Note: This article originally appeared in the May 1985 issue of Charisma magazine. American society has intensified its efforts to spread this moral plague, but many methods to combat it are still the same—including turning to Jesus, praying and reading the Word.
“If it feels good, do it.” Morton Hill, a Catholic priest who founded Morality in Media, an organization that works toward having federal obscenity laws enforced, reminds us that pornography is no longer just downtown. It is downstairs.
Pornography has reached epidemic proportions. Today, people are portrayed shamelessly engaging in-group orgies. Women are sexually tortured, and children are abused. Intercourse between animals and women, as well as homosexual acts of gross perversion, take place on movie screens open to the public.
These scenes and others like them are wrapped up in four-color glossy covers, sold in your corner drugstores, supermarkets, service stations, bookstores and airports. The morals of the people in these pictures seem to be on the level of stray dogs—sex anytime, anywhere, with anyone, with no consequences.
The most recent upsurge of pornography in our time began with Hugh Hefner’s first issue of Playboy in 1955. Someone once remarked, “Playboy is not the only force encouraging our young people to live selfishly, to use drugs and to be promiscuous, but it is one of the biggest.” Little did anyone know that Playboy would open the floodgates. About 400 publications followed, crowding quality magazines off the newsstands.
After nudity was accepted, it was only a short step to simulated sex and then to homosexuality and finally to hard core. By the mid-1960s bestiality and every bizarre form of sexual perversion were portrayed. Now, in the 1980s, kiddie porn, featuring children 6, 7 and 8 years of age, is the fastest-growing and largest income producer of the pornography panderers. Child porn used to be imported from Scandinavia, but no more. It is homegrown, and now, 250 kiddie porn magazines are on the market.
America has more than one million runaway children a year. Most of them run away to escape incest in the home, according to Ladies Home Journal. These 12-year-old boys and girls can become easy prey to the bus terminal pimps who wait for their arrival in the big cities.
Some of them choose to become child prostitutes on the streets rather than returning home to be abused by incestuous parents.
It’s not just runaways who suffer abuse. Some children wish they could run away! But how does an 8-month-old baby with gonorrhea of the throat run from perverse parents?
How do 4- and 5-year-olds run from parents who think nothing of sexually misusing their very own children in front of a camera and selling the pictures to the smut peddlers?
The Rene Guyon Society, an organization that encourages young children to have sexual relations with one another, boasts of having a membership of 8,500. Based in California, the society brags on its letterhead, “Sex by eight or it’s too late.” Membership is conditional upon proof that one has “deflowered” a little girl before her eighth birthday.
Similar organizations exist in the large cities along the eastern seaboard. Many of these pedophiles advocate the repeal of age of consent laws, allowing sex at any age, which is already the situation in Denmark. In essence, an adult would be able to initiate sex with a child of any age and be free of any prosecution.
Adult bookstores now sell a child seducer’s manual titled Lust for Fun. It shows in detail how to entice a little girl from a schoolyard or playground, take her home, engage in sex, and then be able to hide all traces that anyone had ever abused her.
One magazine, Baby Sex, shows 6-month-old infants who are victims of sexual acts with adults.
What are the results of this type of vicious behavior?
Last year more than 600,000 babies were born to unwed teenage girls, according to Sam Janus, author of The Death of Innocence. Nine thousand of those babies were born to girls 11 years of age and under. In addition, one must remember the widespread use of birth control measures and frequency of abortions, miscarriages, and unreported births. One out of every 10 teen-age girls gets pregnant each year. The only age level in the United States where births are on the increase is ages 9 of 14.
Is it any wonder that genital herpes now afflicts 20 million Americans? If we allow this immorality to spread any further, does anyone doubt that God could destroy us? If we allow it to go further, does anyone doubt that God should destroy us? Billy Graham has said, “If God doesn’t call down His wrath upon America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Legally, there is a difference between hard-core and soft-core pornography. Morally, there is no difference; both of them are rotten to the core.
Does it make you sick? Have you heard enough? Unfortunately, pornographers do not know when to stop. Be assured that they never will stop unless angry parents, responsible citizens and concerned Christians rise up and say, “We have had enough! No more!”
I am indignant. I am incensed. I am angry. Aren’t you? Does it have to happen to our children before we do something? Enough is enough. Enough is too much!
I cannot accept the U.S. Department of Justice’s projection that one out of every four girls in America today will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime. I will do what I can to see that it does not happen.
America is experiencing a sexual holocaust, and nothing will save us short of a massive move on the part of religious, legal and governmental organizations. It is high time to declare war on those who pander pornography. We must remove this malignant cancer from the life of American society.
You Can Make A Difference
My, friend William Kelly served more than 20 years as a Federal Bureau of Investigation law enforcement agent specially assigned to pornography and obscenity. He reports that, during a recent trial, the judge turned to the jury panel members and asked three questions: “How many of you are members of any organized religion?” Forty percent responded affirmatively. “How many of you have ever seen a sexually explicit motion picture film or video tape?” Seventy percent raised their hands. “How many of you have ever heard a sermon preached on a sexually explicit matter, ever, anywhere? Not a single hand was raised.
