Sin No Laughing Matter… But Is THIS How To Teach Cleverly About Purity?

 

Comment: 

It’s nearly impossible not to see the funny side of much of Jason’s talk.  Easy to see why teenagers would thoroughly enjoy his lectures. Still,  certain “givens” cause concern; should Catholics be accepting of, for example, “dating” in High School?  That’s just one of many reservations which I have about the above speaker but, hey, I can be something of a prude compared to what most people think is normal and harmless these days. And Jason is very likeable – we have to give him that.  Students will love him.  No question about it. 

A teacher friend responded to my concerns by emailing: I stand by the Jason Evert material because he gets through to the pupils in their idiom while remaining faithful to Christ.  His personal struggle with lust and his conversion are a good example to them.

I tend to think that clear teaching about Original Sin, which has caused us to have a particular weakness or inclination to commit sexual sin, ought to cancel the need for explicit personal examples, but, as I say, I  may be out on a limb with this one.

So, let’s have YOUR opinion, as parents, teachers, or simply Joe & Josephine Bloggs.  Key question:  would you be happy if your children – early teenagers or university students – were present at this kind of talk/lesson?

And remember to give reason(s) for your answer 😀   

35 responses

  1. The fact that the speaker “looked to the writings of Saint Pope John Paul the Great” to learn about the right attitude to sex, told me all needed to know about this presentation very early on. Yes, I can see how he would appeal to young people because of his humour, funny faces, etc, but that’s all the more reason why he’s dangerous, IMHO.

    I couldn’t believe it when he started recommending the Christopher West books at the end – West being a well known pusher of John Paul’s Theology of the Body. It’s been a long time since I’ve read or heard of West, and so I Googled to find some facts that I could post here, and I selected a couple from a website that gives a list of people supporting West/Theology of the Body and another list of those who don’t support it, so here are a couple listed as critics:-

    Father Jose Granados:

    ‘It is highly inadequate and open to serious misunderstanding to say that John Paul II took the sexual revolution a step further. For the principles that were at work in Puritanism, with its negative vision of the body, are the same ones at work in pornography and in the sexual revolution. In both cases the body is seen without reference to the dignity of the person and to the plan of God for man; it is deprived of its symbolism and its language. Puritanism attempts this by silencing the body and its urges; the sexual revolution (as expressed for example in Hugh Hefner) by exalting it as an absolute. In both cases (but especially in the latter) the body, and with it the human person, are despised, because they are cut off from their ultimate origin and destiny. Pornography is in no sense an attempt to recover the beauty of the body and sexuality, but a sign of despair regarding this beauty and the possibility of finding meaning in human love.

    ‘The recovery of the meaning of the body, with reference to love and to the mystery of man and God, is the novelty brought about by John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. The Pope’s proposal is not about sexuality, but about the truth of love as the foundation of the person’s dignity and the meaning of reality; and about the family as the place where the person finds himself and his way towards happiness….’

    Michael Matt:

    ‘I have in my files plenty of letters from Catholics with obviously well-formed consciences who’ve been similarly scandalized by the approach of Christopher West — a man who evidently sees little merit in the Church’s traditional prohibition against discussing some subjects — i.e., sexual intimacy — in mixed company. Mr. West has but one retort, it would seem: ‘This is Pope John Paul!’ But Pope John Paul is dead. So how far does Mr. West get to go in the name of Pope John Paul? Is anyone actually monitoring this fellow?

    ‘Can one even imagine Bishop Fulton Sheen discussing the ins and outs of sexual intimacy with men and women in any public venue, let alone his sanctuary? How about Padre Pio? Don Bosco? Even Mother Teresa? Are we to believe, then, that modern Catholics have become so ‘enlightened,’ so impervious to the temptations of the flesh, that these matters can now be discussed openly and in mixed company with no affront to dignity, purity or modesty? Please! Have we learned nothing from the tsunami of sex scandals that has rocked the Church over the past forty years?

