Best-selling author Christopher West and his accompanying musician, Mike Mangione, presented their ideology that God and sex are connected in the eyes of Christianity last Thursday in Forum Hall.
“(West) talks a lot about sexuality, sex and desires that we experience,” Nate Hoffman, senior in accounting, said. “We thought a speaker like that would be great at a college campus.”
Hoffman, who is also president of the K-State Catholic Student Organization and Leadership team at St. Isidore’s Catholic Student Center, said both organizations worked to sponsor West’s presentation.
The organizations worked with the Student Government Association to raise funds for the event. SGA provided $3,000 to cover travel costs for West, Mangione and their manager, according to Hoffman.
West discussed what he calls the “Three D’s”: desire, design and destiny. He gave the Latin definitions of these words and said they pertain to something deeper. He said sexuality should not be suppressed, but should instead awaken inside of us.
“No one in my Catholic schooling connected the dots for me between sex and God,” West said. “That burning, that ache, is the God-sized hole in us.”
West shared his experiences with the crowd, including his “life-changing” decision to stay sober for one weekend while in college to change his point of view of the life he was living of alcohol and sex.
West said his inspiration came from the teachings of Pope John Paul II, called “Theology of the Body.”
“’Theology of the Body’ connected the dots between sex and God for me,” West said.
He said God’s design has placed sex everywhere and provided examples of how sex is all around, citing things in nature like animal-mating songs and pollen from flowers.
“We have come to look at our fertility as a disease,” West said. “A man is meant to be a gift to a woman; a woman is meant to be a gift to a man.”
According to West, everyone was given the power by God to create something beautiful — another human life. He said God speaks in sign language and that everyone needs to learn how to read his signs.
West and Mangione have been working together for eight years, according to Mangione. He said he was taken to Mass for the first time by a girl he was dating, marking the beginning of his spiritual journey. Mangione went with the girl to a retreat, where he met West. Since then, Mangione has worked with West, using his music to reflect his passion.
According to Mangione, he could feel his journey beginning that first time he walked into Mass.
“I felt like I was walking into something special,” Mangione said. “God knew I needed a girl, a priest and Christopher West.”
Hoffman said he wants students to gain a better understanding of sex as God intended it, and that is why West was chosen to present.