The Catholic University of America’s Ban on the Top 200 Porn Sites Won’t Work April 7, 2019

The Catholic University of America’s Ban on the Top 200 Porn Sites Won’t Work

The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. has passed a resolution prohibiting access to the “top 200 pornography sites through the campus network.” In other words, the school’s wi-fi will no longer allow students to access popular adult sites.

The move came at the request of students who believe their ability to reach those sites is hypocritical when the school has the power to prevent it. Porn, the resolution says, is “a grave offense against chastity.”

The resolution was passed by a vote of 13 to 12, and signed by SGA President Jimmy Harrington. Student vice president, Weston Kirby, cast the tie-breaking vote.

In a statement issued after he signed the resolution, Harrington said that he did not think that Catholic University of America students had any inherent right to access pornography on the school’s internet.

“I am signing the Resolution not from purely religious or Catholic grounds, but because The Catholic University of America can and should exercise its rights to prohibit the use of pornography on the campus network,” said Harrington.

I don’t have any problem with their resolution. It’s a private school and they can do what they want in this regard. But it’s adorable that these students believe they’re doing something meaningful here. It’s like responding to a flood by holding out your hand and telling the water to stop.

Consider this: A student wants to pleasure himself, decides to go to a particular site, then sees that it’s blocked. Now what? You think he’s going to say to himself, “Okay, I guess I’ll go read the Bible now”? No, he’ll take care of himself another way.

Instead of addressing the root cause of why people might want to watch porn — which, for Catholics, should be the bigger issue — they’re trying to address the “problem” after it’s too late. (It’s like evangelical Christians trying to shut down abortion clinics while basically ignoring all the systemic problems that lead to unwanted pregnancies in the first place. If they knew what they were doing, they would spend more time addressing the latter instead of the former.) These Catholic students have it all backwards.

Also, why stop at 200? There are lots of adult sites out there — waaaaay more than 200 — and students who are looking for it will quickly be able to figure out which ones they can access. (Using a wireless hotspot will allow them to get around the filters for the more popular ones, too.)

Also, by filtering out the 200 most popular porn sites, you’re effectively telling students to seek out the more extreme, unsafe, unethical sites. (That’s also a reason to legalize and regulate marijuana.)

Also, why filter out just porn sites? Violent websites are still presumably accessible. So are sites that promote a variety of other things that the Catholic Church would condemn. So this school has decided that watching people have consensual sex is somehow worse than every other kind of “sin.”

It’s especially troubling for a Catholic school to think this will fix whatever problem they’re trying to solve. In the Catholic Church, where priests have been sexually abusing children for decades, dare I say everyone would have been better off if those priests had easy access to porn to take care of themselves rather than seek out innocent, vulnerable, underage victims.

For what it’s worth, the resolution is non-binding. The ban won’t go into effect immediately, though administrators say they will seriously consider it.

“It is difficult to ignore the firm stance against pornography made by our student body,” Karna Loyoza, spokesperson for The Catholic University of America, told CNA.

Heh. “Firm stance.”

Again, they’re welcome to try and block the websites on moral grounds, but it’s not going to work. Students looking for porn will find it. This is nothing more than a bunch of students patting each other on the back before shuffling back to their dorm rooms to figure out the name of the 201st most popular porn site.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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