Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.

The Whitworth Poster Controversy

This post is in response to Andrew's post on October 8, 2004. I think the picture used on the poster in question was inappropriate. In order to decide if something is appropriate or not, you must look at its context. The poster was publicizing a dance at a Christian school. In a straw poll of Whitworth males you would find that almost all of them struggle with issues of sexual temptation which they would like to overcome. The poster was advertising to this audience. Every source of sexual stimulus during the day effects whether a man will overcome or submit to sexual temptation. More times than I can count the road to lustful thoughts and masturbation has started with something as simple as a picture like the one on that poster. This poster is not inappropriate because it is 'un-Christian' or doesn't conform to reactionary puritanical morals, this poster is inappropriate because it contributes to the assault of a sexually permissive society on the sexual purity of Christians. For any women reading this who are tempted to say, "why don't men just get over it," I would respond that you do not understand the way male sexuality and temptation works. I do not fault you for this, even in my dating relationship with Jeni (a devoted Christian and my current wife) it took a long time an a lot of struggle before she understood the way she served as a temptation to me. Whitworth is a Christian institution and an arm of the church and therefore should not be promoting anything which compromises the spiritual life of its students.

For those of you who cling to the argument that the poster reflects 'the real world' out side of the pine cone curtain I will say this: Please do not reduce the real world to cleavage. Sex is what society wants you to focus on because it will provide you instant gratification. Sex blinds us while the sex merchants steal our money and our purity. If you want Whitworth students to be more aware of 'the real world' (which, by the way, Whitworth and the church are a part of, they do not exist in some alternate dimension) then focus on issues of civic responsibility or social justice. If being part of 'the real world' means I have to give in to the society selling me sex, then I'd rather stay behind the pine cone curtain.

I know what I'm saying isn't very cool or in synch with the cutting edge, but I feel like I need to say it. How many of the men reading this message have porn sites in their internet cache right now, or how many of you pay close attention to making sure it's regularly cleaned out? We all know the story, clear temporary internet files, delete history, delete cookies. And for the women who are reading this but not taking it seriously, I can guarantee that at least one, and probably more, of the male hands you shook today was used to masturbate in the last twenty-four hours.

You still want to be modern and on the cutting edge? Fine, keep your poster up. You may never know the temptation to sin you will cause to someone else who sees it.

Jeni is typing a post on this general subject as well right now. I don't know what she's saying but I know that I agree with it and you should read it. She is including in her post some remarks from Bill Robinson, the president of Whitworth college.

Andrew, stop trying to piss people off. Please just be yourself. Making other people angry does not make you cooler. An please do not use gratuitous profanity. You cannot pull it off. It does not make you edgy, it just makes you sound stupid. It does not prove a point, it just makes people less receptive to what you have to say.

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