EPB and the honey drip; city fathers’ selling porn spreads discontent

print

King David, having no trouble with his eyes in observing the bathing Bathsheba, finds that his adultery brings calamity to his family and to his kingdom at the start of the Hebrew Republic, as recounted in 2 Samuel chapter 11. Both his eyes and his heart served him badly when he should have been busy with his duty at the military front, not lounging about the palace.

By David Tulis

Pornography is an attack on the family. It shares with abortion and homosexuality an overturning of godly order by which civilization rises, peace is spread and prosperity is made common to all. Porn’s purveyors are not ashamed of their labors being called an “attack” — such terminology is, if anything, too demure.

To them, family and marriage and ordinary love are mere conventions, stultifying, boring; the devotees of porn claim to sweetly remove these tedious and familiar constraints for the benefit of all society and the psychological energizing of the individual. Once these bars are removed, men and women who share in free love (or at least imagine themselves doing so) will find their true selves in an exhilarating liberty of sexual passion. If we are to believe Dr. Rushdoony’s treatment of the subject in his book Politics of Pornography (Arlington House, 1974), the promoters of porn have as their highest calling the destruction of God and the obliteration of every manifestation of His kingdom.

The subject arose Nov. 2, 2009, in Chattanooga when city government, drawn toward financial profit, announced it has taken upon itself the sale of “adult” material via its EPB telecom division and the open door of the Playboy Channel. The commercial venture of Chattanooga’s ambitious electricity utility, formerly known as Electric Power Board but now named solely by its vacuous letter string, was first reported in November 2009 and caused a slight stir among Chattanoogans. The matter is in public view once again with a report of the 2012 earnings of EPB from its pornography business.

On what grounds shall we say no?

We should oppose pornography not on moralistic grounds, but on biblical ones. It not so much as causes crime, corruption and dissolution that the moralist warns of, but is these things. It sows among men, its primary consumers, discontent with their state. Single men whose vessels God commands to be kept pure for marriage are tempted by anarchies of the flesh. Men who have taken marriage vows cease looking upon their wives with love, longing and friendliness, but imagine themselves cavorting abed with luminous and voluptuous phantasms wearing lipstick and kicking up their heels in adoration and astonishment at their lately arrived Romeo.

Pornography creates solitude, alienation; it nourishes, too, a sense of indestructibility and a certain impenetrability and glassiness of the soul wherein it is referred to in the Scriptures as a sin a man commits against his own body. Absorption in porn discourages personal relationships, commitments and selfless acts of mercy or sacrifice, all of which are requisite to courtship and marriage. Make quiet note that porn is a near cousin to abortion, which offers itself as an abatement to the consequence of illicit sexual relations.

EPB spokeswoman at the time, Katie Espeseth, said, “Our decision to offer Playboy was really tied to our overall philosophy of offering more options and choices for customers.”

The Bible forbids any creature (even state-chartered public service corporations such as EPB) from being pro-choice about the puerilities of adult material. The company’s Espeseth suggested a corporate concern to protect children from smut, as if this were a sole concern: “We do want to give people the freedom to view what they want in their own homes, but behind that we think we’ve given people some pretty unusual tools to help them manage what they can and can’t see” (Times Free Press, Metro, Nov. 2).

‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’

The governing statutes in the matter of lusts of the flesh and the eyes are the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and the 10th commandment, “Thou shalt not covet.” Forbidden are “adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts,” according to the Westminster Larger Catechism at Question 139; “all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks,impudent or light behavior; *** unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.”

The wise Israelite king, Solomon, discusses the temptations of the flesh to which pornography is a gateway. The most beautiful fifth chapter of Proverbs is worth the meditation of every male. The lips of an “immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” Notice there is no suspicion of harm in the taking of her sweets. Delight in the eating is followed by poison in the stomach. As faithful Matthew Henry remarks of this passage,

Proteus-like, she puts on many shapes, that they may keep in with those whom she has a design upon. And what does she aim at with all this art and management? Nothing but to keep them from pondering the path of life, for she knows that, if they once come to do that, she shall certainly lose them. Those are ignorant of Satan’s devices who do not understand that the great thing he drives at in all his temptations is to keep them from choosing the path of life, to prevent them from being religious.

Solomon warns against destruction of reputation and strength to her lure. “Remove your way far from her. And do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.” Years given to the cruel one should have been given to service to the church and charity. The succumbing to vice happens close at hand, among friends and neighbors and collegiality of men at church. “I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and the congregation,” the poet says.

Sole cure for impudicity

The Bible, as this chapter in Proverbs gives witness, provides a remedy for sexual desire. Wholly abstain — or marry. Let a young man wed so as not to burn. As Henry tells it, “Enjoy with satisfaction the comforts of lawful marriage, which was ordained for the prevention of uncleanness. Let none complain that God has dealt unkindly with them in forbidding them those pleasures which they have a natural desire of, for he has graciously provided for the regular gratification of them.”

The Bible pushes the reader onward most wonderfully.

“Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.”

In light of these joys promised in the estate of marriage, why would any man pursue adultery? Solomon asks. “His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” The commentator offers this: “Those that live in this sin promise themselves impunity, but they deceive themselves; their sin will find them out, v. 22, 23. As their own iniquities do arrest them in the reproaches of conscience and present rebukes (Jeremiah 7:19), so their own iniquities shall arrest them and bind them over to the judgments of God. There needs no prison, no chains; they shall be holden in the cords of their own sins.”

Not only would EPB’s participation in the marketplace of porn make null God’s prohibitions, but would step around positive duties implied in the commandment’s “Thou shalt not.”

Duty of one’s eyes toward one’s soul

The catechism discusses the “duties required,” among them: “[W]atchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation.”

Dr. Rushdoony’s text is full of discernment as he describes the appeal of pornography as against these duties of the seventh commandment.

Moreover, the primitivist believes that the ultimate in power is somehow below, and his search, in various ways, is for union with this ultimate power. In pornography, it is through sex. The goal is cosmic coition, the sex act which gives a blinding, soaring, mystical experience and the ultimate in the experience of power. The ‘sexual revolution’ has been insistent on the use of four-letter words; and indeed it requires them, because they clearly indicate intent. The four-letter words have this common characteristic: they reduce a woman to a sexual organ, and sex to an aggressive act. [A dictionary] defines f ——— thus: ‘To cheat, trick, take advantage of, deceive, or treat someone unfairly.’ Precisely. The popular four-letter words reveal an unhealthy aggressive and reductionist view of sex. They expose an exploitative hostility to the other person. *** The goal of pornography is the cosmic f ———, the dream of primitive, raw power. Pornography gives us women rapt with adoration and ecstasy before the ultimate man who has all the world in his sexual power. It is cosmic in that it carries man to the center of his being, into raw sexual power of magical potency (The Politics of Pornography, pp. 31, 32).

Pornography is not merely an attack on women and on marriage, but on God, and is perhaps not so much something He will punish as the punishment itself.

David Tulis, a deacon at Brainerd Hills Presbyterian Church, is married and the father of four children ages 10 to 20. He hosts the show Nooganomics.com at Hot News Talk Radio 1240 in Soddy-Daisy 1 to 3 p.m. and live at hotnewstalkradio.com.

One Response

  1. gram March 4, 2013 Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.