Wednesday, May 30, 2007

STD Epidemic

Even though teen pregnancy rates may have gone down, sexually transmitted disease has become epidemic.

Did you know that you can get cancer from sex?

Did you know that the HPV virus infects 46% of teenage girls after their first sexual intercourse? This virus causes cervical cancer.

Did you know that even curable STDs could leave lasting damage and future difficulty in getting pregnant?

Did you know that 25% of sexually active teens are living with an STD?

I have been involved in the prolife movement for many years and I thought I had a good handle on the consequences of teenage sex. For ten years, I have stood on the sidewalk in front of local high schools and told the students about Jesus, abortion and sex. An essential part of our message is abstinence. I knew things were bad but I didn’t know how bad.

I finished reading a book last night that was both fascinating and horrifying. Written by Meg Meeker, M.D., the book shows how teen sex is killing our kids. Dr. Meeker practices pediatric and adolescent medicine. On a daily basis, one-third of the teenage patients she sees have a sexually transmitted disease. Does that blow your mind like it does mine?

Look at these statistics:

  • Nearly 50% of African-American teenagers have genital herpes.
  • Although teenagers make up just 10% percent of the population, they acquire between 20 and 25% of all STDs.
  • Herpes has skyrocketed 500% in the past 20 years among white American teenagers.
  • Nearly one out of ten teenage girls has chlamydia, and half of all new chlamydia cases are diagnosed in girls 15 to 19 years old.
In the 1960s the two known STDs, syphilis and gonorrhea, could be cured with a shot of penicillin. Today, the simple cures are gone and in many cases there are no cures at all. Many STDs are lifelong and life threatening. Even curable STDs can cause significant damage such as pelvic inflammatory disease before they are caught.

Do you think kids are being taught these facts in public school sex-ed classes? That sure doesn’t sound like safe sex to me.

So what about condoms? Aren’t they supposed to make teen sex safe? Let’s look at the facts. The conclusion of one study was that while male latex condoms could reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS, there was not enough evidence to determine that they were effective in reducing the risk of most other sexually transmitted diseases.

Another study showed that “condoms have no impact on the risk of sexual transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV) in women.”

So, understanding the facts shows that condoms provide very little protection from STDs. It makes me upset to realize how teens are being lied to. They are given false assurance that is leaving many of them scarred for life.

So what are the roots of this epidemic? Here are some:
  • Easy availability of birth control. Kids can have sex with less worry about pregnancy. However, birth control is not disease control.
  • Lack of knowledge. Kids are not informed of the facts regarding STDs. Four out of five, for example, didn’t know that most people who get an STD never develop symptoms.
  • Starting sex earlier. Statistics show that the earlier a teen starts, the more partners he or she will have. The more partners, the more chance of infection.
  • Confusion of what sex is. Many teens think that anything short of penetration is not sex. Oral sex and mutual masturbation are viewed as not “real” sex. Some teens engage in these activities and think they are practicing abstinence. What they don’t know is that avoiding penetration is not avoiding disease.
  • Teenage anatomy. A teenage girl’s cervix is more vulnerable to infection than an adult woman’s cervix.
Another increase is in the varieties of STDs. We went from two in the 1960s to around eighty today. The sexual revolution has a high price.

Aside from the physical problems, there are also the emotional. Dr. Meeker speaks of emotional STDs. There are skyrocketing rates of depression in teens and much of it can be traced to the fallout from sexual activity and its consequences.

The book closes out with a chapter on connecting with teens, especially our own. It points out that connecting through communication, intimacy, love, appreciation, and disapproval of unmarried sex, will go a long way in helping teens avoid sexual activity.

Is your head spinning? Mine was and is. I read this book twice. The second time I went very slow and took notes. I could hardly believe many of the statistics and had to look at the references to know they were not made up. As horrible as these things are, I have hope that as teens learn the truth it will change the way they live. I have seen that with abortion and I believe we could see it here as well.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Abstinence Distortions

The battle for abstinence education is about to take off in Congress. What we can expect is many distortions promoted by the enemies of life and truth.

