Thursday, June 7, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ Not Conformed to the Culture

 Extreme Makeover is a thorough overview of the truth about contraception, abortion, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Author and radio talk show host Teresa Tomeo lays out the Catholic Church’s main teachings regarding the dignity of human life from the moment of conception, the sacredness of sexuality (and the proper context for such interactions), as well as the special role of women.
Woven through a slew of statistics, facts, and figures about the prevalence and negative effects of contraception and abortion in the US and abroad, is the story of Teresa Tomeo’s own experience of having her basic beliefs about herself, her marriage, the Catholic Church, and her role in the media turned upside down and inside out.
This book provides some good guidelines for learning more about the how and why behind Catholic teachings, a clear delineation of what they actually are (when it comes to sexuality and the expression of it) and why these tenets of the faith aren’t going to change because of public opinion or popular trends. Several papal encyclicals are quoted and referenced in order to explain controversial Church teachings on a deeper level with Scriptural background and a Christian context.
Not only is it important to understand Catholic teaching, but it’s also essential to compare what comes from the Church versus the slant that is placed on what’s been said by the mainstream secular media. Tomeo suggests a number of websites and practices that will help the reader begin a detox from the many cultural lies that are presented as emphatically as gospel truth by many journalists and newscasters.
Much of the information included about contraception, abortion, Natural Family Planning, and the pro-life practices will be a review for those who are already involved in the movement. The same is true for those who have been keeping up with Catholic teaching and papal encyclicals—they’ll have seen quite a bit of this before.
Extreme Makeover is a good summation of the Church’s truth versus our culture’s lies about sexual morality, reproduction, and how to respect and protect the dignity of human life. In addition to a number of resources that are included as proof of the scientific research that’s been done, Tomeo has incorporated some personal testimonies of women whose lives have also been dramatically changed since they learned about and embraced the Catholic stance on contraception and abortion.   
I wrote this review of Extreme Makeover for the free Catholic book review program, Tiber River. Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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