PORNOGRAPHY: SINFUL FOR THE MARRIED TOO? A QUESTION I WAS ASKED.
The ubiquitous nature of pornography in the world today is such that the blind can see it. The Greek word pornographia literally means the writing about or drawings of harlots (prostitutes), akin to the Greek word porneia (fornication). Books, pictures, films etc., designed to be sexually arousing and often offensive owing to their explicit nature are pornographic materials. Pornography in the definition of Margaret Mead’s refers to “words or acts or representations that are calculated to stimulate sexual feelings independent of the presence of another loved or chosen human being.” Pornographic contents being licensed to adults in our society today seem to imply that pornography is not sinful to adults. I have heard and read comments of some sexologists which accentuates that pornography is useful in enhancing positively the conjugal relationship of married couples. Is pornography truly moral in marriage?
The elements and properties of marriage as stated by the code canon law (1055 & 1056) falls under heavy attack when married couples or single parties in marriages embrace pornography. The good of the spouses, procreation and education of offspring, unity and indissolubility that forms the underlying basis of the Christian marriage covenant is in dissidence with pornography and can never be in congruence with it. Lust cannot be found wanting in pornography. Couples who make pornography a part of their sexual life will lust over each other and not love each other sexually. Driven by lust, there is a high tendency of nursing the desire to using one’s partner as a sex toy; thus, losing the sense of human dignity. The Catholic bishops of California, in Human Dignity and the Sacredness of Sexuality: Statement of the California Catholic Conference on Pornography (May 29, 1986), spoke of pornography in connection with the Greek expression from which the word comes. They said it was coined to describe sexually arousing depictions of women being displayed or used as sexual slaves. When lust creeps into the conjugal relationship of couples fueled by porn couples may begin to close up to procreation so as to constantly satisfy their lust for each other rather than love which creates room for procreation.
Lustful looking perverts the heart and is tantamount to adultery. In the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28; anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. In similar vein, anyone who looks at a man lustfully is guilty of the sixth commandment. It is clear to all and sundry that pornography is a business that strives with lust. Couples who entertain pornography in their marriage are guilty of adultery. Porn Stars are like actors on stage that would do whatever possible to impress their viewers and at whatever cost. Couples who give in to porn may sooner or later begin to find sexual satisfaction with the Porn Stars and not with their sexual partner who may not be able act like the Porn Star and thus a partner in the marriage begins to experience psychological trauma which may result in low self-esteem. The husband or wife who gets addicted to porn may become clandestine in his or her porn activities and will soon begin to tell lies to his and her partner coupled with depriving him or her of sexual intimacy. Pornography can lead couples into manifesting different types of sexual perversions which may ruin the conjugal life of couples. Sex is an appetite, like eating. Pornography can plant unrestrained sexual desires in couples to wanting to make them have sex every day and this can easily lead to sinful desires capable of ruining their marriage given a situation where either the husband or wife is not present or having health challenges or any other issue that may hinder conjugal relationship for a while.
Pornography is a form of lasciviousness (lewdness / sensuality) (i.e., an unrestrained, shameless public display of sex acts) a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). ). It causes people to lust and commit adultery in the heart (Mat. 5:27-28). It is of the world, an enticement that causes people to lust and fall away from God (1 John 2:15-16). It wrongly teaches that sex outside of the marriage relationship is proper or acceptable (Heb. 13:4). Pornography is a Trojan horse sin… from it spawns adultery, fornication, wife beatings, rapes, pedophilia, child porn, homosexuality, and every other Godless form of immorality imaginable. Pornography is a sin for all people; married or unmarried.
I hereby advise married couples to develop other godly ways of enhancing their sexual intimacy and to desist from pornography as it is a green snake in a green grass.
Fr. Abiagom Augustine CM