Exposing the Evils of Pornography

A man once told me, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has saved her body for her husband for their wedding night, to offer herself as a gift to him. Please note: with that being said, don’t ever doubt the beauty of God’s forgiveness and mercy.

Below is a beautiful article from the National Catholic Register that is a must read for men and women. People generally think that pornography addictions only affect men, but thousands of women struggle as well.

Pornography is for Cowards by Vaughn Kohler

Of all the reasons that pornography is harmful to men, perhaps you haven’t considered this one:

It conditions us to be cowards.

Porn creates a world in which men are insulated from hurt and the possibility of rejection. In the storyline of porn, men are cast in the role of “the most important person on the planet.” We are the center of the universe, and everything revolves around us.

Absolutely nothing is allowed into our experience that would challenge our will, play with our emotions or wound our ego. All the perfectly air-brushed and HD-quality citizens of our world are smiling, desiring and accepting, and there is certainly no chance for hurt, pain or rejection. We are given the illusion of intimacy without the risk of vulnerability.

The more a man grows accustomed to this, the more he will prefer safety to sanctity. Having lodged his heart many nights in the all-inclusive resort of the fantasy woman, he will cringe at the idea of an adventurous but dangerous expedition into real love. And when God calls that man to initiate authentic intimacy with a flesh-and-blood woman, the lustful coward will cower in fear, terrified of the sanctifying vulnerability that such a task requires.

Of course, this cowardice almost always goes hand-in-hand with more heinous vices.

The new HBO series Girls just debuted on April 15. The series is described as “a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their early 20s.” Like a lamentable plurality of new shows, Girls not only follows the rollercoaster relationships and career paths of the four main characters, but their tragic sexual escapades as well. And their lives are certainly not examples to be followed.

Even so, in a recent New York Time’s interview with Jack Bruni, Lena Dunham, the 25-year old star, writer and producer of Girls, mused about the nature and exigencies of sex — and she recognized, not without disdain and a certain shocked disbelief, that pornography affects men and the way they relate to women. As Bruni wrote:

Other sexual complications, she said, are perhaps generational. She thinks young men today are influenced by pornography, which the Web has made more instantly and cheaply available.

“When I first started kissing boys,” she said, “I remember noticing things, certain behaviors, where I thought, ‘There’s no way you learned that anywhere but on YouPorn.com. There’s no way any teenage girl taught you and reinforced that behavior.’

She added that the instant connections a person can make on the Web, which also lets them survey a broad world of possibility, can create a restlessness and an even greater disinclination to commit:

“I knew a guy, and I couldn’t actually believe he was saying this, but he said, ‘Why would I want to eat in the same restaurant every night when the world’s a buffet?’ I thought people said that only on ‘Entourage.'”

This relational cowardice, this disinclination to commit to the sacrament of marriage, and especially this reduction of women to selections on a “buffet” — this is utterly beneath the dignity of a man made in the image of God.

The greatest calling we have as men is to love like Jesus Christ. Christ loved his disciples “to the very last” — and in his commitment to love, he suffered; he was wounded; and in the end, he was murdered. True love involves a tremendous commitment to danger.

In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis put it this way:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

Yes, true love involves danger. Yet we serve a God who meets the risk of love with the reward of holiness — and glory! In his vulnerability, Christ accomplished our redemption. In his willingness to throw open the doors of his soul to our sin, he reconciled us. And because he was rejected and forsaken by his Father, he saved us.

I’ve known the safe and sordid pleasure of lust, and I’ve known the breathtaking and dangerous vulnerability of real love. There is no comparison. The worst day of heartbreaking, risk-taking love is better than the best day of self-protective, cowardly lust.

So, don’t do it, brothers. Don’t cower in front of a computer screen or hide in the corner of a porn store.

Anytime we follow Jesus in risking love, we become the men he wants us to be. We become like him. His love was never exercised in vain; neither will ours. Even unrequited love makes us holy, forms us into “men of whom the world is not worthy” and prepares us for that “far better country” and “the City that is prepared for us.”

So, as John Paul the Great reminded us: “Be Not Afraid.”

