Culture

Harvard’s Hedonism Wrecks Lives

Students on the Harvard University campus (Reuters photo: Brian Snyder)
The university should get off its sexual high horse.

Harvard University is losing its mind. Yesterday, it canceled the remainder of its men’s soccer season. The reason? It discovered that the team had created and maintained a document that purported to “rate” members of the Harvard women’s soccer team on the basis of their “perceived sexual appeal and physical appearance.” Those who’ve seen the document say that freshman players were “ranked by number, given written and photographic descriptions of their appearance, and assigned assumed sexual behavior.” 

This is no small penalty. The team was contending for an Ivy League championship and seemed poise to make the NCAA tournament. By canceling the season, Harvard forfeits all remaining games and opts out of postseason play. Every player and coach is punished, regardless of their level of participation in the “scouting report.”

To be clear, I can easily judge the document — sight unseen — as immoral. But I’m one of those crazy, dangerous, religious nutjobs who believes that sexual activity should be reserved for a lifelong covenant marriage between husband and wife. Moreover, my clearly insane and oppressive beliefs are grounded within a cohesive worldview that asks its adherents to flee from temptation, treat each and every person as a child of God created in His image, and refrain from actions such as drunkenness that impair moral judgment.

Harvard and its morally bankrupt secular peers encourage the polar-opposite worldview. From the moment their young, hormonal students set foot on campus, they’re encouraged to obsess about sex. Free condoms are available by the armload. From Thursday to Sunday, thousands of students drink themselves into literal stupors. And all the while they seek hookups and one-night-stands by, yes, rating appearance on apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. Students are encouraged to question and defy virtually every element of traditional, religious moral teaching. Indeed, they’re taught that such teachings are oppressive and malicious.

In other words, these colleges intentionally replace Judeo-Christian morality with a bizarre form of quasi-puritanical libertinism that defies everything we know about human nature. The libertinism is obvious. You see it all around you on campus. The puritanism comes later, dropping like a hammer on those people who transgress the shifting, arbitrary moral codes that purport to place boundaries around the bacchanal. These schools beg students to play with fire, then come flying in with fire extinguishers only after someone gets thoroughly burned.

RELATED: Why Is There a Campus Hookup Culture?

What, exactly, is the punishable offense committed by these soccer players? Is it talking sexually about a student without their consent? Well then, virtually every student in America should forfeit whatever remaining intercollegiate or intramural games are left on their schedules. Is it reducing those words to writing? Well, then, in this age where texts, e-mails, snapchats, and listservs increasingly replace the spoken word, teams will still be gutted.

Harvard soccer players were wrong to do what they did, but I can’t applaud the school.

It seems the real offense here was being dumb enough to get caught. Either that, or Harvard really does want to stamp out any and all sexual discussion or commentary absent consent, even as it takes pains not to suppress sexual expression and creativity: Speak like a Victorian gentleman, live like Long Dong Silver. Only idiots believe this can work.

Compounding the madness, these same campus ideologues look at the wreckage, survey the damage, and still try to ruthlessly suppress the Christian voices who offer a better way. Gordon College is one of the safest colleges in America, a place where a woman can live and learn almost entirely free of the fear of sexual assault, meeting men who will treat her with dignity and respect. Yet its accreditation was recently threatened precisely because it dissents from the sexual revolution.

#related#There is nothing more absurd than watching colleges that are so rife with binge drinking and sexual-misconduct complaints that they’re under active investigation by the Department of Education launch witch-hunts against campus Christian groups who dare believe in chastity.

Harvard soccer players were wrong to do what they did, but I can’t applaud the school. It made its own decision to turn its back on Christ decades ago. It has done more than just set the stage for pain and heartbreak — it has incentivized and encouraged sexual adventurousness. Selective and arbitrary bouts of conscience can’t rescue it from the consequences of sin. They have sown the sexual wind. Now they reap the whirlwind of pain, confusion, and hurt.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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