By Biz Gainey, Disruptusrenovatus.com
Porn is big business. Globally, its haul nears 100 billion dollars a year.
Yep. You read that right.
Somewhere between 10 and 14 billion comes from the United States! We've come a long way since the days of 'Baseball, Hot dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet.'
Indeed, if Chevy runs deep, it's safe to assume that porn runs deeper still.
Any industry that large is typically measured by the good it brings to the culture which consumes its product. So, what good does porn provide those who consume the product it delivers?
As we head into Super Bowl weekend, the zenith of America's preoccupied mind and soul, I thought I would spend some time reflecting on The Five Wonderful Contributions the porn industry provides to Super Bowl weekend and Society at large. If you are on the losing side of Sunday night's event (Denver fans beware) - you are going to want to read this post: you might, after all is said and done, be on the front end of the industry's gold mine.
Five Wonderful Contributions For Which We can Thank The Porn Industry
1. Relationships Conflicts, Break ups/downs, Divorce, the dissolution of the family. I have experienced this in my personal life[ii] and have seen it dozens of time over the course of my ministry. Porn leads to conflict, insecurity, emotional bondage, self-absorption, disengagement, and an overall feeling of distrust. Such anecdotal evidence is now being supported by studies indicating that porn addiction has made marriage less desirable and secure[iii] and brought more harm, destruction and conflict to the marriage and other meaningful relationships. I have shared my story of struggling through porn addiction in a variety of settings. In every one of them I have never found anyone who enjoys being addicted to porn. I do find that men are reluctant to admit or confess their addiction, but once their eyes are opened, they all - to a person - want to be set free. Your marriage can be better and YOU can be the reason! Your relationships can improve and your engagement in them can provide the hope they need. You must first admit you have a problem and then reach out for help.
2. Premature Ejaculation, Impotence, and an Inability to Control Sexual Urges (euphemistically known as 'erectile dysfunction'). Erectile Dysfunction, we are finding, is a wonderful gift of the porn industry. Ironically, the porn industry and they who support it, have advanced the notion that porn can help your sexual experiences and actually make them more enjoyable. This is a flagrant falsehood which is now verifiable through scientific data and medical industry patterns.[iv] Here is the deal, if you struggle with impotence (let's just call it what it is) and you routinely watch or view porn, then the problem is not in your pants, it's in your head. You are entertaining images that actually contribute the loss of libido vitality. While you may need medicine, you most need intervention. You - we all - need help to stop. I promise you this: you cannot stop viewing porn on your own. Again, to the porn industry we say, 'thanks'. You are the gift that keeps on giving. This leads us to Porn's third 'good' the industry offers society. This little bonus relates specifically to Superbowl Sunday!
3. Super Bowl Losers Run to Porn for Release. Yes fans, it's true. While the porn industry takes a 'viewing' hit during the Super Bowl, it seems the fans of the loosing team have few coping mechanism to handle their despair. So they tend to run to porn for some quick and easy relief. Porn addicts understand the nature of this 'tug.' The release which comes from viewing porn and masturbating serves as a salve - medicating and helping us avoid the pain of loneliness and despair. Such as the pain fans acutely feel when their team loses the big game. When the Seahawks punished Denver in 2014, for example, the stats of porn viewing in the Mile High City jumped eleven percent. Perhaps you don't have a problem. Win, lose, or draw, you will be okay. Fair enough. My final two points should, however, help you see that though porn may not be your struggle personally it is, most definitely, our struggle collectively! The fourth and fifth 'goods' this industry of shame, blame and despair offers are as alarming as they are heart wrenching. They are the fundamental reasons I am so committed to sharing my story of the struggle for a 'nurtured' freedom and assisting all who desire more for their life than porn could ever - on its best and noblest of days - provide!
4. The METEORIC Rise of Rape and Sexual Assault. When one of the most profitable industries on the planet generates its revenue via the objectification of persons (particularly women), the natural outcomes will be things like rape, murder, vicious crimes of hate. Often left unsaid by our pundits and cultural commentators is the growing unease of the generation coming behind us. It's as if they have raised themselves in a hair trigger culture screaming toward conflict. This hair trigger culture is, in my opinion, the natural outcome of a people hooked on and consumed by pornography. The resulting dehumanization and distortion are evident to all who have eyes to see. The presence of this hair trigger conflict bound culture is being reported on college campuses across this country. Between the years of 2008 - 2012 college campuses reported a 49% increase in rape. One in four female undergrads report being sexually abused and/or assaulted while incapacitated or held against their will. We can now draw a direct line from porn addiction to rape[v] and it's simply appalling that so many of us remain in denial. I have a daughter. I hope to, one day, have granddaughters. I have two sons. I hope to, one day, have grandsons. Statistics like these send a shiver down my spine. I am alarmed about the type of culture I am leaving behind and have decided to do all I can to bring this evil to light and contend with anyone who arrogantly - and in the most cavalier of ways - would attempt to tell me porn is not a global epidemic eating out the core of our soul. If you think this is bad, just wait until you see the next staggering 'good' porn has given our world.
5. The Global Travesty of Sex Trafficking and the Modern Slave Trade. The third largest criminal industry in the world is the selling of humans.[vi] Porn does, we are finding, play a dishearteningly impressive role[vii] in the buying and selling of humans. It's a simple as this: With every click we claim another captive! This year's Super Bowl host city, Santa Clara, California, will be the home of thousands of stolen, beaten, abused and assaulted girls (many as young as fourteen). All of them sold as products in the sex slave industry. The Super Bowl is a premier city for this industry year in and year out.[viii] Can anyone say, Mecca?!?! No society, in any land, can withstand the crushing weight of such human indignity and exploitation. We will collapse under the weight of this systemic and structural injustice if we don't take steps to alleviate this problem and provide a pathway to freedom for those forced into slave labor. We can do better. We must do better. The end of sex trafficking and slavery begins with a commitment to end porn, period!
I am and have been looking for a 'few good men' who will stand in the gap with me and say enough is enough.
You know what?
I am finding such men hard to come by.
I have shared my story with fellow pastors only to get a sheepish look and response from them - indicating their latent fear to deal with this global epidemic. An epidemic overtaking not only the culture, but also the church where it's just as rampant.[ix]
I have sat with a variety of groups in sexual addiction counseling sessions; sharing my story with them and have listened to their own. They are alarmed that I put porn addiction in the category of sexual addiction. When I ask them a few simple questions, they begin to see the light, but they are reluctant to respond. Fear and confusion surrounds and cloak this issue. There need not be. Fear and confusion are the Porn industry's ploy. They spend millions of dollars a year disseminating false data and information as they feign care and concern. All the while their industry grows larger as our daughters disappear and our sons live in constant state of anxiety and fear.
As a husband.
As a father.
As a neighbor.
As a friend.
As a pastor.
As a child of God.
As a fellow human: I am asking for a little courage today. Let's get off of this fast moving train and leverage every resource at our disposal to derail it. It's heading to the core of our soul, and it's carrying with it enough toxicity to obliterate our life as we know it.
Will you stand with me?
Will you seek help?
If not for me, then maybe for your spouse?
How about for your children?
How about your grandchildren?
Pastors reading this post - will you stand with me in your congregations? Can we assemble a network of men and women who will not give into fear and shame?
Can we become a new generation? One offering hope? A generation that will lead this culture into wholeness and health?
Super Bowl 50 will soon be history. What we do in the moments immediately following will likely indicate where we are heading.
Disrupting to Renew!