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How Porn is a Justice Issue

"...and the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over [Babylon] for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men." (Revelation 18:11-13, NKJV)

We all know porn is a moral issue. It breeds lust, deception, lies, disrespect, divorce, violence, etc. But did you realize porn is a justice issue as well? The porn industry, which generates billions of dollars, is directly tied to and fuels the sex slave trade, human trafficking, and increased violence against women and children. Porn is a human rights issue. It degrades human dignity—for the consumer, their family, the porn “star”, and so many more. If we are concerned about justice through fair trade coffee and clothes, then you better believe we should do something about porn. And I’m pretty sure we are all concerned about human trafficking, so we need to know that fighting porn goes hand in hand with fighting human trafficking. Scripture tells us to be concerned about justice on behalf of exploited children (the orphans God calls us to care for), so exposing porn for the horrific injustice it brings to children trapped in the sex slave trade is part of the justice we are called to do on their behalf.

First, viewing porn objectifies people, primarily women and children, but also men. It devalues people so that their only purpose is someone else’s selfish sexual pleasure. We are all made in God’s image, and the Enemy uses the objectification of people to destroy our sense of worth as God’s children and image bearers. Viewing porn can desensitize someone so that they need increasingly dark porn to stimulate them. The human beings appearing in porn are treated as objects from which to derive twisted sexual gratification, instead of people with souls. The porn user can forget that the person on the other side of the screen is a person made in the image of God—they are simply pixels on a screen.

Second, viewing porn increases violence against women because porn viewers can be influenced to imitate the behavior they see in porn in real life. Unfortunately the recent movie 50 Shades of Grey has done the same thing by mainstreaming BDSM (Bondage, Domination, and Sadomasochism). Violence against anyone is NEVER ok. The BDSM community talks a great deal about "consent," "trust," and "play"—all terms carefully and intentionally crafted in order to imply some code of ethics, and more significantly, a legal construct in which one person can sexually assault another person. How this "consent" is achieved is another matter of scrutiny that I won't go into here. Typically, the defense from those promoting and profiting from BDSM relates to the concept of consent of the victim.

This defense fails to take into account international law regarding torture. International law states that torture is illegal, regardless of consent. In simple terms, this means that BDSM is a human rights violation. Specifically, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 5 states that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Third, the life of a porn “star” is a living hell. “Star” in this case is an oxymoron. Most of those involved in the porn industry have high rates of STDs, use drugs and alcohol to cope, and are at a higher risk of suicide and murder. You might think it was their choice. Maybe. Initially. For some. But not for most. This is NOT what God intended for their lives, and the enemy is stealing, killing, and destroying their God-given purpose.

There are many more justice issues related to this. This well-written article by Ana Stutler, a 2011 Calvin College graduate, includes numerous links and sources for further research into the horrendous world of the sex slave trade/human trafficking and how porn drives that. I encourage you to take the time to read it.

We are called as believers care for those considered by society to be “the least”. One of the ways we can help is by exposing how porn fuels the sex slave trade, primarily exploiting women and children. Thank God it is still illegal to view child porn. I pray that as Christians, we do not further support the porn industry and sex trafficking by viewing of porn. Help stop the demand for the sex slave trade and human trafficking!

I am convinced the Church will be radically different as we fall deeply in love with Jesus and profoundly aware of our Father’s heart cry on behalf of the oppressed, those suffering under injustice, and His deep love for all of humanity, whom He created in His image. In God’s sovereignty, He calls His Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to minister to and advocate on behalf of those who have been wronged, to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed. Speak up and judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9) and to see them set free through Jesus Christ, to see Him “give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3b).

Two songs that speak to my heart in this area are “I Refuse” by Josh Wilson and “Thrive” by Casting Crowns.

[Image: Flickr user Paolo Crosetto]

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