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Sex and free will

Sarah Mervosh | Monday, September 22, 2008

I spent a good portion of my Frosh-O experience listening to talk about how accepting Notre Dame is of people with different beliefs. But somewhere along the way it was slipped in that if students were caught having sex, they would be “separated from the University.”

I almost started laughing when I heard this. I didn’t understand how the university could tell us not to do something that is completely legal and within our rights.

I now understand that because Catholicism does not believe in sex before marriage, we are asked to respect that belief by abstaining. But I define respect as speaking and acting in a way that allows others to live their life peacefully. Having sex would not interrupt anyone from abstaining.

Furthermore, the Catholic faith does not believe in reincarnation, but the University would never “separate” my Hindu roommate for practicing her beliefs. In fact, the University would encourage her to do so.

Sex, like faith, is a personal choice. And I believe that the University should let us make that choice.

Disallowing sex is both na’ve and ultimately detrimental. People are going to have sex if they want to have sex and should not be seen as bad people for doing so.

Not selling forms of birth control on campus is not going to stop people for having sex. It will only make it more likely that a female will get pregnant.

And this is where it gets weird. The University says we can’t have sex, but if a girl gets pregnant, she will not be dismissed. Instead, the University will support her. I agree that she does need support, but she could have used it a lot more back when she should have been buying condoms, but couldn’t find them on campus.

I applaud Notre Dame and the Catholic Church’s good intentions and their own high morals. But I ask them to accept that we cannot control anyone else.

What is right for one person might not be right for someone else, and we cannot ask others to abide by our own belief system. We also cannot judge others for having a different belief. After all, wasn’t it Jesus who said that he who is without sin may cast the first stone?

Therefore, we should instead focus on ourselves. It needn’t concern you that the couple down the hall is having sex. Instead, focus on your life and how you can become a better, happier person. We should also support others on the path that they choose to follow. If someone chooses to have sex, they need our support throughout the entire process, not just when things get bad.

God created sex. God also created free will. I simply ask the University to allow us to exercise this free will, and most importantly, give us your support to learn and grow along the way.