BATTLE PLAN AGAINST PORNOGRAPHY
Pornography is big business. According to U.S. News and World Report, the industry grossed an estimated $8 billion in 1997. That figure represents an expenditure of about $30 per person in the United States. That’s more than is spent annually on gambling!
Many men, Christians included, are caught in the deadly attraction to pornography. Barna says that as many as one in six pastors struggle with or are addicted to pornography. We can conclude, therefore, that in each of our churches a sizeable percentage of men in our pews on a Sunday morning are in the heat of battle concerning this malady. Not to mention the untold victims, wives, children, friends who are greatly affected by pornography. Bookstores, sexshops, TV, movies and now the internet are the primary vehicles for the filth that comes into our culture. Virtually everyone is affected by this evil.
Therefore, Christians must become involved in the battle against pornography (in whatever way God leads) in order to protect themselves and fulfill God’s call to be “salt and light.” Only then will we be able to protect the children and other people we love from what Chuck Colson calls a “pornographic culture.”
We are in the midst of a battle. Indeed, this is spiritual warfare. We must have a battle plan to fight pornography. Our battle plan must include our recognizing pornography for what it is, who the victims are and how to we bring healing to them and strategies to turn the tide regarding the devastating influence of pornography in our country.
I. What is pornography?
A. Pornography is a perversion that attacks everything God cherishes. Man is made in God’s image. Therefore, the theological foundation against pornography begins with the premise that every human life has dignity and is sacred. (Genesis 1:27)
B. Pornography is destroying the innocence of children (Mark 9:42). It has been estimated that approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually molested before the age of 18. The relationship of pornography to child sexual abuse is compelling. Seventy-seven percent of those who molested boys and 87 percent of those who molested girls said they were regular users of hard-core pornography. (See Information Sheet for more statistics and testimonies.)
C. Pornography is a lie.
Pornography says the best sex is outside of marriage. Pornography promises what it cannot deliver. Proverbs 9:17 tells us that “stolen waters are sweet . ” However, Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
II. Who are the victims and how can we bring heating to them?
A. Those who are addicted to pornography are victims. There is such a thing as the “pleasure of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25). However, according to James 1:1315, sin in its fullest form brings forth death. Death to our self-esteem, to meaningful relationships, to moral absolutes.
B. Those who have been harmed are victims. Families, wives and children, are directly affected. Women who have been raped and sexually abused are impacted forever. Babies are born with sexually transmitted diseases. Young people are scarred for life. Marriages are broken beyond repair. The dignity of women is degraded.
III. What action can we as believers take to turn the tide of pornography in our country?
A. We are to take a stand on our knees. Since this is a spiritual battle the war must be waged through prayer first and foremost (Ephesians 6:10-18).
B. The parable of the Good Samaritan provides our marching orders. We need to be the ones who minister the healing balm in the lives of pornography victims (Luke 10:27-37).
C. We need to be salt and light in our culture (Matthew 5:13-14). We need to help promote legislation and other activities that will help eliminate pornography from our land. It is our responsibility to be informed and take action as is appropriate toward the goal of ridding our land of this evil. (See Information Sheet for action steps that can be taken in your community.)
PORNOGRAPHY’S PERMEATION IN A SEXUALLY-SATURATED SOCIETY
Focus on the Family would like to thank the National Coalition for the Protection of Families & Children for providing the majority of resources and information below.
Consider the story of Brian Thompson. This 12-year-old boy spent two hours in his pastor’s study one day in the summer of 1987, repeatedly calling 976 dial-aporn message services. He was exposed to a variety of sexual activities, including intercourse between fathers and daughters and sexual activities between children. Two weeks after listening to dial-a-porn, Brian assaulted a four-year-old girl.
Unfortunately, this is all too common. Such stories raise the fundamental question of “Why is pornography so readily available?”] Today, pornography continues to teach an entire generation of young men distorted values about their sexuality, healthy relationships with women and respect. 2 This is both sobering and tragic.
