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Pornography and Pulpits

Greta Christina posted yesterday on why she will probably not make pornography ever again:

But that was back when I was primarily known as a sex writer. And it was back before the Internet made anonymous rape threats easy and cheap. Now that I’m trying to build a writing career around topics other than just sex, it’s hard to imagine that doing porn would be anything other than career suicide.

And that sucks.

I would freaking love to do porn now. I’m more comfortable and more happy with my body than I have been in a very long time. And I would love to share that… for my own exhibitionistic pleasure, and for the sake of others. There aren’t a lot of role models for women of my age — I’m turning 50 at the end of this year — being openly and brazenly sexual, being comfortable and happy with their bodies and their sexualities and proudly celebrating them. I would love to be one of those role models. If I was ever going to do porn or nude pictures, now would be the time.

And I just don’t think I can. Not if I want to be taken seriously as a writer.

Read the whole thing, of course. Greta pulls the problem apart in her inimitable style.

A few readers are telling her that in order to dismantle the current cultural thinking on porn, someone needs to do what she doesn’t want to do right now. They’re right, of course, but that still doesn’t mean that Greta Christina is the person to do it. She talks about being taken seriously as a writer, but what she’s really doing is engaging in the culture war through her writing. She’s already leading one fight. That doesn’t leave her much time to lead another, not if she wants to do the first right.

After reading that last night, I came across an article that gave me an entirely different perspective on pornography and leadership. This article about the pope’s recent statements condemning pornography and prostitution followed up on those statements with this:

The hypocrisy is astounding. For a decade, the Catholic Church in Germany, through its wholly-​owned subsidiary, a $2.3 billion bookseller named Weltbild, has been selling what they now demand to be classified as “erotica,” although many have called it pornography, to the tune of more than $300,000 in annual sales.

To add insult to injury, last week, after reports spread worldwide of their selling “erotica,” the Catholic Church threatened lawsuits against publishers who had called the 2500 titles, with names like, “Fuckable,” “Lawyer’s Whore,” and “Sluts’ Boarding School,” pornography, insisting they were “erotica.” Which is kind of like the Catholic Church insisting its priests don’t molest children at a higher rate than the general population does.

How can the Church rail against “erotica” and preach moral values, as it has demonstrated it has stores full of one and a total lack of the other?

Yes, well. So it turns out that Greta Christina supports pornography but feels constrained by societal expectations. And Benny the Rat says he, as the church, is against pornography, yet neither social expectations nor his own views keep that church from producing and distributing it.

Is the idea of a religious foundation of morality dead yet?

Comments

  1. fastlane says

    Ummm..wow. Here I thought you were going to make a reference to all the porn in the bible, but this?

    To answer the question, apparently, there is no low too low for the church to sink.

  2. says

    Per a more detailed article linked from the one listed above, http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/catholic-church-threatens-lawsuits-we-sell-erotica-not-pornography/news/2011/11/03/29594 , the amount of income under discussion is about $400,000/year. Certainly a trivial amount to the Catholic Church, but hardly pocket change to most individuals. The publishing house is also claiming it’s just an oversight, as they sell so many books.

    Just wanted to pass on the BS.

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