What is Wrong With Porn?

This is a syndicated post from Aggie Catholics. [Read the original article...]


Q – What is wrong with porn?  Isn’t it just some harmless fun?

A - Thanks for the questions.  I hope I can get into the heart of the matter.  But, before we get to the negatives, let us affirm the positives about our sexuality.

1 – Catholics see the body as a reflection of the Divine. We are created in the image and likeness of God. The body is not just an instrument to be used for pleasure, but rather, it is a constitutive part of our being. Therefore, sex is not just for pleasure, but it helps us discover our ultimate purpose – union with God. Sex can be seen as a foretaste of the divine relationship we all wish to have in heaven – sex is worship of God – when done in the proper context and for the right reasons. We are not souls trapped inside a shell. We are humans with both a body and a soul.


2 – The human purpose of sex is twofold – babies and bonding. Sex is meant to be an act between two committed (i.e., married) people -a man and a woman. To try and make it something else is to re-define it as something less than what it was meant to be, and therefore it becomes an attack on the dignity of those involved in it. Sex isn’t good – sex is so much more – sex is sacred. Sex is meant for higher purposes than just pleasure. Sex that is just for pleasure pales in comparison to true married love. God created sex as something wonderful – porn is a distortion of that beauty.

If you have sex with someone you are not married to you are saying, with your body, “I give myself to you, everything. Fully.” But, what you are really saying is a lie with your body, because you are ultimately saying “I give myself to you, but I don’t commit to you. It is a temporary gift that I will give and take back.” Sex shouldn’t be about degrading or using another person, it should be about true love. Which leads to…

3 – Sex is about real love. Real love is choosing what is best for the other, regardless of the cost to myself. Think about it – what is more powerful than having sex? The greatest power we have is to create and the greatest of all created things is a human being. When a child is created in a mother’s womb, it is because two people have the opportunity to procreate. That is, to create with God. Sex is the most powerful thing humans can participate in.

Any kind of sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage cannot be a loving act. Why? Because love wouldn’t take a chance with someone phyiscally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. and this is just what sex outside of marriage does, it risks another person’s well-being.

The Negatives Of Porn:
Statistics that can help bring this problem home:
  • Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%
  • More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month
  • 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation
  • The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces

*So, what makes porn so bad? 


*It makes us see other humans as less than human both in the making of porn and in the using of it – PORN HURTS OTHERS. In our mind’s eye we treat those involved in porn as objects for our pleasure, not as other humans whom we truly want what is best.  It is the opposite of love. It is using the highest of all of creation (other human beings) as objects. It degrades and uses others as things.

Sex can be used for good and evil. When put in a pornographic state, it is intrinsically evil. It separates love and sex. Once this happens, sex becomes about the self, not the other. In and of itself, it is an exercise of the ego – it is all about ME.

*Porn is addictive – it is more addictive than cocaine and heroine. When porn is used there are powerful chemicals that the body sends directly into the pleasure center of the brain. These chemicals are what cocaine and heroine were made to mimic, only they aren’t the real thing. Also, once these chemicals are released while viewing porn, the images are chemically ‘burned’ into the brain.


*Porn destroys relationships. The fastest growing reason for divorce is infidelity by way of porn. The spouse is made to feel inferior to the images that the other spouse is using. Both partners suffer from self-esteem issues and their view of one another is distorted. The fantasy can never be lived up to.


*Porn desensitizes the user with repeated use. This can lead to a numbing of the conscience and much deeper, sometimes criminal, problems.


*Sex-based addictions are the hardest to kick. Studies show that most addicts have several addictions and therapists have learned that if the sex addiction isn’t treated first and successfully, then treatments for other addictions don’t usually work.


Porn isn’t just a private issue. It is exploitation of others in every way possible.  It is a social problem (see the problems in marriages), it is a religious problem (see the problems in churches), it is a mental problem (addictive), it is a family problem, etc.

Porn is evil.