I. Pornography’s Profile
A. Pornography is a broad general term which can be defined as “all sexually oriented material intended primarily to arouse the reader, viewer or listener.”
B. Pornography has permeated our society.
In 1996, Americans spent more than $8 billion on hard-core videos, peep shows, live sex acts, adult cable programming, sexual devices, computer porn, and sex magazines–an amount much larger than Hollywood’s domestic box office receipts and larger than all the revenues generated by rock and country music recordings. Americans now spend more money at strip clubs than at Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, and nonprofit theaters; at the opera, the ballet, and jazz and classical music performances–combined. 3
Most of the profits being generated by porn today are being earned by businesses not traditionally associated with the sex industry–by mom and pop video stores; by long-distance carriers like AT&T; by cable companies like Time Warner and Tele-Communications Inc; and by hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt, and Holiday Inn that now reportedly earn millions of dollars each year supplying adult films to their guests. 4
Despite having some of the toughest restrictions on sexually explicit materials of any Western industrialized nation, the United States is now by far the world’s leading producer of porn, churning out hard-core videos at the astonishing rate of about 150 new titles a week. 5
In 1996, Americans spent more than $150 million ordering adult movies on pay-per view. 6
According to Paul Fishbein, editor of Adult Video News, there are approximately 25,000 video stores that rent and sell hard-core films–almost 20 times the number of adult bookstores. 7
Since 1991, the number of new hard-core titles released each year has increased by 500 percent. 8
Playboy’s Web site, which offers free glimpses of its Playmates, now averages about five million hits a day. 9
Telephone sex–considered simply one more form of “audiotext” by executives in the trade–became a huge business in the 1980s despite government efforts at regulation. Every night, between the peak hours of 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., perhaps a quarter of a million Americans pick up the phone and dial a number for commercial phone sex. 10
In 1996, Americans spent between $750 million and $1 billion on telephone sex. AT&T is one of the biggest carriers of phone sex. 11
There are now more outlets for hard-core pornography in the United States than McDonalds’ restaurants. 12
The introduction of pornography to the information highway has made home computers the fastest growing and primary mode of distribution of illegal pornography.
A study by Nielsen Media Research indicated heavy traffic into the Penthouse Web site from corporate networks. Use of this Web site did not taper off at all during office hours. In just one month, employees from IBM, Apple and AT&T visited the site 12, 823 times. 13
Compaq Computer dismissed approximately 20 employees, each of whom had accessed sex-related Web sites more than 1,000 times. 14
II. Pornography and Children
A. Many people are shocked to learn that it has been estimated that approximately 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys will be sexually molested before age 18. The typical serial child molester will abuse more than 360 victims over the course of his lifetime. He is able to abuse 3060 children before he is even caught for the first time. 15 This abuse has affected millions of American families.
B. The relationship of pornography to child sexual abuse is compelling. In a study of convicted child molesters, 77 percent of those who molested boys said they were regular users of hard-core pornography. And 87 percent of those who molested girls said they were regular users of hard-core pornography. 16
C. UNICEF reports that one million children each year are forced into prostitution and used to make pornography.
D. Diane’s Story: “My name is Diane. I’ve always felt that pornography was bad, that it was harmful. But I felt that it didn’t affect me personally. No members of my family ever read pornography.
My husband’s family didn’t read pornography. We live in a small, close knit community. Pornography is not an issue there. I basically felt immune to its effects.
A year ago in April, my world was shattered by the effects of pornography. My three-year old daughter was raped and violated in every manner you can imagine by a twelve year old boy. When they arrested the young man, we were told that they would surely find sexual abuse in his background. And that this is the reason he did it on my daughter. After a thorough psycho-sexual evaluation, they came to one conclusion. There was a single motivating factor in what he did to my baby. He was exposed to pornography at a very vulnerable time in his life.
