Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
The University of California at Santa Barbara recently became the latest killing fields. Before the young killer went on his murderous rampage he posted a video manifesto of his intentions and his grievances. One of his grievances was that women had ignored him and refused to have intercourse with him and he greatly resented being a 22yr old virgin. His rejection by women seems to be the motivation behind his murderous spree. But where did he get the idea that women owe him sex?
Pornography is the answer to that question. Even if you don't view pornography you are still affected by it as our culture is saturated in it. From the way people dress, to the steady stream of graphic scenes in movies and television, to the lyrics of much contemporary music it is easy for a young man to get the idea that women are walking lust factories just looking to satisfy their urge. As this young man found out the reality is often otherwise. But the fantasy world that porn creates is for many of its users reality that they act upon and expect others to do the same. The blurring of the lines between the real world and the fantasy world has damaging results for individuals, marriages and society at large. If a cigarette produces secondhand smoke that has harmful effects on non-smokers then pornography certainly produces "secondhand sex" that has harmful effects on non-users.
If pornography were a terminal illness well over half the male population would be dead. Maybe that would cause people to pay attention to the negative impact of pornography. Instead pornography causes a slow and steady moral, psychological and spiritual erosion that is often ignored or denied. Pornographers have done a brilliant job of insinuating a toxic product into our everyday lives.
Men who are heavy pornography users, to the point of addiction are often diagnosed with depression, social anxiety, and learning and memory problems and yet treatment for these problems has little effect on changing any of them. This is because what is causing these other problems is pornography use itself. Stop the viewing of pornography and these problems will eventually cease.
If you've been wondering why you see so many commercials for erectile dysfunction medications it's because one of the physical effects of viewing pornography is erectile dysfunction. Young men in their prime are especially being hard hit with this and in fact it is the number one reason they will try to stop viewing pornography.
Since we know that boys around 10yrs old start the search for Internet porn, pornography is now the default sex-education curriculum. The problem here again is that Internet pornography is not sex. Sex requires another person; viewing porn is a loner's game. It is a virtual world that does not conform to what is happening in the real world. When the virtual replaces the real you can easily start to act accordingly which is part of what happened to the young shooter in California.
The use of pornography has crossed the line into an epidemic. The simple truth is that the human brain easily drifts into addiction when viewing pornography since it stimulates pleasure quickly and often in the brain way beyond the brain's natural capacity. Overcoming addiction is never as easy as getting addicted. Also the reality of how sex works in the real world between men and women is a lot different than the unreal world of pornography. Blurring the distinction can have serious and even deadly consequences.
The problem of pornography is not "out there" but also right here in the Churches. If we don't take the lead to help ourselves how can we show others the way out?
Love, Fr. John B.BACK TO LIST