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Christianity & Porn
Is It Right or Wrong

Recently, I received an email from a Christian Minister whom indicated he wanted to write a book on Pornography in terms of a Christian perspective. He indicated that he felt that porn was not necessarily morally wrong and wanted my insights into this topic.

This is what I wrote to him as a reply with my own personal thoughts on the matter -

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

1) What is my viewpoint on porn?

Porn is acceptable if it follows the following criteria-

  • It is between consenting adults with no restrictions on 'race' number of people involved or sexual orientation... my motto is - If it harms no one, then do as you will.

  • It is created, distributed and packaged in a way that follows not only state and federal guidelines, but also with the intent that only adults will view it.

  • It provides safety to its actors or actresses regarding VD and general safety and encourages viewers to do the same.

I do acknowledge that many who get into the porn industry do so for unhealthy reasons (sexual abuse playing itself out) as well as low self esteem issues. These issues will most likely always be at play and there is only the ability to recognize that like anyone in any profession, there are issues that people must work through.

I also acknowledge that there is a lot of plastic surgery and other types of appearance enhancements that are accentuated in porn. However, I see this as no different as a woman putting on perfume to smell nice or a man wearing a suit with padded shoulders to appear more powerful. That is the way of our society and personally, I believe it to be a matter of what is right for the individual not an issue of what is right or wrong. True, it does contribute to a lot of controversial issues... such as a false sense of what is a normal body, but this is a tangent and one I could spent a lot of time on... perhaps in another article.

2) Christian & Spiritual Views

Christians throughout history are known for their conservatism especially around matters of sex. Regardless of one's religious affiliations, I believe that to be a spiritually healthy person one must seek balance. Balance is not achieved through fear, or judgment. Rather the key word is DISCERNMENT as to what is right for us.

The Christian history has some unflattering political corruption that has played a part in its development. I often have found that much of the black and white type of thinking that can be found within it comes from a need for control over the masses rather than empowerment. It can be fear based rather than love based... love of self, and for all that we are including being a sexual being.

Don't misunderstand me regarding my attitude toward the Christian religion as a whole... there are many open minded Christians (like yourself) that approach life with a sense of humility and awe, rather than a surface breakdown of rules to "get into heaven and avoid hell." The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield had a wonderful stance on what hell and the search for enlightenment is about and it is a book I highly recommend.

The idea that embracing visual stimulation through porn will only cause someone to become unbalanced and go to extremes can only be thought by someone who is on the other extreme. The trick of life is not abstinence or excess; it is finding balance. It is a pretty hard thing to do and thus is often why I think people become fearful or lazy and err on the side of one extreme or another. That is avoidance and if there is one thing I know to be true above all else is that your own inner spirit will not allow you to avoid your issues without consequences.

I often use the analogy of that to a 'wall' which is representative of an issue one must face. The wall starts out being only a couple feet high and while an inconvenience to step over to continue on our path of evolution it is one that we must eventually get over. When we avoid dealing with that wall (issue) our inner spirit attempts to get our attention by making it higher and more challenging to get over. The more we resist the higher and more treacherous it gets. By the time a person hits bottom and realizes they are not able to continue at all until they deal with this wall (issue) there can be barbed wire at the top and a fire breathing dragon behind them urging them to overcome it. Our inner spirit's attempts to evolve are infinitely stronger than our conscious mind in this lifetime and to resist will only bring about pain and suffering in this life or after.

I believe in God (although that may be different than what some call God) and I feel that no one can interpret what God wants for others; rather they can only interpret what is right for themselves through their heart. It is the voice of God that can be heard through the proverbial heart and comes from a place of love not fear. A place where we are encouraged to embrace our differences with one another, as well as seek out integrity, and find our own path; our own truth to evolve.

My understanding of why we are here is not to get to 'heaven', but to embrace being in our physical bodies to experience our inner spirit on a level that allows us to evolve and learn lessons not afforded by being in a spiritual state (which I believe we ultimately return to; as the fact that matter cannot be created nor destroyed demonstrates). As everyone's lessons and path to enlightenment is different, as we are all unique and represent different aspects of God's reflection, then we must first find what is right in our heart, not what someone else says to be 'right' or 'wrong' for us.

It is true that we all need guidance, and being one that people come to for guidance (psychotherapist) much like your role as a minister, we understand that it is with great responsibility that we must give suggestions. Personally, I admire ministers that encourage people to think for themselves through provocative topics and parables rather than lay down rules.

I believe the Bible to be a beautiful source of some meaningful lessons and stories to parlay those. However, I also believe that there are infinite interpretations that can be obtained from one story and therefore, I think letting one have the ultimate conclusion as to what the lesson is for them is ideal.

My hope is that if you write this book on Christian perspectives regarding porn that you make an attempt not to come from a place that would make a stand on what is right or wrong; rather suggest that perhaps people may embrace their sexuality as it is a natural, healthy part of ourselves. Allowing for the enjoyment of sexual enhancers such as sex toys, educational materials and visual stimulation through magazines and videos (porn) can be a positive and empowering experience.

You may find that people respond more favorably to the term 'adult material' rather than porn. It is much like one cringing at the phrase 'psychic ability' over using something like 'intuition'. There has been a lot of negativity associated with the word porn, and sometimes for the right reasons. That is not to say that it is wrong, but like all things, it is a paradox and holds both positive and negative attributes.

3) Porn & Couples

Porn can have negative affects on people in that it may cause conflict in oneself and within a partnership. It can also become a source of coping and obsession. Sometimes porn movies trigger insecurities within people, abuse memories, or even is a catalyst for jealousy with a partner. (Take a look at my article- Vibrators are for Women... as Porn is for Men for more about this).

However, much like a weapon it is harmless unless used by someone who is perhaps not ready for it, whom it is not appropriate for or has issues around sexuality that should work through first. It may not be something they want or need and this is perfectly understandable. With every negative aspect however, there is an opportunity for growth and thus, something that may prove to be a catalyst for growth so I encourage people to open their minds when exploring if it is right for them.

4) Is Porn For Everyone?

No, people are entitled to not be interested in porn or appreciate it. I am completely understanding of that. The reasons stated above are just a few as to why people may not be an advocate or viewer of it. However, what I do feel is inappropriate is for someone to say is that what is right for them is right for everyone else. With humility and empathy I am open to others having differing viewpoints and lifestyles other than my own even when I strongly disagree.

There are many paths to enlightenment and just as mine may not be right for them, theirs may not be right for me. For someone to assume that their viewpoints are the only correct ones is absurd and not only dishonors me as an individual but goes against the constitution of the country in which I love and live in... the United States.

Fifty Shades Books, Reviews & Articles
Women have been more open to erotica especially with the Fifty Shades release.

5) In Closing

My hope is that there are more people that promote healthy sexual attitudes including challenging the norm in order to provoke thought and open minds to the idea that sex is a beautiful, healthy and natural act.

Wanting it, learning about it, partaking in it, and watching it can be an opportunity to simply embrace ourselves as a sexual being. The world is what we make it; if we are open to loving ourselves for all that we are, including our sexuality, then I believe it would be a more beautiful place in which to be.

 


 
 
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