Tag archives: Pornography

Charity and Pornography: Can They Coexist?

by Sharon Barrett

October 26, 2012

Princeton professor Robert P. George writes in a piece for The Public Discourse, Theorists of public moralityfrom the ancient Greek philosophers and Roman jurists onhave noticed that apparently private acts of vice, when they multiply and become widespread, can imperil important public interests.

Pornography, especially internet pornography, is this kind of private vice in our generation. Even though pornographys devastating effects are well-documented (for instance, in publications released by MARRI and the Witherspoon Institute), some in the industry try to make pornography look acceptable by uniting it with socially respected activities. MARRI intern Sarah Robinson reported on Charitable Pornography: a non-profit pornography organization has created a website where users can upload videos along with links to their charity of choice, so that every hit on a video sends a donation to that charity.

While the organizers of the website win points for creativity, their score on social responsibility is zero. As Sarah Robinson says,

This idea crosses the threshold of moral relativity into dangerous territory that debases the value of human beings and sexuality. How do you place a price tag on sexuality? No charitable organization should receive money made by degrading human beings who were created in the image of God.

The idea of charitable giving depends on the ability to value others needs above ones own immediate gratification. Charitable organizations, inspired by Biblical commands to consider the poor, have long been a prominent part of Judeo-Christian society (and came into their own in 19th-century America, thanks to the energy of social reformers). Is charity at home, however, in a culture of sensuality that permits the degradation of human beings?

Robert P. George argues that acceptance of pornography affects society deeply, cheating children of not only a healthy sexuality, but a healthy view of the human person:

Parents efforts to bring up their children as respecters of themselves and others will be helped or hinderedperhaps profoundlyby the cultural structure in which children are reared….It is the attitudes, habits, dispositions, imagination, ideology, values, and choices shaped by a culture in which pornography flourishes that will, in the end, deprive many children of what can without logical or moral strain be characterized as their right to a healthy sexuality. In a society in which sex is depersonalized, and thus degraded, even conscientious parents will have enormous difficulty transmitting to their children the capacity to view themselves and others as persons, rather than as objects of sexual desire and satisfaction.

Pornography is the last thing we need as we seek to raise a generation with humane values. If the authors of this porn website truly care about charity, they should shut down the site and start producing informational videos. There are plenty of causes, like raising awareness of human sex trafficking, that they can benefit with charitable donations.

FRC Keeps Up the Fight Against Pornography

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 30, 2012

Last week, the New York Times ran a disturbing article on the growing phenomenon of the public viewing of pornography. The final sentence should stop each of us in our tracks: Dawn Hawkins of Morality in Media, who protested recently when a man watched graphic pornography on his laptop during a plane flight, reports, “People said, Just look away, she recalled. Their argument is that people can do what they want. This is America.

When liberty becomes license, the bets are off for a healthy country and functioning self-government. If we lack virtue, personal moral self-restraint and respect for other persons, then disorder and dysfunction follow as day follows night. These, if unchecked, lead inevitably to anarchy and danger, which result in a call for order at any cost. If the rise of Adolph Hitler subsequent to the decadent Weimar Republic has anything to teach us, this is one of its surest lessons.

Two years ago, Hoover Institution scholar Mary Eberstadt wrote a superb piece for First Things called, “The Weight of Smut.” In clear prose, she documented how pornography has profound and demonstrably harmful affects on marriage, families, and human well-being. It is a painful read because of what it tells us about the society in which we live and in which our children are being raised, but it nonetheless is an indispensable summary of the evils of what someone once called “sex without persons.”

Over the past two years, pornography has continued, termite-like, to erode the foundations of human dignity and family security. That’s why Family Research Council continues to partner with like-minded organizations to combat the growth of pornography online, on television, and other media. FRC offers a number of useful resources to assist your church or ministry, and you as an individual, fight electronic and visual filth. Included are these:

** “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family, and Community,” by Dr. Pat Fagan

** A recent interview by FRC President Tony Perkins with Pat Trueman, the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and now President of Morality in Media, on the proposal to expand domains for pornography websites.

** A Webcast shown last year titled, “Sex Trafficking in America: From the Boulevard to Planned Parenthood.”

Visit our website to see the full list of FRC resources and prayerfully consider how you might join in the effort to diminish pornography’s grip on our culture.

Hunger Games Are Real: Children Sacrificed to Porn Now a Legal Spectator Sport

by Cathy Ruse

May 10, 2012

The purposeful viewing of child pornography on the internet is now legal in New York, wrote Judge Victoria A. Graffeo from the highest state court in New York.

The ruling came down to a splitting of hairs over whether viewing is possessing. Read more here.

