Monday, December 31, 2007

Quote book

"We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life - the unborn - without diminishing the value of all human life." ~President Ronald Reagan

Friday, December 28, 2007

Benazir Bhutto -- Pro-Life Advocate

LifeNews ran an article today about the recently assassinated leader of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto's pro-life convictions. At the United Nations Conference for Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, she said, "I dream ...of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction."

The complete article can be read here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jamie Lynn as a good example

I've been thinking this for awhile but haven't put my words on paper (or a computer screen). Jamie Lynn Spears obviously has not been a role model in the realm of chastity, but she has put forward a good example in another way: choosing life.

How much easier would it have been for Jamie Lynn to have an abortion and not have to tell the world about her pregnancy! Instead, she has made a courageous decision by owning up to the responsibilities that resulted from her choices. As I often tell our students, Spiderman says, "With great power comes great responsibility." When someone chooses to use the power of their sexuality outside of God's plan (well, even inside of God's plan), they need to simultaneously embrace the responsibilities that may come along with it.

Last summer I heard Janet Smith at a conference say, "There's no such thing as getting pregnant by accident." Sex and babies go together. God made it that way. They are not supposed to be separated.

So, Jamie Lynn, while not making good choices when it comes to sexuality, has shown young people that it takes courage to take responsibility for one's actions. By giving life to her baby, she will be making a brave choice that deserves to be recognized as such. It's too late to change past behavior, but we can still take away valuable insights from Jamie Lynn.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making good dating choices

Chad Eastham, an abstinence advocate based in Cincinnati, OH, has a blog that I came across last week. I found the question, "How do I know if he is a good guy to date?" quite interesting. The complete answer is definitely worth your time (for girls and guys), but here is a brief segment:

"If you couldn’t date, would he still be your friend?

"This is a great indicator of what a guy wants. If he isn’t willing to be a friend, how in the world can you possibly have a good relationship? I can’t stress this one enough. Friendship is the strongest asset of any good relationship. I’ve always thought it actually means two people just enjoy each other. Now wouldn’t that be a good place to start?

"Dating is a made up word. What is dating? Isn’t dating about being with someone who you actually like and is a good friend?

"Again, this is the chance to evaluate what dating means. If almost all high school relationships don’t end up in marriage, you might want to consider that before you get into all of this. I have always found that the way you enter a relationship is usually the way it ends. If you start with a strong foundation of friendship, it’s more attractive, and usually ends up better as well."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

"With the birth of Jesus, in the simplicity and poverty of Bethlehem, God gave back dignity to every human being's existence. He offered to all people the possibility to participate in his same divine life. May this immeasurable gift always find hearts ready to receive it!"
-- Pope John Paul II

Friday, December 21, 2007

The preciousness of life

Fr. Kyle Schnippel chose his 1o favorite blog posts, and I found this one very inspiring. It's his homily for the funeral of a young girl, Mollie Summers, who had severe disabilities. For those who wonder whether or not one life matters, this is a beautiful reflection, especially as we prepare to celebrate life at Christmas.

Parents, hold kids to high standards on sex

That's the headline of an op-ed I wrote for today's Cincinnati Enquirer.

A longer version was posted on the blog a couple of days ago.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sending advice to Jon

Nicole came across this website where a thirtysomething bachelor dishes out dating advice. One young man, Jon, wrote in to say that he is committed to not having sex before marriage and has lost relationships due to this commitment. So, Evan the dating advisor promptly tells Jon that he has a problem. He closes with this:

"Since I’m not a psychologist, I’m not gonna worry in this space about WHY you’d opt for abstinence. That’s between you and your clergyman. All I can say is that the number of people aboard the no-sex train is increasingly small. So as I see it, you have two choices:

Keep beating the drum that says sex is wrong outside of marriage and continue to wonder why most women keep running away, OR:

Get off your moral high horse and start sexually servicing these women the way they want to be serviced.

If not, someone else will. I guarantee that."

Of course I couldn't refrain from commenting, so I added this:

"I cannot tell you how disgusted I am by the thought of men being told to 'service women' by being sexually active with them while dating. If I date a man who is saving sexual activity for marriage, I know a few things about him:

1) He respects me and himself way more than the guy who will willingly engage in sex just because he “wants some” or because I’m afraid I’ll lose him without it.

2) If he can have self-control in abstaining from sex now, then it is more likely that he will continue that self-control (ie. being faithful inside of marriage instead of looking for satisfaction with other women).

3) He is interested in me as a person (personality, talents, intellect, etc.) and not just my body.

4) He wants to love me (ie. not put me at risk and seek what is best for me) rather than use me (treat me as an object to gratify him).

So, Jon, I think that any woman who is treated in this way will feel like a princess if she truly realizes what a sacrifice it can be for a man to want to wait. Saying yes is not always the loving thing to do. Even though it is hard to say no to sexual activity outside of marriage, it is a testament to the love and respect that you have for your future spouse.

Perhaps you have not met the right girl yet, but that does not mean you are doing something wrong. If you want a special girl, you have to act accordingly. If you compromise, you are just settling for less than you deserve.

And finally, know that there are other people out there who are waiting for their spouse (or have waited and are now married) and would not trade their love story with anyone who treated sexuality as no big deal or as a way to attract more people. Quality would be preferred over quantity."

I encourage you to add your own encouragement to Jon to remain true to his values.

Say what?

Reports are circulating in the news that a new study published in the January edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that sex education delays sexual debut of teenagers and results in a higher likelihood of males (not females) using birth control.

So, what's the catch? Well, as the FoxNews article says, "The study did not explore whether classes should teach about contraception or focus entirely on abstinence. Students received sex education if they had either or both types of instruction, according to the study."

I have a hunch that comprehensive sex education proponents are going to use this study to "prove" the effectiveness of advocating contraception, yet nothing in the study proves the effectiveness of either method.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What parents can learn from Jamie Lynn Spears

In a sixth grade class today, we were playing a game to review some of the topics covered through the In Control program, and one of the students was asked to name a negative influence in the modern media. Without skipping a beat, she replied, "Brittany Spears' sister." With the news plastered across our television sets and Internet news services, we cannot escape the latest celebrity non-marital pregnancy.

Since Jamie Lynn Spears is only 16 years old and has been considered a role model for children, many parents are wondering what good can come out of this situation. On Channel 12 this afternoon, we will be sharing some suggestions, but here are ten ways to take advantage of an opportunity to discuss sexuality with your children:

1) Parents have the most influence on their children's decisions regarding sexuality. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that 91% of 15-17 year olds who had not had sex said they were influenced by what their parents had taught them regarding sex. In another study, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reported that 88% of teens say it would be easier to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations with their parents.

