Impure Portraiture

Not a blanket-endorsement of R.L. Dabney as a true Christian, but I like these statements he makes about those who legitimize impure portraiture.

“A few words as to unchastity outside the family relation. The preservation of our own and our fellow-creatures’ purity is a peculiarly important duty, because all breaches thereof have a tendency to undermine the family—the corner-stone of earthly welfare; because sins against purity are so clearly connected with other sins, as concealment, selfishness, evil company, drunkenness, obscenity and homicide; because experience shows (Paul, I. Cor. vi. 18) that this sin is peculiarly imbruting and corrupting. Hence, the clear duty of preserving purity in dress, deportment and gesture, language, reading and thought. There is a school of literature, so called, once under the ban of all decent people, which now claims that the portraiture of sins against purity is a legitimate branch of art, inasmuch as the true mission of literature is to portray all commanding human emotions. I answer: Just so much as the concocting of the poisoner’s ‘hell-broth’ is a legitimate branch of cookery! All such portraitures in language, painting, statuary and theaters is perilous and criminal. Was He mistaken who said: ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life’? If not, I am right” (R.L. Dabney, The Practical Philosophy, p. 370).

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