for an Olympic medal. Now she has both.
In early 2004, Danvers appeared to be a good prospect for a medal at the Olympics in Athens. She was the sixth-ranked hurdler in the world. Then, she learned she was pregnant.

Danvers reportedly was pressured by some in the track and field world to have an abortion. She admitted later that she and her American husband-coach Darrell Smith briefly considered that choice.

"[T]he thought did cross our minds as an option," Danvers told the Telegraph, a London newspaper, in May 2004 before citing Mark 8:36. "But this line from the Scriptures kept coming into my head: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?'

"For me, the whole world was the Olympics. At the same time, I felt I would be losing my soul."

Thank you to Pat Dague at Transfigurations for posting this story from Baptist Press and to Anglican Pewster of Not Another Episcopal Church Blog for alerting me to the post.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Burning Man or Protest outside the Demo Con?

How to spend the last week of summer vacation? Progressive citizens of Berkeley have such a choice:
Protest with Code Pink in Denver outside the Demo Con, or
High Times in the Nevada Desert at Burning Man?

This year we had a great "How To" article in a local paper on bringing preschoolers to Burning Man by a woman who had done it last year, so don't let the children stop you:
We were at Burning Man. And I'll tell you straight: the reason I brought my preschooler to Burning Man is not that I'm some super-mom who never needs a break from her kid and doesn't love to party like a grown-up. It was because I wanted to go, and I didn't have any volunteers for a weeklong babysitting gig.

But how many more chances will they get to party in the streets of Denver as they protest the Iraq war with Cindy Sheehan? And what an attractive slogan -- recreate '68. That'll bring in the youth vote, I'm sure:
Most of the protesters were from the greater Denver area, including sisters Krista and Brooke Martinez, both students at Colorado State University. They were attending their first such protest.

"There isn't a lot of solidarity here. There isn't a lot of connectedness," said Krista, 21. Because of the police presence, she said, "the people have kind of been scared into not coming."

That wasn't true of Joe Brock, 55, a retired carpenter from Greenville, N.C., who hitchhiked to his first anti-war rally and was staying at a mission for the homeless. "I figured I'd just see what it was like," Brock said.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Progressive Myths and Legends: Abortions Have Risen Rapidly During Bush Administration

There is a new myth being spread by the Progressives regarding abortion. I would call it a Talking Point except that it is easily demonstrated to be false. Please pay attention to the last sentence of this opening paragraph of retired Episcopal Bishop John Spong's recent screed in the Washington Post:
The Saddleback Forum was good theater, but it was theologically naïve. The questions asked reflected an evangelical world view that is one to which educated people today cannot relate. It did reveal that evangelical Christianity is broadening in its interests to concerns about life after birth and the environment, but part of that is because the old hot button issues of abortion and homosexuality are simply fading in importance. Everyone knows that abortions can be greatly reduced by competent sex education in the public schools and by the wide distribution of safe contraceptive devices. The pity is that the same people who fight against abortion also fight against sex education, birth control and the availability of safe contraceptives. It is not a surprise, therefore, that abortions have risen rapidly during the administration of pro-life George Bush.

How rapidly this has morphed from Obama's more modest lie at Saddleback:
And so for me, the goal right now should be — and this is where I think we can find common ground — and by the way, I’ve now inserted this into the Democratic Party platform — is ‘How do we reduce the number of abortions?’ Because the fact is that although we’ve had a president who is opposed to abortions the last eight years, abortions have not gone down.

And the real facts? Perhaps not everyone, but many educated people know that abortions have gone down in the Bush administration:
The total number of abortions among women ages 15 to 44 declined from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2005, an 8 percent drop that continued a trend that began in 1990, when the number of abortions peaked at more than 1.6 million, the survey found. The last time the number of abortions was that low was 1976, when slightly fewer than 1.2 million abortions were performed.

The abortion rate fell from 21.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2000 to 19.4 in 2005, a 9 percent decline. That is the lowest since 1974, when the rate was 19.3, and far below the 1981 peak of 29.3.

