By Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI's DSA -Illinois Family Institute
Editor's Note: Reader Discretion Is Advised
Two videos of a freshmen orientation presentation at Gustavus Adolphus College, a small Lutheran College in St. Peter, Minnesota, have come to light that expose the repugnant ideas and images that college students at a purportedly Christian college think are funny. I have a personal connection to this story: One of my daughters graduated from Gustavus six years ago.
We learned from her four years there that Gustavus is Christian in name only. In response to these videos, my daughter wrote this to me:
I suppose this should come as no surprise from a college that invited a transgender speaker to give the daily chapel message during National Coming Out Week over six years ago and that celebrates and affirms such behavior without even an acknowledgment that they are departing from a biblical understanding of sexuality.
The climate at Gustavus was predominantly secular in the classroom, in dorm life, and on sports teams with only the empty trappings of Christian tradition hanging on in the form of daily chapel services led by a chaplain who affirmed sexual deviance and other such "spiritual" activities.
The first video begins with a couple having sex in their dorm room (complete with sound effects) and joking about putting a hat on the door to warn the boy's roommate to stay out -- for the fourth time in one week.
Here are the dramatis personae of the next skit with which upperclassmen welcomed freshmen:
Betty Birth Control who says, "Pop me in, so you don't pop one out." Captain Condom who says, "Use protection for your erection." Sidekick Spermicide with Lube who, while in the arms of Captain Condom, says, "Together we make safer sex even better." Waiting Wanda who says, "I need a ring before you can play with this thing," (indicating her pelvic area). Vicki Vibrator who enters the stage buzzing and shouting, "You can play with this toy." Libby Lube who says, "Caution, slippery when wet." Nina Nuva (the vaginal contraceptive NuvaRing) who says, "Slide me in easy, and then you can please me." Debbie Dildo who says, while dressed all in leather, "Sex can wait. Masturbate." Premature Pete who runs in panting, groaning and holding his crotch. He is announced with these words: "Premature Pete is coming..." Right Hand Rick who says, "My right hand is my one-night stand," while dropping a tissue on the floor. Billy Blueballs who enters with blue balls dangling from his crotch and says, "I never come." Bushy Brenda who enters with a long, bushy, black beard hanging from her crotch and says indignantly, "I trim. I don't mow." Bondage Bob who says, "Tie me down, gets me up." Porno Paul who says, "Surfin' the net, gets my undies wet." Role-Play Ryan who enters with a gigantic shepherd's staff, which looks like a Christmas play prop. He says, "I'm pretty good with my wood." Faking Fiona who says amidst panting and screaming, "And...you...might...think... I'm...coming...but...I'm... not."
When this offensive and idiotic skit concludes, all the characters appear on stage to announce, "We're the Sex Pistols. Welcome, Class of 2014!"
The second video begins with this whimsical rhyme: "Follow along and listen quite clear to learn of the wonderful world of the queer." It again features ignorant, irresponsible upperclassmen, this time defining the terms lesbian, gay, pansexual, bi-curious, bisexual, transgender and transsexual for freshmen, explaining, for example, that lesbian women "make love quite beautifully," and that the term "bi-curious" refers to "testin' the waters, seein' what's attractive." (This should help dispel the lie promoted by homosexualists that "sexual orientation" is biologically determined and fixed.)
Next a boy waxes romantic about his male lover and a girl proclaims, "I happen to be a lesbian -- a big one. And my, oh my, I love it. All the women, the flowy hair, the sweet perfume, mmm, mmm. I like sex. I love sex."
This spectacle -- I mean, event -- took place in an auditorium and was apparently on the college calendar, which means the students must have received administrative permission. Here are just a few questions I would pose to Gustavus administrators and trustees:
Is this the kind of information that parents of Gustavus freshman want their children to receive? What kind of role do supposedly more mature upperclassmen have in the lives of younger students? Do any upperclassmen -- who, by the way, are actually adults --or Gustavus administrators view modesty as a virtue to be respected and cultivated? Does anyone see how the exhibitionism, voyeurism, and promiscuity which this freshman orientation presentation embodies and promotes relate to the Tyler Clementi tragedy at Rutgers University? And how does their irresponsible and vulgar presentation created by upperclassmen for freshmen comport with Gustavus' mission statement:
Gustavus Adolphus College is a church-related, residential liberal arts college firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage.... The College strives to balance educational tradition with innovation and to foster the development of values as an integral part of intellectual growth.... The College aspires to be a community of persons from diverse backgrounds who respect and affirm the dignity of all people. It is a community where a mature understanding of the Christian faith and lives of service are nurtured and students are encouraged to work toward a just and peaceful world.
The purpose of a Gustavus education is to help its students attain their full potential as persons...
What values does this freshmen re-orientation presentation foster? Does it demonstrate respect for the dignity of people, or does it degrade people? Do Gustavus administrators actually believe this presentation is "firmly rooted" in the heritage of Martin Luther? Is sex sacred? Is sex for marriage? Is marriage a picture of Christ and the church? Does any Gustavus faculty member, administrator, or trustee serve God first? If so, how do they reconcile the ideas that Gustavus has for years promoted with the following ideas that the Gustavus community has apparently long forgotten:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Rom. 1:24-32)
Do the upperclassmen recognize that one of the most important forms of diversity in life-philosophical diversity-is missing from their puerile production? There is no representation of the view that modesty matters. There is no representation of the view that pornography is evil and the use of it destructive to the moral imaginations, lives, and marriages of men and women. There is no representation of the view that homosexuality and sadomasochism are perversions.
Perhaps the key to this moral miasma can be found in the concluding soliloquy in which a boy says the following:
I have a fire inside me: a burning passion and a love for something beyond myself -- a very real, yet intangible beauty that permeates every cell in my body. It's my atheism.
I came to Gustavus a white, middle class, Lutheran boy, and I stand here before you as a white, middle class, atheist man.
Once fidelity to Scripture and submission to Christ take a back seat to satiation of human desire and reliance on human "wisdom," sin prevails.
On more than one occasion, during my daughter's freshman year -- a decade ago -- she had to sleep on a beanbag chair in a friend's room because her roommate's boyfriend was "sleeping over." Since co-ed sleepovers violated dorm rules, and since we didn't pay room and board fees so that my daughter could sleep in a beanbag chair, I suggested she talk to her resident assistant. My daughter's response: "There's no point: my RA has her boyfriend sleep over."
Gustavus administrators and trustees should either make some dramatic changes in the Gustavus climate or strip from its mission statement any references to values, dignity, Christian faith, and its Lutheran heritage.
If you have any connection to Gustavus Adolphus College, especially to parents who may be considering sending their children there and to alumni donors, please pass this article on to them.