Forbidding Ice Cream and Commanding to Abstain from Porn

Forbidding sweets doesn’t make them bitter

Let’s do a thought experiment.  Let’s imagine raising an American child (let’s name him “Matt”) to never eat ice cream.  You tell Matt that ice cream is evil.  If he eats it he will turn into one of those fat people who ride scooters at Walmart.  You take him to health-food clinics (otherwise known as left-wing church services) where he is told that everyone is lactose-intolerant.   On a daily basis, you show him youtube videos from the fringes of the “Whole Foods” crowd.    You encourage him to “research” and write home-school papers on the dangers of ice-cream.  You take him to the shopping center where he hands out literature to others about the evil food.

Then, one day, Matt is weak.  He is watering the neighbor’s plants while they are gone on vacation and he discovers a open carton of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer.  He takes a bite.

He has an orgasm.

Now, what is Matt’s attitude toward the Devil’s Food going to be?  I think he will take one of two attitudes.  He will either crave ice-cream all of the time.  He will hide ice cream at the school.  He will sneak it at the store and try to eat in his room before it melts and before you discover him.  He will eat ice-cream and nothing but ice-cream every chance he gets.  He will live in constant guilt because he is lying to his parents and living like a hypocrite.

Eventually, he will turn into on of those fat people who ride scooters at Walmart.

Conversely, (and this reaction is common) he will react in exactly the opposite way.  He will become a lactose-intolerant fanatic.  He will refuse to have anything to do with friends who eat ice-cream.  He will cut off relations with the neighbor who gave him a summer job watering the plants in their house.  He will be a Lactose Justice Warrior (LJW).  He will go to the university to get a degree in Dietary Health and write a book named, “I Ate A Bite of Ice Cream and It Destroyed My Life”.  He will live in constant guilt because he knows how much he wants ice-cream on the inside.

Neither reaction will be healthy.

Because there is nothing wrong with ice-cream IN MODERATION.  Those of us who were raised with it as an occasional, or even frequent, treat, are able to eat it a few times a week, month, or year without it becoming an obsession.

Ok, I’m beating on this metaphor so hard that it is threatening to file charges.  But this is exactly what we have done to young Christian men about porn.  You can’t have a “Men’s Meeting” at church without teaching against the danger’s of porn.  Husband’s hide their use from their wives, the wife occasionally catches him; they have a fight; he promises to never do it again;  he gets an “accountability partner” at church and attends “Promise Keepers” rallies.  He then does it again.  He becomes the sexual equivalent of the fat man at Walmart on the scooter.

Or, he turns into “Dr.” James Dobson.  He spends his life preaching against porn.  He FOUNDS a chapter of Promise Keepers and runs the “Bible Study for Men” in which he repeatedly talks about the “Dangers of Porn.”  He writes a book, “I saw a Playboy and it ruined my life.”

When the fact is that the Bible makes it clear that Erotica is fine IN MODERATION.  This is why the Song of Solomon was included.  That is why there is no prohibition on looking at the erotica that was pervasive in the ancient world.