By T.G. Blankenship at The Gethsemane Blog
Too often Christians (in my experience) stand against things such as porn on a strictly moral basis. That is, they abstain from looking at, purchasing, or involving themselves with porn in any way, and discourage others from the same because porn is immoral. It is sex out of the proper context in which God has deemed it appropriate, upstanding, good, and thus it is inappropriate, immoral, and bad. For these Christians porn is strictly a moral issue and it is only wrong because God deemed it not right. It is improper behavior and taints the individual in a spiritual (or at least invisible) way.
It's true that porn is a moral issue. Sex and its relation to its God-given context is a moral issue to be sure. However, we fool ourselves if our only argument against porn - to both ourselves and the world around us - is merely moral and neglects the injustice involved. Porn is not merely a private issue but a public and social issue. It is an issue of morality and justice (the two should never be separated in the first place).*
When we think about most moral issues it becomes easy to see how they are also issues of justice. People think porn is bad because it degrades women and thus it is immoral, but this is a justice issue because it's an oppression issue while also being a misrepresentation issue. It creates an injustice in the society by way of creating an unloving and inaccurate perception of women. Porn is immoral for several reasons and unjust for several reasons.
One major injustice found in the porn industry is it's strong bond with sex trafficking and child abuse. The Washington State Office of the Attorney General released information on sex trafficking recently. Here are a few statistics:
•12 is the average age of entry into porn and prostitution, but their ages are often mislabeled.
•1 out of 5 pornographic images is of a child.
•The sale of child pornography has become a $3 billion dollar industry.
•Over 100,000 websites offer child pornography.
•55 percent of internet child pornography comes from the U.S.
There are an estimated 100,000 minors (the average age of whom is 13 when brought into the industry) bought and sold for sex in the U.S.A. each year. A large amount of this sex is in the form of pornography. This kind of information makes it impossible to deny that pornography isn't creating a great deal of injustice in our world. Christians must stand against porn not merely because it's sex out of it's God given context and it's "bad" according to morality but because it creates injustices of sex trafficking, slavery, kidnapping, rape, pedophilia, and so on.
The porn industry in the U.S. is a supply and demand industry. There aren't enough women out there who want to get naked and have sex for the sake of profit and entertainment to satisfy the demand that exists and thus the evils listed repeatedly in this article increase each day.
There is a man in my congregation who is involved with a group called The EPIK Project. They create awareness about the injustices involved in our society that are related to sex trafficking. Christians can't stand on the moral issue alone. We must stand for justice in its fullness and say that we are against all evils and that we see many evils in pornography and the industry of pornography that saturates our nation. It would be unjust and immoral to stay to feed the porn industry (which includes looking at it at any point) or to even stay silent about this injustice. EPIK Project is trying to offer a venue for us to no longer be silent. Below is a video (less than 3 minutes) about them. *Ken Wytsma has dedicated a lot of his life to the teaching of justice and it's proper place in theology. He recently spoke at my congregation with a presentation that discussed the intimate connected between justice and righteousness. It's worth checking out. Here is a link to the sermon and a link to the article.