Pornography Porn

Could there be anything more vile to read than Christians of all confessional stripes commenting, nay, waxing indignant about pornography, either the sort popularly portrayed in films like 50 Shades of Grey or the everyday stuff which litters the Internet? Pornography is evil — is there much more to be said about it than that? The attempts of some to build-up utilitarian arguments against its production and consumption are not without merit; but that’s a dangerous road to walk down. For whether some wish to admit it or not, there are plenty of pro-pornography arguments cast in utilitarian terms, and the social-science literature has only yielded findings which are, at best, inconclusive and, more often than not, contestable. The less charitable side of me, the one activated by social media and e-mail chains, finds almost all Christian writings on pornography is perverse. The curiosity that sits just underneath the condemnatory rhetoric is — if I may use the word again — perverse. It’s not enough to just say that the sort of “deviant sex” portrayed in most pornographic (or quasi-pornographic) videos is “disgusting” or “immoral”; graphic descriptions, the sort which ended up enticing more than horrifying, are part of the package. O, how I long for the days of yore when a sly euphemism or two might have stood-in for “analingus.”

The prevalence of cheap moralizing literature is sure evidence of inadequate moral instruction. In earlier times made more decent not by the quality of men but the intolerance of the laws for vices most high-school kids experience before graduation, epistles of revulsion toward gang bangs, sadomasochism, and run-of-the-mill bestiality (light household pet stuff; no farm animals) wouldn’t have been necessary; their authors would be punished for pruriency. Now I pray that these “consciences of our darkened times” might be sanctioned with irrelevancy. But that won’t happen because there is a market for “pornography porn,” a ghastly spectacle typically comprised of misdirected rage, impotent posturing, and stern nonsense. Show me a man confronted with a 1,200 word finger-wag over his masturbatory practices who repented of his ways, humble and contrite before the frowning faces of the disapproval class and I’ll dig up dozens of more tempted to peek at that which is ostensibly damned. No, you see, what “pornography porn” does, aside from fill its producers with a false sense of justification and mission, is draw hapless souls further into the snares of the devil. They read of lascivious lifestyles and lurid practices to which they have no access, to which only the misdirected and corrupted embrace, and they want to know more. They want to know what to get angry at, not because it’s objectively evil, but because they themselves ought not, cannot, and therefore will not be able to imbibe.

Then some do, and I bet it’s a real horror show in the confessional after that. (Or, if they happen to belong to a Protestant sect, it’s a real horror show down at the local Celebrate Recovery group.) I don’t mean to mock; toward these poor men I feel a great deal of pity. Wanting to be good Christians prepared to battle against worldly temptations, they mistakenly arm themselves with the enemy’s time bombs. Yes, shame on the pornographers, but shame, too, on those who make a cottage industry out of claiming to combat the pornographers. They don’t drain the cesspool; they help keep it full. What should we say to such people? A brief perusal through the Bible reveals 20 or so references to stumbling blocks, and so many, many more about hypocrisy in general.

7 comments

  1. I have to confess I frequent Rod Dreher’s blog and others to stay abreast of all the filthy, deviant, perverse and pornographic sites I should avoid, including one horrid thing that turned out to be a nude alligator. I don’t even want to know.

    1. LOL. I steer clear of his blog, but my pals Keith and Pauli keep me up to date.

      I agree with Gabe. There is something prurient in all the fulsome denunciations of porn. Just say it’s evil and move on. Graphic descriptions are neither called for nor edifying. Quite the contrary.

  2. I think we can thank John Paul II the Awesome’s Theology of Body cult and its advocate$ like Christopher West for this type of nonsense.

    1. There’s a large ring of truth to that, but since I composed this post on the bus with my iPad, I didn’t have the resources to get into that much depth. That will have to wait for another day, if the topic still proves interesting.

    2. I think that’s a tad unfair. I have not kept up with West, and I have read only a little of the Theology of the Body stuff. But, for those of us raised in ’50s-vintage Irish Jansenism — courtesy of crazy nuns and moms with hangups — JP II’s approach was liberating, in a good, healthy way.

      Moreover, those prurient denunciations of porn are not just a Catholic Thing. They’re practically a cottage industry for organizations like Focus on the Family, which can scarcely be said to be under the spell of JP II.

  3. Hear hear. Vocal opposition to homosexuality must remain because this affliction, borne as it is of the most vile rape and sexual abuse imaginable (or beyond typical human comprehension, actually), is the most overtly demonic behavior that most will ever encounter in their daily lives, and no Christian should be content to follow the Zeitgeist in leaving these poor souls defenseless in modern society where such manifest evil is “celebrated.” But the obsession with sex in general needs to go since it is nothing more than a blatantly diabolical distraction from WHAT REALLY MATTERS, like Usury, for example. Yes, a naked woman truly is beautiful. God made her that way. DEAL WITH IT. Unlike sexual matters, money matters actually made Jesus ANGRY. There is an obvious clue here for any Christian who is truly paying attention.

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