Dear Editor:

At the risk of sounding amoral, I would like to address some of the issues brought up in the Faith column written by Pastor Rev. Fraser Coltman in the September 5th issue of The Pioneer.

Mr. Coltman tackled the difficult and controversial subject of sex and sexual education in his submission. While I dont purport to be an expert, I do have some small experience in the field; I volunteered at our local chapter of OPT (Options for Sexual Health) as a reproductive health counsellor several years ago.

My goal in this volunteer position was to disseminate the most recent and accurate information in sexual health to those who came to the clinic, to help them make the best choices for themselves in terms of their own sexual health. This approach, despite what abstinence-only educators would like to have you believe, has been proven to be more effective than abstinence-only education in reducing the rates of unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). I would like to point out that any comprehensive sexual education program also includes abstinence as a viable option. Just not the only viable option. Knowledge is a weapon, but it can also be a shield.

While I can understand that Mr. Coltman may not be up to date with the current sexual health studies, and the effectiveness of certain educational styles, I have to say that I was offended by several of the implications and analogies in

his column.

To imply that it is only a matter of time until child pornography is legal is the worst kind of fear mongering. To state that adults who utilize legitimately produced pornography and adults who engage in consensual sexual acts with one another are those with perverse lusts that society needs to protect little ones from is verging on ridiculous.

As for the paragraph that equates sex outside of marriage with causing divorce, rape and pedophilia, well, that is nothing but inflammatory rhetoric with no basis in fact whatsoever.

I sincerely hope I was not the only one deeply offended by this nonsense.

Mr. Coltman, it is true that these societal problems that you speak of will not get better with bemoaning them and watch(ing) as they get worse. The way they will get better is through education, knowledge and the ability to make good choices without shame and fear.

Deanna Berrington