2) Children deserve to be held to a high standard. Often, adults argue that kids are going to have sex anyway, so why not give them condoms now to avoid pregnancy later. In actuality, our children deserve the freedom that comes from saving sexual activity until marriage. Encouraging them to wait, but giving them a condom or birth control pills "just in case" sends a mixed message. We cannot imagine telling kids, "Don't drink and drive ... but if you do drive really slowly." Or saying, "Don't do drugs ... but if you do, don't share needles." In a similar way, advocating forms of birth control don't truly "protect" children, they only decrease their risk of pregnancy or STDs (for condoms). Don't kids deserve better than just a decreased risk?
3) Young adults don't want to be lectured. They want open, honest communication, which includes parental listening. Asking your children questions and engaging in conversation or discussion can be much more effective than a 30 minute monologue.
4) Provide guidelines for your children. Saying no can be very loving. Assist your children in learning how to make good decisions by monitoring their media input, setting dating boundaries and getting to know their friends. Though they may roll their eyes and groan now, they will thank you later.

5) Educate yourself. It is very important for parents to become aware of the media and culture that surround their children. As you learn more about what your children are involved in and what trends are blossoming, you will be better able to answer your children's questions and to counter negative influences they may be dealing with.

6) Let your children know you are always there for them. Make sure that your children know you love them and want them to be comfortable asking you questions. This does not mean watering down the truth in order to make them think you are kinder. In reality, kids will respect you more (and feel more respected) if you hold them to a high standard and speak the truth in love.

7) Use teachable moments. The media offer countless opportunities to discuss sexuality with your children. While incidents like Jamie Lynn Spears' pre-marital pregnancy are not ideal situations, they do offer an excuse to bring the topic of sexuality to the forefront. This is also an opportunity to remind your children that what they see or hear in the media does not always reflect reality. The lives of celebrities are often very different from those of the average teenager.

8) Let your children know that they are not alone. Of junior high students who had Pregnancy Center East's In Control program last year, 77% said they were committed to chastity, 20% were considering a commitment and 3% said they were not interested in chastity. National studies have shown that the majority of high school students are saving sex for marriage and have high opinions of those who are waiting.

9) Teach your children the goodness of sex. If sex was unimportant, then it wouldn't matter when we have it. Because sex is so special, it is meant to be protected within the boundary of marriage. If we were given an heirloom china tea cup from Grandma, would we toss it in the backpack and bring it everywhere or would we put in on a high shelf, wrap it in tissue paper and treat it as the special gift that it is?

10) Pray for your children. No one said it is easy to practice chastity in society, but your children are worth the benefits of this lifestyle and are completely capable of it. Praying for them to have the strength to say no and to realize their inherent dignity is of inestimable value.

What suggestions would you add?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What if?

Thanks to Fr. Kyle Schnippel for posting this on his blog:

So gives Fr. Thomas Euteneuer as the number of potential priests and religious killed by abortion. He cites the statistics in an article on Tim Tebow and his rise to the Heisman Trophy, but also that because of a set of circumstances before he was born, his mother's doctors advised her to have an abortion. The only question that remains: 'What could've been???'

The sports world recently greeted the news that this year’s Heisman Trophy Winner, Tim Tebow from the University of Florida, was almost a casualty of abortion. Twenty-some years ago he was not the strapping 6’3”, 235 lb. beloved sports hero that he is today. At that time he was a one-inch-long unborn child whose existence, because of an amoebic infection, was defined as threat to his mother’s health. Pam Tebow, his mother, was told by a doctor that it would be in her best interests to abort this baby, and she refused. Her husband backed her up on that generous decision, and seven months later they gave birth to a perfectly healthy boy. Little did they know that twenty years later they would be standing on a national stage with a Heisman Trophy winner giving that magnificent witness to life. The world thanks you, Mr. and Mrs. Tebow! There cannot be a more touching Advent story than this.

Why celibacy shows the value of marriage

One of the perks of being a chastity educator are the random inspirations of relevant analogies pertaining to subjects covered in our In Control program. A few weeks ago, I was talking about priests and religious' vow of celibacy on Sacred Heart Radio's Son Rise Morning Show, when one such revelation hit me.

Living celibacy "for the kingdom of heaven," as Pope John Paul II refers to it, does not negate the value of marriage but rather emphasizes it. When we choose to sacrifice something for lent, we give up something meaningful like chocolate (well, chocolate is very meaningful to me). If we were to "give up" Brussel sprouts, though, it wouldn't mean much because there is no sacrifice (at least for me, since I abhor Brussel sprouts).

If celibacy is a sacrifice then it proves the value of sex and marriage. If they weren't special, then giving them up would be meaningless. Instead, men and women who take a vow of celibacy do so to offer up something good in order to point us to something better -- God and our relationship with Him in heaven. They are simultaneously showing us the value of sex and marriage by offering them up to God as a sacrifice out of love.

If sex wasn't important, then celibacy wouldn't be either and vice versa.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Pure Life

Chastity educators Jason and Crystalina Evert host a TV and radio program called, "The Pure Life." I was recently informed about a particular episode that deals with some touch issues, including whether or not abortion in the case of rape is permissible. You can listen to it here. Episode 11 talks about "tough issues."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

If you haven't seen "Bella" ...

Time is running out to see the Toronto Film Festival winning "Bella." Only two theaters in the Cincinnati area are still showing it: Mariemont and Greendale Cinema. I cannot recommend the film enough (I saw it twice) and highly encourage you to catch "Bella" this weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Welcome McNick students!

We enjoyed our time with the freshmen at McNicholas High School this week. Welcome to the blog!

Some of the posts we mentioned in class that you might find of particular interest are:

- The Roe IQ test
- 99 Balloons video

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Victory in Ohio!

From Ohio Right to Life comes exciting news about an ultrasound bill passed on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

December 13, 2007-- Wednesday, December 12, H.B. 314, the Ultrasound Viewing Option Bill, was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on a 72-18 vote. H.B. 314, which is sponsored by Rep. Shannon Jones (R, Springboro, former Dayton Right to Life Board Member), would require that, if an ultrasound examination is performed prior to or during an abortion, the abortionist must give the woman an opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the unborn child and the opportunity to receive a physical picture of the ultrasound image. The bill had been passed by the House Health Committee earlier on December 12.

"We are delighted that the Ohio House has recognized the merit of this common sense pro-life and pro-woman bill", said Denise Mackura, Director and General Counsel of Ohio Right to Life. "Persons who claim to support a 'woman's right to choose' should support the woman's right to see an ultrasound if she chooses. Just as x-rays are commonly shown to patients deciding on surgery, letting a woman see an ultrasound can help her make a more informed choice, and an uninformed choice is no choice at all," Mackura said.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy feast day!

