All of us at the Anscombe Society would like to welcome you to Princeton, and we hope you enjoy your brief stay on campus!
Many of you will have some idea what club hockey, an improv group or a Christian fellowship are, but very few of you will have heard of anything like the Anscombe Society because there’s nothing like it in high school. We are a club dedicated to promoting sexual values through reasoned discourse There are two aspects to our club: what we believe and what we do. You can see what we believe in our various position statements, but briefly we are a club that affirms the inherent goodness of human nature and human sexuality but that believes that that nature requires certain constraints on our actions. Who we are as humans and what our ultimate fulfillment looks like entail how we should act. Thus we believe in the importance of the virtue of chastity and defend the institutions of marriage and family. We also believe that the sexual norms we endorse are affirmed by human reason even without the aid of revelation or religion.
What we do is a bit more straightforward. We seek to develop an understanding of sexual ethics among our members and their ability to express that understanding, but we also engage the campus culture and hope to bring about wider acceptance of our views. Thus we not only have our weekly meetings where we discuss articles on ethics and politics but we also host public events such as Ryan Anderson’s talk on marriage last semester and Professor Alex Pruss’ on Christian sexual ethics.
If you’re interested in getting involved with the Anscombe Society, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you ultimately decide on another school, we hope you can get involved with the pro-chastity, pro-family cause elsewhere. Our friends at the Love & Fidelity Network have put together this helpful list of other Anscombe-like groups around the country. The rest of their website has many useful resources and materials, and if you’re looking for a daily fix of informed articles about social issues, please check out the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse site.
All the best,
Ben Koons, Co-President
Come watch filmmaker Jennifer Lahl’s new documentary Breeders: A Subclass of Women?. This documentary explores the unintended consequences of surrogacy, as well as the moral and social implications of this increasingly common arrangement. A discussion and Q&A with Ms. Lahl will follow the screening. For more information, see the facebook event and the poster below.
This event is co-sponsored by Princeton Pro-Life
From the film’s website:
“Surrogacy is fast becoming one of the major issues of the 21st century—celebrities and everyday people are increasingly using surrogates to build their families. But the practice is fraught with complex implications for women, children, and families. What is the impact on the women who serve as surrogates and on the children who are born from surrogacy? In what ways might money complicate things? What about altruistic surrogacy done for a family member or close friend? Is surrogacy a beautiful, loving act or does it simply degrade pregnancy to a service and a baby to a product? Can we find a middle ground? Should we even look for one?
From The Center for Bioethics and Culture, producers of the award-winning Eggsploitation (2010, 2013), and Anonymous Father’s Day (2011), Breeders: A Subclass of Women? explores this important issue, talking with surrogates, physicians, psychologists, and activists across the political and ideological spectrum.”
This Friday February 7th at 4:30pm in McCormick 101, Professor Alexander Pruss, a philosopher at Baylor, will be visiting Princeton’s campus to givea public talk about Christian Sexual Ethics and its philosophical and theological foundations. After the talk, a group of Anscombe members and Christian student leaders will meet with him for dinner. We’re really looking forward to the talk and dinner because Professor Pruss is one of the most brilliant Christian philosophers today.
We’ve invited him to speak about sexual ethics because he’s recently published a book One Body on the topic. Professor Robert George called this book “quite simply the best work on Christian sexual ethics that I have seen,” and we recommend this review on Public Discourse to get a sense of it.
(Pruss’ lecture was originally scheduled for December but due to inclement weather and flight cancellations we had to reschedule for this week)
Please check out the Facebook event for the talk itself! Also have a look at Professor Pruss’ blog, which he updates almost daily with interesting philosophical posts.
Together with the Tory and Whig-Clio, Anscombe is hosting Mary Eberstadt for a lecture on her new book How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization. Many people think that secularization led to a decline in moral and family values (“the family that prays together stays together), but Eberstadt argues that rather the collapse of the family caused the decline of faith in the West. It should be an engaging talk, and it’ll be interesting to see Mrs. Eberstadt defend such a bold thesis. Check out the facebook event also.
