Vodcast: How Porn and Pop Culture Intertwine

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Here’s a surprisingly controversial statement for you: pornography is a problem.

There it is. We said it. We mean it. Not only has pornography been linked to what many are beginning to call a public health crisis, it is—in and of itself—a problem. And a big one at that.

Pornography and the use of it is not really a new topic, but it is a trendy topic at the moment. TIME Magazine has covered it. The governor of Utah has issued a declaration about it. Hollywood insiders (like Terry Crews) have spoken out about it. Even former adult film stars (like Bree Olson) are weighing in on its repercussions. I’ve talked about my own struggles on this very vodcast.

But, in the midst of the conversation about the detrimental effects of pornography, very few people seem willing to publicly admit or declare that pornography is actually wrong or harmful. For the amount of skating done around the topic, you’d be forgiven if you thought you were watching an Ice Capade.

We have some thoughts as to why that is, as well as on the subject of how we as Christians can respond to and be a voice in the myriad conversations swirling around this hot-button issue.

Oh, and in case you’d rather listen to this discussion in the car or in the gym, we’ve got a special audio link just for you, right below the video.

[Audio]

By the way, there are a lot of great resources to help boost your and your family’s online accountability—programs like Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny (Focus on the Family has a partnership with the latter). Also, if you or anyone you know is in need of resources for overcoming a struggle with or addiction to pornography, some great information and resources can be found here.

Who wrote this?

Jake Roberson is Plugged In’s social media manager and strategist. He’s the father of four children and husband of one wife, and he quite likes life that way. He also likes writing about entertainment, pop culture, dadhood … and food. He’s also a former Guinness World Record holder for participating in the largest hacky sack circle. Catch up with him on Twitter @jake_roberson

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kal El More than 1 year ago
Testing, testing. I seem to be getting censored for honesty here, so I want to see if I can make any post at all without seeing 'awaiting moderation ' after it.
milhistorian More than 1 year ago
If you're new to the site, they put you in moderation. 
Kal El More than 1 year ago
Ironically I've been a user on here for a long time, I just don't always post. I kind of think I'm developing a rep as a boat rocker because I don't really conform to the conventional notions sometimes, and it's easier to censor someone than it is to have a deep, 'come and let us reason together' discussion.
I can't really say for sure, nor can I judge anyone else's heart, it's just a suspicious trend I feel like I've been noticing.
jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
It's actually due to our automatic word filters. We've had long-standing problems with spam comments filled with inappropriate words. So our automatic filters are pretty stringent in order to help protect from that.

They do a great job overall, but occasionally real live comments from real live people get caught up in those nets. Which is what happened in this case. It happened to a few comments on this thread, actually, due to the nature of this topic.

And we actually don't mind boat rockers. All we ask is that all boat rocking be leveled respectfully and at ideas, rather than disrespectfully and at individuals. The ability to foster an environment for healthy conversations and debates is actually one of the reasons we have resisted the trend that some sites have hopped on of removing comment sections altogether.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a MASSIVE problem. 
Alex Clark More than 1 year ago
Haven't listened to the vodcast yet, but I would make the guess that the reason people often can't just come out and directly say that porn is wrong is because they are weary of being labeled as advocating censorship, and getting into the territory of individual freedoms.  Like divorce; I don't think very many people would "praise" divorce and say its definitely a good thing for society and individuals, and most people who have gone through it would say its painful and difficult, but probably few people would go as far as saying that divorce is "immoral" and that it shouldn't be legal.

Similarly with porn; few people are comfortable with saying its a good thing, but if we start saying "its wrong, it should be illegal" then we're now infringing on the individual's rights to view what they wish in their own privacy, and we're censoring.  And in America "censorship" is a terrible un-PC thing to do.     
Niki Sherie More than 1 year ago
Christina Borden you're absolutely spot on! I am always, quietly I admit, surprised at how many Christians are ok with reading and watching things like 50 Shades of grey! And also Twilight and Harry Potter. God wants us to have nothing to do with these things for OUR sake, not because He wants to spoil our fun! There is far too much compromise in Christianity these days, far too much of the world getting in. We really need to constantly check what the bible says about everything (If we're not reading it daily and already know) and stop doing what harms us.
Kal El More than 1 year ago
Actually, Twilight and Harry Potter have both been used very directly and strongly by God in my life to encourage and grow me. Those franchises are not absolutes, but questions of personal conviction.
Forcing your personal leading on someone else rather than respecting and trusting that God will lead them (even if that leading is different than the one for you) very in keeping with the Pharis33s of old, and in this case seems to smack of a saddening 1gnorance and self congratulat0ry religi0sity. Such m!sguided thinking veiled under a mask of 'Biblical Christianity' is far more offens!ve than either of the franchises you're condemn!ng. Or did you forget (in the Bible) Jesus displayed mercy and ate with thieves and wh0res, but r3buked the religious leaders of the day who were w!se in their own eyes?
I feel s0rry for y0u, but at the end of the day the awesome truth is that neither y0u nor anyone else can take away the real truth I've experienced about God's love and about how He uses even temporary things like a movie or book series to encourage and teach His cherished son. So I'll go on defying man and rejoicing in how God ministers to me through these series. :-)

Oh, and sorry about the typos. I added them to throw off the overly s3nsitive 'await!ng m0deration' filters, since PI seems to have developed a f3ar of free sp33ch and appears to have censor3d my post.
Kal El More than 1 year ago
Actually, Twilight and Harry Potter have both been used very directly and strongly by God in my life to encourage and grow me. Those franchises are not absolutes, but questions of personal conviction. I appreciate your zeal, but in this case I'm afraid it's misdirected and more likely to be a tool of the enemy to make Christians look like narrow minded, judgmental bullies or jokes (something that has already happened in the past on this and other subjects, sadly).
If it's sin to you, don't do it. As for me, I've been so blessed by them and how God moves toward me through them. Words fail me in attempting to express that one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You're afraid of Twillight and Harry Potter?  This is why Christians are LAUGHED at by the whole rest of the normal world.
Christina Borden More than 1 year ago
The reason people (especially Christians) don't want to publicly admit that porn is wrong - black and white kind of wrong- is because that means they have to also look more closely at the books they are reading (women - 50 Shades of Grey etc; men - Game of Thrones etc), more closely at the shows they are watching, more closely at how they speak to or about the opposite sex, more closely at how our entire society is focused on the sexualizing of men, women, and relationships.   Sex is not a bad word, but people today have gone so far in the opposite direction that everything beautiful about sex is now repulsive, cheap, and meaningless - esp to young adults, teens, and tweens.  Saying that porn is wrong also means people have to admit that sexual slavery is a problem which also means admitting that there is a direct correlation to dressing and acting a part - respecting oneself enough to dress and act like a lady/gentleman - respecting oneself enough NOT to be sexually active - replace the integrity of the vows of chastity, abstinence, and the holiness of marriage.   Porn is wrong.   Period.   And Christians (the Bible believing ones - that is) need to be more active in standing up against it in our personal lives and in our families.   We CAN and MUST share right and wrong without casting judgment.   (And for the people who are offended by this - ask yourself - WHY are you offended by truth?  Biblical truth?)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my experience Christians definitely know that porn is wrong, and that includes pornographic books and films and TV programmes with porn in them.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You make a really good point: it's not enough to say porn is wrong; it requires lifestyle changes to back it up.
Kal El More than 1 year ago
Largely accurate.
I question the premise that righteous living requires being deliberately 'sexually unattractive'. That's more Islamic in mentality, whereas Christianity seems to say something more like 'don't do something to cause someone else to stumble', but doesn't ever declare a need for fanatical extremes. If followed to its logical conclusion, this mentality would suggest a woman should be required to wear a thick coat or baggy robe at all times because she otherwise risks tempting guys to notice her bust or curves.
Biblically speaking, the issue comes down to getting our hearts right, not a strict, letter of the law dress code. Furthermore, most Christians haven't even researched the Bible's root words enough to realize that the human body (both clothed and not) are beautiful and not the issue, but rather than sin in our hearts can be an issue. Remove the sin, remove the issue.
There's a happy medium to be found, and even more important is the intent of the heart. ;-)
milhistorian More than 1 year ago
Given that the complete removal of sin is impossible this side of heaven, I suggest that we at least attempt to act to mitigate its effects, rather than comport ourselves as though sin had been eradicated.
That having been said, while I understand what you're saying--there is no need for Christian BurqaWear(TM)--I don't think Ms. Borden was saying that women should be deliberately unattractive. Instead, I think she was saying that there is a difference between dressing in a way that is...hmmm...let's go with "flattering," and dressing in a way that indicates "fast, cheap, and easy."