Maybe Love Isn’t So Powerful, After All?

by Calico Rudasill at Porn and Erotica For Women and Couples

I’m not big on quoting the Bible, mostly because I’m frankly not that interested in who begat whom, or which animals with divided hooves I’m allowed to eat, something which might also depend on whether they chew cud. Having said this, I’ve been thinking a lot about something I once read in Corinthians about love, and how among faith, hope and love, “the greatest of these is love.”

touchdown jesus
“Touchdown Jesus” In Ohio Sharing The Love (shortly before being struck by lightning and burning to the waterline)

Read on…

From Virgil to Deep Purple, the related notion “love conquers all” (technically, Virgil went with omnia vincit amor) is an oft-repeated axiom in a wide variety of contexts, used to explain everything from why ‘opposites attract’ to the remarkable fortitude people show in defending their loved ones from all manner of threat, the idea love conquers all is held dear by a wide variety of people. Love comes up in Christian theology all the time, of course, not just in the context of quotes from Corinthians. Jesus loves us and wants us to love each other, God so loved the world he sent his only son down there to be tortured to death by it, etc. etc.

Judging by the key text displayed on a bunch of anti-porn billboards recently erected all over the Bay Area, though, it seems some folks, including religious ones, perhaps don’t think too much of love’s power or resiliency anymore.

This Totally ISN’T A Jesus Thing (Probably/Kinda)

porn kills loveWhile the people behind the “Porn Kills Love” billboard campaign, a group calling itself Fight The New Drug (FTND), have been adamant about theirs being a secular effort concerned with pornography as a “public health issue,” the group also identifies as the man who “keeps things factual” for FTND as Jason Carroll, a professor of Marriage and Family Studies at Brigham Young University.

So what, you say? Well, as ably chronicled by Samantha Allen, Carroll also happens to be a persistent opponent of same-sex marriage, filing amicus briefs in support of bans on gay marriage at issue in various court cases. Given the involvement of the Church of Latter Day Saints in the Proposition 8 campaign (involvement the church initially made an effort to deny), I think folks in the Bay Area can be forgiven if they don’t take FTND’s proclamations of secularity at face value. Plus, if you take a closer look at the “science, facts and personal accounts” relied upon by FTND in making its case against porn, you’ll find they do the same thing all the religious anti-porn groups do (and to be fair, which pro-porn people do, as well, in the opposite direction): cherry-pick from studies which support their agenda, while completely ignoring research which tends to contradict their claims.

The truth is, the scientific jury on porn is still out – and it’s probably going to stay out in the future, given how unlikely it is researchers would ever be permitted to track the impact on porn viewing across a large population sample as it grows from childhood to adulthood, considering how it’s pretty damn illegal to go around showing porn to kids and all, whether you happen to be a scientist in a lab coat or a pervert in a trench coat.

Does Rock Beat Porn, At Least? How About Scissors?

Regardless of whether FTND is a secular group, a religious group, or just another group of worrywarts hung up on other people’s viewing habits, I’m distressed and disappointed by their lack of faith in love. Do the people at FTND really think the force which has been said to “conquer all” has an Achilles heel when it comes to porn? If so, and if porn does indeed “kill love,” then maybe porn is the most powerful force in the universe, the ultimate ace up a player’s sleeve in a high stakes, cosmic game of Paper-Scissors-Rock.

It’s not enough to know porn kills love, though; if we’re going to make any sense of the power hierarchy of our universe, we need to know the dynamics and interplay between porn and other emotions, creations and factors. Does porn also kill greed, for example?  Look, if the love of money is “the root of all evil,” and porn is evil, then it seems to me greed should trump porn, or at the very least result in a ‘push’ requiring some manner of playoff round.

Then again, if porn kills love, then porn also presumably renders greedy people incapable of loving money, which would in turn kill greed. On its face, killing greed might sound like a good thing – but I suppose it’s not if along with our love of money, we also become deprived of love for our spouses, favorite hats and local sports teams.

After Love, What (Or Whom) Will Porn Kill Next?

If there’s one thing upon which the FTND people and I agree, it’s the fact porn isn’t going away anytime soon. Despite being pretty tough to make money off these days, people will continue to make and distribute porn forever, if for no other reason than to have something inappropriate to offer to celebrities as a potential new line of work.

Given the fact porn isn’t going anywhere, presumably this inanimate serial killer will simply move on to new victims, once it has finished killing all the love in the world. So, the question becomes, what will porn kill next?

My money is on either trust, respect or affection, being close cousins of love which might seek revenge on porn for murdering a relative. It’s also possible, though, after killing love, porn will be in need of some serious public relations damage control, meaning it might target something from the darker side of human nature, like envy or Rush Limbaugh. Whatever or whomever porn’s next victim might be, there’s another crucially important question here, one which I hadn’t considered until this very moment: Once love is completely dead and buried, what’s the new slogan going to be on FTND’s billboards and t-shirts?

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[This article originally appeared on]

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