The issue of married priests recently came up in a conversation with a friend. He is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and a Catholic. He was surprised to hear that priestly celibacy is not, as is often stated, a medieval invention. I took advantage to point out to him that remaining chaste, as priest are obliged to do, is not an impossible task.
To demonstrate this, I told him about the purity movements at schools across America where young people take pledges to remain chaste until marriage. He was shocked at this revelation and simply dumbfounded to find out that one such group exists at Princeton, an Ivy League school.
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Days after this conversation I visited Middleton Place gardens in Summerville, South Carolina for the purpose of writing another of my “Only in America” articles. I got sidetracked.
“Purity is Part of our Family Values”
As I waited in line to purchase a ticket, a woman walked by with her son. Before they got into their car, I saw he was wearing a sweatshirt with two words in bold letters across the front that said, Virginity Rocks. Thinking of my Marine Colonel friend, I simply could not let them walk away and decided to approach the vehicle.
The mother looked pleased when I inquired about the message on her son’s shirt. She explained that it was part of their “family values,” then proudly held up her hand to show a ring. She had received it from her daughter as a symbolic token that she would remain pure until marriage.
America is seen as a nation that promotes, even celebrates, licentiousness. We provide sex education in schools, which is a cause for anxiety among decent Americans. Yet who would imagine that not only parents, but their children, are pushing back against the sexual revolution?
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Origins of Virginity Shirts
Virginity Rocks sweatshirts have become wildly popular among youth because of a YouTuber named Danny Duncan. He has over three million subscribers and sells the Virginity shirts online.
This foul-mouthed, vulgar, long-haired young man is known for his foolish pranks and skateboarding skills. He is the furthest thing from a role model and actually coined the expression, Virginity Rocks, in a bid to be “tongue-in-cheek.”
Therefore, he is by no means an obstacle to the cultural revolution and the rampant immorality in American society, but one of its promoters.
However, he seems to have hit a nerve with young people looking for more than the fleeting pleasures of the flesh. Many have seriously latched onto the idea of virginity. Indeed, those against priestly celibacy should sit up and take notice. What many young Americans want are models of purity.
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“Virginity Is Where We Need to Be”
Unfortunately, youngsters who wear the shirts and promote the idea of virginity are getting push-back from their schools.
Chloe Rubiano is an eighth-grader at Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She took the Virginity Rocks shirt a step further. Hers not only proclaims the superiority of remaining a virgin, she also linked it to the pure affection she has for the man she will one day marry. On the back it reads, “I’m Loving my Husband and I Haven’t even Married Him.”
School officials took issue with the message because it “contained sexual content” and could disrupt the classroom. Chloe was forced to change into a school gym shirt for the remainder of the day. The eighth grader’s mother, Bambi, was shocked.
“This is part of sex [education] to me,” she said, “virginity is where we need to be.” The eighth grader has respected the schools wishes but she continues to wear her shirt proudly in public.
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Pointing out the Double Standard
Chloe is not alone in her appreciation for virginity. Londyn Piglowski is a 13-year-old, clean-faced student who attends Wentzville Middle School outside St. Louis Missouri. His teacher actually pulled him out of class and told him to either take it off or flip it inside out.
Londyn received his shirt as a birthday gift from his friend Davis. The two stood side-by-side for a KMOV news interview. It was truly a sight to behold.
With childlike simplicity and eloquence to match, Davis complained about the blatant double standard. He pointed out the immoral fashions of girls at his school and then concluded: “Teachers don’t yell at them for that, then why can’t we wear these [Virginity Rocks sweatshirts]?”
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Finally, there is Pierce Bridges. He is a student at Clay High School in Cove Springs, Florida. His teacher also told him to change out of his virginity shirt. He did not understand.
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“I was not trying to be funny,” he explained. “It is something that I believe in and support strongly.” He went on to say that he wears the shirt to promote his belief in staying pure until marriage.
The persecution against virginity shirts has prompted students across the country to post online videos telling their stories.
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One would not expect to find such a reaction among American middle school students. In a country that is better known for its gross sex education classes and generalized promiscuity, one could hardly imagine a youth movement that proudly proclaims the virginity message.
The skeptic will scoff at our naiveté and complain about the manner in which these young people are expressing themselves. They will point out that to say something “rocks” stems from the term “rock and roll” which clearly has immoral innuendos. This might have been Danny Duncan’s intention.
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While we would prefer these young people use different terms, let us try and translate what they are saying for the general public. When young people say something “rocks” they are essentially giving it an enthusiastic endorsement. It’s the equivalent of saying that a thing is “fantastic” or “awesome.”
So, let us all celebrate American youth who are not afraid to affirm their moral integrity and are loudly proclaiming, “Virginity is Awesome!”