A speech delivered at the 1989 College Republican National Convention
July 7, 1989
I will focus today on a topic none of you have ever heard me address before: sex.
Right now, Washington, D.C. is experiencing two sex scandals which affect the party you have joined.
The first involves Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens of Ohio. A few days ago, Buz Lukens was sentenced to jail on misdemeanor charges for having sex with a 16 year old girl. Unresolved are possible felony charges that he also had sex with her when she was 13. Buz Lukens is 58.
His unsuccessful defense in court was that he couldn't have contributed to this girl's delinquency because she was already immoral.
The second scandal is still unfolding. It involves the expose of a largely homosexual prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C. area.
Already there have been banner headlines about some Reagan and Bush administration officials' involvement.
In the news about this second scandal are reports of bugged rooms, two-way mirrors, blackmail, and midnight tours of the White House by teams of homosexual prostitutes.
Five hundred credit card receipts for sexual services rendered are in the possession of The Washington Times, which broke the story.
Reportedly, a lobbyist who spent as much as $20,000 per month on male prostitutes for himself and friends gave an $8,000 Rolex watch to a White House Secret Service officer who gave him access to the White House West Wing, which contains the President's Oval Office.
The White House liaison for the U.S. Labor Department was implicated and has already resigned.
The FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, and other Federal, State, and local authorities are scrambling to do their jobs as the facts unfold. This story is far from over.
As Republican youth activists, you should know who Congressman Lukens is. He is politically destroyed now. But you should know, I want to be sure you know, that Buz Lukens played a unique role in the development of the conservative movement. And he was a key player at a critical time in Republican youth politics.
My first College Republican National Convention was in 1963, while I was state College Republican chairman of Louisiana. In those days the College Republican and Young Republican national conventions were held together.
In 1963 in San Francisco, Goldwater Republicans won control of both organizations. An exciting book could be written about how Buz Lukens became the new Young Republican national chairman. It was a new era.
After Goldwater's defeat, Buz was elected in 1966 to the Congress from Ohio. He immediately started supporting Ronald Reagan for President. Through the Reagan efforts of 1968, 1976, and 1980, Buz was a key leader.
For 27 years, despite political defeats, a divorce, financial difficulties, a close call with disabling throat cancer, and other troubles, Buz Lukens remained a state and national conservative leader, effective and admired by grassroots activists.
Since 1962 he has been a good friend to me.
I don't mind telling you my eyes have filled with tears more than once in recent months as a sex scandal of his own making has brought him down.
He made the wrong choices.
I pray he can personally recover from this self-inflicted disaster, but his political situation is hopeless.
In the unfolding, so-called "call-boy" scandal in D.C., two of the alleged patrons have had ties to conservatives for many years. They are the only ones yet named whom I have known. They made the wrong choices.
But what can one say about the judgment of someone who pays for a prostitute with a credit card? Memories may fade, but not credit card records.
You who are in your late teens and early twenties live in a world very different from the one I grew up in. A skirt above the knees raised eyebrows then. Movies were self-censored very effectively. Books, magazines, radio, music, and even conversation were much more restrained by traditional morality than they are today.
What is commonplace now in the media was rare or non-existent then.
There has been a massive assault on moral values. Everywhere there are voices urging young people:
"Do it. Do it if it feels good. Do it now. The church is wrong. Your parents are
old fogies. Everyone is doing it. Don't be left out. You're entitled to something for nothing. There are no bad consequences. And besides, you won't get caught."
In many ways our society has failed you, ignoring the hard-won lessons of history, the accumulated wisdom of the ages, the maxims of morality. Truths revealed, experienced, and long respected are not well taught to most in your generation. And the decline began before your generation.
My grandparents and, probably, your great-grandparents were given copybooks in school. These copybooks served two purposes. At the top of each page was written a heading, a maxim or saying, which gave moral guidance, such as, "Honesty is the best policy" and "Honor thy father and thy mother."
Students learned handwriting by copying each heading many times, filling each page with the most useful, sensible advice, gleaned from the long experience of civilization. I have one of my grandfather's copybooks from the 1870s.
The great English poet and writer Rudyard Kipling is probably best known to most of you, if at all, through Walt Disney's version of Kipling's Jungle Book. But Rudyard Kipling was highly perceptive. As early as 1919 he warned in a marvelous poem, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings," that our very survival depends on our not forgetting the lessons of history.
Kipling contrasted the eternal verities, which he called the Gods of the Copybook Headings, with the tempting siren songs of Social Progress, "The Gods of the Market-Place, " which falsely claimed that times have so changed that the old truths no longer apply.
THE GODS OF THE COPYBOOK HEADINGS
"As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
“That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
"We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor windborne like the Gods of the Market-Place; But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come. That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
"With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch. They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch. They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings. So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things."
What Kipling is describing here is a cyclical process, which each few generations must experience anew. Yes, the times are always changing, but not always changing in the same direction.
