Stop the Demand

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Sex trafficking is a matter of supply, distribution, and demand. Experts are now seeing more and more that pornography fuels the demand by promoting the belief that women are sexual commodities. This e-book will give you the information and actions necessary to make a difference.

23 thoughts on “The Connections Between Pornography and Sex Trafficking

  1. One of the biggest motivations towards purity for me was when some women came back from Hillsong’s Colour Conference with facts about the A21 Campaign. I couldn’t help thinking not that what I do when I’m walking down the street in summertime is exactly what drives the demand for that vile industry. I’ve prided myself on not buying coffee or chocolate unless it’s fair trade, yet I’ve benefitted from slavery in that way without any qualms. I urge anyone who struggles in this way to find about the A21 movement and realise that you need to support one or the other.

  2. Most of what I’ve read and watched on Covenant Eyes has been good stuff, but I have to say that this article is at best intellectually dishonest. The author cites Catherine MacKinnon as a “Harvard Law Professor”, and references four of her articles. What’s not mentioned is that Ms. MacKinnon is also a radical feminist who has gone on record as stating that the First Amendment is a tool for male oppression. Radical feminism is also on record as being anti-Christian. After all, Paul’s teaching does mention wives submitting to husbands which makes Christianity a tool for male oppression. Hate speech! Ban it! Seriously, does Covenant Eyes really want to associate with this, even if only peripherally?

    Now to the gist of the article. Sorry, but the idea that every single porn performer is a victim of sex trafficking is pretzel logic at best, a pack of lies at worst (and Christians are supposed to tell the truth, right?). Many, if not most, performers have gone on record as stating that it’s a good gig and an ideal job for an exhibitionist. Perverse? Yes. Sinful? Definitely. Wrong? Absolutely. However, it is also an exercise of the free will that God gives us all, and which may be exercised in a democratic republic provided no one’s rights are violated. At this point, it should be mentioned that it is already highly illegal to produce or even possess porn involving minors, force people into prostitution, or engage in sex trafficking. People go to jail for these crimes all the time; just read the news.

    If you want to help me stay away from porn, stick to Christian truths and facts. If you tell me that using porn is contrary to God’s will, I get that. If you tell me that porn robs my wife of time and affection that she’s entitled to as my soul mate and partner, I get that. I need to improve and work on my sinful nature. If you tell me that porn is an addiction akin to drug abuse and alcoholism, I’m somewhat skeptical. I’ve dealt with alcohol abuse. Believe me, it’s not the same. Not even close. The psychological cravings arising from alcohol withdrawal were hellish for a long time after I quit. Not using porn is nothing compared to that. Still, I understand that there is valid science behind the addiction theory, even if there’s not universal agreement. It’s certainly worth thinking about. However, if you hand me dishonest propaganda written by people with an agenda that contradicts my core beliefs, sorry, ain’t buying it.

    • Hey Norb,

      I’m not sure MacKinnon’s radical feminism makes her observations about sex trafficking or pornography inaccurate. I’m well aware of what radical feminism stands for (and against), but Christians have long joined with radical feminists in these sorts of social causes. For a long time radical feminists have stood on stages with Christians to partner with them in certain social efforts. If we were citing MacKinnon as some kind of authority on gender or Christian ethics, I could see why this would be a problem. But we’re siting her because of her legal expertise to expose the false dichotomy between porn and sex trafficking.

      I have no problem quoting secular or even anti-Christian authorities when they are making accurate statements. Think of Paul’s famous sermon before the court in Athens where he quotes a Stoic poet writing a hymn to a pantheistic Zeus (Acts 17:28). Though Paul isn’t endorsing Stoicism or pantheism, he is capitalizing on truths found within Stoicism in order to make his point. Similarly, I would have no problem quoting an anti-Christian feminist if what they were saying was true. Merely quoting something does not mean endorsement of that person’s entire body of work, and it would be ridiculous to hold any writer to that standard.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “every single porn performer is a victim of sex trafficking.” The article outline on what conditions a specific porn actress ought to be considered trafficked. The article merely claims that “in many instances” the creation of porn ought to qualify as sex trafficking, and “many instances of porn production do involve some level of force, fraud, or coercion.” There are no claims here that this is universally true. Sorry it gives that impression.

      Thanks for sharing with us what you do and do not find the most persuasive. However, in my mind, the brutal realities women face in the sex business are not non-Christian truths. They are simply truths, and many Christians concerned about social justice are often awakened by these realities. We hear from men and women all the time that actually being confronted with the underbelly of the porn industry is eye-opening to them.

      As far as porn being an addiction, don’t take our word for it. We’re merely citing the studies that have lead people to those conclusions. As for the hellish cravings, I think it is important to distinguish addiction (which is a relationship one has with a substance or action) and dependence. No doubt, porn addiction isn’t like alcoholism in every way, but I know we also have never claimed such to be true.

  3. Luke,
    To be honest, I’m troubled by some aspects of your reply. By stating that you have no qualms about using anti-Christian sources to bolster an anti-porn argument, you are in effect stating that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, which is a deeply cynical and worldly point of view. Leaving aside the issue of MacKinnon’s veracity, the fact remains that partnering with radical feminists is several orders of magnitude above what Paul did when he quoted Greek poets in Acts. Worse, doing so dilutes the message of the Gospel, which is the task of every Christian to spread, as per Matthew 28:16-20. As a Christian man (albeit a deeply flawed one), I have deeply loved many women in my life, and so find the radical feminist worldview to be insulting and revolting. I’m sure I speak for many of my peers if I tell you that you are sadly mistaken if you think that I’ll be persuaded by radical feminist arguments. Of course porn is a seamy business. Its very nature makes it so. That doesn’t mean that all or even most of its female participants are coerced or enslaved, which is exactly what MacKinnon and the above article are stating or at least strongly implying. As an aside, I find it interesting that neither the article or the radical feminists mention male performers or men who do gay porn. I suppose they just don’t care about guys being exploited.

    If we truly have faith in God, we are to trust him completely, right? Why then, does a Christian organization feel a need to partner with people who are only in agreement on one issue and hostile to Christianity in most every other core belief? Is Covenant Eyes obeying the Great Commission by doing that? I don’t think so.

    If I’m told to turn away from sin and turn to God, I will accept that if I’m a believer. God’s word in scripture is enough for that, and is the rock on which I stand. Feminist propaganda will not help me. Studies citing addiction where the jury is still out on the scientific validity will get me thinking, but it’s not the real McCoy

    I’m glad you seem to understand that there is a distinction between alcoholism/substance abuse and non-narcotic compulsive behavior. The term “addiction” seems to be bandied about rather loosely these days. It seems that almost any destructive or compulsive behavior is being labeled as such. I don’t see the use of it.

    • So apparently if God works through someone you don’t agree with to share His truth, you either doubt His omnipotence to do so or deny His truth because of the logical fallacy you are committing of guilt by association.

    • Hey Norb,

      Perhaps a more robust explanation is in order. When I liken quoting radical feminists to Paul quoting the Greek poet Aratus, I see very little difference. Aratus was a pantheist who would have utterly rejected the Christian conception of God as personal and involved in the lives of people, let alone a God who would act in history, establish covenants, and send his Son to die for sins (or even have a Son for that matter). The very Stoic philosophers whom Paul was preaching to would have taken the same view. Nonetheless, Paul was okay to quote Aratus because he was using a theme from his classic poem to find common ground between himself and his audience.

      That’s what quoting a radical feminist is for me. We live in a culture that (rightly or wrongly) has been very influenced by radical feminism, and many Christians have even been influenced by it. By citing principles common to both Christians and radical feminists, we find common ground and can more easily move forward in discussions.

      That said, I completely acknowledge this article may not be the best article for a Christian audience. There are probably many other articles on our site that could do a better job with the topic.

      I’m not sure what you mean by us partnering with organizations that are hostile to Christianity. We have no formal partnerships like that (that I’m aware of).

  4. Luke,
    “partner with” was a poor choice of words. I apologize. “Find common cause with” would be, I hope, a better expression as to how CE works with radical feminists. Do you agree? I agree that there are many articles on CE’s website that do a better job discussing the issue, and I thank CE for that.

    Anthony D, the whole point of my replies was to express disagreement with an article that cited a radical feminist, who wasn’t identified as such by the author. I also expressed concern about a Christian organization using such material as a source, for the reasons shown. I don’t know on what basis you are concluding that the Lord is working through them; I think it’s wrong to presume that anyone can truly know that. I wasn’t declaring anyone guilty of anything. I was arguing with the central point of an article, so maybe you can elaborate on what you meant by “guilt by association”.

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