Pass [on] The Porn Please

no_porn_mantasticrevivalFor some time now I have felt compelled to discuss the topic of pornography in this forum. To say that I’ve resisted a full on exploration and article on the topic would be an understatement. The thing I absolutely don’t want to write about seems to be the thing that I absolutely must write about. In fact, I find myself unable to write on any of the other topics that would be helpful to the cause of authentic masculinity while this unfinished business sits festering on my plate.   Over the past forty-five days, all of the time I typically allocate to writing has been directed towards this topic. I have compiled over one hundred pages of research and am still in the process of decoding it. Some of the findings have caused me such a deep and great sadness that I have, at times, found myself in a hopeless malaise for days on end. Other findings on the topic have made me feel as if I would be physically ill were I to keep reading. This is undoubtedly a sordid business and believe me, If I had a choice, if I could pull myself to write anything else … anything at all, I would leave this to another and get back to our journey of exploring what it means to be a real man. Dealing with this business of porn is absolutely pivotal and the time has come.

I’m certainly not the first to look at the porn explosion and wonder if there might just be long-term societal implications and consequences. ptp_quote1_mantasticrevivalAfter forty-five days of extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that giving this issue proper attention may well require a book not a blog. One of the most significant challenges has been establishing an approach. Should I present a random collection of facts and studies? Should I give the issue a human face and present the stories of recovering porn addicts or young women who have found themselves trapped in it’s clutches? In my estimation, much of this has been done, perhaps not well, but nonetheless done.

So far I have been unable to find an argumentation against pornography that is correspondent, coherent and pragmatic, that is to say diverse and logically sound. I found many people, some of whom seemed important, saying many things, some of which seemed important. There was no shortage of religious writers taking a stand upon various dogmatic premisses. For example, the argument, which I most often encountered, went something like this – lust is sin and sin is bad; porn causes lust, so porn is sin and thus porn is bad. It’s a valid argument for the subset of the population who embrace one of the worldviews that acknowledges the problem of sin. I read the work of many psychiatrists and social scientists presenting findings and studies of all sorts. To my surprise, I found very few females taking issue with porn and even fewer who argued against it from a feminist perspective, which would seem to be the most pragmatic argument of all. Equally surprising was the lack of a consistent stance by the socially liberal humanitarians who vehemently stand on every single human rights issue imaginable but seem fairly quiet on this one.

Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I have decided to undertake the most difficult of paths and attempt to develop a diverse and logically sound argumentation against pornography. Setting this task in front of me, I quickly realized that developing a “logically sound” argument would be the easy part and that developing a “diverse and logically sound” argument would be exceedingly difficult. To accomplish this, I will reuse a modified framework established in a piece I previously wrote, Believe Something, concerning the importance of every male establishing a cohesive and coherent worldview as a first step in answering some of life’s largest questions. This framework will address pornography from both the theistic and nontheistic worldviews.

Over the course of this effort, I have identified many related issues and nuances to this debate. It is important to note that this article is only an introduction, may lead to others, and perhaps even a more exhaustive work to be published at a later time. It is not an exaggeration at all to state that less than ten percent of what I have found has been published in this particular paper.  With all of that being said, I place my proposition for this article on the table for consideration:

Pornography use, among males, has become a destructive force in our world and the task of reducing, if not eliminating, it should be a top priority for every person who cares about our world and believes that a positive course for humanity depends, in some way or another, upon the establishment of a positive course for its males.

I will argue this, albeit briefly, from the previously mentioned positions. The argument from each position could eventually be extensive; however, for brevity sake each will be summarized to the most salient and impactful points. My objective is that, no matter the worldview, you will find this above proposition to be true. My goal is that of the many males who read this, some will be forever changed. My deepest hope and desire, that which has kept me dedicated to this task these forty-five days, is that there will be the few, so compelled, that they will join with me in action. To accomplish this task, I have organized the argument around five headings:

  • Humanity and the Future of Males
  • The Face of Porn
  • Nontheistic Perspectives
  • Theistic Perspectives
  • The Case For Change

