Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fight Over Abstinence at Harvard

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Everyone isn't doing it.

The Harvard Abstinence Club, "True Love Revolution," or TLR as they are called, has raised the ire of feminists on campus and raised eyebrows among professors and the press--- including the medical community.

Since their founding in 2006, they have become active and engaged with getting their message out.

On Valentine's Day 2007, TLR representatives put a chocolate in every freshwoman's mailbox with a heart shaped card that read: "Why wait? Because you're worth it."

Feminists on campus became irate, accusing them of promoting a retrograde view of sex and relationships.

Now the group has drawn further ire with an addition to their purpose and mission statement.

The new statement asserts that sex outside of marriage is, "harmful to both parties," and they are embracing, "traditional marriage." They are also advocating that choosing abstinence until marriage is "true feminism" in that "it recognizes the natural characteristics, strengths and abilities of women and seeks to affirm them in this identity."

The responses are varied, but my impression from what I have read is that a good number of people and groups are concerned about this move toward a traditional values worldview.

Newsweek, Medical News Today, students and professors have all weighed in on the matter. One thing is sure, it has ignited a conversation.

I have shared some quotes, links and a couple of personal observations.

Lisa Miller, with Newsweek, has written an article published online November 6 and printed in the magazine issue dated today, November 16 that says, "True Love Revolution might do better than to leave aside the divisive and wrong headed 'one man-one woman' language and help guide students through this modern sexual wilderness."

It's ironic that those who helped lead kids into this "sexual wilderness" are so quick to be giving advice as to how to navigate it and escape it.

Miller quotes from a conversation with Donna Freitas, an author and visiting scholar in religion at Boston College, who says she believes students are not given enough opportunity to tell the truth about what they want out of sex and relationships without drawing the derision of their peers and professors.

The values of many professors in the classroom today were shaped by the sexual revolution of the 60's. Not only were their personal values developed in the "free love" Woodstock era, but they have consistently and strongly advocated these values to recent generations of young people coming to the college campus for a liberal arts education.

Any departure from the progressive move to the left and away from traditional values is seen as a reason for alarm.

Medical News Today recaps Millers story with the headline, "Harvard Abstinence Club Misses Opportunity For 'Nuanced' Conversation About Sex, Opinion Piece Says".

Indeed Miller did say that, but it's interesting that Medical News Today felt that was the most important line from her piece.

Advocates of progressive, relativistic values never embrace absolutes. Medical News is quick to judge that if these kids didn't believe so strongly in their values, they might be more effective. Unfortunately, there are those in the religious community who agree.

Friedas told Miller that health services in colleges simply dispense condoms and lectures about sexually transmitted infections and the average college student is miserable about sex.

While the "hook-up" plan is still dominate, kids are beginning to feel unrestrained sexual activities lack meaning and is oppressive and are looking for a better way.

Similar groups to True Love Revolution are operating on other campuses. Similar clubs under the name, Anscombe Society, are operating at Princeton and MIT.

The far left, secularist progressive may have reason for concern.

The TLR home page says, "Welcome to the True Love Revolution! We are a student organization at Harvard College that strives to present another option to our peers regarding sex-related issues, endorsing premarital abstinence and sexual integrity, upholding the institution of marriage and the family, and advocating true feminism."

It continues, "We believe that casual liberationist sentiments toward sexuality, and relationships are detrimental to the health and well being of fellow students. Further more we are alarmed that our peers are ignorant of the reasons and arguments defending these principles..."

The move away from traditional marriage and values by the young are always highly reported, however, there is a revolution happening that is not "nuanced," but clear and principle based.

Pray for these kids and rejoice.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

Click here to add these blogs to your email inbox.