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Opinion - Should pornography be censored?

2021-09-24  Reverend Jan Scholtz

Opinion - Should pornography be censored?
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It is difficult to come up with a definition of pornography; however, the term is defined as the “explicit description or exhibition of sexual activities in literature, photograph, films and so forth, which are intended to stimulate erotic sexual feelings rather than aesthetic feelings”. 

Another way of describing pornography is “erotica, which is a sexual degradation of another person”; the word pornography comes from a Greek word, literally meaning “whore writing” or the description of the activities of whores. 

It degrades women, showing them in situations where they are being used by men; this takes a wide range of materials or activities – but as one judge in the USA said, “Pornography is remarkably difficult to define but most people know it when they see it”.

Many Western countries allow pornography but Namibia and South Africa, in terms of the films publication ACT, no person under the age of 18 may participate, engage in or assist another person to engage in sexual conduct or lewd display of nudity, exploit violent sexual conduct or lewd explicit sexual conduct that degrade a person and which constitute incitement to cause harm or the explicit infliction of or explicit effect of extreme violence that constitute incitement to cause harm to it or any independent part thereof, describes predominantly defined by the ACT.

Most Christians believes pornography should be censored. 

In so doing, conserving family and Christian value. 

What is disturbing is that pornography is widely available, and it affects our value system.

 Although the films and publication ACT prohibits children under 18 to be exposed to explicit violent sexual conduct, these does not help us much, as child pornography is in the increase –and explicit sexual material are freely available. 

Many people, while agreeing that pornography is wrong, believe people should have freedom of choice. One’s conscience must decide whether to indulge in pornography, rather than it being dictated by the state; they believe that adults who wish to do so have a right to read, obtain or view explicit sexual materials. 

They justify this position for the following reasons: (1) The use of explicit sexual materials does not contribute to crime, delinquency, and sexual or non-sexual deviancy; (2) Sexual material are sought as entertainment and also for information, and can even help facilitate communication about sexual matters within marriage; (3) Censorship does not prevent people from obtaining pornography. Laws cannot transform attitude and behaviours; (4) Adults should not be restricted in order to prevent youth from seeing certain materials; (5) Forbidden fruits have the sweetness of fantasy. 

If things are banned, people want to see them even more; (6) It is highly subjective as to what pornography is and what it is not. 

It has an eroding effect on society; it is against Christian morality and teaching regarding sex and marriage. In fact, almost everyone would agree that there is some points at which authority ought to set certain limits. When sex is a public spectacle, a human relationship has been debased into a mere animal; “coupling” the idea that “everything is permitted” is dangerous is a step towards anarchy.

Certain standards of morality should be maintained in society.

 The government has a duty to protect such standards against any source that threaten them. 

The government can not legislate about individual morality but it can protect public morality. 

There should be laws restricting the showing of certain films, books and pictures. There ought to be strict laws on the sort of magazines and newspaper freely available; there are concerns about hardcore pornography or even soft pornography that contains nudity. 

The authority must also prevent the moral corruption of the society, as children cannot grow in love if they are trained with pornography – and one can always trace the effect of a book or movie on an individual, as people are influenced by books they read and movies they watch (The Namibian, 25 August 2021, p. 3).

 “A Windhoek man accused of sexually assaulting under aged boys and using them to make pornography that was sold to internet websites made a confession to a magistrate in June last year.” 

The issue of censorship seems to be revolved around free choice – and this undermines sexual standard. 

According to the New Era of 19 August 2021, Uganda constitutional court has scrapped a controversial antipornographic law, which provisionally included a ban on wearing mini-skirts and risque songs, a sign of mimi crying western norms of pornography introduction in African countries.

In conclusion, Christians are strictly against pornography. Marriage, for them, is God-given at creation (Hebrew 13:4, 1Cor 6:18-20). 

The Bible points out that sex is to be treated responsibly and those who keep this instinct in its right perspective find more gratifications and pleasure in it than those who deliberately influence and excite it. 

We are living in a materialistic age, where materialistic theories are applied to marriage and sexuality – and many strange ideas emerge. 

Love is said to be nothing more than sexual desire, and sex is merely an expression of the flesh to be gratified as such. 

Those who hold to such a philosophy tend to revel in pornography and obscenity that means their natural desires are stimulated.

2021-09-24  Reverend Jan Scholtz

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