ACLU lawsuit stimulates comments from CCM star Rebecca St James.

GRAMMY AWARD winning singer Rebecca St James, whose book on sexual abstinence Wait For Me reached America's bestseller charts in 2004, has criticised the lawsuit filed in May by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The suit alleges the federal government improperly used taxpayer dollars to fund Christian religious activities in the USA through the nationwide programme Silver Ring Thing. The singer said, "Apart from a return to God's values encouraged by programmes such as Silver Ring Thing and True Love Waits, there is no real definitive answer in convincing young people why they should remain sexually abstinent until marriage. We live in a totally 'if it feels good do it world' fuelling kids from every direction - including too often their own classrooms - with messages like 'condoms are a safe sex alternative' or 'oral sex is not really sex.' As I tell kids, abstinence before marriage is the only guaranteed protection. In spite of that fact, in researching for my latest book we found that even in the face of the risk of HIV and the more than 15 million new STD infections diagnosed each year, 33% of 8-11 year olds and 49% of 12-15 year olds said that the pressure to have sex is a big problem for them. It's a sad commentary on a system that's just not working."

St James, 27, who has shared her views on abstinence from major concert stages all over the world, herself wears a silver purity ring symbolizing her commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage - a ring she began wearing at the age of 16 prior to selling millions of records internationally and using her platform as a popular Christian singer to challenge other young people to follow the path of premarital purity. Her self-written hit song "Wait For Me" has become a major anthem for the abstinence agenda worldwide, spawning the best selling book of the same title. Most recently a Wait For Me curriculum book from which the faith-based abstinence agenda can be taught has been added to Rebecca's literary 'voice' on a subject she's passionate about. "My passion for this issue is fuelled by seeing so many of my generation being ripped off. Our society has made sex a mandatory component of happiness and fulfilment. Young people discover instead that it satisfies only for a short time, while its consequences, when indulged in outside of marriage, live on," noted the Australian-born singer. "I believe that deep down most people respect those who stand for purity. Underneath it all, they know it's the right way to go." CR

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