It's only been a month since a live sex demonstration at Northwestern University sent tuition-paying parents into a tizzy, and yet how soon we forget. Jack Rappaport, a business professor at LaSalle University, must have heard the hue and cry. But he paid it no mind when he invited three strippers into an extra credit course, paying them to perform lap dances on students and himself.
His classes are currently being taught by other professors while an investigation by the university continues, prompting its own hue and cry. Some say they're all consenting adults here, the strippers agreed to the gig and were paid, the students were all aware of what they were signing up for, even paying $150 themselves to get in the door. It sure sounds like a case of "none of anyone's beeswax" until you consider this: LaSalle is a Roman Catholic University. That simple fact changes it all.
In fact, it looks like Professor Rappaport got what was coming to him when he was seemingly suspended by the school. It's a no-brainer, really. When you work at or attend a college, you're expected to follow at least some rules. Last month, it was Brandon Davies, the Brigham Young University basketball player kicked off the team for having pre-marital sex, against the school's honor code. This time it's Rappaport under investigation by his bosses -- and rightfully so.
Because this isn't a question of whether Rappaport did something wrong as judged by the world at large. It's a question of whether he did something wrong as judged by the university that pays his salary to teach students.
Thanks to Sunday school from first grade on up, I can tell you the Catholic Church couldn't be clearer on sexual exploration outside of the bounds of marriage: it's an absolute no no. The Sixth Commandment warns "thou shalt not commit adultery," a statement expanded upon by the Vatican in its Catechism, which warns "every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." To make it even clear, the Vatican defines lust:
Disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that neither Rappaport nor his students were using the sexual pleasure of those lap dances for procreative or unitive purposes. It was a quick "getting off" from a stranger, who then moved on to the next willing "victim."
Should this professor be punished? Was this appropriate for any class, whether or not it was a religious-affiliated school?
Image via velkr0/Flickr