And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Do not read.

Warning: The content of this blogpost is intense and is not appropriate for younger readers.

This post for Dressember feels like the most important post I've written. Ever. I want to talk about causes. See, I believe that trafficking is a symptom. A symptom that has to be treated (and thankfully is treated through the amazing work of organizations like IJM). The problem is you can treat symptoms forever, but if you don't attack the cause then nothing will ever change. I believe one of the biggest causes of trafficking is pornography. I'm not talking about whether or not people should look at pornography, that's a different issue. I am talking about the normalization of extreme sexual behavior such as rape, abuse, and exploitation of children through pornography.

And the biggest problem? No one wants to talk about it.

There is rarely discussion of the more extreme types of pornography when people argue about whether or not it is right. I refuse to believe that a person wakes up one day and decides to become a pedophile. Perhaps they are born with an innate attraction to children, but to become a pedophile is a slow process. In my experience, the process always starts with porn. It starts with soft core porn and spirals from there. Most people can agree there is certain deviant sexual behavior that is not ok, but pornography insidiously exposes people to these behaviors before they realize what they're watching. Sadly pornography, even in its most extreme form, is eventually not enough and people act on these deviant sexual desires.

Even for the people who don't actually look at this dark side of pornography, there is an equally dangerous issue called ignorance. "If I don't know, then I'm not responsible." People do not want to acknowledge the existence of child pornography. People do not want to learn the fact that 70,000 people used a credit card to purchase a $29.95 monthly subscription to a website called baby rape. People do not want to know there is a dark part of the internet that cannot be found through google. People do not want to believe there is a child pornographer who posted threads titled, "Producing kiddie porn for dummies", "Toddler childporn star", "Crying rape", and "Need ideas for blackmailed girl." People do not want to accept the existence of PedoEmpires. People do not want to be aware of the genre of pornography called HurtCore, which depicts real life rapes, including the sexual assaults of children.

But all of that is true.

I desperately wish it weren't.

But everything I just wrote is true.

And my heart shatters.

My heart breaks for each one of those children who are casualties. My heart breaks for each one of those viewers who deceive everyone around them, including themselves. Chances are my heart breaks for you. You who have been abused, whose bodies have been treated as objects of pleasure rather than holy temples. You who have looked at child pornography. You who are addicted to any kind of porn. You who feel unbearable shame. You who have bought sex. You who have turned a blind eye to the reality of child pornography's prevalence. Can I speak some truth? Because I get it. Pornography is a taboo topic; however, the absolute worst thing you can do is hide. You can't allow shame to overtake you. Whether you're a victim or a viewer or a bystander. Seek help. Learn how to control your addiction instead of allowing your addiction to control you. Learn how to face the demons of your past and heal. Learn how to be an educated advocate.

Most importantly, learn how to believe in the inherent beauty and worth of every human being.

#Dressember day 20
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