The Naked Truth on the New Epidemic
(Warning: Extremely graphic content)
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry isn’t a prude. In fact, he used to roll his eyes at his Christian friends, who he thought were exaggerating the dangers of pornography. Not anymore. This Frenchman, who believes eroticism “is one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind,” no longer scoffs the feminists’ warnings or puritan concerns. “I have become deadly serious," he says now. "The damage is real, and it’s profound.” And no one can walk away from his article thinking otherwise.
Debate the morality all you want, Gobry insists, but the science is absolute. People who say porn is as addictive as smoking aren’t even doing it justice. These images are as addictive as smoking, yes, “except that what smoking does to your lungs, porn does to your brain.” And the earlier you consume it, the more lethal the damage can be. We’re talking about a complete rewiring of the brain — where the body actually builds new nerve pathways just to drive a person back for more.
But pornography isn’t like cocaine. It’s much easier to binge. “Even decadent Roman emperors, Turkish sultans, and 1970s rock stars never had 24/7, one-click-away-access to infinitely many, infinitely novel sexual partners,” Gobry points out. “The possibility of immediate, infinite novelty — which, again, was not a feature of porn until 2006 — means that a user can now keep his dopamine levels much higher, and for much longer periods of time, than we can possibly hope our brains to handle without real and lasting damage.” Suddenly, it gets tougher to feel the “high.” “You need more and more of your drug to get less and less of a kick; this is the cycle which makes addiction so destructive.
Fine — so people are addicted, you might say. "But does that mean we need to freak out? After all, smoking and heroin will kill you, serious cannabis addiction will melt your brain, alcohol addiction will wreak havoc in your life — compared to that, how bad can porn addiction be? The answer, it turns out, is: pretty bad.”
Porn trains your mind to need porn to be aroused — not another human being. FRC’s Travis Weber and I talked about this on “Washington Watch” last week. There are literally thousands of stories of young men now who are coming of age after watching hundreds of hours of pornography. And their stories all share the same gut-wrenching theme: they’re so hooked on porn that by the time they have girlfriends, they can’t function sexually without it. “Which is why,” Gobry warns, “we are witnessing a phenomenon which, as best as anyone can tell, is totally unprecedented in all of human history: an epidemic of chronic erectile dysfunction (ED) among men under 40. The evidence is earth-shattering.” We’ve gone from less than one percent of ED in young men to as many as 37 percent today.
Pornography isn’t just killing sex — it’s killing love. “A majority of women in one study described the discovery that their man uses porn as ‘traumatic;’ they not only felt less desirable, they reported feelings of lower self-worth.” And in a world where 88 percent of pornography is violent, more young women are being asked to do things that abuse and brutalize them. To kick up the high, addicts need something more taboo. They’re watching women “being caned and whipped until they are bruised and red… When the films have a storyline, it can usually be summed up with one word: rape. Or two words: brutal rape. It’s one thing to be aroused by a sadomasochistic scene where the [woman] is shown visibly enjoying the treatment; it’s quite another to be aroused by watching a woman scream in agony and despair as she is held down and violently raped.”
Now, imagine a child watching this — because they are. Either by accident or intentionally, kids are being exposed to these things believing that “the acts they see — like anal and group sex — are typical among their peers.” Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, a mom in the Dallas area, wrote a horrifying column called, “When Sixth Graders Can Access Rape Porn on Their Smart Phones, School Becomes Toxic.” In a letter to the principal, she talked about the boys in her daughter’s class laughing at violent porn and joking about attacking the girls in the parking lot. “No 11-year-old should have to deal with, or even know, about things like this.”
As a parent, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to take this issue seriously. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable topic. But it’s a lot less uncomfortable than dealing with the sexual abuse, addictions, disease, and broken relationships that follow. If you don’t know what to say, start here or here.
If you’re an adult trying to escape this online world, it isn’t easy. But it’s also not impossible. Josh McDowell has a tremendous message of freedom for anyone struggling with this addiction that you can watch here. In fact, one of the reasons FRC started its Stand Courageous conferences is because we believe this is one of the biggest issues keeping men from being the spiritual head of their homes. Consider signing up for one our 2020 events in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Florida. Above all, pray. Pray for protection — for your children, your marriages, our culture. Gobry’s warnings are dire, but they may be exactly what parents and pastors need to hear.
Originally published here.
This Is Our Grown-up Christmas List…
You may not know what to buy this Christmas, but do you know where to buy? Thanks to our friends at 2nd Vote, you can shop for presents without sabotaging your values in the process. So, make your list — but check this one twice!
“The idea,” Dr. David Black explained on “Washington Watch,” “is that the first vote is at the ballot box. The second vote is the dollar you spend every day… As Christians, we need to make sure that the money we’re spending isn’t going to a place that’s attacking our faith and values.” For a lot of Americans, that hit very close to home with the news that Chick-fil-A, a company that enjoyed great success marketing itself as a business that operates by biblical principles, was quietly funding radical abortion and LGBT activists. This was so troubling to 2nd Vote, Dr. Black says, that on its five-point scoring system, the company’s score on social issues (marriage, life, and religious liberty) dropped from a five score (the highest) to a one (the lowest).
Unfortunately, Dr. Black points out, Chick-fil-A — like so many successful businesses — have fallen under the influence of LGBT activists. “They may be a small minority, but they are very well organized. They’re also very, very well-financed. They have spent many, many years — decades, really — presenting themselves as normal… and there’s been a sustained, well-financed, well organized effort to try to show that this is okay.” And when pressure comes to bear, as it recently has on Hallmark, the first reaction is often to surrender. “As Christians, we have been tolerant. We’ve been accepting. We’ve tried to be understanding.” And that’s led to this widespread capitulation of truth in the business and entertainment communities.
