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Our Porn-Perverted Public

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I came across a pretty detailed and fascinating article the other day, entitled “How the GOP Gave Up on Porn” by Tim Alberta, over at Politico. The subheading readings: “Once, the fight against pornography was the beating heart of the American culture war. Now porn is a ballooning industry—and maybe a harmful one—with no real opponents. What happened?”

The article goes through the political battle against pornography that we used to see in America and looks at how that has not only been pushed to the side but completely off the table. Jerry Falwell Sr. and his Moral Majority crusaded against the proliferation of porn in the 70s and 80s, while in the 2010s his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. supported Trump for President, called him “God’s man” and even took a photo with Trump where, just over the shoulder of Falwell’s wife can be seen a gold-framed photo of an issue of Playboy with Trump on the cover from 1990.

Now, I’m not saying Falwell Jr. shouldn’t have supported Trump, but it is an interesting point I hadn’t thought about—where did the political battle against pornography go? It seems like the movement has simply lost its momentum after being slapped around in the courts so much.

And it’s true—porn is pretty pervasive and it’s more and more accepted all the time. And it’s terrible, and disgusting, and evil, and soul-crushing. Look at our culture—people like Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson are household names, and who’s really bothered by that? Movies and even TV shows are increasingly comfortable making jokes about and basing whole scenes on pornography. And who’s really bothered by that?

How many people wouldn’t understand a Debbie Does Dallas or Deep Throat reference?

And, come on. Hugh frickin’ Hefner. The guy was an awful, terrible, disgusting human being. And yet, when he died last year, he was praaaised to the Heavens. Larry King tweeted: “Hugh Hefner was a GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights. He was a true original, and he was my friend. Rest well Hef;” Norman Lear tweeted: “We’ve lost a true explorer, a man who had a keen sense of the future. We learned a lot from you Mr. Hefner,” and the “Reverend” Jesse Jackson tweeted: “Hugh Hefner was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. We shall never forget him. May he Rest In Peace”—just for a few examples.

Seriously, people, this is a travesty. These celebrities might as well just admit they’re perverts and enjoy getting their rocks off from Hefner’s material. But Norman Lear was correct when he called him “a man who had a keen sense of the future.” Hugh Hefner is one of the main players, perhaps the most important, in normalizing pornography in our culture and the foundation of Playboy led to increasingly more and more perverse and violent forms of pornography.

The porn business is now one of the most lucrative in America and the world. According to the aforementioned article, “five of the fifty most trafficked websites in the United States. belong to the adult industry.”

Playboy paved the way for more perverse and violent forms of pornography because addiction to porn is real, and addictions never stay at the same level—the addicted person needs more and more thrilling forms of whatever they’re addicted to, as we know well from drugs. But porn is the same—it increasingly darkens the human soul, perverting one’s entire worldview and dominating their daily schedule and priorities if allowed to go that far. And what’s more—it undoubtedly leads to violent crimes.

Ted Bundy is perhaps the most well-known example of this—a serial killer created by pornography.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone—if you continually fill your soul with garbage, is it any wonder that garbage comes out of it? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Mt. 12:34), but He does not limit it to speaking. Of course, we act according to what is in our hearts as well.

By watching pornography, we abuse not only ourselves, but also any family members who believe in our fidelity and who count on us to lead an upright life and provide for them, and all those whom we end up objectifying thanks to the perverting influence of pornography, and, of course, we abuse those who “act” in the films. They wouldn’t be in such films if there were no audience.

And it’s a well-known fact that porn stars, especially the women, are treated as less than human, are often addicted to drugs, and often plunge into deep states of depression. And everyone who watches pornography is complicit in these things.

And it’s hard to imagine a greater reversal, perversion of what God intends for us. Recall how this whole thing got turned upside down. Adam and Eve were placed in Paradise, living in free communion with God, giving a whole host of delights. But, they were in a state of spiritual enlightenment—their gaze was pointed upwards. Even something like the delicious fruit in the garden was not to remain on the level of mere sensual pleasure—eating of it was to engender spiritual pleasure and gratitude towards God.

And this is the problem—Adam and Eve beheld the forbidden fruit as perceived it as an object of mere sensual pleasure—how pleasing it was to the eye. They took something good and made it base and death-dealing.

And this is precisely what we do with all sexual sins, including pornography. The Lord gave Adam his wife Eve to be his helpmeet—not first of all to make him dinner and clean the house, but to help him move ever closer towards God. Other people give us opportunities for patience, for humility, for tenderness, for love, etc—all those things that make us like God.

But sexual sins, including pornography, take another human being, made in the image of God, who is given to us to make us more like God, and view them as nothing but sensual objects—just a means to our own gratification. We view and treat them as less than human. Think about how often you’re lost in lustful thoughts—imagining what to do to another person and sometimes even plotting how to bring it about in real life. You’ve essentially killed this person in your heart because you no longer see them as a human.

Moreover, through sexuality we join with God in His creative acts, bringing new life into the world, but sexual sins, on the contrary, bring only destruction and make us more like uninhibited animals.

And all of this is connected to the madness we are seeing in America today with the LGBT movement and men in women’s bathrooms and all the rest, and the persecution against anyone with enough sense to resist these movements.

In this regard, it would be a great blessing to see the political fight against pornography come back to America. We are dangerously off-course and we need to be set aright. However, this task is, of course much deeper than politics and involves the heart of every person, where there lurks the darkest of demons, or the brightest of angels—whichever we choose to invite in.

Author: Jesse Dominick