Christians and Birth Control, by Stephanie Gray


     When I present about abortion, I’m sometimes asked about birth control. There are those who think that if one is against abortion one should surely be in favor of birth control; after all, wouldn’t increasing the latter decrease the former? Actually it does not, as I address here. I think a more fundamental question, though, is not “Will birth control decrease or increase abortion?” but rather, “Is birth control morally acceptable?”

     That came up at a recent presentation I gave at a Christian church in my home city of Vancouver, Canada. This topic is often framed as a Catholic-Protestant debate, with the Catholic church teaching contraception is morally wrong and many Protestant churches accepting some forms of contraception. This difference, however, is a new phenomenon. And by “new” I mean the last 90 years. The history of churches of various denominations claiming to follow Christ for the previous 2,000 years has been one where contraception has been rejected—until the Anglicans first embraced it in 1930. I therefore believe a solid, Biblical case can be made for objecting to birth control—appealing to all people who claim to follow Christ, regardless of denominational differences. A series I wrote, accessible in this PDF, will endeavor to do just that.


Header image source: Wikimedia Commons, BruceBlaus



Cultivating Virtue, Part 3 of 3, by Stephanie Gray

In this series I’ve been examining 5 things people can do to cultivate virtue.  Point 1 about organizing self-less activities can be read here.  Points 2 to 4 about creating alternate heroes, strengthening willpower, and nurturing connection can be read here.

That leaves point 5: Protect against invasion.

     No matter how hard one works to strengthen themselves or their children, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.  So what safeguards can be put in place, particularly due to the invasion (such as pornography) that technology can bring into one’s home?  Here’s the list I recommend at the Parent Support Meetings I teach at:

     a)      Have a “no technology in the bedroom” rule; it simply decreases the odds of a child accessing pornography if they’re using technology (at least in your home) with other people around.  Consider the story of a 9-year-old girl in England who had set up a profile on a dating website, which connected her to a couple in Canada, who had sex in front of a web cam for her and were planning a camping trip where they could have sex with her.   A rule about no technology in the bedroom could have dramatically changed this situation; however, it’s important to point out that even technology in shared spaces can be used improperly when no one is around, which is why the next step is important.

     b)      Put a filter on all your family members’ devices.  Covenant Eyes has a good one and you can learn more about it here

     c)      Continually ask the question, “Why?” when you make decisions.  When I speak to parents of 11-year-olds, I ask how many of their kids have cell phones.  A few raise their hands.  So then I ask why their child needs a phone?  If a child, who is a minor, is always with a trusted adult, and if adults have cell phones, then a child doesn’t need a phone.  However, there are some times where that isn’t the case; as one parent told me, his child uses public transit so the child needs a phone in case of an emergency.  In this case, asking “Why is a phone needed?” brings us to a good reason for getting a phone.  But, it brings us to a good reason why only a phone-calling phone—not a data-enabled device—is needed.  As my fellow trainer Sue points out, her kids’ first phone is a flip phone that they have during their high school years—that enables her and them to communicate, and for them to have a resource to call for help in an emergency, but which doesn’t have access to data which is not needed and could give access to harmful material.

     When considering giving teens devices that adults use, such as data-enabled phones, it’s important to remember that the teenage brain is not properly developed.  Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor gives an excellent explanation of this in her TED Talk, in which she states her great motto, “Keep ‘em alive to 25.”  There are some things adults do (e.g., drive a car) that we don’t let children (e.g., 13-year-olds) do because we realize that while the tool is very helpful, it can be dangerous if mishandled.  Even when we eventually do transition young people to driving, it is with training and supervision before they are left independently with a car.  Technology, which is helpful but can be dangerous, should be treated the same way.

     d)      Have conversations—lots of them—with your child.  Don’t just make rules without explaining them.  Listen and talk.  Ask good questions.  Speaker and author Matthew Kelly illustrates well the art of good questions for teaching one’s child at this link (click on preview and listen at 4:31).  Use analogies to help your child understand that rules are meant to help us, not harm us; for example, you could ask them to think about stoplights at intersections and what the red, yellow, and green lights mean.  Then ask them what would happen if a person going one direction thought red meant go, and a person going in another direction knew green meant go.  The subsequent crash would be bad, and potentially fatal.  The standard about the meaning of stoplights and the expectation that people follow the rules is meant to help us run as a civil society and keep things peaceful and safe, rather than be unduly restrictive.  So it is with a parent’s rules—they are meant to help us, not harm us. 

