The Whittier Daily News reports that teens from across the Southwest made their way to Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Arcadia, California Saturday to hear Bristol Palin speak about the dangers facing today's youth:
The speech was part of Lovefest, an annual two-day church event that focuses on teens and values. The event held in a church tent familiar to the revival circuit, where youngsters listened to Palin's speech.- JP
From there, the children broke into smaller classes to focus on a array of teen issues - from dating to safely navigating the Internet.
Palin was brought in to serve as a role model and to talk candidly about her experience as a teenage mom. Children came from across Southern California and from as far away as Nevada, church officials said.
"She came right out and said, `I've been criticized and called an hypocrite because I was taking a stance on abstinence and I said I don't want you to go through this,"' said Dave Sweeney, co-founder of the Love Fest. "She implored young people to not to listen to those who say abstinence is not a big deal."
"We didn't want this to turn into a political event," said Roger Sonnenberg, pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church.
But there was no denying the effect of Palin's star power on the children.
"I liked her story and the way she presented her opinion without forcing her ideas on us," said Haley Gould, 17, of Glendora.