Milner: “Ethically-sourced” or not Porn Hurts Men and Women

As if we needed anymore reasons to be disgusted by Nadia Bolz-Weber and her rhetoric, the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) “Reverend” recently stated that porn use should not be shamed by the church: “Now, there are issues of justice and exploitation within the porn industry, no question, but it doesn’t mean consumption of pornography should be shamed.” She insists that “There is ethically sourced porn” and thus, if one just chooses their porn carefully, there should be no moral qualms raised about it.

Putting aside every other preposterous and heretical thing this woman has said in the past, the fact that she, a woman and self-proclaimed “feminist,” is encouraging porn use is utterly upsetting, as pornography by it’s nature is exceedingly harmful to women. She tries to separate “ethical porn” from the rest simply because it’s not created through sex trafficking or outright exploitation. But pornography at its core demeans and exploits women, it encourages the view of women as sexual objects, and it hurts the marriages and hearts of countless women whose husbands/boyfriends have been addicted to porn, as well as those who use it themselves.

Liberals like to say they’re “pro-women” but pornography is at it’s core “anti-women.” They talk about “rape culture” and the objectification of women, yet pornography trains men to see women as sexual objects they can search for and sift through in rapid succession with just a few clicks. In the mind of the porn consumer, though he would never admit it, subconsciously porn, on some level, reinforces the sinful belief that women exist for his pleasure. He can search for the exact type of woman he is in the mood for and the exact act he desires and within minutes can find her.

The addictive nature of pornography also further degrades a man’s self-control when it comes to sexuality. When he feels a need for sexual pleasure, he can obtain it in an instant, and yet, enough is never enough. He always has to go deeper, to click more, to find something more exciting. Odd, that a group so adamantly against “rape culture” would be fine with an industry that chemically rewires a man’s brain to seek sexual stimulation on demand. Do all men who watch porn also rape? No. Of course not. But porn deepens a man’s addiction to sexual stimuli and removes the need for emotional and spiritual connection in sex. It makes sex not about “us” but about “me”. What do I desire? How far will I go to get it? Rape is nothing more than the furthest extent of this selfish view of sex.

Even to a lesser extent, porn encourages the mindset of men who catcall and harass women in public. Why not? His brain is hardwired when he sees an attractive woman, to respond. A woman on the street can bring to mind a thousand images he’s seen in his private viewings. And watching women who can’t hear, consent, or object to him has disconnected him from the dignity and value of every woman he meets. Again, not all men who watch porn catcall, but pornography reinforces the sinful tendencies that lead to the act. And watching the infinite array of material available blurs the lines of what is acceptable behavior with a woman and what isn’t.

Pornography harms women not only by creating a broadly dangerous culture in the male view of sex but brings personal harm as well, in millions of women’s romantic relationships. Women who have been placed second to porn, had unrealistic expectations placed on them, and who have carried the burden and scars of not feeling like they are enough for the one human who should care for them most. Whether a woman is aware of her partner’s use of porn or not, it hurts her. It disconnects him from her emotionally and sexually. Sometimes he may neglect his wife by turning to porn for stimulation rather than her for intimacy. Other times he may choose to be with her but his brain has been wired to crave unrealistic things she cannot or does not want to do. His mind may wander to other places and other women rather than being focused on his wife.

This changes sexual intimacy from being a gift from God to reproduce and to bring man and wife closer into something that leaves both spouses empty, unfulfilled, and ultimately more distant. Men who are addicted to sexual stimulation because of porn can also be tempted to pressure their wives into being intimate more often than they wish, which furthers the tensions and frustrations in the marriage. Unmarried men who are using porn also are more likely to look to their girlfriends for the pleasure their brains have been chemically wired to crave more than they might otherwise. Pornography use makes it more difficult to show self-control and create boundaries in romantic relationships before marriage as well as after.

It bears mentioning that men are not the only users of porn, nor the only addicts. Women, too, in rising numbers, are dabbling in and becoming addicted to pornography, especially as the culture has begun embracing and even advocating its use. Everything read above can easily have the pronouns switched from he/him/his to she/her. All the addictive behaviors, guilt, and consequences weigh on millions of women as well as men, and though men are currently the majority consumers of porn, women are consuming it more than ever before. It is also noteworthy that studies have shown the majority of pornographic material consumed by women falls under the category of “Lesbian” even among heterosexual women. This further exhibits the fact that porn by its nature predominantly portrays women as sexual objects, not men, even to other women who would never be in a homosexual relationship.

Man or woman, porn addiction is devastating to the addicts themselves, and for those battling the addiction, the war is a tremendously difficult one. Rather than coming alongside these individuals and offering them support in their fight and the forgiveness and love found in Christ, “Christians” such as Nadia Bolz-Weber wave their hand and dismiss all their pain. They smile in the face of this addiction and sin and claim that once the shame is removed from the act, so too will be the “compulsive behavior.”

Why then are millions of individuals who are not people of faith and have no issues with pornography also addicts? They feel no personal guilt and surround themselves with people and a culture that embraces porn consumption as normal and healthy, and yet, they are still addicted. Their relationships still suffer. Because it’s not the shame or the societal stigmas that produce the addiction but the graphic and abundant stimuli itself. Porn alters the chemistry of the human brain through reward and withdrawal and creates an addiction to the chemicals released while viewing erotic material.

Pornography is fundamentally anti-woman. It’s anti-marriage. Anti-love. Anti-consent. Anti-human. It tears apart the beauty and love in sexual intimacy and replaces it with a grotesque selfishness and a brutish addiction to stimuli apart from human connection as it devalues and degrades women as well as men. That is shameful. “Ethically-sourced” or not.

As the church, we should be reeling against the culture’s embrace of porn and offering instead the joys of forgiveness and peace through Christ to all held in bondage by it. We should be proclaiming the message that Christ died for this sinful addiction and therefore it should not be taken lightly. Yet there is hope for those who wish to stop. Porn tells us that our fellow human is worth only as much as the momentary pleasure and stimulation they can give us. Christ in His mercy tells us that humanity is worth immensely more to Him. Thanks be to God.

 

 

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lutheran-pastor-its-okay-to-look-at-porn-especially-if-its-ethically-source?fbclid=IwAR25zYGganK3UDQe2LBJTK2s50D4R4R3lhheh7ssOIUD6Tdc0l3RP0EksoM

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