Pornography is too naively accepted in social life today, and few recognise its real danger. On the Internet it is one of the biggest addictions today. No credible analyst will deny the fact. Like all addictions, it is also deadly, causing irreparable damage. However, there is more and more tolerance for it. Pornography creeps in everywhere; it is considered so harmless that it is even treated in the media in a light-hearted and even humorous way. On top of that, many, including believers, challenge those who speak out against pornography, arguing: “Why be so rigid about watching sex? Sex is the most beautiful thing God created, so why can’t you look at it?”.
Why can’t it be watched? We might begin by recalling Carl Jung’s statement that one of our greatest naivety is to believe that sexual energy is healthy and we can always control it. It is not. That energy is imperialistic, it wants to take us over and control us. Once it does, it is very difficult to turn it off. That is one of the reasons why pornography is so dangerous. Its energy is so invasive that it nullifies freedom and narcotises for values.
However, pornography is not only dangerous, it is also very disrespectful to the individual and therefore immoral. Those who say that sex is beautiful and there is nothing wrong with looking at it are, in fact, half right: sex is beautiful… but its energy is so aggressive that it should not be viewed without love, respect and modesty.
Scripture repeats that God is always hidden from the human gaze, concealed, so as not to be contemplated without reverence: “No one can look at God and still be alive“. This is why pornography is harmful. It is not bad because sex is not beautiful, but because sex is so powerful that it carries some of that divine power. Pornography is irresistibly addictive and harmful. Sex is beautiful, but its beauty should only be contemplated when it is properly protected by love and respect.
In the art world a distinction is made between displaying the body and being naked. The former is degrading while the latter is noble. What is the difference? By displaying oneself obscenely, one violates privacy and dignity. Conversely, nudity, properly protected by love and respect, reveals its beauty. They are not interchangeable.
Pornography degrades both those who consume it and those who display themselves provocatively. It is wrong from a human point of view and from the point of view of faith. From the human point of view, because the naked body needs to have protective shields. From the point of view of faith, because no one can look at the face of God and live. And sexuality participates in the divine.
Juan Carlos cmf
(PHOTO: Mitchell Luo)