In New York City's SoHo, young people have been gathering Tuesday nights this summer to discuss Pope John Paul II's book "Love and Responsibility." They are 20-somethings looking for an alternative -- for the improvements that Regnurus mentions. They see the inherent dignity of individual human beings, and want to treat themselves and others with respect. They want to challenge themselves and expect more. This group convenes in the courtyard of a closed Catholic school. But old St. Patrick's has become a new school for a culture wanting more.
And it's not quite a turning back of the clock. The attendees are all good-looking, talented, well-dressed -- many of them likely cultural creators. This crowd tends to fit in well in the trendy neighborhood. But these young men and women want to pursue their success in terms of eternity; they want their every action to reflect a greater purpose and love. They don't just talk about love and feelings, and they don't want to get drunk for courage. They want to know how to truly have integrity, and how to use and keep it in a life beset with temptations.
As for the lawsuit against CUA, according to a memo prepared by Dale Schowengerdt, an attorney at the Alliance Defense Fund: "Catholic colleges should not feel compelled to maintain co-ed dorms simply because a lone attorney in D.C. is threatening to sue. No court has ever held that a college must maintain co-ed dorms. And based on well-established law, it is very unlikely that a court would do so."
"The sexual revolution has lowered the price of sex," Jennifer Roback Morse, author of "Love and Economics," notes, "so that it is harder for women to refuse, even good, well-brought-up young women who want to refuse. CUA's move will create a less toxic environment for women, making it easier for them to resist the pressure for sexual activity. This in turn can create space for young adults to cultivate other non-sexual aspects of relationship and friendship." It's the topic of Regnerus' book and it's what is driving the real experts, those young people in SoHo, to a pope who died when many of them were still quite young.
It's not "No sex please, we're Catholic," though that happens to be an easy beginning to a conversation introducing Catholic sexual teaching. And it's certainly not an exercise in discrimination. It's about human dignity. The Carrie Bradshaws of this generation don't think their Manolos are made for walking from hook-up to hook-up. But they also need a little encouragement, the gals and guys alike. John Garvey answers that generational cry for help with good ol' common sense. And it happens to be an appropriate conversation-starter for a lesson in sexual integrity.
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