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The price of pornography

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14.JUL.06

Editor: Pornography gets people to begin thinking that they can have sex whenever they want with whom ever they desire without there being any adverse consequences. Pornography fosters an attitude that other people are there to provide for my satisfaction and my gratification. This, of course, is the very heart of violence.

I am concerned about the pervasive presence of pornography in SVG. There are signs that Vincentians are becoming increasingly enthralled by this vice. There are reports of the loss of countless work and study hours as persons view and send pornographic emails and hunt down smutty websites. We see increased incidences of sexual harassment and an accompanying boldness.{{more}}

Particularly brutal sexual assaults some ending in even more brutal murders; we recall Lokeisha Nanton, and far too many others. The increase in statutory rape and child sexual abuse as referred to by Dr. Datta and the present and former Presidents of the SVG Family Court. Even elderly citizens are not safe.

Rape of a wife

Marriages are also suffering. I was alarmed when the trial of a police officer in Trinidad for the rape of his wife, highlighted the attitude of many of SVG’s “good Christian men” toward their wives and future wives. These men after proclaiming “their Christianity” on popular radio programs, go on to share the view that a man had the right to force his wife to have intercourse and that even if she reported this it would be her word against his. The fact that what they were outlining sounded more like a war than a loving, mutual relationship doesn’t seem to have crossed their minds. My brothers, have you forgotten that our wives are human beings and as such have a right to feel secure in their person? This means no one should “unjustly” detain them or deprive them of their freedom of will. Being in a state of mind that would allow you to rape your wife and lie to cover it up should set off alarm bells in your head: that it is gravely, and criminally disordered.

Countless reports available on the Web outline the link between pornography and violence. The words of convicted serial killers like Ted Bundy tell you that addiction to pornography which they were exposed to as boys is responsible for their plight. The reports support the following extracts from “Pornography and Violence in the Media,” an article from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

“At a time of widespread confusion about moral norms, the communications media has made pornography and violence accessible to a vast expanded audience, including young people and even children, and a problem which at one time was confined mainly to wealthy countries has begun, via the communications media, to corrupt moral values in developing nations.

In the worst cases, pornography can act as an inciting or reinforcing agent, a kind of accomplice, in the behaviour of dangerous sex offenders – child molesters, rapists and killers.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is said by some to require the toleration of pornography, even at the cost of the moral welfare of the young and of the right of all members of society to privacy; and to an atmosphere of public decency. Some even falsely say that the best way to combat pornography is to legalize it. Faulty libertarian arguments are sometimes espoused by small groups which do not represent the moral values of the majority and which fail to recognize that every right carries with it a corresponding responsibility. The right to freedom of expression does not exist in a vacuum. Public responsibility for promoting the welfare of the young, for fostering respect for women and for the protection of privacy and public decency indicates that liberty cannot be equated with license”.

In the words of G K Chesterton, “To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it”. SVG cannot continue to suffer this affliction in silence. We must begin to raise awareness of the dangers of pornography. Parents need to be far more vigilant as to how the Internet, cell phones and cable are used by children. Those who are already addicted will need therapy.

The recent rape of the young tourists at Soufriere brings into sharp relief how dangerous further slippage in public morality can be for us all. Our responsibilities to ourselves and to each other must move us to recognize that if we slip it is because we are already sliding.

SALT

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