by Hank Martin

Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

Jefferson’s brainchild, the University of Virginia, is the nation’s top party school, according to Playboy Magazine. UVA ranked above all the others in Playboy’s three quality indices: sex life, nightlife, and sporting life. The magazine took “America’s top 100 colleges” and ranked them across 900 data points in the three categories, and UVA came out on top. “The Cavaliers place an uninspiring 16th in sports but more than made up for it in nightlife and sex, finishing number three and number two, respectively,” says Playboy. “According to our math, two plus three equals one. Party on!”
– Seth Cline U.S. News & World Report


Less than half of UVA students would report an honor offense after witnessing another student lying, cheating, or stealing.  The Cavalier Daily reports that the University’s Honor Committee conducted a poll sampling more than 1,700 students.  Of the survey respondents, three quarters indicated that they support the honor system.  The poll found that one issue students have with reporting an honor offense is concern it is not a serious enough violation.  The Committee says they hope the survey will help them address the issues surrounding honor offenses.

I am hoping that Mr. Cline was being tongue-in-cheek with his comment regarding Mr. Jefferson’s pride in his brainchild. Because in actuality, I would imagine that had there been seismic indicators near the grave, they would have no doubt recorded the tremors of Mr. Jefferson spinning in it.  Is there really any wonder as to why and how our society is in the dire circumstances it now finds itself in? What possible hope is there for any citizen when the controlling force of their lives, government, is unable to discern simple and basic malfeasance? Mr. Jefferson’s University is one of many factories that are supposed to produce leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who will one day assume the reins of power in all aspects of cultural, social, economic and governmental institutions. How remarkable it is then, that we are producing a class of individuals who possess neither the fortitude to do what is right, nor the ability to discern what warrants enforcement. Yet, that would explain much. The key part to honor is having respect for others and for yourself—the two must act together because without both you have nothing. I strongly believe that reputation is hard to gain and easily lost. In losing one’s honor you also cheat the world around you and those in it.

The Playboy ranking is indicative of society. For years, we have devalued the notion of hard work, self-discipline, and respect for the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which this nation was founded. These two reports alone prove that this devaluation has been successful. Our society is now full of those whose mantra has been “If it feels good, do it.” Playboy’s report indicates that Mr. Jefferson’s campus is actively “doing it.” The student body may not be able to comprehend a lack of integrity, nor have enough of the same within themselves to report it. But they are having a good time while they are here. The notions of “Boys will be boys” or “It’s just youth” can no longer mask the tear in society that the lack of honor produces. Sex and partying, not so bad right? Really? Let’s think about that one. Bernie Madoff is not the only thief whose lack of honor contributed to our current economic disaster. He’s just the one that has made the headlines. Remember the smaller news reports regarding the senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission who spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system? I wonder if these individuals had been better able to discern and execute honor, would they have been in a position to prevent our current economic crisis? Countless examples of politicians, financiers, doctors, lawyers, police and teachers, all abusing their positions abound in the realm of recent history. When we separate ourselves from the most basic of principals, trust, we turn living in a society to simply existing.

Without trust, our nation as it was founded, designed and until recently, functioned simply cannot continue. Without a citizenry in possession of a sense of personal moral authority and an ability to react to a healthy conscience, the oil in the machinery of society is absent. The friction created in its absence is to be expected. As laughable as it may sound these days, I can remember when all one needed to close a deal was a handshake. In my youth, I observed deals made that way by my grand-fathers and my father. I used to conduct business in this manner myself, (stressing the  use of the past tense). Now, we can no longer trust the other party we’re involved with, to do the right thing. This lack of trust is the catalyst for the explosion in the need of lawyers and also for the exponential growth in government. These make for a cynical people, and a cynical people are unable to live together in a brotherhood of man as God intended.

