On Friday there will be a formal display of the full flowering of fundie creepiness in Daddy Dobson’s territory (Colorado Springs) – a father/daughter purity ball — complete with a dinner dance, ballet performance, live chamber music, a procession of the young women who will lay white roses at the foot of a huge wooden cross they and their fathers will dance in the ballroom — and daddy with participate in a covenant signing ceremony pledging to protect her virginity.

In a “counter-cultural” event, fathers and daughters from across the nation are gathering tomorrow for the annual Father-Daughter Purity Ball in Colorado Springs.

Created in 1998 by Colorado Springs parents Randy and Lisa Wilson, the event has birthed a “purity ball” movement across the nation that has attracted international media attention. Journalists from Britain, Canada, Italy, Finland and Norway will cover Friday’s gathering at the Broadmoor Hotel.

“This event is about restoring fatherhood – one of the most critical issues facing our culture today,” said Randy Wilson. “Research shows that the most important man in a daughter’s life is her father.”

The fathers will stand before their daughters and recite a pledge together:

“I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the areas of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and my family as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.”

There’s not much left to say after this, is there? An obvious matter to point out —  is that we don’t see any ceremony of this kind between mother and son, since I guess junior is either supposed to be chaste by default — certainly he’s not spilling any seed, right?

Unfortunately for dear old high priest dad, purity pledges aren’t exactly keeping little Janie from carnal exploration. In March 2006, Byron Weathersbee, a chaplain at Baylor University in Waco, Texas (a school affiliated with the conservative Southern Baptist Convention), conducted a study on the effectiveness of abstinence ed and virginity pledges in Christians.

* 100 percent professed faith in Christ
* 99 percent attended church
* 84 percent grew up in church
* 87 percent grew up in a two-parent home
* 62 percent of males had premarital sex
* 65 percent of females had premarital sex
* only 27 percent of fundies surveyed managed to stay completely chaste, not engaging in intercourse or Clintonian “non-sex” acts.

The WaPo reported that those virginity pledges touted by head-in-the-sand organizations like True Love Waits and the Silver Ring Thing are doing nothing to stop STDs either Among the 20 percent of kids that took a virginity pledge, 61 percent of the consistent pledgers and 79 percent of the inconsistent pledgers reported having intercourse before marrying or prior to 2002 interviews. Almost 7 percent of the students who did not make a pledge were diagnosed with an STD, compared with 6.4 percent of the “inconsistent pledgers” and 4.6 percent of the “consistent pledgers.”

And look at the Lone Star State, bastion of abstinence-only education. It ranked among the 10 worst states in the nation on almost all factors related to teen pregnancy including:
· Teen birth rate 47th
· Percent change in teen birth rate 44th
· Birth rate for younger teens 48th
· Percent teen births that are repeat births 44th
· Teen births as a percent of all births 40th
· Percent of births to teens receiving late or no prenatal care 44th.

Hope they all have a great time at the fantasy purity ball.

Holly points to one that was held in Ohio.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding