America and Pornography
As American society has drifted into a moral abyss where any effort to suggest standards is derided, the protest against pornography has been silenced.
But the graphic depiction of sexual perversion continues to rip away the moral underpinnings of our society, as evidenced in the increase in every form of sexual deviancy from rape and sodomy to incest and child abuse.
Courts sem unable to define pornography except by vague and vacillating "community standards" criteria. Pornography by has proliferated so extenstivelly that it often is not even recognized. This latter phenomenon has allowed the introduction of "soft" pornography to television and the living rooms of our nation.
Why is pornography such a threat to our well-being? The Bible gives us a subtle hint. "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he," said the writer of Proverbs 23:7.
Action always is proceeded by thought. Pornography visualizes a corrupt sexual activity, creates the desire to fulfill what the picturesand words project, and, finally, suggests that the behavior is not aberrant because here is someone in the picture doing the act and enjoying it.
Given enough pictures and graphic illustrations, the resistance of even a good conscience is worn down by the depiction of perversion as pleasurable and "normal."
Evidence of this was present in the Final Report of the Attorney Generals Commission on Pornography, realese in 1986.
An incest victim testified, "The incest started at the age of 8. I did not understand any of it did not feel that was right. My dad would try to convince me that it was OK. He would find magazines with articles and/or pictures that would show fathers and daughters. . . He would say that if it was published in magazines that it had to be all right because magazines could not publish lies."
A former prostitute told the Commission, "We were all introduced to prostitution through pornography. There were no exceptions in our group, and we were all under 18. Pornography was our textbook. We learned the tricks of the trade by men exposing usto pornography and us trying to mimic what we saw."
Both the purveyors of pornography and the purchasers have defended obscenity by saying there are no real victims. But this is obviously untrue. Not only is the mind of the pornography purchaser by the trash but there are many more "innocent victims."
Rape victims, children used as actors in X-rated films, and women and children sexually abused by people acting out what books and magazines and films have titillated them to are all real victims. And the women and children murdered after being sexually tormented are real, too.
The commission on pornography found that rapists are 15 times as likely as non-offenders to have had exposure to "hard-core" pornography during childhood or between 6 to 10 years of age.
One study not mentioned by the Commission but cited by journalist Michael J. McManus in his introduction to the Commission's final report is worth attention. It cites interviews by the FBI of two dozen sex murderers in prison who had killed multiple times. Some 81 percent said their biggest sexual interest was in reading pornography. They acted out sex fantasies on real people. For example, Arthur Gary Bishop, convicted of sexually abusing and killing five young boys, said, "If pornographic material would have been unavailable to me in my early states, it is most probable that my sexual activities would not have escalated to the degree they did."
He said pornography's impact on him was "devastating ... I am a homosexual pedophile convicted of murder and pornography was a determining factor in my downfall."
Pornography is a serious threat to our morality and even our safety, as almost every evening's newspaper and TV news reports confirm.
The problem no longer is a small one, either. It is not just a few perverts buying Playboy and Hustler magazines or dirty old men renting filthy flicks from the back room of the video store.
More and more, the material is showing up on television. In- the-bed sex scenes, comedies about masturbation and lesbianism and even sexual encounters with animals are routinely appearing on the tube these days.
Granted, they are presented in less offensive ways than harder pornography but the limits and boundaries are stretched farther each year so that most don't see what is happening.
And that is the most serious danger in pornography. Repeated doses dull consciousness of what is being seen. What once was repulsive becomes normal, even accept-able through repeated exposure.
Typical today is an upside down logic that has our population screaming about the pollution of our air and water while the pollution of our minds is "protected" by law and any movement to control this form of pollution is decried as unconstitutional censorship.
If government and the judiciary are unable to tackle this problem, then individuals remain the last ditch of resistance and the only hope of reversing the slimy slide into sexual seduction.
Each of us can largely control what he sees and hears. We can control the TV and the movies, books and magazines we watch and read. We can monitor our children's exposure so that they are not "accidentally" poisoned.
If we don't, the statistics will continue to tell a tale of moral and physical death and decay in our society.
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 11, p. 1