Throw open the doors of your soul to real love. Bare your heart.

And be MEN.

For the complete article, click HERE.

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Pornography is Satan Personified

Please join me in praying for all of those who are addicted to porn. Below is a really great article, please read and share. Let us strive to change our culture for the Kingdom, one soul at a time.

Raquel Welch: the ‘era of porn’ has ‘annihilated’ men

BY KATHLEEN GILBERT

Tue Mar 13, 2012 17:04 EST

March 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As one of America’s most revered sex symbols, she might not be the first celebrity to jump to mind as a crusader against pornography. But Raquel Welch, who rose to icon status as the beauty in the leather bikini from the 1966 movie One Million Years BC, told Men’s Health Magazine in an interview posted online March 8 that today’s sex-saturated culture had sapped the meaning out of sex, and damaged countless men through the pornography industry, which she called “an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos.”

“It’s just dehumanizing. And I have to honestly say, I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it,” Welch said of rampant sexual addiction. “Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me.

“Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about? It’s an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos. Poor babies, they can’t control themselves.”

Welch criticized men’s modern habit of “equat[ing] happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in,” and described the concomitant loss of real masculinity in vivid terms.

“I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. They haven’t done anything, they don’t have a job, they barely have ambition anymore,” said the 71-year-old actress. “And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner. Do they know how to negotiate something that isn’t pre-fab and injected directly into their brain?”

When Eric Spitznagel of Men’s Health interjected that Welch’s views could come across as “prudish,” the aging sex icon said she was “fine with that” and pined for the days when bedroom fantasy was a private matter.

“Can you imagine? My fantasies were all made up on my own,” she said. “They’re ruining us with all the explanations and the graphicness. Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual. We’re not allowed any individuality. I thought that was the fun of the whole thing. It’s my fantasy. I didn’t pick it off the Internet somewhere.”

This isn’t the first time Welch has been critical of the culture that helped fuel her lengthy career: in a 2010 column for CNN, she lamented the effects of contraception on society, particularly its enervating effect on marriage, the “cornerstone of civilization.”

“Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad,” she wrote.

For the complete article click HERE.

From the Bottom of the Ocean Floor: One Man’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography

Maura would like to extend an exceedingly heartfelt thank you to this weeks writer for Made in His Image’s Men’s Section. This gentleman emailed me to ask if he could write for MIHI. I thank him for his candor, courage and perseverance.

Ladies, this is not just for men. There is great hope in this story for you as well! You deserve a man who will honor your dignity and cherish your beauty. From my heart to yours, a man’s pornography addiction deeply effected me for years and our world needs more men to stand up, and combat the horrific evil, which is pornography: Satan personified.

From the Bottom of the Ocean Floor: One Man’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography

My first interaction with pornography occurred around the same time my father wrote the Bible verse Philippians 4:13, in my new Confirmation Bible. I had such a strong example of the word of God to give me strength and it pains me that I fell from grace. Initially, the pornography was on a hidden VHS I found when I was a junior in high school. It excited me, but it also confused me. This tape, led me towards more private selfish strategies such as the internet. From one on-line site to the next – each advancing in quality, range of categories and length of viewing.

Since I wasn’t having sex, I wanted to taste as much of the “real thing” as I could. I yearned for that contact and attention. Since I’m not one to drink myself into oblivion or do drugs – pornography sufficed.

“I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Let it sink in.

And let it keep sinking in.

You are falling deeper into the water and will eventually hit the bottom of the ocean. Down there, it’s dark, cold and unlivable and you are at your ultimate low. You feel worthless because you can’t stop. You need it, you desire it and can’t live without it. You’re drowning in guilt and misery. You are losing sleep, as your body is beating your faith. But, let the words of Paul reaffirm you that there is hope in the One who came to shed His blood for you.

Just because you struggle to get yourself away from the computer screen, smart phone, magazine or television, doesn’t mean God has left you. He isn’t turning His back, He isn’t staying behind the locked door. He is ever patient and always waiting for you to say, Help me! When you call upon Him, He will extend His hand of aid, strength and encouragement.