An example is from U.S Rep. Diana DeGette in a speakout column in today’s Rocky Mountain News. She offers many lies; I will focus on one. It has to do with a study conducted by Mathematica Policy Research. If you believe what DeGette says, you would conclude that the study showed that “abstinence programs are useless.” The study didn’t say that.

Here are two links to the Medical Institute for Sexual Health and their analysis of the study. Here is their press release and a complete report.

One thing is for sure. People like DeGette have an agenda that is not in the best interest of children.

All who hate me love death. Proverbs 8:36

The compassion of wicked people is nothing but cruelty. Proverbs 12:10


Thursday, May 24, 2007


From my morning reading

Be content with such things as you have.
Hebrews 13:5

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;

But, grateful, take the good I find,

The best of now and here.

John Greenleaf Whittier

If we wished to gain contentment, we might try such rules as these:
  1. Allow thyself to complain of nothing, not even of the weather.
  2. Never picture thyself to thyself under any circumstances in which thou art not.
  3. Never compare thine own lot with that of another.
  4. Never allow thyself to dwell on the wish that this or that had been, or were, otherwise than it was, or is. God Almighty loves thee better and more wisely than thou dost thyself.
  5. Never dwell on the morrow. Remember that it is God's, not thine. The heaviest part of sorrow often is to look forward to it. "The Lord will provide."
Edward B. Pusey

From Daily Strength for Daily Needs
- Mary Tileston


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thanks Mom

My World Magazine came late. I received two on one day. From what I understand, World has been trying to get reliable delivery for many years, yet the postal service still seems sporadic at times.

Anyway, the issue I received late had an incredible article on motherhood called Who but a mother? Take the time to read it. I wish I had received it in time. I would have liked to pass it around before Mother’s Day

My experience with motherhood was different from many people. I was given up for adoption as a baby. I was adopted at three months old by Al and Ida Faustin. So I never knew who my birth mother was and never really cared. My parents were incredible so maybe that is why I didn’t look back. I have always been thankful that abortion was not common in my birth year like it is today. If it had been, I probably would not have survived.

My mother Ida could not have children. She always had various medical problems and as a result lost the ability to give birth herself. Yet, she desperately wanted to be a mother. My dad and she adopted three children. I was in the middle. An interesting thing is that the earliest memory I have is being at the orphanage when we got my sister. I would have been about three years old. I have several snapshots in my mind from that time. One was going through the orphanage looking at different kids; one was sitting in a courtroom and another of my new sister in the front seat between my mom and dad looking back at my brother and me when we took her home. She had a huge smile on her face.

My mother was sick a lot. She had rheumatic fever as a child and many other health problems. From what I heard, there were many surgeries and hospitalizations. As a child, I remember many of those. It seemed that even when she was home, much of the time she wasn’t very well. I’m sure that made it very hard to be the mother she always wanted to be.

My mom died when I was 15. That changed things dramatically around our house. It made the job harder for my dad but I know he did everything he could to provide structure and care for us. I am absolutely thankful for the parents God provided for me. They were devoted to God and to their family.

In the World Magazine article there was a quote from a poem that many of us have heard: The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. Here is the rest of it:

They say that man is mighty,
He governs land and sea,
He wields a mighty scepter
O'er lesser powers than he.
But a mighty power and stronger
Man from his throne has hurled:
For the hand that rocks the cradle
is the hand that rules the world.
-William Wallace
What truth! Be thankful for a good mother. And something so important for today is for us to recognize and support motherhood. It’s value has been diminished both in and out of the church. We need to bring it back.

Even Mother’s Day has been diluted in the church. Something that bugs me is that it is not the big deal it used to be. There may be a mention but then we get on to other things. Or, it is broadened to cover all woman because we don’t want to exclude the infertile, the childless-by-choice, the single, etc. Sorry, it’s Mother’s Day and there is a reason for that.

So I give tribute to my mother and to the mother of my children. The world is a different and better place because of the job they have done.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sex and Drugs – Yes! Wopburger – No!

How amazed I am. Not!

The Boulder Valley School District, pressured an Italian restaurant to change the name of their Italian Hamburger – the Wopburger. I wrote about this on Saturday.

