On Abstinence, Bristol Palin Vs. Focus on the Family

Sarah Palin's teenage daughter, a new mom, says premarital abstinence is not realistic.


By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

New mom Bristol Palin tells Greta Van Susteren that premarital abstinence is a tough sell:

But I think abstinence is like...I don't know how to put it, like...the main...Everyone should be abstinent, but it's not realistic at all.

How will this go over with the Christian right groups that were so supportive of Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy (and are key to a Palin future in national politics), which lavishly praised the 17-year-old Bristol's decision to see her pregnancy through? Here's what Focus on the Family's James Dobson said about the Bristol pregnancy announcement last September:

We have always encouraged the parents to love and support their children and always advised the girls to see their pregnancies through, even though there will of course be challenges along the way. That is what the Palins are doing, and they should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances.

And here's what Focus on the Family's website says about sex before marriage:

As Christians, the concept of reserving sex for marriage is a part of God's original plan.... If the act of sex is meant for marriage, it begs the question: What is the practical application for those who are not married? We are to remain celibate and to offer ourselves completely up to God for His service, something that's very difficult when married.

Bristol's remarks totally buck that line. So, what does Focus and its Christian right brethren do now—keep quiet or embrace Bristol's remarks as a teachable moment on abstinence, even if it means rebuking a member of their beloved Palin clan?