But no hair-splitting legal gymnastics will make something so fantastically wrong, right. This ruling cannot stand.

Child pornography is the visual record of an innocent child being abused. There are very sick people in this world who find viewing it sexually stimulating. They provide a demand for it, and the greedy brutes who make up the pornography industry are happy to sacrifice childrens lives to provide the supply.

Every time technology evolves, the porn industry argues that the laws which constrain its excesses surely dont apply here. Possessing hardcore pornographic videos cant be illegal, they argued why, video cassettes are nothing more than magnetic tape in black squares of plastic.

They lost that round, and they will lose here too.

Make no mistake: Viewing child pornography is no private or passive act. It is an integral part of the child-porn chain, every link of which must be made illegal.

There is no room for compromise. The law must reach the evil producers, the soulless distributors, and the heartless, perverted consumers —- whether they buy it and save it, or simply watch it or view it.

How Internet Porn Turned My Beautiful Boy into a Hollow, Self-Hating Shell

by Cathy Ruse

April 24, 2012

Yesterday in the UK, leading internet firms were accused of complicity in exposing children to hardcore pornography, following an independent inquiry by Members of Parliament that warned of a generation of teenagers addicted to porn.

Read this chilling account in the Daily Mail by a mother whose 11-year-old son changed beyond recognition when he began secretly watching porn at night on his laptop in bed.

The porn she discovered in her sons search history, freely given to him without a credit card, is absolutely prosecutable as obscenity under long-standing U.S. federal law.

Are 11-year old American boys accessing it, too? Does the Obama Justice Department care? Will the next U.S. president enforce the law or ignore it?

For more information on how pornography affects society, read “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community,” by Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.

Playboy Out of the Porn Business?

by Cathy Ruse

August 11, 2011

This week CBS online reported that Playboy is getting out of the pornography business. According to Jim Edwards of Bnet, the whole commercial porn industry is tanking. He cites Playboys losses of $15 million last year on revenue of just $55 million (down 9 percent from the previous year), as well as the declining revenues of other companies and cable pay-per-view porn.

Wouldnt you just like to gloat? I sure would. That reaction might be misplaced.

As for Playboy, while it will no longer actually make pornography, CEO Scott Flanders says the company is moving into brand management, licensing its name and logos. So it could survive and thrive yet.

And the assumption from every quarter is that the hits to this vile industry are due not to some beneficent cause but to the glut of free porn on the Internet and elsewhere. It could be even worse than that. My friend Donna Rice Hughes, who heads Enough is Enough, believes its not quantity but content: the big industry leaders cant compete with the type of deviant hard-core material that is now available on the Internet.

I hope shes wrong. Whether its big porn syndicates tied in with organized crime or mom and pop amateurs dumping more and more deviant material on the Internet, the heart of the issue is still the same. As Bruce Taylor, the nations most experienced porn prosecutor, told PBS: Its still the same industry. These are a bunch of pimps who make hardcore porn […] by hiring people, turning them into prostitutes, and then distributing illegal obscenity.

The problem is the same, and so is the solution. These people are violating long-standing federal obscenity laws. Prosecute them and convict them. Its deceptively simple. Enforce the law, and the Internet porn industry will decline.

Trafficking and Prostitution of Children in the United States

by Family Research Council

May 19, 2010

Television anchor Dan Rather had an interesting piece in the Huffington Post yesterday drawing much needed attention to the growing problem of child trafficking and prostitution in the United States. He writes that throughout his 60 years of reporting, few stories have been more shocking:

How many children are being peddled on the streets of Portland and in other cities and towns, to say nothing of the Internet?…The most conservative estimates are that at least 10,000 American children are being victimized. Many experts say they believe it’s closer to 30,000 or more.

Rather talks with law enforcement to learn how it could be possible that so many young people are exploited in such an atrocious way.

… many of the children caught up in this are middle class kids from the area…The girls, sometimes as young as 12, often 13-16, are lured by a “front man” in his mid-to-late teens. He becomes her “boyfriend,” taking her to dinner, buying her nice things, sometimes meeting her parents. The girl eventually moves in with him. Then he says they need money to continue being together. First, she’s enticed to sleep with his friends to pay the rent. Soon she’s turning tricks for what police say is an endless supply of older men willing to pay top money for sex with very young girls. Other times convincing the young adolescent girls to sell themselves happens very quickly.

