02 February 2013

visual learners

there is a high cost that comes with raising boys. i feel it more now than ever-now that we have two boys who are older. they are seen as the instigators of most criminal acts in our country. not my boys specifically, but males in general. males are statistically more prone to violence and aggressive acts. they are touted as being the torchbearers for aggression and dismissed as being boorish at best. is it just self fulfilling prophecy? and then there are those accepted rites of passage. "all boys are visual learners", someone chides. and we all believe it so we turn a blind eye when these visual learners are fed through what they see.

we sent our two oldest boys away for their first weekend at church camp. it seems perhaps a bit irrational that my fear in them going was not the possibility of the bus sliding off the road. my fear in them going had more to do with the vulnerability of them being with other kids in an intimate environment. let me explain. 

it is my observation that we as a nation and especially as a world have become incredibly desensitized to the ill effects of pornography on our society. and the sheer notion that i would have a problem with this freedom of the press-and call it out may have some calling me old fashioned or naive. but i am neither of those. 

it is also my observation that sexual deviants act out of a dark place that is covered up with much shame. that shame has a genesis. 

there is something within all of us. a little voice that we hear if we listen closely. a voice that says, "warning!" or "proceed!" it says, "yes!" or "no!" often over time through acts of free will we can mask those little voices. sometimes we blanket them to the point where we cannot hear them or worse-the little voice that is compelling us to "caution!" is muffled to the point we think it's saying "proceed!" 

that is where pornography comes into this story. i am not going to say that i hate pornography because it subjugates women. women who choose to participate are typically there by choice and are compensated often times handsomely. i hate pornography because it does not lead to a flourishing society. it robs. i have seen first hand how it's dismantles families. it shames. it steers away from living a life in the light of healthy community and turns those on its path down a dark lonely road. those who ingest its filth are only trying to fill a void. a shameful empty unfillable void. 

once upon a time i sat in a class at an all woman's college and heard my classmate argue, "it is normal for guys to look at porn so no, i don't mind my boyfriend doing it." i will tell you what i told my classmates almost 20 years ago. no. it's not normal. and when did we decide that it was? when did we become so morally haphazard? lower our standards?when did we label men of being incapable of making upstanding decisions? have we not just said, "boys will be boys" and almost made them feel that there must be something wrong with them if they don't take the malicious bait? we say it's okay even normal for men to look at porn then we wonder why they act less than chivalrous. i remember some of the same college classmates who thought it incredulous that men wouldn't look at porn often wondered why their boyfriends could not love and nurture them the way they wished. there is a correlation.

pornography scares me more than guns. one is ridiculously under monitored. the other is getting more and more people up in arms-pun intended. one has absolutely no good intention. it does nothing to contribute to society. it robs. it decays. its insidious tentacles  grow and strangle leaving the victim full of shame. pornography is an equal opportunity assaulter. and its victims are not just those individuals who look at porn, but those who love and sometimes marry those who look at porn. 

often the shame it brings can only be masked or fed through acting out in even more deviant ways. and often, those ways of acting out are criminal. yes. i see a correlation between a person who has been sexual exploited and pornography. like begets like. am i saying all people who look at pornography are rapists? no. am i saying that all people who are raped will become rapists? no. am i saying that sexual deviance is aided and abetted through pornography. yes. a thousand times yes.

the billions upon billions of dollars made in this under policed arena can shut up lobbyists and lawmakers faster than an NRA member at a gun show. my son can see this trash as he buys a pack of gum at the gas station. and that first look can never be unseen. but no one is going to accidentally put a gun in his hand.

yes guns can kill. we have seen it first hand. but pornography robs the innocence through a slow death by a thousand slashes. sex slavery and child pornography are but two examples that prove that sexual deviance has to start somewhere. it's not like a person wakes up one morning and out of the blue decides to criminalize sex.

here's the thing. i have friends who incredulously ask, "why would a person need a gun in his home?" i ask the same question in the way of pornography. why? of what purpose does it serve? at least with a gun a person can responsibly hunt or sport. he can use the gun to feel safer at night. pornography leaves no one feeler safer.

a very up in arms,


Melinda Speece said...

Last week Lincoln's sermon began with "It's not a question of IF you looked at pornography this week but HOW OFTEN you looked at pornography this week."

It was a sermon on the parables of the weeds, which condemns all law breakers (the weeds) to be thrown into the fire at the end of the age. He started with the law and, thankfully, brought the good news.

You go, girl Friday.

Alana said...

agreed. we need to keep praying for our boys, husbands, friends, pastors, etc.