Matt Fradd is an Australian Catholic apologist, author of Pints with Aquinas and Restored, and founder of the website,
The Porn Effect
. Since his conversion and his own struggle with pornography, Fradd dedicates his efforts to exposing the lies of pornography.
Fradd is no stranger to the Arlington Diocese as he wrote the foreword to Bishop Paul S. Loverde's pastoral letter against pornography, Bought With a Price. Last week, Fradd visited the diocese to give two talks at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington; one for parents and faculty, and the other for students.
“There's an old stereotype that if you're against porn you're against sex. There's a third option, ya' know - chastity, that virtue, which enables you and me to love in accord with our dignity." Matt Fradd
“7 Myths of Pornography” is one of Fradd's talks to dispel falsehoods such as porn is adult entertainment, porn is naked art and porn is not addictive. The talk reveals the anxiety, depression, possible brain shrinkage and erectile dysfunction experienced by porn users. Fradd mixes in scientific research, statistics, humor, a charming Australian accent and his own personal testimony with pornography.
As with most youths, Fradd encountered porn at a young age and quickly fell into a routine.
“I was looking at porn every day and when the Internet came it was good night; it was multiple times a day,” said Fradd.
But at the age of 17, Fradd attended World Youth Day in Rome and experienced a conversion, yet his addiction to porn persisted.
“I was living a duplicitous life - these two sorts of views of the human person cannot live in the same mind for long,” said Fradd.
What eventually broke Fradd's dependency was realizing Christ's passion redeems all humanity, extending to those featured in pornography. No longer could he gaze at an image without recognizing the dignity of the person.
“There's an old stereotype that if you're against porn you're against sex,” said Fradd, attacking the myth that pornography prevents sexual repression. “There's a third option, ya' know - chastity, that virtue, which enables you and me to love in accord with our dignity.
“We have science and love on our side and the porn industry has the money,” said Fradd. But even if the industry has the money, pop culture is speaking out against pornography. Celebrities such as actor Russell Brand and former NFL player, Terry Crews have publicly denounced pornography. Actress Pamela Anderson's op-ed, “
Take the Pledge: No More Indulging Porn
,” was featured in
The Wall Street Journal
What's strikingly different about Fradd's approach to combat porn is his enthusiasm. He uses many tactics but the most important is opening dialogue without fear. Fradd believes conversing with peers and tailored talks with children are the blueprint to overcoming the myths of pornography.
Whether or not students and faculty at O'Connell leave with a conversion similar to Fradd's, he hopes that they know his talk is not about “the annihilation of sexual desire but the reorientation of sexual desire.”
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