"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:25
Oh good grief:
Austin Health and Human Services employees have been hanging bags of condoms and lube from trees at Walnut Creek Park since last month to promote safe sex — though neither the HHS director nor the city Parks and Recreation Department knew about it, directors said Friday.A few thoughts:
Parks employees took the bags down Thursday, considering them litter, but did not immediately know they came from a city initiative, said Parks Director Sara Hensley.
“Plastic bags, of course, can fall into the creek and hurt critters,” she said. “Then we found out it was an effort to educate the public about safe sex, which we absolutely support, but I’m not sure hanging something from a tree is the best way to get the message across.”
“We have to weigh, is this appropriate,” she added. “Our parks are open to everyone, including young children and others.”
HHS Director Shannon Jones said he didn’t know about the initiative within his department until Friday morning, after a KXAN report broke the news Thursday evening.
“We’ve been informed of the activity as of today (Friday)…but it falls within our department, so we are ultimately responsible,” he said. “Most of the programs that we do, we have a vetting process. We have reminded our staff of that.”
KXAN credited the program to Akesha Johnson-Smothers, a program manager for HIV prevention. According to her Facebook page, she began working for the city this year, after nearly a decade with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Jones said there would be an investigation into the communication and vetting concerning the condom program and possible disciplinary action.
- We basically don't care about the activities in which people engage behind closed doors...but behind closed doors means behind closed doors.
- Likewise 'live and let live' means not asking the rest of us to subsidize the activity in question.
- Regardless of the specific activity under discussion, the fact that neither the head of the health department nor anyone in the parks department knew this was happening illustrates the general dysfunction of city government.
But, in what might be a small Christmas miracle, we completely agree with this comment from Leslie Pool (*):
Leslie Pool, the City Council member who represents the district, had just heard about the condoms Friday. She called the effort well-intentioned but said “we need to do it in a more appropriate way.”Read the whole thing here. Empower Texans has more here. KXAN has more here.
* -- That's a statement we never thought we'd type.