With all of this in mind, I will post something I have posted several other times – the text of a brochure I helped develop for the Diocese of Austin.
19 Strategies for Helping Yourself Strive for Purity
  1. Get rid of all pornography you own. Destroy movies, magazines and dump all electronic images.
  2. Stay off of the computer if it is a temptation. If you have to get on a computer, then do so when other people are around. DO NOT get on the computer for any reason, if you are alone and it is a temptation.
  3. Pray more. You must rely on God to deliver you from the problem. You will not be able to stop by using your own power.
  4. Frequent the Sacraments and Daily Mass. The grace you need to conquer the temptations will be found here.
  5. Find an accountability partner. Check in with each other frequently.
  6. Fast. It helps you to develop self control. You have had a problem with self control sexually, but most men have self control issues in other areas as well.
  7. Avoid the occasion of sin. Think about when, where and how you are tempted. Then think about strategies to avoid these circumstances.
  8. Use holy images. Your mind has been filled with unholy images; fill it with the image of Christ, Mary, and saints.
  9. Ask Mary to intercede. It may sound funny, but it is hard to be tempted when asking the Immaculate Mother of God to help you.
  10. Read Scripture daily. Let God’s Word penetrate deeply into your life.
  11. Go to confession with the same priest frequently.
  12. Do not suppress the thoughts of temptation. Redeem them. Offer them to Christ through his cross.
  13. If you feel that despite your best efforts, you are unable to stop viewing pornography, seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in addiction. He or she will be able to help you determine whether or not the behavior is an addiction, and will help you get the tools you need to conquer it. (See the back of this brochure for recommendations about where to call for help).
  14. If you are married and your spouse does not know about your problem, you need to talk about it. The problem must be admitted to before it can stop.
  15. Use blocking software to limit access on your computer. Also, software at xxxchurch.com can send an accountability report to your accountability partner.
  16. Do not drink or use drugs while trying to overcome the temptation. Drinking or using drugs can lower inhibitions, which make us more likely to act impulsively.
  17. Don’t beat yourself up after a setback. The devil wants you to give up. Seek forgiveness and start again, no matter how humbling or hard it may be. God always forgives and loves.
  18. 18. Meet with a priest or spiritual director to formulate goals and learn techniques for growing closer to Christ and becoming the person God calls you to be.
  19. Exercise use of the Virtues – prudence, fortitude, temperance, modesty, purity, and self-control.
Prayer for Chastity
by St. Thomas Aquinas
Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of your providence, and that without you a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray that you defend, with your grace, the gift of chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, I ask you, who are the supreme Lord of all my powers, to take it from me, so that I may with a clean heart advance in your love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of your divinity. Amen.



Scripture When Facing Temptation

  • “For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:20
  • “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians. 4:13
  • “Nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
  • “Every athlete exercises discipline in every way … to win an imperishable crown.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
  • “Create a clean heart in me O God.” Psalm 51:12
  • “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
  • “Go not after your lusts, but keep your desires in check.” Sirach 18:30
  • “I said: ‘I will confess my offenses to the Lord.’ And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
  • “You were once in darkness, but now you you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness.” Ephesians 5:8-11
  • “Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12

Local Help
If you struggle in this area and would like help stopping, please contact me (Marcel). We have accountability groups for men and resources for women who want to stop.


Counseling

If you would like to talk to a counselor, the Diocese of Austin Office of Catholic Family Counseling and Family Life maintains a referral list of Catholic friendly counselors in various areas throughout the diocese. For more information about their services, or to schedule an appointment, call (512) 726-0405.

Further Reading

**Porn Hurts Others
**The Science Of Internet Porn – What Happens To The Brain & The Body
**The Cost of Porn
**Pornography Research
**Porn Is More Addictive Than Cocaine or Heroin!
**Porn & Support For Same-Sex Marriage
**If You Aren’t Convinced Porn Is Destroying Our Culture – Read This!

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Marcel (522 Posts)


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