I thank my most diligent correspondent and field reporter “Steve” for bringing to my attention a story I would otherwise have completely missed. Steve is a former student of mine who holds a faculty position at the notorious American River College in Sacramento. It's sad to think that American River's main claim to fame these days is the involvement of its right-wing student council in the Proposition 8 campaign. The student government is dominated by youthful Christian homophobes—a mix of homegrown and Slavic immigrant extremists—who withstood a recent recall election. Apparently at least one of them is on the school newspaper, too.
The latest issue of The Current is dated December 3, 2008, but Steve tells me it actually appeared on campus today, a day late. While some articles are at least implicitly critical of the student government, an opinion piece by a Current staff writer makes it clear he stands with them. (It may be more than a coincidence that he has the same last name as one of the most vociferous Proposition 8 supporters on the student council.) Dennis Choban is sounding the alarm about pornography on campus—and it's sanctioned by the school! Oh, the horror!
Material on campus offends someFirst of all, it appears that Dennis has no idea what pornography actually is. Nude figures on display in art galleries at a college? That's pretty mild. He could get stronger stuff any day of the week by using Google with Safe Search turned off. I'm not sure whether young Mr. Choban is sadly lacking in imagination or instead has entirely too much of it. Furthermore, he cites scripture as if it's relevant to the administration of a secular public institution. I don't think so, Dennis.
Pornography at school? Don't look, but there is pornographic art in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and the art gallery in the art building. Leland Thiel, the dean of the LRC said that that painting was up in the LRC for three years and nobody complained about it. If you don't say anything, how do you expect things to change? True belief is validated in action.
By depicting a nude woman on a wall, you necessarily tempt men to lust. Some might argue that if you don't like it, don't look at it. Nonetheless, it's in human nature for a man to have impure thoughts when he sees a naked woman, the temptation is always present.
Don't misunderstand, the human body is beautiful, and sexuality in itself is not wrong or sinful. God created human sexuality for procreation and for our enjoyment. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27). But the misuse of it is very damaging to both women and men, and insulting to our Creator.
It turns out he knows the textbook definition of pornography, because he cites it in his next paragraph, but don't forget the context. He's applying this to art work simply because it depicts unclothed models. Dennis has a very low bar. It's probably not worth the trip to Sacramento just to check out the filthy pictures at ARC. I'll bet there's going to be a lot more foot traffic from the students, however. The art department thanks you, Dennis!
Pornography is the portrayal of human nudity for the selfish gratification of the viewer. It dehumanizes and exploits women and encourages men to use them as sex objects.The Bible has “scientifically accurate writing”? Oy.
According to God, lust is a sin. Sin is turning one's back to God or rebelling against Him. It is stated so in the Bible, the historically and scientifically accurate writing which is Gods message given to us by divine revelation.
King Jesus Christ said, “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)Dennis is much too young to remember when Jimmy Carter got in trouble for citing this biblical passage and confessing to lust in his heart, but he appears to have a lot in common with our 39th president. He may also be of Potter Stewart's school of thought. Stewart is the Supreme Court justice who famously said he could not provide a legal definition of pornography, but “I know it when I see it.” Mr. Justice Stewart, however, exercised some judicious discrimination and restraint in making his determinations. By contrast, Mr. Choban sees it everywhere. Even in art classes devoted to the human figure.
Did you know that ARC offers art classes with live nude models? And they had the impudence of posting wanted ads on the ARC ad post in front of the library early this semester. This is outrageous! Those classes need to be removed from course offering.Imagine that: a figure sculpting class that uses figures. And dares to advertise for models and pay them for posing. Dennis misses a trick here by not claiming that the art department is soliciting for pornography, but instead his big finish is a rallying cry to women to rise up against their oppressors. (Trust me, Dennis, you should be very careful about provoking such a response.)
Both Art 304 and Art 375 focus on the nude body. Art 375: Figure Sculpture course description plainly reveals that: This is a course that introduces figure sculpture, using the live nude model as a reference.
There should be no place for pornography on a college campus. Women, your body is beautiful, but don't show it off in public, dress modestly and save it for your husband. In fact, you should be insulted when nearly nude images of your gender are plastered all over the walls in public. Speak out against it, who else can do it better than you?Well, not you, obviously.