The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links

Search this Site




Mailing List

Pray for Pope Francis

Scroll down for topics

100+ Important Documents in United States History


Apostolic Fathers of the Church

Articles Worth Your Time

 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Calendar

Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.

Catholic Perspectives

Catholic Social Teaching


Church Around the World

Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts

  Church Documents

Church History

Church Law

Church Teaching


Doctors of the Church



(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)

Essays on Science


Fathers of the Church

Free Catholic Pamphlets

 Heresies and Falsehoods

How to Vote Catholic

Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith

Links to Churches and Religions

Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television

Links to Recommended Sites

Links to Specialized Agencies

Links to specialized Catholic News services


General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Marriage & the Family

Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom

Moral Theology


Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body

Movie Reviews (USCCB)

New Age


Parish Bulletin Inserts

Political Issues

Prayer and Devotions



Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel


Help & Information for Men


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults




The Golden Legend


Vocation Links & Articles


What the Cardinals believe...

World Religions

Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam

John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration

Visits to this site

Sex and Violence — Not all Bad   


It is fashionable to denounce the sex and violence that saturates American entertainment.

Politicians thunder against entertainment companies. Religious leaders telegraph their dedication to family values by passionately comparing Hollywood to Sodom and Gomorra. Meanwhile hundreds of actors earn their livings simulating the act that begins life and that which ends it.

Americans sit in darkened rooms, enthralled by the gasps and groans, cries and screams and by the accompanying images on the screen. Our free market system is designed to efficiently provide that which people desire and for which they are willing to pay a price. Instead of condemning the supply perhaps we should examine why people demand this commodity.

Entertainment is obsessed with sex and death but while sex is easy to depict and always titillating, waiting around for people to age and die is neither easy to depict nor titillating. An even bigger problem is entertainment's preference for depicting younger people having sex, while dying is generally done by the aged. This makes it hard to hold a plot together. The solution is violence because it offers death on demand. Death could now be produced on schedule. It made for more cohesive plots because now the same people who had sex in one scene could die in the next. This was altogether a big improvement.

Entertainment is not unique in its obsession with death. Elsewhere too, death exerts a morbid allure. Think of drivers slowing down as they pass an accident, craning their necks in the hope of seeing a corpse or at least a little blood.

Even little children sensing a death in the family, innocently but persistently question in order to probe what they sense to be a giant mystery. Everyone is curious about whether there is life after death.

Neither is entertainment unique in its obsession with sex. No aspect of the internet receives more attention than its concupiscent corners of cybersex. Children seem almost intuitively aware that asking questions about sex is nothing at all like asking what ever happened to Aunt Agatha's grand piano. Malcolm Muggeridge famously wrote that sex is the only mysticism that materialism offers. I think he was half right. The other great mystery of materialism is death.

Simply identifying sex and death as the essence of mystery, is stating the obvious. After all, imagine the underwhelming indifference with which audiences would greet a whodunit that contained no whiff of either sex or death. Why do people find sex and death both fascinating and mysterious.

The answer to that question is best revealed by a short quiz.

  1. — Why are so many great sales professionals willing to work for commission only?

  2. — Why do most children prefer a playmate over the most lavish toy chest or the most expensive computer program?

  3. — Why does providing all the needs of indigent humans' not produce their contentment as we find in other species whose needs are being met?

  4. — Why do capitalism, a marketplace and currency exist?

  5. — Why do humans, unlike any other species, voluntarily seek oblivion through alcohol?

Here are my answers:

A great sales professional understands all human nature including his own. He loves working for commission because that way his earning has no limits and this satisfies his soul's yearning for the infinite.

A child prefers a person to any computer game because his soul yearns for the infinite. No matter how complex, a computer program is finally knowable and ultimately limited. This does not apply to humans.

Animals cared for in a zoo only require food, shelter and medical attention. Treating welfare recipients in the same way makes them feel caged and often discontent because their souls also yearn for the infinite.

All humans want more than they have. A marketplace exists because resources are finite while a human soul yearns for the infinite. A marketplace, while imperfect, is the most moral way to allocate limited resources to people who always wish for more.

Carl Jung wrote that the old Latin name for alcohol, spiritus, reflected its ability to provide an illusion of spirituality. Alcohol appears to reduce the pain of physical reality. People who feel shackled by physical reality often turn to alcohol because their souls yearn for the infinite.

That leaves us with the question of how best to cater to our yearning for the infinite? Those rejecting religious faith are rejecting the best avenue for grasping a spiritual reality. They are therefore making a choice to remain imprisoned by materialism. They have chosen not to relate to anything they cannot see, touch, eat or wear. Their life is, well, limited. Thus, their only glimpse into transcendence are the transforming moments in and out of physical life. Conception is the magical moment that brings matter into existence and death is the moment that bids it farewell. I believe that we are captivated by sex and violence because our souls yearn for contact with the infinite.

Hollywood manufactures sex and violence, legitimately in my opinion, because that is what the market wants. People want it for the same reason that folks outside Seattle use instant coffee. It is what you do when you cannot obtain the real thing. The real thing is regular contact with the infinite through the wonderful world of religious faith.


Lapin, Rabbi Daniel. “ Sex and Violence — Not all Bad .” Toward Tradition (March 11, 2005).

Published by permission of Rabbi Daniel Lapin.


Radio talk show host, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, is president of Toward Tradition — the American Alliance of Jews and Christians — a Seattle-based, bridge-building organization providing a voice for all Americans who defend the Judeo-Christian values vital for our nation’s survival. For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Rachael Whaley (206) 236-3046 Rabbi Lapin's is the author of Buried Treasure: Hidden Wisdom from the Hebrew Language, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, and Americas Real War. Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a member of the Advisory Board of the Catholic Educator’s Resource Center.

Copyright © 2005 Rabbi Daniel Lapin



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved