Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

Pam, Porn, and Paul

Courtyard of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

There’s no renewal without conversion. There’s no mercy without justice. There’s no Resurrection without the Cross. These axioms define what it means to be a Christian. Our lives must be in a constant state of renewal as we conform ourselves to Christ.

Pamela Anderson is one of the great sex symbols of the 1990s. This dehumanizing label, though intended to be a compliment, is repugnant. This label supplants the mystique of her femininity with something less than her dignity. She’s back in the news after penning an op-ed piece about the dangers of pornography.

The responses were at the same time predictable and shocking. One pornographer responded, “I believe that my movies, that couples have watched, have saved more marriages than all the marriage counselors combined.”

Most of the comments were inane, but the running theme was hypocrisy. Why should the public trust a woman who was a staple in Playboy magazine?

Porn is the new cigarette. Like cigarettes, I think we’re getting ready to realize just how harmful porn is. The anonymity of Internet pornography targets an untapped segment of the population. These ordinary people would never access porn if they had to do so in public. Now that the public element is gone, they face real temptation. The Internet has opened this new market segment, and it’s ripping our homes apart.

While the impact of porn is heartbreaking, it also shows us a beautiful side of humanity. Web sites, like Fight the New Drug, seek to counter the porn propaganda and educate young people about the sickening realities of porn. Anti-porn apologists like the great Matt Fradd now drop wisdom on the Internet. One of his recent tweets was especially impactful: “Love says, "this is my body given up for you." Porn says, "this is your body taken by me." Reject fake.” TIME magazine ran a cover story on the dangers of porn and the government of Utah declared porn a public health crisis.

Many chose to condemn Pam, but in her witness, I see a familiar character. Before Saul was Paul, he was an effective enforcer. Saul was so unwavering in his persecutions, that he “was trying to destroy the church.” (Acts 8:3) Along the road to Damascus, Saul had his miraculous conversion, became Paul, and began to follow the Way.

The Christians were dubious and for good reason. But Paul began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues in Damascus. The Jews had to ask themselves, “Is not this the man who in Jerusalem ravaged those who call upon this name, and came here expressly to take them back in chains to the chief priests?” (Acts 9:21). They were so upset at Paul’s conversion that they plotted to kill him (Acts 9:23).

Paul’s conversion was sincere, and his background lends serious credibility to his witness. Here’s a man who hated the church, converted, and is now the most prolific writer of his era. Paul’s letters fill the New Testament with rich theology and practical wisdom. He paid the ultimate price for his conversion, executed as a martyr in Rome.

Pamela Anderson's denunciation of the culture that made her famous lends credibility to her testimony. Many doubt her authenticity; I see in her the truths that I’ve come to know about the Christian life. There’s no renewal without conversion, no mercy without justice, and no Resurrection without the Cross. Porn is destroying our families, and if one more voice crying out in the wilderness is what it takes to end this scourge, I’m all ears.