Hannity: Should the government promote condom use, or does that send the wrong message to children? Comments made recently by Secretary of State Colin Powell to an MTV audience has renewed the debate over how sex should be taught to our children. Should abstinence be the focus of sex education? We're joined now by the president of Focus on the Family and the author of the new book, "Bringing up Boys," Dr. James Dobson. Had a chance to read it, Dr. Dobson. Great book. I mean that sincerely.
Dr. James Dobson: Oh, thank you.
Hannity: Very well done. And I have a young boy, I think, as you know, so it's very helpful. I got a lot out of it.
Dobson That's good to know.
Hannity: All right. Let's talk about Colin Powell. You heard his comments. Here's the secretary of state, which, by the way, seemed to be in conflict with President Bush's comments. What were your thoughts?
Dobson: Well, they're definitely in conflict with what the president has said, which is really interesting considering the fact that Colin Powell is a career soldier who has gotten where he got by following the position of the commander in chief.
Dobson: But we thought that the comments made by Secretary Powell were just irresponsible and, most of all, uninformed and egregious to us, and the reason is that--there are good reasons for that.
Hannity: Yes. You know, I find this a mixed message. I think, for kids, you've got to give a clear, unambiguous, straightforward message about where you stand, and like yourself, I think morality should be a part of that message. And if you tell kids, "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. But if you do, do this or use this," it's a mixed message.
Hannity: It's a conflicting message.
Dobson: You know, Sean, the federal government has spent $3 billion in the last 30 years to promote this safe sex ideology, and it's been a disaster.
At the time they started, there were only two sexually transmitted diseases that were at an epidemic level, and there are now more than 20. One in three Americans over 10 years of age has a sexually transmitted disease.
And there was a report just 10 days ago in ``The Journal of the American Medical Association'' that said that the figures are actually much higher, that we have underestimated the problem here, and safe sex ideology has had a lot to do with it.
Colmes: Dr. Dobson, it's Alan. Good to have you back on the program. You know...
Dobson: Thank you, Alan.
Colmes: ... Ari Fleischer was asked about, you know, whether or not George W. Bush--President Bush agreed with Colin Powell, and here's what Ari Fleischer he had to say.
Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary: The president and the secretary are shoulder to shoulder on the importance of both abstinence education as well as health education and sex education as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and as a way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
What the president has done and what Secretary Powell has long been involved in is highlight for the first time the importance of abstinence education.
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Colmes: It sounds to me, sir, they're in agreement.
Dobson: No, it sounds to me like they're in contradiction because you didn't hear Secretary Powell talking about two approaches, including abstinence.
You saw him stand there and promote condom usage on MTV, the channel that goes straight to the heart of the kids, and it contradicted what the president has said, and that raises questions as to what the policy of the White House really is. We really don't know.
Some--I'm actually kind of surprised that some conservatives are taking him to task, given the work he's done with his wife promoting the very thing that you believe should be in the forefront of our consciousness.
Dobson: Alan, if you look at the facts, if you look at this scientifically and not emotionally, you understand why there is great concern here, and this is something that has been suppressed by the press almost entirely.
Last July, a report was released that was produced by the Centers for Disease Control, NIH, and the Department of--one of the other departments--Health and Human Services, and this report--and I've got a copy of it here right in front of me--says scientific evidence on condom effectiveness for sexually transmitted disease prevention, and the bottom line from this is that there is no conclusive evidence that condoms prevent disease and gonorrhea, chlamydia, chancroid, syphilis, genital herpes, and HPV. There is no evidence at all that condoms prevent those diseases, and they are...
Colmes: Dr. Dobson...
Dobson: ... a disaster.
(Crosstalk) Colmes: ... would you agree that there will always be a group of people who are not sexually abstinent and who, indeed, participate in sexual activi--there will always be that group of people, right? And what should those people...
Colmes: ... be told? Should they be prevented from taking preventive measures or just--should they be ignored? What do we do about that group of people, the group about which Colin Powell was speaking?
Dobson: Alan, that is just the point. If you take this report, which was written by 16 physicians and six Ph.D.s, you do not do anything right or good for those kids that you offer condoms to. You put them at risk for all these other diseases, and that is now documented, and it's about time the press told that story.
Dobson: No, I...
Hannity: ... and be consistent?
