Playboy magazines in the bathroom, “50 Shades of Grey” book series on the bedside table, Nicolas Sparks “romance” movies in the DVD player, teen lit with incest on children’s bookshelves, and televisions tuned into programs where animated corpses (vampires) are having sex with living humans and drugged out, gun running motorcycle gangs are having orgies being promoted by a Catholic priest.
Those are the topics I am going to discuss today. If you’re a parent, you should be reading this.
Last week the news media and social outlets went wild when the actors chosen for the book to movie “50 Shades of Grey” were announced. The first I had heard of this erotic “romance” book series was when President Obama was on The View in 2012 and he was asked if he was familiar with the book (he said he wasn't but he would ask Michelle about it- the audience laughed). I have not read this book, but that is not to say I’ve never read a “romance” book- I have. As a teen I read them and into my early thirties. It never dawned on me back then that reading a “romance” book could be damaging.
You see, I like many of my generation (child of the 70’s, teen of the 80’s), I grew up on soap operas and night time shows like “Dallas”, “Knots Landing” and “Melrose Place”. It was “entertainment”. I read “Forever” by Judy Blume as a young teen and thought teen first-time-sex in a book was no big deal. After-all these shows and books were “normal” in society and sadly, I never heard otherwise from anyone in my family because they all watched those shows too. Soap Operas were grandma’s “Stories” and we had to be quiet during her “Stories”. Mom never missed an episode of “Dallas” or “Knots Landing”. In my twenties I wouldn’t dream of missing an episode of “Melrose Place”. I had inherited the blindness of my own family and society to these immoral things.
It wasn’t until after I became Catholic and grew deeper in my faith that I learned (yes, it was a learning process) that ANYTHING and EVERYTHING immoral is wrong. Wrong to read; wrong to watch on television or the movies.
I had been under the delusion that I could watch these things as “entertainment” and that was perfectly fine. Seeing a character on television commit adultery or kill someone was OK, as long as *I* never did those things. Merely witnessing immorality couldn’t harm me- or so I thought.
I was wrong and it was right in front of my face all along. Jesus Christ warned us long ago that we are to keep our EYES and MIND from ALL things impure because what we take into our bodies through our eyes and minds LEADS US TO HELL.
Matt. 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
How can reading a “romance” (this is an incredibly queer interpretation of the true meaning of romance) story be sinful?
First, most of these “romance” stories aren’t romance at all, they are lust, fornication and/or adultery, and all about altering the perception of what a true loving man and woman relationship is supposed to be as designed by God.
The story is about the steaming lust between the characters- who by page one hundred usually can’t stand to deny themselves a moment longer so they cave into their desires and fornicate.
The reader sighs with happiness for the couple that they have finally 'gotten together'.
That right there is wrong. Since when are we to rejoice when people fornicate?
Fornication is NOT a subject to cheer about, yet that is EXACTLY what the romance reader does.
Yes they are fictional characters, but if the fictional book desensitizes us to reality, then we find ourselves cheering for the real couple in our lives who move in together outside of marriage or decide to have children together without marriage all because “they loooooooooooooooooove each other”.
Our thinking is queer. (Not ‘gay’, but the real first meaning of the word).
Lust is often confused for love because evil has been allowed to redefine ‘love’, much as our culture today is redefining ‘marriage’ to suit its purposes.
Not too long ago society held each other to a certain standard- at least it tried to. Men and women expected a certain amount of decency from each other- at the very least in public. Decent God loving people wouldn’t think of cheering for the woman who was naked on the front of a magazine. Nor would decent Godly people want to frequent the business man who sold porn in his store. These people made different laws in different states to help with these decency standards because Godly people knew the damage that lust can cause so they tried to fight it.
Who fights it anymore?
Most of society who hasn’t embraced the immorality have simply given up and accepted it. More and more we see the poll numbers going up among Catholics who now support gay 'marriage'.
A mere fifty or sixty years ago I doubt you’d find any practicing Catholic who would say they supported gay 'marriage'.
How did it change? People are getting weary of fighting immorality on all levels because what is and isn't moral has been warped. Things aren't always so black and white anymore. Where black and white once held the bounds of moral and immoral firmly in place, they have now given way to shades of grey.
What God determined as immoral, has been redefined. Lust has become love. Marriage between a man and a woman as God defined it, as been redefined by mere man.
When lust was redefined as “love” people forgot when REAL LOVE meant.
Today’s “love” is a rip off. A counterfeit of what real love is.
So women read “romance” novels and sigh over what they see as romantic love. While men read porn magazines and lust after the very thing that will lead them to Hell.