Now we find out that on April 10, Boulder High School has the Conference on World Affairs, with one seminar called STDs: Sex, Teens and Drugs. If you look into the content, it is clear that little was said to discourage drug use or sexual activity. If anything, it encouraged it with lots of joking

If you want to hear for yourself what was talked about, click here.

How messed up this school district and Boulder High School must be.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wouldn’t Mom be Surprised?

A friend sent me this picture. He knew I would use it.

So, are they serious or not? How many mothers out there want something from the porn shop for Mother’s Day?

Our world is messed up. Right is wrong and wrong is right. Good is bad and bad is good.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Philippians 3:20

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13

May we see it soon!


Saturday, May 12, 2007


I had a delicious lunch today - Italian sausage patty, mozzarella cheese and red sauce on some good bread. This combination takes me back to my childhood. There was a place I loved to eat called Bob’s Pizzeria. The first thing I ever ate from there was a sandwich called a Little Immigrant; we would call it a sub today. Bob’s was the place where I had my first Italian Sausage Sandwich. They did it with a split link and sauce on a roll. Other things I loved at Bob’s were the sausage and mushroom pizza and the Bob’s Special which was thick homemade noodles, red sauce, ravioli and sausage.

Bob’s was around until 1997 when it was seized by the state for nonpayment of taxes. This is what happened after Bob was gone and the kids had taken over.

I still have a menu from Bob’s and occasionally I look over it after a moment of silence.

What got me on the sandwich this morning was a story in the paper (Click to Read) of an Italian restaurant, run by Italians, that was forced to change the name of their Italian Sausage Sandwich.

The restaurant opened in 1919. Since that time, they called the sandwich a Wopburger. Yes, wop is a derogatory term for Italians but this is Italians using the term because they were proud of their heritage. There was little problem with the name from 1919 to 2007.

Now with a hyper political correctness and so called ethnic sensitivity, Italians running an Italian restaurants can’t call their Italian hamburger a Wopburger. What a shame! On new menus, the name will be changed. I hope they will be able to come up with something creative.

I ate my Wopburger for lunch. I hadn’t heard that name before today but whenever I have an Italian Sausage Sandwich in the future I will always think of it.

Now to my favorite sandwich of all time – the Little Immigrant from Bob’s Pizzeria. Thankfully, I have the original recipe from Bob himself. I share it here with you:

Bob's Little Immigrant
Italian bread
10 slices Pepperoni
1 medium Onion; sliced thin
Lettuce leaves
5 slices Provolone cheese
1 large Tomato; thinly sliced
5 slices Cotti salami
5 slices Smoked ham
5 slices Mozzarella cheese
5 slices Cappacoli ham
6 tb Grated Romano cheese
1 oz Olive oil
Cut bread lengthwise. In order stack pepperoni, sliced onion, lettuce leaves followed by Provolone cheese, tomato slices, cotti salami, smoked ham, Mozzarella cheese, cappacoli ham. Then sprinkle lightly with the Romano cheese and olive oil on the top. Top with the top half of the Italian bread.
This is one of the best sandwiches ever!


Monday, May 7, 2007

Thanks for Nothing!

Being thankful colors everything related to our lives. It will give you a completely different perspective than you would have without it.

As I have raised children I have tried to inculcate in them the need for thankfulness. Just today I was talking to one of my kids about Mother’s Day coming up and what he could do. His immediate comment was to ask why there is mother and father’s day but no kid’s day. He saw this as a grave injustice. I knew the conversation was over for the time being.

I think self-centeredness is the enemy of thankfulness. We can’t see how grateful we should be for what we have and for what others add to our lives.

What got me thinking of this was a story in the paper Saturday about a scholarship fund. Tim Marquez seemed like a regular kid who went to Abraham Lincoln High School (the same one I graduated from.) Things changed after that. He went on to become very wealthy in the oil business. Awhile back he and his wife gave a gift of $50 million to start a scholarship fund to help every graduate of Denver Public Schools go to college.

The foundation made some calculations and came up with a figure of $3000. Their goal was to meet an “unmet need.” Parents would need to pay some, schools may give discounts, and there is financial aid and other scholarships.

