Should We Feel Shame for Viewing Pornography?

pornhub and chill andy gill patheos

Everybody watches porn. Especially conservative Christians.

I’ve jokingly said that 90% of adults who own a laptop view pornography on a regular basis, while the other 10% are liars. Turns out, that joke might be more truth than I once thought. According to the Atlantic, so many people watch porn that “In 2009, University of Montreal professor Simon Lajeuness tried to set up such a study, but was thwarted because he ‘could not find any adult men who had never viewed sexually explicit material.'”

But Today I’m here to present a different perspective: What if that 10% aren’t so much liars as they are shamed, guilted and fear-driven to the point of having to lie, pathologically, about what’s been [mis]labeled as “the sin of all sins.”

What if you weren’t a “liar,” sinner, or even addicted to porn; what if you were just a normal person biologically predispositioned to be attracted to unlimited amounts of naked people (because, the Internet? Nah. Because, biology).

You’re not out of control; you were just born that way.

That uncontrollable urge to have sex, that thing the Church has rarely acknowledged in a healthy manner, it’s not a sinfully symptomatic defect pointing to your “depravity,” it’s actually just a normal symptomatic effect of one’s mere existence.

If you’ve grown up in the church, like me, you’ve heard it all: “Watching porn inadvertently supports sex trafficking,” that “porn is the sole cause of erectile dysfunction,” that “porn inflicts irreparable brain damage,” and that “porn addictions lead to suicides…”

i.e. If you watch porn you’ll become addicted, finance slave owners, and get ED and brain damage, AND THEN DIE! — lol, really?

The culture and tradition of shame the church have effectively created and then leveraged to guilt congregants into buying their Calvinistic theology, in which is convincing us of our depravity; it’s just short of abusive, but yet completely falls into the category of moralistic deism (i.e. Bullsh*t; not Christianity).

The last I heard, erectile dysfunction (ED) has been a thing before the internet and it’s pornographic images existed. Blaming porn for the cause of ED as opposed to aging is ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as those fundamentalistic Christian moralists that shame others based on pseudo-biblical principals. Linking it to sex trafficking attempting to shame “addicts” into believing they are just as immorally wrong as the traffickers themselves is unethical in and of itself; mainly because it’s just not true.

You’re not undisciplined, socially inhibited, or emotionally disconnected you’re a normal human being who’s been shamed by the church.

We must differentiate between pathologizing things we, as humans, are biologically predispositioned to do and our [mis]diagnosing behaviors we’ve lost control over; one is normal, the other is pathological.

I want to suggest that Christian sexual ethics are suppressing and repressing one’s sexual desires, in which God created, and are actually causing more problems than they are creating solutions leading to human freedom.
Could porn in any way be helpful to the Christian life?
Does the sexual ethic held by Christians need critiquing and massive reform?

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