The left has two goals - one, to imbue children with socialist morality and ethics (to the extent such can be said to exist) irrespective of how parents want to raise their children. The second is to drive its biggest competitor in the arena of ethics and morality, Christianity, from the public square (see A Historical Perspective On Religion & Obama's HHS Mandate). One area where these two goals converge for the left is in regards to sex.
In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg started a stealth program three years ago to freely dispense birth control drugs and the morning after "Plan B" abortion pill to NYC high school students. This was done without the knowledge or permission of the children's parents. After the program came to light, a FOIA request showed:
About 40 separate “school-based health centers” doled out 12,721 doses of Plan B in 2011-12, up from 10,720 in 2010-11 and 5,039 in 2009-10, according to the newly released data. About 22,400 students sought reproductive care from January 2009 through last school year, records show.
This is a left wing government standing "in loco parentis," assuming the role of parents in deciding about how to address sex and abortion with their children. Parents are pushed wholly out of the loop on these critical issues. Moreover, in the way this is being handled, the state is promoting the sexualization of our children. Just as a practical matter, this a huge issue for the health of our children. If the Plan B pill was doled out 12,721 times last year, that shows a high number of teens having unprotected sex. The implications of that are frightening. According to the CDC:
An estimated 8,300 young people aged 13–24 years in the 40 states reporting to CDC had HIV infection in 2009. Nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year are among young people aged 15–24 years.
On top of AIDS, we now have STD's that are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Anyone who has unprotected casual sex is playing Russian roulette. The Bloomberg solution is to pass out the Plan B abortion pill like candy and with no notice to the parents. Leave aside for the moment the moral and ethical issues associated with abortion that parents should have the absolute right to discuss with their children upon notice that they are sexually active. The fact is that while parents can't completely stop their children from having sex, notice would at least allow parents to drive home the point that having unprotected sex is very dangerous.
As to the moral and ethical issues associated with sex and, in particular, abortion, the left likes to pretend that they simply don't exist. One can trace a direct line from socialists of yore to Bloomberg's policies of today. In the U.S., Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, as a committed socialist, was a staunch proponent of consequence free sex and an implacable enemy of Christianity (all in addition to being a eugenicist). These things were not unique to Sanger, but rather an established part of the socialist blueprint in their war on religion and family. For instance, in a fascinating article on "cultural marxism" at the American Thinker, author Linda Kimball writes:
In 1919, Georg Lukacs became Deputy Commissar for Culture in the short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun regime in Hungary. He immediately set plans in motion to de-Christianize Hungary. Reasoning that if Christian sexual ethics could be undermined among children, then both the hated patriarchal family and the Church would be dealt a crippling blow. Lukacs launched a radical sex education program in the schools. Sex lectures were organized and literature handed out which graphically instructed youth in free love (promiscuity) and sexual intercourse while simultaneously encouraging them to deride and reject Christian moral ethics, monogamy, and parental and church authority. All of this was accompanied by a reign of cultural terror perpetrated against parents, priests, and dissenters.
And of course, it is not just teen sex. There has been no greater challenge to religion in our country than Obama's HHS mandate that requires employers to offer health plans that include free contraceptives and Plan B abortion pills. This would require not merely Church and affiliated employers to fund something to which their religion has been opposed since antiquity, but it would require private employers to violate their religious conscience (see Hobby Lobby). The failure to comply would result in massive penalties that would drive quasi religious institutions and businesses owned by Christians out of existence. It is hard to imagine any more of a direct attack on the ability of Americans to engage in the free exercise of religion, nor a plan more directly aimed at driving religious institutions and individuals out of our public and economic life.
If you have any doubt that this is a policy aimed directly at religion, understand that contraceptives are a nominal cost. Further, programs are already in place for women in the lower economic class to receive free contraception. This is not an HHS program aimed at solving a systemic problem for our nation's women as to either access to or affordability of contraceptives.
Obama's contraceptive / Plan B abortion pill mandate was recently made final in regulations issued by HHS. The regulations include the same accounting gimmick that Obama announced last year - that while all employers other than the Churches themselves would have to provide free contraceptives and abortion Plan B pills free to employees, in the case of quasi religious institutions, the employer would not have to pay for contraceptive/abortion aspects of the policy. Rather, their insurer would be required to provide the contraceptives and plan B pills "free of charge" to women. The response from the Catholic Church:
The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the latest White House proposal on health insurance coverage of contraceptives, saying it did not offer enough safeguards for religious hospitals, colleges and charities that objected to providing such coverage for their employees.
The bishops said they would continue fighting the federal mandate in court.
The late Andrew Breitbart's riason d' etre was that culture mattered - that it was in the culture wars that the left was working fundamental change to our nation. He was right. And there are no clearer examples of the left's war of cultural marxism on religion and family than the lefts push to sexualize our children, to drive parents from the decision making regarding their children as regards sex, and the left's push to drive religion and the religious out of our public and economic life. The stakes in this war are existential.