What he saw on those pages not only gave him the ideas of what to do and how to do it, but it gave him the permission to treat females in a degrading and debasing manner. Since he was only twelve years old, he needed to look for a female who was younger than him, who wouldn’t fight back. And so he raped and molested my daughter.
I’ve heard it said that pornography is a victimless crime. I’m standing here before you a victim of pornography. My little girl is a victim of pornography. My husband is a victim of pornography.
Even my four other children are victims. How do you explain to a fourteen-year old boy that his favorite little sister has been raped and violated in such a heinous manner?
But I also am standing here before you, and from my heart I can tell you, that this young man was a victim. He came from a good family. This wasn’t a boy who was in a gang. He’d never been in trouble with the law. He came from an intact family in a small community where everybody knows everybody. His parents sent him to a youth camp thinking that they were going to enrich his life with these two weeks in a summer youth camp. At that point, he was exposed to pornography.
He is a victim. His family is a victim. His mother loves him as much as I love my little girl. And his mother is as shattered as I am. Something is seriously wrong in this country when we protect the rights of a handful of men to make billions at the expense of women and children,”
III. Pornography and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A. In many sex-shops there are booths, referred to in the pornography industry as “glory holes.” These are holes sawed between adjoining booths so that patrons can perform anonymous sexual acts on one another from different booths as they fantasize to the videos. As Dr. Stephen Joseph, former Health Commissioner of New York City noted when he had one of the establishments raided and shut down, “The proprietors are essentially operating an AIDS breeding ground, with profit being the driving force.” 17
IV. Pornography, Sexual Abusers and Addicts “I have lived in prison a long time now and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to violence just like me. And without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography, without a question, deeply influenced and consumed by an addiction to pornography.” 18
–Ted Bundy, Convicted Killer (hours before his execution)
A. The National Victim Center now estimates that at least one woman is raped in the U.S. every 46 seconds.
B. A study by Dr. Marshall of adult sex offenders found that 86 percent of convicted rapists said they were regular users of pornography, with 57 percent admitting direct imitation of pornographic scenes they enjoyed in the commission of their rapes. 19
C. In Oklahoma City, as they eliminated over 150 sexually oriented businesses, the rape rate declined over 27 percent in the five-year period. During that same time, rape in the rest of the state continued to rise over 19 percent. 20
D. A 1979 study in Phoenix, Arizona, found that neighborhoods with a pornography business experienced 40 percent more property crime and 500 percent more sexual offenses than similar neighborhoods without a pornography outlet. 21
“It is not pornography that causes men to see women as sexual objects; it is a man’s natural tendency to regard women as sexual objects that causes pornography. Again, our desire to see human nature as innocent and pure, we blame outside forces when inside forces actually cause the problem. But pornography can exacerbate this unfortunate tendency….” 22
V. Pornography in Marriage
“Is it really possible that viewing hundreds of thousands of perfect looking naked women has no effect on the way a man sees his wife or girl friend, or women generally?” 23
“Pornography has been a part of my husband’s life since he was a teenager . . . I have begged and pleaded for him to understand how his interest in everyone else’s body and sex life is ruining our marriage . . . how can a woman close her eyes to the fact that a man prefers to watch a flick rather than be with her….”
–From a woman in Texas in a letter to the National Coalition
One woman’s story . . . “My husband began using porn as a teenager. What was once an adolescent hobby became the ‘other woman’ in our marriage. At first it was our intimacy that suffered. Then, his pastime grew into an addiction which then started to include more serious forms of ‘adultery.’ He was going to strip bars and sleeping with prostitutes. He was often late, with poor excuses. I noticed our money disappearing and never suspected he was spending nearly $500 a week to feed his addiction.
“Me? I felt responsible, ugly, ashamed, alone and hopeless. Why would he look at another woman unless I wasn’t pretty or sexy enough? Friends rejected my idea that his porn use was ruining our relationship. They told me to be sexier, more sexually responsive and available so that he wouldn’t look elsewhere. I tried all these things only to find they didn’t work. I ended up feeling like a failure, as a wife and a lover. Now I know it wasn’t me.
