Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--#32

I am very concerned about the problem of pornography in our society. I have known several people whose lives have spiraled down into tragic circumstances as a direct result of their inability to stay away from it—including loss of careers, divorce, harm to children, and even death. Therefore, this is a list of thoughts about porn, much of it quoted from the Boundless Webzine, which features a number of articles by C. S. Lewis; the parts of this list that are in quotation marks come from that site.

1. Pornography offers fleeting false pleasure and temporary satisfaction to the spirits of those who are searching and empty.

2. By contrast, one can find lasting real pleasure and endless depths of fulfillment through spiritual intimacy with God.

3. Nearly fifty years ago, C. S. Lewis wrote “that men and women have an ‘ever-increasing appetite for ever-decreasing pleasure.’ Despite all the venues available for sexual expression, the deeper fulfillment we crave is growing even more elusive."

4. “Sex has become everything and nothing. The late Allan Bloom captured best the challenge Boundless readers face in a highly sexualized culture. In The Closing of the American Mind, he wrote:

5. There is a long road to adulthood, the condition in which they are able to govern themselves and be true mothers and fathers. This road is the serious part of education where instinct gives way to choice with regard to the true, the good and the beautiful. Puberty doesn't provide man, as it does other animals, with all that he needs to leave behind others of his kind.

6. This means that the animal part of his sexuality is intertwined in the most complex way with the higher reaches of his soul, which must inform the desires with insight.

7. “Boundless articles on sexuality seek to reconnect sex and the soul -- our desires with a love of the true, good and beautiful."

8. “We step into the confusion and disappointment of soulless sexuality with a vision for restored purpose and fulfillment for what our hearts crave."

9. “C.S. Lewis provides another illustration offering a clear distinction between the brief and counterfeit pleasures of pornography compared with the eternal and abundant promises of intimacy with God."

10. "‘We are half-hearted creatures,’ he says, ‘fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in the slums because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.’ "

11. “His next line is the clincher: ‘We are far too easily pleased.’"

12. “An image of a woman without her clothes creates sexual excitement, but disconnected from marital closeness, it fails to deliver the closeness and oneness that complement visual stimulation."

13. “Lewis paints a great word picture for this in Mere Christianity. ‘You must not isolate [sexual] pleasure and try to get it by itself,’ he says, ‘any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.’"

Pornography is destructive—and that’s an understatement. It degrades women, ruins lives, and makes a mockery of God’s beautiful plan, which intends for sex to be the highest expression of love between a man and a woman, in marriage.

The Boundless Webzine can be found at

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