ST. GEORGE — As a way to educate parents and teenagers about the harmful effects of pornography, St. George Parish will host a presentation by Parker Hymas of Fight the New Drug.
Fight the New Drug “is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts and personal accounts,” according to the website fightthenewdrug.org.
“It’s really good because the speaker doesn’t just talk about ‘pornography’s not good for you.’ It’s about how it affects your brain; they talk about how … if you’re already hooked on it, how you can change that and intercept it, according to how your brain works,” said Jill Luttrell, St. George Parish’s director of religious education.
In addition to giving statistics and other scientific data, the presentation will cover other aspects of pornography viewing, such as its effect on family life, “so it’s a really good program that talks about a whole bunch of things under the umbrella of pornography,” Luttrell said.
The idea for the presentation came about after the parish last year hosted a six-week presentation of St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” The presentation first was given to parents, then to teenagers, Luttrell said. A core group of parishioners spent a significant time preparing for that presentation, and one of them, who had attended an event with a speaker on the effects of pornography, mentioned it to Luttrell. After looking into the Fight the New Drug program, Luttrell brought up the matter of a similar presentation with the parish pastor, Fr. Martin Picos.
“Fr. Martin agreed that this was much, much needed information that we need to get out there,” Luttrell said.
Speaking with teenagers about love, sexuality and pornography is important, Luttrell said, because “we see the need that the children have to understand true love and their bodies.”
Today’s media – advertising, television, movies, the Internet and books – are saturated with images of sexuality that are counter to Catholic teaching, Luttrell said. With all those examples, it’s easy for teenagers “to say, ‘Oh. Well, that’s love,’ and not understand what love is,” or that the true love between human beings that is taught through Theology of the Body “is what we are made for. … This isn’t something that the Church is making up and that it’s another rule or ‘commandment’ of the Church. This is a God thing. This is how God created us.”
Because the Theology of the Body program was so popular last year, the parish will offer it again this year, Luttrell said.
The pornography awareness presentation, which is free, will be suitable for families with children older than 11. There will be an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation.
WHAT: Pornography Awareness Presentation
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 10, 7-8 p.m.
WHERE: St. George Parish’s Kuzy Hall, 259 West 200 North, St. George
Free and open to the public.