I am assisting the teacher for the ninth grade Religious Ed class at our parish.
It has been an interesting year, and this really is a great group of kids.
Most of them have been going to public school all their lives, and they haven't had a lot of exposure to authentic Catholic teaching, so they find some of the discussion topics, like abortion, contraception, and social issues, a bit surprising to say the least.
Last night we watched "Changing Sides" which is a video of the story of Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood director that left her job to become a pro-life activist.
After the video, I asked the kids what they thought, and if they had any responses to what they had seen.
The conversation came around to the topic of Abby's own abortion, and one young man thought that she was hypocritical because she had had an abortion and now is speaking out against it.
I told him that many, many women have had abortions and now regret it, and are speaking out against it to warn other women.
His frustration became apparent, and he made the point that if girls don't want to get pregnant, they shouldn't be putting themselves in situations where they are at risk, or words to that effect. I was really saddened by the reaction of the rest of the class to his words. They laughed.
They all responded as if the very idea of young people refraining from sex is so ridiculous that it doesn't bear discussion. The teacher said "Easier said than done." And that is true, especially in the environment that these kids are coming from.
But I felt like asking "Why?"
The idol of "choice" is a fickle god.
Why is it that girls must be assured that they should always have the choice to kill a child that has been conceived, but that the choice to be faithful to themselves is an impossible idea?
What is so funny, or farfetched about the idea of chastity?
I guess I have to become capable of understanding, and yet willing to challenge, these ideas that permeate society, at the level of our Catholic youth.
I find it so sad that they find it so funny.