See also the charts on pages 2, 3 and 4 of this report.

H/T Jackie at Stand Firm for drawing attention to the Spong column and Mollie at Get Religion for documenting Obama's false statement at Saddleback.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Unitarians for Obama bumper stickers

I see Cafe Press has bumper stickers that read "Unitarians for Obama" with a great Soviet style rendition of Obama. See it also down in the U's on this alphabetical list from Cafe Press.

Hmmm, I wonder it there would be protests if another denomination tried the same thing with a Republican candidate?

Did I Miss This US Supreme Court Decision?

In an Op/Ed piece today in the San Francisco Chronicle by the German Minister of Justice, Brigitte Zypries:
Germany is following with great interest the Californian debate on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent judgment and the impending referendum on same-sex marriage.

And this is how I understand the U.S. Supreme Court ruling: The court affirmed that the Constitution allows prohibition of same-sex marriages, but a majority of the court also said lawmakers have the power to provide same-sex couples with rights otherwise afforded only to spouses - for example, in the fields of medical insurance and inheritance law.

Pro-Abortion Professor Will Not Get Chair at Catholic Universtiy

How can this even be a news story? Because the previous dean at the University of San Diego recommended someone who serves on the Board of Catholics for Choice, Rosemary Radford Ruether, to receive an endowed Chair in Roman Catholic Theology. Clearly, there are already pro-abortion professors teaching at the University of San Diego or the dean would not have tried for this. In fact, 54 faculty members have signed a petition in support of Ruether.

What interests me is the language being used to spin this. The petition suggests that not appointing Ruether to an endowed chair in Roman Catholic Theology at a Roman Catholic university threatens "academic freedom". From the AP story:
"We are deeply concerned by this turn of events both because it is insulting to Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether and because of what it portends for academic freedom in a Catholic institution," the petition reads.

And Ruether suggests that people cannot "discuss" controversial issues if someone who disagrees with official Roman Catholic teaching is not put in a position of authority over the discussion. From the San Diego Union Tribune:
Ruether, 71, is concerned about the decision's effect on academic freedom.

“It appears to me that some right-wing group has put pressure on the university,” she said.

And from the AP story:
Ruether said the dispute reflects a larger debate in Catholic institutions about how to treat hot-button issues, including gay and lesbian rights and ordination of women priests.

"There's just a huge conflict going on between whether people can discuss controversial issues or whether you can only give the official position," she said.

Gay and lesbian rights? Hmmm, the news story mentions Ruether is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. I see Amazon sells copies of her column from November 2005 titled
"Marriage between homosexuals is good for marriage".

I support compassionate pastoral care for gays and lesbians. But orthodox Christian theology, and certainly Roman Catholic theology requires that we recognize homosexual behavior as a simulacrum.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

McCain Says Privacy is Fundamental Right?

Last night in the Forum at Saddleback Church, McCain was clear on his pro-life position and commitment to nominating judges to the courts who do not legislate from the bench, BUT, then I heard him say that privacy is a fundamental right. Isn't that the way the Supreme Court found in favor of abortion in Roe vs. Wade?

I found a text of the Q and A to which I refer here. (It is at the very bottom.)

What do we do when right to privacy and national security collide?

McCain: We must preserve privacy because it's a fundamental right (including a secret ballot for union organizers, even though that's a different topic). Technology has gotten much more sophisticated, so we do have to increase our own capability to monitor our enemies. We need Congress and the judiciary both to work on this. But we need to sit down and settle this across party lines. There's a constant tension as technology changes and we have to keep up with it.

This is confusing for me as I do think there is a right to privacy as well as a right ot life. However, I think the right to life "trumps" the right to privacy. Not being a lawyer, I am not sure how this is resolved.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dr. Pitt Explains Why She Leaked the Archbishop's Letters

In this letter from the Times, Dr. Pitt explains that she leaked the letters so that traditionalists would have the same information as liberals regarding Dr. Williams personal views regarding homosexuality:

Sir, The Bishop of Durham in his articulate letter (Aug 9) regarding the leaking of the Williams letters makes some useful clarifications and I am grateful for his statements regarding Dr Williams’s closing address at the Lambeth Conference.

