Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cheating on your (future) spoue and family: The Effects of Pornography

I wish I could say that you could go through life and not have to deal with the issue of pornography.  Sadly, the culture that we live daily is saturated with sex, and not in the way God fearing way. 

The more we see it in our daily lives, the more we become accustomed to it.  Grocery store checkout lines, bill boards, online ads, and Facebook run rampant with pornography.  And the more the issue is prevalent in our culture, the more we become desensitized to it.

Excuses such as “It’s not like I’m actually physically hurting anybody” or “it’s completely mutual” or “it’s really no big deal” are buzz words around the issue.  It is not helpful when the world in which we live and breathe simply reinforces the supposed normality.

Take for instance the move that recently came out staring Leonardo DiCaprio.  “The Wolf of Wall Street” was hailed as an ingenious film.  The levels of nudity and crass were through the roof.  It also grossed over $389 million worldwide against a $100 million budget.  Additionally, it was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Scorsese, Best Adapted Screenplay for Terrence Winter, and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for DiCaprio.  And it was pornography for the masses.

What a narrow box pornography is.  Instead of opening your eyes to the beauty of God’s creation, you narrow yourself into a thought process where people are objects to be captured in a screen shot for viewing pleasure. 

However, pornography is not a moral issue because sex is bad.  On the contrary, sex is a beautiful creation from God.  Sex was created BY God.  So if you think He just sits up in the sky and says “Don’t do this,” “Ohh, wrong move,” thing again.  He invented sex.  And all things that God creates?  Good. 

Pornography is not even bad because it shows too much.  Instead, as so flawlessly pointed out by John Paul II (are we surprised?), “Pornographic images reduce the person being lusted over to body parts only. There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.”

It takes the beautiful creation of a human being, made in the image and likeness of God, and reduces him or her to parts to be admired. 

You are more than parts.  God’s creation of your fellow human beings are good.  Sex is great.  Pornography?  Doesn’t even fit in the picture. 
Si vis amari ama, 

 Chloe M


  1. I'd like to address something that bothers me about this argument. You say that pornography shows far too little about the person. What, in fact, shows enough of the human condition? There is no form of communication that shows enough of humanity. No media comes close to showing the vastness of human intelligence, beauty, value, experience, or morals. What media could? All things, books, films, movies, music, and even prayer, point to a sliver of what is possible in man. Even those things that contain a large chunk of humanity, such as the Bible, do not contain all of it, for why else would those exist that read it and search for more? The Quran was written afterwards, and many saw truth in it. Nietzsche wrote his book "The Antichrist" and many saw fit to follow those words. And each of these, the Bible, the Quran, and "The Antichrist" all hold contradictory truths of what humanity is. So to condemn anything for not showing enough of what is humanity is a fruitless endeavour. There is nothing that can show humanity as a whole, other than the whole of humanity itself.

    I will take a moment to comment on my thoughts of pornography itself. I would not defend pornography as it exists today. There are many problems it contributes to society today. I do not believe pornography in and of itself is wrong, but that its common execution and its time and place in society are often deplorable.

  2. Hi there!

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    The most authentic representation of the human condition was Christ and his physical presence on earth. He came down from Heaven, took upon the nature of man while still retaining his divine nature, and showed what human beings were capable. Beauty, intelligence, the process of emotions, the ability to discern right and wrong. Christ showed what man would have been like without the fall (taking upon all things but sin, he became man) and the beauty of walking with God.

    Of course no form of media produced by humans could ever come close to representing the true beauty of the human condition. It's hard to top what God has already produced flawlessly.

    However, pornography removes even the human attempt to represent the human condition because it removes the dignity Per Saint Pope John Paul II, “There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person"

    The commonality of pornography is not an excuse for its lack of morality. It is always wrong - not just for some who believe it to be. It is wrong because truth is objective (not subjective because the irrationality of the relativism movement).

    When you strip (no pun intedned) away the so called advancements of pornography and compare them to pornography instances of the past, you still are left with a child of God who is being robbed of his or her right to be seen as body mind and soul, instead of just parts to be admired.

    Pornography is just as morally harmful to your soul in a room with just a computer for company and a crowded street billboard.

    Si vis amari ama,

    Chloe M

    1. Chloe,

      I appreciate your reply. I see your point of view of Christ, and, while I would normally engage discussion there, I believe doing so would detract and distract from the original topic on hand. I do appreciate and respect this view point, and, for the sake of discussion, I will check my own views here.

      My largest complaint here is the view that pornography removes the human dimension from the person. I would argue that is inaccurate. Is not human sexuality still very much part of the human dimension? While not all pornography is created equal, anymore than full-length feature film would be equal to a home video, I do know that pornography exists that does celebrate human sexuality, not within the confines of a cheap, material way, but one that focuses on beauty and fulfillment. I would link, or name, the specific example here, but I'm sure you would not appreciate that, given the blog's stance.

