The Truth For Youth!

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of religiously motivated bullshit out there, but rarely have I come across a dozen different brands of bullshit rolled into one – and then explicitly tailored to be ‘appealing’ to teenagers. The Truth For Youth is a website that really needs to be seen to be believed. It also manages to hit every single one of my pet peeves simultaneously.

There are plenty of issues that teenagers really need more information about: sex, STDs, alcohol, drugs, pregnancy, the usual. A good way to present these topics would be to use the latest scientific data to ensure that teenagers are informed enough to make responsible lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the people behind The Truth For Youth have decided to go with a slightly different approach: lots of Bible quotes, scare tactics and hiderously bad manga-inspired comic strips! Let’s see how they do.

Safe sex is a pretty big issue, particularly if you’re a religious nutjob with a thing against contraceptives and a fervent desire to frighten high schoolers into joining your cult. According to the hack who put this comic together, condoms are more or less useless when it comes to preventing STD infection – which is funny, because I keep reading all over the place that condoms are pretty damn good at reducing the risk of getting HIV, gonorrhea, the human papillomavirus, and herpes. I suppose just not having sex at all would be the strongest safeguard against getting any of those diseases, but unfortunately, not all of us are interested in living according to the puritanical ‘SEX IS BAD’ philosophy that Christianiaty is so enamoured with. This comic borders on the irresponsible by presenting a completely one-sided view of a topic that certainly doesn’t need to be wrapped in any more layers of religious guilt and tabboo.

The artwork and ‘story’ (if you could call it that) are pretty craptacular, too. The characters all look like something you might get from a marginally talented DeviantArt user, and the dialogue is laughably contrived. The ‘nerd’ character, who carries around some sort of weird hand-held computer and tells people how certain he is about things in exact percentage figures, is just painful. I don’t really expect religious nuts to be in touch with ordinary teenagers, but come on, at least make an effort.

Homosexuality also gets the TFY treatment, with hilarious results. This time our cast of well-developed characters includes, but is not limited to:

A shrieking jackass with weirdly feminine eyes. He wears a pink t-shirt and yells at people with a megaphone. (I only realised now that this is apparently supposed to be a lesbian, as revealed by the ‘witty’ banter on the second page. This may be the first time in my entire life that I’ve seen a religious screed about homosexuality that didn’t focus exclusively on men.)

A shrieking jackass with a shaved head. He calls people ‘queer’ a lot and seems to suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome.

A simpering jackass who thinks her younger brother’s homosexuality is ‘beautiful’. A liberal sterotype extraordinnaire.

Said brother, who is, amazingly, not a jackass. Sees the error of his ways and decides to ‘seek God’, which apparently involves going to the odious website of Exodus International.

Oh, and the comic is called ‘Born That Way’. Yeah…this one is pretty bad. There’s no actual information here, just cringe-inducing sterotypes (everyone comes across as a one-sided moron) and a lot of references to the Bible – and, of course, the spectre of homosexual ‘predators’. I sympathise with gay teenagers who are devoutly religious, but I honestly can’t imagine this helping them.

Ah, Evolution. You knew that was coming, right? I don’t really have anything to say about this one – it starts with what is possibly the dumbest attempt at a racial slur I’ve ever heard, followed by an earnest claim that the theory of evolution is inherently racist. Things take a sharp nosedive from there, as you can imagine. Paley’s ‘watchmaker’ argument also gets mangled to the point of absurdity on page four – as if it wasn’t weak enough already.

I really can’t imagine what kind of teenager would actually enjoy a compilation like this. Are there actually kids out there who exist in the kind of addled dreamland one would have to reside in to take this bilge seriously? It’s a frightening thought.


2 Responses to “The Truth For Youth!”

  1. 1 Ian January 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I read it, and I lol’d from the intense level of bullshit.

  2. 2 augustine January 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Haha, that’s pretty much what my reaction was.

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