     Moreover, spend time—with your child—going through websites like Fight the New Drug  and Chastity Project, watching video clips and reading the material and then discussing together.  Let your child know they can come to you to talk about anything they are struggling with or stumble upon, and make sure you are calm, receptive, and compassionate in the face of your child revealing weakness.

     e)      Foster silence: There is so much noise, visual and audio, in our culture today that it can be hard to hear the voice of God; it’s difficult to perceive the still small voice of conscience.  Consider Elijah: In 1 Kings 19 God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire.  Rather, He was in a whisper.  Elijah heard God’s command in the silence.  So too must we make it a priority to encourage times of silence in our homes, which should lead to prayer and repentance.  As author Jacques Philippe writes, “Prayer enables us to draw from God a life that is ever new, to let ourselves be continually reborn and renewed.  Whatever our trials and disappointments, harsh situations, failures, and faults, prayer makes us rediscover enough strength and hope to take up our lives again with total confidence in the future.” 

Cultivating Virtue, Part 2 of 3, by Stephanie Gray

Me with one of my heroes, Nick Vujicic, who I met in 2010.

Me with one of my heroes, Nick Vujicic, who I met in 2010.

     Last week in part 1 of Cultivating Virtue, I said there were five things we can do to respond to negative forces in our culture like isolation, no self-control, self-centeredness, using others, and a false identity.  Point 1 was to organize self-less activities.  Today we reflect on three more responses:

2. Create alternate heroes

     My fellow trainer Sue came up with this great idea.  As the saying goes, we become who our friends are—because friends are who we spend a lot of time with, and who or what we spend time with ends up rubbing off on us.  What goes in will come out.  So it is with heroes—whoever we spend our time watching, studying, and thinking about will manifest in our behaviors.

     If you don’t want your children to emulate foul-mouthed promiscuous celebrities, you need to fill their minds and lives with good alternatives.  That’s why I love featuring the stories of Nick Vujicic, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Zach Hunter, or Caden and Conner Long.  There are endless examples in the history books and online of people, young ones in particular, who are making, or have made, a positive contribution to the world.

    What these true heroes demonstrate is how to live life based on “Happiness Levels” 3 and 4 instead of 1 and 2.  The Washington-based ministry Healing the Culture  has taught extensively on this topic of what they call The 4 Levels of Happiness.  They say the following,

     “The way we de­fine happiness will determine how we live our lives, what we think is most important, how we treat other people, what we mean by ‘success’ and ‘quality of life,’ how we view human rights... even how we view ourselves as human beings.”

     They point out that defining happiness simply based on physical pleasure (Level 1: I’m hungry; I eat; I’m happy) or ego-gratification (Level 2: I run a race; I beat you; I’m happy), will bring about an unhealthy society.  But real heroes, as mentioned above, define happiness based on contribution and self gift (Level 3: I see you are in need; I help you; I’m happy) and faith in God’s unconditional love (Level 4: abandonment to God and experiencing the peace which flows from that).  It’s important to note that happiness levels 1 and 2 are not bad in and of themselves—it’s good to meet our physical needs and advance our talents; the point is simply that a problem arises when our ultimate end of happiness, our focus in life, or our purpose for living, stay on those levels rather than advance to higher ones.

3. Strengthen Willpower

     The third thing we can do to cultivate virtue is to strengthen willpower, and I wrote about that here

4. Nurture Connection

     Humans were made for relationship.  Whether it’s the Bible telling us that (in Genesis 2:18: “It is not good for man to be alone”) or whether it’s clinical psychologist and professor Dr. Sherri Turkle telling us that (as outlined in her TED Talk Connected, But Alone?), we are creatures built for connection.

     When I went on a 40-day retreat last fall, I experienced freedom by being unplugged.  Not having technology as a distraction left a void that was beautifully filled by connecting face-to-face with the people I was living with in community.  Whether it was talking face to face with others over three sit-down meals/day, or evening chats with my dorm sisters before bed, or joining other guests and members in card games or musical extravaganzas that involved harmonized singing, piano, guitar, and fiddles, we were together, in relationship; that is what we were made for, and as a result our spirits were nurtured.

    If, for the rest of your life, you had to choose between only spending time with your loved ones face-to-face or only staying in touch with them via technology, which would you choose?  Our answer explains why it is important to set up boundaries around technology—to make sure we truly stay connected.  Technology should aid our human interactions, not replace them. 

