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Myth: Porn Use Is Nothing More Than a Religiously Motivated Moral Issue

Last Updated: August 3, 2020

Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

Christians and other religious individuals are widely known for opposing pornography for all kinds of moral reasons. I happen to be one of them, so when I tell people I’m getting ready to publish a whole book about the ills of pornography, many people assume I’m primarily speaking to fellow Christians.

Now, of course, I hope my book is read by all kinds of people, but my aim in writing this is not to talk to religious people who already detest pornography, but to the culture at large that has no problem with it.

This is because pornography use is not just a religiously motivated moral issue.

There are a lot of people who have no religious affiliations at all who oppose pornography.

For instance, several years ago, the GQ magazine ran a thought-provoking article about why men should quit looking at porn. Editors of the magazine had stumbled upon a growing group on Reddit.com called NoFap, a online community of mostly men who were challenging each other to put away porn and masturbation for good. This online community began because members wanted to see how quitting porn and masturbation would improve their overall health and wellbeing. This group was started by largely irreligious people, not for moral reasons, but because they suspected all the porn in their life was getting in the way of good sex and real relationships.

And more than this, pornography is not just bad for people individually, it is also bad for society. When we live in a world where men and women are fed pornographic standards of sex, or where we make pornography a substitute for sex, we become more unhealthy as a culture.

If you want something to flourish, you need to use in accordance with its nature. You don’t plant tomatoes in a dark closet and feed them Coca-Cola and expect to have vibrant tomato plants. Similarly, don’t rip sex away from its obvious relational context, turn it into a commodity, and then expect our families and society to flourish. If we become a civilization that sells people, a civilization that takes something so central to who we are as persons—our sexuality—and we industrialize it, we cannot be happy people.

This is something I believe is supported not just by various scientific observations of neurologists and psychologists, but something seen over and over in the experiences of thousands of people, from the lonely teenage boy watching hours of hardcore material to the award-winning porn star getting ready for her 300th film, from the college professor who falsely thinks porn “empowers women,” to the young woman who consumes hours of erotic stories and videos, from the married couples that use porn to spice things up in the bedroom, to the guy with his subscription to Maxim magazine.

Pornography falls woefully short of sex as we’re meant to experience it.

No, pornography is not merely the cause of so called religious prudes who are against sex. Standing against porn is about standing for the honor of the human person and standing for the goodness of sex.

  • Comments on: Myth: Porn Use Is Nothing More Than a Religiously Motivated Moral Issue
    1. Sorry on

      Sorry, but who are we really kidding here. This is a religious agenda.. Here is the reality. Whatever you make taboo will flourish. Religion made sex taboo and here porn is flourishing. It won’t end either. The genie is out of the bottle. Christians have never fully explained exactly why sex is bad. They also fail to take into consideration that when the bible was written people died from basic diseases and this is why sex was made taboo. They also fail to discuss the complete control mechanism the bible really is. It tells the masses to accept their lot in life for a reward in heaven. Well, since 80% of the people in this planet live in poverty that is pretty good for those in charge. Accept your lot in life. Don’t worry God will reward you in heaven. Don’t make waves. That is what religion is.

      You site all these people addicted to porn. Maybe it is the reverse. The prudes are the odd ones. Maybe this is just what people are. Maybe at the end of the day, life is just people eating, sleeping, working, loving, and screwing. My God — biology itself shows us we are geared for sex. Christians are fighting biology with their own hypocrisy and nothing will change. Also, religion is simply providing ZERO answers to the suffering on this planet and frankly people see it.

      You are right in a way though. Porn has little to do with sex. It has everything to do with millions upon millions of lonely people who are miserable with their lives. They see no meaning in life. You go through this world and suffer. Then you die. Most people go to jobs they don’t like to barely get by. The TV bombards them with images of happy people doing amazing things, but those things are really only reserved for the rich who have the time and means to do them. So what do people do? They go to work. Work their boring jobs. Go home and eat. More than likely they never married the people they truly loved. Maybe they dont have a significant other. Who knows. But they escape into a world of porn to dull the pain of life. If it isnt porn it is drugs or alcohol or eating. Name the addiction. I can give you evidence for it in our society. Porn really is way down on the list really. When you start to look at drugs, alcohol and food —- you see the truth. People are miserable now.

      Christians push an ideal that has never existed and never will. Look at the pictures on covenant eyes. Always ideal people. Polished people. Fit people. For an example, go look at the courtship article. You have the girl with a pretty, vibrant face. Perfect teeth. Obviously fit. Lovely. As if that type of woman awaits every man if he doesn’t look at porn and “courts” the right way and is a good little Christian. Hate to tell you but the average woman in America now weighs 168 pounds. Many are much larger. Dont discount this fact. The rise of porn directly correlates with the rise of weight in this country and both correlate with the advent of the computer in the home. That ideal picture simply is a dream.

      As people go through life and they see that the dream is unattainable, they give up on life. That is what is happening in America. All this talk of the bible and morality is just fluff. What is really happening is a complete and utter lack of hope. Then Christians come along and in your state of despair, hit you over the head with guilt trips based on some rigid interpretation of the bible. For example, you look at a woman in a lustful way and you commit adultery. Such BS. Such a guilt trip. The reality is a person knows what is attractive within three seconds of seeing someone. Three seconds. Christians love to tout a bible that contradicts itself everywhere. A bible that frankly does not make sense in many parts. Go try to live in a whale. Go do it. You will die quickly. Whatever happened to Jonah —- it certainly was not in a whale. I assure you. The bible is one very small piece of the truth.

      I dont mean to be harsh. I mean to be truthful about what is actually going on. Until we are truthful, it is laughable we will make any real change. As I said, the genie is out of the bottle and short of Christ himself returning — he isn’t getting back in the bottle.
      Really that is what needs to happen. Christ needs to return. The people need him. All people need him. Not religions. They need Christ and believe me — there is a difference.

      Although, as I age, I am strongly considering that we are already in hell. Nothing is really right with this world. Nothing. It is completely dysfunctional.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        You know, some people (perhaps you included) like to show up to our blog every week or so and say the same general thoughts. “Christians say sex is bad, but it is good.” “Christians make sex taboo, which is the whole problem.” “It’s really because people are miserable and lonely: that’s why they look at porn.” “Good marriages are a pipe dream.” “The Bible is full of contradictions.”

        These folks (again, perhaps you included), don’t often like to respond when I reply to them. Perhaps you are unlike them and want to have a dialogue, and if so I’m all for it. If not, I’d rather not take the time type the same replies all over again.

        I’ll simply refer you to my past replies I’ve made to these notions (replies that have gone unanswered). Perhaps you’d like to jump in and reply on these dialogues:

        1. See my reply to “A Counter Perspective”

        2. See my reply to “Yeah Sorry”

        3. See my reply to “Reality”

        4. See my reply to “Interesting”

      • Dave on

        You must be a real blast at parties. Sheesh!

      • Jammie on

        You are so deceived my friend. Maybe you should believe what the bible says. That’s what is wrong with America and why everyone is unhappy. They don’t believe God’s word which is the bible.

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