Eat some Mexican food in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn and of the Americas. Also make some time to read the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and why she is a model for the new evangelization.

A few fascinating facts about OLG from the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

1. The image to this date, cannot be explained by science.

2. The image shows no sign of deterioration after 450 years! The tilma or cloak of Saint Juan Diego on which the image of Our Lady has been imprinted, is a coarse fabric made from the threads of the maguey cactus. This fiber disintegrates within 20-60 years!

3. There is no under sketch, no sizing and no protective over-varnish on the image.

4. Microscopic examination revealed that there were no brush strokes.

5. The image seems to increase in size and change colors due to an unknown property of the surface and substance of which it is made.

6. According to Kodak of Mexico, the image is smooth and feels like a modern day photograph. (Produced 300 years before the invention of photography.)

7. The image has consistently defied exact reproduction, whether by brush or camera.

8. Several images can be seen reflected in the eyes of the Virgin. It is believed to be the images of Juan Diego, Bishop Juan de Zummaraga, Juan Gonzales, the interpreter and others.

9. The distortion and place of the images are identical to what is produced in the normal eye which is impossible to obtain on a flat surface.

10. The stars on Our Lady's Mantle coincide with the constellations in the sky on December 12, 1531. All who have scientifically examined the image of Our Lady over the centuries confess that its properties are absolutely unique and so inexplicable in human terms that the image can only be supernatural!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Support Sacred Heart Radio

On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart Radio will be hosting a special pledge drive to assist with next year's programming. You can tune into 740 AM in Cincinnati, OH or listen online. The Son Rise Morning Show will run from 6-9 am. I will be on from 6:30-7:00 am, so coffee will be an essential part of the day!

The programming on Sacred Heart Radio is such a blessing for our area in creating a positive, Catholic culture, and the ministry is well worth supporting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The freedom of waiting

Modestly Yours has been hosting an interesting discussion on the "Pitfalls of Modern Dating." An anonymous poster added the following comment, which I found particularly poignant. I would disagree with her willingness to separate the pro-creative (or openness to new life) aspect from sex, but I don't think this diminishes her point:

"I have a wonderful marriage and a compassionate and caring husband. I slept with him after a month of dating and truly wish that we had waited until marriage. After knowing one another six years and being married for almost three, I am still learning how to treat sex as a means of pleasure and bonding (and eventually procreation).

"The thing is, I long in my heart-of-hearts for our sexual relationship to be about bonding and pleasure. I do believe he has reached that state, but I still have the mind set of being "that woman" who is always putting on the best show so that he will never want to stray. After four years of playing that part when I was his girlfriend, it was hard to change when I became his wife.

"Once I started sleeping with him in college, I subconsciously starting fearing he would leave or look elsewhere. I now struggle with letting go and being myself, not some pin-up. Sex is so much more than what our culture teaches us it is. I have a feeling that deep down other women feel this way to, but they can't search their soul to find out and they fear the idea that their sexual relationships are not as fulfilling as they seem. I didn't see it myself. I am learning, though, and those few times when I do let go and enjoy being with my husband on the most intimate level, our time together is more memorable than any other.

"The thing is, if you wait to have sex until marriage, in the freedom of a lifetime committment already made, there is less pressure to be anyone else but yourself : ) Just my two-cents..."

Friday, December 7, 2007

Quote book

Thanks to Dawn Eden for posting this amazing quote today:

"Christ's way of acting, the Gospel of his words and deeds, is a consistent protest against whatever offends the dignity of women. Consequently, the women who are close to Christ discover themselves in the truth which he 'teaches' and 'does,' even when this truth concerns their 'sinfulness.' They feel 'liberated' by this truth, restored to themselves: they feel loved with 'eternal love,' with a love which finds direct expression in Christ himself."

— Pope John Paul II, "Mulieris Dignitatem" ("On the Dignity and Vocation of Women")

Thursday, December 6, 2007

This just in ...

After the fruitful fall 40 Days for Life campaign ended a month again, organizers began praying and meeting to discuss future plans. Last night they announced their goal of having two nationwide campaigns in 2008. The dates will be February 6-March 16 and September 24-November 2 (coinciding, nicely, with the presidential election). More details can be found at the 40 Days for Life website.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Quote book

“Free to love! Dear young people, who does not want to love and be loved? But to experience sincere love, you must open the door of your heart to Jesus and take the way He marked out with His own life: the way of self-giving. This is the secret to the success of any real call to love, particularly of that call born in a surprising way in an adolescent’s heart which leads to marriage, the priesthood or the consecrated life.” —Witness to Christ Among Your Peers by Pope John Paul II, 1997.

How much do you know about Roe?

As the 35th anniversary of the legalization of abortion through Roe v. Wade draws near (January 22), take a few minutes to test your knowledge about the Supreme Court's decision with the Roe IQ Test. I admit, I got a couple questions wrong. Let me know if you beat my score!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and of the unborn. You can begin a novena to her today (December 4). Here is a novena that conveniently includes themes appropriate to this Advent season as well. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Abstinence today

Abstinence was recently the subject bright and early on The Today Show. Watch the segment here. It's impressive to see young adults speaking out for their decision to say no to premarital sex and yes to chastity on national television.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Quote book

"... it is not true that young people think only of consumerism and pleasure. It is not true that they are materialistic and self-centered. Just the opposite is true: young people want great things. They want an end to injustice. They want inequalities to be overcome and all peoples to have their share in the earth's goods. They want freedom for the oppressed. They want great things, good things." -- Pope Benedict XVI

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well done, good and faithful servant

Congressman Henry Hyde, a champion for life, passed away today. He is well-known for the following quote, which hopefully he is experiencing today:

"When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I've often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God - and a terror will rip your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there'll be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world - and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, 'Spare him, because he loved us,' - and God will look at you and say not, 'Did you succeed?' but 'Did you try?'"

Purity Matters

Head over to Elizabeth Andrew's blog to watch a minute-long video comparing our desire for pure drinking water to the importance of sexual purity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A rising star in Theology of the Body

Exciting news from Rise of the TOB: The blog will expand and include more posts, more contributors and guest writers. This promises to be a great contribution to spreading JPII's Theology of the Body. Read more here.

Thought for the day

While recently reading Pope John's Paul II's Theology of the Body, I came across his expression that one who is used in pornography is turned into "public property." The problems with pornography have been explored (and will continue to be) on this blog, but I found this wording particularly telling.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Killing babies saves the environment?