As for why I decided to offer his letters to the public arena, I have written to Dr Wright at length, but suffice it to say that as events moved from GAFCon to Lambeth I became almost sure for various reasons that the liberals knew far more about Dr Williams’s personal views than the traditionalists did and, if so, the balance should be redressed.

Over the years I have shared the letters with only a few; I had no desire to embarrass Dr Williams over his statements, and I hoped that his personal views would change. Now that the issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has become such a big issue I judged it was time to override my misgivings about making his views known. Anglicans can make up their own minds what to do with the information.

Deborah Pitt
Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ft Worth Approach to Rome Reported

UPDATE: Chad Bates from Remain Faithful is distributing this statement by Bishop Iker. Bates says that "there are those within our Church who are trying to divide us unneccesarily based on mistruths being distributed to the press. Please share this with any you believe need to see it." In the statement Bishop Iker says:
Their discussion with Bishop Vann has no bearing upon matters coming before our Diocesan Convention in November, where a second vote will be taken on constitutional changes concerning our relationship with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. There is no proposal under consideration, either publicly or privately, for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to become part of the Roman Catholic Church. Our only plan of action remains as it has been for the past year, as affirmed by our Diocesan Convention in November 2007. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth intends to realign with an orthodox Province as a constituent member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Not sure what to make of this. Priests in the Episcopal Diocese of Ft Worth have met with Bishop Vann, the leader of the Fort Worth Catholic diocese to "request that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth provide the guidance necessary so that we might "make a proposal" that would lead our Diocese into full communion with the See of Peter. Katie Sherrod has posted a report of the meeting and a link to an article in today's Dallas Morning News which appears to confirm it:
The Rev. William Crary, senior rector of the Fort Worth diocese, confirmed that on June 16 he and three other priests met with Bishop Vann, leader of the Fort Worth Catholic diocese, and presented him a document that is highly critical of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The document states that the overwhelming majority of Episcopal clergy in the Fort Worth diocese favor pursuing an "active plan" to bring the diocese into full communion with the Catholic Church.

While declining to specify what that might mean, Mr. Crary said it likely would not mean "absorption" by the Catholic Church.

He cast the initiative as following Anglican and Catholic leaders in longstanding efforts to bring the two groups into greater cooperation, with the ultimate goal of honoring Jesus' call in John 17:21 for Christian unity.

H/T to comment by diane with a small d at the MCJ

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


UPDATE: Dr. Pitt has admitted to releasing the letters and explains her reasons here.

T J McMahon has suggested in a comment at Stand Firm that the release of the ++Rowan's letters suggests a failed attempt to blackmail ++Rowan:

Well, I guess the one positive thing I can say for +Rowan Williams is that he did not succumb to blackmail when someone called or wrote him last week and said something to the effect of : “If you don’t say A and do B, I am going to give a copy of this letter to the press.” ‘Cause I can’t see anything to be gained by either him or Dr. Pitt handing it over to the Times at this point. If Dr. Pitt wanted to damage +Rowan, the time to have released the letter would have been the day after the Lambeth invitations went out, or after the bogus JSC report on the HoB meeting. And certainly, I can’t see +Rowan releasing it himself.

I guess that a blackmailer would need to follow through on the threat to release the letters if the threat failed to get the desired results. That way, the next person threatened will know the blackmailer is serious and will follow through.

If the blackmailer were a Reappraiser, the blackmailer's hope might be to
(a) antagonize the GAFCON crowd into breaking with the Anglican Communion,
(b) permanently damage ++Rowan's relationship with the Pope so ++Rowan is no longer motivated to please the Pope and would then be freed to follow his liberal inclinations regarding same sex blessings and sexually active gay bishops.
If the blackmailer were a Reasserter, the blackmailer's hope in releasing the letters might be to
(a) create a climate demanding ++Rowan resign.