What is amazing in this is parent and student reaction. Some families are mad and claiming that Marquez is reneging on his promise. A guy gives $50 million and he still gets criticized. I guess what some people want is all expenses paid, spending money, booze money, fancy clothes money, a new car, cool pad and ???

I see the wisdom of requiring work or contribution on the student and family’s part. We don’t appreciate what comes too easy.

That brings me back to thankfulness. I know there are many students and families that are thrilled with every gift they receive. I was at a meeting of our neighborhood organization last week and they gave five $100 scholarships to local kids. Winners were there with their family and they seemed genuinely thankful for the $100 check. Without thankfulness, they could have looked at it completely different. “A lousy hundred dollars, do you have any idea how much college costs?”

Each of us has a lot to be thankful for. If we look around, we will find many people who have it a little harder than us and who have less than us. Or, maybe they have more, such as sickness or other problems.

Thankfulness makes all the difference in the world.


Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wait Till He Wants a Driver’s License

Animal rights advocates want a chimpanzee declared a person. This comes from Austria where they want a 26-year-old chimp to be able to receive donations and have the right to own property.

If this happens, the chimp would have more rights than a baby in the womb here in America.

According to the article, the Great Ape Project, based in Seattle, also wants to extend “fundamental moral and legal protections” to apes.

I guess the ideas in Seattle and Austria are like evolution. We have people coming from apes and apes becoming people. I am in awe of the great minds that come up with these things.

What’s next? How about extending the right for people and apes to marry? I guess that would make as much sense as same sex marriage.

We shouldn’t be surprised at anything.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mother’s Love – Mother’s Day Grief

This is from the newsletter of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries. I thought it should be passed on to more people.

By Susan Gliko

Many Churches have a beautiful tradition of giving honor to mothers on Mother’s Day. Often the Pastor will invite all mothers to stand at the conclusion of Church services for a special blessing; other Churches ask that mothers remain seated while the choir sings the song Gentle Woman that equates the beauty of motherhood with the mother par excellence – the mother of Christ.

For the post-abortive woman, Mother’s Day can trigger buried feelings of intense grief and loss. As she sits there and contemplates motherhood – listening to the words of the song - blest is the fruit of your womb, gentlewoman, and gentle mother - she is brought face to face with her past abortion.

When a woman chooses abortion it is an act of disintegration. The mind has to deny what is happening to the body. The mind buys the lie that the culture of death sells – abortion is a non-event, the removal of a blob of tissue, the solution to a problem and the end of a mere potential – nothing more.

The body and heart, on the other hand, have a different story to tell - which is that at the moment of conception mother and child begin to communicate on a hormonal level and this information is permanently recorded in the mother's brain. This conversation with the child, which is supported by scientific research, creates a conflict with what the woman is trying to deny in her mind. This conflict often plays itself out in post-abortion symptoms such as nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, drug and alcohol abuse, bouts of crying, anger, to name a few.

In other words, “From the earliest moments of pregnancy, a woman is physiologically prepared to attach to her infant... As this process is interrupted, the body has no internal mechanism to realize and process that the child did not live... maternal identity is often harmed...As grief begins to surface, the woman’s own pain and tears may prove to be the very evidence that she is a loving mother (whether to her living children or those in heaven). Her sorrow bears evidence that she cares deeply about all of her children. Had her aborted child or children lived, she would have provided this love.” Terry Lennox, RN, MA, LCCE, CLC

Mother’s Day can be a moment of grace. Through the contemplation of the truth of motherhood, the body and heart are able to speak to the mind and the mind is able to hear – a moment of re-integration – a moment to hear the truth that they have lost a child, not a blob of tissue. This is where the intense grief comes from.

So, as this Mother’s Day approaches, and the sting of the truth springs from hearts – remember that in the Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II says, “The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision [to abort], and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give into discouragement and do not lose hope. Try, rather, to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourself over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost, and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child who is now living in the Lord.”

Nothing is definitively lost - your child is now living in the Lord – you are a mother.

Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats for emotional and spiritual healing after abortion are held internationally. Rachel’s Vineyard welcomes, women, men, couples, grandparents and abortion providers. Our retreats are held in both Catholic and Interdenominational settings. Rachel' Vineyard Ministries is a resource for clinical training, education, and healing models.