DOBSON: I think you teach them a consistent message, and where that's been done, where you've taught abstinence, in the program called Best Friends--or there are other programs like that--you see very good results.Let me share just one thing with you. In Africa, 50-million people are dying of AIDS, and billions and billions of condoms have been sent there, and in every other country, it is increasing--the epidemic is increasing, but in Uganda, they have instituted...
Hannity: Are...Dobson: Yeah?
Hannity: Are they putting kids' lives in jeopardy by saying this? We've got to run here. Yes or no?
Dobson: Yeah. Well, you made me miss the point because it's an important one. Uganda has reduced the rate of AIDS by 50 percent by abstinence, and it works.
(Commercial break) Colmes: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes...we continue to Dr. James Dobson.
Dr. Dobson, you know, there are statistics that would contradict what you quoted earlier. There's a national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy that said when teenagers got more comprehensive sex education and became sexually active, they indeed had fewer partners as a result and were more likely to use contraceptives. The World Health Organization studied 35 different organizations and they found that abstinence-only organizations didn't do as well with these kids as you are suggesting.
So, there are other studies that have shown other than what you have said.
Dobson: Well, there are always differences of opinion, Alan. But the first report that you talked about came from an advocacy group, not from a primarily research organization. And it was not peer reviewed.
This comes from the agencies of the federal government whose responsibility it is to protect our health. And I think we ought to at least talk about it. But the media stiffed it. And you have not--and most people have not even heard of it. And yet it is the most definitive thing that's been done.
Let me bring up another issue which has been in the news of late: the Bush administration wanting to spend $100 million to promote marriage, spending this kind of money. I'm sure you know the issue that we're talking about.
Conservatives often say they want less government. How does this jive with the this that less government? Is this something conservatives should be supporting: $100 million to support marriage by the government?
Dobson: Well, I can just tell you this. It's about time the federal government got interested in marriage.
For the last eight years, prior to the Bush administration, you never heard the word marriage. And, for 32 years, the Congress has taxed married couples at a higher rate than they did those who were living together without benefit of marriage. That's wrong. And the government does have a role to play in protecting the institution of the family, because everything sits on that foundation. And we simply must pay attention to its welfare.
Colmes: What they're really talking about doing, though, is taking money from teenaged pregnancy programs and poverty programs to promote marriage. And they're targeting the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; 50 percent of the women in that program have been victims of abuse in one way or another. So, a lot of people have questions about whether or not this is the proper role for the federal government.
Dobson: Well, I haven't heard where that someone is coming from, but there's money available to help meet the needs of families. And I do hope that happens. Providing materials and so on, that's not bigger government. That's good sense.
Hannity: Dr. Dobson, I want to move on and ask you another question. There's a "Washington Post" story today I want to ask you about, because--look, you are a strong advocate of freedom of speech and certainly freedom of religion. And I think most people know that about you.
What do you do in a case where they have the Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia, where, as "The Washington Post" points out today, they have Islamic study classes. The textbooks tell them the day of judgment can't come until Jesus Christ returns to the Earth, breaks the cross, converts everyone to Islam and until Muslims start attacking Jews. They raise questions as to whether or not Usama bin Laden is a victim of prejudice. And they have maps of the Middle East hanging on classroom walls, but Israel is missing.
Dobson: Well, that's a great concern to me.
Hannity: Doesn't it seem, though, that they're sympathetic towards our enemies in that case?Dobson: It certainly does to me.
You know, what bothers me is that, if Christians commandeered planes and flew them into the World Trade Center, every Christian leader in the country would have condemned it. And yet that happened from the other side of the spectrum and almost no Islamic leader has condemned that action. That's another concern.
Hannity: Let me ask you this.
Pat Robertson, he's been on this program a number of times. And he took a little heat over a comment he made when he took issue with the president, saying, in regard to his stand on Islam, that it's a peaceful religion. He said it is not. And he said--and the Koran makes it very clear that, if you see an infidel, you are to kill them. That is what it says. Now, that doesn't sound very peaceful to me.
And we've had many debates on this program about the literal interpretation of the Koran.
Dobson: Well, I'm not a theologian. I am a psychologist. And I'm also not terribly knowledgeable of the Islamic faith.
But what I have heard is of concern to me. It's my understanding that the second command in the Koran is that people, Muslims, need to destroy their enemies and especially the infidels. If that's the case and that's what it says, then we have reason to be concerned.
Colmes: Dr. Dobson, thank you for coming on the program. Good to see you once again.
Dobson: Thank you. It's a real pleasure to be with you.
Colmes: Thank you, sir.