Then again it may just be spite.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Winners and Losers

The stated goal of the 2008 Lambeth was to have no winners or losers. But you know there were. Here's my preliminary list;


1. GAFCON -- Yes, the greatest winners were those who didn't come to the party. Not only because of the time and expenses they saved, but because their position was validated by those who did come. And they are now positioned to lead the Anglican Communion.

2. Archbishop of Sudan Dr Daniel Deng -- Standing up for what his province believes and not losing the funding from TEC.

3. ++Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury -- No schism yet, a fifty percent approval rating (derived from 75% of those attending Lambeth believe he is providing the leadership needed while 25 % of all bishop did not attend due to his failure of leadership) and his Concluding Presidential Address will keep him in good stead with the Pope.

4. Gene Robinson, gay memoirist -- In the Eye of the Storm now ranks #3 in the category "gay and lesbian autobiographies and memoirs".

5. GS Primates at Canterbury -- by issuing a statement affirming their Christian witness, they cemented their leadership status and subverted the muffling of their voices in the Indaba Reflections document.


1. Gene Robinson, Anglican Bishop -- arrived uninvited and stayed too long at the fringes of the party, visibly not getting the attention and acceptance he wanted.

2. Catherine Roskam, TEC Suffragan Bishop -- as Riazat Butt of the Guardian put it, Roskam succeeded "in uniting people, even if it was in outrage, following her claim that people from ethnic minorities beat their wives."

3. Katie Sherrod of the Lambeth Witness -- the crassness of her claim to a right to Christian leadership was exposed in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Concluding Presidential Address.

4. TEC PB Schori -- the "Rule of Life" alternative to the Covenant was dead on arrival. The clock is ticking toward the time when TEC will have to sign the Covenant or be on the fringes of the next Lambeth party.

5. the Most Revd AET Harper, OBE, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland -- issued poorly crafted theology in support of homosexual behavior just in time to be fisked by Robert Gagnon and on the wrong side of the majority at Lambeth.

Reality Bites

The Rev. Rob Eaton has left a very insightful comment over at a post on Stand Firm which I am copying below.
There were two realities that hit the reappraiser side of TEC and Canada, etc., fairly hard, I think. I use the word reappraiser here in the original from Kendall, as it refers to the larger issue (or deeper issue, if you like) of biblical authority and what that phrase refers to in divine inspiration and commendation.

First, reappraisers at Lambeth came to the chilling conclusion that even without the large Provinces and all their bishops not in attendance, the Anglican Communion is still - using the bishops as the measure - a reasserting Communion. That in and of itself is something to give thanks to God about, and to hold onto as a balance of hope. Because of that, GAFCON still has a place of influence : no matter how you define the purpose or message of GAFCON, its greatest strength was to underscore the high priority of biblical authority, and thus there is no separation in that regard.
I realize that is not much consolation to those of us in TEC who are looking for the same. But that should not diminish the reality of what reappraisers at Lambeth suddenly had to come to grips with.

And God bless the Indabas, because that is the vehicle through which this awareness became apparent. I’m not convinced yet that was the purpose of the indabas, but it was a byproduct if nothing else. I am willing to attribute that serendipity to the Lord Jesus Christ and the working of His Holy Spirit. If Lambeth had used the previous Lambeths’ procedure of papers and discussion, and some sort of legislative format, I do not believe the still-remaining reasserter essence of the Anglican Communion would have been heard, or if heard, conceded, which reappraising bishops had to concede. But in the basic principle of the indaba, all must be listened to. Reappraising bishops could not refuse, since that has been one of their self-identified playing cards for at least 10 years.