There are only two opinions, either stay on the ocean floor and wallow in sin and self-pleasure, or use your two feet to push-off the bottom of the ocean floor and swim towards the surface. Unlike cigarettes or alcohol, this is a cold turkey addiction, there is no slow withdrawal. You either view pornography or you don’t. You either touch yourself or you don’t. There is no in-between. I can attest to the above after years of an addiction. And only one gave me hope – and it’s through Jesus Christ alone that you find freedom and healing. Christ’s merciful heart can truly turn the tide.

I knew it was time to stop when I felt completely numb after watching and reacting to the videos. When I was in the skeleton thinking it was as needed of a routine as brushing my teeth at night. I started to believe I couldn’t sleep unless I released the stress. Another consequence to this numbing was that I didn’t truly listen to those that said it was inherently wrong at Church or from authority figures. This happened frequently since I ironically, have a passion for serving my Church, Catholic college community, and all male Catholic fraternal organization. Know that God doesn’t want to take away something that feels good. He wants you to be happy. However, he wants you to do it in a loving way.

Love: the selfless act of showing God’s grace and mercy to another without expecting anything in return.

When we masturbate, we take it all in for us. We don’t use our sperm to procreate and bring another child of God into this world. We expel it, like a delinquent in the classroom. Banished and thrown away as if it has no meaning or purpose in our lives.

When I reached my ocean floor, and continued to fail getting back up, I realized I couldn’t recover for myself anymore, I had to externalize my drive. I had to do it for others. If I had me time, I knew I wasn’t serving others and the guilt plagued me.

Two women (ladies, this is where you will be able to relate) in my life were essential in my road to recovery.

One young woman, who suffered abuse from a relative when she was a child, confided in me her struggles of self-worth, image and reoccurring nightmares from the abuse. In my opinion, if I continued to view pornography, I was going to become the same man who took away a piece of this woman’s purity and innocence. I had the potential to then ruin families and countless lives.

The other young lady, who confided in me, is in the Made in His Image accountability program. She has constant struggles when looking at herself in the mirror and extremely self-conscious with the hopes of being a Hollywood model. With my pornography usage, I was reaffirming the image that she was seeking. And through my actions, I was telling her that I was attracted to a fake woman, who appeared perfect on camera. Because of men like me, she was only getting worse.

Each time I thought about using the computer for anything besides its original academic purposes, I reminded myself what type of man those two lovely ladies needed in their life. Putting it in this selfless context, kept me honest with myself. As I started to change this dark habit, I found ways to cope and make it easier to avoid temptation, especially when you are in college and need the internet for a large portion of your school work. Each day when I go to sleep and realize I have passed another day without the dark past, I realize I am that much further from not turning back towards it. Once the distance is great enough, you start to focus inwardly and respect yourself with greater dignity.

Here are a few other suggestions that I highly recommend.

1. Never delete your search history in your web browser. By seeing what you have looked at keeps you honest and stops you from numbing the guilt.

2. Go to Confession immediately after falling, don’t hold that emptiness within you. Christ wasn’t able to carry the cross on his own either. He fell three times and each time he was able to find the strength to continue. Eventually at the end of his journey, he conquered death itself.

3. Keep your bedroom door open when you are on the computer.

4 Set prayer alarms throughout the day. By forcing yourself to pray at times you would normally comfort yourself with pornography, you shift towards God. For me, daily mass at 5 PM was an essential element to the day.

5. Get in an accountability group. The best one by far is www.covenanteyes.org. Type in “catholic” in the coupon code to get 3 months free. I highly recommend it!!

Would you eat brownies?

Maura Byrne, the founder and director of Made in His Image would like to thank Nick Meyer for his contribution to her new “Men’s Section.” If you are a man interested and inspired to write for Maura please email her at ifightHimwithlove@gmail.com

By Nick Meyer (FOCUS Team Director at Ball State University).

