Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And What Generation Was That?

A large sign appeared outside Bryson City in nearby Swain County.  Placed there by the Swain County Health Department, the sign displayed information about the services available to the citizens.  The department used $992 in federal funding to pay for this sign and one other advertising the services provided.  Three separate services were listed at the bottom of the sign, including the costs:  Adult Physical Exams $45.00, Family Planning at Low or No Cost, and FREE Condoms.

Can you guess which advertised service created a controversy?

Photograph from The Asheville Citizen-Times

Did you guess "FREE Condoms?"  You are absolutely right!  For the record...the Swain County Health Department has provided free condoms for more than thirty years.

This is serious business, folks.  It appears that many citizens assume advertising free condoms promotes sexual activity among teens.  [Last year a Swain County health report indicated that more than half the high school students in the county have had sex.  From 2004 through 2008, Swain County had the thirteenth highest rate of teen births among North Carolina's one hundred counties.]

Not to worry...the Swain County Board of Commissioners met and all of them condemned the portion of the sign related to condoms.  County Commissioner David Monteith says the sign "sends the wrong message."  He was further quoted as saying, "I come from a generation where you don't have sex until you get married." [ Hmmm...I wonder just what generation that might have been.]

In a very literal cover-up, the sign has now been altered and the section about condoms is a blank spot.  Commissioner Monteith was very pleased.  "As a Christian, I totally oppose sex before marriage and it was a shame to see something with Swain County's name on it advertising that."  The commissioner said he had received calls from parents who were embarrassed when they drove past the sign with their children.  (Oh, heaven forbid you might seize it as an opportunity to share your own views with your children!!!)

The Swain County Health Department will continue its practice of providing free condoms.  They will continue their practice of informing all recipients of the free condoms that the only sure way to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence.

Thank goodness the health departments provide free condoms...for the poor who cannot afford other methods of birth control, for gays, and straights, for sexually active teens and even the elderly.

On a related subject, North Carolina's 2012 budget cuts all State and Federal funding for Planned Parenthood.


The Bug said...

Um, yeah, right. I have relatives who were born suspiciously early - and they're not young-uns either! Of course back then you either got married, went off to have the baby, or did something that at the time was illegal and dangerous. Oh yeah those were better days!

I seriously question the reasoning of people - do they really think that just because they tell them not to that people will stop having sex?

Elora said...


(read that any way you'd like).


abb said...

Stupidity seems to run rampant at all levels of government.

Ms. A said...

As a christian...??? He should have said as a "PERFECT" christian/human being! Very few people, including christian, are perfect! Perhaps he is also of the mindset to... "Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant!"

They say ignorance is bliss!

Nance said...

Can't you just see yourself at age...say, sixteen riding by the original (unsheathed) sign, reading that condoms are available for free, and thinking to yourself (head slap), "Dude! Free condoms! I need to go get myself a guy and ditch this virginity pronto so I can take advantage of this bargain! I was gonna put it off until I got married, but this is too good to pass up!"?


Busy Bee Suz said...

If someone thinks that a sign stating: "Free condoms" is going to promote underage/non marriage sex is just, hello??? get your head out from under the rock it is now placed.
Great post Caroline, as always you have your thumb on the pulse of today!

Anonymous said...

The arrogant bastards never tire of singing the same old songs, do they?!

KGMom said...

Geez, the news is too depressing to read, and now billboards? We can't read billboards anymore?
As a former public health person, I say--no wonder we have such a high unplanned pregnancy rate.
I was going to say more, but that would require me getting on my soap box, so I will eschew.

Jayne said...

What year is it??? Seriously? This kind of thinking always boggles my mind.

Anonymous said...

I remember many years ago when someone (I can't remember who) summed up our country's philosophy about sexuality:

Sex is dirty and you save it for the one you love.

I see that things have not changed in the 40 years since I heard that.

Tracy said...

Yes, isn't it sad and yet Tillis can give his workers a 10-27% raise; really? AND education is being cut once again...they say it's not but why are teachers in my building losing their jobs? It infuriates me and now the gas tax is being raised and city workers are being given a 5,000 bonus becuase they haven't had a raise in 5 years; ummm, well, our district has not given us a raise in 5 years AND they have increased our insurance and co-pays by 15.00 and blah, blah, blah...I could go on and on but I won't get my blood pressure up :)
sorry I went off on a tangent there...

Vicki Lane said...

Idiots! Of course, that's just my opinion...

troutbirder said...

This is why I read a lot of books about the Middle Ages. If I live long enough, I want to be ready for them as we gradually move in that direction.

Rudee said...

What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Condoms used to be like a "dirty word" in the 1940s when I was growing up. Some of the boys we younger boys looked up to, because they smoked and drove cars, had, tucked away in their wallets, what we called a "rubber." They would sometimes show us what one looked like and told us we could get them at the drug store. Well, some of us went to the only drug store around and went looking for the name given us and the pharmacist asked if he could help..."You boys need some help?"

Embarrassed the word TROJANS was half-blurted/giggled-out. And he went behind the counter and handed up a three pack, as I recall. We told him we only needed one. He couldn't break the pack to sell us one so we went out of the store empty handed.

My memories of Condoms.

Caution/Lisa said...

What will all those young people do now that they know about sex but can't have it??? Yes, that sign surely was about to ruin some lives.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Well I think it is a good thing that they give free condoms away to those who want them. People are sexual the way God made us. It is up to the parents to give their children the self respect, to like them self enough, to treasure them self to be very exclusive!!
I wish someone had thought I was a treasure so I would have thought I was worth saving. I wouldn't have married so soon. I was just over 17.
xx, Fern

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I do appreciate your dropping by and leaving a word or two.

Bug - I had a cousin who almost died after an illegal abortion. Young and afraid she thought she had no alternative.

Elora - Yeah!

TSannie - Sadly that is absolutely true.

Nance - You are TOO funny!

Suz - As the mother of two beautiful young women, you clearly understand.

Donna - It was all I could do not to rant on and on.

Robin - I love that phrase.

Tracy - I agree...we could go on and on and on, couldn't we?

Troutbirder - And they say they are interested in getting the government off our backs!

Honest Abe - I remember the boys doing that as well. Thanks for dropping by.