CARP Las Vegas Confronts the Culture of Casual Sex
Over 120 students and volunteers of the Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) filled a lecture room of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 18 for their campus talk, which featured a message from Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Regional Chairman of Family Federation North America. The theme of the event was “Sex and Morality: Confronting the Culture of Casual Sex,” and it upheld that the ideal of purity and committed love leads to lasting happiness, as opposed to uncommitted casual sex.
At a such a progressive and liberal higher education institution located right in the middle of Sin City, the idea of presenting sexual integrity and purity in such a straightforward manner seemed absurd to many in the beginning. Compared to the last semester’s Campus Talk titled “Peace Starts with ME,” CARP members and volunteers received many more hostile and critical responses from both faculty members and students. Some students even made a Facebook group to discourage other students from attending the event.
However, CARP members and volunteers, including those who have only recently begun to study the Divine Principle, bravely took a stand. Dressed in red “You Are Worth More” T-shirts, they remembered Mother Moon’s question, “What are you afraid of?” They realized that there is truly nothing to be afraid of, and that this is the time to stand up for purity as a way to build God’s ideal on earth. Besides reaching out to friends, contacts and faculty throughout the semester, they also ran a booth for two days leading up to the event, and handed out flyers to students as they passed by.
CARP students had also intentionally reached out to other religious clubs who share similar values about sexuality, with the hopes that this Campus Talk would be a rallying cry for many faith groups to stand up for their values. As a result, among the attendees were the leaders of several faith-based clubs and on-campus religious institutions, as well as their club members. Also, two sponsoring faculty (who both spoke at the previous Campus Talk) came to support, as well as some administrators of the university.
UNLV CARP President, Jinil Fleischman, introduced the program with several statistics which show that the culture of casual sex is affecting young people and our society in destructive ways, and thanked the audience for their willingness to learn about and evaluate the ideas presented on the theme.
The first speaker was Professor Richard Harp, a long-time English professor at UNLV. By examining two of Shakespeare’s sonnets, he discussed the demerits of lust and the merits of chastity before marriage. He highlighted true love’s unchanging nature, and that it is not just physical desire but is the “marriage of true minds.”
This was followed by Mr. Andrew Love, a coach and communication director of High Noon, a non-profit dedicated to building radiant blessed couples that transform society. He spoke about having a vision for one’s sexuality and building a foundation for love that lasts. His talk opened people’s minds to the incredible potential for love and fulfillment that a couple can experience, and demonstrated that casual sexual relationships don’t lead to that result.
After a brief Q & A with the presenters, two students gave their personal testimonies related to the theme. The first speaker testified how her attitude towards love transformed when she discovered her faith, and the second shared how she realized that casual relationships can never satisfy our need for self-love.
Mr. Fleischman concluded by inviting the audience to ‘imagine’ if there were more people dedicated to such values and educating young people, and called upon them to be a part of that change.
Here are some responses from students about the event:
“I enjoyed the talks very much — very relevant to today’s secularized society.”
“This was a very good discussion — a bold one, but it needs to be talked about.”
“It’s awesome and inspiring to know there are others who share my views on things like sex and morality. I think it’s great that this is happening on campus.”
“As someone who does have a lot of casual sex and sees nothing wrong with it, I appreciated the perspectives [that were presented], and while I may not agree with them, they were handled very respectfully.”
One faculty advisor commented that this Campus Talk has been a tremendous improvement from last semester’s Campus Talk, and another shared how proud he is to support a club like CARP, which stands up for good values.
One CARP student expressed that at first he was very reluctant to wear the Campus Talk shirt because he knew that he could be judged for standing for sexual purity before marriage. But when he did put it on, he felt proud to stand for a value that he knew was true.
Through this Campus Talk, CARP Las Vegas members were able to courageously stand up for one of their Core Values and rally like-minded fellow students together, while drawing meaningful engagement and dialogue from those who hold different beliefs. We hope to influence our campus with the message of purity and true love, continue to engage other faith-based groups and educators, and work towards making our campus to be a place where students can be nurtured as individuals of true love.