We are being desensitized and most of us don’t even know it.
It’s not just books and magazines that we read.
It’s our television.
Not long ago, a priest on Twitter boasted about how wonderful the show “Sons of Anarchy”is. (See full story here: http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-priesthood-pornography-and-violence.html)
The show “Sons of Anarchy” is about an illegal gun running violent motorcycle group- they do drugs, they murder, they rape, they have orgies, they torture, they beat, they are cruel and so on. The show is VERY GRAPHIC and comes with a warning, yet it is still widely popular- even among our Catholic priests who promote the show.
How are Catholics to know we need to REPENT of such things if our own priests are promoting the sins?
Other television shows depict “romance” between dead animated corpses (vampires) and living human beings. Yes, its fiction, but it serves to again corrupt our thinking. Sex with a corpse? Yes, its happening on television, in books and among some serial killers.
Several years ago, a romance book reading (non-Christian) friend of mine told me about a book series that she was “obsessed” with. She wrote to the author and even interviewed her for a book blog she used to run.
The book series she was “obsessed” with was a “romance, erotic” series where DEMONS have sex with human women and a few men. I don't recall the name of the author or series and I don't want to. But it's out there.
To say I was stunned doesn’t cover it. First, I could not believe that such things were written or published. And secondly, that she would pick up such a book KNOWING what the subject was and read it, non-Christian or not! What sort of person is ENTERTAINED by reading demon sex? And finally, that she was so “obsessed” with it that she had to promote it to other women. God help her!
This 'material' is the devils work.
When we read or support or even keep silent about such horrible immoral things right in front of our faces we are either on our way to Hell or helping someone else on their way to Hell.
Jesus said we are to CUT OFF all the things that might lead us to Hell.
I cut off my friendship with this “romance reading” woman because I simply didn’t want to hear it or be around it and she wasn’t giving it up. She "felt" no guilt so determined it was OK for her to read and share with others. It never occurred to her that her "feelings" could be corrupted and in error.
Much like a recovering alcoholic needs to stay out of bars, an ex-romance reader needs to stay away from the “romance” section of a book store. And anyone who has given up porn, needs to stay away from ALL FORMS of porn, be it on the computer or the television or the magazine rack.
Godly people have the CHOICE to remove ourselves from temptation or keep ourselves there.
If we keep ourselves in the way of temptation and then fall who is to blame but ourselves?
Remove the temptation.
Turn off the television.
Don’t read the book.
Don’t buy the magazine.
Don’t go to movies that show fornication or adultery.
Stop promoting SIN!
One last word of warning…
READ what your children are reading.
WATCH what your children are watching.
I read every “questionable” book before my children got their hands on it to determine if it was suitable for them or not. I went to the movies by myself to preview every PG movie to determine for myself it was something I would allow my children to see or not.
Once a child reads or views something, you can’t take it back. It’s in their minds forever. That is something parents need to worry about.
Right now the book series “The Mortal Instruments” is being made into a movie series. The first movie came out last month. I read the entire series. It’s about the “Nephilim” (from Genesis 6 and Numbers 13 in the Bible). These Nephilim are demon hunters. I didn’t have a personal problem with this fictional adventure of good vs evil. What I did have a problem with was incest, and gay man/boy love/lust. The heroine of the story has an insane brother (whom she never knew) who sexually assaults her knowing and liking that they are brother and sister. One of the other characters is a gay teen who has caught the eye of a bi-sexual 800 year old glitter wearing warlock – they find “love” and move in together with the full support of their friends and eventually their family.
This desensitizes our children to what is morally right and what is not only immoral but also what SHOULD disgust us and offend us. It tells our children that all "love" is right regardless of what God says.
Instead of being offended by the material, society is cheering it on and embracing it.
Do you KNOW what your children are reading? Do you WANT them reading this type of material?
Even the widely popular author Nicolas Sparks – his books and movies include fornication and lust as love. Women (mostly) go crazy for these “romance” stories. We should NOT support FORNICATION. Purchasing these books and paying to see these sins is supporting sin. Where is your money spent? You will give an accounting to God one day for ALL your actions.
If you are a parent you are instilling YOUR morality or immorality on your children.
Are there porn magazines in your bathroom? You children know it.
Are you tuning into sex, drugs and violence on television? Your children know it.
If you are reading “romance” books, you can bet your daughters will read them too.
You ARE responsible…not merely for yourself, but also for your children.
Mark 9 -Temptations to Sin42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For every one will be salted with fire.” [RSVCE]
2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.
2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner