Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pornography, the Question

Out in the wilds of Oregon today, I came across a theology teaser -- it wasn't this one, but it seems to have come from roughly the same place. It said, simply,

Pornography? Job 31:1
If only because it referred to Job, which is one of the books of the Bible that's genuinely worth reading -- it has been the basis of quality movies, and perhaps of movies that seem to exist to give suicidal people the last little push they don't need -- so it succeeded in piquing my curiosity. What does Job 31:1 say in response to the word pornography phrased as a question? Might the passage throw some light on what pornography phrased as a question is meant to be asking?

So I looked to Job 31:1:
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
Oh. Someone -- in this case, the Job character from the book of Job -- made a commitment not to look lustfully at women, and to the sign's credit, the passage does seem to relate to pornography. Specifically, it relates to the pornography as it existed in Job's day, whenever that was, which I assume was still back when you had to draw or etch it yourself.

I'm afraid to say the sign in the wilds of Oregon has failed to make its case, or really any case. To the extent it makes a case, it seems to be: once upon a time there was a guy named Job who promised not to look at naked women. In return for this promise and similar promises, an all-powerful king gave Job new possessions and wealth to replace what the king had unjustly taken from him earlier; and the king also set Job up with a new wife to replace the wife the king had killed earlier, with the encouragement to Job that he might have some kids with the new wife to replace the kids the king had killed earlier.

Maybe those strike you as the actions of a despicable tyrant, and if so, I give you the answer the Book of Job gives, which also has to be the true answer to "pornography?" Job 38:2:
Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?

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