Archbishop Chaput in his latest column talks about what General Pace said about homosexuality and the sexual confusion within the U.S.
Forty years ago, when steel mills pumped hundreds of tons of toxic waste each week into the Great Lakes — literally “killing” Lake Erie and damaging the health of tens of thousands of families — citizens got organized. They forced the mills to clean up or shut down. We need to do the same today. Citizens need to stop the pornography industry now — not out of some kind of Victorian prudery, but because pornography poisons the human heart, imagination and soul just as those steel mills once poisoned our air and water, only worse.
Pornography is never “innocent entertainment,” no matter how private it might seem. It turns human beings into objects. It coarsens our appetites. It darkens our ability to see real human beauty. It creates impossible expectations about sexual intimacy. It kills enduring romance and friendship between the sexes. And ultimately it’s a lie and a cheat. Pornography is a cheap, quick, empty copy of the real thing — the real joy of sexual intimacy shared by a man and woman who have joined their lives in a loving marriage.
In recent months, two Catholic bishops have begun some extraordinary work against pornography in their Midwest dioceses: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan.
Bishop Finn’s excellent pastoral letter, “Blessed Are the Pure in Heart: The Dignity of the Human Person and the Dangers of Pornography,” has a wealth of good information about the scope of pornography, the damage it does and many practical tips to fighting it in our homes. Archbishop Naumann’s anti-pornography initiative, “As for Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord,” includes a DVD and workbook with valuable resources for fighting pornography, teaching chastity and wholesome sexuality, and helping others who have been hurt by pornography addiction.
We can’t do much to fix the sexual confusion at the top of our society, beyond writing to our elected officials and demanding candidates who will advance our convictions when the time comes to vote. But we can do a lot about the poison in our homes and local communities. Pornography is poison. It should be controlled like any other toxic waste. And don’t be fooled. This isn’t “censorship.” It’s a matter of public health and common sense.