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A Group of Male Students at Notre Dame Wants to Block Porn on Campus

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Porn is evil. Porn is wicked. Porn is a sin against our holy Creator. Full stop. However, are calls to block porn sites on college campuses equal to censorship that undermines the free exchange of ideas? According to Reason, the calls from a growing number of male students to block porn on college campuses is a form of censorship that shouldn't be allowed.

On October 23,  a letter to the editor was published by The Observer, a student-run website for the Notre Dame community. Written by Notre Dame senior James Martinson, the letter unequivocally states:

As the men of Notre Dame, we request that the University implement a filter to make pornography inaccessible on the Notre Dame Wi-Fi networks. This filter would send the unequivocal message that pornography is an affront to human rights and catastrophic to individuals and relationships. We are calling for this action in order to stand up for the dignity of all people, especially women.

Summarizing the arguments of the letter, Reason explains that the letter's signees claim that porn "is immoral, it warps men's brains, and it dehumanizes women." The movement has gotten steam, and more and more males across the country are beginning to call for a porn ban on college campuses.

In response, Reason quotes the Daily Beast and dismisses the letter by saying that James Martinson's arguments "are dubious." Reason goes on to add:

There's scant evidence, for instance, that porn makes men behave more violently toward women, or rewires their brains in some fundamental way. If anti-porn students don't want to consume it, that's fineā€”but they shouldn't force this choice on everyone else.

As a pastor, I've seen how porn destroys lives. Furthermore, I've seen evidence that isn't "dubious" that doesn't fall under the description of "scant." My purpose for this article, though, isn't to provide arguments about how porn is objectively destructive under social science's definitions. Even if Martinson's claims (and my claims) that porn is harmful could be proven false, Christians should still desire to see the demise of porn.

Quoting myself from the top of this article: Porn is evil. Porn is wicked. Porn is a sin against our holy Creator.

God created the one-flesh act of sex within the boundaries of marriage (between one man and one woman) to point to the mystery of Jesus's love for his bride, called the Church (see Ephesians 5:22-33).

Porn (and all sexual sin) lies about Jesus. When men view porn, they are denying that Jesus is faithful to his bride. The act of viewing porn is also an act of stealing. And, no, neither women nor men have the right to do whatever they want with their body. Neither men nor women have the right, in thought or action, to the bodies of those who aren't their lawful spouse. Just because a woman willfully exposes herself for the lustful delight of men, that doesn't make it any less stealing.

Blocking porn is not a free speech issue any more than blocking death threats is a free speech issue. Lying about Jesus, committing lust, and stealing what is not yours should not be openly allowed or encouraged by society, including college campuses.