True love at Harvard


Maybe there's a counterrevolution brewing. One can always hope. I recently wrote about the Anscombe Society at Princeton, a student organization that promotes traditional moral values, especially when it comes to sex. Turns out Harvard has its own pro-abstinence club called True Love Revolution, which was founded in 2006 by students Justin Murray and Sarah Kinsella, who have since graduated and are now married. Not only does TLR, as it is known, promote abstinence, its updated mission statement supports traditional marriage and says that choosing abstinence is "true feminism." Naturally this has upset feminists on campus, with the back and forth being played out in the school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson.

TLR has also drawn the attention of Newsweek's religion editor, Lisa Miller, who wrote about it in this week's issue. Miller, hardly known for her unbiased approach to reporting on religion, seems to have a split personality on this topic. Apparently referring to TLR's support for traditional marriage, or as she puts it "not gay marriage," she writes that its platform seems to have been "cribbed from the Christian conservative playbook." No bias there, huh? By the way, if anyone can find me a copy of that playbook, I'd love to see it. On the other hand, she thinks TLR may be on to something when it comes to "its articulation of students' dissatisfaction with sex and sex talk on campus."

Now we're getting somewhere. She goes on to quote Donna Freitas, author of Sex and the Soul, and Christine Firer Hinze, a theologian from Fordham University. Freitas surveyed college students on the subject of sex and came to the conclusion that students feel stymied about expressing what they truly want out of relationships---which is more than just sex. Hinze believes, as Miller writes, "that choosing abstinence can carry a strong countercultural message and a vision of personal fulfillment beyond immediate gratification."

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Now there's a concept.

Marcia Segelstein
Marcia Segelstein


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