     Case in point, when I returned from my retreat and "plugged back in,” I started to handle technology differently: I found I wasted a lot of time swiping the Facebook app on my phone, so I removed the app.  Instead, I allow myself to log in only twice each day.  I am able to receive the benefits of this social networking tool (stay connected to find out about in-person events and share and receive information related to the culture wars) but keep things ordered so that technology is a slave of me, not me a slave of technology.  These limits force me to think through my usage (one log in during the day means I only have one login left!), to reflect more deeply about what is worth posting—and what isn’t, and to give primacy to my in-person relationships, not technological networks.

     Likewise, families that thrive will set up boundaries and limits around technology use.  There should be times where technology isn’t allowed (during meals, during family games nights, and in the car [some of the best parent-child conversations can happen in the car where people are in close proximity but staring in the same direction—if technology isn’t allowed to get in-between]).  If done right, far from being oppressive, such boundaries will be freeing to the human spirit and will make sure face-to-screen connection doesn’t replace or supersede what we were made for: face-to-face connection.

Wonder what the fifth point is?  Read it here!

Cultivating Virtue, Part 1 of 3, by Stephanie Gray

“When we deny children access to meaningful education about their burgeoning sexual development, we give them no choice but to glean what they can from a highly sexualized media.” –Sharna Olfman, psychology professor

     Since moving back to BC a year and a half ago, I have partnered with Signal Hill and the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese to be part of a team of speakers who train parents how to talk to their children about human growth, development, and sexual morality.  When parents don’t feel equipped or comfortable speaking to their children on this topic, the culture’s reaction is to say, “We’ll do it for you,” and then government steps in, as we’re seeing with the Ontario sexual education curriculum.  But what we teach at these “Parent Support Meetings,” is that the parents, not the government, are the primary educators of their children when it comes to sexuality; therefore, instead of replacing the parents in their role, we aid the parents in their role.  That’s why, parents of students in grades 4-7 in Catholic schools in the Vancouver archdiocese are called to come to meetings to be informed, enlightened, and equipped for how to speak with their children on this sensitive topic.  My role is to give a general session presentation and speak to the parents whose children are in grade six.  And upon reflecting on one of my recent presentations, it occurred to me that what I recommend for these parents is good advice for us all.

     After playing this short video, I reflect on the quote by the featured dad who narrates “We have some pretty big hopes for him [his son James].”  Parents naturally want what’s good for their children, and the parents gathered that evening have big hopes for their own kids too.  But, there are strong forces in the world today that can interfere with this.  I ask the parents what challenges they see facing their soon-to-be teenagers, and I get a litany of answers such as

·         video games,

·         social media,

·         pressure to fit a certain mold, and

·         pornography.  

       While some of those things are inherently wrong (pornography), others may or may not be a problem—it’s how they’re used (social media).  So if we step back from the specifics of that list and look at what general problems can be brought about, they are the following:

·         isolation,

·         addiction/no self-control,

·         self-centeredness,

·         using humans as objects, and

·         a false identity.

     So if we want to directly respond to these negative forces we need to develop their opposite, positive, forces.  Doing so creates an environment where virtue, instead of vice, will naturally breed.  So there are 5 things I recommend for the parents, and us all:

1.      Organize self-less activities

     When I was growing up, my mom volunteered—a lot.  And because she volunteered, quite naturally my sister and I volunteered too, helping her deliver meals on wheels or assisting at various pro-life and church events.  Her nursing work with the elderly naturally lead to our playing the piano for the elderly, and so forth.  How often are parents taking their children volunteering?  The more that happens, the more children will naturally look outside themselves, building a defense against the temptation to turn inward.

     Then there is RAK: Random Acts of Kindness.  A few years ago when I was living in the Toronto area, I was bored about an impeding lonely weekend with no plans.  While lamenting over text with one of my friends in Calgary, she too was bored and down on life, and although we were texting that we wished we could hang out with each other that weekend, geography and expensive flights put that idea to rest.  Then she texted me, “I know what we need!  We need RAK!”  I thought it was a typo or strange auto-correct, but then she explained to me what RAK was, and how we could challenge each other to spend the weekend doing at least 7 random acts of kindness, taking photos of our adventures, and then swapping stories at the end of the weekend.  From leaving flowers on a car in a parking lot, to placing an uplifting quote on a post-it note in a public washroom, to making a meal for a needy friend, to leaving an encouraging note at a bank machine, to dropping off an envelope at Tim Horton’s with money for the cashier and the next customer, and more, We. Had. A. Blast.  Our weekend started off negative, but it ended so positively; there were smiles, laughter, and joy, all because instead of looking inwards, we chose to change our gaze outwards.

