Wednesday, January 08, 2003

How to fight the Culture of Death

I was flipping through channels on the TV the other day, and happened to catch a few minutes of MTV's "The [Un]Real World." One of the girls has gotten herself pregnant, and they showed one of the other young ladies who said "I got pregnant once, but I didn't have the baby. I wasn't ready to be a mother." This got me thinking of how we could fight this battle, and I think I have part of the solution: teach about the Gospel of Life to freshmen in high school or to seventh and eighth graders, especially to the girls.

See, at that age, the girls are just starting to pay attention to sexual matters, but they are still young enough to have the healthy human affection for babies. Furthermore, they have not yet been hardened by years of sexual immorality. The girl on the MTV show is a women of "loose morals," which, added to her physical attractiveness, is the whole reason she is on that voyeuristic show. She has developed a crust of denial--abortion must be OK because otherwise her whole pattern of sexual behavior must be wrong. To deny the good of abortion she would have to deny her whole pattern of moral behavior, which is quite difficult to do, and requires much grace. But the girls around 12 to 14 years old are hopefully not to this stage yet. This is an ideal window.

What we need to do, I think, is to present real "sex ed" to them. Not the nuts-and-bolts "safe sex" and how-to versions of sex education, but an authentic sexual education. Perhaps it would be better to call it "Love education," in the Greek sense of "Agape" or total self-giving love. Teach them about what real love is, and the nature of a true union of souls that comes about in a good marriage. Then show them just how modern sexual practices are destructive of even the possibility for true married love. Say things like "Do you want to grow up to get divorced?" "Ummm, nope." "Then follow the Church's teachings on contraception. If you are faithful to God, you are almost certain of having a lasting marriage." Teach them at this age about NFP, and how it is done. The world is telling them all about condoms and the Pill (their doctors are probably prescribing birth-control to them already, to relieve cramps); we need to tell them the only morally acceptable option.

Talk to them about the amazing, miraculous fact that men and women can cooperate with God in bringing a new immortal soul into the world. Then say how these precious images of God are not safe in the womb, and can be killed any time before birth--most high school students think that abortion is only legal in the first trimester. Finally, give details of the killing methods. Girls at this age are still in the "babies are so cute" phase and not yet in the "but my sexual freedom requires fetuses to be killed" stage. By talking frankly about abortion, we can perhaps keep them from ever getting to that second stage.

The enemies of life are clever enough to know that they must get to them young. We need to be more clever than the enemy, as clever as serpents but as simple as doves, as Jesus says.

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