‘God created sex for marriage,’ says Stenzel
by Elizabeth Riggle, Correspondent
October 2, 2012
About 150 people participated in the abstinence seminar at Corpus Christi First Baptist Church on Aug. 16.
Elizabeth Riggle, for South Texas Catholic
Based in Minnesota and founder of Enlighten Communications, Stenzel has been traveling and visiting with teens around the world to promote the value of sexual abstinence before marriage since 1993. Stenzel has written numerous books and produced award winning videos including, “Sex, Love and Relationships,” “Sex Has a Price Tag” and “Take a Look in the Mirror.” Stenzel has also written public school curriculums called “Abstinence by Choice” and “Building Healthy Relationships.”
On Aug. 16-17, Stenzel spoke to hundreds of students, parents, public and private school educators and youth directors at four different locations in the Corpus Christi area: Incarnate Word Academy, First Baptist Church, St. Anthony Catholic Church in Robstown and a professional development seminar held at Solomon Coles Education and Learning Center for public school educators.
Pam Stenzel tells her audience that chastity before marriage is the very best option for young people because it shows respect for yourself and your future spouse.
for South Texas Catholic
Stenzel was brought to Corpus Christi by Kristie Rutledge, a member of a grass roots organization of concerned parents and grandparents. Local donors paid for Stenzel’s fees and educational services, in addition to the costs of abstinence curriculum resources for Corpus Christi Independent School District.
Corpus Christi Pregnancy Resource Center and Refuge of Hope, a Pregnancy Resource Center are partners in the community effort to promote abstinence before marriage according to Rutledge.
Speaking on Aug. 16 at First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, an enthusiastic and engaging Stenzel told the gathering of about 150 people “sex within the boundaries of marriage is awesome.”
“God created sex for marriage,” she said, if you are not married don’t do it.”
The audience was comprised of elementary, middle school, high school and college-aged students, parents, grandparents and educators of different religious denominations and ethnic backgrounds.
Stenzel urged the young people to remember that they are “children of God” and are created in the image of God. She told them to respect themselves and their future spouse. “The perfect gift you can give to your spouse is your chaste self,” she said.
In a blunt, witty way, Stenzel said there is no such thing as safe sex, and there is a “very, very high cost” to free love.
“While pregnancy is survivable, some sexually transmitted diseases are not. Your sexual experiences can come back to haunt you. Condoms do not protect against all sexually transmitted diseases,” she said.
There are 30 STDs and some are bacterial-based and can be cured. The viral STD’s stay with the individual forever and can cause sterility or death, Stenzel said.
“Parents matter and parents’ values matter. Parents need to have rules and boundaries for their children,” Stenzel said.
The statement “parents matter,” hit home with Debbie Shea. Attending the seminar at First Baptist, Shea, a mother of five and grandmother of one, said she wanted to research the alternatives to Planned Parenthood.
“I want to be an aware Catholic. Pam Stenzel’s information, books and videos are a wonderful compliment to ‘The Catholic Theology of the Body’ by Pope John Paul II. We want to teach our children to honor themselves and to honor Christ. We are an image of Christ,” Shea said.
Shea’s children range in age from 10 years to 27 years, and she wants to be equipped to handle any questions her children may have.
“Parents need to educate themselves. Our children need to understand that there are dangers to sex. Planned Parenthood is not telling of all of the dangers. Condoms do not solve all of the problems associated with premarital sex. Pam Stenzel connected with the young people, and she made a difference. Pam helped to open up a dialogue between parents and children,” said Shea, a Corpus Christi Cathedral parishioner.
Opening a dialogue between parents and children is a primary goal of Rutledge, a married mother of four children and three grandchildren.
“The entire community is concerned about the high risk associated with casual sex that is affecting the current generation. Teen pregnancy rates are virtually unchanged in the past 10 years while sexually transmitted disease rates in teens are spiraling out of control. Chlamydia rates in our children have skyrocketed 67 percent in the past 10 years. Safe sex programs have left our students unprotected and at great risk,” Rutledge said.
“The current generation in Nueces County and Corpus Christi is facing a serious health crisis; one that carries with it lifelong physical scars and serious emotional trauma. Educators, counselors, community organizations and churches are anxious to deliver a unified message to young people in the Coastal Bend that abstinence is the best, and responsible adults are rallying around young people to give them support and encouragement to achieve their goals of leading healthy lives: physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge said she is very happy that four CCISD middle schools and four CCISD high schools will be implementing Stenzel’s abstinence curriculum.
“This is a very encouraging start. We look forward to achieving our goal of 100 percent implementation of Pam Stenzel’s abstinence curriculum at all CCISD’s middle schools and high school campuses,” said Rutledge, a parishioner at Sacred Heart in Rockport.