"We are more afraid of excellence than of failure." -Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Dear 100 Hour Board,

After reading this, https://cyber.harvard.edu/vaw02/mod2-6.htm,

would any of you change your answer to question #89160?

-Mutual and Tinder, you have no reason to be really worried that you sound really judgemental right now


Dear I Agree With That Statement,

I wouldn't change the essence of my answer, though I would add some clarification here.

I think the original asker has perfectly legitimate reasons for not wanting to seriously date people who had problems with pornography, were thinking about leaving the church, etc. I know it would give me pause to realize a guy I was dating was dealing with any of those issues. I honestly don't know what my reaction would ultimately be in that situation, though it would definitely mainly depend on the direction the guy seemed to be moving in. But then again, I don't think it's right to judge anyone who does decide to not date someone struggling with those things. Deciding who you're going to date and ultimately marry is an intensely personal choice, with eternal consequences. I'm pretty picky when it comes to which classes I'm going to take, let alone who I'm going to spend the rest of eternity with. Thus, I don't think I can rightly judge anyone for rejecting people based on certain criteria. That criteria may not be very valid (like, it would be ridiculous to not date someone because their favorite color is blue), but the distinction to make is that while I can make judgments about the criteria, I can't rightly make judgments about the person. 

When I said that I didn't think the number of "good guys" had necessarily free fallen, what I was trying to indicate was that there are still lots of guys who aren't dealing with serious crises of faith, and/or are deep into pornography. As noted in the article Concorde linked to in her correction, the number of active men is lower than active women in the Church. However, there is quite a difference between a complete "free fall" at a certain point and a more gradual decrease in activity. Basically, I was trying to communicate that despite the asker's recent negative experiences, there are still a lot of guys who will live up to the basic standards outlined in her question. I was trying to succinctly express that there's more at play in her situation than every single guy in Orem going inactive following his mission, because I don't think that's true. In fact, I think there's good reason for her to hope to find a great guy that lives up to her expectations (obviously he won't be perfect, but I don't think she was in any way implying that in her question). But, due to not actually being omniscient, I can't promise that she actually will find such a guy who's perfect for her. Thus I gave the promise I could, which is that anyone living God's commandments will have everything work out for their good.

I apologize if my answer came off as judgmental of the asker, and hope that the clarification I've offered here is helpful.

Now I want to focus on the implications of your question, though.

Viewing pornography does not make someone a bad person. Yes, the action is bad, but the actual person involved with pornography is still a son or daughter of God, with the same potential to become like Him. 

While I agree that pornography comes with multiple side-effects, some of which may be an increased propensity for violence towards women, the exact ways in which those two things are tied up is complicated, and not even necessarily connected in every case. I think we should be careful before we assign people to such a broad and negative category without having gathered sufficient information. I certainly don't think it's right to assume someone has violent tendencies because they have a problem with pornography since pornography doesn't inevitably result in such behaviors.

I suppose what I'm trying to get at here is to not treat people struggling with pornography as statistics; treat them as people, on an individual, case-by-case basis. In fact, I think the world would be a better place if we were able to treat everyone like that.



Dear mutual,


One hard thing I see here is that everyone has some kind of addiction, some kind of dependency that draws them away from truth. But pornography is incredibly accessible, and it's particularly potent. As such, it is publicly and aggressively demonized and put into it's own class of evil. 

It probably should be, because of the bodies and souls it desecrates.

But I think the war against it has resulted in countless unnecessary casualties of civilians and soldiers alike. The commander of the adversary has no compassion for his enemies or his friends — nothing to persuade him to slow down or stop the attacks. Even worse, his army easily grows because it includes anyone who drifts too far from truth.

And, though they may have become nothing more than unwillful drones, the soldiers get demonized, too. But they are not demons, so what choice do they have to fight and prove they're not? It is a harrowing task to try and find light inside a place that the world insists is only darkness.

Perhaps in reality, this darkness is no different from less potent forms. But we don't yet understand it, and the unknown is frightening. So the war rages on. 


We need to learn how to fight smarter, so that it's not so hard to win. 

-a person