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How Porn Dehumanizes Us All

Last Updated: December 19, 2017

Bobby Angel

Bobby Angel is a campus minister and theology teacher at an all-boys' Catholic high school in California. He enjoys writing, surfing, and drinking too much coffee. He and his wife, Jackie, travel often and speak to youth and young adult audiences, sharing the Gospel and the call to a life of chastity. They have two beautiful daughters who won’t let them sleep. Connect with Bobby at jackieandbobby.com.

In working with the youth, the most common rationalization I tend to hear regarding the viewing of pornography is “I’m not hurting anyone.”

Sure, while you may not be going out and physically robbing a bank or accosting a person on the street, the habit of viewing pornography absolutely brings harm to yourself and others. It is a poison that robs us of our light and joy, a poison that begins to slowly corrupt us from within.authentic love vs lust

It’s not just the porn user who suffers from this de-humanization—it’s the family, the friends, the co-workers, and all of society who suffer.

Now recognized as a canonized saint, Pope John Paul II recognized the signs of the times as the sexual revolution began to unfold and the dignity of the human person became lost in the mix. He wrote extensively on the meaning and purpose of human love in his works Love & Responsibility and Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body. He summed up marital love as a reflection of and participation in the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

For communion we were made and only in communion will we be satisfied.

Pornography hijacks this call for communion and turns love into a disordered and selfish lust. In the 1960s, John Paul II predicted that in the future the opposite of love would no longer be hate, but use. While love always seeks to give, lust looks to use another person for our self-centered gratification.

As our society increasingly seeks to employ a utilitarian lens on all reality—a person is only good insofar as they can be useful—we risk losing an authentic vision of man and woman and their call to communion.

Pornography, far from being harmless, trains us to look at other persons as objects to use for our pleasure rather than a unique person with a body and a soul. Of course this has real-world consequences. Relationships and marriages have been and are being ruined. Children emulate the porn they watch in secret on their siblings and peers. The connections between porn and sex-trafficking have been well-documented. To view pornography and thus view another human as an object, John Paul wrote, is “to do violence” to the very essence of that person. A habit of viewing pornography makes us “less” of ourselves and robs many good men and women of the courage to fight against this toxic force.

Authentic love always seeks to go out and be creative. Lust dehumanizes us by turning us inward and deadening our soul.

The body is not a mere physical object to be used, but a divine work of art to draw our vision to God. Pornography robs us of the sacred vision. Let’s regain our humanity, shall we?

  • Comments on: How Porn Dehumanizes Us All
    1. peter pan on

      All true. Me, I’ve lost the plot as hell. Bad memories amassed. Depressed lethargic. Bad Marriage decisions. Bitter marriage memories in just two years of marriage. Career failure. Taking too much time for taking anystep nor got courage for taking practical steps to develop my career or even touch my dreams. I know where I went wrong. The blind stupid steps. The enormity of it all immobilizes me.

      Reply
    2. JeremiahP on

      Major ways I have victimized others:

      1. My wife. She is a bitter wreck of a person, angry at the years lost trying to serve a husband who just didn’t care enough to serve her and the family, and was lost in his own fantasy world. She has dealt with one embarrassment after another with me, including the loss of my job and time after time of seeking counsel and not gaining any traction with her husband’s habits.

      2. My children. I have cheated them of real relationships, and the broken boulevard of my marriage has served as a very, very poor example of what love is all about.

      3. My employer/manager, who ended up having to fire me for visiting so many porn-related sites. She was embarrassed, and I see that they post the position cyclically, indicating that they have had trouble finding a replacement.

      MOST OF ALL, God. “Against You, and You alone have I sinned.” I have continued to seek my own pleasures and ways even though I knew the truth. I didn’t find ways to empower myself, nor did I seek God first when I knew that this was the true way to escape all of my sin.

      Relationships die when you live in a porn-filled world. Bank on it.

      Reply
    3. ANTHONY on

      I A GREE,SEX TRAFFICKING IS WRONG AND BIG SIN.
      BUT IS COMMONTH NOW IN THE MODERN LIFE ,MAGAZINE,COMPUTER ECT.BROWSING A MAGAZINE,DURING TRAVELLING OFTEN IS PICTURES OF MODELS,CELEBRITY.
      WHAT YOU TRYING TO SAY IF YOU A BELIEVER IN GOD AND HAVING COMMUNION ON SUNDAY REGULARLY SO YOU MUST BE CUT OFF OF MODERN LIFE?.
      IF WE GO FURTHER FORGIVENESS AND LOVES THAT IS ALL ABOUT.
      I CANT SEE WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT,
      I AM A REGULAR GOING CHURCH .

      Reply

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