Humanity and the Future of Males

I realize that this proposition builds upon a premise that you must first accept as true, or at lease plausible, if you are to find concord in the argument to follow. A positive course for humanity depends in many ways, upon the establishment of a positive course for its males. That is in no way exclusive, of course the same could be said of the establishment of a positive course for its females. That is not the focus here for two reasons. First, that has been done and is well underway by way of classical feminism (note the distinction between classical feminism and modern feminism which are decidedly different to be sure). Secondly, females don’t seem to be on a crash course to self-destruction. Males, on the other hand, do – not males in the majority, but a growing number. Dr. Ray Williams, in his Psychology Today article, Our Male Identity Crisis, writes:

The issue of the male identity is of crucial importance because males are falling behind in school, committing more suicides and crimes, dying younger and being treated for conditions such as ADHD more than females

Dr. Zimbardo is a psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University, part of the secular academy, and while I don’t agree with much of his worldview, we see eye to eye on this issue.  In his TED talk, The Demise of Guys, he quickly paints a scary picture of the state of things and ends by saying:

But who should care? The only people who should care about this is parents of boys and girls, educators, gamers, filmmakers and women who would like a real man who they can talk to, who can dance, who can make love slowly and contribute to the evolutionary pressures to keep our species above banana slugs.

Two different sources and two different proven points of reference; males are in trouble and males matter to the future of humanity. Of course there is the basic fact that, biologically speaking, no new life can be created without a certain male contribution. But more, family outcomes, and hence societal outcomes, and hence the outcome of all humanity is simply better when well-adjusted males are present. Dr. David Popenoe, a noted sociologist, has done extensive research in the field and has said, “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home,” he says. “Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.”

Men bring so much to the table when it comes to the future of humanity it would seem ludicrous to argue against it. Then again, we do live in the age that embraces the ludicrous so shoring up the argument is time well spent.

I have written extensively on the state of manhood in the west and it doesn’t take a genius to look at the world around us and know that something is broken. The average young male has played 10,000 hours of video games by the age of twenty, two-thirds of that in isolation, the average man views a multitude of pornographic clips per week yet only reads an average of 1.5 books per year, women outnumber men in the workforce, testosterone levels and sperm counts are at historic lows. The enemies of decency act with impunity while capable men waste away in cubicles still chasing the new and improved American dream. The reasons we have ended up here are diverse but I am now more convinced than ever that the porn explosion is a major contributor.

The State of Porn

Two areas need to be examined here; the state of porn as an industry, and the state of porn as a part of the 21st century male experience. ptp_quote2_mantasticrevivalFirst we will examine porn as an industry. One of the first things one must come to terms with is that there is a limited selection of reliable data about this industry. By its very nature, it is fragmented, rapidly evolving, and poorly defined. In the past, before the Internet, the Adult Entertainment industry had a set of industry codes (SIC / NAICS) but now, with much of the content being produced outside of the U.S. and delivered via the Internet – it is much harder.   Much of this revenue is baked into mainstream film, video, publishing, and Internet content providers.

In 2013, a Swedish research team, lead by Bettan Andersson, released a study that contained the most useful definition I have found so far:

The sex industry is largest and most profitable industry in the world and includes street prostitution, brothels, ‘massage parlors’, strip clubs, human trafficking for sexual purposes, phone sex, child and adult pornography, mail order brides and sex tourism – just to mention a few of the most common examples.

This definition is particularly helpful in that it reframes the conversation from “Adult Entertainment” which masks the dark reality that the fastest growing porn related search term is “teen” – not particularly adult or entertaining for that matter. It also broadens the conversation from the boundaries of just Internet pornography. Andersson, et all, call it what it is … the sex industry, an entire industry that deals in the trade of sex, real or fantasy.

The sex industry is nothing new. Some say that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. I’m convinced that the first thing men drew, when they discovered that drawing was even possible, were images of naked women in some form or the other. Our obsession with the nude female body is archetypical and innate. It is not bad, dirty, or shameful in any way. So much of our design is in search of “her design “ that it would be naive to think that this is, in some way new or unique to our generation. But something is unique and that is a switch from erotica, still images of nude women, to motion pictures of nude women involved in sexual acts, and ultimately to what we have now which is a never ending stream of explicit and hard core clips with no plot, no story, no humanity … just cut to the point sex in whatever flavor you can imagine. Any and all forms of it are potentially problematic; however, the latter is particularly dangerous and destructive.

