Often those who include pornography in their world view do not or cannot stop at the viewing, but must act out what they see and absorb. Most often, the victims are children. In a particular way, children exposed to pornography instinctively see it for what it is, and they recoil from it, feeling embarrassed, ashamed, and unclean. Though pornography can be a private activity, its toxic effect is so deadly that it poisons individuals as well as the family, which is accorded the title, “the Domestic Church.” Pornography creates marital discord and destroys family life.
Pros and Cons Regarding Pornography
Not everyone agrees that pornography is a grave moral concern to the public. If pornography is private behavior, whose business is it anyway? So goes this logic. According to Robert George, professor of law at Princeton University and co-founder of the Manhattan Institute, “many today would remove pornography from any moral category altogether and simply regard this as a First Amendment issue.” In fact, thirty-eight percent of American adults consider pornography morally acceptable. This voice is generally expressed both through the popular culture of the entertainment and advertising media. The second voice is the strong tradition of religious and moral values, which finds expression in the private life of a large majority of ordinary adult citizens trying to hand on virtuous living to their children. These two cultural forces are locked in a struggle for dominating the soul of our families and culture.
Who are the persons and agencies with obligations to defend the private sector? They are professional communicators with moral consciences and ethical codes, parents, educators, youth, the public outcry, public authorities, the Church and religious groups who must put pressure on the public sector and legislators to enact laws for the public health and safety.
The Body, Sacred and Beautiful
The Judeo-Christian faith tradition teaches that the whole person has been endowed with an exalted vocation. We are made not only “in the image and likeness of God,” (Gen 1:26) “made a little lower than God,” (Ps 8:5) we are also “God’s works of art created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as he meant us to live it from the beginning.” (Eph 2:10) We are called to become works of art, works of beauty.
St. Paul illuminates the sacred character of every person with a metaphor. Each of us is a temple of God, and the Spirit of God lives within us: “If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Cor 3:16-17) We go to God in, with, and through our bodies which are entrusted to our care but belong to God.