Skip to comments.We need to stop pornography, now
Posted on 03/21/2007 9:14:58 AM PDT by Frank Sheed
A friend recently quipped to me that if Americans were as good at the war on terror as we are in our war on common sense, the world would be a much safer place. He was talking about our countrys increasingly confused attitudes toward sex.
Last week offered a good example. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, said that I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well-served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.
Note that Pace did not say that, homosexual persons are evil. He said that homosexual acts are wrong. And of course hes right. We might question the generals choice to comment in the context he did, but not his content. He simply stated the Western moral tradition. We should respect his courage for saying it. Every human being has an inalienable dignity as an image of God. But as part of that dignity, we also have free will, and our choices our behaviors create wholeness or havoc around us, depending on their moral content.
Our sexual behavior is never merely a private matter. Human sexuality is deeply linked to issues of identity, fertility and new life. Our sexual behavior always has social implications because it directly or indirectly impacts others. Therefore it helps shape the wider culture. This is not a uniquely Christian point of view. Most Americans clearly agree with Gen. Pace. The only thing strange about his remarks was the theatrical wave of shock they generated from critics. In fact, with the good exception of Sen. Sam Brownback and some others, many members of Congress scrambled to criticize Gen. Pace despite the moral beliefs of the people who elected them.
The bickering over Gen. Pace is just an icon of wider problems. The sexual confusion at the top of U.S. society now has an echo in every corner of American life. Sexually transmitted disease, child sexual abuse, adult Internet predators, divorce, cohabitation and nearly every other indicator of a dysfunctional society stand at epidemic levels. But very few people want to name the biggest single environmental crisis we face: a multi-billion dollar pornography industry that pours garbage into our homes every day through the Web and other media.
Forty years ago, when steel mills pumped hundreds of tons of toxic waste each week into the Great Lakes literally killing Lake Erie and damaging the health of tens of thousands of families citizens got organized. They forced the mills to clean up or shut down. We need to do the same today. Citizens need to stop the pornography industry now not out of some kind of Victorian prudery, but because pornography poisons the human heart, imagination and soul just as those steel mills once poisoned our air and water, only worse.
Pornography is never innocent entertainment, no matter how private it might seem. It turns human beings into objects. It coarsens our appetites. It darkens our ability to see real human beauty. It creates impossible expectations about sexual intimacy. It kills enduring romance and friendship between the sexes. And ultimately its a lie and a cheat. Pornography is a cheap, quick, empty copy of the real thing the real joy of sexual intimacy shared by a man and woman who have joined their lives in a loving marriage.
In recent months, two Catholic bishops have begun some extraordinary work against pornography in their Midwest dioceses: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan.
Bishop Finns excellent pastoral letter, Blessed Are the Pure in Heart: The Dignity of the Human Person and the Dangers of Pornography, has a wealth of good information about the scope of pornography, the damage it does and many practical tips to fighting it in our homes. Archbishop Naumanns anti-pornography initiative, As for Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord, includes a DVD and workbook with valuable resources for fighting pornography, teaching chastity and wholesome sexuality, and helping others who have been hurt by pornography addiction.
We cant do much to fix the sexual confusion at the top of our society, beyond writing to our elected officials and demanding candidates who will advance our convictions when the time comes to vote. But we can do a lot about the poison in our homes and local communities. Pornography is poison. It should be controlled like any other toxic waste. And dont be fooled. This isnt censorship. Its a matter of public health and common sense.
Bishop Finns pastoral letter can be found online at www.diocese-kcsj.org; click on Bishop, then on the pastoral letter. For information on Archbishop Naumanns anti-pornography initiative, contact the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., at 913-721-1097.
I forsee yet another attempted abuse of the Commerce Clause in the offing.
Our priest keeps putting this in his homilies and writings. He is fighting.
We need to follow!
Many have tried. All have failed.
Despite this great commentary by the Archbishop, the horse is way way WAY out of the barn on pornography. And I wouldn't compare it to dumping toxic waste in Lake Erie, because a toxic Lake Erie made people feel bad; toxic pornography makes people feel good (at least in the short term). In our "feel good" society, even those who THINK pornography is bad, tend to fall into the trap of moral relativism. I wish I wasn't so pessimistic, but there is so much money in that industry, and pornogrpahy touches so many OTHER industries (whether it soft-core Maxim or hard core XXX), it would take an apocalyptic change in society's attitude towards sex to build up any momentum against the industry.
Even my liberal soc professor admitted that porn is harmful on many levels and strong family unit is essential for society.
i.e., with the state of our society, it's too late to fight "industries", but it's never too late to save our friends and loved ones from this pit of death.
Good for the ping list.
At one time most police departments had a division or department called the "Moral Squad". They were involved in controlling, raiding and arresting individuals who were in pornography shops, drug establishments, prostitution.
It was funny how the drug paraphernalia was taken and burned immediately after a trial while porn films passed through the precinct so the cops could see them before turning them into the evidence room. No one knew where the films went after the trial.
The addiction to Porn has to be many more times worse than drugs. Many more addicts.
The war on drugs will be won long long before the war on pornography.
. . . about which a celibate priest knows exactly jack squat. Anyone else see the irony in looking to men who have pledged to deny themselves one of humanity's most basic urges---the sexual impulse---for guidance on sexual matters?
Pornography is as old as humanity itself. Without draconian measures it will remain with us.
What I fear from the anti-porn people is their definition of porn. Some have even labeled classic literature and art as porn.
Don't be so pessimistic. There are many ways to fight porn.
Well, this is fun. We've tried the "War on Immorality" many times, and that's just in American history. I hate to keep using the Prohibition example, but it fits, when you try to legislatively choke off the supply for a product for which there is such a high demand, as admitted by the good archbishop when he called porn a multi-billion dollar industry. Just as when alcohol was outlawed in America, organized crime took it over, made money hand over fist and grew in both power and influence. The same thing would most likely happen with porn if the archbishop got his wish.
The pornographers and pornography users are sure to get their knickers twisted by this article ...
Gen. Pace and Sen. Brownback are true Catholics
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