Disillusioned in the Ivy League

Sex and God at Yale Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad Nathan HardenThomas Dunne Books, 2012; 320 pages, $25.99 Nathan Harden’sstoryof being admitted to Yale is an unconventional one. Harden grew up in various states across the South and began dreaming of Yale at ten years old. When he was in the fourth grade, his mother began to homeschool him. The homeschooling, he said, “sort of faded out gradually.” Harden quit school the summer before his senior year and took a job as a manure-loader. He moved to Seattle at 18 and worked as an airline baggage handler, then to Florida shortly after, where he became a waiter and lounge singer for a retirement community. After September 11, he joined a relief organization and witnessed true poverty. He knew at that point that he wanted to do something with his life, and he started studying for the SAT. Three attempts and several years and moves later— and now with a young wife—he was at long last admitted. One might understand, given this unlikely story, why Nathan Harden was induced to write such a book as Sex and God at Yale. At heart, this book—like William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale, from which it draws its title—is the autobiographical account of a Yale student who felt betrayed by his institution, an institution he had long dreamed of attending. He had expected learning, culture, and all the best of Western Civilization. Instead, he received a cheap hodgepodge of multiculturalism, gender studies, and Sex Week—free condoms, vibrators, and porn. If Nathan Harden sounds angry in these pages, that is because he is. The book’s excesses might best be chalked up to a righteous indignation.      Harden’s main argument is that because Yale has abandoned its purpose of raising up young men and women to the greater glory of God and country, it has succumbed to the worst of mankind’s sins in the name of critical thinking and political correctness.
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