A friend passed this article along about women who have decided to forgo having children via abortion and sterilization in order to "save" the environment. I was startled by some of the comments:

"I realised then that a baby would pollute the planet - and that never having a child was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do." (Sarah Irving)

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet." (Toni Vernelli)

I'm not sure that I understand how children ruin the environment. If we all refused to be open to life, then who would inhabit the earth anyway? And since when do trees and fresh air have more importance than human life? Isn't the earth here for the use of humans? I don't advocate misusing God's creation, but we have to keep our priorities straight.

My friend Kristen, who sent the article, tried to post this response (last time I checked they hadn't added the comment): "Being a parent is the most unselfish thing you could do in your life. Abortion, contraception, sterilization, etc. are NOT the answer to protecting the planet. Overpopulation is a total myth. Hunger and such problems are not due to overpopulation, rather they are due to those countries that have an abundance of food not adequately sharing with those who don't have enough - Check out - It's great to recycle etc., but please get priorities in order - human life is more valuable than anything else on the planet."

Monday, November 26, 2007

What if the baby is going to die?

We are constantly confronted with well-meaning people asking if abortion is OK if the baby will "die anyway." My answer always includes the question, "How do we know for sure that they will die and does their possible death give their life less meaning?" Here is a wonderful article and video about a girl celebrating her 16th birthday after her mother had been pressured to have an abortion because of poor fetal health.

Make sure to watch the accompanying video (it's on the top right).

Friday, November 23, 2007

Short and sweet

In answer to the perennial question, "How far can I go?" Dawn Eden gave this advice during a Theology on Tap talk in Cincinnati last April: "Aim for expressing affection not arousal."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What I learned about guys and sex

In a previous post, I mentioned that I would share the advice that some of my male friends gave for an 8th grade student who wanted to know how the self-esteem and reputation of teen boys would be affected by sexual activity. Here are some of the things they said in response:

1) Nothing can hurt your self-esteem so much as disappointing yourself. If you know that non-marital sex is wrong and do it to impress others, then you will let yourself down. Your self-image will be poorly affected by this decision more than anything that another person would say to you.

2)If a guy isn't having sex, he's not the only one - there are plenty of virgins out there too. Some may act like they've had sex and sometimes it just isn't true.

3) If a young man makes fun of somebody for being a virgin, he is painfully insecure about his own sexuality.

4) If a young man thinks that he is gaining masculinity by conquering young women, he is actually doing the exact opposite of what he wants.

5) Girls respect guys who respect girls.

6) Reputation: If you stand strong in your life as a chaste virgin, you will be more highly respected in the end.

7) Self esteem: The people who have sex and brag about it are often the ones who have lower self esteem.

8) One of the biggest signs of manhood is COURAGE! Without courage a man is just a coward. No man wants to be a coward. Unfortunately we have many cowards in our society, those who are afraid to be different, to fight for what is true, good and beautiful. When a man stands up for those things in the face of a disagreeing and even mocking crowd, he is a true soldier. THAT is MANhood. One can choose to be a man and be different or one can choose to be a coward and just follow the opinions of the majority.

9) Not everyone is having sex! It may seem like it because that's all the guys talk about in the locker room but guys talk big with little to back it up. So next time your friends get on the subject, tell the what you think about women: They are beautiful and deserve to not be treated as objects. You will be respected by your guy friends by not faltering on this view, and I am sure the girls will be happy to know that someone respects their dignity, even if they don't.

10) Young men and young women are capable of living chastity and are worth it!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Original Man: Original Unity

It's been awhile since we have taken a closer look at Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. About a month ago we looked at the concept of "original solitude." This leads us into the idea of "original unity."

Adam knew that he was different from the other animals and that he could not find his fulfillment in them. After God noted, "It is not good that the man should be alone," (Genesis 2:18), He "caused torpor to fall upon the man, who fell asleep; then he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh again in its place. With the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he formed a woman" (Genesis 2:21-22). The Holy Father notes that Adam went to sleep dreaming of his future bride.

When he awoke, Adam exclaimed at the sight of Eve, "This time she is flesh from my flesh and bone from my bones" (Genesis 2:23). Adam sees in Eve a person to whom he can give a total gift of himself, and who in turn, can completely give of herself to him. Their bodies are literally created to go together.

Here is perhaps the most important part: "Man becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion" (TOB, 163). What JPII is saying is that the marital love is an image of the Trinity. How so? Well, in the Trinity, we have God the Father and God the Son who love each other so totally, that their love results in a third Person -- the Holy Spirit. With a married couple, we have a husband and wife who love each other so completely that nine months later you may have to give that love a name. If they are open to life, their love may be manifested in the gift of a third person -- a baby.

In a Vatican II document, "Gaudium et Spes," the Church said that only by sincerely giving a gift of oneself can one discover himself. When man and woman were created, they realized that they were created as a gift from God in order to be a gift to another. Thousands of years later, and with the introduction of sin, we still are created as a gift from God in order to be a gift to others. We can give a sincere gift of self in many ways (volunteer work, helping around the house, praying for others) but the way which most closely images the Trinity (though it's still a long, long way form adequately expressing the life of God) is through married sex.

The Philosophy of the Body

Dr. Peter Colosi, a professor at Franciscan University (my alma mater!), recently gave a presentation about Pope John Paul II's theology of the body to a Theology on Tap event in Buffalo, NY. If you're not familiar, Theology on Tap consists of Catholic talks given to young adults in bars.

Dr. Colosi focuses on the philosophy behind JPII's theology of the body. He uses lots of practical examples, which make it easy to understand, even for non-philosophical people like me. You can download the lecture for free from iTunes. After you click on the iTunes link, choose the talk: "Top Shelf: Theology of the Body Unwrapped."

This was one of my favorite points: Dr. Colosi quotes a woman who said, "God does not care what we do with our bodies; He only wants us to respect each other as persons."

He answers with, "How odd is the view of so many people today who will be hurt by a sneer or a slap, or consoled by a hug, and in the next breath, think or say that sex, which is a much deeper physical expression, is incapable of touching their very person."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Prayer Request

Someone at church handed me a paper that said the following,

"In 1571 Pope Pius V called Catholics to pray the rosary for the outnumbered Christian fleet against the Muslims in the Battle of Lepanto. Mary, Help of Christians won the battle for them through the recitation of the rosary.

"You are encouraged to pray the rosary on the 4th of every month from Nov. 4, 2007-Nov. 4, 2008. This is for the 2008 elections (Presidential and Congressional), for the conversion of America, and for a change of heart for the terrorists. We are in a battle for truth, family values, attacks on Christianity, pro-life, modesty, peace, etc. Prayer is our 'weapon' in these battles. Please mark your calendars and join in praying on the 4th for the next 12 months."

