By Kevin Kelly
Catholic Key Associate Editor
OLATHE, Kan. — The greatest danger of promiscuous sex isn’t pregnancy, but disease, sterility and death, a national speaker told hundreds of Catholic and Protestant men, women and youth at the annual Men of Valor/Women of Virtue conference.
“Kids have a four times greater chance of getting a disease than they have of getting pregnant,” said Pam Stenzel, author of several books including her latest, “Nobody Told me.”
She told hundreds of parents gathered at Prince of Peace Parish Jan. 28 for the opening of the conference that the trend of putting teenaged girls on birth control can have fatal consequences.
“What does birth control protect her from? That makes her 10 times more likely to have a (sexually transmitted) disease and she can wind up sterile or dead. Thanks, mom,” Stenzel said.
Stenzel was one of three keynote speakers who kicked off the conference for adults on Jan. 28. She had earlier spoken to hundreds of teens gathered at College Church of the Nazarene on the campus of Mid-America Nazarene University a few blocks away.
The next day, fathers and sons participated in a daylong conference on sexual purity on the campus for the Men of Valor conference, while women and daughters took part in the Women of Virtue conference at Prince of Peace.
Among the featured speakers were Sean McKay and his Covenant 4 Men Ministries that included Dallas Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna, as well as former NFL players Eric Boles and Travis Brown, with several prominent Catholic and Protestant speakers leading workshops throughout the day.
The conference is sponsored by Pure Hope, an organization founded by the Rev. Dr. Jerry Kirk, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Stenzel said she wrote her latest book, designed to look like a Facebook social networking page, because she often heard teenaged girls tell her that “Nobody Told Me” of the full consequences of sex outside of marriage.
“I have had girls tell me that if somebody told them, they would have made a better choice,” Stenzel said.
“Parents, you can’t choose for your kids. All you can do is love them and tell them the truth,” she said.
And the truth about promiscuous sex is this, she said: “If you have sex outside of marriage, a permanent marriage and that means one partner, you’ll pay. There is cost. There is pain. The best choice is made before sex. After that, it gets tough.”
Stenzel said that 14,000 more teenagers are diagnosed every day with one of 30 known sexually transmitted diseases.
“Thirty percent of them are absolutely incurable. You’ve got them for life,” she said.
She said that in 1967, one in 32 teens had a sexually transmitted disease. Today, that number is one in four.
“The only safe sex is with a safe partner,” Stenzel said. “But we have lied to our kids and said they can have all the sex they want, and we’ll give them a shot, a pill or a piece of latex to protect them.”
Instead, parents need to tell their teens that “it takes character, integrity and self-respect to say no,” she said.
Stenzel said the parental attitude that leads to sexually promiscuous teens is not limited to “bad” parents. She said in her work at a crisis pregnancy center in Chicago she has counseled girls from solid, church-going families after they became pregnant or contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
“We have a disaster and it’s not just out there in the world somewhere. It’s right here in our churches,” she said.
She also urged parents to get their own attitudes in line with God’s will.
“Don’t talk about purity with your kids if you are not pure,” she said. “You have to get your own house in order.”
McKay told the men and women that a good marriage is a partnership.
He said that when he was first married, he tried to model his marriage after Ephesians 5:22 — “Wives submit to your husbands.” He was the master of his household, he said.
“Even when I was dead wrong, I could win a fight” with his wife, he said.
Seven years into his marriage, he went to a “Promise Keepers” rally in which the men were told to ask their wives where they ranked on a scale of 1 to 10. He was stunned when his wife graded him at 6.5.
“It hit me hard,” he said. “I needed to change.”
So he turned to his Bible and read the rest of Ephesians: “Submit to one another . . . Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over to her to sanctify her . . . He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church.”
“I knew the Word,” McKay said. “A lot of people know the Word, but they don’t live out the Word.”
McKay said he began helping his wife around the house, and he began listening to her instead of arguing, “even when I was dead right.”
“My marriage has been completely reformed,” he said. “I am a changed man.”END