Monday, April 13, 2009

Beware the new religion

Through sex, mankind may attain the great spiritual illumination which will transform the world, which will light up the only path to an earthly paradise.--Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

At long last the day comes when a parent faces that most dreaded of all decisions: If my child is going to college, which one will it be? This question might get simpler if your budget, or your child's unusual major, constrains your choices sharply. Or does that only make it harder? For us, it comes down to the state school. But our day spent at New Student Orientation for that university last week opened my eyes to what that institution has in store for my daughter. And this has led to a whole new round of hand-wringing.

Yep, they've got the Asian language courses she's after, as well as countless programs to ensure her success in the world. Rest assured, a vice provost told us, that academics are our emphasis, first and foremost. After several hours of hearing all the glories of this school detailed, I was feeling fairly good that this might turn out OK for our girl. But as I checked out from the event in the 4th-floor lobby of the beautiful, new student services building, I stopped in my tracks. How had I missed it earlier? There in a lighted display case were a multitude of full-color posters advertising an upcoming presentation. A snappy black T-shirt, imprinted boldly with the name of the event, was also on display. What enriching lecture was this that I should jot down place and time to let my daughter know? Nothing less than "I Love Female Orgasm." The posters, featuring a sassy-looking young woman in a head wrap, said this special event was presented by "sex educators."

After a long phone call to the above-mentioned vice provost and two emails to his colleague, during which I tried to explain why such an advertisement was both offensive and unwise and not a subject most parents were paying many thousands of dollars for their children to be educated in, I got only the usual defenses. They talked about free speech, opening students' minds, and no topic being off limits; and I was assured that most students would leave college with the same values, after all, that they entered with. (Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.)

Why, a parent asks herself, do these seemingly intelligent professionals so vigorously defend the area of sexuality? Why is nothing considered too provocative or too private to be plastered across a main lobby of the university? Why, given the epidemic of STDs and other damaging results of lively sexual activity among our students, would these administrators allow such an event (although I'm told it's wonderful and all about "healthy" sexual choices) and its titillating promotion?

Only one answer is possible, and I am not the first to stumble onto it: Sex is the new religion. The free practice of it, and the required instruction in it, have redefined our culture. If you are raising your children to believe in something else, something higher, something harder, beware of the message in our public schools and secular universities. The current, as you have surely noticed, is against you.

I hope my discussion with the university is not over. I'd like to believe that I am not the only parent calling after noticing the orgasm display--but I doubt it.

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