Friday, March 4, 2011

BYU Takes a Hard Stand Against Premarital Sex

Brigham Young University is a private, religious institution. If the Mormon University wishes to impose an honor code upon its students and student-athletes, it may do so. If the students sign the code to “live a chaste and virtuous life,” and to forswear drugs, alcohol, coffee, and tea, then they are free to do so. They can matriculate elsewhere if they wish.

I don’t question the precepts of any religion as long as they do not pose a threat to others. The wisdom though may be questionable.

God bless BYU for adhering to its moral values.

As we know the third ranked Cougars suspended for the remainder of the season, i.e. the NCAA basketball playoffs, Brandon Davies, its leading rebounder and third leading scorer. The university is sticking to its principles, as it did with a star football player last year. The potential cost to the university is great.

Davies’ dishonor was to have sex with his girl friend.

Sex? Not marijuana, cocaine, sexual assault, robbery, but sex?

Let’s be realistic.

Trying to ban premarital sex among teenagers with raging hormones is akin to standing in front of a tsunami asking it to stop.

Clark Kerr, the great Chancellor of Berkeley, remarked “the great administrative problems of the day were sex for the student, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.”

The Jesuits at the University of San Francisco had a strict moral code in the early 1960’s. One of the key principles was no coeds in the dorm. At one point a student, in a ground level dorm room, had his girl friend visiting for three days. The administration found out. The response was farcical. Two RA’s climbed through the window while a priest entered through the door. He was expelled, but the Jesuits could not stop the sexual revolution unleashed by the pill.

The Catholic Church is opposed to abortion and contraception. However, by the mid-60’s many of the Jesuits at USF reached a moral accommodation with birth control. Many Catholics practice safe sex outside of marriage, and several Catholic politicians are publicly Pro-Choice.

We also know, of course, that the Church has great difficulty enforcing chastity among its ranks. Indeed, a Jesuit law professor, who taught me Labor Law, quietly left the order a few years later when he was marrying a 27 year old cocktail waitress he had impregnated.

Our colonial forbears engaged in "bundling" in which, on their honor, they would remain chaste. Hormones often triumphed.

The military can't control sex and fraternization amongst its ranks and officer corps, but BYU expects its students to honor the honor code on and off campus..

Other religions and cultures require the bride to be a virgin. Some plastic surgeons are making a fortune recreating a hymen in some of these brides shortly before the marriage.

The problem with the BYU Honor Code is that it defies genetics and human nature.

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