It is fashionable not to speak about sin. That fashion is not merely deplorable, not merely catastrophic: that fashion is itself a crime against God and humanity. We commit an ancillary sin if we do not speak out against the grave sin which is causing tremendous damage to the innocent. We have reached that point with pornography and sexting.
I am not just saying that pornography is damaging to children, although of course it is. Today’s Australian (5 March 2016) has an article about child sex-offenders who become so through imitating what they have seen. More evidence is readily available on the internet. It is so distressing that I cannot bring myself to quote it. I pity the poor children, and will remember them at the altar.
Further, I am not just contending that sexting is damaging relationships and the potential of young people for mature adult relationships, although the evidence for that is also overwhelming. What is happening, at an apparently increasing rate to previously innocent young people, often to the most lonely and vulnerable of this class, is tragic.
I am saying that these things are offences against God. They are sins. They are not merely against Christian ethical teachings, although they most definitely are. They are also against the natural law written in every one’s heart. No one who has any access to their conscience could be so shameless. Even if they did not have a concept of sin, their consciences – if alive – would not let them send or receive erotic photographs. Yet, people perform sexual acts on web-cam for the “benefit” of others who say that they love them and intend to marry them, although they had never met. Some poor people have been deceived in this way. I can only hope that those who have been fooled will be enlightened and forgiven. But what can we say of the other parties, so cynical and exploitive?
What to do about it? More even than legislation, we need a cultural metamorphosis. Yes, good criminal and civil laws are needed. But the law is a clumsy and all-too fallible tool. If we stopped patronising pornography, it would disappear.
The deep answer is in our hearts and minds. We should not ourselves use pornography. We should not do anything to spread or promote it. If we have a business which is in that business, we should take it out. If we trade with a firm which uses pornographic images, we should cease to deal with them.
We should stop watching t.v. programmes which include pornographic images, and if we come across them by accident, we should complain to the station. We should let advertisers know that we will not buy their goods or use their services if they use even soft-porn to promote them. We should listen to our consciences when faced with pornography and even exploitive images. We should cultivate respect for the souls of the men and women who perform in this smut.
How hypocritical it is to condemn those men and who women who sexually abuse children but not to say anything about the pornography industry which has infested out schools in pandemic proportions.
How hypocritical to introduce sex-education manuals in schools that invite children to graphically imagine themselves in sexual relationships, even in such as would not be natural to those children, and then to claim that one is working for a better society.
And it is all so unnecessary. We got by better without these sex-education courses than we have with them.
These courses, introduced at too young an age, and all this miasma of pornography and sexting, introduce an obsessional power of imagination into the mind. The human mind should be united with feeling and organic (physical) instinct. Sex plays a part in that. But that part cannot be allowed to exceed its proper limits. The human mind should be directed by will, and the power of sex is such that it can unbalance a person. The proof of that is appearing now most tragically in children and teenagers.
We are made for reality. This over-sexualised culture drugs us with fantasy, and fantasy often becomes mania. To the extent that the world does this, it is evil. As He said: “It is necessary that scandal should come into the world, but woe to the man through whom it comes!” It is not fashionable to make “woe” statements these days. But as He also said: “He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Well, there goes another fashion.
For all of recorded history, the majority of people saw no pornography. Many people today do not use it. And do they suffer? Are their lives meaningless farces because they don’t watch videos of the sexual act? How ridiculous.
But more than that, those who do not partake in this frantic over-sensualised culture can hold their heads high because they know that they have nothing to do with and make no contribution to the sexualisation of our children.
Not everyone will believe that holiness is the only worthwhile aim in life. But we all have consciences. We can and we should start there.