All posts tagged: pornography

How to Talk to Young People about the Dangers of Pornography

As pornography becomes increasingly pervasive, the distinct divide between sacred image and profane picture is threatened; increasingly erotic images have less and less shock value. The previously middle ground between the two poles has been hijacked by “soft-core” pornography, which according to society, should no longer offend.[1] The day-to-day life of the modern person is fraught with pornographic images, as sacred or beautiful images, along with neutral images, are pushed out of the mind. What effect does this change in vision’s scenery cause in the human person, especially in the young child and adolescent? How can today’s parents, educators, and catechists properly form young children so that they might not fall prey to pornography? Theologians from Christianity’s beginnings have expressed the power found in viewing both icons and idols, and have much to say to today’s modern situation. A Christian understanding of idols, icons, images, and the transformative power of vision can uncover new tools for catechizing on pornography by closely examining the unique role that vision plays in the formation of the human self. …

Pornography, Marriage, and the New Evangelization

This semester, I’m teaching a course in the Department of Theology on the sacrament of marriage (in addition to being in the midst of writing a book on the same topic). In pre-course preparation, I read Gail Dines’ Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. This text has affirmed for me a thesis that is at the heart of the book that I’m writing (together with the class I’m teaching): the most difficult work in Catholic marriage formation today is counteracting a pornographic culture. This may seem like too great a claim. After all, there are plenty of things that make marriage difficult in late modern society including fear of commitment, the need to secure success in one’s life before making said commitment, and a cultural understanding of love that no human being can fulfill (“I’m looking for my soulmate”). But, pornography trumps all these. It trumps these, because it is the root of each of these cultural obstacles to the flourishing of Catholic marriage in the United States. In Dines’ Pornland, she describes how pornography can …

Family, Careers, and Sexuality: Spiritual Trends in College Men of Faith

Where are the men? How do we get more men involved and engaged in our ministries? I hear these questions time and time again from people across the country in my travels as an educator, minister, and scholar. I hear them from every population: priests, nuns, brothers, pastors, lay ministers, catechists, parishioners, teachers, and coaches. I hear them in every context: parishes, churches, colleges, high schools, and parachurch organizations—even ministries focused specifically on men, from faith-sharing groups to retreats and conferences. Catholics and Protestants alike are struggling to get men (lay and religious) through the door and to keep them there. Everyone is looking for a silver bullet—a quick fix for a complex and enduring problem—only to be disappointed when an initiative or program that may have worked in another context does not work in their own, or when a program has a strong opening and then loses momentum. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every context has its own sets of unique challenges and opportunities for engaging men in their faith. So …