#LostLivesMatter

©Biz Gainey

Over the past few years, our nation has been embroiled in bitter controversy surrounding the roots of injustice within our judicial system combined with the demise of civility and rise of criminal activity within our communities and culture at large.

The mantras, Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, etc., have become rallying cries of populist movements, political hopefuls, and a variety of news pundits.

I’d like to toss another one into the ring: Lost Lives Matter.  To do so, I will be focusing on the loss of life within the Porn industry as well as the loss of life caused by the Porn industry

#LostLivesMatter

Perhaps you don’t believe that Porn destroys life.  That’s fair and, in today’s culture, common.  So, at the outset of our emphasis, I’d ask you to give me a chance to make the case and encourage you to consider this cause.  When the case is made, you will see that the cause will demand our full attention and immediate response.

I’ll begin by highlighting a few examples that illustrate how Porn kills love, life, everyone, and everything.

Porn Kills EveryOne and Every Thing

1.     Porn is killing our sons and daughters. 

I recently picked up an alarming and important book.  It’s called, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales.  Sales makes the argument, quite persuasively, that the Technology industry is, perhaps even unwittingly, in bed with the Porn industry.  The Porn industry, of course, confesses openly that without technology their outreach and revenue would be nearly non-existent.

Sales then goes on to make the startling claim that Silicon Valley, which is the epicenter of technological invention, is infected with a frat-boy, porn-saturated culture at every level of its leadership.  As such, the hub of our technological development is infused with porn-industry-ideology that’s demeaning to women at every level.  If she’s correct, and she cites an array of data to substantiate her claim, then the outcomes of Silicon Valley’s inventions should concern every one of us!

Sales further asserts that many teenagers spend up to 9 hours a day on social media apps.  Each app is littered with images that pornify women and distort one’s image of womanhood.  Pornography, fundamentally, pictures women as objects, period.  While this is increasingly becoming the case for our men as well, it has always been, and will continue to be the case for women. 

Porn, at every level, objectifies women.  As such, pornography creates a perspective among our teenage boys and girls that alters how they relate to one another. 

The statistics are staggering. 

Porn is killing our children.  If #LostLivesMatter, then we must begin by protecting our children – the most innocent of our culture!

2.     Porn is killing its professionals.

Perhaps you don’t care about the Porn stars, themselves.  Yet, it’s important to remember that many industry professionals – though not all – feel trapped and experience deep bouts of depression, guilt, shame, and anxiety as a result of their experience within the industry. 

Shelley Lubben, once a Porn star herself, has developed a ministry that reaches out to those in the industry as well as those addicted to porn.  Her web site features a section dedicated to one-time Porn stars who are now dead.  The last time I checked her site there were over 400 people listed.[i]

What other industry has such a high death-rate? 

Do our politicians die at such an alarming rate?

What of our teachers, lawyers, plumbers, doctors?

Who is asking the questions:

Why are porn stars dying?

What forces have led to their death and how might future deaths be prevented?

Indeed, if #LostLivesMatter, we need to care just as much about those doing the exploiting as those being exploited.  In this case, the women – and men – in the industry are victims of exploitation.  If you’re watching pornography, you’ve likely viewed a video or clip that contained someone who is now dead.  Check the link for yourself.

3.     Porn is killing society as it enslaves.

The connection between pornography and sex-trafficking is irrefutable.[ii] While study after study finds that pornography creates a demand for prostitution[iii], which in turn creates a demand for sex-trafficking[iv], you don’t need a study to connect the dots – it’s simply logical.

Think about it. 

The industry’s annual global revenue nears 100 billion dollars.  Their reach is nearly without limit.  As the industry grows, the demand for sexual satisfaction grows exponentially, year-in and year-out.  When demand exceeds supply (which is always the case because the industry’s very existence depends on the development of an insatiable appetite for more), then those who provide prostitutes have to take any measure necessary to insure their survival. 

Therefore, porn is – in part – directly responsible for slavery and sex-trafficking.  Alarmingly, the pimps who steal our daughters have now begun to reach out through social media in increasingly threatening ways. 

No child is safe. 

Porn is destroying life, period.  If #LostLivesMatter, then we must begin working toward the eradication of slavery, which will – out of sheer necessity – require the eradication of porn!

4.     Porn is killing our souls as it distorts how we view one another and how we behave toward one another.

Pornography consumption rewires the brain and causes us to view other people in less-than-human ways.[v]  I call this phenomenon the rise of the leery-eyed-leech.  The leery-eyed-leech is no longer isolated to the porn store and peep show of a previous generation. 

The leery-eyed-leech sits in church.

He attends the school play.

He sips coffee at Starbucks.

He stands in the hallway at work

He’s everywhere, and he’s enslaved.

Women are demeaned and degraded everywhere and in every way and porn, in part, plays a role in this loss of civility and decency in our culture.  Ironically, we blame the women.  We ask them not to wear yoga pants.  Porn has so screwed us up that we blame women for our perspective of them. 

Truth be told, it doesn’t matter if a woman dresses in a bikini or a burlap sack, the porn addict will objectify her and see her as less than human.  This pornified-perspective constitutes the central loss of life from which we all now suffer. 

If #lLostLivesMatter, then the loss of life that comes through an objectified perspective must be accounted for by the industry which perpetuates this reality and then relentlessly blames it on other forces. 

If the devil were to manifest himself in human form today, I’m convinced he’d appear in studio as a producer of pornography.

5.     Porn is killing its addicts.

People die while watching porn and driving.  People suffer heart attacks while viewing porn in dark hallways at work.  People commit suicide because the guilt they bear is too much for them to manage.  People end their marriages because porn’s power is too strong to conquer.

Each time I read an article noting the death of someone or someone’s marriage at the hand of porn, I’m reminded of its pervasive grip and its unending goal.  Porn exists to kill us and everything and everyone around us.  You cannot make a redemptive argument – on any level – for Porn’s existence. 

Worse yet, it’s a killer who evades responsibility for its crimes.

Of course, not every porn addict dies at the hands of porn.  Not all marriages end because of porn’s presence.  Indeed, I am a living witness of one who has been hooked to porn and now lives free from its hooks. 

Thankfully, there is always hope.  If you are in porn’s grip, know that you can be free. 

There is help available for everyone – even the ones who believe they are most beyond hope.

Don’t give up. 

Don’t give in. 

Wake up and hope again!  See porn for what it is: a killer and consumer of all that’s good in our world.

Porn is a killer.

Porn kills the very addicts its responsible for creating. 

If #LostLivesMatter, then the addict’s life is no different! 

Let’s extend hope to our sons and daughters!

Let’s extend hope to Porn stars who want to break free and live again!

Let’s extend hope to the millions who have been sold into slavery!

Let’s extend hope to those who can’t see clearly and want to be free!

Let’s extend hope to the addict who is barely hanging on.

Together we can #endporninourlifetime and declare that #LostLivesMatter. 

Disrupting to Renew!