I don’t often watch TV anymore, as my life has proved to be full of other activities, interests, and hobbies in the past five years. I do watch the occasional football game, mostly Notre Dame, because I am a glutton for punishment. However, the other night I was watching Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon with my younger seventeen-year-old sister. I was appalled at the unnecessary explicit emphasis on sexuality in the beginning of the movie. Sam, the main character is living with his girlfriend who only wears the skimpiest of clothing. There are several other scenes with sexually suggestive material, which I commented on to my sister. I wondered, though why a few scenes must ruin an otherwise intriguing, entertaining movie?

As I’ve been home over the holidays, I have watched several shows and movies with my sister and noticed this disturbing trend. Every show and movie is overly sexualized. One of my favorite movies from high school was Anchorman starring Will Farrell. I watched it enough times to have it memorized and I loved quoting it with friends. Then, I went to college, graduated, got a job and didn’t watch it until this past year, almost six-years later. I was appalled at the overwhelming emphasis on sex, particularly outside of marriage. I was sickened enough by it that I had to throw it out. Yes, you read correctly. I threw it in the garbage!

Some respond with, “There isn’t anything that bad about it. It’s just a funny movie!” Yes, there is some comedy in it, which I appreciated, but I would like to submit an analogy for consideration. I’m not exactly sure who to give credit to because I have heard multiple people use it.

The analogy is this: Would you eat brownies? How about if I put just a little bit of fecal matter in them? Not enough that you could really tell much, because the baker put just a little bit in the mix before stirring it all together and putting them in a pan to bake. You look at them, think they look tasty, and smell pretty good too. The baker tells you to help yourself and you do. Right before you bite into your generously sized brownie the baker says, “Oh yea, I almost forgot to tell you. I put a little poop in the brownies. Not enough that you’ll notice, but I just thought that I would let you know.” Your face suddenly cringes and you slowly put the brownie back as you simultaneously respond, “You know, I’m actually not as hungry as I thought I was.”

Why not eat it though, it’s not enough crap to harm you, is it? One saying goes, “You are what you eat.” I would like to extend that saying with, “and you don’t become what you don’t eat either.” If you eat healthy food, your body will feel better. Doctors tell us that if we eat a large amount of unhealthy junk food on a consistent basis, we will gain weight and not feel very well, in general. Let us consider this then: the mind, eyes, and ears are not much different when “eating” or “consuming” information, images, or ideas. What we watch, listen to, and subject ourselves to often becomes our way of thinking and affects how we act as well. This is especially true if we don’t have a filter or our conscience is not well formed. Are you seeing the connection?

There was a big shift in my life for me to go from watching and listening to whatever my friends suggested and what was popular to actually analyzing media with a filter. There were several aspects that affected me. Certainly, I grew in my faith….an incredible amount actually and I thank God daily for that growth. Yet, when I think more about my transformation (and it is still happening), I can pinpoint a few aspects that were/are integral to the process. First, I was surrounded by older guys in college who were more mature and would question my actions, thoughts, and opinions. Second, I immersed myself in a culture of men and women who were striving to deepen their faith through the frequent reception of the sacraments, reading, conversation, and prayer. Third, I tried to examine myself honestly, find areas of my life that I was embarrassed by, and began rooting out those sins or wounds. Fourth, and maybe most importantly, I began learning about virtue. 

Virtue, I propose, is the key.  Virtue in its truest form means manliness. There are seven main virtues: four cardinal (Prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude) and three theological (faith, hope and love). All the virtues are critical to becoming men of God, but I would like to focus on the cardinal virtues for a brief moment. Cardinal in this sense has its root in Latin and stands for hinge. Therefore, these virtues are the hinges upon which the door of the moral life swings. Virtue brings about manliness and the cardinal virtues, in particular, direct the moral life, which is where our culture is clearly struggling. We must become men who are directed by prudence, standing up for justice, temperate in all things, and courageous in all situations. The Church gives great guidance, definitions, and clarity when it comes to the virtues. Look them up.

Men, begin this New Year with a resolution to learn about virtue. Then, look at what you’re watching and see how it affects the way you view women. Our culture is saturated with sex and it affects both men and women. I think it’s time for us to stand up, be the leaders and warriors we were created to be, and become men of action for the true, good, and beautiful.