What $100+ billion business is larger than all the sports franchises combined? It is also bigger than ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX combined.

It is the pornography business. The “Fellowship of Christian Athletes” magazine had an expose article on the subject with these interesting insights.

Estimates are that the La Cosa Nostra crime families control about 85 percent of all pornography.

“Pornography” literally means “to write of harlots.” Most dictionaries define it as “the depiction of erotic behavior in words or pictures.”

Who is watching? An overall analysis is unavailable, but among professing Christians, 50 percent of the men and 20 percent of women interviewed admitted to being addicted to pornography. That is “addicted.” Among the non-professing believers, the percentage was even higher.

An estimated 40 million Americans visit an internet pornography site on a regular basis. One in five internet searches is for porn. Eighty-eight percent of porn scenes contain physical aggressing.

One athlete said 23 of the 25 members of his team, including him, had been addicted to internet pornography.

The largest consumers of internet pornography are 12 to 17 year olds, males and females. Nearly half of all teenagers walk around with an X-rated theater in their pocket called a smartphone, giving them instant access to porn.

Studies reveal that addiction to porn is as powerful as the chemical dependency on cocaine. Black spots on the brain of both types of addicts reveal similar severe brain damage. This is dramatically influencing our culture.

Whether a person wants to be or not, most have been exposed to it. It pops up at times, and sometimes a website isn’t as advertised. Most persons have stumbled onto several sites. My spam file shows an average of ten sites a week considered porn. Years ago, I wanted to look up information on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I visited a now nonexistent site entitled “White House.” It wasn’t the White House we normally think of. The owner took down this porn site.

It is a secret sin folks prefer not to talk about. Yet, it corrupts our society, destroys marriages, families, careers, churches and in general demeans women.

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze is a recent casualty ensnared in the porn trap. I liked his public persona. His covert character is heartbreaking. Any person being habitually enticed by porn needs to learn from him and “flee.” Think of the enslaving destruction to yourself and others.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Victor Cline has defined these progressive steps in sexual deviation.

ADDICTION: It usually begins with what is known as soft porn, such as, raunchy movies or internet viewing. It is the gateway into hardcore porn.

ESCALATION: Porn is a powerful sexual stimulant. Like any addiction, it escalates in a search for greater highs. Gradually, what was once considered illegal, taboo, repulsive or immoral becomes “normal.”

DESENSITIZATION: The “everybody is doing it” syndrome leads to prostitution, voyeurism, group sex and worse.

ACTING OUT: The next step is to act out ones fantasies — rape, incest, molestation and other deviance. Thus, it is a contributing influence regarding illicit sex and sex crimes.

PORN KILLS:

It kills marriages and breaks up homes.

It kills ambition as the addiction spends more time with it.

It ultimately alienates the person from God, killing the relationship.

It kills self-respect.

A policy I have adopted and encourage others to is found in Psalm 101: 3, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes ... ”

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.

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