Better Late Than Never

I suppose we should have posted this at the beginning of the week. Still, any time is a good time to promote awareness of the dangers of pornography. From LifeSite:

Pornography Awareness Week – Oct 29 to Nov 5

Largest group of Internet porn viewers are children between ages of 12 and 17 By Meg Jalsevac BALTIMORE – Cardinal William Keeler is encouraging all parishes in his diocese to prayerfully and actively take part in Pornography Awareness Week (PAW) from October 29 to November 5. Among other things, participants are asked to wear a white ribbon to symbolize their commitment to purity and their public protest against “the increase of obscenity” in today’s culture. PAW is a national effort to raise awareness of the detrimental effects of pornography to individuals, families and society as a whole. Thousands of people are participating across the country. In his message, Keeler explained that “the idea that pornography does not cause serious problems is a myth.” He went on to explain that it denigrates the dignity of the person, usually women and children, to the point that they become looked on as mere sexual toys. Pornography frequently leads to more aggressive sexual behavior again most frequently targeting women and children as victims. Keeler is hoping that PAW will alert parents to the temptations that surround their children when it comes to pornography. Keeler warned that the largest group of Internet porn viewers are children between the ages of 12 and 17 and he said that many parents are totally unaware of the fact that their children might be exposed at all. Eli Machen, founder and president of The Omega Recovery Institute in Asheville, North Carolina says that pornography has a real chemical effect on the brain which is what causes pornography to be so addictive. Machen explains that pornographic images are so powerful that they are easily and frequently recalled. However, because the physical reaction to pornography is actually chemically triggered in the brain, most individuals who regularly view pornography find that they need to increase or intensify their pornographic habits in some way in order to maintain the same chemical effects. Pornography is extremely addictive and always leaves the viewer wanting more. Phil Burress, a former pornography addict for 25 years, is hoping that PAW will increase awareness of the dangers of pornography. He says, “I believe it’s one of the leading causes, if not the leading cause, of divorce in America today.” Burress is now the leader of the group Citizens for Community Values which works to get pornography out of stores and hotels. Morality in Media is also promoting the Pornography Awareness Week (also called White Ribbon Against Pornography Week) as an attempt, among other things, to alert parents to the fact that the average age that children first come into contact with pornographic material is 9 years old. The president of Morality in Media, Bob Peters says that more people need to speak out against pornography. He says, “If people don’t make complaints in the community about pornography, there’s a perception that people don’t care and maybe that it’s even acceptable in our community.” The Child Online Protection Act, signed into law in 1998 by then President Clinton, requires ‘adult content’ sites to take measures to ensure that minors cannot access material that is considered “harmful to children.” The standard by which something is judged ‘harmful’ or not is defined as “contemporary community standards”. Sites with such material are required to obtain proof of age from their viewers. Penalties for not doing so can be fines reaching up to $50,000 or six months in jail. Fittingly but unintentionally timed to coincide with PAW, the Justice Department is currently in court trying to shut down online sites that do not protect minors from offensive material. The ACLU is representing two such websites who argue that the wordage “community standards” is ambiguous and unenforceable. The ACLU also argues that it is the role of parents, not the government, to regulate internet usage by minors. Attorneys for the government argue that even Internet filters cannot possibly keep all pornography out of a home computer. Cardinal Keeler and Morality in Media have listed additional resources that can help in the fight against pornography. Keeler also said that parishes should be the first step in helping to recognize and overcome porn addiction. He also suggested sample ‘Prayers of the Faithful’ and preaching points for Pornography Awareness Week. See Morality in Media’s White Ribbon Against Pornography page: http://www.moralityinmedia.org/index.htm?wrap.htm Read Related LifeSiteNews Coverage: ‘Mainstream’ Porn is More and More about Child Porn http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/apr/060421a.html Road to Perversion Is Paved With Porn http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/apr/060412a.html

For more on the seriously harmful effects of pornography, there’s nobody better than Dr. Judith Reisman. See especially her recent article, “Pornography’s Link to Rape”.

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