Pernicious Porn Plagues the Church Too

October 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

Last week, I invited my high school English students to select the technology they thought was most important. If they could choose only one, would they choose the printing press, the automobile, or electricity?

I was a bit surprised that, among a group of new drivers or soon to be new drivers, no one selected the car. And to my disappointment, not many of them selected the printing press either. Even so, some of their arguments for choosing electricity were sound: medical advances, food preservation and storage, ease of access to useful information.

Unfortunately, they have ease of access to much more than useful information. Even more unfortunate is that porn today is so much more than pictures in the Playboy magazines of yore. That publication recently decided that publishing photos of nude women is “just passe” since “you’re just one click away from every sex act imaginable.”

So our culture has moved beyond the one dimensional photographs that young men often had to sneak around to acquire years ago. We have arrived in a new world, accessible to young and old, male and female, of moving images and tantalizing sounds mirroring reality.

But the mirror is distorted.

Many people think of pornography as a “victimless” crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Evil offers a poor substitute every chance it gets. And it exploits participant and viewer, the preyed upon and the addicted.

Many people don’t realize that what we see and hear wires our brains. We just don’t concretely process that what comes into us through our eyes becomes part of us and how we function in our everyday moments. We do not escape what we watch. At the same time, we find it easier to turn away when we learn of the horrors that sometimes are right before our eyes.

People who make money from pornography have brains wired to see people as commodities rather than sacred beings. Brains that feed on pornography become wired into addiction. Many of them are us.

According to Covenant Eyes, an internet accountability site, 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women watch porn EVERY MONTH. And while 51 percent of pastors say internet porn is a temptation, 75 percent of them have no accountability partners regarding their own internet use.

But the worst part of porn is what it is doing to our future generations.

Nine of ten boys and six out of ten girls have seen porn before their eighteenth birthdays. And let’s remember, because of computer technology, it’s very likely that the porn they have seen is more than a singular, still image. Eighty-eight percent of scenes in porn videos depict sexual aggression. That’s a far cry from airbrushed photos of women in peaceful settings.

Porn and another “victimless” crime, prostitution, are hand holding stepsisters. When we think of sex trafficking, we tend to think of countries in Africa or Asia. CNN reports that in Atlanta, Georgia, the city with the largest and busiest airport in the nation, the illegal sex trade garners $290 million every year with some pimps making $32,000 EVERY week. These businesses overwhelmingly exploit the young.

According to the Araminta Freedom Initiative, a ministry to the sexually trafficked in Baltimore, the average age someone enters prostitution in the U.S. today is 13. Thirteen years old and sold for sex! In America!

Someone may argue that the connection between porn and trafficking is tenuous. But 80 percent of those rescued from trafficking testify that they were forced to watch pornography in preparation for their ‘work’.

Sex businesses have been growing for years in America, but the outcry against them has been subdued. Maybe our brains just cannot process the horror. We have yet to see it with our own eyes.

Christ’s followers can speak with one voice to remedy this plague. If we can log off long enough to realize what is really happening, even right around us, even within us.


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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