Christianity and pornography: My experience

Bow chicka wow wow, bow wow wow.

As a Christian, porn and lust seemed to be the most common sins young men had to deal with. Basically, to look at someone with sexual desire was the equivalent of committing adultery according to Jesus in The Bible:

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” – Matthew 5:28 (NIV)

So obviously it was sexually immoral to partake in porn, but also immoral to watch it and, y’know, jack off to it – the latter equivalent to committing adultery! When I was living with Christian people in college, we had strict internet filters to prevent us from looking at porn. I remember when my friend installed a strict filter called DansGuardian; it’s something which might be suitable for the classroom or the workplace but definitely not one’s home computer! That he did it without consulting anybody kinda pissed me off at the time, but that sort of attitude seemed to be the norm where I was. The thing is though, it blocked a lot of websites which were barely related to porn, you had to fine tune the filter for it to not be draconian.

dansguardian1
A message I would see whenever trying to see something ‘naughty’.

In this house, we were also encouraged to have ‘accountability buddies’ who would be notified whenever we looked at something ‘lusty’… lol. I remember at the time being encouraged to have a buddy as it would help me deal with my ‘sin’, I am glad I didn’t take that option…

Oh yeah, at the time I was looking at lots of porn, well when I could, and I also found out all my other flatmates ‘secretly’ had a problem with porn too, talk about confidentiality! Maybe someone will prove me wrong on this, but forcefully denying someone something through censorship doesn’t tend to work out very well, in fact it just made me want to look at porn more. It also doesn’t help someone when their problem gets magnified by others to make it seem much worse than it actually is. In saying that, I think I did have a problem with porn for a while after that. It was a problem not because I merely looked at it, but because I was watching it to the point where I didn’t bother pursuing an intimate relationship with someone else. I don’t think porn was solely to blame for that though, my Christian upbringing probably had a big part in this too, since Christianity tends to demonize anything sexually related outside of marriage. Also, I’m not the most confident person in the world – even if I appear so here.

Christianity’s angle on porn

There are plenty of Christians who speak out against porn, but I don’t hear much talk about exploitation, which I think might be an actual issue. There are Christians who do genuinely care about that, and that’s great, but many of them seem to have an agenda. To them, to look at porn is to lust and to look at graven images – both things that God hates; porn is somehow bad for the soul and brain and society. No amount of porn is good to watch. To non-Christians though, that is quite silly, so to get their message across they will talk about exploitation and how porn can harm your marriage and sex life instead. Fear mongering has always been effective in the past I guess. Despite Christians going over all the so called evils of pornography, many of them secretly have a ‘problem’ with it, since, well, people have got to satisfy themselves somehow.

Next time I’m going to talk about my own views on the porn industry now that I’m not a Christian anymore, and later I will see what the actual research has to say about the effects of pornography – but that might take a bit of time digging in so you will have to sit tight for that. Whelp, now I have all that out my system, it’s time to go to uh, bed.

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