The Anti-Trafficking of Human Persons division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describe the various ways that children in the U.S. are exploited:

In the United States, children are subjected to human trafficking in many different sectors. Examples include prostitution on the streets or in a private residence, club, hotel, spa, or massage parlor; online commercial sexual exploitation; exotic dancing/stripping; agricultural, factory, or meatpacking work; construction; domestic labor in a home; restaurant/bar work; illegal drug trade; door-to-door sales, street peddling, or begging; or hair, nail, and beauty salons. Family members, acquaintances, pimps, employers, smugglers, and strangers traffic children. They often prey upon the childrens vulnerabilities their hopes for an education, a job, or a better life in another country and may use psychological intimidation or violence to control the children and gain financial benefits from their exploitation. Trafficked children may show signs of shame or disorientation; be hungry and malnourished; experience traumatic bonding (Stockholm syndrome) and fear government officials, such as police and immigration officers.

This same US government division provides numerous resources for people who might be victim to these crimes. One such resource is a 24-hour hotline that helps victims of trafficking by connecting them with local organizations that can provide help. The number is 1.888.3737.888. See the HHS website for more information on how to assist someone who could be a victim of trafficking or to learn more about this problem.

I am grateful to Dan Rather bringing this dark issue into the media light. Unfortunately, as pointed out by one commenter, the ad for Rathers story on the network’s website was ironically placed below another ad one with young girls in bikinis — for “Girls Gone Wild.” If nothing else, we can all agree that there is a deep need to continue to fight against the oversexualization of young girls and the many atrocious crimes that can accompany such objectification.

America’s Other Weight Problem

by Jared Bridges

May 18, 2010

Mary Eberstadt’s must-read essay in this month’s First Things, “The Weight of Smut,” covers the far-reaching effects that pornography has on American life:

The notion for starters that those in the industry itself are not being harmed by what they do cannot survive even the briefest reading of testimonials to the contrary by those who have turned their backs on it, among them Playboy bunnies (including Izabella St. James, author of Bunny Tales). It is a world rife with everything one would want any genuinely loved one to avoid like the plague: drugs, exploitation, physical harm, AIDS.

Nor can that defense survive the extremely troublingor what ought to be extremely troublingconnections between pornography and prostitution. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has notably taken the lead in investigating and throwing light on the sordid phenomenon of sex trafficking, both here and abroad. Yet trafficking, as the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have both noted, is often associated with pornographyfor example, via cameras and film equipment found when trafficking circles are broken up. Plainly, the reality of the human beings behind many of those images on the Internet is poorer, dirtier, druggierand youngerthan pious appeals to consenting adults can withstand. Is this world really what the libertarian defenders of pornography want to subsidize?

Once again, who even needs all that social science? Perhaps the most telling response to the pictures defense is rhetorical. Ask even the most committed user whether he wants his own daughter or son in that line of workand then ask why its all right to have other peoples daughters and sons making it instead.

Read the whole thing for a good perspective on just how burdensome the porn epidemic has become. Eberstadt quotes my colleague Cathy Ruse on the vitriol that defenders of pornography have against its critics.

For more, read the report of another colleague, Patrick Fagan, who has studied in-depth the effects of pornography on individuals, marriage, family, community.

FRC Releases Major New Study On How Pornography Threatens Marriages, Children, Communities, and Individuals

by JP Duffy

December 2, 2009

Washington D.C.- Family Research Council (FRC) released a new study today that comprehensively details the effects of pornography on marriages, children, communities and individuals. Pat Fagan, Ph.D. authored the study and serves as FRC’s Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion.

Dr. Fagan made the following comments:

This is a ground-breaking review of what pornography costs families trying to create a life together. Men, women and sometimes even children are saturated by sexual content, and more significantly, are told that it has no real effect. It’s just a little amusement.

Pornography corrodes the conscience, promotes distrust between husbands and wives and debases untold thousands of young women. It is not harmless escapism but relational and emotional poison.

The fact that marriage rates are dropping steadily is well known. But the impact of pornography use and its correlation to fractured families has been little discussed. The data show that as pornography sales increase, the marriage rate drops.

As this academic review reveals, pornography is creating a debt of the spirit and a cost in the lives of family members that rivals any deficit the federal government is producing.

The science is clear: children from families without married parents have much higher poverty rates as well as poorer health and other socio-economic difficulties. Nations with low marriage rates suffer the same fates. And underlying the social trends is the impact of pornography on family formation. It’s a quiet family killer.”

Among the study’s findings:

Men who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity.

Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives. Wives notice and are upset by the difference.

Pornography engenders greater sexual permissiveness, which in turn leads to a greater risk of out-of-wedlock births and STDs, which in turn lead to still more weaknesses and debilities.

The presence of sexually oriented businesses significantly harms the surrounding community, leading to increases in crime and decreases in property values.

Child-sex offenders are more likely to view pornography regularly or to be involved in its distribution.

Pornography eliminates the warmth of affectionate family life, which is the natural social nutrient for the growing child.

Click here to download the full study.