Jump to content
Seriously No Politics ×

The malice of pornography


Recommended Posts

Good morning everyone. Strange title isnt it? But it is one that carries a world of sadness. A young husband and father known to me, one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father has recently been found drowned in what appears to be an act of suicide. It was known amongst his close friends that he was struggling with/against pornography. How could it get such a grip on someone, how could this happen, couldn't he get help? These are the questions we are all asking. This is where malice comes in, because pornography is something that is sniggered about and not seen for the menace that it is. Like any addiction, it may have commenced years before with serrupticiously watching this stuff, or maybe watching openly with friends. But no one knows who is susceptible to addiction, as with alcohol, out of a group of drinkers no one knows who or why some of them will succumb to addiction and the rest are untouched. But this decent young man succumbed. I think his very decency led to mental torture for him, resulting in shame, guilt, turmoil and feelings of unworthiness to be a husband and father. Pornography is a curse, and so I beg all of you, if you know anyone who indulges in it, please encourage them to find help or it could lead them to corruption of their mind and to mental hell and self destruction. It really is heartbreaking. 

Link to comment
41 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’m truly sorry for your loss. But from my perspective, the culture that instilled those feelings in “one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father” deserves condemnation. 

The culture is the human race. But if you think there's a subculture of the human race which is immune, please name it. 

Link to comment
4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’m truly sorry for your loss. But from my perspective, the culture that instilled those feelings in “one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father” deserves condemnation. 

Interesting, you mean Christian Culture? Do you really mean "condemnation" or a rebuke and ideally self-reflection? There does exist an odd mix of both tolerance and intolerance of sin. The best attribute of the culture is its forgiveness, but it's usually only after repentance has completed, but it can be as condemning as anyone in the meantime. Nothing particularly wrong having high standards if you expect many will fall short, so then we should instill a culture full of encouraging support I don't see much of, whatever makes it easier to confess unashamed or ways to reach out more anonymously. Like my experience at Our Savior's Church, the pastor tells the congregation his past struggle with pornography as a pastor and how he got fired over it. Before encouraging them to confess. I don't see as much of that in our church. It be nice if you didn't worry so much about reputation or what your family thinks. Instead of having everyone be disappointed in you, maybe after the shock be supportive or proud you were brave enough to step forward and confess. Even your spouse, which could be hardest. It's not exactly the Church teaching a spouse to shame you when you are trying to be redeemed.

Edited by Pyreaux
Link to comment

Sad. Mostly just sad.

At the risk of stirring up one of the most contentious debates I've seen in the church (and throughout broader Christendom), I'm reminded of the case of Kip Eliason. Kip was an LDS youth in Idaho who, allegedly after years of trying to abstain from the practice of masturbation, he "gave up" and took his own life. In his suicide note, he explained that he just could not bring himself to abstain, and decided that it would be better to just end his life. I know that suicide is more complex and, if we were to get serious about discussing Kip's case, we would need to look beyond the suicide note and try to understand exactly how his frustration at his own moral failing contributed to his final choice. (One tangential word of warning. I have found that internet searches into Kip's case tend to lead into anti-Mormon cesspools, so be cautious if you want to search out more information).

I recently listened to a podcast by Justin Lehmiller interviewing Josh Grubbs. Grubbs talked about some of his research into porn use. He notes from his research that moral incongruence is a much better predictor of how people feel about their porn use than other variables he studied. In a religion that claims to have special knowledge about moral truth, it can be interesting to see how we sometimes have issues when we struggle to bring our behavior in line with our moral beliefs. From LDS women claiming that porn use is worse than adultery to men like in the OP who descend into depression over their inability to repent to those who claim that we are evil for suggesting that it is even sin, it seems that we really have a hard time getting a handle on how to talk about the sinfulness of porn and other sexual sins.

Perhaps a thought exercise for a high demand religion -- when are our religious and moral demands too high?

Edited by MrShorty
Link to comment

Suicide can start to become incredibly rational when dealing with things like pornography, non-hetero sexuality, masturbation, or other sins of that nature.

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

If the spirit is pure and willing and the body is dragging me to hell and all attempts to master the body have failed the solution is obvious. Get out of the body.

Link to comment
19 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I'm sorry for your loss, and this man's family and friends loss. :(

Here's a podcast I saw yesterday, haven't listened yet. It's seems according to it, there's an obsession out there. https://radiowest.kuer.org/show/radiowest/2023-05-04/kelsy-burke-on-americas-pornography-obsession

Thank you I will listen to it. 

Link to comment
21 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’m truly sorry for your loss. But from my perspective, the culture that instilled those feelings in “one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father” deserves condemnation. 