As small a words as they are, “honor” and “trust” are critical. Consider the magnitude of their place in our daily lives. At breakfast, we have to trust that the manufacturer of our food has high quality-control protocols. We have to trust that those employees charged with enforcing them are honorable enough to do so. The government official whose duty it is to be the last line of defense needs inspectors above reproach. They need trusted inspectors, whose honor makes them unable to be tempted by bribery or any other vice which may be offered to them. The same trust needs to be held regarding the car we drive, the roads and bridges we drive on, the buildings we enter when we get to work, the dining establishments patronize, etc., etc. How much more so when the trust between a married couple is counted upon when turning off the bed lamp each night. When one considers the minutia of our lives, one can see the impact of honor and trust on our lives. We also see the negative impact in its absence.

The Honor Code study indicates that ¾ of those surveyed were supportive of an Honor Code policy, yet less than half would actually make a report of anyone lying, cheating, or stealing. Edmund Burke is often credited with the axiom: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” Given the atmosphere of today, I would amend that axiom to say “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, and lacking the wisdom to know the difference.” Until we return to the notion of raising young men with the integrity and characteristics once inculcated into them by the Bible, their fathers, and organizations like The Boy Scouts, rather than continuing the ridicule of the same, we shall regretfully find a culture that parties itself into oblivion. I wonder, would we know oblivion if we saw it?

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Hank Martin
HANK MARTIN is an Albemarle native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and PVCC majoring in Business Management. He has an extensive history of participating in the local Cub and Boy Scout Programs, both as a Scout and later as Scout Master, as well as having been a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. He has also served as a leader in church youth character building programs, such as AWANA's and the Royal Ambassadors. He is an avid student of both Biblical and world history as well as Biblical prophecy. He participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. In 2006, in response to proposed ordinances by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors regarding property rights, he founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He resides in Albemarle County with his wife, and one of their two sons, the other now a resident out of state.


  1. The university itself had a playboy at the helm for twenty years. The university itself makes very sure that no sexual assault and/or rape cases make it into a courtroom – ever. There is a long and well protected protected illegal drug trade flourishing all over grounds. The university itself hands out cancer causing steroids by the thousands to its own female students, lies to them about their effectiveness at preventing pregnancy, and lies to them advertising a Group One carcinogen as a cancer inhibitor! The university itself teams with Planned Parenthood to host "sex fest" every year. The university itself performs thousands of free abortions inside it's own publicly funded hospital when the inevitable flood of pregnant students comes rolling in every semester.

    If YOU were a wealthy porn king in his 80's who still has sex with dozens of teenage girls and seeks to avoid all repercussions thereof, YOU would call this place paradise also. The university itself has tried just as hard to impress these creeps as the UVA girls who welcomed the playboy representatives to town while they were doing their "research." The university itself earned this embarrassing distinction through many years of hard work, dishonesty, and corruption.

  2. For the one’s of us who used to work at UVA hospital, or school or have lived in community for as long as we have > 30 yrs this is old news. At one time Playboy came to town to take picture of UVA women for their college spread. All this does is prove that UVA and city government are just stale. Until we the citizen stand up with lighted torches in out hand and yelling, Hell no, we will no longer stand for this. This type of behavor will continue. It is easy to take the money and turn one’s head. We as a community have become to depend on the UVA for the jobs that they provide and money that is pumped into community. Just drive around town and see how many apartment buildings are here just for the students?…………..Why are these parent’s of the students not raising hell? do we need another Love diseaster to happen to wakeup the community? Do we?

  3. Sadly, as it to illustrate my point, within hours of my writing of this, we now see supposedly sterile medications somehow infected with meningitis. Where was quality control. How is this explainable? We see official numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that are now called into question, because our trust is non-existant in the honor of our government. What if no someone in the BLA knows better, but is “not sure” when to report an offense? How important is honor and trust to civilization?

  4. Awaking to the tragic and perplexing news this morning, regarding the Obama’s deaf ear to Lt. Col. Andy Wood for an increase in security The former head of a Special Forces “Site Security Team” in Libya states that in spite of multiple pleas from himself and other U.S. security officials on the ground for “more, not less” security personnel, the State Department removed as many as 34 people from the country in the six months before a terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. This one fact alone is demonstrative of the absence of discernible honor. Knowing the right thing to do, and having the fortitude to do it. Perhaps Ambassador Stevens and the others would still be alive. The importance of having a president who understood his duties and took seriously the oath of office is self-evident.

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