EWTN Catholic Q&A
Buying offensive material
Question from L.R. on 11-24-2012:

Assuming you have the money, if you see something immoral in a store (like some trading cards) would it be advisable to purchase the entire stock and destroy it so that no one commits sin or is tempted by the item? A more extreme example would be issues of Playboy.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 11-24-2012:

L.R.--

No, it would not be advisable, not because there is anything immoral in doing so but because doing so would be counterproductive. All you would accomplish is to lead the store to believe that it must acquire more stock to meet the "demand," which actually could raise the popular value of the item. In fact, it is a commonly-told publishing story that Jacqueline Susann, author of the tawdry soap-opera novel Valley of the Dolls, manipulated that novel to the top of publishing-industry lists by buying up stock of her novel at bookstores that she discovered reported sales to the newspapers for compilation of those lists. In so doing, she managed to become a "bestselling author" of other tawdry titles.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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