Sex Show returns to college that banished cross

Posted on January 31, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Education Idiocy |

The cross has to go, but the sex workers and prostitutes get to stay. What has happened to our culture?

‘Our students have wisdom to put such programming in context’

Posted: January 31, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2008

A promotion of the sex industry, G-strings, pasties and nudity included, is returning to the historic College of William & Mary, which earlier removed a cross from the famous Wren Chapel because it could offend visitors.
Gene Nichol, president of the college that was a Christian institution at its founding, was the decision-maker when the cross first was banished from the chapel, then restored to a special secured case when alumni protested. He confirmed he would not alter plans for the Sex Workers’ Art Show to be performed twice on Feb. 4.

Last year, the show’s appearance on campus provoked outrage from alumni and supporters who accused Nichol of staging an affront to religion and morality in light of his then-recent decision to withdraw the cross from display in the chapel.

He said this year that students requested the show, they voted to spend campus funding for it, and he could not change that because of “the First Amendment and the defining traditions of openness that sustain universities.”


It is scheduled to be performed at the Williamsburg school at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the University Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium, where strippers, prostitutes and other sex workers will appear.


However, John Foubert, an education professor who researches sexual violence toward women, said studies confirm that exposing men to pornography made them more likely to commit sexual assault.
“I’m opposed to – and working strongly against – pornography and the industry,” Foubert told the paper. “What I believe the Sex Workers’ Art Show does is promote the porn industry, and it goes beyond a speech issue. … The issue here is an issue of public nudity.”

The Flat Hat student newspaper noted Foubert expects the sex show “to bring increased … sexual aggression, and by itself may also lead to a short-term increase in incidents [of] sexual assault at William and Mary as well.”

Thomas Chappell, of the class of 2011, objected to the use of mandatory student fees on the sex show.
“Those that choose to attend should bear the full cost of the ticket prices instead of using everyone else’s money to help the people that attend pay for admission,”
he said.

The student newspaper’s online forum, however, raised some additional objections.
“Can you imagine if a student Christian organization wanted the university to sanction its evangelistic presentation on campus in the name of First Amendment freedoms that Nichols claims to prize? No way,” wrote one participant. “Nichol has already demonstrated his hostility to organize religion quite clearly. But organized porn? Hey, no problem.”

“It’s laughable for Nichol to insist his hands are tied on this show and there’s nothing he can do about it. He could do something about it if he REALLY wanted to. This is the same president who unilaterally made a decision overturning decades of powerful William and Mary tradition with the Wren Cross. He can’t have it both ways. His actions regarding institutional or traditional constraints at the college seem to vary according to his personal preferences. Sure his hands may be tied, but he tied them himself this time,” added “C.K.”

“There was a time when I regarded W&M as the premier school in the state,” wrote JM, who identified himself as an art professor. “Stories like these make me revise that opinion.”

A year ago, topless dancers, demonstrations of sex toys and Q&As with male and female prostitutes were featured on the campus where former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor serves as chancellor.
Among the performances was a striptease by 200-pound-plus Dirty Martini, who finished in a G-string and pasties. Another performer in military fatigues stripped, used a fake gun as a sex prop and told the audience that sexual favors would be given if “doing so can end the war. Just don’t force me.”

“It’s just so out there and expressive,” Josh Campbell, a member of Lamba Alliance, one of six student groups to sponsor the 2007 event, told the local paper. “It’s hip, it’s in your face, and it’s exciting.”
William & Mary made the national spotlight in 2006 when WND revealed that university administrator Melissa Engimann circulated an e-mail noting that the cross in Wren Chapel was going to be placed in permanent storage to make the chapel “less of a faith-specific space.”

The cross had been in the chapel for decades; the chapel has been on the campus of the second-oldest university in the U.S. for centuries. Nevertheless, Nichol ruled the cross, because of one written complaint, had to go. He later backtracked when students and alumni put together a petition with more than 10,000 signatures.
A special committee later determined the cross should be put on permanent display in a glass case in the chapel, and available for use during “appropriate religious services.”



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