Lately, I’ve been somewhat amused by a scenario played out in different forum threads concerning writing and reading online. The scenario is essentially the same each time. Someone will question the morality of erotica. This questioning tends to be driven a christian perspective. Those who write in the genre respond with a certain amount of indignation, demanding tolerance and decrying the intolerance of the questioner.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the morality of erotica, there’s a logical disconnect with that response if we honestly believe in freedom of speech and equality. The erotica writer cannot demand tolerance from the christian for something (erotica) that is in violation of the christian’s beliefs, and then declare the christian intolerant if she does not acquiesce, without allowing for the existence of a second demand: the christian demanding tolerance from the erotica writer on the matter of christian beliefs on sexuality, the marital relationship, purity, etc., and then declaring the erotica writer intolerant if she does not comply.
Bit of an impasse, eh?
The problem is that the two demands cannot truly co-exist. Therefore, I think it’s much more honest and practical for the erotica writer and the christian to acknowledge they are not going to agree on the matter and that they aren’t required to approve of what the other thinks. For either to talk about tolerance or respect for such a fundamental issue is not reality. A further step, though not one I really expect, would be an openness to honestly discuss their philosophical differences on the matter.