The Corner

Condoms, Abstinence: The Kids Are Alright?

Earlier today I joined in an Evangelical non-denominational worship service a few blocks south of Harlem. The small congregation of about 100 — Community Christian Church of New York City  — can’t afford their own church building, so they rent the gym of a public high school.  (The service was very moving, and impressive in its Gospel focus. I recommend it to anyone on the upper-Upper West Side who’s interested in contemporary-style Evangelical worship.) To get to the gym, churchgoers have to walk down a flight of stairs where the high-school students have posted personal cards answering the question, What will you do personally to help prevent AIDS? Most of them were variations on ”I pledge to use condoms” and “I will help educate people about safe sex.” (Nearby was a sign indicating a room in which free condoms are distributed.) But what surprised me was a few cards from students saying they personally would abstain from sex. Their cards were scattered indiscriminately among the others: a snapshot of how different cultural choices can coexist. Now, because it was Sunday I didn’t see any of the actual students, so I don’t know how much razzing these pro-abstinence kids get on weekdays; but the only mockery I saw in the display was from a prankster who went through a few of the “I will use condoms” cards and scrawled in a “not.” (I picture an avuncular European chuckling: “Kids! They’re the same everywhere.” Name the movie…) In any case, if this public-school display is any indication, the next generation are playing nicer with each other than are some of the adults who like to get angry about this issue, on whichever side.  

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More