Many if not most people attending college work part-time to help pay for their education. Most do things like delivering pizza or working as waiters.
But one Duke freshman has made headlines for the way she elected to pay for her education: becoming an adult movie star.
The story raises important issues about the power of worldview—and our society’s increasing inability to make moral judgments.
She goes by the stage name “Belle Knox.” Starting in November, she travelled from North Carolina to Los Angeles during school breaks to shoot several dozen adult videos to help pay the $60,000-some a year it costs to attend Duke.
Apparently, she thought that using a pseudonym would keep her fellow students and school officials from learning how she paid the bills. Well, it didn’t. A fellow student recognized her from the videos (which is another whole commentary) and he told his friends. It didn’t take long for everyone on campus, followed by everyone who follows these kind of stories, to know about this one.
And they let her know how much they disapproved. A lot of it was the kind of hateful stuff that has turned the phrase “frat boy” into an epithet.
That’s when Knox went on the counter-offensive. She decried the societal “brainwashing” that “dictates that sexuality and sex ‘reduce’ women.” She characterized doing pornography as “a political act in line with a sex-positive feminist perspective.” As she put it, “we need somebody who can advocate for women while standing up for our right to sexual autonomy.”
Far from being ashamed, she called her experience making pornography “supportive, thrilling, exciting and empowering.”
This might strike you as ideological drivel—but it’s the kind of drivel that many of her most vocal critics have no good answer for, and here’s why. Our society has embraced the idea that there is such a right to “sexual autonomy.” In fact, the Supreme Court has enshrined this right in all but name.
So arguing that sexual slavery and crime follow in the wake of pornography runs into the brick wall of the individual’s “right” to sexual expression. And our liberal ethos rejects as “paternalism” any claim that Knox herself is being “exploited” or “victimized.”
It’s hard to think of a better example of the power—or the weakness—of a worldview. In this case, the worldview that cherishes sexual autonomy cannot effectively argue what should be obvious: that college coeds should not make adult videos to pay for college.
Obviously, Christians can argue from a consistent worldview. As Paul told the Corinthians, “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
That leaves the question: Do our lives bear witness to this truth? Do we live in a way that reflects the fact that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit?
There’s a lot more to this than not making adult videos: We are called to use our bodies as instruments of God’s grace—in acts of loving kindness and of charity. And we’re also called to flee all immorality. When Knox says that many of the people decrying her are also consumers of pornography, she hits uncomfortably close to home, both inside as well as outside of the Church.
As Christians we’re to be agents for restoration, to bring healing to a sexually broken culture. In this case, that means showing in our actions as well as our words that our bodies were made for a much-higher purpose than our own autonomy.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: April 8, 2014