    ‘Perhaps a warning from St. John Chrysostom would here be apropos: ‘Are you perhaps of stone or of iron? No, you are a man subject to the common weakness of nature. Do you think that you will not be burnt if you take fire into your hand? How else could this be? Put a burning light into the hay and then say that there will be no blaze! Like hay is this nature of ours’…..’
    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/abbott/090531

    Personally, I would feel very uncomfortable about the young people in my family being exposed to this sort of talk about sexual matters. Mr Evert didn’t once mention any of the Catholic saints who were martyred when they defended their purity.

    • Laura,

      I like Michael Matt’s point about “can you imagine the great saints discussing this subject” – answer: no!

      That should be enough to make Catholic teachers realise that this is not right.

  2. No Catholics should not be accepting of dating in high school i would agree on that point and also i would be far from happy for my children to listen to what is being discussed because talks of this nature should I believe come in the first instance from the parents.He is probably popular with students because he is giving a personal and first hand account of his own experiences and how he changed and people like this honesty .

    • One of the problems I have with this “honesty” is that it can actually encourage the dulling of the conscience, since they are seeing someone they admire who has done the wrong thing and is now OK – in the moment of temptation that doesn’t really help with self-control.

      It’s only the tried and tested practice of virtue that will keep young people on the right road, and that is just not being taught any more. Instead, there’s the Jason Evert approach, don’t worry, you can sin and then repent, sort of thing.

      The time for the stories about conversion back to grace, is when the person has admitted their sin and needs encouragement. I honestly don’t think it helps to have someone upfront admitting to lust and fornication and then say, look at me, I’m fine now. What if a young person takes that the wrong way and indulges in sexual sin, then either goes on down the slippery slope until they don’t think it’s a sin any more, or dies before they can repent and repair their sin?

      He is entertaining I agree, but as Laura says, that can make him all the more dangerous. The Church has always said it’s the role of parents to teach about these matters, with boys and girls taught separately, not in a mixed classroom.

  3. As “Josephine Bloggs” I just want to say I am and always have been against the kind of classroom sex education in schools, and Catholic schools should not be going there, at all.

    I checked out The Truth & Meaning of Human Sexuality, the Vatican document produced in 1995 which has been totally ignored by the so-called educators. I’ve quoted it often in discussions on this subject and to their shame, most teachers say they’ve never heard of it. This is the one key instruction which should nail the lie that schools should be teaching this:-

    65. 1. Each child is a unique and unrepeatable person and must receive individualized formation. Since parents know, understand and love each of their children in their uniqueness, they are in the best position to decide what the appropriate time is for providing a variety of information, according to their children’s physical and spiritual growth. No one can take this capacity for discernment away from conscientious parents.
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_08121995_human-sexuality_en.html

    I think these sex lessons in schools have done untold harm to the young and led to the inability of most people to make stable marriages, or even short term relationships, given all the “break-ups” we keep hearing about after a few weeks or months together. So, it’s laughable to think that even more of the same kind of sex lessons are going to improve things.

  4. I’m only two minutes in, and I’ve already made up my mind (sorry, Ed, I don’t have time to watch a 1+ hour video): this fellow is way too “hip,” and he talks too much. He should be a comedian on late-night TV. He doesn’t have the slightest trace of an aura of chastity, but he does have the aura of someone who is utterly clueless about solemnity, reverence, tradition, and silence…just for starters. He reminds me of Christopher West, that mouthpiece of JPII’s “Theology of the Body,” the very name of which betrays a complete inversion of theology. I would compare this guy’s misguided efforts to a rock band pounding out songs with “Christian” lyrics, or even, on a more complex level, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church trying to create an amalgam of the Faith and the Satanic French Revolution.

    (The French Revolution…in which the Eldest Daughter of the Faith became the Wicked Witch of the West. Thankfully, the Wicked Witch was melted by water, which is a sign of how modern France should be converted: by flooding it with Holy Water, i.e. Tradition. But, I digress…)

    I wasn’t entirely surprised that this production is from Franciscan U. in Steubenville, either, home of the recent scandal of the English professor who assigned his students a disgusting, blasphemous book by an atheist (further details here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/franciscan-u-apologizes-after-first-defending-pornographic-book-that-blasph ). Franciscan is notorious for being a center of so-called “charismatic” activity, and I’d say this fellow fits right in.

    As for dating, that is a violation of Catholic teaching, as well as chastity, and it is wrong not only in high school, but wrong, period. The Catholic way is courtship, not dating. If only I had known that 45 years ago…

    • RCA Victor,

      I liked your comment about dating being a violation of Catholic teaching. I hadn’t thought of it like that before but come to think of it, it’s actually accepting that it’s OK to have a string of casual relationships and these days, we all know what that means.

      • Michaela,

        That is actually fairly new information for me, on dating. We had a sermon on it not too long ago. I just searched for some articles on the difference between dating and courtship, and was surprised to find a whole slew of them. However, I didn’t really find anything satisfactory.

        Here are a couple of excerpts from one site, the first of which is rather naive about dating, and the second isn’t quite right either, but:

        “The reason why men and women date is to enjoy one another’s company. For instance, if a couple goes on a date and either one or both do not enjoy the other’s company then they will not see each other again. Even if a couple has been dating for some time, if they cease to enjoy one another’s company then they simply “break up”.

        The reason why men and women court is for the purpose of discovering if they are compatible for marriage. While courting couples may enjoy their time spent together as dating couples [not correct: real courtship does not involve spending time together along as if on a date] do they understand that this is only a happy byproduct of the courting process and not it’s core purpose. When one courts they are interviewed by the other’s parents, family and friends and they also interview their prospective spouse’s family and friends.”

  5. Can I get to play Devil’s Advocate a bit here? It’s a fact that kids are talking about sex in the playground and with their friends. The topic comes up in school lessons, so is it not better to have someone who is a Catholic and faithful to the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage, giving them a talk, even if it’s a bit off colour, since that’s the stuff they hear anyway, all around them?

    • Nicky/DA,

      (DA also stands for District Attorney!)

      My answer to that would be that presenting accurate Church teaching in an off-color manner is not being faithful to the Church’s teaching, since the manner of presentation must be compatible with the content of the presentation. That is one of the bitter lessons of Vatican II, in fact: the mode of presentation adopted in the name of the “spirit of Vatican II,” in the name of “opening the windows,” is completely incompatible with the content…and eventually has distorted the content and is now replacing it with ideas utterly alien and hostile to the Church.

      Put another way, an off-color presentation actually undermines and contradicts the content, if the content is sacred.

      • RCA Victor,

        Well – absolutely – said! I could not agree more.

        I’m very glad to see that I am not the only “prude” on the Planet Catholic Truth Blog 😀

      • RCA Victor,

        You’ve convinced me! I can see that, thinking it over, being off-colour, “blue jokes”, innuendo etc is not being faithful to the Church’s teaching on purity.

        It’s just difficult trying to work out how to teach young people without sounding preachy and putting them off.

        • Nicky,

          I suspect that young people, no matter how well-indoctrinated in the Marxist fantasies of the New World Order, can still tell when someone is trying to pander to them and/or trying to be “one of them.” This fellow exhibits those traits in spades.

          BTW, I hope the youth who had the misfortune of attending the “Youth Synod,” or whatever it was called, could see through the ludicrous efforts of the hierarchy to pander to them as if they were the experts on life and spirituality. What a disgraceful and embarrassing sight that was….

