Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
March 5, 2007
Wash away the cancer of pornography
The decision by Telus to stop selling pornography through its wireless phone network is a welcome one. Vancouver Archbishop Raymond Roussin deserves credit for taking a stand against Telus' sale of pornography and thus focusing public attention on the issue.
But we should not thereby conclude that a great victory has been won. Pornography is a massive and rapidly growing part of Western culture, one that is having a seriously debilitating effect on society. It is so widespread and comes at people from so many directions and by such insidious methods, it is difficult to know how to effectively fight this monster.
Those who take a lackadaisical approach to the spread of pornography are many. For them, access to pornography is part of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The creation, sale and use of pornography are not victimless acts. They negatively affect the people who are part of the industry, people who view pornography and even those who have nothing to do with pornography.
This is an industry whose whole purpose is to treat people as objects for the pleasure of others. It ignores the good of the other person and diminishes both the person exploited as well as the person doing the exploiting.
Through heavy reliance on pornography, people come to live more and more in a fantasy world where graphic images of people being sexually exploited are burned into the imagination. You can say that everyone has a right to their own perverse imagination, but you would be wrong. For when people withdraw into a world of narcissism and fantasy in which people are treated as things, their ability to love is eroded. This erosion affects all of us.
In a lengthy pastoral letter issued on Ash Wednesday (seewww.diocese-kcsj.org), Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Mo., said, "Attraction to pornography and its gratifications is a false 'love' that leads to increasing emotional isolation, loneliness and sexual acting-out with self and others.
"Use of pornography has cost persons their jobs, their marriages and their families. Traffickers in child pornography may end up in prison. It has often been associated with and has contributed to acts of sexual violence and abuse."
Finn cited numerous facts, including:
This is a cancer eating away at society, a cancer that is not easily subject to government control. What we can do is to control our own use of pornography and that of those dear to us. Even here, there is difficulty because the nature of pornography is that it is something to be "enjoyed" in secret.
Finn provided numerous suggestions on how to control one's own use of pornography including:
God to help us to make purity of heart a central virtue for a people gone astray.
- Glen Argan
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