Jeffrey Dahmer drugged and killed 17 men and boys. Before his imprisonment, he came to a point where he was murdering once a week. Driven by a desire to control individuals for his own gratification, Dahmer committed horrifying crimes. Their details need not be related here, as Paul’s words may have bearing on such a discussion: “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret” (Ephesians 5:14). But what helped drive Dahmer’s desires bears retelling. When asked what motivated him to commit such heinous acts, Dahmer confessed to the FBI in 1992 that (among other things: “heavy drinking,” etc.) pornography had played a part.1
Ted Bundy would not have been surprised. Bundy killed at least 28 young women and girls, and stated that his own exposure to pornography (first “soft,” then eventually violent) had served to fuel his evil thoughts. On the day before his execution, he said to James Dobson: “I’ve lived in prison for a long time…and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception every one of them was deeply involved in pornography—deeply influenced by an addiction. There is no question about it. The FBI’s own study shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.”1
Pornography kills. Granted, most of its users won’t become serial killers. But it kills all the same. It kills your self-respect. It kills your respect for others. It kills your self-control. It kills your relationship with your spouse. It kills your hope of eternal life (Matthew 5:28*; 1 Corinthians 6:9*; Hebrews 13:4*). It kills. And it’s a mass killer to judge from the statistics.
12% of all Internet websites are pornographic (that’s nearly 25 million). Every second, over $3,000 is spent on pornography, and more than 28,000 Internet users view it. 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related. 35% of all Internet downloads are pornographic. In fact, 40 million Americans are regular visitors to pornographic sites.2
And what do the demographics reveal about these users? That they may be found among men, women, and children. Among men, 70% aged 18-24 visit pornographic sites in a typical month. 20% admit to watching pornography online at work. Concerning women, one in three viewers of pornography is a woman, and that number is on the rise.2 And with respect to children, the largest group of viewers of Internet pornography is young people between the ages of 12 and 17.3 In fact, in September of 2000, children spent 64.9% more time on pornography sites than they did on game sites!4
A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
The problem of pornography has reached staggering proportions. It is without a doubt a “clear and present danger.” It threatens the lives of individual Christians, and their families. For the sake of themselves and those they love, believers must be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8) and circumspect (Ephesians 5:15). Caution and precaution must be exercised.
Is pornography viewing taking place in your home? If you say, “No,” how do you know? Have you and your spouse talked about it? Have you broached the subject with your children? No family should consider itself out of pornography’s reach. Ted Bundy stated: “I think people need to recognize that those of us who have been influenced by…pornographic violence are not some kind of inherent monsters. We are your sons and we are your husbands.…Any pornography can reach out and snatch a kid out of any house today (emphasis added).”1
What precautions have you taken in your home to protect those you love from pornography? The killer lurks in many corners. Do your children have unfiltered Internet access? Do they have such access in the privacy of their own rooms? Do they have such access at their friends’ houses? What’s on their Facebook accounts, and those of their friends? What about their phones, their IPods? Do you know what pictures they are sending and receiving on those devices? Do you know what images may be on the inside covers of their new CDs? Have you considered the impact of the pictures filling the pages of magazines and department store catalogues that are lying around the house (some of which justly qualify as “soft porn”)? Is cable or satellite television viewable behind closed doors? What about regular television? Can these be viewed without restraint when mature family members aren’t home? The purveyors of pornography are aggressively seeking new customers. They’re very interested in your money, not so much in your family’s welfare.
These dangers are not imagined. Few children go untouched by pornography in homes where watchful eyes do not prevail. 79% of youth say unwanted exposure to pornography occurs in the home.5 The opportunities for your children’s first exposure are many, readily available and accessible. And that exposure may be so fascinating, so enticing, even addicting. Once exposed to pornography, teens often seek it out again.6 The dangers of adult exposure are also not to be underestimated.
Jesus said, “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you…” (Matthew 5:29). It is a call to do whatever it takes to cease from sin. What measures could be too extreme to protect, even save, yourself and those you love from “the killer”? ■
* SCRIPTURES CITED:
Matthew 5:28-29- “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
1 Corinthians 6:9- “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Hebrews 13:4- “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
- Family Safe Media, December 15, 2005
- Study conducted by NetValue, Internet activity measurement service (December 19, 2000) and published by “The NetValue Report on Minors Online…” Business Wire.
- Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later, 2006
- Pornography’s Pain, Allen Webster, www.housetohouse.com