Just hours away from me in Montreal exists the largest distributor of pornographic content in the world, serving billions of views a year to the world.
Added to that, the demand that Mindgeek/Pornhub creates contributes to the burgeoning trafficking industry that exists in our Canadian cities and is supported at times by Christians.
Nicholas Kristof of NYTimes writes of Pornhub (WARNING GRAPHIC): “Its site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags.”
You may have an exclamation point in your mind because I said “churches” above. But read the stats on this. Christians do have lower rates of use of pornographic material and of the sex industry; but they still engage with both.
If you have been in Christian ministry for a while, that should not be a shock. And if you’ve read church history before, that should especially not be a shock!
What seems especially odd to me, given these things, is that I have rarely seen churches discuss these matters openly. It seems like a disservice to the poor and needy to keep these for clandestine men’s groups. Shout out on the hills.
If we are not a city of light that shines a light on the darkness, then what are we?
I’d only add that when the taboo becomes speakable, then the shame of confession becomes much less. For example, once men realize that other men use porn, it becomes really easy to talk about. And it becomes much easier to overcome.
The cross eats up our shame. So the shame of our sin, though felt, does not belong to us in the same way it would apart from the cross. For this reason, when we hide taboos like this, then we make shame meaningful and confession implausible and love unseeable.