We are new to Westside church. We travel from Alfalfa to the Westside of Bend to attend, so the banners don't affect us one way or another. What has affected our family is drugs and the breakdown of society in general. I hope whoever wrote the Letter of the Week last week about the banners in front of Westside church also considers this...
To get from point A to point B in life (birth to dying), a person must run the gauntlet through drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse. It may come in the form of a family member's addiction or their own. To try and say it doesn't exist or that some banner is in some way offensive because it points out the existence of such, is basically to act like an ostrich with its head in the sand. These problems are so real. They're hurting our young people and spoon feeding them religion is not going to help. Young people and society as a whole need real tools, real advice and the sound teaching to get them through this gauntlet without serious damage to their emotions. Our kids are overwhelmed with sexual/drug related sights and sounds through the media.
For those who believe it's only the parents' job to protect them and give them tools they need to fight against this onslaught, can I ask you this, "Who will teach the parents?" We are baby boomers emerging from a culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Our parents were from the sixties, "Hello!" We are a culture and society that needs to be taught and given the tools in order to teach our children. I applaud Westside for being willing to stand up and offer that teaching and tools to "whosoever will" come and listen.
A battle is raging. Honestly, should we send our children to the front lines with no armor on and expect them to survive? A banner in front of a church with two little feet sticking out from under a sheet is nowhere near as offensive as what our kids are going to encounter in everyday life, in school, on the Internet, and in watching television. Someone needs to be willing to offer some help.
Editor's note: While we don't take issue with a campaign to educate kids about the dangers of teenage sex, we did find it odd that this particular poster and phrasing appeared in the middle of gay pride week.