99 Balloons

Watch this video, called "99 Balloons." It is a beautiful depiction of the gift of life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Teen boys and sex

Recently an 8th grade boy commented that sexually active teen boy's reputations and self-esteem are boosted by sex. Nicole and I have been asking the opinions of some of our male friends (stay tuned for another post), but I also looked into studies that show otherwise.

1) Teen boys who are "sexually active are more than twice as likely to be depressed as those who are not sexually active." (Heritage Foundation)

2) "Sexually active teenage boys are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than are boys who are not sexually active." (Heritage Foundation)

3) "Sexually active boys aged 12-16 are four times more likely to smoke and six times more likely to use alcohol than are those who described themselves as virgins." (Pediatrics Magazine)

As much as our culture says that sex proves manhood, at our very heart we know this isn't true. I'll post more later, but for now, ponder this: True manhood is not proved by sexual promiscuity but by self-control, courage and the strength to stand up for sexual purity.

Eduardo on movies, faith and pressure

"Bella" star Eduardo Verastegui's interview with Neil Cavuto is worth watching. Other interviews are available as well.

It's refreshing to see positive role models in the media.

Monday, November 12, 2007

There's still time to see Bella!

Don't miss your chance to see the incredible film, "Bella," which Nicole has already written about. It should be in Cincinnati until Thursday. I hope you are able to see it! If you do watch the film, then post a comment to let us know what you thought (without giving anything away for those who haven't seen it yet).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chastity is a yes

This morning I was listening to Sacred Heart Radio's new SonRise Morning Show, when I was excited to hear Brian Butler, the co-author of Theology of the Body for Teens. Brian offered an insightful analogy about why chastity is saying yes to love, more than it is about saying no. He said that when he got married he did not take a vow to not be involved with 3 billion women on the earth. Instead he made a vow to one woman, his wife. Consequently, through this vow, he was inferring that he was saying no to the billions of other women on the planet.

Brian explained Pope John Paul II's insights well with this analogy: Chastity is primarily saying yes to love and yes to God's plan for sexuality. As a consequence of saying yes to one thing, we must say no to other things (sexual activity outside of marriage, pornography, dressing immodestly, etc.). Brian was focused on his yes to his wife. Similarly, if we look at chastity as a positive virtue, our pursuit of true love in God's plan will lead us to make the no's that are necessary.


So, the word is finally official... Bella will be here in Cincinnati THIS WEEKEND November 9-11. Only three different theaters will be showing it: National Amusement in Springdale, AMC at Newport on the Levee, and REGAL in Deerfield Twp. and you can buy online ahead of time. Pregnancy Center East will be co-hosting the 5:50 pm showing at Newport on the Levee, Saturday, November 10th. If you would like to be pre-buy a ticket for the showing you can contact Pregnancy Center East at 513-321-3100 until 4pm on Friday. I know this is short notice, but this is very exciting news, so please spread the word!!! More locations are being added everyday, so if you are not from Cincinnati, find a theatre near you and support BELLA!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The problem with porn

This blog has already highlighted some of the many problems with pornography, but another issue was highlighted on the front page of today's Cincinnati Enquirer. Without going into graphic detail, a rapist who is awaiting sentencing in Cincinnati was just discovered to have had child pornography on his computer. The porn actually depicted some of the same things he did to teenage girls.

As Dr. Mary Ann Layden from the University of Pennsylvania said --“I have been treating sexual violence victims and perpetrators for 13 years. I have not treated a single case of sexual violence that didn’t involve pornography.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

Is pro-choice, pro-abortion?

C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, used to talk about verbicide (the killing of words). The basic concept is that we use words that typically have another meaning to “sugarcoat” new concepts (eg. “gay” used to mean happy but now means actively homosexual). So, we now say pro-choice to sugarcoat being pro-abortion.

The only choice we are talking about in this instance is the choice to have an abortion. I think everyone should be pro-choice in the sense that we all want choices – what am I going to eat, what should I wear, which movie do I want to watch – but when we say pro-choice we are only advocating the ability to make one particular choice, regarding abortion.

What does freedom really mean? Surprisingly, freedom isn’t doing whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want. Freedom, instead, is the ability to choose the good. For example, if I have a car that runs only on unleaded gas, but I feel suppressed by such a condition that I decide to use diesel instead, how “free” will I feel when my car is unable to move? True freedom would be the ability to freely choose to buy the unleaded gas, which in the end will allow me to accomplish much more than the diesel would. Over the summer, a local teenager drove a car that crashed. He had the freedom to obey the speed limit or not. By not choosing what was good, his “freedom” (in the let-me-do-whatever-I-want-sense) resulted in the death of two other teens.

So, is choosing abortion freedom? To answer that, we would have to look at whether or not abortion is good. I would argue that it is not good on four counts:

1) It ends the life of the child, whose life has begun at the moment of fertilization.

2) It destroys the emotional (and sometimes physical) health of the mother. (See and; also – this was written by a friend of mine)

3) It is emotionally damaging to the father. (See above links)

4) It is destructive of society, which has a lower respect for life in general and does not have the blessing of those 47 million people who God created for a reason.

What good could supporting the choice of abortion do? It seems like a quick fix, but after sidewalk counseling in front of abortion clinics and talking to many women who have had an abortion, I know that it doesn’t fix anything. In fact, it just creates more problems, physically and emotionally. In my time outside of abortion clinics, I have seen women cry, scream, become physically violent and even be carried out of the abortion clinic in a stretcher. After experiences like this, I have encountered face-to-face that abortion does not make someone’s life easy. Of course, adoption and parenting are not easy decisions either, but they are decisions that a woman can live with.

This plays a huge role in why we do the In Control program – we don’t want anyone to be put in this situation to begin with. If someone is facing an unexpected pregnancy, then we can reach out to them in love by helping them to find options that are truly loving and life-giving. True freedom would give these women the ability to freely choose the good – life.

Think back to the legalization of slavery or during the Holocaust. Would anyone today say that it would have been OK to be “pro-choice” in supporting slavery or the Holocaust? Doubtfully. We recognize that those things were horribly wrong and we can’t even imagine someone saying that it would be OK if it was someone else’s choice.

I was able to go to Poland last year. Standing in the Auschwitz concentration camp I could not believe what a horrible place it was. Another girl from my school told me that maybe a reason God had me there was to share with others the similarity of the acceptance of evil during the Holocaust and the acceptance of the evil of abortion. I read a book about the Holocaust in which one man was quoted as saying that the reason he got involved in standing against the work of Hitler was because he couldn’t imagine his future grandchildren asking him what he did to stop the evil, if his answer would be, “Nothing.” I think the same is true today.

