Despite Years of Sodomy and Scandal, Elite Pepperdine University Remains Steadfast in Banning Homosexuality
Nestled in the lush, ostentatious hills of Malibu, California, Pepperdine University has long been a fortress of academic conservatism. Its Christian principles stand in righteous contrast to the jet set Hollywood types who call the nearby beaches their playground. Indeed, one can spy the luxury sex palace of 70s musical icon Cher from Pepperdine’s mountainside perch. Billionaire homosexual David Geffen’s waterfront mansion, with its revolving door of South American male models, is frustratingly close. Pop singer Britney Spears is often spotted buzzing by the campus in her pink Ferrari, an unbuckled infant perched treacherously in its back seat.
Despite the profound challenge of coexisting within the boundaries of Californian liberalism, Pepperdine has carved out a niche for itself as one of the great Christian universities in America. The curricula of its various colleges are based on the principles of the Bible and the moral foundations of the U.S. Constitution. It has become an impressive training ground for our future legislators, lawyers and cultural pioneers. Students are asked to oblige by a strict policy of no drugs or alcohol on or off campus. Dormitories are single sex and premarital sex is explicitly discouraged. The moral fiber of Pepperdine is so strong, in fact, that mixed dancing was only approved by school officials in 2001, after a strenuous debate about the dangers of promiscuity and femininity.
Yet all is not kosher on this Christian campus. A shocking trend of homosexuality has reared its monstrous head in recent years and administrators are fighting back. The issue came to the fore in 2011 when a student-led “Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite” (LGBT) group demanded school endowment funding for a club called Reach. This campus disco was planned as an elaborate space, replete with mood lighting, shirtless bartenders and flamboyant décor.
The secret homosexual agenda of this nightclub was laid bare in a shocking document that was eventually leaked to the school’s newspaper, The Graphic. In it, Reach organizers Alexander “Anderson” Cooper and Lindsay Jakows schemed for an expensively-subsidized space where, “students and their peers can engage in open and safe dialogue, providing additional educational forums for the University community to become better informed about LGBT issues and disarm destructive stereotypes, and strengthening the University’s harassment policy to make it clearer that all members of our community must be treated with dignity and grace as fellow human beings bearing the image of God.”
Stopping this sensual circus has become a personal crusade for Pepperdine’s Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Mark Davis. Dean Davis (who bears more than a striking resemblance to award-winning actor Richard Gere, from his chiseled jaw and salt and pepper to the quiet authority of intellect) has argued that a college is not a democracy, but rather a place where the young and innocent are instructed by their riper, more enlightened elders. Throughout this debate, Dr. Davis has made a strong case for the value of enforcing a Biblically-based moral code in the collegiate environment. Fragile minds are at stake, and when one considers the onslaught of immorality in our media today, it’s clear that our children cannot win this fight on their own.
But is Dr. Davis going far enough? Is he truly committed to this battle? Insiders will readily admit that Pepperdine has a scandalous history of teeming campus flirtation and sexuality. Forcing members of the opposite sex together in such a private enclave, on those luxuriant West Coast afternoons, where the golden rays of sunlight lick a coed’s bare, gentle legs as she bends over to pick up a notebook on Alumni Park… Or maybe it’s a varsity member of the men’s golf team, tearing off his polo shirt as he makes his way along Ho Chi Minh trail, batting those lustrous eyelashes, beads of sweat dripping down from his sculpted pectorals… The dusk settles in Malibu and you find an upperclassman at the HAWC, his curious fingers reaching across a table to that female freshman fresh in from the heartland. Coldplay once again whines on in the background. Their next stop? The Hero’s Garden, necking angrily as the full moon rises over the Pacific. How could that girl’s poor, suffering mother ever have imagined such disgrace when she entrusted her daughter to academia’s supposed aristocrats of sanctity?
One is forced to wonder if this tempestuous orgy is really what George Pepperdine envisioned so many years ago. And what of Matthew 5:28? “But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Yes, the sin of lust is tearing this nation, and Pepperdine University in particular, apart. Shall we go a little bit further? Clearly the homosexual menace is all too present at the late night cruising grounds of Rokus Field, where young men gather under the guise of “ultimate frisbee.” Or maybe it’s the brawny, bare-chested nature of rush week on Alumni Park, those team hugs and private fraternal paddlings. And let’s not forget the aforementioned same-sex dancing so prevalent in the dormitories prior to 2001.
But the greatest threat, the true scandal, the one horrific secret that Pepperdine and President Benton and Dean Davis are avoiding is the very disease of lust so rampant among the university’s faculty. Yes, Pepper’s professors put up a good front. They appear clean-cut and sober in the classroom and at chapel. But what about the after-hours life of faculty housing? How much longer can the stories of excess be suppressed? We have heard too many outrageous reports of parties in these Mediterranean-style accommodations. Once class is over for the day, syllabi drop to the floor as quickly as houndstooth jackets and hesitation. Brassieres are swung overhead with a temperamental femininity usually reserved for an Obama rally. Disco music drowns out the fervent cellphone calls of that industrious student looking for a little extra credit homework. Is it really any wonder that faculty housing is segregated on the far northeastern edge of the campus, shielded from the prying eyes of the school’s most devout students?
What sort of example are these professors setting? Why hasn’t Dr. Davis spoken out against the depravity in his own ranks? Should we be at all surprised that such activities would occur on a campus so pretentious and lush? The architecture of this place bears none of the somber asceticism so common in Gothic design. Instead, it shares more atheistically with Cher’s palatial sex compound. How can one be expected to discover humility in such opulence?
Add to this scandal the dangerous proximity to those dazzling Malibu beaches, where Hollywood’s youngest celebrities splash each other day and night, their tight bikinis and corpulent speedos leaving little to the imagination. Yes, you might say Pepperdine has had some successes with the likes of famous alumnus Pastor Jack Gould, but I would quickly counter with former Illinois Governor (and current prison inmate) Rod Blagojevich, Class of ’83, or Chase Crawford, the current Hollywood pin-up boy on the racy ethnic television series “Gossip Girl.”
Maybe it’s time Pepperdine’s elders stop preening themselves Richard Gere-style and get their own house in order. Maybe they need to accomplish something inwardly before preaching a duplicitous strategy of millennial morality to such precious, young minds. As this tragic case study of Christian ambition continues to unfold, as we once again witness zeal becoming zealotry, my thoughts and prayers go out to Pepperdine’s student body who, in their innocence and simplicity, want nothing more than to bring the light of His love to their fellow man.
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” –1 Peter 3:8.