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Free Iowa State from Bondage
by Hans Zieger
11 November 2003Handcuffs

Organizations such as Iowa State's Cuffs should not be a fixture of America's higher education system.


In 2000, students at Iowa State University founded the Cuffs organization to celebrate the deviant sexual practices of "bondage," "discipline," "dominance," "submission," "sadism," and "masochism." Without actually explaining the unexplainable, it is enough to say that the activities that Cuffs engages in include painful flogging, leather fetishes, "kinks," and sexual assault. And on Thursday, the Iowa State Government of the Student Body endowed Cuffs with special funding.

By a vote of 21-9, the student government approved a special printing and advertising allocation for Cuffs. In the past, Cuffs has been the beneficiary of thousands of dollars in student body revenue. 

Cuffs is symbolic of America's growing decadence. In what is perhaps the most basic summary of moral relativism ever written, the Cuffs mission statement says, "We believe that everyone is entitled to determine where their own personal limits are, to adjust those limits at any time, to withdraw previously given consent at any time, and to have their limits respected by others." In other words, there are no limits.

And nothing could more succinctly express the moral confusion of Cuffs than this line from the Cuffs website: "BDSM [bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism] is the polar opposite of abuse." Perhaps in the warped lexicon of the cultural Left, abuse is defined as the stigmatized inability of a person to express their "identity" openly. Or maybe abuse means that a person is oppressed by their adherence to a rigid moral code. Or perhaps it is even the loving, caring traditional marriage relationship of a man and woman.

The mission statement continues: "We believe that safe, consensual, and non-exploitative alternate sexual desires are an important, natural, and healthy part of the sexual orientation of many people, and we support and advocate the right of every adult to make the sexual choices that are right for them." Since the group was founded three years ago, Cuffs workshops and seminars have included "Instructions on Flogging," "Instructions on Spanking, Caning, and Paddling," "STD Prevention," and "Rope Bondage Workshop."

"It helps members to have groups like this," Cuffs president Harlan "Duane" Long told his school newspaper. "It shows people they're not alone. I believe opposition to Cuffs is largely based on misconceptions, and that's only something that will go away with time as Cuffs is here to educate people more."

Iowa State University is not America's only campus with a club dedicated exclusively to the most disgusting forms of degeneracy. Columbia University sponsors Conversio Verium, a "BDSM support and discussion group." Evergreen State College in Washington has the Queer Alliance, the University of New York at Albany hosts a club, and so does Oberlin College in Ohio. Nearly a dozen repulsive student groups meet under the jurisdiction of the University of California at Berkeley Queer Council.

Under federal equal access laws, colleges and universities that receive federal funding are required to allow any active student group to become an official part of the student body organization. Not only are hideous BDSM clubs a potential campus group; under federal law that governs most of higher education, there are no limits. Nothing can be done to stop the Ku Klux Klan, heroin addicts, neo-Nazis or Satanists from forming student clubs. Only three colleges in the United States are truly independent by their refusal to attach their identity to federal funding: Hillsdale College in Michigan, Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

The only way higher education can be saved is if college administrations -- like Hillsdale, Grove City, and Patrick Henry -- take a firm stand on principles higher than expressive rights alone. Academia must engage its students in a forum on character, honor, and decency. Such a stand will cost colleges their federal funding, but federal higher education funding has its pretext in socialist grounds in the first place. 

The bottom line is that organizations advancing obscenity, disease, pain, and rottenness in general should not be a fixture of America's higher education system. But for now -- having forgotten the things of the spirit -- Iowa State University and all of the other campuses that celebrate animalism are in abject bondage to the things of the flesh.


Hans Zeiger is a Seattle Times columnist and conservative activist. He is president of the Scout Honor Coalition and a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan
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