‘When we got help I found out his pornography use began before our marriage, as far back as his youth. Not only was it not my fault–it had nothing to do with me at all. After much counseling, we both understand he entered our marriage thinking I would cure all his sex problems. No wonder he was so disappointed and angry.
‘We’re still together. We are living proof that a pornography or sex addiction does not have to mean the end of your relationship.”
VI. Pornography and the First Amendment
A. Some argue that the First Amendment refers to freedom of speech, not “freedom of speech except for obscenity, pornography, or indecency.” However, one could apply the same logic to consumer fraud, conspiracy, libel, slander or falsely shouting, “fire” in a crowded theatre. None of these are protected by the First Amendment.
B. In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled in Miller vs. California that “this much has been categorically settled by the court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment.”
VII. The Theological Foundation against Pornography
The theological foundation against pornography begins with the premise that every human life has dignity and is sacred (Genesis 1:27). Thus, to be against pornography is to be pro-life. With this premise, therefore, illegal pornography should be opposed because:
A. It exploits and degrades people
B. It undermines families
C. It distorts personal and social relationships
D. It reduces the gift of sexuality to a level that lacks personal dignity, human tenderness, mutual love and ethical commitment which are part of God’s plan.
“Pornography . . . is against the divine image within us, against the soul–of the model, of the user, of the society. But a society that does not believe in a soul cannot make that argument.” 24
IIX. Four Practical Ways You Can Fight Pornography
A. Become knowledgeable about the issues concerning pornography. For example, read the report by the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography or order video and audio tapes from the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families.
B. Call or write elected government officials or local media expressing your views against pornography.
C. Speak with store managers who display pornographic materials and ask the materials to be moved out of sight.
D. Join others in your efforts. Call the organizations below to offer information and resources to you.
Enough is Enough
Roger and Dee Jepsen PO Box 888
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 278-8384 Web Site: www.enough.org
Monique Nelson PO Box 30117
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Morality and Media
Robert W. Peters, president
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 239
New York, NY 10115 Phone: (212) 870-3222 Fax: (212) 870-2765
Web site: www.netcom.com/–mimnyc
National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families 800 Compton Road, Suite 9224
Cincinnati, OH 45231
Phone: (531) 521-6227
Fax: (531) 521-6337
Web site: www.nationalcoalition.org
Helpful Hot Line Numbers
Victim Referral Hot Line Number
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (800) 826-7653Sexual Addiction Information
American Family Association Hot Line (800) 366-8387
Minirith Meier National Counseling Hot Line (800) 639-5433
1 Both national Commissions to study pornography agreed that among the largest consumer groups of pornography are 12- 17 year old adolescent males.
2 www. enough. org
3 Eric Schlosser, ‘The Business of Pornography,” US News & World Report,
February 10, 1997.
13 Pornography in the workplace, National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families.
15 Dr. Gene Abel, Emory University
16 W. Marshall, Report on the Use of Pornography by Sexual Offenders,
Report to the Federal Department of Justice, Ottawa, Canada. 1983.
17 The New York Tunes, 1988.
19 W. Marshall, “Use of Sexually Explicit Stimuli by Rapists, Child Molesters
and Non Offenders,” 25 Journal of Sex Research 267, 1988.
20 Uniform Crime Report, 1990
21 U.S. Department of Justice, “Child Pornography, Obscenity and Organized Crime,” February
22 Dennis Prager, “Pornography: We are asking the wrong questions,” Ultimate Issues, Spring
CONTRIBUTORS: H. B. LONDON JR., VICE PRESIDENT, MINISTRY OUTREACH DIVISION DR. JERR KIRK, NATIONAL COALITION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES STAN KELLNER, MANAGER PASTORAL CARE, MINISTRY OUTREACH DIVISION
TRAVIS PARDO, SOCIAL RESEARCH ANALYST, PUBLIC POLICY DIVISION
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, 1999. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.