        • Nicky,

          I’ve always been dubious about the idea that young people don’t DO “preachy”. The truth has its own power – young people, like the rest of us, recognise the truth when they hear it so no teacher should ever resort to gimmicky approaches, at least until they’ve tried the real thing…

    • Nicky just to give you a bit of support I most certainly agree with you . I also don’t know why they want a man who talks about being chaste up until his Marriage and has the courage to talk about it being against him . Did they actually listen past the first the first few minutes.

      • FOOF,

        I think, with respect, both Nicky and yourself are missing the point. If, despite the Church’s prohibition on sex education, a Catholic school or university decides to provide it anyway, said “education” should not consist of exposing students to a man speaking about his history of lust and casual sexual relationships. Edifying, not.

        It’s one thing for someone with that background to realise the errors of his ways and want to help young people to avoid doing the same – that’s great. However, spelling out your impure behaviour is not the best methodology, it seems to me.

        If the doctrine of Original Sin is properly taught, then students will understand that our intellects and will have been weakened as a result, and that we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves against sexual temptation. Talking about it, especially in a “frisky grandfather, nod nod, wink wink” manner really isn’t going to encourage purity. Entertaining, yes, if you like that sort of humour, but it’s unlikely to motivate a young person to seek to live a life of grace and to strive after purity.

        But then, I’m a self-confessed prude so you’re unlikely to agree with me… See if I care…

  6. I found parts of the talk good, parts amusing and parts completely inappropriate.

    I liked the suggestion to pray the Rosary for the person if you are tempted with impure thoughts. I didn’t like the description of the randy old Grandpa, the encouragement to date in High School and the references to “making out”. No thanks.

  7. That approach doesn’t appeal to me one bit. I like serious subjects to be treated seriously. If I want comedy I’ll go to the theatre.

    As for using it with teens – no way. It’s mixed messaging, and that’s the worst thing any teacher can do, send mixed messages.

    It might come as a bombshell to kids the first time they hear it these days, but I think most would be glad in the end, to be told that they are at school to LEARN! Starting with the three R’s. They shouldn’t be distracted with boy/girlfriends and talk of dating. It’s really incredible to think that teachers in schools are not only accepting this sort of thing but actually catering for it! As for the “Catholic” bit – talk about locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!

  8. Jason has ben teaching in this way for many years. The problem is that it is an appeal for chastity, yes, but we now have in our society the results of the sexual revolution and the breakdown of morals in our society. It is about secularism against the teaching of :Christ. Jesus wants to build a society based on marriage, he hatd divorce. Adultery before marriage is a sure and certain ways of causing marriage breakdown. Whenever ;politicians talk about poverty in the UK they usually forget to mention that the greatest cause of poverty is the rise of single parent families. I visit a couple of families which are poor and the children in most cases are growing up hurt and feeling in themselves the loss of a father figure. They go to school and meet two parent family children who seem to have everything they do not have. Is it not sad that the conversation in the school playground is “Do you have a Dad. IN my extended family I have watched a couple of children grow up, lost and not achieving any of the potential they have as human beings. Jesus certainly knew what his Kingdom should have been like and it was to the kingdom we have today. His Church as so much to offer and say about this but the question is seldom debat3ed and in Catholic schools many of the teachers are secularists who have adopted the secularist values, and wish the Church to drop the very teachings of Christ. We need a lot of prayer for those i the Church who actually resent the teachings of Jesus.

    • John Kearney,

      That’s a wonderful post from you – I felt so sad when I read that about the playground conversation asking “do you have a dad”. What a terrible commentary on our society!

    • John,

      That really is sad, children asking peers if they have a dad. How tragic.

      You have put your finger on one of the key problems today, within Catholic schools; teachers who are, in fact, secularists. Just think of that – baptized secularists! Again, tragic.

      Yes, we need a lot of prayer – and we need the Pope to consecrate Russia, as specified by Our Lady at Fatima. Nothing will really change for the better until that happens.

  9. I’m not sure if this is the right thread for this video but it’s just too hilarious for words, and it is really about purity – LOL!

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