Saying, I’m against abortion but I’m pro-choice is like saying, I’m against parents shooting their teenagers, but I’m for the choice of other parents to shoot their teenagers if they get frustrated with them." If killing babies through abortion is wrong, then it can never be right. Therefore, being "pro-choice" is being "pro-abortion."

Finding Mr. Right

Wendy Shalit, author of Return to Modesty and Girls Gone Mild, received an interesting facebook message after speaking in Pittsburgh. A young man, Joe Muir, sent Wendy what he would have said at the primarily female attended event. His comments give us something interesting to think about. Here is the final paragraph:

"I am definitely in the minority tonight, being but one of a very few men here, amongst this sea of beautiful women, women not content to buy the lie from society regarding where their beauty lies. I want to thank all of you for being here, and encourage all of you continue doing what do. I also want to encourage each of you to never, ever settle for second best in a relationship, as you deserve the best. It is far better to not be in a relationship, wishing you were in one, than to actually be in one, wishing you weren't. Be willing, I pray you, to be single for the rest of your life, if that's what it takes to not settle for second best; as that would be far better than marrying a man who cannot love you."

Make sure to read the whole post.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy All Saints Day!

On this day when we celebrate all of the saints, you may want to read about some saints who are known for their commitment to chastity:
St. Augustine (He recommitted to chastity after a life of sexual promiscuity)

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (who is pictured to the right)

St. Raphael (an archangel who is patron of finding your spouse)
Let us ask for the saints' intercession as we strive for purity in our lives.

How far is too far?

This seems to be the most popular question. Jason Evert gives an excellent answer.

A related topic is whether or not french kissing is a good idea. Again, Jason Evert provides some great food for thought, including this:
"Nevertheless, some say that French kissing is really no big deal and does not mean anything. But isn’t there something in you that wants it to be a big deal? The more of ourselves we give away, the less we value the gift of our body and our entire self (and people will respond by treating us with less respect as well). Ask yourself what your kisses are worth. Are they a way to repay a guy for a nice evening? Are they a solution to boredom on a date? Are they a way to cover up hurts or loneliness? Even worse, are they merely for 'harmless' fun? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we have forgotten the purpose of a kiss and the meaning of intimacy. So do not segregate parts of your sexuality as 'no big deal.' Your entire body is an infinitely big deal, and this includes your kisses. If we realize this, the simplest of kisses becomes priceless and brings more joy than one hundred one-night stands."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Interesting slogan

The winner of Students for Life of America's t-shirt contest was just announced. Ashley Tyndall, a college student and pro-life advocate attending UNC-Chapel Hill submitted the slogan: "A woman has the right to her body, even if she's still in the womb."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Original Man: original solitude

As much as we toss around the phrase, "theology of the body," you may be wondering what exactly we are talking about. In a previous post, I explained the basic concept (how our bodies reveal God).

The first thing that Pope John Paul II does is to turn to the beginning, before original sin, to determine what God's original plan was for our lives. There are several points he makes, which I will explain in future posts.

The first concept he addresses is called "original solitude." We read in the second creation account (Genesis 2) that when God created Adam in His own image and likeness, Adam was alone. From this experience of "original solitude" Adam learns that he is different from the animals. He has a different relationship with God, he can reason with his intellect and he can make choices due to the gift of free will.

When Adam looks at the animals around him, he can see he is different. When he looks at himself, he can tell that not everything about him is visible (intellect and will, for example). So, Adam's body reveals something about himself. Through his body, he realizes his different relationship with God and his difference from the animals. They cannot fulfill him. He experiences a sense of solitude through this experience.

As Adam searches for his meaning in life, God creates a "helper fit for him," who we know as Eve. This will lead us to the concept of "original unity." But that will be another post.

For now, just know that through Adam's solitude, we know that we are different from the animals, and that our relationship with God is special. Ponder this: YOU are made in God's image and likeness!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stories of silence

Read accounts from across the country about the fruitfulness of the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. Here's one example:

"Well, I'm older than most of the people who took part in this event. I will be 25 on Sunday and I really wish this would have been going on when I was in school. I run an online group for pro-life and I'm highly educated in all aspects of abortion. I went to Walmart today with my husband and our 7 month old daughter, and let me tell you, I got some looks. However, there was a young girl who seriously wanted to talk to me because she had found out she was pregnant very recently. Her parents were outraged and wanted her to have an abortion. Her boyfriend had left her and accused her of cheating on him and she saw a shirt that I wearing about being pro-life and was asking about the duct tape. I had to talk to her in hopes of talking her out of having an abortion. She was very naive about the whole process, which I have come to find out, that most women are. I told her about some websites where she could research abortion and I explained it to her myself. I also gave her my phone number, and she just called me!! She was crying and told me there was no way she could ever do that to her baby and she was going to keep it! I couldn't believe it. Never in my life has anything like that happened."
-- Natasha Martin

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rise of the TOB

In our abbreviation-crazed society, TOB stands for Theology of the Body, the incredible teaching on sexuality that Pope John Paul II gave us. Check out Nolan Reynolds blog, Rise of the TOB for some great TOB insights from a young man who is excited about JPII's awesome gift. He has a wonderful list of recommended reading and a cool graphic too (but Blogger isn't allowing me to upload the image right now, so you'll have to visit the blog to check it out).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bella... true love goes beyond romance

It seems as if knowledge of the movie Bella is at either end of the spectrum. Either you have a personal countdown for its opening on your desk, are part of 15 facebook "support Bella" groups, and are linked to 3 different websites for e-mail updates while simultaneously arranging for a showing in your own town... or you say, "Bella... isn't that Italian for beautiful???". Well, I am one of the former, and the exciting news is that Bella is coming to Cincinnati! It is reported to be opening here on November 9th, but besides that my knowledge is limited. As soon as I know more, I will be sure to post an update.

As for other cities, opening dates as well as the trailer are listed on the official Bella site as well as more information on the movie. I have had the privilege of seeing it already and can tell you it is a life-changing movie that speaks of both true love and the preciousness of human life. It is a wonderful pro-life movie in an industry that rarely promotes good values, so please, support Bella in a city near you!

What is it like to take RU-486?

RU-486 is a chemical form of abortion that is taken in the earlier weeks of pregnancy. One brave mother recently spoke out about her experience with the drug. Take the time to read it and learn why women deserve better than abortion.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good news for a change

We often focus on the bad news in our society and dwell on depressing thoughts when it comes to the reception of our values in the world. How refreshing it is, then, to read daily updates from the 40 Days for Life campaign, of hearts changed, lives saved and communities educated. I cannot encourage you enough to sign up to receive these daily updates and prayer/meditations. Nearly every day I come away from reading these e-mails with a tear in my eye or a smile on my face. You can read the past updates or sign up for the new ones on the 40 Days for Life website.