Wondering what the other points are?  Fine out in part 2 of this reflection!

Does Birth Control Prevent Abortion?

This article by Stephanie Gray first appeared in the September issue of LifeCanada's Reflections Magazine.


In the Spring of 2004, I went to the University of Manitoba to help its pro-life student club display an abortion exhibit.  A Buddhist student approached me and said she was “pro-choice” and was concerned that there was no one at the display expressing the opposite perspective to ours.  After a brief discussion she left, but returned an hour later with a friend.  I was struck by their response: They did not hold signs with “pro-choice” slogans, saying our anti-abortion message was wrong; instead, they distributed condoms to passersby.  More protestors came throughout the day and handed out literature about various forms of birth control.

If you were to ask these students why they were protesting an anti-abortion message with a pro-birth control message instead of a pro-abortion message, they would say something like this: “We don’t like abortion.  We think the best way to avoid abortion is to avoid the need for it.  If people don’t have unwanted pregnancies, they won’t have abortions.  Birth control prevents unwanted pregnancies, so birth control prevents abortion.”

But does it?

While birth control is considered to prevent pregnancy, some methods may actually work after pregnancy has begun—thus being capable of ending the life of a tiny human being.  Take the birth control pill: most assume it is a contraceptive (i.e., works contra, against, conception); however, when asked about how birth control pills work, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state in part, “The lining of the uterus thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it.”[1]  The “fertilized egg” is actually an embryonic human and if that child cannot attach to her mother’s uterus, that child will bleed out in an early, and undetected, abortion. 

So while the birth control pill may prevent some “unwanted” pregnancies (by suppressing ovulation), it may actually end others (by the mechanism described above).  But even if the birth control pill never had the mechanism to affect the pre-born child’s ability to implant, even if it was truly contraceptive, does it prevent abortion overall?

Decades of birth control pill and abortion usage gives us a clear answer: No.  All the while birth control has been on the rise for decades, abortion has been too.  This actually shouldn’t be surprising because birth control was created to divorce babies from sex and abortion does the same.  So while the means of the two can be different (prevent a baby from existing versus ending the life of a baby who exists), the end result is the same (sex without babies).

The connection between birth control and abortion can even be seen in the timelines of their entrance into modern culture: In 1960 in the United States, the birth control pill was approved for contraceptive use.[2]  Nine years later in Canada the Trudeau government made it legal to disseminate, sell and advertise birth control products.[3]  That same year in Canada, legal abortion made its way into the country, and just three years later the same happened in America.  With there being over 1 million abortions annually in the US[4] and approximately 100,000 abortions annually in Canada[5], all alongside widespread birth control usage, it is simply wrong to conclude birth control prevents abortion.

If anything, birth control actually creates an environment for abortion.  Indeed, even the pro-abortion organization Guttmacher Institute admits, “Fifty-one percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method in the month they got pregnant…”[6]

That statistic is backed up in the mentality of many who think birth control usage actually gives people license for abortion access.  Consider a pro-abortion pre-law student who said the following to me at a pro-life exhibit:

“If someone used several methods of contraception then they shouldn't be forced to keep a child in their uterus.  If my body is like a house, use of contraception is like locking your doors.  And if someone breaks into your house when your doors are locked, it's not your fault and you can kick them out.  Maybe if someone didn't use contraception abortion would not be reasonable (analogous to keeping your doors open and inviting someone in, a degree of negligence in a way), but with the presence of contraception, I'm putting up a 'keep off my property' sign.”

One could actually use this student’s own illustration to rebut her point, saying that because no birth control is 100% effective, using birth control is like putting up a “keep off my property” sign a certain percentage of the time, but for the other percentage (i.e., failure rate), it is like putting up a “come on in” welcome sign. 

More fundamentally, though, her point shows that birth control usage and abortion are fruits from the same tree: they are connected in that both attack the bond between sex and new life.  In the minds of many in our culture, when birth control fails to adequately keep life separated from sex, abortion is a reasonable follow up.  That is why birth control will not prevent abortion.

