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The Sexualizing of America: How porn impacts culture

Last Updated: July 29, 2021

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The following is an excerpt from the Convergence Summit, sponsored by pureHOPE and the Religions Alliance Against Pornography (RAAP). Commissioner Israel Gaither of the Salvation Army is recognized for his global leadership. He has an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Asbury College and an honorary Doctor of  Divinity from Taylor University. The San Francisco Examiner named him one of the ‘Top Ten Communicators’ in 2006. He was also recognized by the Dominion Foundation as one of nine African-American Leaders to receive the Excellence in Leadership: Strong Men and Women Award (2008).


America is hemorrhaging. The once strongly held views and beliefs about the sacredness of humanity is now seeping from the veins of our culture. The sexualizing of America is in our face every hour of every day.

  • Cyberbullying is increasing.
  • One in seven teens are receivers of unwelcomed sext messages.
  • Nine in ten young people ages eight to sixteen are exposed to Internet pornography.
  • 83% of our male kids and 57% of female children have viewed – listen to this – group sex online.
  • 69% of boys and over half of the population of our little girls have been exposed to same sex relations via the Internet.

Our kids are literally under attack. The media reports it because it’s sensational, but public discourse is missing and the silence, friends, is deafening. You might expect me to say this [since I am] dressed in this Salvation Army uniform, but clearly, we are in a war. The battle for the minds and hearts of our youth is underway. We are not in Dorothy’s Kansas anymore.

Unless we err in our assumptions, people of faith are not immune from this destructive force either. There are those in private bondage, toying with tragedy. In a study, half of the participating men describing themselves as Christian admitted to struggling with Internet pornography. The impact is far less, but there are woman of faith caught in the grip of porn as well.

The affected sit in the seats of our churches and synagogues and mosques and temples. They stand to teach congregants from the pulpits and lecterns of houses of worship across this great land.

The experts who sit among us–and thank God for you–you will help us to understand that there is a direct correlation between the unhealthy engagements in the viral world and what we shall look like as a nation in the future. And there are direct implications on marriage and family. For example, 80% of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recently reported a rise in divorces that involve, guess what? Social networking.

  • Anywhere in the world when a woman is raped, a child abused, a man walks away from family responsibility, a civic, political, or religious leader espousing family values is publicly disgraced because of immoral behavior, there is a link.
  • When a high school in an economically depressed small town in which I know establishes a day care program in the high school for the children of its children, there is a link.
  • When–just as reported in the last 48 hours, bodies of women were discovered–at least four of them (at the last count I heard) were prostitutes. Ladies and gentlemen, there is a link to the impact of the human body being reduced to a mere commodity.

But as a nation we seem immune to shame. We reveal the hollowness of our national soul on billboards, in print, on television, and radio and through electronic devices of every description. I say we have no choice but to be here this morning. We must show up to speak firmly in love and act boldly with good godly intention–gracefully, informed, deliberately.

We must not have–we cannot have–generations in the future asking, “Why did those who knew better not come forward and do something? Why did they not have an answer?” And I tell you, silence in the presence of evil shames not the act, but condemns he who watches and does nothing.