All I want for Christmas

In case you are looking for some ideas for your Christmas list, below is a list of materials we have found interesting and informative:

1) Pure of Heart -- This CD set from Jason Evert is quite possibly the best presentation on chastity and purity I have ever heard. Jason utilizes the testimony of himself and others, saints' quotes, Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, common sense and a variety of other tools to explain purity (particularly the problem with pornography) in a way that particularly targets men.

2) God's Plan for You: Life, Love, Marriage and Sex -- David Hajduk breaks down JPII's Theology of the Body in a way that relates to teens.

3) If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions On Dating, Relationships, And Sexual Purity -- This is the best summary of the most common questions on sexuality and chastity related topics. Jason Evert, a renowned chastity educator, answers each question thoughtfully and concisely, often drawing in humor and easily understood analogies.

4) Pro-Life, modesty and chastity apparel is available in some awesome designs. I highly recommend Stand True's store.

This is just a short list for now. What resources would you recommend?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The nature of birth control, Part II

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the two "Your Voice" columns in the Cincinnati Enquirer replying to my op-ed were both written by men who advocated the use of birth control. With perfect timing, just to prove my point that not all men are sex-obsessed creatures, a reply written by a local father appeared today. You can read it here: It's not every day you read about Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body in the secular newspaper!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The nature of birth control

A week or two ago I posted a link to an op-ed piece I wrote for the Cincinnati Enquirer in response to a woman advocating lower birth control prices for low income or college women. Since the article was printed, several other letters to the editor and op-ed pieces have been printed. The letters to the editor have agreed with my response that chastity is the true answer.

However, there have been two longer "Your Voice" articles that have challenged my arguments. As I read the second one today, I couldn't help but marvel that both of these challenges were written by men. Today's writer expressed doubt that women are disrespected by the use of birth control. That's easy for him to say, I thought.

A few years ago I participated in a 1,300 mile pro-life walk in the Northeast. In Boston, I saw a young man holding a "Keep Abortion Legal" sign. Attached to his lapel was a little pin that said, "I (heart) pro-choice women." Really.

If a girl is taking birth control, then the guy knows that he most probably will not father a child, thus relieving a major consequence of pre-marital sex. The girl doesn't become a mother and the guy gets what he wants.

Pope John Paul II said the opposite of love is not hate but use. We can never use another person if we truly love them. To separate sex from its life-giving nature is to treat sex as a tool merely for pleasure. Ultimately this means we are using the other person to get what we want, instead of loving them as a fellow person.

I'm not saying all men have these bad intentions. In fact, I know many men who respect women more than they often respect themselves. In our culture, however, I believe we have attempted to make men feel that they are supposed to use women. Women seem to expect it, and men often think it's the role they are supposed to fulfill. On the contrary, men are called to protect and defend women. What's more, they are capable of doing so.

Promoting birth control continues the stereotype that men are only after sex. Women are simultaneously reduced to sexual objects. God created sex to be something so much more beautiful than a mechanism for pleasure. When looked at according to His plan, we can see that we deserve so much better than to be used. We were created to be loved.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How to say yes to chastity

We have been working on a new high school brochure for our chastity program. Below is a sneak peek of what we've been working on:

How To Say Yes To Chastity
It may seem nearly impossible to save sexual activity for marriage in today’s world. Here are some tips to help you:
1) Pray for God’s grace and guidance.
2) Make good dating decisions: Date in groups or in public places and set your standards ahead of time.
3) Say no to pornography, which trains you to treat others as sexual objects.
4) Talk to your potential boyfriend or girlfriend about your commitment to saving sex for marriage before or early on in your relationship.
5) Dress and speak in a way that communicates that you are worth much more than just your sexuality.
6) Talk to like-minded friends about your commitment to chastity. Having an accountability partner is an awesome way to help you maintain your standards.
7) Avoid things that might tempt you to have sex: Alcohol, drugs, laying down together
8) Remember: Opposites never attract (or last) when it comes to values.
9) Make a list of why you’re waiting and review it from time to time.
10) Remind yourself that you are capable of waiting until marriage and you deserve someone waiting for you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Support a good cause while you surf

Next time you are about to google something, type in You will still accomplish your google search, while simultaneously supporting pro-life organizations just by the click of the mouse.

Quote book

"When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph." - St. Josemaria Escriva

In your words

Pure Love Club has asked teens why they are choosing chastity. Some of their answers are posted here: If you are feeling discouraged or need some inspiration, read some of these answers as a reminder that you are not alone.

Monday, October 8, 2007

And this one's for the girls ...

Check out One More Soul's list of tips for young women to command the respect they deserve:

20 ways for young men to become real men

Check out this awesome list from One More Soul:

Day of Silent Solidarity

If you have been searching for a way to stand up for the lives of the unborn, then the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity is the opportunity for which you have been waiting. On October 23, students from across the nation will wear red duct tape on their arm or their mouth to signify their decision to give up their voice for a day in honor of the unborn who have no voice.

There is no charge for participating. Last year thousands of schools were involved in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity.

Bryan Kemper, founder of Stand True Ministries, which organizes the event, said he doesn’t want students to be legalistic about their silence. Instead, if an opportunity to talk about one’s convictions for life arises, it is better to take advantage of the situation.

A participant in last year’s Silent Day said, “I spoke to about six or seven pregnant girls and about four of them told me that they were thinking about getting abortions, but after we talked they changed their minds. It was just an awesome day.”

Check out for more information, flyers to distribute to explain your silence and a list of participating schools. If your school is not listed, go ahead and sign them up!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

How long is it worth the wait?

I was reading an article from the Paly Voice about Palo Alto High School students who have become infected with sexually transmitted diseases (, and was rather taken aback that condom promotion seemed to be the goal. Here we have several teenagers agonizing over their STDs, being told that a condom could have solved their problem.

According to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (, condoms provide roughly a 50% decreased risk for the majority of STDs. However, when it comes to HPV, there has been no proven decreased risk.

What struck me the most in the article was this comment from a high school student: "It's hard to say that you have to use a condom every time, especially when you are in a committed relationship," Alex said. "But I am not willing to risk her or my safety, so it's really worth waiting that extra ten seconds to get a condom."