This highlights our predicament. Most church people have lived such sheltered and protected lives that they are uninformed about the seriousness of the problem. Yet, there, are enough pornographic magazines printed each year to pave—with covers alone—a two-lane highway from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Playboy alone produces 4 million copies per month. Because the Church is not aware of the seriousness of the situation, it has not effectively raised its voice in protest.
New light brings with it new responsibility. Now that we know, we must determine to break out of our silence lest we lose the battle by default. Neither can we allow ourselves to be intimidated by those who charge us with prudishness or neopuritanism.
What can you do about pornography? Plenty! Don’t give up because of the magnitude of the problem. Our assignment to preach the gospel to every creature is also an enormous task, but that is no reason to do less than our best in evangelizing the world.
In 1979, E.F. Hutton was recommending Playboy Enterprises to his investors. That year Playboy had a $36 million dollar profit. That was the same year Brad Curl organized his annual march on Playboy Enterprises in Chicago. Within three years Playboy Enterprises showed a decrease of more than 20 percent in their advertising, dropped over 20 percent in magazine circulation, and showed a $57 million dollar loss. A concerned citizen made the difference.
Atlanta, Georgia, has succeeded in removing every adult book store in Fulton County.
Cincinnati has successfully rid its city of all X-rated movies and adult bookstores. It has also passed an ordinance that forbids open display of the soft-core magazines from their shelves because of a single letter, a single visit, or a single phone call.
Yes, you, too, can make a difference. (Editor’s note: While some of this may seem outdated, some of these efforts are still practical today and can be used in the spiritual warfare against pornography).
You Can Pray
This is a spiritual battle. We are no match to attack this gigantic evil in our own strength. But with God, our little sling can penetrate the giant’s armor and win the battle. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12, ICJV). Begin with serious and continuous prayer.
- Pray for the pornographers. To stand in a prayer circle and hear Father Morton Hill pray for Larry Flynt by name is an unforgettable experience. My outrage at what he publishes is so strong that it had not occurred to me to pray for him. Then I remembered how Jesus taught us to “pray for those who despitefully use you” and “Forgive your enemies.” We must learn to hate their sin but love them. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.
- Pray for all the organizations that God is raising up to expose and turn back the tide of this evil. All have a single purpose and, in spite of theological differences, we must unite as one massive force. We really do need one another.
- Pray for young men and women who pose and perform in these lewd, lust-laden pictures.
- Pray for the victims of sexual abuse, especially little children who are used by incestuous parents. Pray for persons who have been violated by rapists. Pray for children who have fallen into the hands of greedy pimps and will walk the streets tonight as prostitutes.
- Pray for young people who have no models or morals in the home to serve as a bulwark against these sins in our society.
- Pray for the Church. Your congregation. Your communion. The whole body of Christ. Pray that we may have boldness to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11, RSY).
- Encourage the formation of prayer groups to pray for a return of our nation to a high, standard of morality and a renewal of the body of Christ.
- Read once again what the Bible says about morality, purity, and ‘holiness. In your daily devotions become alert to and make note of those verses that apply to this issue. Refer to them often. Be strengthened by them. But most of all, be obedient to them. Read especially Leviticus chapters 18 through 20. Read Paul’s writings in Romans 1:18-32; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:13-20; Ephesians 5:8-21.
- Read books that speak to the seriousness of the problem: How to Stop the Porno Plague by Neil Gallagher (Bethany Rouse Publishers, Minneapolis); The Death of Innocence by Sam Janus (William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York).
- Read some of the porno magazines at least once. Do it with another adult who
- Read the newspapers in your community to become aware of needs and opportunities for action. Read the news section as well as the entertainment pages.
- Subscribe to and read the publications issued by the professional groups fisted in this article.
- Survey and make a detailed listing of the places in your community where the adult book stores are located, the X-rated movie theaters, the massage parlors, and the live shows that present obscenity and indecency.
- Survey and record all of the outlets in your community that handle the so-called soft-core books and magazines. Be sure to look in supermarkets, newsstands, convenience stores, gas stations or truck stops, drug stores, motel lobbies, and airports.
- Inspect and list all video stores in your community that rent or sell CDs containing obscene or pornographic material. This is one of the fastest growing and vilest areas of promotion.
- Learn about all TV cable channels that are now operating in your community and keep abreast of proposed channels. It is often easier to keep these off the air than to get them off once they are in operation.
- Research and learn what the anti-obscenity and display laws are for your state, county, and city. These are often available through the public library, the state legislature, and the office of the, city clerk. They can at least direct you where to get this information.
- After becoming acquainted with the laws, discover which ones are actually being enforced.
- Some laws may be enforced while others are not. Some laws may be enforced in one place but not in another. It may be that the only thing necessary for the enforcement of a law is for one person to notify the responsible law enforcement agency.
- Learn what laws are enacted in other states and cities that are not on the books in your state or community. Guidance on present laws is available from “Citizens for Decency through Law,” Phoenix, Arizona.
- If adequate laws do not exist that conform to the U.S. Supreme Court Miller/Paris Theater decision, it would be appropriate to take the necessary steps for the enactment of such laws.
- List the names and addresses of officials in your community who a position either to enact or enforce laws. This will include such officers as the mayor, the city/county attorney or prosecuting attorney, the U.S. District Attorney in your jurisdiction, and the U.S. Postal Inspector.
- Make a similar list of names and 041 dresses of the proper legal and governmental officials for your state and for the U.S. government.
- Neil Gallagher suggests that “if every Christian, every time he or she enters every store would praise or complain to the management (as is appropriate) about the sale of pornography, would soon disappear.”
- Begin with an olive branch. Kindly go to the manager and in your own words tell him or her how you feel about their, handling materials that are so destructive to the moral climate of our country and community. Sometimes that is all that is, needed. Save your threats not to purchase for later. Don’t argue.
- Speak to your friends. Tell the what you have learned and what you are doing. Loan your books. Ask them to join you in speaking to these purveyors of pornography.
- When you become aware that laws are being broken, speak to the proper law enforcement officials and issue a complaint. Be specific and ask for an investigation and a report back.
- Use your telephone. Take advantage of call-in radio or TV shows to raise the subject and alert the community.
- Gather together interested persons in the local congregations to study, pray, and plan. Where two or three are gathered together, Christ is in their midst.
- Find other existing groups in the community and get together to share your findings and concerns. See if you can form a local chapter in your community of one of the national organizations listed [in the next section].
- Expand your local church organization to include occasional meetings with civic leaders in the community for two-way communication.
- Encourage state and national leaders in your fellowship to mobilize all the churches for a united effort.
- Cancel at once any subscription to any magazine, cable network or video service that caters to the obscene, indecent, or pornographic. A citywide rally with 200 cancellations the next morning to a questionable TV channel would communicate a powerful message to the media.
- Lift up a standard by what you read, by what you watch on TV, by how you talk, and by what you value. Your friends will quickly note the difference.
- Witness to your children, grandchildren, and friends about your Christian values and your interest in the New Testament purity of life.
Whatever the reasons, pray that whatever causes them to do it will be removed.
You Can Read
understands fully and shares in your purpose for becoming informed. If you doubt your motives, DON’T!
You say you don’t want to. I’m glad. You want to keep yourself pure. So did I. That’s why I didn’t begin fighting sooner. You don’t have to inspect now. Your children will. They can’t help it. It’s everywhere, even in junior high school. It wasn’t until I saw adults committing ugly sex acts with 6-month-old babies that I began to fight it. Pornographers don’t want you to inspect it. They would like to exploit your ignorance.
When you have seen it, it will make you sick. It’s like a surgeon inspecting a cancer. And you must hate it as God hates it and as a physician hates cancer.
You Can Gather Data
What is the situation in the city or county in which you live? You will never know until you survey the community, and gather essential data for review and study. Be sure of your facts.
You Can Know The Law
You Can Speak
You Can Mobilize
A mighty movement is taking place at this time within the body of Christ to counter the corrupting influence of pornography in American society. This Movement is bringing congregations together within communities as well as -bringing denominational leaders together to speak with a united voice. This focal point of interest is energizing Christ’s Church with a new sense of renewal. How do we go about mobilizing?
You Can Exemplify
If in our actions we do not serve as a model, the validity of the message must be in question. To believe literally means “by-life,” or “by-my-life,” or even “I’ll bet my life.” The history of the early Church was not written in a book called “I Believe” but rather “The Acts.'” The emphasis was on doing. Your action can make a difference.
You Can Unite
There is great value when we cooperate with thousands of others from across the nation to create a massive impact.
A single voice does count but when that voice is multiplied by one thousand, it becomes 10,000 times as strong. The effect is compounded.
A little girl once bitterly complained to her mother that her older brother built some traps in the backyard in which to catch rabbits. No amount of pleading would change his mind. She brooded all day over the situation.
To her mother’s surprise, the little girl became very calm and composed as bedtime neared. Mother inquired about the change in her attitude.
The little girl responded, “Well, Mom, I prayed and prayed and prayed that no little rabbits would get caught in those traps.”
The mother praised her for her faith.
Then the truth came out. “After that,” the little girl said, “I went out into the backyard and kicked those traps all to pieces.”
We began our steps with prayer. It is a prayer concern. Now God is calling us to go out into the community and kick the traps of pornograpy all to pieces. I will rest more calmly when the X-rated movies are gone, the adult bookstores are closed, the lewd magazines are off the shelves, and when the abusers of children are off the streets.
Go now, in the name of Him who said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8, KJV).