21 Nov 2011

Extreme Makeover

 Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. ~John Adams
We are in the middle of a war. It is a war which involves every man, woman and child because it is a war not only for our culture but for our souls. The main battlegrounds of this war appear to be the minds and hearts of women because it is women who make or break family life. Once family life is destroyed or corrupted then the state becomes supreme with each and every one of us as its puppets. When women are degraded then the entire society loses it dignity and heroism. Once a people lose their nobility of soul and sense of honor then there is nothing left to them but enslavement. We now waver at the brink but all is not lost for we have women who see things as they are and are not afraid to talk about it.

Journalist and radio talk show host Teresa Tomeo is one such woman who assesses the facts and tells the truth, as unpleasant as it may be. In her new book Extreme Makeover she writes eloquently of her own experience, what she has seen and what she has lived through, while putting it in the larger context of society as a whole. The feminist movement, which promised to liberate women, has only led to lowering the quality of life not only for women but for their children. Everyone suffers because of the breakdown of morality. "There is a natural order in terms of the way our bodies are designed. When we go against that plan, we make a mess of things for ourselves, and the mess spills over into our families—and into society." (p.61) 
 
Although we live surrounded by the results of failed social experiments, Teresa offers the conclusions of several studies and articles from scholarly journals to back up her assertions. There is also an array anecdotes and news stories gleaned from her many years as an investigative reporter. Every page of the book is rich with information. Not a stone is left unturned and the evidence is sifted most thoroughly with meticulous documentation. For instance, in one of the discussions of abortion, Teresa writes:
If the media were doing its job, it would see a pattern of misconduct in the abortion industry. In the last two years, abortion clinics in New Jersey, Alabama, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Maryland, and Kansas, just to name a few, have been investigated for violations of health care regulations, unreported cases of statutory rape, and problems with the licenses—or lack thereof—of the abortionists themselves.
• In Kansas a case against a Planned Parenthood facility involving 107 criminal charges, including 23 felonies, was remanded to the state’s highest court.21
• Officials in New Jersey accused an abortionist, already under close scrutiny in three other states, of putting women at additional risk through botched abortions.22
• In Alabama the health department found violations at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility regarding the state’s parental consent law.23 (p.64)
The brave work of Lila Rose and Live Action is shown as the valiant Catholic action that it is, as well as other heroic movements in the Church which stand up to the tyranny of the culture of death. Extreme Makeover is a book for the present moment, allowing us to see that moment in the light of tradition as well as in the chronology of the sexual revolution.

The moral teaching of the Catholic Church is not only beautifully explained but shown as the only practical and healthy way in which to live. To quote:
Statistics support the Church’s teaching that marriage is the proper context for sex. Research shows that about 40 percent of married women said that their sex life was emotionally and physically satisfying, compared to about 30 percent of single women. Research also shows that cohabitating couples do not have the same type of commitment as married couples and are less likely to be sexually faithful.42
Let’s do a quick review. Accepting the messages of the culture leads many into sexual relationships outside of marriage. These relationships can lead to serious sin, serious physical and emotional illness, and serious problems for society. The fruits of these relationships are higher divorce rates, more abortions, more children born out of wedlock, increased numbers of STDs, major health complications, higher infertility rates, and increased objectification of women. Listening to God and keeping sex right where it is supposed to be—between one man and one woman, husband and wife in the marital bed—helps us avoid all of these troubles, and more. So which is more conducive to human happiness, “free sex” or the teaching of the Church? (pp.96-97)
Extreme Makeover is a book which should be read by every young woman and every mother of teenage daughters. It is a book to have on hand when engaging in culture war debates on the internet. We need not be ashamed of the truth of our faith but for the sake of others we must speak out with love for what is true and good. And we need not be afraid, for others have paved the way.

(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.)
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Elena Maria Vidal is the author of the historical novels Trianon, Madame Royale, and The Night's Dark Shade. Please visit Elena at her Tea at Trianon blog and on Facebook and Twitter

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