According to a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, among a sample of men having an average age of 24, in a given week, fifty-eight percent of men use pornography between three and ten times. As this graphic depicts, only six percent of these men claimed not to use pornography in a given week.

ptp_img1_mantasticrevival

The Internet is the number one delivery and consumption mechanism for hardcore pornography and it is growing at a break neck pace. According to Google trends the Internet interest score for “porn” has been steadily growing since 2004, as you can see in the graphic below:

ptp_img2_mantasticrevival

Also notable are the changing trends for what types of porn are more commonly searched. There is evidence that male porn consumers are demanding increasingly hardcore content, what some analysts call mega hardcore content. For example, in the superset of searches for porn, there are various searched terms. According to Google trends the term “Teen Porn” has more than tripled between 2005 and 2013. Just to give you an idea as to the scope … in March of 2013 there were an estimated 500,000 searches for the phrase “Teen Porn”. Just in case you have forgotten, in the U.S.A., sexual intercourse with a minor is against the law. What that means is that the most consumed flavor of porn is a representation of an vile, if not illegal, sexual encounter. These changing trends may indeed signal a kind of porn progression from the usual, to the unusual, to the downright extreme, and finally to the illegal and vile. So where is the state of porn heading? According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately twenty percent of all Internet pornography involves children.   If past trends predict future trends, could the next most searched porn phase involve the word “child”. I shutter to think how close to reality this could actually be.

The Face of Porn

“Amateurs come across better on screen. Our customers feel that. Especially by women you can see it, they still feel strong pain”

-Giancarlo Scalisi, Owner – 21 Sextury Video

One of the few feminist oppositions to the porn explosion in the 21st Century that I found was edited by Katharine Sarikakis, a professor at The University of Vienna, entitled, “Feminist Interventions in International Communication: Minding the Gap.” The opening quote is found in an entire chapter that is devoted to this issue. After reading this chapter, I found myself feeling physically ill and I set this project aside for almost two entire weeks. I simply could not pull myself to write of these things. UNICEF estimates that over two million children are exploited in the commercial sex trade each year. Furthermore, the global trade for enslaved women is estimated between seven and twelve billion dollars.

In researching this section, I have read many stories. Stories of young women who found themselves wrapped up in the porn industry. There are common elements in so many of the stores; absent daddy’s, divorced parents, abusive step dads, starved for attention, drugs, more drugs, and “I never thought that would be me”. Some of the stories had good endings of freedom and a new life … most did not.

 I’ve decided to never do it again a hundred times, but I don’t know, the money is so hard to say no to. The weirder the shit, the better the money. Maybe it’s the money, maybe it’s just that all I really want is to believe that someone could still love me even if it is just for one scene. No, it’s the money … I gave up on being loved a long time ago. No one could love me now, not after this, there is no hiding all the fucked up shit I’ve done … it’s all on-line. I’ve cried myself to sleep a lot of nights, and bled myself to sleep others … not sure if bleeding or crying is worse. Guess they are about the same. I don’t know … its all just hard, I never thought life would be this hard.

This was an excerpt from an interview with an Internet porn actress. This article went on to note that she died of a drug overdose a few weeks later. In her tell all expose, Shelly Lubben, an ex-porn star and founder of The Pink Cross Foundation, quotes Tanya Buleson, herself a former porn-star, “It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object – not as a human with a spirit. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated.

