By James L. Lambert
Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from Porn in America, James Lambert’s new book for Huntington House Publishers. Lambert speaks publicly about pornography’s harmful effects on the individual and the community. He lives in California with his wife, Lorraine, and their family.
November-December 1997 – This book will deal with the question of establishing absolutes in our lives. It will make a case for strong personal application in dealing with porn use and addiction. It will offer encouragement for those who are struggling with addiction. Later chapters will also provide practical advice to Christians who have been secretly involved in viewing porn.
Pornography is a problem for millions of men across this country simply because it is so much more available than it was just 10 years ago. It seems easy for some of us to hide our heads in the sand and ignore the harm this material causes in our communities, yet daily the sale of hard-core pornography significantly contributes to “the epidemic of sexual violence and crime in America.”’ Further chapters will provide evidence that makes a strong case linking porn to this epidemic.
Chapters two through eight establish that America has a strong fascination with pornographic, sexually addictive material. Some might wonder why so much of the book is devoted to proving this point. The explanation rests with the fact that much of the public is either misinformed or uninformed about the proliferation and the harm (including mental, physical, and spiritual effects) this material presents to our populace.
Not until we become educated about the long term effects of porn and the message it conveys, will we be able to understand how this material desensitizes our perceptions about women, children, family, and the proper role of the gift of sex in our lives. Our tolerance of this material runs contrary to all decent, traditional standards. If we knowingly allow ourselves to financially support this industry and businesses that are involved in this industry, we become part of the problem, not the solution.
This message is even more profound for those who hold strong religious convictions. The God of the Bible repeatedly calls on His people to live holy lives. Both Bible believing Christians and Jews can agree on this point. In the Torah, we are told by God to “be holy for I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 20:7). In the New Testament, Jesus exhorts His followers to “sin no more” (John 5:14). The Bible speaks against lascivious behavior and shows it has no place in the lives of people dedicated to following God. In fact, in the country of Iran where Islam is the state religion, the production of porn is a capital offense, which could include the death penalty (NY Times, 12/21/93).
Yet, how seriously do we take the Bible’s exhortation to live our lives pleasing to God’s will and way? How seriously are we willing to stand against immorality and be criticized for positions we take against evil in our community? I believe that this is a question every believer needs to ask himself – just how committed am I?
Part of the problem in recognizing evil in our society is to get past the misconceptions that proponents of evil present to the public in defense of what they do. This is certainly the case in the porn industry. One of the first things that pornographers do in setting up their business is to get a good defense attorney. They are well prepared to fight law enforcement or any groups that oppose their activity. However, their arguments are based on a number of misconceptions that are reviewed in chapter ten. This material is important because it is helpful in understanding the pornographers’ justification of their own business. After scrutinizing the facts presented in this publication, I am hopeful that you will be able to recognize the extent to which porn has invaded everyday commerce in our country. We should also be able to see how porn’s influence is contributing to our moral free fall.
It would be completely wrong and irresponsible to blame all of America’s moral slide on the growth of pornography. The presence of pornography is evidence that we have a severe character problem in this country. While pornography contributes to many social and personal problems, it would be naive to give the pornographers more credit than they deserve. We can blame our nation’s condition on our own “human condition” and unwillingness to change.
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