On page 251 of Christopher West's book At the Heart of the Gospel, he quotes Sarracino and Scott's book The Porning of America.
"Pornography ... typically has an essentially Puritan point of view on sensuality and sex ... Porn revels in what Puritanism rejects."
This has been a linchpin in West's argument - the great sin is Puritanism, and Puritanism gives rise to the sinful endeavors of a disordered libido, such as pornography. The problem with pornography, West tells us, is that it attempts to react against Puritanism, but does so by going to the opposite extreme. And in my last post, West chides a Catholic priest for averting his eyes from naked women because "As John Paul II observes, 'the essential error of the Manichean ethos consists precisely in this.'"
In other words, for West the Cardinal Sin that gives rise to perhaps all of the sins he deals with in his teachings is not lust, but the Puritanical and Manichean repression of lust.
Not only does this mistaken notion that the Repression of Lust is a Cardinal Sin imply that its opposite (the Expression of Lust) is the corresponding Cardinal Virtue, this mistaken notion flatly contradicts the teachings of John Paul II, the man West always uses as a weapon against his (West's) critics.
For this is what Blessed John Paul actually says.
"The whole problem of pornovision and pornography is not the effect of a puritanical mentality or of a narrow moralism, just as it is not the product of a thought imbued with Manichaeism." - John Paul II, Art Must not Violate the Right to Privacy.
And elsewhere West argues that honoring limits (such as "custody of the eyes") dishonors the spirit of JP2's teachings ... well, as far as that bit of spurious nonsense goes, John Paul also says ...
The truth about man, about what is particularly personal and interior in him—precisely because of his body and his sex (femininity-masculinity)—creates here precise limits which it is unlawful to exceed.
Among those limits which it is unlawful to exceed, always and everywhere for all men and women, regardless of the degree of sanctity to which they have, by God's grace, attained, is pornography.
I call on Christopher West to state this clearly and unambiguously - that the use of pornography is always and everywhere a sin, exceeding as it does those "precise limits" "it is unlawful to exceed", as John Paul teaches, and as the Catholic Church and the Law written in our hearts has always taught us.
John Paul concludes ...
It is a question of an extremely important, fundamental sphere of values. Before it, man cannot remain indifferent because of the dignity of humanity, the personal character and the eloquence of the human body.