Rape is a form of human sexual assault involving sexual intercourse initiated against one or more individuals without the consent of those individuals. This is the most basic definition. Other definitions goes on to further note that the act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent. ptp_quote3_mantasticrevivalThis extended definition has taken root in the American judicial system and is generally accepted. Somewhere along the way, as I read these stories, it occurred to me … porn is rape. Story after story of young woman after young woman, financially dependent, drug dependent and emotionally confused, psychologically broken, and all incapable of providing “valid consent”. Porn exists under the guise of consent.   Most men, even those regular users of pornography, cringe at the idea of forced sexual intercourse. The purveyors of porn know that … for porn to work, it must give the appearance of consent, but here is the harsh reality – 99.9 percent of the women in those videos DO NOT want to be having sex with the men they are having sex with. Hence the rampant drug use among the performers. The reasons they do it are complex, but rarely is it because they really like the guy and want to have sex with him and post it on the Internet for all to see. In many cases, Most porn is rape, there is no way around it. Porn brings the user pleasure at the expense of someone else. Porn is not harmless and nor is it victimless. It is an industry of hidden and intense suffering.

As if that were not enough, there are societal implications to the porn explosion as well. There are psychological implications for the regular consumer of porn that include significant modifications to the brains usual neural pathways, diminished dopamine sensitivity, development of a vast array of personality disorders, sexual compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and more. There are physiological implications as well, which will be discussed in a later section. Early research shows that fathers who regularly use pornography are not able to properly bond with their children in normal and healthy ways. There are even recent statistics from the United States Office on Violence against Women that show a steady year over year increase in domestic abuse. Even studies to prove that after viewing pornography men are more likely to experience less empathy toward abused women and more likely to act aggressively towards and against women. The items in this short paragraph deserve an article unto themselves; for now, I hope they have gotten your attention.

I’ve made no mystery of my purpose in writing this article; I’ve been honest from the beginning. It is my goal to convince you that porn is a problem and that it is a problem that we need to not only acknowledge but also do something about. The use of porn requires, at a minimum, the objectification of the performers. Once one sees the humanity in another, objectification is that much harder. I hope that these last few paragraphs have made blind objectification near impossible.

Points of View – Theistic and Nontheistic

As previously noted, there is no shortage of religious based arguments against pornography; however, many of them are either logically weak, if not flawed, or irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t embrace that particular worldview. All worldviews can eventually be grouped into one of two super groups; nontheistic and theistic. If I am to successfully argue my proposition regarding pornography, I will need to argue from each perspective. To do that, in many ways, I will assume that identity as I discuss the implications of pornography from within it. For that approach to work, one must affirm the worldview, for the purposes of argumentation. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I personally embrace that particular worldview. If you are a regular reader of my work or have heard any of my talks on what it means to be male and what it means to be a man, you will know that I hold to a very specific belief set that falls within the theistic frame. I have selected this approach, because a person’s views regarding a Supreme Being, or lack thereof, shape their views on the origins of humans, the problem of evil, pleasure, and the existence of a moral law. It is the most logical arena in which to hold this match.

Nontheistic Perspectives

If your worldview does not contain the concept of a single god, the God, or the gods – you hold to a nontheistic worldview. There are far to many to discuss in detail here; however, suffice it to say that all forms of nontheism are necessarily naturalistic with regards to the origins of, and future for, humanity. Atheism, deism, agnosticism … these are commonly collected into this super group. With regards to pornography, there are countless avenues that I could select; however, in the interest of time, space, and attention span … I will select but one.

For most nontheists Evolution shapes the answers to the life’s larger questions. The questions of origins, purpose, and destiny are certainly answered in the most basic form of naturalistic evolution. Obviously, panspermic evolutionary theory changes things considerably, but the point can be made either way. Some would say that evolution fails to explain morality, which may or may not be true. Perhaps evolutionary theory when considered alongside an emergent view of the mind and body problem, which states that the mind/soul emerges from the complex biochemical processing of the human body, does just that. Even if one can prove that Evolution fails to answer the question of morality, that is to say what is right, what is wrong, and who decides; that is okay, morality isn’t necessary to make a strong argument against pornography in a nontheistic worldview.

