On Sunday at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center, organizers of a weekend-long pornography expo were busy packing up the last of their gear. Meanwhile, across town at the Denver Coliseum, throngs of local young people were promoting a different view of sexuality.
4,000 youths gathered this year for the third annual Pure by Choice rally, themed, “Ashamed no More,” to hear speakers, musicians and receive encouragement from their peers to keep fighting for purity and chastity within a sex-drenched culture.
Organizer Bob Lemming called the Rally, “a dynamic, family-centered event…designed to empower young people and their parents to value that gift and to live a lifestyle that honors God’s plan for life, love, and healthy relationships.”
He said that “Today’s young people see first-hand through their own experiences and the culture around them, the brokenness and pain that comes from living promiscuous and impure lives. And they are ready to stand against the tide.”
Not missing the ironic timing of the nearby pornography expo, Lemming told Denver’s Rocky Mountain News that "We're both talking about sex, but from a totally different perspective.”
“Here's the difference,” he said: “From their point of view, they're talking about individual pleasure and the taking of pleasure…From our point of view; we're talking about the fact that our sexuality is a gift from God. It's not that sex is bad, but we're in a giving posture. I'm going to give myself to my wife (after marriage)."
The Pure by Choice organization calls itself a statewide alliance whose goal is to mobilize faith and community leaders “to advance the counter- cultural revolution honoring Gods plan for life, love and healthy relationships by equipping young people and their families to meet the challenge of sexual purity.”
Likewise, they encourage young people to “discover [their] role in the revolution.”
One rally attendee, Jessie Kops, a Denver High School senior told the Rocky Mountain News that at his school, having an attitude of sexual purity can be difficult. "It's like, if you're a virgin, it's a bad thing almost," he said. "There's a lot of pressure to have sex. It's like to be cool, you have to have sex."
On Sunday however, he said, "I'm not ashamed anymore to say I'm a virgin."