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“In You, O Porn, I Take Refuge”: 3 Reasons Pornography is Sinful

Last Updated: March 23, 2015

Religion and sex are are popularly perceived as mortal enemies. Biblical ethics teach a restricted view of sexuality: sex finds its proper place in marriage and nowhere else. Compared to the values of the Sexual Revolution, Christianity is perceived as anti-sex, backwards, and prudish.

But Biblical ethics do not stem from a God who is capricious or haphazard. His moral laws are a reflection of how He made the world to operate to promote human flourishing. Sin is not merely something that offends the mind of God; sin offends our humanity and our human relationships. Ethics is grounded in creation.

Often, we are asked why Christianity believes using pornography is a sin. We asked our friend, Father Sean Kilkawly to answer this question.

In summary…

1. Pornography production is sinful because it rips sex from its relational, fruitful context and turns it into entertainment.

2. Pornography participation is sinful because it turns ones body into a commodity to be consumed, assaulting our own dignity.

3. Pornography consumption is sinful because it take our bodies—bodies that are meant to communicate love to another—and isolates us from community. C.S. Lewis put it well when he wrote in a letter to a friend,

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides.

And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions with no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity.

In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…

After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of ourselves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.

  1. Carla

    Thank you.

  2. John G.

    Another excellent post. Any clues as to where the C.S. Lewis quote comes from?

    • It comes from a personal letter to Keith Masson, found in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3.

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