This was a fun interview to write. Thanks to everyone at Luke is Back for asking me to do this. Read the full interview and below are the first two questions. Are religious conservatives with their views on porn and sex in a minority or are their views shared by many Americans? Religious conservatives are a very vocal, influential minority and the main reason why there is still this ongoing debate about whether or not pornography damages people and relationship. For someone like Rick Santorum to become so popular with the conservative base of this country shows that his anti-pornography message still resonates. Similarly, Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy aide, Richard Grenell, (of two weeks) recently resigned under pressure from social conservatives. I suspect that in Romney’s case, he is really not that uptight but obviously needs to cater to this wing of the Republican party just as he needs to cater to the Tea Party. But, as we know, Santorum lost his bid for the Republican nomination for president and this provides good evidence that conservatives do not actually represent the majority.
Some trace America’s love hate relationship to porn with the Puritan spirit. Would you agree or disagree? I would agree our Puritan roots have inspired our ambivalence, and sometimes outright hatred towards, pornography. The notion that sexual thoughts are bad or dirty has been the basis of this country’s view on a lot of things; the private and public dimensions of sexual behavior, gender roles, fashion, careers, etc. I think it’s dangerous for religion to advocate keeping people clueless and silent about sexuality since it’s in the very nature of who we are and it’s important for everyone to have the chance to explore and understand who they are. But I realize that that same Puritan spirit has inspired spirituality for many and has brought people peace and solace, so if that works for people, good for them. Our religious heritage is a blessing and a curse in so many ways and to elaborate would take forever.