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Pornography has been around for thousands of years, but in recent times it has become more prolific. This is mainly due to the removal of barriers to production and distribution in many countries, and technological advances making it easier for people to privately access pornographic material via the Internet.
Talk magazine reported as early as 2001 that, “Americans spend more on strip clubs than they spend on theater, opera, ballet, jazz and classical-music concerts—combined. (Martin Amis, “Sex in America,” Talk magazine, February 2001). Other reports estimate that as many or more than 21 million Americans visit at least one of the more than 60,000 pornographic Internet sites once a month or more.
The same trend has also been reported in other parts of the world. Denmark was the first Western nation to legalize the publication of pornography in 1969. The Danish parliament reasoned that pornography was harmless and would result in fewer attacks on innocent girls. This reasoning has, however, proven to be false and now, several decades later, depictions of every imaginable sexual act are widely available—even to children, on the Internet.
Just as commercials for junk food make people want to eat more, viewing pornographic materials makes the viewer crave to sample the real thing. The continual emphasis on sex influences viewers of pornography to believe that sex is more important in a relationship than anything else.
An especially troubling trend is the emergence of groups dedicated to the legalisation of paedophilia—sex between adults and children—which, at this point at least, is still illegal.
People addicted to pornography and sex desperately need help which is available from specially qualified counsellors or therapists with sound value systems. More importantly, help is always available from God Himself and, if you are wrestling with an addiction to pornography you need to ask God’s help to resist temptation. As with so many addictions, the difficult first step is admitting the problem (even to yourself) and being willing to seek help in changing.
In principle, Jesus Christ equated viewing pornography with adultery, the breaking of the Seventh Commandment: “… I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). In most countries it is possible to subscribe to family-friendly Internet services that screen out so-called adult material. Also cutting down on or eliminating television and movie viewing will reduce exposure to wrong sexual messages so common in most popular entertainment.
We should take to heart Paul’s words in Philippians 4:8: “… Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Pornography is none of these things.
Vertical Thought magazine