11 December 2017

It All Goes Back to Porn

We live in a culture where access to pornography is as easy to get a hold of as a mobile order for a grande Starbucks latte.

I have been watching and reading a lot as #metoo grew louder and people started to take notice. We've all watched as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and many others were fired over accusations of sexual assault on women. For several months now, sexual assault has dominated our media and news.

But in all the news coverage and articles I have read, there is one connection that no one in the secular world is making.

Which is?
That we live in a world that accepts and normalizes pornography. Sexual assault, abuse, manipulation, and the objectification of women all come back to rampant porn use. 
It all goes back to the porn.

And nobody is talking about it.

When pornography is the norm, is socially acceptable, it opens the gate to objectify and use another person.
When its the norm to use another person you see the mess we are dealing with today in the culture. 

If we really want to do justice to #metoo and women who have been sexually abused, we have to acknowledge the horrific damage pornography is creating in our world and culture and relationships.

We've heard snippets from some people in the media.
Elizabeth Smart shared her kidnappers exposing her to pornography made her captivity a living Hell. Serial killer Ted Bundy said in an interview watching porn only takes you so far and eventually you need harder materials.

Nothing makes more money online than pornography. NOTHING.
The human body and soul is treated cheaply and without dignity.

We have the science that viewing porn actually re-wires the brain in ways that negatively affect how men and women view and treat each other. There are pictures of the human brain that show what happens chemically when porn is watched and the brain looks very similar to brains addicted to hard core drugs.
And yet there are still people who deny or downplay such findings.

We wonder why these horrific #metoo stories keep coming out. Is porn the only reason? No, but it is one of the main contributing factors.

If we want to do justice to women who have been sexually abused and manipulated we absolutely have to address a core problem that says it is okay to use women and treat them as objects.

If we cannot agree on that or start from this foundational point, then what the heck are we doing?

So many people (both men and women) have been harmed by the misuse of sexuality that because of things like #metoo everyone is more aware or talking about it now. 

People are more aware. Stories are being shared and experiences being validated. 

But if we want to do right by victims everywhere, we cannot afford to sweep its connection to pornography under the rug.

If people are going to stand up for the rights of women who have been abused and silenced over the years, then we also have to speak to this reality which is affected by a pornified culture.

It really does go back to pornography.

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20 November 2017

A Baby, Beatification, & New Job

November has been such a full, crazy month. All good things, but just so many good things.

November 1st (All Saints Day) I became an auntie! My sister Annie had her baby boy (my godson!) Xavier Paul. He is super cute and has a full black head of hair!

The best parts have been rocking and singing to him while he falls asleep on my chest. Few things in life are as wonderful as snuggling a brand new baby.

It is still crazy to realize this sweet little person has joined our family. Since meeting and spending time with Xavier, it has given me a lot to think and reflect on what it means to be a mother; particularly a spiritual mother as I do not have children of my own.

Seeing this little person whose life I will get to impact has been helping me realize even if I never marry or have my own children, there will still be ways I can be a mother. 

Next big day for little X-man is his Baptism on December 10th. My Dad will get to baptize his first grandchild.

Cue the waterworks now.

The first weekend in November was our youth ministry fall retreat. It was long, cold, and I laughed so much with these crazy kids. We hugged and cried and had an awesome theme all bout the power of the Holy Spirit.

This past Saturday was a very special day for our local church in Detroit. Fr. Solanus Casey, a humble Capuchin friar was beatified. He was know for his simplicity, humility, and his spiritual gifts of healing and prophecy. Many people have experienced physical and spiritual healing through the words and prayers of Blessed Solanus. It was a long day, but beautiful and sacred all rolled into one.

Number estimate 68,000-70,000 people came to Ford Field for the Mass. I just love the universality of the Catholic Church.

Photo cred: my much more creative friend, Danielle Center

And yes I have a new job! I have actually known about it since mid-September but needed to coordinate both parishes making announcements at the same time. For the first time ever I will break taking a break from youth ministry. It is crazy to think it would have been 10 years in February! Youth ministry has been a love and passion for so many years, but I am looking forward to spreading my wings in new ways.

I will be a pastoral associate at the new parish. I am very excited to get trained as a lay person to help people with their annulments and will be taking a Canon Law class on marriage nullity to get certified. 

My other responsibilities will include: women's ministry, marriage prep, marriage ministry, and creating a recovery program for divorced Catholic's.

I will start on January 8th. I am so excited but nervous at the same time. I am really looking forward to growing in new ministerial skills and taking new risks.

2017 has been good to me. And I am excited to see what the New Year has in store.

I have said it many times here that my life looks so much different than I ever imagined. Different of course is not bad it is just different. 

God is gently prodding me to not control every aspect of my life and I am learning what it means to be content right now in the present. Sometimes I am better at it. And sometimes I royally suck at it.

But not matter the big feels or pity party I may want to throw, I know He is good and faithful. 

Excited to see what 2018 holds...

What is new and exciting in your life?! :)

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31 October 2017

The Reformation 500 Years Later & Why We Should Care

Today is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

And that is a big deal to Christians everywhere. 

Leading up to this day, its significance has been on my mind and heart a lot.

You may be wondering, "Okay but what is the big deal? Why should millennials today care about Martin Luther and the Reformation?" 

Because it is part of our story as Christian disciples.

It is part of our history.

And when we better understand our history, we can move forward into the future with more empathy and understanding. 


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