January 29, 2006 | On the several occasions I was interviewed for the Anscombe Society this past year, there were a few questions that always seemed to be asked. One of these was, “Why did you start this group? What was your motivation?” To this question I answered that the university is all about fostering an environment of respectful, intelligent conversation. The university is a locus for a thoughtful exchange of ideas, to further understanding among people. An ethic that embraces the good of marriage, family, and especially chastity is certainly missing from the university environment, and my classmates and I felt it important to represent this worldview through the Anscombe Society.

We also recognized the fact that there are many students who either also embrace this ethic, or who, due to the pressures and expectations of the culture, unwillingly abandoned it. Thus, the group exists not only to enhance university discussion and understanding regarding issues of marriage, family, and chastity, but we also hope to be a voice for those unrepresented and unrecognized students.

My personal motivation, however, goes deeper than this. My primary motivation is, well, love.

Love for all the children out there suffering through the divorce of their parents, love for all those who have ever felt used and abused in a relationship, love for all those who have been pressured and manipulated by the culture and the media into changing their hopes and beliefs regarding true love and have settled for a more immediate imitation of love--love for all those who have no hope that a true love exists.

Why am I committed to spreading the message of the good of marriage, family, and modesty? Because I genuinely love people and I want them to have it all in life.

What do I mean by having it all? What I mean is the fullness and complete joy of love. Having it all means having a fulfilling and happy marriage that will last. Having it all means having your body respected and respecting the bodies of others. Having it all means having true freedom and self-control, not being bound by the expectations of the culture nor being a slave to your own sexual impulses and desires. Having it all means being free of worries such as: am I pregnant? Will my parents find out? Will he leave me? Is he using me? Will I ever find true love? Isn’t there more to life and love than this?

There is no reason to have to ask questions like this.

I want people to know that true, selfless love does exist, and that is all.

Cassandra DeBenedetto, 20, was born and raised in Massachusetts as the eldest of four. A junior at Princeton University, Cassandra is majoring in Religion with a certificate in East Asian studies. In February 2005 Cassandra, along with some of her fellow students, founded the Anscombe Society to further enrich discussion within the university setting on topics related to marriage, family, and sex; as well as to provide the often missing support and encouragement for those students either already practicing or striving for a life of chastity. Currently the only group of its kind, the Anscombe Society has received much press. When she isn’t studying or organizing Anscombe events, Cassandra enjoys reading and writing, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and reminiscing her bungee-jumping days in China.

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