      Pornography does not have to eliminate mind and soul, nor do I believe that pornography that only embraces body should be condemned. Many subjects focus on just the mind, or just the soul, and we never condemn them. Math books don't encompass the body or the soul, and certain prayers, while seeking a calming nature in the mind and body, do not make anything other than the soul the focus, such as last rites to someone who has lost consciousness.

      I appreciate your the time and effort for your reply, and I also want to thank you for creating this place of equal discussion. I'll keep checking in for your reply. Have a wonderful day!

    2. Thanks for replying! I love when people share their opinions in a respectful manner, so I definetly appreciate it just as much as I hope you do.

      Like you are saying, human sexuality is pretty amazing. As a Catholic, I follow the Church when she says that the human being is a reflection of God's divine love. We have a body that doesn't exist just for sexual pleasure, but to ultimately be joined with God in Heaven, along with our soul. Sex, in fact, is a small taste of the reality of Heaven. The union between a man and woman foreshadows the union humans can share with God. .

      Yet to discredit pornography, we must credit what sex really is. Sex was created with two purposes: babies and bonding. To dissect it to anything less, or remove either facet is degrading the nature of sex itself. To take away the openness to life (homosexuality, masturbation, pornography) or the uniting features (contraception, rape, etc) takes away from the dignity of both parties in sexual intercourse.

      Sex isn't just is holy. It's mean to bond us to God, not to just be used for pleasure.

      When people who are not married have sex, its essentially saying "Here is all of me" with your body, but not following up on the commitment in word or deed, because you haven't committed to daily laying down your life for that person in a marriage covenant.

      Sex (in the right context) centers around REAL love - willing the good of the other as other. Anything outside of marriage (adultery, fornication, pornography, or any other sexual sin) cannot, due to its nature, be loving. They are not bonding, because they are built on temporary pleasure, and they are not open to life.

      Pornography lets you view someone on a screen or in a picture as less of a human being. It doesn't matter the quality of the pornography, or the actors, or the motives. Regardless of what is said, one doesn't look at pornography and say "Gosh, what a beautiful child of God. I wonder what his/her favorite movie is. What he/she does on the weekend." No - they are objectified. That is the opposite of love . It takes the best of God's creation - humans - and removes the God-given rights that they possess.

      Pornography removes love from sex, making sex selfish and all about "me" - remember, the definition of love is willing the good of the other as other (with no mention of self). This isn't even delving into the psychological and science proven issues that pornography creates.

      Pornography does eliminate the mind and the soul. There is little comparison between reading for knowledge and school interest and looking at a picture of a human being with lust. It is not that pornography eliminates or includes the mind and the soul - it is that the act of pornography severs the mind and soul from the body and focuses entirely on the body in a manner that is lustful. That is where the danger lies.

      Sorry for the incredible length. :)
      Have a great night

    3. Unfortunately, my own reply has exceeded the character limit, and I cannot post it in its entirety here. You can read my reply here . I look forward to your reply.

    4. Hi again,

      Thanks for your respectfully worded comments again! So, everything that I am going to say in response has already been said much more eloquently by John Paul II and Christopher West. Because of this, I feel what I will say pales in comparison.

      Here is JPII's Theology of the Body (TOB): free and readable.

      Here is Christopher West:
      and here:

      My opinions don't matter. However, the official teachings of a Church that was founded by Christ himself and has been in existence for over 2000 years is authentic truth - not truth defined by mankind, but truth established and continued by God. I'm not in any way copping out from an issue, but truth has already been stated, and better than I could word it.

      Your arguments concerning the morality of porn and sex itself are all answered there. If you're interested in what the Catholic Church has to say, read TOB and discover authentic, true, faithful and total love.

      What have you go to lose? If you read TOB and don't see it, then you have justified your arguments. If not, then you've gone through a process of self-discovery and become and even better version of yourself.

      Thanks for the conversation once again - you're in my prayers.
      Si vis amari ama,

    5. Chloe,

      I am grateful for your concern for me. I know your heart is in the right place, and I have a large amount of respect for you from that.
      I want you to know the following criticism is meant to be constructive and is only meant as advice from one writer to another. I would not blame you to dismiss it, although I assure you I would not share it if I did not believe it valuable.

      You are wrong to ever say that your opinions don't matter. As I understand your statement, that comes from humility to works that have come before you, and that you would not wish to cross or contradict previous logic set before you.

      As a writer, you cannot live by that fear. You must be more assured of your opinion, and when you are not, the research lies upon you. I will read the research you've given me, and will take into account the words there. But I am disappointed that you haven't taken these words and constructed your own defense in their name. You write well, and I know that your opinions are worth sharing. Never dismiss your opinions, only let them evolve as facts and other opinions present themselves.

      I wish you the very best in all your endeavours. It's been a pleasure to debate you, and I'm sorry it had to end this way.

      Good luck!