Prayer and fasting

Our country -- indeed our world -- stands at a fork in the road, two paths lay open before us. The one to the right leads to the civilization of life. Those who want our country to go in this direction believe that laws should protect all human life from conception to natural death. They want to live under laws and in a culture that supports the natural family founded on marriage between one man and one woman. They believe children should not only be shielded from sexual predators or online pornography, but also be protected against sexually aggressive children and adolescents and sex education programs designed to undermine modesty and religious beliefs. Those who would take the right path are not naïve; they know that a pro-life, pro-family culture will not solve every problem, but they are convinced that it is the best way to protect women and children.

The road to the left leads to a completely sexually liberated society where people are encouraged to seek sexual pleasure in whatever form appeals to them. Those who would take the Sexual Left see a society where marriage is redefined, so that it is no longer expected to be permanent, an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman, indeed not even confined to just two people. It would be whatever the participants want it to be. The sexual desires of adults would take precedence over the fundamental need of children for stability and the children would be expected to cope with family arrangements in a constant state of flux.

Those who would take the road to the Sexual Left know that absolute sexual freedom has its risks. Uncommitted sex leads to unwanted babies. Promiscuous sex spreads sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the Sexual Leftists demand easy access to condoms, contraceptives, and abortion.

Those who are afraid of the social consequences of absolute sexual liberation are told to be tolerant and open; after all, if some people choose sexual behaviors that they don’t approve of, it won’t affect their family or their children. This is a lie. If this country takes the path of the Sexual Left, every family and every child will be affected, because this is not a debate over the behavior of adults, but a battle for control of the education of children. The Sexual Left wants nothing less than total victory. This is a battle for the classrooms. Every time the Sexual Left wins a battle in the courts, they demand that more of their agenda be promoted in public education.

Sexual Leftists see nothing wrong with young children engaging in sex play and adolescents having sexual affairs. They see nothing wrong with abortion clinics protecting the identity of statutory rapists. For Sexual Leftists, anything that inhibits sexual freedom is evil, and that includes parents, religion, natural modesty, and a traditional understanding of right and wrong. Sexual Leftists want nothing less than control of the education of children from kindergarten to college.

Parents who are unwilling to turn the education of their children over to the Sexual Left find them themselves facing unpalatable alternatives. Parents in Lexington, who objected to Sexual Leftist propaganda in kindergarten storybooks, were told they could send their child to private school. Parents in Portland, Maine are being told that if they give their 11-year-old daughter permission to receive a Band-Aid from the school nurse they are giving consent for her to receive oral contraception without their knowledge. In California a set of laws was just passed that will impose the agenda of the Sexual Left on every aspect of public education.

This battle must be fought on every front. Grassroots activism is important. Countering the distortions and outright lies of the Sexual Left’s propaganda machine is crucial. Involvement in the political process is a moral responsibility, but this is spiritual warfare and therefore prayer, fasting, and acts of reparation are even more essential.

The Culture War will not be won in a day or a year or a decade, but it can be lost if we become weary or despair.

When was the last time you fasted to stop abortion, offered reparations for the offenses against purity in the media, or said the rosary for the restoration of the truth about marriage? We would besiege heaven if we heard one child was dying. Should we not pray with more intensity for a culture that is dying and will, if it does, take many, many children with it?

Dale O’Leary is the author of “One Man, One Woman: A Catholic’s Guide to Defending Marriage.”