[1] “Frequently Asked Questions: Contraception,” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Accessed July 30, 2015.

[2] “A brief history of the birth control pill,” Alexandra Nikolchev, Accessed July 30, 2015.

[3] “Triumph of the Pill: The Pill Turns 50,” John Allemang, Accessed July 30, 2015.

[4] “Fact Sheet: Induced Abortion in the United States,” Accessed July 30, 2015.

[5] “Annual Abortion Rates,” Accessed July 30, 2015.

[6] “Fact Sheet: Induced Abortion in the United States.”  This particular fact sources the following: Jones RK, Frohwirth L and Moore AM, More than poverty: disruptive events among women having abortions in the USA, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2012, 39(1):36–43.

One Shade of Gray by Stephanie Gray

“Why?”  It’s a question toddlers teach us to ask over and over again.  I found myself asking that question as movie theatres prepare to roll out 50 Shades of Grey: Why have more than 100 million copies been sold?  Why have presumably 100 million women read this particular story?  Why is it so magnetic?  So I messaged a friend of mine, whose Facebook wall has been filled with a countdown for the film—was she willing to share her perspective? She said she’d call in 15 minutes.

What she told me was not what I was expecting.  She focused very little on the kind of sex in the story that is the focus of so many articles critiquing the tale.  Instead, she started off by telling me that the main character, Christian Grey, was horrifically abused as a child.  That his mother beat him, starved him, and did all kinds of other despicable things to him.  He was adopted at the age of 8, but by then untold abuse had been inflicted on this vulnerable child.

His victimization worsened.  When he was 15, his adopted mother’s friend convinced him to have sex with her, in what became an adult woman dominating and beating this teenage boy in multiple sexual encounters.

From a psychology perspective, it’s not surprising that as he became an adult, Christian pursued women who looked like his mother and then engaged in violent sex where he had control and enjoyed beating them—doing to them the violence he presumably wished he could have done to his mother when she hurt him so horrifically as a child.

And so the old adage is true: hurting people hurt people.  But if we want to help hurting people become healthy people, we don’t let them hurt others.  What if Christian’s mother was just acting out on him an abuse that had been done to her?  Would we think that okay?  What if the adopted mother’s friend was just acting out on Christian something that had been done to her?  Would we think that acceptable?  Then why would our culture think it okay for Christian to act out on women the domination that had been inflicted on him?

Just because we can understand why people do what they do, it doesn’t mean we tolerate what they do.  Consider lawyer David Dow’s TED Talk: One of his clients, Will, was executed for committing murder.  Setting aside the death penalty debate, what is heartbreaking about Will’s story is that his life, from its beginnings, was fraught with horror: His father abandoned his mom when she was pregnant with Will.  His mom, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill Will when he was five.  He lived with his brother until that brother committed suicide.  He was bounced between relatives’ homes until he lived on his own—at the age of 9.  Knowing all this can make us feel empathy for Will.  But it doesn’t take away the wrongness of what Will did by committing murder.  

We don’t have control about whether we are victims.  But we do have control about whether we become victimizers.  Unfortunately Will was both victim and victimizer.  So was Christian Grey.  Neither man should be glorified in their role as victimizers just because they should be sympathized in their role as victims.

Yet the temptation is strong perhaps because, as my friend informed me, the story wrestles with topics so near and dear to women’s hearts: self-worth, acceptance, woundedness, and unconditional love.  My friend even noted, “Millionaire, good looking man who wants to be with me.”  It touches on the desire to be provided for, the desire to be accepted.  It touches even on a woman’s desire to nurture (my friend informed me that Ana loved Christian more when she learned of him being abused), but it’s vital this not be overlooked: Christian Grey needed a proper counselor and spiritual healing, not a human to use as a sex toy.  Until he had worked through his woundedness—which is possible—he was incapable of being in an interdependent, life-giving, loving, romantic relationship.  In his unhealed state, he was employing the manipulation and domination characteristic of people who hurt others—and that is not love; it is not a relationship to be admired or desired (As director of the National Center of Sexual Exploitation points out here).

So when 50 Shades of Grey arouses in women desires in the feminine heart, but gives a response that is the dysfunction of Christian and Ana’s relationship, it provides a counterfeit.  Some may think it is love, (just as someone with a counterfeit bill may think it is real) but ultimately their relationship doesn’t coincide with love’s true meaning, which St. Thomas Aquinas so beautifully defined as “to will the good of another.”  If we do not will the good of another, then we will use.  If we do not will the good of another, then we will abuse.  

