Silver Ring Thing invades Cathedral to promote abstinence

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 27, 2009

Michael Roboski had heard the message so many times he would “have to take (his) shoes off to count.”

Now all he has to do is look down at the silver ring on his finger to get a reminder.

Roboski was just one Cathedral School student to attend the Silver Ring Thing rally at Cathedral Friday.

Email newsletter signup

Silver Ring Thing is a Christian-based national awareness campaign aimed at teaching middle school and high school students the social and Biblical importance of staying sexually pure until marriage.

At the end of the two-and-a-half-hour energy-charged show complete with rock music, light effects, fire and comical video clips, students committed verbally to abstain from sexual activity until marriage by reciting a pledge.

Some students even made their commitment physically by purchasing a silver ring to symbolize their pledge to abstinence.

Roboski, 17, was one of those.

“I made the commitment a long time ago,” he said. “I was raised in a strict Catholic family that taught those values and knew I would follow that.

“This (ring) is just a tangible reminder of what I know I want to do.”

Eighth-grader Caroline Downer, 13, said it is important to her for people to know where she stands on the issue and that’s why she purchased a ring and promptly placed it on her finger.

“I bought the ring and will wear the ring because of the message behind it,” she said. “It is a way to tell everyone that I’m going to wait.

“I’ve always known that was the decision for me, now others know too.”

Junior Elly Smith, 16, had been to the lectures on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and why it is better to refrain from sex until marriage. But none of those were at all like the environment created by the Silver Ring Thing.

And for Smith, the change was refreshing.

“The honesty that was used in the show was what stood out to me,” she said. “The way it was done (Friday) was very straight forward and blunt and to the point.”

Silver Ring Thing uses comical skits and video clips to deliver its message, and Smith said while the clips, especially the commercial spoofs that were aired, made her laugh, she understands the seriousness of the message.

“Sex is a touchy topic and has to be presented with a certain amount of respect,” she said. “Some lectures are too silly and others are too serious. The way the information was presented today there was a good balance to get the message across.

“Sure we were dancing and laughing but the message was clear.”

Seventh-grader Andrew Allen said he knew the abstinence message. He had heard it before, but this time made more of impact because of the way he heard it.

“It was fun and high energy,” he said. “It was something I won’t forget, and I won’t forget the message either.

“Today made an impact.”

One of the steps to staying sexually pure encouraged by the Silver Ring Thing team members is finding an accountability partner who shares the commitment.

“I’ve got two of them already,” Smith said.

And having someone who can offer advice and support can be a lifesaver in a high school environment that is often full of peer-pressure, Smith said.

“When you go to a small school there is a lot of concern over who did what and what the person in front of you is doing,” Smith said. “It might be easy to get caught up in that if you don’t have someone to support you.”

Roboski said in an environment as small as Cathedral and Natchez, it can be easy to get wrapped up in what other people are doing.

“Here you have a small group of people to pick your friends from,” he said. “In larger cities, you are more apt to find people who believe the way you do and stand for the same thing you do.

“You have make to make sure the friends you choose are going to be there for you and support the decisions you make. It can be hard, but it can be done.

Smith said the small environment can be a good thing because of the traditional upbringing, but she said there is also a downside.

“You don’t really get to pick your friends,” she said. “Because of that you have to be more careful.”