Note: The following commentary contains information and descriptions that may not be suitable for children.
A teenage girl was recalling what her childhood had been like—a childhood marred by porn. "When I was eight years old," she wrote, "my father made me look at [pornographic] pictures" involving sex acts he wanted her to perform. "I went along with him, not knowing any better," she said.
For years this girl's father raped her while using these pictures—and at age 16, she had a sexually transmitted disease. "I may die of this disease," she wrote sadly. "Pornography has ruined my life."
So much for the claim—often made by porn advocates—that pornography is a victimless crime. This week is White Ribbon against Pornography Week—a good time to remind ourselves of how destructive porn is.
The numbers are staggering. Porn is a 10-billion-dollar-a-year industry. One study revealed that more than 32 million individuals visited an Internet porn site in just one month. Some 800 million pornographic DVDs are rented each month. Other surveys reveal that one in five children on the Internet receives a sexual solicitation.
Christians are not immune to the siren call of porn. A Focus on the Family poll found that 17 percent of Christian adults have visited sexually oriented sites.
There is no longer any doubt that pornography inspires crime. Most child molesters admit that they consume hard-core porn on a regular basis.
And those who create porn are now victimizing even the youngest children. Police who seize pornographic films and pictures note that they are seeing X-rated images of toddlers and even babies—this is sickening.
As surprising as it may seem, sexual addiction—like all addictions—represents a deep hunger for God. In their book, The Sacred Romance, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge point out that humans are designed for intimacy with God. Sometimes we allow the world, however, to drown out God's voice. But our need for communion with Him never goes away. Instead of seeking fulfillment in Christ, the addict tries to fill the emptiness with other things: pornography, an affair, or a fantasy life.
As the authors put it, "We put our hope in . . . some form of immediate gratification, some taste of transcendence that will place a drop of water on our parched tongue." And they add that "this taste of transcendence, coming as it does from an obsession with . . . pornography . . . has the same effect on our souls as crack cocaine." The addiction "attaches itself to our desire [for God] with chains that render us captive."
That's why addiction expert Gerald May calls addiction "the most powerful psychic enemy of humanity's desire for God." And nothing can free the captives of addiction except God.
If you or someone you know is struggling with porn, a website called PureIntimacy.org, run by Focus on the Family, may help. And if you go to the BreakPoint website, you will find ways to participate in the White Ribbon against Pornography campaign this week—ways you can help shut down illegal, hard-core porn in your own town. Get your church involved, as well.
Those white ribbons we wear this week are a public witness that we refuse to accept the crack cocaine of porn in our society—porn that destroys the lives of all it touches.
Copyright © 2007 Prison Fellowship
BreakPoint is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet. BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship: 1856 Old Reston Avenue, Reston, VA 20190.