Cultural apologetics is designed to help you and your disciples wrestle with teachings of the Church, which are often difficult in today’s cultural context. We encourage you to take some time to read and discuss these articles, so as to come to a deeper understanding of the Church’s teaching on these topics.
Sex and Sanctity by Jason Evert
How can you practice chastity when you’re immersed in such a culture? For one, it helps to understand why God desires purity from us (and more importantly, for us). So, whether you’re in full agreement with the Church’s teachings on sexuality or you have serious questions about them, the following questions and answers offer a basic explanation of God’s plan for human love. Download a PDF version of the article here.
Porn and Relationships by Matt Fradd
Pornography consumption, even in moderation, is detrimental to individuals, our most cherished relationships, and society at-large. And this is not merely the testimony of the church; it is the testimony of hard science. Download a PDF version of the article here.
The Pill: No Small Matter by Dr. Janet Smith
Our culture and even most Catholics find the Church’s teaching that contraception is never in accord with God’s plan for sexuality hard to understand and perhaps even ridiculous. Isn’t contraception a terrific modern invention that frees human beings from enslavement to bodily constraints? Doesn’t it allow the unmarried to live out their sexuality without having their plans, their studies, or their careers, derailed by an unwanted pregnancy? Doesn’t it enable people to ensure sexual compatibility — and other kinds of compatibility — before marriage? Doesn’t it enable married people to pursue the spiritual ends of sexuality without fear of pregnancy and to have a reliable way of controlling their family size?
Our culture seems to have decided that sexuality free from the responsibilities of children is so essential to human happiness that some in our government have proposed free contraception for all women.
Yet, as common as these beliefs are to our culture, they are at odds with God’s plan for the great gift of sexuality and how it must be lived in order to contribute to our happiness. Download a PDF version of the article here.
Same-Sex Marriage? by Dr. Ryan Anderson
We all want the law to treat all marriages equally. What we disagree about is what sort of consenting adult relationship is a marriage. And we need to think critically about this issue.
The Catholic Church supports marriage, sees it as an incredible gift from God and teaches that it stems from the unique relationship between man and woman. “‘The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . .God himself is the author of marriage.’ The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator” (CCC 1603). From this, the Church has come to understand that marriage is the lifelong, exclusive union of a man and a woman. On this account, same-sex marriage is an impossibility.Download a PDF version of the article here.
The Abortion Debate by Abby Johnson
Very few issues today provoke as passionate and divisive a response as abortion. Whether in politics, society, or as a matter of faith, the “abortion debate” has not waned since 1973 when abortion was legalized in the now infamous Supreme Court Case known as Roe vs Wade. The talking points used to support abortion suggest that abortion is empowering and validating. Opposition to abortion is often viewed as “imposing religion on other people,” “depriving women of reproductive freedom,” and “denying women access to healthcare.” These carefully crafted sound bites suggest that if you are against abortion, you are against women. And no one wants to be against women!
The Catholic Church teaches, “Direct abortion…is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (CCC 2271). Is abortion a universal human right and necessary medical care or is it a morally unacceptable tragedy? It can be hard to sift through what sounds like fact to find the truth. Let’s take a minute to look at the foundational truths on which the Church’s teaching is based and see how these relate to the issue of abortion. Download a PDF version of the article here.
A Catholic Approach to Alcohol by Dr. Jared Staudt
The Catholic approach to almost anything finds a balance between two extremes. Alcohol is no different. We might think immediately of the extreme of drinking too much, especially on college campuses; but many Christians respond to that extreme by another, rejecting the legitimacy of alcohol outright. Any Catholic assessment of drinking must acknowledge the real social problems that arise with the abuse of alcohol, but it should address these problems by showing its proper use. A Catholic approach to drinking draws upon the Catholic tradition of festivity to integrate alcohol within rightly ordered relationships and the Church’s efforts for evangelization. Download a PDF version of the article here.