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It Isn’t Harmless . . . Porn Kills!

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The common refrain of those who access porn is “it’s harmless.” Like every justification of wrongdoing since the beginning of time, the refrain sounds hollow. Sure the fruit looks “good for making one wise” and I’m certain that as Adam and Eve took the first bite, they thought “it’s harmless” even finding pleasure in is flavor (much like those who by the click of the mouse practice infidelity enjoying pleasuring themselves) without realizing that the first bite would savage the world, introduce death, and be the reason for cancer, earthquakes and tsunamis today. Personal and secret acts of unfaithfulness always seem “harmless” but porn is anything but harmless.

Consider the fact that in the last several weeks four porn actresses have died at early ages, all 35 years old or younger. On December 6, 2017 Actress August Ames took her own life after being bullied for refusing to film with a male performer known for filming gay porn. Her concern for her own health and not wanting to catch AIDS was painted as homophobic leading to her taking her life by hanging at age 23. Porn star Yurizan Beltran, age 31, died from a drug overdose a few days later. These two deaths followed the November 9th death of Shyla Stylez, 35, and an “Adult Film Hall of Famer” who died suddenly in her sleep.

The latest porn actress to die is 20 year old Olivia Nova. She began filming porn in March 2017 and it appears that the repercussions of such a life have resulted in her death. While the cause of her death is unknown at this time, the recent slew of deaths among porn actresses indicates that a career in porn is anything but harmless. But we already knew that.

The logical consequences of being a porn actress is obvious. These consequences include having abortions, drug use, STDs, physical assault, rape and now, apparently, suicide and early death. No one can sell their body in such a way and escape without a damaged soul.

Everyone knows that viewing porn is harmful. The full gambit of consequences may not always be before our eyes but no one truly believes that porn is harmless. No husband or wife truly believes porn will strengthen their marriage, make them a better father or mother, or foster fidelity.

Further the facts confirm what we know. Marriages where men begin watching porn double the likelihood of ending in divorce. When a woman begins to watch porn the divorce rate triples. 56% of divorces have been found to involve a spouse with a pornography obsession. No one can argue that porn is healthy for marriage. With every click, you are risking your marriage, your family, and your children.

The wider cultural effects of porn include the sex trade, misshapen sexual desires, the hijacking of our children’s sexuality. Watching porn supports an industry which fuels human trafficking, prostitution, and the commercial sexual abuse of children. “The primary way porn fuels the sex trades is by building demand.” One does not merely stare at forbidden fruit without eventually taking a bite.

As to misshapen sexual desires, just consider the fact that porn categories include “rape,” “LGBTQ,” “gang bangs” etc. which promote violence as sexual pleasure. Or consider the most popular searched porn terms involve incest or family related sex with terms such as “step-sister,” “step-mom,” consistently ranking at the top searches conducted. The result is the complete sexualization of every relationship.

Which brings porn back full circle. The actresses in porn are usually adult survivors of sexual abuse (60-80%). They were often the daughter, step-daughter, step-sister, etc. that was violated at home. Viewing them just continues the exploitation that began a long time ago with you joining the parade of those who just used her for sex instead of seeing her as a person with a soul made in the imago dei.

Consider again, Olivia Nova, real name Lexi Rose Forte. She died January 8, 2018 at the age of 20.  She was survived by her brother David, age 17, her sister Macie, age 7, and her mom, Leslie Forte. She grew up in Minnesota. Outside the internet, in the very real world, her mom is traveling to Las Vegas to claim her body and bring her home. Lexi has a real family who will shed real tears.

Perhaps this is the greater loss of porn, the sense of humanity. For porn inherently depersonalizes everyone. It does so from the beginning by assigning actresses “porn names” meant to entice to creating a Howard Stern view of the world where women are equated with “toilets” because “Dudes have needs.” All aspects of porn are meant to dehumanize and objectify for sexual pleasure.

The problem is that when you attempt to wipe your hand of your sins your guilt remains, your marriage is damaged, your relationships are cheapened, and your soul has grown darker as you have wired your brain to believe a lie. Adam and Eve knew the fruit was forbidden. They may have said it was harmless, but they knew differently. You know porn isn’t harmless. Now you know it kills, not only young girls like Lexi, but aborted children, marriages, families, and your humanity. You can’t just wipe that away. You must address the lie and by the grace of God repent, seek accountability, and stop.

This article was first published in the San Antonio Family Association Newsletter on January 10, 2018.

Reverend John Bradley Wheeler, JD, MA, MDIV, is a Christian apologist, an attorney, who has worked with the San Antonio Family Association. He is currently establishing the Center for Gospel Engagement.

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