Google+

Can I Sell Porn? (Participating in Evil)

3

September 18, 2012 by mattfradd


I was recently asked:

“Hey Matt I’ve got a question, I work at a gas station that sells porn mags, what would you say i should do? Should I say a Hail Mary for any one who buys one or find a job some were else? what do you think?”

Formal and Material Cooperation 

The first thing that needs to be distinguished is the difference between formal and material cooperation. To formally cooperate in evil is to will the sin of the other. To materially cooperate in evil is to take part in so far as the physical entity is concerned.

For example, talking a customer into purchasing a pornographic magazine would be formally cooperating in that sin. This is never permissible. Merely scanning and bagging a pornographic magazine which a customer chooses to buy of his own accord would be a case of material cooperation.

Justifying Your Material Cooperation

Since we’ve ruled out the option of formal cooperation, The next question to ask is, “am I able to justify my material cooperation?”

Since it is likely that this sin would still be committed without your act of material cooperation (the customer would either buy it from another staff member or another store) together with the fact that you would may be fired from this job which I presume you need, would, in my opinion, provide justification for material cooperation.

Your material cooperation is likely not to be justifiable if:

– You are well off financially and do not need this job.

– You have available to you another, equally good job that doesn’t require you to provide material cooperation in this sin.

– You have an alternative, such as a boss who is willing to stop selling the pornography if you approached him about it.

If you do decide to continue your employment at this gas station then certainly praying for those who buy this material is a good idea. You might even think of ways to go step further – provided it won’t job in jeopardy.

I hope this is a help. For further insight I would encourage you to check out the article Accomplice in The Original Catholic Encyclopedia.

3 thoughts on “Can I Sell Porn? (Participating in Evil)

  1. Claire Bondy says:

    Great question… wonderful response! Thanks Matt!

    • Ms. Jenna says:

      I Like your response however……There are a lot of accommodations that employers have to make based on religious freedoms….I believe a case for accommodations could be made with your employer. Just as a person under 21 cannot sell alcohol (an employee 21 and over has to step in and scan that item for the customer.) I would think that you could let your employer know that based on your religious beliefs you cannot knowingly sell pornography and would need someone else to scan that item. just as the case of alcohol sales mentioned earlier. I believe that to be a reasonable accommodation to request of your employer and an option for you. You might say that that just causes the other employee an occasion to sin…..That occasion to sin was accepted by you and the other employee when you took a job where you knew pornography was sold. Maybe if ALL of the employees refused to sell it the business might stop carrying it. Sadly there will most likely be plenty of employees who will not have a problem reaching over to scan that item for you. And….WoW! What an Important action of Faith that would be for customer and employee to witness. Ie. The employee would mostly know why they had to scan it for you and the customer may or may not ask why. No matter just the passive action of not participating in a peaceful way will be a strong and powerful witness to those around you as to your religious beliefs and stead fast faith….Live your faith out LOUD even in your silence!

  2. Well written, Matt! It would be the same for a teenager working in a convenience store or pharmacy that sells condoms or the pill. Unless it is their intention to approve of the sale, they do not sin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Don't miss a post - enter your email address below.

Join 3,132 other followers

New Book!

My new DVD: How to Win an Argument without Losing a Soul.

Free E-Book!

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 892,961 Visits
%d bloggers like this: