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Encourage chastity, not ‘free talk’

Daniel Amiri | Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It is perhaps my greatest fear that the view proposed in Joey Falco’s column (“Disloyal fathers,” Nov. 20) is the popular one. Although articulate, considerate and genuinely concerned for the welfare of the human race (qualities which seem rare nowadays), Joey Falco misses the point. With all due respect to him, I write that bowing down to the insatiable, animalistic desires of an over-sexed youth will only perpetuate the problems of modern society, specifically those mentioned by Falco in his article.

Throwing condoms at Africa will, perhaps, slow the spread of AIDS. (This, even, is heavily debated.) Talking about sex freely on campus as if it were common and accepted will, perhaps, allow for better treatment of both victims and perpetrators of sexual assault. In both cases, the solution obviously looks toward the end – less AIDS, more dialogue – as the basis for what is good. However, in giving in too much to what seems to be an uncontrollable trend in regards to sexuality in the world today, Falco implies that attempting to teach men and women virtue, specifically chastity, would be a futile effort.

I answer that we must never give up. Who cares about chastity? Isn’t it just one of those pretty little things that the Church teaches? I answer with a resounding, “No!” As it is the first image that came to mind, I use an analogy of a dog. This dog has a problem. He barks. He yelps. He growls, and he even attacks sweet Aunt Fae who, in his mind, seems especially threatening. (Sparkly, red, horn-rimmed glasses are never a good idea.) There are two options here. Either one can muzzle the dog and force him to keep his mouth shut by physically tying his jowls together, or one can teach him to bark less, be more discerning of strangers and obey when he is asked to behave. Granted, the first option is certainly the easier one and probably the least taxing on both the dog and the owner. The second option, however, is the more desirable one, albeit the more difficult one. It’s not hard to see the analogy. Condoms and “talking freely about sex” are the muzzle, clamping shut our sexuality and that for which it is intended. Chastity is what the dog possesses after achieving obedience and humility. Both solutions produce the same effect, but the dog that has been taught can now use his gifts for good, like warding off the burglar who comes in the middle of the night.

We are not animals. We do not have to be trained to obey. We can discern right from wrong provided we have the tools to do so. The practice of denying condoms to Africa and preventing “free talk” on sex at the University does not deny a reality but affirms another: we are human, choose to act a certain way, yet are called to act in accordance with the teachings of Scripture and Christ Himself. The university has never closed its doors to the victims of sexual assault, and if it has, I will stand up with the throng to open them again. However, “free talk” will only make for an environment that is especially hard to choose well. The problem of sex on campus seems overbearing enough already; we do not need men and women walking around unashamedly of last night’s exploits.

I hope I am wrong in my analysis of Falco’s viewpoint. I expect with all humility that Falco will berate me and sharpen his essay against my rough foil. Even if Falco himself should write an article examining ways in which chastity could be taught, I fear that there are still others who do not understand what I have intended to say or what I have in mind for the university. For these men and women, I respond simply: don’t allow yourself to be muzzled, but come to know the infinite good of your sexuality.

Daniel Amiri


Alumni Hall

Nov. 20