Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

An open response to a recent letter in the paper

I just read a letter in the local paper where someone mentioned how after the election next week, he hopes the city council upholds the Christian values and morals of the community, citing the time the city gave money to have a “questionable” sexual-education expert from “Upper Canada” speak to the grade 9 students of the school division.  He must have been referring to Sue Johanson, who is a registered nurse, a member of the Order of Canada, and arguably Canada’s leading advocate for safe sex.

I understand the author of the letter is a very devout Catholic: there is nothing wrong with this.  But I take issue with a few things with his letter.  First off, who is to say he speaks for the whole community?  Miramichi is a small town more than a city, yes, but there are still a number of residents who don’t identify as Christian, or have more progressive views on the topic of sexuality.  I also have a problem with his calling Johanson’s credentials into question: Johanson is a qualified counselor and has been giving practical sexual advice for years before she became a media personality.  There are some areas where she does have a few blind spots, but in this case, would “qualified” only be bestowed on an educator who promotes abstinence-only education?  Lastly, what’s with this “Upper Canada” nonsense?  The colony of Upper Canada hasn’t existed since 1841.  My view is that the way that term was used connotes resentment against so-called “big-city values”, as if insulation from differing viewpoints is the only way to protect the integrity of the Miramichi.

To me, not giving information about contraception is irresponsible and immoral.  It’s like telling your children not to go into a dangerous area, but not letting them protect themselves if they do.


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2 thoughts on “An open response to a recent letter in the paper

  1. It’s unfortunate that some people still live in the 19th century.

  2. This letter is rather offensive. I agree with your response. I am a long time fan of Sue, and consider her credentials more than adequate and her message to be both responsible and ethical. As for Upper Canada, I agree with your interpretation of the writer’s intention when using that phrasing, and while Miramichi does have oodles of old time small town charm, it also has youth and adults who live in this century, and who are not going to be protected by that charm or avoid sex and sexuality because of it.

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