Shame on Dennis Prager for Defending Porn
If you are involved in pornography, the salvation of your soul is at stake. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.
In a recent discussion with Jordan Peterson, “conservative” radio host Dennis Prager recently defended both lust and pornography.
Prager objected to Jesus’ admonition that a man who lusts after a woman has already committed adultery in his heart. Prager smugly stated: “There is only one way to commit adultery in Judaism, and it’s with a different organ.”
Peterson, widely noted for his quick wit, should have challenged Prager on that ridiculous position. After all, in Prager’s view, a man who engages merely in heavy petting with other women has not committed adultery. Alas, Peterson did not challenge him. Instead, he merely asked Prager about his views on pornography.
Prager answered, “Men want variety. … If pornography is a substitute for one’s wife, it’s awful. If it’s a substitute for adultery, it is not awful.” This statement is offensive to both ethics and logic.
“Men want variety?” That’s his defense? That argument could be applied to any sin. What if, instead of pornography, Peterson had asked, “Hey Dennis, what about idolatry?” Using precisely the same defense, Prager could have said, “Look, I get this monotheism stuff, but the truth is that men want variety. After all, the same God night after night? Get real!”
His next statement is an illogical mess. “If pornography is a substitute for one’s wife, it’s awful. If it’s a substitute for adultery, it is not awful.”
This is what is known as a distinction without a difference. It is meant to be clever, but is incoherent. By definition, a husband’s intentional viewing of pornography constitutes adultery because the intention is sexual arousal with someone other than his wife.
Beyond that, consider the following scenario. A woman comes home and finds her husband thumbing through pornographic magazines in his bed. The wife is upset, but the husband assures her, “Honey, you’ve got this all wrong. I wasn’t substituting these Playboy models for you. That would be awful! I was substituting these Playboy models for the pretty woman across the street! I’ve been lusting after her for five months, and Dennis Prager said all this was okay.”
Though Prager’s defense of pornography made a few headlines, sadly, it’s not only Prager who endorses pornography.
Late last year, a German priest named Father Hermann Backhaus publicly claimed that there were beneficial aspects to pornography. He claimed that “there are positive effects of explicit sexuality in relation to the couple” that can have the effect of “making their love life become more alive.” Regarding celibate persons, he argued that “the consumption of explicit sexual representations can have a relieving effect; it can’t be denied.”
Whether we’ve come to expect such shambolic balderdash from German prelates these days or not, it must be said: Father Backhaus’ comments are immediately and gravely scandalous not only to Catholics everywhere, but to every decent person on planet Earth.
The viewing of pornography is gravely evil. Any contention otherwise is diametrically and diabolically opposed to Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium. As numerous government and private sector studies illustrate, the production of pornography frequently involves the abduction of innocent persons, forced drugging, extortion and rape. For a Catholic priest to defend pornography — in any way — boggles the mind.
The intentional viewing of pornography blinds a person not only to chastity, but to every good thing. It destroys charity. It mocks matrimony generally, and destroys marriages in particular. It surrenders the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, understanding, piety and fear of the Lord. It makes a person an enemy of God, an enemy of his fellow man, and an enemy of his very self. As Pope Francis alluded to last year, to view pornography is to throw open the windows and doors of your soul to the demonic. This is not an overstatement: there is a well-documented connection between the occult and pornography. Where you find one, you often find the other.
If you are involved in pornography, it needs to stop. Right now. The salvation of your soul is at stake. Anyone who tells you differently is either remarkably confused or an outright teller of lies. Shame on them.
Pornography can become a habit, and can quickly become an addiction. If you are addicted to pornography, you might need professional help and counseling. You certainly need the sacrament of Confession. You need to hold on to Jesus for dear life — dear eternal life.
As you struggle to overcome pornography — and you must make that struggle — you might have to go to Confession every week. You might have to go to Confession every day. But you can overcome it. Christ is the Physician of bodies and souls, and Christ can heal you. He wills to heal you completely and restore your soul, and your happiness.
There is also a woman who can help. Her name is Mary.
Whenever you are tempted, say a Hail Mary. Before you are tempted, say a Hail Mary. After you are tempted, say a Hail Mary. Throughout the day, simply say, “Mary, please help me,” for the devils cringe at the mere whisper of her wondrous name.
You also must say the Rosary every day without fail.
Read passages from books about Mary every day. You might consider The World’s First Love by Bishop Fulton Sheen, The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori, True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort, The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander, and The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda. These spiritual readings will help you develop a devotion to Mary and a love of the virtues of chastity and humility. Particularly in our pornographic age, devotion to Mary is not a luxury; it is essential to the spiritual life.
In a society that glorifies sexual sin, we must respond by glorifying Mary in our hearts. Mary is the paragon of chastity. Place your hand in hers, and allow her to lead you out of whatever darkness you find yourself in. Because where there is Mary, there is light. And you must devote yourself to her. If you’re in trouble, fall in love with Mary. That is the way to Heaven.