Evolutionary theory holds that species evolve by way of natural selection and that certain random mutations, over time, make the organism more fit to survive and thrive. These mutated organism thrive, become new species entirely, and some continue to advance up the food chain. So what does all of this have to do with porn? According to evolution, humans have developed the holy grail of evolutionary adaptations – the ability to reason. To reason can mean many different things, but in this context we can simplify it to mean we are capable of if-then scenarios and outcome evaluation. Other species can do this to some degree, but we have the unique ability to do it over the long run and in consideration of all prior data points, that is to say historical reflection. Having reached this state, humans are now able to control certain environmental variables. Now if the oxygen content in our atmosphere were to change, according to evolution, certain humans would be naturally selected as fit to survive. That is a variable that is, in some ways, out of our control. Now if a variable is introduced that is harmful and controllable, in time, reasoning humans will modify it. We see this exact example with smoking. Chemically altered cigarettes were introduced into our environment and instead of waiting for a naturally selected mutation of humans that could smoke these cigarettes without destroying tissues important for life; humans began the process to remove the environmental variable.

If I may digress one last time, I will then draw these things together in a compelling argument against pornography that withstands even the most morally relativistic nontheist. The Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen theorized, and proved, that if he could systematically identify the stimuli that triggered certain behaviors, then exaggerate those stimuli (called supernormal stimuli), he could trigger the same instincts. What he found was that not only were they triggered, once triggered, they had no limits. For example, a mother bird would prefer to feed a fake baby bird inserted into the nest that was manufactured with a wider and redder beak than the real chicks. This behavior could be so exaggerated as to end in the demise of some of the actual baby birds and the malnourishment of others. This can be observed in the animal kingdom today. ptp_img3_mantasticrevivalThe Julodimorpha Beetle is biologically programmed to find the female with largest, brownest, and most dimpled hind end for mating. Enter a discarded beer bottle and you have these male beetles spending their remaining existence trying to mate with it. These, like the cigarette example that came before, represent controllable environmental variables. As reasoning humans, history proves, that we will remove them in time. We will attack cigarettes with regulations and media blitz, spare the poor little mommy bird the fake chicks, and clean up our trash so that the poor little Julodimorpha Beetle can stop humping bottles and find his soul mate.

These next few hundred words may forever ruin pornography for even the most devout nontheist. Don’t blame me, take it up with Dr. Valeria Voon, who heads the Compulsive Behaviors Research Group at Cambridge University, and who just released a long-awaited study – Neural Correlates of Sexual Cue Reactivity in Individuals with and without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors. This study brings many of the potential long-term implications of pornography use to bear. One such finding being:

 CSB subjects reported that as a result of excessive use of sexually explicit materials….. experienced diminished libido or erectile function specifically in physical relationships with women (although not in relationship to the sexually explicit material)

In short, the excessive use of pornography results in a diminished desire for actual women, and increased desire for supernormal stimuli (hard core porn), and eventual erectile dysfunction in that context. Like the Julodimorpha Beetle, the porn using male, spends his days trying to make it with an old beer bottle while lady beetle after lady beetle walks on by. Remember the graph from the section above titled, The State of Porn, wherein we looked at the rapid increase in Internet search interest for the keyword porn according to Google Trends? What if, over the same period of time, we add a new dimension to that data. The total units prescribed for the top three pharmaceuticals specified for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. ptp_img4_mantasticrevivalDuring that period of time from 2004 to 2010, Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra ruled the ED world. When we do that, we see an undeniable correlation between the interests in Internet porn and the need for medication to treat erectile dysfunction. The data is slowly coming into focus and, I believe, more is to come. We will look back on the past several years and, much like happened when the full impact of smoking cigarettes became clear, ask ourselves, “what were we thinking!” The porn explosion is a controllable variable that has been introduced into our environment and it will significantly impact the survival of our species. Porn use leads to impotence and impotence challenges the survival of the fittest. If indeed the ability to reason is the highest order mutation, naturally selected and perfected over millions of years, then once we know the facts, we will make a change. As such, nontheists should be out front in the fight against pornography.