Seeking, your reply keeps coming back to me. If we believe that we were created in God's image, is there some sort of inbuilt intuition that something we are doing is wrong? I am thinking here of our conscience which can shame us. Our society in the west is pretty secular, humanist, and easy going as far as sexual behaviour goes, but the most permissive society cannot stop us feeling shamed when we know that certain behaviours would be repulsive to our loved ones, that these behaviours might lead them to turn away from us. All the treatment and understanding in the world might not convince us if we know by our shame that what we is doing is wrong and disgusting as far as they are concerned. It's our nearest and dearest that matter the most, we might be able to face up to society, but we might not be able to look those closest to us in the face. Of course for those of us who follow a religious tradition it is before God that we feel ashamed, but we hope for forgiveness through repentence, but our loved ones might find forgiveness difficult as well as trusting that you will give up the behaviour. And breaking with the addiction can be horribly difficult if feelings of shame and worthlessness lead to bleak despair. I guess true forgiveness is the answer that can lead to healing. 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Suicide can start to become incredibly rational when dealing with things like pornography, non-hetero sexuality, masturbation, or other sins of that nature.

“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

If the spirit is pure and willing and the body is dragging me to hell and all attempts to master the body have failed the solution is obvious. Get out of the body.

Yes I  can see that from a religious perspective, but I don't think religion was an issue here. But your post demonstrates that religion also can lead someone to despair. 

Link to comment
On 5/11/2023 at 3:09 AM, Orthodox Christian said:

Good morning everyone. Strange title isnt it? But it is one that carries a world of sadness. A young husband and father known to me, one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father has recently been found drowned in what appears to be an act of suicide. It was known amongst his close friends that he was struggling with/against pornography. How could it get such a grip on someone, how could this happen, couldn't he get help? These are the questions we are all asking. This is where malice comes in, because pornography is something that is sniggered about and not seen for the menace that it is. Like any addiction, it may have commenced years before with serrupticiously watching this stuff, or maybe watching openly with friends. But no one knows who is susceptible to addiction, as with alcohol, out of a group of drinkers no one knows who or why some of them will succumb to addiction and the rest are untouched. But this decent young man succumbed. I think his very decency led to mental torture for him, resulting in shame, guilt, turmoil and feelings of unworthiness to be a husband and father. Pornography is a curse, and so I beg all of you, if you know anyone who indulges in it, please encourage them to find help or it could lead them to corruption of their mind and to mental hell and self destruction. It really is heartbreaking. 

Was this young man a member of a specific church?  It doesn’t really matter, I’m just curious.

It’s such a tragic story. I feel so much for those he left behind. 

Link to comment
On 5/11/2023 at 5:09 AM, Orthodox Christian said:

Good morning everyone. Strange title isnt it? But it is one that carries a world of sadness. A young husband and father known to me, one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father has recently been found drowned in what appears to be an act of suicide. It was known amongst his close friends that he was struggling with/against pornography. How could it get such a grip on someone, how could this happen, couldn't he get help? These are the questions we are all asking. This is where malice comes in, because pornography is something that is sniggered about and not seen for the menace that it is. Like any addiction, it may have commenced years before with serrupticiously watching this stuff, or maybe watching openly with friends. But no one knows who is susceptible to addiction, as with alcohol, out of a group of drinkers no one knows who or why some of them will succumb to addiction and the rest are untouched. But this decent young man succumbed. I think his very decency led to mental torture for him, resulting in shame, guilt, turmoil and feelings of unworthiness to be a husband and father. Pornography is a curse, and so I beg all of you, if you know anyone who indulges in it, please encourage them to find help or it could lead them to corruption of their mind and to mental hell and self destruction. It really is heartbreaking. 

While I am not promoting pornography I also do not believe it to be the pernicious thing that the post above makes it into.  Experts are mixed on whether there is such a thing as porn addiction.  If someone is struggling with it or abusing it they should get help.  But the shame and stigma and approach by the Church and other conservative religions is, IMO, unhealthy and leads to what you describe above more than the porn abuse.

Link to comment
On 5/11/2023 at 8:10 AM, Stargazer said:

The culture is the human race. But if you think there's a subculture of the human race which is immune, please name it. 

No.  The culture is likely the shaming that comes from heavy handed conservative religions that label porn users as addicts, perverts, flawed, horrible husbands (or wives) and so on even when someone has only casual use.

Link to comment
On 5/11/2023 at 10:26 AM, Nevo said:

Fortunately, the Church's messaging around pornography has improved greatly in recent years (see, e.g., https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/collection/addressing-pornography?lang=eng). In the General Handbook, pornography use is condemned, but is classified as "a failure to comply with some Church standards," on par with such things as inactivity, not fulfilling Church duties, not paying tithing, or not complying with the Word of Wisdom (32.6.4.1). The handbook also notes that pornography addiction is "very rare": "Intentional use of pornography may be occasional or intensive. Intensive use can become a compulsion or, in very rare cases, an addiction" (38.6.13).

I was not aware of this modification.  It is a good modification.  Thanks for sharing it.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, bluebell said:

Was this young man a member of a specific church?  It doesn’t really matter, I’m just curious.

