Friday, January 31, 2014

Sex on the Screen

Would it be wrong to sneak into the bedroom of a husband and wife you know and watch them having sex, or even to watch them undress as they get ready to have sex?

Of course that would be wrong.

Now let’s modify the question a little. If a couple you know gave you permission to come into their house and watch them have sex, or even to watch lesser forms of erotic contact, would it still be wrong for you to view it?

Again, I am assuming that most Christians would agree with me that this too would be wrong. (If you don’t think this would be wrong, then you need to review some of the Scriptures I brought up in part 1 of this series.)

Now let’s modify the question still further. If the same couple made a video of themselves having sex, or even just undressing each other, and then sent you the video, would it be wrong for you to watch either all or some of it? Again, I am assuming that most Christians would have no hesitation saying that the only acceptable thing to do would be to throw the video in the trash.

You can probably guess where I’m heading with this thought experiment, which has one further modification. Suppose the same couple were videoed having sex or being naked in an erotic context, but it occurred within a movie? Would that be wrong to watch?

I would argue that this too would be wrong for the same reasons, but suddenly I find myself in a minority, because millions of American Christians are completely comfortable viewing such content, for they do it all the time when they sit down to watch television and movies. Indeed, the only difference between the sexual content that is routine in movies, on the one hand, and the final stage of my thought experiment, on the other, is that the actors are not married and we do not know them. But if anything, the fact that they are not married merely adds another layer of wrongness to the activity.

In short, if it’s wrong to watch people having sexual contact in the real world, then it is equally wrong to watch the same actions on television or in a movie.

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