Capitalism, Socialism, and Pornography

Consumer capitalism instills an attitude toward things and toward people which is essentially anti-human. And, therefore, since we already tend to look at people as disposable things, why not take the next step and do all kinds of prenatal interventions and medical magic. It’s only a mechanism you’re dealing with anyway. So I think we’re already moving along that path. . . . Pornography is ultimately the depersonalization of sex—the subtraction of the personal from the sexual. I think that as Christians, whatever else we emphasize, we can emphasize that this is a relationship of persons who are both created for the purpose of expressing and experiencing love. . . . My theological and biblical basis has led me to being a socialist. I don’t think it’s possible within capitalism, especially the form of capitalism we now have which is a monopoly-consumer capitalism, to get people away from thinking of other persons as things. It’s built in. It’s a necessity to the system.[1]

As initially appealing as such argument sounds, it does little to explain the phenomenon of pornography. Well, the speaker does an alright job explaining what pornography is; but he certainly falls flat in trying to identify the cause of it.

Were I interviewing Dr. Cox, which would have been a remarkable feat in itself since I was only 2 years old at the time, I would have asked him how many examples of fornicating socialist movements might have to be given for him to reconsider the point. Such logic is easily turned against the speaker. Radical socialism that teaches group ownership demands open marriage, polygamy, etc. Consistently held socialism contradicts and disallows the notion that a husband belongs to his wife and a wife belongs to her husband (cf. 1 Cor. 7:1-5).

As long as pornography is considered the result of an economic system, there is no hope for destroying it. Hugh Hefner has certainly benefited monetarily from capitalism. But he would have been just as lecherous had he grown up as Huhtolly Hefnov.

Capitalism is not the answer. But it is not the problem either.

[1] Harvey Cox. “Door Interview: Harvey Cox.” The Wittenburg Door, Aug-Sep 1976, 7.


John Calvin on Our Great Savior

Moreover, it was especially necessary for this cause also that he who was to be our Redeemer should be truly God and man.

It was his to swallow up death:
who but Life could do so?

It was his to conquer sin:
who could do so save Righteousness itself?

It was his to put to flight the powers of the air and the world:
who could do so but the mighty power superior to both?

But who possesses life and righteousness,
and the dominion and government of heaven,
but God alone?

Therefore, God, in his infinite mercy, having determined to redeem us,
became himself our Redeemer in the person of his only begotten Son.

(Institutes, II.12.2)

Wilhelmus a Brakel Commentary on James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers,
for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

How dreadful will this investigation and interrogation be for many overseers! How pitiful and dreadful will be the sentence that will be pronounced upon them! If only they had never been born and had never been an overseer! What will it be to perish due to one’s own sins, and then also to be burdened by so many souls! They will see you in the last judgment and rise up against you, saying, “You knew very well that I was ignorant, and that I lived in sin. If you had looked after me—had warned, rebuked, instructed, and led me in the way of salvation—I would have been saved. Look, however, you unfaithful minister, you unfaithful elder, I am now going lost! Let God require my blood from your hand, and deal with you as a wicked and lazy servant!”

Wilhelmus á Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service II, 155.