Most shoppers can’t even walk through the store anymore without being hit over the head with a radical social agenda. Transgender Oreos with a pronoun guide? LGBT pride Listerine? And dozens more. Businesses, former Walmart CEO Bill Simon told me, “are taking positions on things that I honestly wouldn’t think [any business would take a position on, because] invariably [it alienates] a large customer base in one direction or the other.”
The good news, Dr. Black says, is that we can make a difference. “Look what the LGBT community has done [with] three percent of the population!” he pointed out. Christians are a much larger demographic — but the problem with our community is that “we haven’t spoken up. We’ve got to try it.”
Some people will say, “We’ll be naked and hungry if we stop shopping at every place with a liberal agenda. Why bother?” But just because you can’t steward everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t steward anything. A single donation can’t end hunger either, but that doesn’t mean we don’t contribute at all. Let’s face it — we can all stand to make more informed choices with where to eat, places to shop, and what to watch. If there isn’t a conservative option, there’s almost certainly a neutral one.
And to people who say these choices don’t matter? Dr. Black begs to differ. “We have helped to stop five Fortune 500 companies from funding abortion,” he says. Not to mention the message parents sent to Target over the bathroom policy, or J.C. Penney, Lands End, Kellogg’s, ESPN, the NFL, and others disparaging our freedoms. If you won’t take Dr. Black’s word for it, take a former CEO’s.
“The very, very best way you can communicate your concern is with your wallet,” Bill Simon urged. “Ultimately, that’s what companies do. They’re in business to make money, reward their shareholders, and pay their employees. And when the company does something that you don’t agree with — or their product represents something that you don’t agree with — the simple answer is to not buy it or not participate. And that’s honestly the loudest voice that a customer can deliver to a company is, ‘I choose not to buy your product.’”
“A three percent change in sales of a company or a five percent change in the sales company will make a huge statement. It doesn’t take a lot of people to stop buying product or to stop going to a retailer or a restaurant or whatever it is for them to notice because a couple of percentage points is win or lose for a company.”
But make sure that when you stop doing business with companies that attack your values, send a letter telling them so. I’ve heard from people at the highest levels of these companies that messages like that speak powerfully to them. Don’t let your money be used against you. This season, shop — but don’t drop — your values! Download the 2nd Vote app today.
Originally published here.
Pompeo to Israel Critics: Dash Away, All!
Bethlehem is on people’s minds a lot these days. But in Washington, the reason isn’t Christmas — it’s politics. Jesus’s birthplace is just one of the holy sites that happens to be in Israel’s so-called West Bank, where the Trump administration made a splash last month by legitimizing the country’s settlements. Naturally, Democrats let Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have it, firing off an angry letter for the move. But it may be the Kansan who gets the last word.
It was a decision that some experts are calling Trump’s most important Israeli policy. Caroline Glick, a columnist at Israel Hayom, joined me on “Washington Watch” in November, when the news came down that the president was refusing to call the West Bank settlements “inconsistent with international law.” “In many ways,” Caroline said, “it’s actually more significant than moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.” Why? “Because the Jerusalem Embassy Act was law since 1996 — and every presidential administration since then had to justify not moving the embassy. But that was official American policy. As for the Golan Heights, that was very significant. Don’t get me wrong… But it wasn’t really being disputed by the United States in recent years.”
The legal status of Israeli communities in the West Bank, on the other hand, “has really been the core of the defamation campaign against Israel since the Carter administration since the 1970s. And it’s the leading reason or justification that the E.U. and the U.N. and others use to discriminate against Israel and Israeli Jews in the name of the rule of law or international law, even though there’s no basis in international law for the claim that Israeli communities in these areas are illegal.”
Democrats dared to disagree, complaining to Pompeo that the announcement “contradicts decades of bipartisan U.S. policy” and also violates the Geneva Convention. Pompeo wasted no time obliterating the Left’s arguments, writing back to the 107 liberals that, “While I appreciate your interest in this important issue, I couldn’t disagree more with those two foolish positions,” Pompeo said bluntly.
For starters, he pointed out, the State Department didn’t reverse any policy — it reversed a legal determination by Secretary John Kerry “made during the waning days of the Obama administration.” Pompeo’s predecessor made the argument that the settlements weren’t legitimate “in a failed attempt to justify the Obama administration’s betrayal of Israel [at the U.N.]…” That “determination,” Pompeo reminded them, received “bipartisan condemnation, including from leading Democrats in both chambers of Congress.” What Kerry did, he argued, was inject America into an unnecessary conflict that has “saddled the Trump administration with a significant handicap in advancing the cause of peace.”
“The Trump administration is committed to working tirelessly to advance the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We approach the issue pragmatically and diplomatically, but we eschew the erroneous positions of international law that have gained favor in the past decades. The Obama-Kerry departure from America’s historic support of Israel has done nothing to make peace more attainable. The State Department’s recent determination that the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se illegal is an important step in the peace process, and we are confident that it creates the right platform for further progress.”
At the end of the day, President Trump is only righting an Obama wrong. But the Democrats don’t care about the practical policy implications of his decision. They only care about opposing this administration and anything it does. “What you see among Democrats is something called ‘negative effective partnership,’ which means that if the other party is in favor of something, I am — without thinking about it — automatically against it,” said Israeli professor Jonathan Rynhold. “[S]ince they hate Trump, anything that has to do with him goes out the window.”
Fortunately for Americans, the president will continue to do what’s right for our country — and our allies — regardless of the flak he takes. In this case, that means standing by Israel and the Jewish people in hopes that one day, it will pave the way for real and lasting peace.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.