The Divine Comedy: Week 36, Pornography Revisited

Soon after I encountered the sin of sloth on the slopes of Mt. Purgatory, I was scheduled to give a chapel talk at Belmont University about pornography. And in what might be a surprise to some, I talked about Dante with the college students.

You might think I would have focused on the sin of lust in my talk. Again, lust is punished on the upper slopes of purgatory, where the sins of excessive love are purified. Pornography seems to be a great example of loving a good thing--sex--too much.

But in my talk at Belmont, I didn't connect pornography with lust. I suggested that pornography was a sin of sloth, not loving a good thing as well as we should. Pornography is, at root, a form of laziness.

Of course, we can argue that analysis. I'm not going to be dogmatic about any of this. But the reason I equated pornography with sloth was that I wanted to highlight something about sexuality with the Belmont students.

Basically, sex, real sex, with real human beings is hard work. It takes time, effort, attention, care, communication, fidelity, and on and on. And a lot of times, it's just too hard, too troublesome, too much work and hassle. Porn is so much easier.

That's what I shared with the students. The problem with pornography isn't the lust, it's the laziness.

This is especially true in a marriage. Porn is sexual laziness within a marriage. Sure, pornography is a form of lust, but it's also an example of not loving the good thing in your life--your spouse--with as much energy, attention, and commitment as they deserve.

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