Pornography addiction destroys families.
Pornography addiction destroys lives.
Pornography addiction destroys. Period.
My question is this: Do you think that some folks in the LDS faith, or any religion for that matter, are too quick to state that any consumption of pornography is an addiction?
For most religious people, there is a shroud of mystery surrounding this thing that is constantly referred to as one of the biggest problems in our society today. Of course curiosity is going to catch hold of folks - male and female. I
believe that almost all adolescents have been exposed to pornography in
some form, whether on accident or intentionally seeking it out. I
have heard many women state that any man who has ever looked at
pornography in any way is automatically disqualified as a future spouse
candidate. Call me a fool, and good for these gals for holding out, but I truly believe the percentage of men
who have never been exposed to this would optimistically be somewhere between 1% - 5% -
and that is within religious congregations. (this is my own random, non-fact based statistic - don't judge) We are viewing the world through rose-colored glasses if we truly believe the majority of people have not been exposed.
I know men who are not particularly religious who will consume this type of "entertainment" a few times a year and have perfectly normal, healthy, well-functioning lives and relationships. Yet it often appears that any consumption at all of forbidden substances is illogically dubbed an "addiction" by religious onlookers.
I do not condone pornography. I think the effects are disgusting, immoral, demeaning, and inappropriate. I do not want it in my home. I do not, however, believe a person is disgusting if they viewed pornography. I support and agree with what the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints have to say on avoiding pornography. However, I believe many people too quickly judge - too quickly jump to illogical conclusions.
I cannot state that I think a person who has ever or currently does watch pornography is not or will not be a good husband or wife. I do not believe that. Yes, I have seen real addictions literally destroy families, relationships, and marriages - several very close to me. Yes, I have seen a person talk to their bishop about a potential problem and be talked down to to such a point, even called disgusting, that they left the church. Yes, I have also seen real addictions overcome and beautiful futures grow. And I do mean any addiction here as well as pornography - alcoholism, obesity (food), video games, drugs, etc. But, I will state again, any consumption does not mean there is an end-all problem.
And here I come into the definition of what exactly pornography entails.
Pornography: writings, pictures, films, etc, designed to stimulate sexual excitement OR the production of such material. Pornography comes from the Greek pornographos, meaning "the writing of harlots," from pornē, a harlot + graphein, to write.
I think each person needs to figure the line of appropriateness for themselves. I have a friend who struggled with an addiction and, in order to keep his mind clear, will not even look at nude artwork, which is something I find beautiful. For the ladies? I'm not even going to get into what I've heard about Fifty Shades of Grey.
Now that we know the definition of "pornography," what about "addiction?"
Addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
Under this definition, someone who has viewed pornography is no more an addict than someone who has had a drink of alcohol is an alcoholic. I am not condoning these behaviors in any way, don't get me wrong. I believe these are not healthy behaviors. What I am saying is that I do not believe a religious person has an addiction simply because they have a behavior contrary to what their leaders teach. I've seen at least one man fall off the wagon completely and into an addiction because he felt that after his first experience he was already doomed. I'm sure there are deeper psychological issues behind that decision, but no matter the reasons, the thought pattern disgruntles me.
We need to keep our eyes open and our attentions alerted to avoid temptations. However, I hardly think that because an individual consumes one bad thing, they are on their path to destruction.
I am not saying to run out and rekindle a relationship with someone you left because of an addiction. What I am asking is to please not be so quick to jump to a conclusion about someone's moral integrity and mental state. Please do not exacerbate problems or blow them out of proportion. Please love people as much as you can. Please know I put a lot of thought into this post and I hope it reads as I intended.
Post-article, I found this article about women's addictions, which is fascinating: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-dubinsky/porn-addiction_b_1686481.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000008