Sex, violence, and the media

It’s common knowledge that in the Church, sexual sin is considered second in sin only to murder and denial of the Holy Ghost, because of this scripture:

And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.

Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?

Alma 39:3-5

In other words, hierarchy of sins (from most severe to less severe) are as follows:

1. Denial of the Holy Ghost
2. Shedding of innocent blood (murder)
3. Harlots (or sexual sin, see also fornication)

Because of this, the Church takes sexual sin really seriously. And when it comes to media consumption, sex, along with violence, is heavily discouraged.

However, if we were to put this on a scale in an informal survey, I would hypothesize that most Mormons would be more comfortable with murder than sex.

For example, Tom and Jerry blowing the crap out of each other is considered “cartoon mayhem.” Some parents protest against it, true, but those parents are generally far and few in between.

What if Tom and Jerry started having pre-marital sex instead?

It's okay. Take the time to scrub that image from your mind. Focus on the kittehs.

It's okay. Take the time to scrub that image from your mind. Focus on the kittehs.

There would be an outrage; parents would be flipping over cars and kicking in store windows and burning television stations down to the ground. Well, maybe that’s an overexaggeration, but I would daresay that the idea of Jerry perhaps successfully killing Tom once and for all (and there are several episodes where we see Tom’s ghost) disturbs the vast majority of Mormons less than Tom and Jerry perhaps visiting a brothel together. Yet murder is the greater sin.

Why this paradox?


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Filed under life stories, parenting, religion

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