Pubdate: Fri, 07 Feb 2003
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Charles Akben-Marchand


Re: 'Jesus factor' is the key to successful drug programs, Feb. 3.

The only valid point in the letter by Chuck Runolfson is that it is 
unfortunate nobody could supply an answer to Abdirazak Abdi's original 
letter (We need new tactics to fight youth drug use, Jan. 3).

It is an insult to tell a person whose name is apparently non-Christian 
that the "only treatment (to drug abuse) that works" is "becoming a Christian."

Mr. Runolfson equates religions (presumably non-Christian) with evils such 
as drugs, sex, and cigarettes when he writes: "Ignorance has people trying 
to satisfy themselves with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sex, money, 
religions and about anything you can name, when the only real satisfaction 
comes from knowing Jesus (not just knowing about Him)."

His argument is also based on the idea that Canada and the U.S. are 
identical, which is not true. Most Americans are very religious; Canadians, 
at most, are described as "spiritual."

 From 1981 to 1991, according to Statistics Canada, the proportion of 
Christians dropped from 88.5 per cent of the population to 81.9 per cent. 
I'm sure that trend will continue in the 2001 census data. (Statistics are 
unavailable for the U.S. due to privacy laws there).

So a study made in the U.S. in the 1980s that says that 
"government-sponsored drug treatment programs were a waste of taxpayers' 
dollars" does not necessarily apply to Canada today.

Abdirazak Abdi raised very good points about drug abuse, such as 
celebrities accused of using drugs, and didn't use other people's beliefs 
as a scapegoat.

Charles Akben-Marchand, 18,

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom