The evangelical crusade against porn bears nothing fruity–the sexism and homophobia behind the pornophobia

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Illustration by Gabriel Ivan Orendain-Necochea

A 40-year-old Christian evangelical movement condemning pornography has gone viral in the Internet-savvy 21st century.

Christian groups are using the Web to encourage men and women not to view porn and resist lust in its entirety. They say pornography is a dangerous addiction that can ruin marriages, families and morals, supporting their claims with Christian “science.”

The real reason the church hates pornography is its continuing patriarchal and homophobic view of human relationships.

Religious condemnation of pornography has been fervent since Denmark legalized it in 1968 and then became popular in the United States with the film “Deep Throat,” by Gerard Damiano. The “Golden Era” of porn stretched from the 1970s to the 80s. With the advent of the Internet, it’s become a fixed part of today’s popular culture, and unavoidable for evangelicals and porndogs alike.

That is why they are starting to speak openly about repressing pornography, masturbation and even sexual thoughts with the hopes of changing not only their sects, but sex in American society.

XXXchurch.com, a non-profit organization created by Fireproof Ministries, seeks to promote awareness and prevention of the “No. 1 most destructive force in our culture” — pornography.

“Indifference under the banner of ‘freedom’ will lead to the collapse of society,” states XXXchurch.com. “Through constructive efforts to challenge the notion that porn is not dangerous, it is possible to change the sexually intoxicated nature of our culture. By providing hope, satisfaction and healing, life can be lived with a purpose beyond personal self-gratification.”

To follow the talk with walk, XXXchurch goes to colleges, churches and even crashes porn shows and conventions to “take love into places where most wouldn’t expect to find it.” There, they hand out free bibles and “support those who leave the industry.”

Beyond moral outrage,
The concern is more for Christian men than for Christian women. Christian “scientists” such as Dr. William M. Struthers, claim that pornography is dangerous for men because it “hijacks” the male brain. In an article by the Christian Post, Struthers explains his book, “Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. “

“The simplest explanation for why men view pornography … is they are driven to seek out sexual intimacy,” he says in the book. “Satisfying this drive is pleasurable. Sexual intercourse and the naked form of women are enjoyable, as designed by God to be.”

He describes male brains as “being one-track, goal-oriented and visuospatial, making it the perfect playground for sexual fantasy,” and that “every woman they (males) come into contact with is objectified, undressed and evaluated as a … mental sexual partner.”

Contrary to Struthers’ argument, a study released in 2009 titled “Pornography, Public Acceptance and Sex Related Crime: A Review,” by Dr. Milton Diamond, finds adult pornography to be positive for relationships and attitudes about sex.

“If anything, there is an inverse causal relationship between an increase in pornography and sex crimes,” writes Diamond. “We see that objections to erotic materials are often made on the basis of supposed actual, social or moral harm to women. No such cause and effect has been demonstrated with any negative consequence.”

He concludes that the only direct causal relationship between pornography and illegal activity is in child porn.

Struthers’ view is blinded by his patriarchal ideas about sexuality. He assumes that all Christian men are heterosexual and do not watch pornography involving same-sex acts, while implying that women were designed by a creator to be enjoyed only by men. He completely ignores the existence of gay, bisexual or transgender men and women who share sexual and intimate relationships with individuals of the same sex.

This may be because the only kind of sexual relationship evangelicals approve is that between heterosexual married couples, and pornography certainly does not exclusively depict that kind of sex.

The link between homophobia and the crusade against porn is present in Uganda, where the social and political climate makes this African country one of the most dangerous places for queer people to live.

A Ugandan cleric showed gay pornography to his congregation February 2010 to gain support for anti-gay legislation, which proposed the death sentence for gays and lesbians.

“We are in the process of legislation, and we have to educate ourselves about what homosexuals do,” the cleric told the BBC. “In Africa, what you do in your bedroom affects our clan, it affects our tribe, it affects our nation.”

Christian evangelicals will continue to propagate that sexual repression is the best approach to maintaining sexual health and moral code in society.

Ironically, Diamond concludes that “what does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing.”


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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GJY3Q6BYAQUWP55CBJMRKFRS3Q RafaelR

    Ignorance at it’s finest is opinionated in this article. Nearly half of all divorces list porn as a contributing factor. But Hansook Oh’s take on the anti pornography campaign by Christians is insulting. At least it’s labeled under OPINIONS because that’s all it is. Normally people should base their opinions off of some real facts not simple Google searches

    I made a personal critique(Video) of this article, hopefully my comment will not be deleted for violating something.

  • Achilles

    I love porn… that’s all.