With the selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, Presidential candidate John McCain went out of his way to continue the ongoing Republican alignment with conservative Christians. As media outlets have noted, the Alaskan Governor has been a strong proponent of both creationism and abstinence education for public school students.
Ironically, directly after McCainâ€™s selection of Palin, the Republican Party formally released its platform for 2008. Among the educational planks in the party platform, a document stressing support for programs that had a demonstrated track record of success, was a commitment to pursue increased funding for abstinence education.
The contradiction was stark. Given that support for abstinence education has been dissipating amidst ongoing data that the program does not work, the call for increased funding certainly was not consistent with the general platform message of greater support for programs that work.
Like McCain’s choice of Palin, the call for increased funding for abstinence education appeared to be yet another blatant attempt to gain political support from Christian conservatives.