Rescuing a generation

Posted: Jun 15, 2005 12:00 AM

I'm 21 years old, a columnist, an author, a graduate of UCLA, a Harvard law student -- and a virgin. And I'm proud of it.

 As I explain in my new book, "Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism Is Corrupting Our Future," in today's America, being a proud virgin is no easy task. Those with values are under attack in a culture that treasures "tolerance" above morality. It's no wonder that because of my outspoken advocacy of traditional morality in general and of virginity in particular, I've become a favorite target of Internet leftists, who often refer to me as "The Virgin Ben."

 The Internet is riddled with writing like this: "In [Ben's] case, it is helpful to remember that some people choose celibacy, while others have it thrust upon them. Poor Ben. He no more chose abstinence than Clarence Thomas chose to be black." "The Virgin Ben also apparently has never had a really great Saturday night ?" "The Virgin Ben, indeed. This guy's 'interview' so completely reeks of repression that I almost feel violated having read it. Like I stepped into someone else's wet dream. It's freakin' eerie, man." "You know I'm starting to feel sorry for this kid. I look into his future and I can see that not once is he ever going to get to have really good hot sweaty sex with Miss Scarlet in the parlor with a bottle of lube. That kind of sex may not approach godliness, but for a few brief moments and a lifetime of memories, it sure feels like it."

 Such heated, inarticulate and unreasoned hatred for moral standards should not be shocking. Social liberalism seeks to promote a "live and let live" society wherein all types of deviant behavior is tolerated and accepted. Those on the left have thrust their notion of a "civilized," amoral society upon all of us. The fact of the matter is that "live and let live" directly contradicts the notion of communal society; we all have to abide by certain rules to live together. An amoral society minimizes the rules under which we live together; any change in those rules is bound to affect all of us.

 And it has. By discarding traditional morality in favor of amoralism, we have catered to the lowest common denominator. Social liberals have taken control of our culture through music, film, television and other mass media. R-rated films today often include soft-core pornography; television shows like "Friends" promote a fun-filled, promiscuous lifestyle with no consequences; rap music is misogynistic, glorifying its own degradation; pop music holds aloft cultural wrecking balls like Madonna as empowered feminist heroes. Advertisers take advantage of the "sex sells" phenomenon to push our culture to new lows, while teen magazines for young girls push boy-craziness and dispense dating and sex advice.

 They have used sex education as a means of indoctrinating children into a cult of moral relativism and hedonism. Following in the footsteps of Alfred Kinsey and his trumped-up research, the sex education movement has viewed its goal as the promotion of an acceptant and inevitable attitude about teen promiscuity. "[Our goal] is to be ready as educators and parents to help young people obtain sex satisfaction before marriage," wrote Planned Parenthood staffer Lena Levine in 1953. "By sanctioning sex before marriage, we will prevent fear and guilt." Fifty-two years later, Levine's dream has come true; we live in a society where condoms are dispensed to seventh-graders, where 12-year-olds are told about the glories of oral sex and where children are given the "opportunity to develop their values and increase self-esteem," to quote Debra W. Haffner, former president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

 The most extreme manifestation of the new culture is the mainstream acceptance of pornography. Pornography is no longer relegated to the dark corners of the newsstand or the skuzzy box in the video store; it's now in your inbox. It's on the radio, the television and the billboards. We live in an America that makes Paris Hilton a cultural icon and Jenna Jameson a New York Times best-selling author.

 We have successfully defined deviancy down; the deviant is now considered normal. Meanwhile, we have defined deviancy up; the normal is now considered deviant. And the effects upon my generation -- the porn generation -- have been disastrous. We are apathetic about morality, and that apathy translates into nihilism and narcissism -- and in the end, into generational self-destruction. Like it or not, the porn generation is the future of this country.

 But the future is not yet lost. Social conservatives must not retreat and cloister themselves; they must fight back against the continuing destruction of standards. Together, we can restore America's innocence.

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