Worth ten seconds? Isn't it worth so much more than that, Alex? If you really value your girlfriend and don't want to risk her physical, emotional or spiritual health then why not wait until you have pledged that love to one another in marriage? Waiting ten seconds doesn't say much; waiting until marriage bespeaks a profound love and true commitment.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Now, I don't like to use the word "protection" when it comes to contraceptives. Really, the protection they provide, if any, is more of a decreased risk in certain circumstances. Yet, there is no protection from the emotional, spiritual, etc. side effects that result from premarital sex. So, that is my take, but what are the condom companies saying?...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Modesty as freedom

This is a wonderful post on Modesty Zone's blog about one woman's realization, sparked by Stacey and Clinton, that the way she dresses allows her to be more respected and to enjoy true freedom:

Monday, September 17, 2007

40 Days for Life update

Unfortunately the 40 Days for Life campaign, which I recently wrote about, will not be taking place in Cincinnati. However, don't let this deter you from praying and fasting on your own. You will still be in solidarity with thousands of people from across the country.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If she's willing to do it...

In his new Pure of Heart CD set, Jason Evert lists ten arguments people use to justify the use of pornography, from "sex is natural" to "if she is willing to be in pornography, why is it wrong?". As to the last objection Evert continues, posing the question as to how we know if the women in pornography actually freely and willingly participate. He moves on to speak about an interview with Pamela Anderson where she comments on her first time posing for Playboy. Scrolling through the Larry King Live archives (which I would not necessarily recommend) I came across the interview...

ANDERSON: I remember the first time I worked with "Playboy," my first cover, October '89.
I was in tears. I was afraid they were going to see something. That obviously changed rather quickly. I lost my modesty. But I loved doing "Playboy."

KING: Is it tough to pose nude?

ANDERSON: It was at the beginning. And then I just felt--you know, I just felt like there was nothing wrong with it. It was just a state of mind, and it was a very freeing experience for me. I was very shy.

If the pornography industry was for the women involved the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition or a dream job, would the normal reaction be, "I was in tears"? Even Pamela Anderson was once a shy, modest young girl, not wanting to start down the path in life Playboy laid before her. So, how did it come to this? Society has become an expert at watering things down, gradually wearing away at our consciences. How often do we compare ourselves to one who has a "greater sin" to validate our own wrongdoing, and how often do we want to push the envelope, always wanting to know exactly how much we can get away with. In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis says,

But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy [God]. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

Earlier in the interview, Anderson had spoken of the abuse and violence in her family and past relationships... so, do we leave her there, with the hurt from her past, willing to take from her what we can simply because she is in some remote way "willing" to do so? As JP II said in Love & Responsibility, "The great achievement is always to see the values that others don't see and to affirm them. The even greater achievement is to bring out of people the values that would perish without us."

I think Christ is calling us to something much greater, where we search not for ways to avoid culpability, but ways to love. So, whether she is willing or not is not exactly the point that should even be addressed. We should be modeling ourselves after Christ, looking to see what will form us into better people striving for heaven, and not looking to see where things rank on the sin scale.

B16 on the most basic human right

Pope Benedict XVI was in Austria last weekend. As the rain poured down, the Holy Father reminded the crowds of the most basic human right: the right to life. Click here to read a brief summary of his address concerning abortion and euthanasia:

Too good to fit in a top ten list

Click here to read Dawn Eden's 10 1/2 Reasons to be Chaste:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fighting for our generation

Ever wonder what the point of praying outside of an abortion clinic is? Watch Bryan Kemper explain the value of YOU taking a stand to end abortion: It's well worth the three minutes it takes to watch the video.

Standing for Life

An awesome opportunity to stand for the dignity of all human life is coming to cities throughout the country -- including Cincinnati! Check out to learn more about the prayer campaign and 24-hour vigils that will be taking place outside of abortion facilities from September 26-November 4.

If you have never done something to speak up for the lives of the unborn, now is your chance to join thousands of Americans in showing the nation that the babies' lives deserve to be protected.

Modesty is always the best policy

I learned about this story from Dawn Eden ( Apparently, a 23 year old woman, Kyla Ebbert, was asked to wear more modest clothing on her flight with Southwestern Airlines ( The flight attendant pulled the woman aside and informed her that her clothing was inappropriate for the airline's family values. Ebbert didn't have a change of clothing with her and didn't want to buy something for the trip, so she promised to adjust her sweater and skirt to cover a tad more skin. Finally, the flight attendant agreed to her compromise. Ebbert said she was so embarrassed that she requested a blanket during the flight to cover herself.

I think it's quite admirable that a male flight attendant would have the courage to ask this young lady to dress more appropriately. Instead of using this as a crusade for revealing clothing, as Ebbert is doing, I wish she would look at this situation as an opportunity to lead her to better respect herself. Too often, young ladies today don't realize their incredible value, and they dress to draw more attention to their bodies, thinking this is the only value they have. On the contrary, by dressing in a manner that respects oneself, others are allowed to more clearly see the person's value in more ways than just physically. Ultimately, don't we want people to be attracted to us because of our talents, sense of humor, intelligence and other aspects, in addition to how we look?

Maybe Ms. Ebbert will one day realize that perhaps the Southwest Airlines flight attendant was not only enforcing a policy, but also helping her to realize that her body should be treated as something precious, not a cheap commodity.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Theology ... Body ... What?!

Perhaps you have heard the phrase, "Theology of the Body" and wondered what in the world these two terms could possibly have in common. Pope John Paul II spent his first five years as pope explaining this phrase during his weekly Wednesday audiences in Rome. In all, he spent 129 Wednesdays developing this unique look at the human person.

So what does, "Theology of the Body" really mean? Well, theology is the study of God, so this phrase means the study of God, revealed through our bodies. The way God created us, particularly how He created us male and female, actually tells us a lot about God. It also tells us a lot about ourselves, and why God created sex. More will be posted here to explain JPII's awesome work and what it means for teens.

For now, check out these awesome books: Theology of the Body for Teens ( and God's Plan for You: Life, Love, Marriage and Sex (

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Freedom Writers

Over the weekend I was able to rent the movie, "Freedom Writers." I watched it with a friend, and we noted how the attitude of Erin Gruwell's fellow teachers and administration was remarkably similar to that of the advocates of "safe" or "safer" sex: Teenagers are going to do it anyway, so why should we expect anything different? In the movie, they weren't talking about sex, they were referring to studying and receiving an education, but the attitude is the same. Erin Gruwell, the main character, is a teacher who believes her students are worth more and are capable of more. She challenges them and gives them the tools they need to succeed.

This is the same attitude chastity educators seek to convey. We want you to know that you are worth more than the media and society thinks you are. We know that you can save sexual activity until marriage, and that, in the end, it will be far better than the cheap substitute of sex before marriage.

It was encouraging to see what Erin Gruwell was able to accomplish in the "Freedom Writers" (which is a true story). True respect of others sends a powerful message.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Awesome quote!

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something Great with your lives, the will to follow an idea, the Refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal."

-- Pope John Paul II