If we do not will the good of another, and if we were made to will the good of another—if we were made to love and be loved—then we will experience the destructive consequences that flow from going against this nature (should we then be surprised that “According to research from Michigan State University, young women who read Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely than nonreaders to exhibit signs of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner. Beyond that, women who’ve read all three of the books in the series were more likely to binge drink and have multiple sexual partners—all of which are behaviors commonly exhibited by women in abusive relationships”)

In light of that, let’s consider, for a moment, what we would do if we had a $100 bill and was informed by a cashier it was a counterfeit.  Would we keep it?  Would we give it away to others?  Or would we throw it out?  If 50 Shades is a counterfeit of what real love is and we throw it away, what do we replace it with?  First, we find our identity in Christ, our Creator, knowing that He loved us so much He willed us into existence and He died for us.  He accepts us.  He loves us unconditionally.  He heals our wounds.  He desires our good.  Then, we follow in Christ’s footsteps and we live authentic love. 

What does that look like?  Dietrich von Hildebrand so beautifully declared, “In the case of truly being in love…I become more sensitive and more reverent.”  Consider beautiful, fragile, and valuable things in our world—how do we treat them?  How do we handle 100-year-old, million dollar pieces of art?  What do we do when the sky is suddenly and dramatically painted with brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows as the sun sets?  What happens when we are hiking and come upon a waterfall cascading down a mountain with wild flowers growing in the lush meadow?

In these moments do we seek to disturb?  To destroy?  To disfigure?  Or do we step back with caution and care, in order to marvel?  If we love these things, we will respect them.  If we love these things, we will preserve them.  If we love these things, we will pause with awe and silence and behold their wonder.  

If that is how we would respond to something in creation, how much more should we have reverence for creatures, for the human person who is more beautiful and more valuable than any created object?  The thought of Christian Grey desecrating the artwork or destroying the beautiful scene with his rough and dehumanizing behaviors is stomach-churning.  How much more, then, should we be pained that he do that to a woman—that he desecrate, defile, and despoil an individual who is unrepeatable, irreplaceable, and breathtakingly beautiful.

Consider for a moment what fairy tales we tell our children—they are stories of love, sacrifice, heroic virtue, of using power responsibly, and of focusing on the good of the other.  Sexual intimacy should be a manifestation of this kind of beautiful love, while 50 Shades is the exact opposite.

Consider more of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s words that we should aspire to in our relationships:

“The mark of being in love is the clearest antithesis to sex appeal, to mere sexual attraction.  Regarding the other only as sexually fascinating and experiencing an isolated sensual desire represents a phenomenon radically different from the true state of being in love. In this state, the beloved stands before us as something immeasurably precious, whose beauty awakens reverence in us…A man who is truly in love gazes upon his beloved with the awareness that ‘I am not worthy of her,’ although with his whole heart he hopes that his love may be requited.

“In the case of isolated sensual desire, where I find someone merely enticing, I am drawn into the periphery.  I even become less sensitive, less reverent.  In the true state of being in love, the beloved stands before me as a person in a unique way.  I take him fully seriously as a person.  In a mere sexual attraction, the partner is an object for my satisfaction.  In the case of truly being in love, the whole charm of the other sex is embodied in the one beloved person, whereas in sensual desire the other is just one good representation of the other sex among many…

“How much more noble and reverent, more aware, and consequently more lovable is a man made by love!  How much richer the cosmos becomes for him and how he is led even to a greater religious depth!  For one truly in love, the sun shines more brightly, nature becomes more beautiful, and his entire life is elevated to a higher plane.”

So, as we embrace this vision of authentic love, let us reject its counterfeit like 50 Shades.  As the movie comes out this weekend, let’s make a commitment to not only refuse to watch it, but to also boycott theaters that run it by not giving them business the whole time 50 Shades is out.  In fact, my boyfriend and I were going to go to a movie tonight, but because that same theater is also playing 50 Shades, we refuse to give the theater our business and will be explaining why to the manager.  It is important we send a clear message that this kind of harmful treatment of other humans is not to be glorified and celebrated and that, instead, the alternative—willing the other’s good—is the life-giving example to follow.