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Texas governor praises teens for ‘True Love Waits’ courage

AUSTIN, Texas (BP)–Sexual abstinence is “100 percent certain” to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, “100 percent of the time,” Texas Governor George W. Bush told more than 2,500 Baptist teens gathered on the grounds of the Texas capitol in Austin.
Bush was addressing a rally in support of True Love Waits, a worldwide campaign to challenge teenagers to make a promise to God to abstain from sex until they enter a biblical marriage relationship.
A potential candidate for the Republican nomination for president who previously has publicly supported the abstinence-based program started by Southern Baptists in 1993, Bush thanked the teens for signing the TLW pledge cards, 12,000 of which were displayed at the capitol grounds.
Signing the cards, he said, “is a bold act … a revolutionary act … in this day and age.”
“Not everyone thinks abstinence is cool,” he said, noting instead, “… abstinence is something to be proud of. What you are doing as part of True Love Waits is something to be proud of. There is no shame — only honor — in waiting for sex until you are married.”
The governor went on to say that “the strength of a society is not measured only by the wealth it accumulates or the technology it develops, but by the values its people share, values that must be learned when we are young, values like right from wrong and good from bad.”
“Love your neighbor as you’d like to be loved yourself. Give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages. Do not lie. Do not cheat. Do not steal. Respect others. Respect their opinions. Respect their property. And always remember that you are responsible for the choices you make in life.”
Bush told the teens it is “vitally important you make the right choices,” because the major threats they face today and in the future are not matters of chance but matters of choice. “Choices like drinking and driving, smoking, drugs, early sex and quitting school have lifelong consequences.”
He added: “One of the best choices you can make is [sexual] abstinence. Having a baby as a teenager is a ticket to poverty and heartache, for parent and for child.
“Abstinence isn’t just saying no to sex, it’s also saying yes to a happier, healthier future. It is clear the benefits of abstinence far outweigh the risks of sex. You have made a wise decision. By choosing abstinence, you are choosing a life that is physically, morally and emotionally healthy.”
Bush then challenged the students to go back to their communities and “urge others to have the courage” to likewise sign the abstinence pledge. “Tell ‘em the governor sent you.”
As he concluded, he thanked the teens for their courage to do what is right, and said that “our country needs more quiet heroes like you.”
Two Texas Baptist teens also addressed the two-hour April 24 rally.
Christopher Mack, a junior from Travis High School in Austin and a member of Woodlawn Baptist Church, said: “In today’s society we are bombarded with messages about sex from just about everywhere. Everywhere you turn, sex is glorified into the ultimate experience that ‘everybody is doing.’ You almost feel like some weird freak from another planet if you haven’t done it.
“TLW confirms that not everybody is doing it … and that I am not alone in my convictions.”
Chelsea Calcatera, a sophomore from Keller High School and a member of First Baptist Church of Keller, said : “Sex is a much bigger deal than the world finds it to be.
“Virginity is not something to lose because someone tells you that ‘If you love me, you’ll do it.’ It [virginity] is meant for the wedding night, not prom night or the back seat of the car. It is special to be able to give your new mate your virginity on your wedding night.”
Voddie Baumann, an evangelist from Houston, told the teens of his own birth to “an 18-year-old single parent” who experienced the “consequences of her sin and my father’s sin.”
Saying he loves his mother, he said if she were speaking to the group “she would urge you not to go down the same road.”
“God does not call you to sexual purity because he wants you to keep from having fun. He calls you to sexual purity because he wants to save you from the consequences of your act. God is not interested in being a killjoy, but has your best interests at heart. Sexual purity is not about popularity, it is about what is best for you.”
The rally was planned by Jane Wilson of the Sunday school/discipleship training division of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Local arrangements were planned by Brian Hall, youth minister at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Austin.
Young people came from Anton and Whitharral in the Texas panhandle, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, the Rio Grande Valley and other places across the state.
The 12,000 pledge cards displayed on the capitol grounds will be taken to California, where they will be displayed Oct. 2 on the Golden Gate Bridge with other cards signed by teens across the nation.
“Then,” said Chris Liebrum, former youth consultant with the BGCT, to the cheering crowd, “they will be taken to an island off the coast of New Zealand, which the International Date Line intersects. On the very first day of the new millennium, the very first rays of the sun will shine on pledge cards from around the world — including yours.”

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  • Dan Martin