The Volunteer State - or, in this case, the "Volunteer for Stupidest Bunch of Cretins in Their State Legislature."
Okay, you ask, what's got his nickers in a twist now?
First, the State of Tennessee is now a state where the teachers are practically required to "teach the controversy" regarding such topics as climate change and evolution. Got that? Two subjects about which there should be absolutely zero controversy.
Of course, the evolution "controversy" is simply the resurgence of idiocy known as Intelligent Design, which is actually Creationism, which is actually Religion (specifically Christianity, so don't be bringing any heathen controversies, just good solid Christian ones) - which is, by an amazing set of coincidences, against the law for teachers.
Yes, the state which hosted the Scopes Trial decided to forget the facts that Scopes' conviction was overturned, that the anti-evolution law they had on their books was stricken back in 1968, and that the town of Dover, Pennsylvania had to pay out the ass for failure to rein in the assholes on their own school board.
But it doesn't stop there, no sir! Tennessee's legislature, a concatenation of complete coprophages if ever I've seen one, is also considering a bill that would restrict sex education. Now, they already had a law that requires teachers to tell students that abstinence is the best way to stop teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
But abstinence education doesn't work. How do we know? Look at Tennessee! Abstinence-centered sex education, and one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the nation.
Gosh, Cletus, think there might - just might - be a correlation here? Bear in mind that when kids get a shiny new toy (particularly one that stimulates the post-orgasmic production of hormones such as endorphins) they will simply fester to try it out!
The Stupid's so thick on the ground in Tennessee you'd think you were in Mississippi.
So Tennessee's making an effort to make sure that teachers double down on the abstinence crap, by also instructing people on the idea of "gateway sexual behaviors."
"Gateway sexual behaviors."
You hear about gateway drugs, substances that can lead to you taking harder chemicals in an effort to get high. Drink alcohol? That's a gateway. Smoke weed? That's a gateway.
So, what are the fine men and women installed in the State Legislature by the voters of Tennessee (who have no one to blame but themselves) describing as "gateway sexual behaviors?"
Holding hands, and kissing.
You'll notice they say nothing about masturbation, but apparently the progression would be:
1. Holding hands, and kissing.
4. SEX! NAUGHTINESS! SWEATY SNUGGLEBUNNIES!
And how do you enforce that? Do you accuse every parent who holds a child's hand as they cross the street of being a closet pedophile? Or do you simply brainwash kids that any body contact is so inherently dangerous that they'll spontaneously combust if they do so much as look at the opposite sex?
But never fear; it'll never work. Kids will be taught that you must abstain from sex, and that holding hands and kissing are gateway sexual behaviors that can lead to risky sex and teenage pregnancy. No mention of condoms, or the pill, or abortion, or responsible safe sexual intercourse (and recall that at least one political faction in that state refers to itself as "The Party of Personal Responsibility(tm)").
But kids are raised amid a tsunami of sexual images - TV, music, the Internet - and when the winds of puberty begin to blow and various secondary sexual characteristics develop, young men and women will start to touch themselves Down There.
And they'll decide they'll like it, and want more.
And they'll suddenly realize that they want to share their bodies.
And the Tennessee Legislature will wake up, turn around and realize that they've been, quite literally, dumber than a second coat of paint.