Our president Ben Koons and vice president Christian Say had their letter to the editor about the Daily Princetonian’s print edition headline of Ryan Anderson’s talk published today.
Here’s the Prince’s headline:
Anscombe Supports (Media) Equality! This headline is absurdly biased.
Here’s Koons and Say’s letter in its entirety:
Letter to the Editor: Anscombe supports (media) equality
Regarding “PEP supports equality at marriage talk” (Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013)
The Anscombe Society would like to thank Regina Wang for her well-balanced piece covering our event last Thursday with Ryan T. Anderson ’04 speaking about marriage. We believe, however, that the editors of The Daily Princetonian did a poor job of respecting Wang’s balanced news coverage in the framing of her story.
Unfortunately, the print edition’s headline following Anderson’s lecture misleadingly read, “PEP Supports Equality at Marriage Talk.” Had the editors paid any attention to the event itself, they would have known that Anderson observed up front that both sides of the marriage debate are in favor of marriage equality — contingent upon what marriage itself is defined to be. The headline pushed through by the editors of the ‘Prince’ was the mark of a biased editorial staff.
Further proof of this lies in the discrepancy between the headlines of the online and print editions. Online, the Anderson article has the much more balanced title, “With demonstrators in the audience, Heritage Foundation fellow Anderson ’04 urges traditional understanding of marriage.” This headline was released soon after Anderson’s lecture, and the discrepancy between this balanced title and the biased print version reveals a conscious editorial decision to manipulate the coverage.
This poor framing of an otherwise generally well-written story should come as an embarrassment to the ‘Prince.’ We hope to see better editorial decisions in the future.
Ben Koons ’15 and Christian Say ’16
President and Vice President of the Anscombe Society
The daily paper the Prince has put together a video of Thursday night’s event. Thanks to Zach Stecker for making this video!
One note though about the student’s comments at the end, Ryan did not present any religious arguments in his presentation, and it’s unfair to dismiss someone’s legitimate arguments as religious just because one is unable to refute them. Also, Ryan spent half of his presentation talking about why the government involved itself in marriage at all, and so he certainly did not ignore the civil aspect of marriage. The student’s comments were really off-base criticisms of an excellent argument.
Our school’s main daily paper the Prince has written a news story about Ryan’s great talk last night. Click here for the full article.
- Our event last night was today’s headline! But what an awfully biased headline.
Here’s the meat of the article:
In a philosophical vein, Anderson used an Aristotelian analysis involving the terms of action, goods and commitment to arrive at a definition of marriage. He also said that the definition of marriage between a man and a woman is found in many different cultures at many different periods.
“There’s something about this understanding of marriage that resonates with human nature,” he said.
Moving on to the realm of public policy, Anderson argued that the government should regulate marriage and noted the benefits for children who grow up in households with mothers and fathers.
The article also mentions the protesters at last night’s event:
Before the event, members of the Princeton Equality Project gathered at the building entrance handing out pins and posters to arriving audience members. A number of students came draped in rainbow flags.
One of the event’s goals was to keep the marriage issue live, and a quote from the article indicates we may have been successful at that:
PEP [Princeton Equality Project] member Kelsey Dyer ’17 said many members of the LGBT community had come to respectfully hear what Anderson had to say while also making their presence known in hopes that the event could be part of an ongoing dialogue about the meaning of marriage.
Tonight’s talk by Ryan Anderson was a great success! An astonishing 290 people piled into the largest and most elegant classroom on campus McCosh 50. Protesters came bearing signs, fanciful outfits, and their questions. Ryan’s talk encompassed three parts: why the revisionist definition of marriage fails, what marriage is, and why marriage and marriage policy matter. Ryan fielded questions by many protesters about social science on lesbian parenting, the analogy to interracial marriage, and the classic infertility objection. He even received a question about Plato’s views on pederasty! But he answered them all thoroughly and admirably. Thanks to Ryan for giving such a great talk! In the next few days, we’ll be posting more about what the audience thought of the talk, the particulars of Ryan’s arguments, and some more photos.
This picture gives you some sense of how many people packed into this room! We even had to open the balcony above.