Friday, March 11, 2011

One of the symptoms of growing old is it becomes more and more difficult to keep the butter on the knife. Another symptom of growing old of course is that sex is no longer an imperative. For youth however it is another matter.
A university in the US state of Utah has suspended a star basketball player for having pre-marital sex with his girlfriend in violation of the school's strict "honour code". He was dropped after admitting the transgression to staff at Brigham Young University. More fool he, why would he do that? Guilty conscience or just plain stupid? His team, ranked third in the nation in college basketball, immediately lost against an unranked team. The BYU honour code requires students to be "chaste and virtuous". BYU officials have defended the decision after the news was first reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, saying that students are fully aware of the rigorous code, and often choose the school because of it. "We live this. This is who we are," said Tom Holmoe, BYU athletic director. The Utah-based university is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, known to most people I suppose as the Mormons. All students agree to abide by the honour code, which reflects Mormon values. And this is a sect that started off allowing a man to have multiple wives! The code includes prohibitions on drinking, smoking, drugs, tea, coffee, swearing and sex, as well as a commitment regularly to attend church. The student’s suspension has garnered headlines across the country because it comes at the beginning of the prestigious NCAA tournament - a nationwide contest for university teams, often called "March Madness". The BYU team, the Cougars, was set to enter as first seed. Reportedly the sinful transgressor has apologized to his teammates but I cannot help wondering how many of them are totally innocent. Not one lascivious thought, boys? Not one instance of top sheet tapping? Not one date with Mrs. Palmer and her five children? In America, honour codes are mostly associated with military academies, but a number of universities, including the University of Virginia and Princeton, also enforce them. (Enforce? Note that word – enforce.) I can understand religious institutions, particularly fundamentalist ones like Bob Jones, having an honour code but I’m really surprised to read that Virginia enforces one. The girls I saw walking about that campus on a lovely summer’s day were sex personified on two legs and the boys couldn’t keep their eyes off them. At Bob Jones in South Carolina the girls were much more discreet and modest in their attire and did not flaunt their sexuality in the same way but I should think at all these institutions it’s masturbation time morning, noon and night. You simply cannot chase out nature like this and expect her to meekly give in. Why is it that for Christians sex is top of the list when it comes to sinning? Indeed, is sexual desire a sin at all? If it is, why did God invent it? Oh, I know what the answer to that will be – there is a time and a place, the time being when you are married, the place being the marital bed, the reason not to enjoy but to procreate, and in the missionary position if you please, none of this Karma Sutra nonsense thank you. That is what God invented it for. Go forth and multiply, not go forth and enjoy this gift I have given you. And, as an afterthought, what punishment did the girlfriend receive for this little lapse in honour? After all, it does take two to tango.
PS: Twenty one priests in Philadelphia have been indicted on child abuse charges. Po po po as a Greek would say.
PPS: Blog delayed once more by power cut 7.30 to 4.20 – the third in less than two weeks and the coldest day yet!

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