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Garth gives local students

‘naked truth’ about sex

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

Aug. 30, 2000 10 PM

One-tenth of 1 percent of a person’s life is spent engaging in sexual activity, yet our society is encouraging young people to engage in sexual activities that have the potential to mess up the rest of their lives.

"That’s the Naked Truth" and about 900 Pike County teenagers heard it from one of the country’s leading and most up-front-and-frank abstinence advocates, Lakita Garth.

Garth is an urban inspirational recording artist and a professional entertainer in Los Angeles. She is a versed and noted speaker on various issues such as race relations, politics, abortion and AIDS but she came to Troy to speak on behalf of the Abstinence in Motion (AIM) Project. She used a no-holds barred approach to dispel the "big lie" that high school and college students are buying on a wholesale scale – "safe sex."

Garth warned the students from Charles Henderson, Pike County and Pike Liberal Arts high schools and Banks Middle School that there is no such thing as "safe" sex. "Not with 60 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) waiting out there."

"Today, and everyday, 41,000 people will get a sexually transmitted disease," Garth said. "Almost half of the people in our country are walking around with sexually transmitted diseases and many of them don’t even know it."

Victims of STDs are losers in the game of sex roulette.

"Nobody was born a loser. But everybody was born a chooser," Garth said. "The choice is yours."

No matter what choice a young person makes, there are consequences, Garth said. The consequences of crawling under the bar of morality that society has continually lowered relegates a young person to the sewer and exposes him or her – and often under the guise of "safe" sex – to STDs that are shameful, painful and very often incurable and deadly.

"To promote safe sex is to promote the lie," Garth said. "The definition of ‘safe’ is being free from harm, injury or danger. How ‘safe’ then is a condom? What society would have you believe is that a condom is ‘safe’ 99 percent of the time. That’s not true. The naked truth is that a condom fails from 15 to 30 percent of the time. They are designed to prevent pregnancy, not STDs."

Garth brought that point home by telling the teens that the Food and Drug Administration has never approved condoms.

"You can’t buy chewing gum, Tic-tacs, even Q-tips, unless they have been approved by the FDA," she said. "Many of the cosmetics you use must have the FDA’s approval but you can walk in and buy a condom that the FDA has failed to approve because its rate of failure is too high and you think a condom is providing safe sex."

Garth

said, as an advocate of abstinence, she has been the object of ridicule but that doesn’t bother her. She is looking forward to the day when she can look her husband in the face and say, "I loved you before I even knew you. I saved myself just for you."

Garth was inspired by her grandfather who was married to the same woman for 70 years.

"He said he never wanted anyone else," Garth said. "Like my grandfather, I would rather be in love with one person for 70 years than 70 different people in one year."

Garth told the teens that choosing abstinence is choosing a lifestyle that demands self- control, self-discipline and love for someone greater than self. 

"Choose it and you will be on your way to a marriage of bliss and happiness. Ignore it and the one-tenth of 1 percent of your life, that is designed for the longest amount of time of your life (marriage), could

potentially ruin it. Don’t be a loser; be a chooser."