Theistic Perspectives

One might think that, as a theist myself, this would be the easiest section to write; however, I have found that not to be the case as all. Taking a step back from my own views to take a broad look at this issue from a theistic perspective was a challenge indeed. Theism is any belief system that includes the existence of at least one god. By that definition, a theist may believe in one eternal God, an anthropomorphic person god, or even a pantheon of gods. Some traditions, like Hinduism are difficult to classify because they can be both nontheistic and theistic depending on the school of thought with regards to the Vedas. For these purposes, since a case can be made that Brahman exists outside of the human understanding of time and space and the Hindu tradition includes recognition of various deities, we will include it in this section.

As you recall, for the nontheist, morality, if it exists at all, emerges from human biological function and all consequences flow from naturalistic sources. So in that system, it is very easy to answer the question – is pornography right or wrong?  There is simply no escape from the natural consequences of long-term exposure to pornography. It re-wires your brain, changes the way you interact with others, makes you immune to the natural dopamine responses, and eventually messes up your junk.

For those who also embrace a moral law, moral lawgiver, and divine consequences … there is a whole other set of considerations on the issue. In these worldviews, the question of right and wrong comes from a moral law that is finite and given by a particular god or set of gods. Depending on the particular religion, consequences can either flow as punishments and rewards from a particular deity or as natural consequences from systems of order put in place by a particular god or set of gods. C.S. Lewis attempted to create a universal list of moral principles as an appendix entitled, Illustrations of the Tao or Natural Law, to his book entitled The Abolition of Man. There he compiled quotes from Chinese, Aborigine, Hindu, Australian, Jewish, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Babylonian, and other sources. So the idea of aggregating moral law to look for common ground isn’t uncommon at all. In 1995, the International Religious Foundation developed A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts to do just that. In this we find vast similarities in the various moral laws.

Any system, which we will call faiths, that has a moral law given by God acknowledges that the giver of the law must naturally be above the law, which means perfection in light of the law. As the perfect, thus holy, giver of the law to humans who are not perfect, thus unholy, the problem of sin is created. Sin is thought of as a debt, and must eventually be reconciled with a corresponding credit for the account to remain in balance. If the balance of good to sin is weighted towards sin, there will be consequences.

The Jewish faith would say that Jehovah / YHWH Himself balances justice with mercy and that, for the Hebrew, right actions atone for inequity. In much the same way, Muslims identify anything that goes against the commands of Allah as sin. For him, there is coming a day of judgment when the good deeds will be weighed against the bad. Both of these faiths recognize the problem of sin and both, historically have and do today, classify pornography as a violation against God – thus making pornography sin. The Torah and Talmud both speak often of the mistreatment of woman and the sanctity of sexual pleasure as being reserved for one man and one woman only after being joined together in marriage. The Quran speaks often of the same with strong admonishment against inappropriate relationships, and all that is shameful, indecent, evil, rebellious and oppressive. One cannot have read the previous sections on The Face of Porn and not come to the conclusion that it is indeed indecent, evil, rebellious and oppressive. For believers in these faiths, and others like them, porn is sin and sin is a problem … the more porn there is, the bigger the problem. With 58% of men using porn between 3 and 10 times per week, that is a pretty big sin problem and I can only imagine the good works that must be piled up on the opposing scale to compensate.

According to Hindu philosophy, Dharma is essential for accomplishing material and spiritual goals and for the growth of the individual and society. Karma denotes an action that brings back results in this life or in a future life, a balanced system of cause and effect – good and bad. The goal of the faithful in this system is to conduct Dharma without violating Karma. We can clearly see in this system that something taken at the expense of another violates Karma. It is no stretch at all to say that the taking of sexual gratification at the expense of another is an action that will bring back results in this life or in a future life. Just recall the story of the actress who, being so lost in the porn industry, never found safety and satisfaction in love and took her own life. So what of those who took advantage of her, when she was at her lowest, and offered her these jobs knowing she had no other choice? What of those who took pleasure in the videos that ended up costing her life? Karma was violated indeed and what in this world could set that right again?

