These days the taboo topic of sex education is one that everyone seems to shy away from. Whether it’s the federal government, school boards or parents, no one seems to want to take responsibility for educating young people on the issue.
In the midst of high gas prices, soaring teen pregnancy rates and rampant disease in the black community, people are so busy pointing fingers they aren’t sure about who’s responsibility it is to teach sex education.
For some, answers to those questions lie in the church. The church has been a dominant fixture in black culture for years. Aside from its primary role of “ushering lambs into a fold,” the church has served as a symbol of community and family.
With time those burdens have drastically changed. The worries of the 1960s: (i.e. segregation, discrimination and other issues of the Civil Rights Movement era) have evolved into different worries for the new millennium. Aside from the overwhelming number of teen mothers, there are people struggling to make ends meet and a large number of people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Isn’t the church supposed to be teaching people about these things?
Honestly, I feel as though they are. The primary goal of the church is to lead people to Christ and to help Christians learn and grow in their faith. However, you cannot expect the church to take on the responsibility of raising children and educating the world on issues like AIDS. That’s what parents and schools are for.
Churches are not only supposed to be a place for people to find help, but also a place for people to realize that no one is but themselves,accountable for their actions. The pastor has been preaching for years that pre-marital sex is wrong, but people still do it. So, how can it be that the church is responsible for Pookie’s pregnancy?
“The church is supposed to serve as a support structure or a reinforcer,” said William Green, pastor of Fellowship Independent Baptist Church in Quincy, Fla.
Green believes that the church can play a vital role in educating the community about current issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness and concurs that large congregations in local churches serve as the perfect venue to relay community and culturally related issues. However, he says people may get carried away with the church’s role in these issues.
“People overemphasize the responsibility of the church,” Green says. “The church should not be held solely responsible for educating people about AIDS and other social issues. They should work hand-in-hand with the schools and the community itself to educate people about health and cultural issues.”
The church can educate people about the consequences of their actions, but they cannot be held accountable for the actions of the people.
Kiffani Jones is a senior education student from Quincy, Fla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org