In ancient Rome, Marcus Cicero's thundering denunciations of the sexual behavior of Marc Anthony were followed in the next century by the open depravity of Nero and Caligula.
And in England, the licentiousness of the Stuart restoration period was followed two centuries later by the Victorian era.
The pendulum swings back and forth over time.
At a time when our society is newly outraged over the burning of our country's flag and when increasing restrictions on abortion are now certain, and when deadly AIDS is killing thousands, it is not a good bet that society will acquiesce in the loss of all standards of sexual propriety.
Torturing each other for fun and profit, public sex acts, drinking urine, eating feces, and even itinerant bed hopping will, I believe, become less acceptable, not more licit in years to come.
"When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace, They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease." But when we disarmed They sold us, and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
"On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'The Wages of Sin is Death.'"
Notwithstanding waves of propaganda to the contrary, the old truth has emerged: There is no safe sex, except in a monogamous, faithful marriage.
There are ways of lessening the risk of promiscuity, but value-free, sexual fun and games, none of them safe, are multiplying the number of victims of incurable, sexually transmitted diseases, one of them absolutely fatal.
As yet we have increasingly shrill voices who advocate going beyond today's high level of toleration and say we should create new legal privileges for each increasingly bizarre form of sexual relationship.
We are even told AIDS is a civil rights issue, not a public health issue.
It was British philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke who wrote in 1772 that "Dissent, not satisfied with toleration, is not conscience, but ambition."
"In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul, But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'If you don't work you die.'"
Perhaps the most fraudulent of the false gods today is the argument that, somehow, a high proportion of us are inevitably, genetically, uniquely foreordained to homosexual activity.
One does not have to be a clinical psychologist or any type of scientist to see through that preposterous lie.
Young man, your father, your grandfathers, all four of your great grandfathers, all eight of your great grandfathers and on back beyond the reach of recorded time, all their fathers performed successfully and heterosexually. You are the product of eons of heterosexual activity.
Young lady, your mother and your grandmothers were not the product of parthenogenesis. They and all your maternal ancestors performed heterosexually and successfully. You are living proof they did.
To say that ten or twenty percent of humanity is doomed to heterosexual disfunction is nonsense. Dangerous and arrant nonsense.
Authorities agree that sexual behavior is learned behavior. Researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson wrote, "We're born man, woman and sexual beings. We learn our sexual preferences and orientations."
No reputable scientist has found any hereditary tie to homosexuality.
Even Dr. Alfred Kinsey wrote, "I have myself come to the conclusion that homosexuality is largely a matter of conditioning."
The problem is that for many years our society has been conditioning more and more people for this kind of behavior.
Sympathetic portrayal is the rule now in movies and dramatic television.
I believe it could be demonstrated statistically that in the last ten years major network television productions have portrayed sympathetically fewer clergy than homosexuals. And in so doing they have killed a lot of people. Literally killed them by leading them into temptation.
Humans are so constituted as to enjoy sex. If sex were not a pleasure, there would be a lot less procreation.
That which is pleasurable tends to be habit forming. And habits include many things, good, bad, and indifferent. Among them are gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, poetry, music, and various forms of sexual arousal.
Just because something feels good does not mean it is good.
Bad habits can be broken, particularly if people understand that they are not inevitably, hereditarily forced into those bad habits. The problem I am discussing here is not bad genes but bad choices.
Most of us have sense enough not to try heroin or other highly addictive drugs. We recognize there are things, once started, that cannot easily be stopped. Such wisdom could and should be applied to sexual activity.
And those whose counterproductive behavior has become addictive, it is still possible to change. Many take control of their own lives every day: smokers, gamblers, alcoholics, and illegal drug users.
Studies indicate that about one third of former homosexuals have reformed themselves.
Of course there are those who decide at some point to flaunt their homosexual behavior, taking up the cause of gay rights and saying how much better they feel to be out of the closet.
Unfortunately for them, feeling better doesn't really make it better.
I am reminded in these cases of Winston Smith, the central figure in George Orwell's powerful novel, 1984. Beaten by remorseless conditioning at last, Winston Smith finally thinks he loves Big Brother. But his loving Big Brother only makes the tragedy complete.
No reader of 1984 closes that book with feelings of hate or fear of Winston Smith. What one feels is sadness, pity, a wish that someone could help.
Our modern era will one day be a bygone era. The people of the future will be descendants of those of us who made the right choices in our own lives.
It is a dangerous, imperfect world. But those who came before us have left us valid lessons, not always written as copybook headings, which we would be wise to follow.
A person does not profit from his own fatal mistake. But the fatal mistakes of others should be highly instructive.
Kipling ended his poem:
"Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew, And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true. That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four--And the Gods of Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
"As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man-- There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: -- That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!"
My young friends, please spread the word. Traditional values are survival values.