It’s such a tragic story. I feel so much for those he left behind. 

Not that I am aware of, but l'm not sure being a member of a church helps or compounds the problem. And I think there is a difference between being a member of a church and having a living faith. 

Link to comment
31 minutes ago, Orthodox Christian said:

Not that I am aware of, but l'm not sure being a member of a church helps or compounds the problem. And I think there is a difference between being a member of a church and having a living faith. 

I agree.

I think some posters might have been assuming you were speaking about a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And were tailoring their responses based on that assumption.  So I wanted to make sure I understood the OP accurately. 

Link to comment
On 5/11/2023 at 3:09 AM, Orthodox Christian said:

Good morning everyone. Strange title isnt it? But it is one that carries a world of sadness. A young husband and father known to me, one of the sweetest, and kindest of young men, a devoted husband and father has recently been found drowned in what appears to be an act of suicide. It was known amongst his close friends that he was struggling with/against pornography. How could it get such a grip on someone, how could this happen, couldn't he get help? These are the questions we are all asking. This is where malice comes in, because pornography is something that is sniggered about and not seen for the menace that it is. Like any addiction, it may have commenced years before with serrupticiously watching this stuff, or maybe watching openly with friends. But no one knows who is susceptible to addiction, as with alcohol, out of a group of drinkers no one knows who or why some of them will succumb to addiction and the rest are untouched. But this decent young man succumbed. I think his very decency led to mental torture for him, resulting in shame, guilt, turmoil and feelings of unworthiness to be a husband and father. Pornography is a curse, and so I beg all of you, if you know anyone who indulges in it, please encourage them to find help or it could lead them to corruption of their mind and to mental hell and self destruction. It really is heartbreaking. 

This is so tragic on many different levels. 

This young husband/father was not a victim of suicide because of pornography, but because of severe toxic shame.  Of course, there are likely other contributing factors that led to his despair/toxic shame besided pornography.  Pornography use is merely the symptom, not the disease.    I am concerned that blaming deaths and suicide on pornography will only give this already taboo issue a more potent toxicity to the shame it can induce by those who are victims of the cultural/religious soul-crushing shame surrounding it.   Pornography doesn't drive people to commit suicide.  Guilt about it's use is a GOOD thing.  Culturally induced toxic shame over it's use can be a deadly thing.  It kills the soul, if not the body!  Overcome toxic shame, and pornography has no grip.  

Edited by pogi
Link to comment
9 hours ago, pogi said:

This is so tragic on many different levels. 

This young husband/father was not a victim of suicide because of pornography, but because of severe toxic shame.  Of course, there are likely other contributing factors that led to his despair/toxic shame besided pornography.  Pornography use is merely the symptom, not the disease.    I am concerned that blaming deaths and suicide on pornography will only give this already taboo issue a more potent toxicity to the shame it can induce by those who are victims of the cultural/religious soul-crushing shame surrounding it.   Pornography doesn't drive people to commit suicide.  Guilt about it's use is a GOOD thing.  Culturally induced toxic shame over it's use can be a deadly thing.  It kills the soul, if not the body!  Overcome toxic shame, and pornography has no grip.  

There's so many topics the church needs to address, and this is a big one.

Link to comment
On 5/12/2023 at 12:08 PM, pogi said:

This is so tragic on many different levels. 

This young husband/father was not a victim of suicide because of pornography, but because of severe toxic shame.  Of course, there are likely other contributing factors that led to his despair/toxic shame besided pornography.  Pornography use is merely the symptom, not the disease.    I am concerned that blaming deaths and suicide on pornography will only give this already taboo issue a more potent toxicity to the shame it can induce by those who are victims of the cultural/religious soul-crushing shame surrounding it.   Pornography doesn't drive people to commit suicide.  Guilt about it's use is a GOOD thing.  Culturally induced toxic shame over it's use can be a deadly thing.  It kills the soul, if not the body!  Overcome toxic shame, and pornography has no grip.  

You're probably assuming too much here.  

 

No way to know what else was going on to pin it on "shame". 

Link to comment
59 minutes ago, jpv said:

You're probably assuming too much here.  

 

No way to know what else was going on to pin it on "shame". 

It was the OP (not me) that tied this to porn use.  While I want to console him in his loss, I think we need to be careful about the messages we spread about porn so as to not further the devastating culture of toxic shame surrounding it, which is far more harmful then porn itself.  If pornography was a factor at all as insinuated in the OP, then I am not making any assumptions in suggesting that porn use without toxic shame is not what lead to suicide. 

I highly doubt porn, or even shame associated with porn, was the only factor and I stated as much.  I have no idea why this man tragically committed suicide, but I don’t need to know to suggest that it wasn’t the porn that was responsible.  If it was a factor at all, then it was the unnecessary toxic shame of it that is the greater factor to consider.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...