Second, the protest of the decade (and I know something about what it takes to make public protests withIN the venue) was the statement made by the Sudanese Episcopal Church bishops via their Primate. Bishops know “connections”, and the Sudanese have powerful connections with US TEC funds. For the bishops of that Province to zero in on +Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the bishop whose consecration was the precipitating cause of Anglican Communion destruction and “tearing”, including life and death ramifications in their Province (not that it started with him, mind you), and yet who has been the over-bearing ministry cause of the majority of the TEC House of Bishops, the bishops at Lambeth knew that the Sudanese who are indeed desparate for external funds had placed biblical authority ahead of connections-for-the-sake-of-funding. It was a moment of principled integrity, and biblical conviction.

The immediate response from those who were stung by the statement, protest and demand for +Gene to resign, was all they could muster in such surprise, “Yeah? Who says?” But the bishops themselves - including the reappraisers - knew what this all meant to the reappraiser agenda. Given only a short time of reflection (because they are smart people), we heard the reappraising bishops say what they had to in order to maintain Communion, “We will not stop sending funds.” In effect, the “all or nothing” folks, with Bp Robinson as their figurehead, had to take a step back. Some of them may have felt undermined, or even betrayed in that moment of allies reassuring continued “connection.” It was also at that moment that people began noticing that the reappraising bishops had become quiet, and that +Gene Robinson himself was off the radar - for a while, anyway.

So? If nothing else - if +Gene does not resign, and the House of Bishops continues to be co-opted to “his” cause - what happened was the proper and public articulation of how the MDG’s should be considered, in relation to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as witnessed to by the breadth of the Old and New Testament. This was a bucket of cold water. I expect to see more bishops saying much more clearly that the MDG’s - and any humanitarian aid - are to be seen as a part of the larger priority of proclaiming that Jesus is Lord. This will beg the question, “How do we know? Because the Bible tells us so.” And that statement leads to the very uncomfortable, even dangerous questions of what else does the Bible tell is so, or not so?

It certainly is the case that nothing will be “solved” without the conclusive discussion centered on Jesus is Lord, and the authority of scripture. These two realities from Lambeth provide room and impetus for that REAL indaba to take place. Reasserters can make use of these two Lambeth realities to press forward and witness to that incredibly necessary solving discussion.

For those in TEC and Canada, etc., what will you do to go forward in this way?
[33] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 08-04-2008 at 01:34 PM

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another Opportunity to Diss Abstinence Education

The release of the new, higher, HIV infections rates has provided another opportunity to put out the absurd Talking Point that abstinence until marriage is not an effective method of avoiding sexual disease transmission. Actually, today's San Francisco Chronicle uses the front page story to claim that abstinence education is not merely ineffective, but actually counter productive.

Higher rate of new HIV cases cites Julie Davids, the director of a community activist organization in New York City:
Davids and other advocates said the United States - led by the next president - needs to increase the prevention strategies that are known to work, such as needle-exchange programs; to reverse policies that advocates argue are counterproductive, such as government-sponsored programs urging abstinence until marriage or bans on distributing condoms in prisons; and to broaden the definition of prevention to include tackling social issues contributing to the spread of HIV.(My bold added)

I added that second bolding because I would have thought that the social problem that needs to be addressed is pre-marital and extra-marital sexual behavior.

Remember back in March when the story on teen STD rates came out and the New York Times got in this false statement:
The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said the new findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.”
The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”(my bold added)
See the great write-up by Get Religion's Terry Mattingly here.

Then in July, when the Pennsylvania school district has such a high number of students with sexually transmitted diseases, and the news story included this:
Dr. Joseph Rahimian, an infectious disease specialist at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City, said besides education, parents need to be aware of Gardasil, a cervical cancer vaccine that protects against four types of HPV.
"Regardless if you think your child is sexually active, getting the HPV vaccine is in the best long-term interest of these young girls," Rahimian said. "I think HPV was always a problem and it is often underestimated. There's no study that abstinence is a highly effective form of prevention for any of these infections."(my bold added)
See the great write-ups on this by Mollie Z at Get Religion and LeStourgeon OnLine.

This is a pattern of misinformation.