God Bless our Fathers! (See last week’s bulletin for words of gratitude for our fathers)
The article I wrote recently on modesty received a number of comments. Of course, I know that it is a cause for worry for many parents and adults about how their teenagers and young adult sons and daughters relate to each other. However, I did not write the article only for you to think about young people. The issues surrounding the value of modesty are important to all of us, young and old, male and female, parents and single people.
I only mentioned the subject of pornography briefly in the article, but it is closely related to the way we view ourselves and others. Modesty is a value that must be at the foundation of our relationships with all people. Our family members and even strangers deserve that respect. Many times I think we excuse ourselves for looking at and undervaluing others in pornographic images because we do not know them. They are “strangers.” Some people call use of pornography as a vice or sin without a “victim.” However, just because we do not know persons in photos or films does not mean that we have no culpability or that they are not victims.
The pornography industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry in the United States and world-wide. The industry is well-known for its abuse of the human person. I think that there are very few healthy adults who choose to put themselves on display for others. The majority of the “strangers” we see in the images in porn are not free to choose. Many of them have been abused as children and because of the effects of the abuse they are drawn to other abusive relationships and activities. Children themselves who are in porn have had no free choice. Many times these are the ones who are “trafficked” from country to country. These vulnerable children and teenagers are made even more vulnerable by the unknown surroundings, language, and people.
We live in a time in which people are used and forgotten. Workers who do not receive respect at their daily jobs often feel unappreciated. The concerns, safety, and injuries of workers are often over-looked or blamed on them. If legitimate industries do that to people, what do we think happens in the manipulative world of pornography? Let us not be naïve or dismiss the effects of our poor choices. We create victims regularly by our sins and mistakes. Let us work to redeem those persons by making loving and respectful choices. Let us be modest. Parents, do not forget to talk to your children about the reality and consequences of pornography.
Peace Fr. Andy