A New Zealand high school has come under fire after it provided students with a conservative Christian handout that called women “cheap prostitutes” if they had sex outside of marriage, and warned that LGBT people would go to hell.
According to 3News, Papanui High School obtained the pamphlets from U.S.-based Bible Baptist Publications and provided them to 15-year-old students.
“Either you are married or you are not married,” the booklet states. “If you are not married, yet you have sexual relations, then you are a wicked fornicator.”
Other phrases in the “Safe Sex” handout warned students that “death and hell” were waiting for students who engaged in gay sex.
“A couple who lives together without marriage is a couple who has become habitual and irresponsible fornicators,” a version of the pamphlet on the company’s website opines. “He thinks she’s a fine lady, yet she’s nothing more than a cheap prostitute who allows herself to be used for his sexual gratification in exchange for what seems to be a stable and secure home life. This make-believe game may fool people, but it doesn’t fool God. This is a sin, and it will be punished!”
“The only SAFE sex is MARRIED sex between a man and a woman. Any other form of sex is SINFUL sex. Death and Hell await those who continue in such wickedness.”
Principal Jeff Smith told the New Zealand Herald that concerns about the handout had been “an unfortunate misunderstanding” because the school was to make sure students were “informed” when it came to making decisions.
But Labour education spokesperson Chris Hipkins called on the materials to be pulled from the classroom.
“It’s fine for schools to be using stuff to provoke kids into thinking but there’s a fine line between provoking critical thought and something that’s offensive,” he observed. “That, I think, crosses the line.”
Secular Education Network coordinator Peter Harrison argued that the school may have also been violating the New Zealand Bill of Rights and the country’s Human Rights Act.
“I think they should be examined in a social studies context, probably as something that we should be fighting against, because that kind of thing is intolerant,” he said.
In the future, Smith said that the school would continue using the handout, but teachers would make an effort to put it in context as one of many views on sexuality.