The backlash against Teen Vogue continues to grow as its editors defend their decision to feature an anal sex instruction guide for young teens in its June issue.
Outraged parents and prominent Christian leaders are calling for boycotts of the publication's advertisers and are urging people to speak out.
The popular fashion magazine published an article on June 7 titled "Anal Sex: What You Need To Know," which billed itself as a "just the facts" sex health education piece. Much controversy has since erupted as some believe Teen Vogue crossed a legal line of peddling obscenity to minors as others urge parents to teach their children what the Bible says about sexuality.
"As parents and grandparents, regardless of one's faith, we shouldn't stand by and let this kind of trash be pawned off on our children," wrote evangelist Franklin Graham on his Facebook page Thursday.
"Other recent articles are just as bad. Teen Vogue is now in the category of a porn magazine and should be regulated as such," he said, noting that Macy's, David's Bridal, Levi's, Secret Deodorant, and Burt's Bees are among the publication's advertisers who deserve to hear from parents.
Graham praised the work of Elizabeth Johnston, also known as "The Activist Mommy," whose video blasting the magazine article has netted more than 11 million views in just over a week. Johnston is spearheading a #PullTeenVogue grassroots campaign, urging parents to go to their local libraries, gas stations, and grocery stores, and ask that they pull the magazine from the shelves. She has been interviewed nationally and internationally about her efforts and is encouraging her nearly 250,000 fans on Facebook to call the Department of Justice to complain that the magazine is peddling obscenity to minors and to note that the law is on the side of decency.
"Parents be warned. Teach your children the truth about sexual relations. Warn them against what the socialist progressives want to push on the innocents," Graham continued.
"Schools will not teach the truth, the media will not teach the truth — it's up to you to raise your children in truth and knowledge."
Teen Vogue, however, is pushing back.
Vera Papisova, wellness editor for the magazine, said in response to the controversy on Twitter that she was "so proud" of the "medically accurate and thoughtful information" she and her writers provided.
"Let me remind you: Not only do studies show providing information to young people BEFORE THEY NEED TO USE IT is how we HELP people make safer, better choices — We need to be realistic about how difficult and confusing it is to be young, be vulnerable to various systems of oppression, to feel helpless," she said in several tweets.
Such a rationale is pure propaganda from sexual revolutionaries, Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College noted on his blog this week.
"They were making it even way back when I was an adolescent, and it boils down to this: Those kids are going to be having sex anyway, so we might as well show them how to do it in a way that keeps them from getting pregnant or from contracting a disease," he said.
Yet "[o]ne of the chief problems with this argument is that it acts as if the only problem with teen sex is that it might be 'unsafe,'" he continued.
"It is an argument entirely unconcerned with the moral or spiritual formation of minor children. And in fact it seems to presuppose and perhaps even to encourage sexual promiscuity among children," he added. "Christians are morally obligated to oppose what Papisova feels morally obligated to defend — the practice of sodomy among minor children."
Likewise, in a Monday Relevant Radio interview with Wendy Wiese about the article, Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, noted that government agencies used to warn people publicly about the physical and medical risks of this particular sex act. She cited an official statement from former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop who argued that it was simply too dangerous to practice, even when condoms are used. But Koop's statement was removed in 2009 for purely political reasons even as the facts have not changed, she said.
"Decent people don't like to talk about sex in public. That's a fact," Morse explained.
She routinely speaks about ravages of the sexual revolution and equips people on how to minister to its victims. She often sees people become visibly uncomfortable and turn their faces away when she explores these themes but urges Christians to speak up on this topic despite their discomfort.
"Every time we wince, and flinch, and turn away, the evil one is moving forward, to [the sexual revolutionaries] advantage because they have no compunction at all about talking about sex in public. In fact, you can't shut them up!"
At least some adults are going to have to get over that reticence that they have about this, she added.
"We absolutely need every good person ... to be out on the playing field doing something about this, resisting this onslaught that has been going on pretty much unopposed for a long time."