Here we go on to the next phase of the “redemption of desire” pop-spirituality ride. Matt McGuiness urges us to take “a second look at porn,” so that we can get in touch with the fact that illicit sexual desire is really a misguided attempt at finding happiness. Did I miss something? Isn’t that what Catholics have always believed? Isn’t all sin the choice of an apparent but false good over what is truly good in an attempt to be happy?
Of course, what separates the search for real happiness from that of its counterfeit is a lie. In his opening, McGuiness treats the lie of sodomy rather glibly with a raunchy pop-reference. Unfortunately, those things that St. Paul says must not even be named among you (Eph 5:3) are now part of the cultural fabric, so they have to be dealt with. But if it is true that a lie told over and over again gains plausibility just by the retelling, then our casual familiarity with depravity gives the perverse and diabolical an air of normality. The devil must be given his due: now we give porn a second look because it teaches us how happy we want to be. The problem with pornography according to McGuiness: it does not go far enough. I think McGuiness has taken the bait.