And now to the Christian, the easiest and, at the same time, most challenging group for whom to make this point. Christians, like myself, understand that God created us and has given a set of moral laws as well as a set of natural laws. We understand that both come from Him and that violation of them results in natural consequences as well as eternal consequences. Christians do not believe in the balancing of the scales of right and wrong. Christians are called such because they follow Jesus Christ, who being God Incarnate, came to earth, affirmed the law and then took it to its eventual conclusion. For example, Jesus said, “You have heard that is was said, you shall not commit adultery; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Over and over, Jesus leveled the playing field until all humans found themselves undone by the unattainable perfection required by the law. He then gave himself as the ultimate atoning sacrifice to pay for that sin, past, present, and future. In the Christian worldview, all of a believer’s sin is piled up one side of the scale and Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection proceeds to blow up the scale. Christians call that grace. So it would seem that the Christian is in the unique position to understand porn as sin but use it anyway. But they don’t … why? Evangelical Christian Men are 26% less likely to use pornography on a regular basis. Given their unique understanding of redemption and grace, wouldn’t it be the opposite? The Christian worldview says that in the beginning God gave humans only one law, they broke that law, so he gave them ten, which became hundreds, then thousands, then came Jesus, then all laws became one law, a two-part statement of utter perfection – Love God … Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. For the Christian, this is THE spiritual law and it changes everything. To the Christian, my argumentation against pornography should be most compelling. Your God came to earth in the form of a man, exchanged his life for yours, stood in front of the laws you could not keep, and only gave you one that you have to keep … Love Him & Love Others. To the Christian man, grace is no excuse for porn. There is nothing loving about the act or the industry. To the Christian man, those who came before you, the Christian men of old would never had stood by and let such atrocities occur. No, they would have stood in line to fight against it? Christian men should be the least likely to use porn and the most ready to stand and fight against it.

The Case for Change

I find it strange that we fought a war on American soil to end slavery and many other wars all over the world to end other heinous human rights violations and now we sit back and watch as this economically rich and morally bankrupt culture of ours fuels a new brand of slavery that has 1.3 million women and children held in bondage and countless others putting on shows by day and weeping by night. How sad that this marvelous invention, the Internet, which has changed the world for so many, has become the premier delivery mechanism for smut. I remember getting my first modem and plugging it into the computer, hearing that dial up tone, beep … beep … beeeeep, then all of the sudden, I was connected to the world. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is going to change everything … the world will never be the same again.” Little did I know that in less than a decade, that little device would create a new wild west. I have young children in my home and have had to install filters to keep them safe and block sites like YouTube all together. I don’t want to live in a world like this and I don’t want to turn it over to my kids until we fix what we broke.

I have presented my proposition against pornography, and the argument is compelling. Pornography is destructive for you and dangerous for our society. In many ways, as humans, our desires are our primary weakness. I lived through the era when cigarettes went from being presented as something normal that everyone does, with cool cowboys and hip camels all they way through the national lawsuits against the tobacco industry and now to the utter villainizaton of that same industry, and for good reason. Do people still smoke cigarettes? Of course they do! But there is a big difference between making an unhealthy choice, or having a momentary lapse in judgment, and continuing in a pattern unknowing of the eventual consequences.

And now what might be the most notable accomplishment of this entire work. The work required so that no worldview stands in which pornography can be logically defended has been done. Now what is left to do? In this defense we have one of the few opportunities to gather the most diverse group of men ever seen around a common cause. As men, chief among our duties is to leave this world better than we found it. In this we have found a rare patch of common ground on which Evolutionists, Creationists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, and others can stand together. The reasons we fight will be as diverse as we, but fight we will.

I challenge each of you to enter your name and email address in the boxes below and say, “YES, I want to join in the fight against porn.” By doing so you will be included in the mailing list and receive the first e-mail containing information on our next steps.

2 thoughts on “Pass [on] The Porn Please

  1. I just finished reading your post. It is large. I want to start by saying I agree with your premise. I (as you) look at this from a theistic point of view but I also believe that if you look at this from a non theistic point of view you will draw the same conclusions. The destructiveness of porn is unable to be overstated. I will say this that you brought up many points but were only able to touch the surface of each one I do hope that you expand on each point as time goes on. This is a worthy fight but one of the hardest you will have in your life. I will pray for you. I will also pray for the downfall of the porn industry.

    Liked by 1 person

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