There are several things I’ve been wanting to post about for a while now, but I’m just getting around to it now. Here are a few of those “several things”.
Exposing the Truth about Pornography
Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington (Virginia) has a must-read column titled “Letters from Teens about Pornography”, in which he includes excerpts from dozens of letters he has received from teenagers in response to a pastoral letter he wrote last year titled, Bought With a Price: Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God. Bishop Loverde’s column begins:
Recently I have been hearing a lot about pornography. The mail I have received on this issue from Catholics and others around the country gives me hope, even as it confirms the gravity of the threat this scourge poses to us all. Here is what one high school senior wrote in response to my recent pastoral letter, â€œBought With a Price: Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of Godâ€: â€œThis degradation of society has been so gradual that I had become numb to the immorality that currently surrounds the teenage person. The letter allowed me to realize that I had already grown so accustomed to the material that I no longer viewed it as pornography.â€ Dozens of letters like this â€” responding to the subtle yet aggressive rise in our cultureâ€™s permissiveness with regard to pornography â€” have arrived from around the country since I wrote â€œBought With a Price.â€ Some letters have brought me to tears; others have filled me with anger at the pornography industry and sorrow at our own human condition, so prone to sin, with the result that we unfortunately even tolerate this evil. Still other letters have brought hope, as I have learned of the resolve of many to seek real change, the sacrament of confession, accountability and professional healing. Jesus taught in the Temple as a young man, and in the following excerpted letters, you will hear the voices of our youth and young adults teaching us today. Their words â€” at once humbling, shocking, and hopeful â€” merit our attention.
Yes, they do. Read the whole thing.
Students See Life in the Womb
Last week, McDonell Central Catholic High School in Chippewa Falls, WI celebrated Respect Life Month with an assembly featuring three babies in utero, all at different stages of development, live on ultrasound. The local newspaper interviewed some McDonell students for a story on the assembly:
McDonell freshman Brittany Steiger had never seen an ultrasound before Friday. â€œIt was interesting to see the different stages and the change,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s pretty amazing.â€ Senior Rachel Krumenauer echoed her sentiments. â€œIt was absolutely amazing,â€ she said. Krumenauer wants those who believe babies arenâ€™t human until birth to know otherwise. â€œFrom the time of conception, it is an actual person, and God puts a soul into babies once they are conceived. It would be really wrong for them to have an abortion and not give a child a chance to live.â€
A couple years ago, I was invited to give a talk on abortion at an all boys’ school. For this talk, I was asked to include some material on the effects of abortion on men. I had somewhat of a hard time preparing for it, as there simply hasn’t been a lot of research done in this area. The National Organization for Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing (NOPARH) is hoping to change that. Later this month in San Francisco, they’re sponsoring the Reclaiming Fatherhood conference to examine the often overlooked effects of abortion on men. More information and online registration are available here. NOPARH was founded by Vicki Thorn, who gave an excellent talk at our TeenSpeak conference earlier this year. She is one of the most knowledgeable, compassionate, and down to earth people I’ve ever met in the pro-life movement. I’m sure that this conference she and her staff are her organizing will be excellent.
Bryan Kemper speaks at the “We’re Here for Life” Rally in Aurora October 27 [Photo by Sylvia Keppel]
“The Simple Faith of a Little Girl in Aurora, IL”
I walked down the side of the building where a group of women were praying as their children sat on the sidewalk with chalk. I started to read what the children were writing and it warmed my heart. The kids were writing prayers and messages to people walking by. They were writing about how Jesus loved the little babies that were going to die and wanted them to live. I walked down the road and noticed one little girl who had proclaimed in pink chalk. “God will close this place”. I sat and watched her as I realized that in her heart she believed this 100%. There was no question about it, she knew that God was bigger than Planned Parenthood and He was going to close this killing center down. She had faith like I wish I could have some times. She did not despair, she just knew that through Christ we would win this battle.