A Christian group in Florida is sponsoring a national “Day of Purity,” a national movement to encourage sexual abstinence among American youth, giving students across the country a chance to take a stand for traditional values.
Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit legal group dedicated to restoring American culture by advancing religious freedom and traditional values, decided to sponsor the event after several students approached members of the Christian law firm and made inquires about what could be done to promote abstinence on Valentine's Day.
Since its announcement of the nationwide movement, Liberty Counsel has been encouraging other pro-family advocates across the nation to get involved. Students who believe in abstinence are being asked to observe February 13 as a day to hand out flyers explaining the Day of Purity, to sponsor pure alternative activities for Valentine's day, and to wear specially designed T-shirts encouraging sexual purity as a lifestyle.
Within a week of the announcement of the event, hundreds of individuals, churches, community organizations, and Christian and pro-family groups from all across America have already responded to this call. Among those who have agreed to endorse and observe the Day of Purity are the American Family Association, Enlighten Communications, Inc. (Littleton, Colorado), Jerry Falwell Ministries, Christian Law Association (Seminole, Florida), OneMillionYouth.com, Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, Central Florida Community Impact Alliance, and many others.
Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver wants to emphasize that teenagers and adults could work together to bring change. "Our youth are yearning for an opportunity to stand up for what they know is right," he says. For those young people who may have made mistakes that they regret by engaging in pre-marital sex, Staver insists that it is never too late to make a fresh start. Meanwhile, he says, it is time for adults to support young people who want to commit to sexual purity.
"We as parents, leaders, and pastors need to stand alongside them," he says. "We need to be in the battle to restore our culture. The Day of Purity is the place to start. On February 13, 2004, we have an opportunity to make our voices heard."
While American teenagers, living in the hyper-sexualized culture, conceive that sexual exploration or experimentation at a young age is healthy and normal, current health statistics are sending them a very different message – each day in America, 8,000 teenagers are infected with sexually transmitted diseases. The report says that more than a million teenage girls will become pregnant this year, which can be expected to account for 20% of the 1.3 to 1.5 million abortions that will be performed in the U.S. this year.
Rena Lindevaldsen, national coordinator for the Day of Purity, feels these shocking statistics on the state of America's youth are the result of being ignorant to traditional values. She says the Day of Purity project is a first step in the direction of change.
"While the students are being told 'Experiment -- it's healthy for you,' the numbers are showing that, not only are there devastating health consequences but, emotionally, the kids themselves are saying, 'We don't want to do that,'" Lindevaldsen says.
And the national coordinator says that cultural forces have not only failed to tell the truth about early sexual activity, but also about young people themselves.
"The other thing that's misrepresented, I think in a lot of the media and to our leaders, is the [idea] that kids just can't wait," Lindevaldsen says. "Well. if you take a look at all the abstinence-based programs that are out there throughout the country -- and there are so many wonderful programs -- the message is different. They're telling you that kids by the thousands are standing up for sexual purity."
And she notes that the Day of Purity will be a day on which students, parents, pastors, lawmakers, and other leaders can make a public demonstration of their commitment to remain sexually pure in mind and actions.
"The question we are asking" she says, "is what are you going to do about it? To what lengths will you go to turn the culture back toward traditional values? What will your legacy be on the state of sexual morals in this country?"
Liberty Council's president contends that when the youth of America and the adults who support them take a stand for sexual purity this February 13, they will send a message to leaders, communities, legislators, and the media that the youth of this country want a different America.
"Although the statistics are shocking, we can make a difference. Lives can be changed," Staver says.