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Friday, July 20, 2007

The uterus factor with Bill O'Reilly.

Debra Haffner, a Unitarian Universalist minister and director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, was a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor" last night talking about Barack Obama's support for age-appropriate sex education for elementary school students:

(Video thanks to News Hounds.)

O'Reilly seems mildly perplexed that Haffner is offering such sane advice — here's more where that came from — right up until the moment that she suggests telling young children that the baby in mommy's tummy is actually in her "uterus." Whoa! "You're blasting them out of their childhood!" he says. Behold the frightful power of Latinate body-part names. At her blog, Haffner says she enjoyed her conversation with O'Reilly although she's now receiving hate mail from other anti-uterusians. (Update! But see some of the great comments from appreciative social conservatives, like this great one from Pam.)

Meanwhile, one of Haffner's fellow UU bloggers, a mother of four young kids, describes the age-appropriate candor about body parts in her home:

With Little Warrior, we're teaching her all the names of her body parts. Elbow. Cheek. Chin. Belly. When she jabs her little finger below the waist, what do you say? Well, we say "vulva." Are there actually parents who get a horrified look on their faces? No, no, that is THE AREA WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED. The Voldemort of the human body.

Which reminds me: No spoiling of plots around here this weekend. I haven't read a word of the Harry Potter books — I got hooked on Lemony Snicket instead back in the day and now I'm just out of it — but I'm sensitive to all the readers who won't be going to bed tonight. I did take an age-appropriate Harry Potter quiz today at the urging of my coworkers, however, and I am apparently either Hermione Granger or (gasp!) Severus Snape. That is so much more helpful than a Myers-Briggs type.

Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 20 July 2007 at 5:46 PM

Previous: Hitchens: UUs 'don't give me enough to disagree with.'
Next: Turned away from a General Assembly event?

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10 comments:

Philocrites:

July 20, 2007 05:55 PM | Permalink for this comment

The Unitarian Universalists and the United Church of Christ have developed a series of age-appropriate sexuality education curricula called Our Whole Lives, which many UU and UCC congregations offer.

mskitty:

July 20, 2007 07:21 PM | Permalink for this comment

Anti-uterusians! What a hoot! I love it.

dcb:

July 20, 2007 11:41 PM | Permalink for this comment

a new "U". I'm a Unitarian Universalist Uterusian, too. And an 80% Harry Potter, glasses and all.

AintKatie:

July 21, 2007 12:29 PM | Permalink for this comment

I have a "down there", I'm a Ginny Weasley, and I signed the book Spring 2005.

Watched the clip of BillO revealing his problem with words. Gee, remember all that talk some time ago about the kind of words he allegedly used on the phone? To a woman? Wait, that was probably just a nasty, liberal-hatchet-job. At any rate, if BillO needs to refer to his "down there" in euphemisms, that's his choice. Sad, but his choice.

hafidha sofia:

July 21, 2007 03:37 PM | Permalink for this comment

Rev Haffner admirably held her own; I just loved the smile she wore the whole time. And her reaction to his discomfort, "Uterus? Really? Uterus, Bill? Wow!" Whoo hoo!

I took that test and apparently I'm Hermione and/or Dumbledore.

Jaume:

July 23, 2007 04:58 AM | Permalink for this comment

Why do clergypeople teach sexuality in America? This should be done by parents, teachers, and scientists, not by people wearing collars.

hafidha sofia:

July 23, 2007 05:24 AM | Permalink for this comment

Jaume, but why not? Religion often has a lot to say about sexuality, so why should that be off limits to clergy?

Philocrites:

July 23, 2007 06:53 AM | Permalink for this comment

Debra Haffner was actually a sexuality educator before she went to seminary and was ordained; she is professionally trained in both.

In most UU congregations, the sexuality curriculum is taught by trained volunteers, rarely by the clergy.

CeeCee:

July 24, 2007 09:13 PM | Permalink for this comment

It's terribly silly to say that clergy shouldn't be teaching sexuality to our children... religion has been teaching a very specific sexual message to believers for millenia. We as a society need to step up and correct that old message. Ideally, you are part of a church community which shares your beliefs, so the message is simply being extended from your beginnings at home.

kim:

July 28, 2007 01:52 AM | Permalink for this comment

I'm 70% Hermione and 70% Dumbledore.

I thought she held her own with BillO quite well.



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