Posted by Kendall Harmon

At some point before 35-year-old Jesse Ryan Loskarn hanged himself in his parents’ home outside Baltimore, he wrote a painful letter soaked in shame and self-loathing in which he attempted to explain the unexplainable.

The former chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) had lived a secret life, hiding memories of child abuse and his addiction to child pornography. Even as U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents used a battering ram to enter his house, it appeared that he was trying to hide an external hard drive - containing hundreds of videos - on a ledge outside a window.

“Everyone wants to know why,” he wrote, in a Jan. 23 letter posted online by Gay Loskarn, his mother.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPornographyPsychologySuicideScience & Technology* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted February 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are fast becoming a pornographic society. Over the course of the last decade, explicitly sexual images have crept into advertising, marketing, and virtually every niche of American life. This ambient pornography is now almost everywhere, from the local shopping mall to prime-time television.

By some estimations, the production and sale of explicit pornography now represents the seventh-largest industry in America....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMenPornographyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pornography is an untreated pandemic of harm, said Patrick Trueman, president and CEO of Morality In Media and former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. According to Trueman, the average first exposure to Internet pornography is at age 11. Seventy-nine percent of unwanted exposures to pornography happen in the home. The largest consumer of Internet pornography is ages 12-17. Eighty-eight percent of scenes in the top pornography movies are scenes of violence. Fifty-six percent of divorces cite online pornography as a major factor in the breakup.

Trueman gave the opening talk at Ignite the Light in a World Darkened by Pornography, a day-long conference on the harms of pornography and how to combat it, organized by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Morality In Media and RECLAiM Sexual Health, with a special grant from Our Sunday Visitor.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A15-year-old boy confided in me after I addressed his class at a Sydney school last year. He cried as he told me that he had been using porn since the age of nine. He didn't have a social life, had few friends, had never had a girlfriend. His life revolved around online porn. He wanted to stop, he said, but didn't know how.

I have had similar conversations with other boys since then.

Girls also share their experiences. Of boys pressuring them to provide porn-inspired acts. Of being expected to put up with things they don't enjoy. Of seeing sex in terms of performance. Girls as young as 12 show me the text messages they routinely receive requesting naked images.

Pornography is invading the lives of young people. Seventy per cent of boys and 53.5 per cent of girls have seen porn by age 12, 100 per cent of boys and 97 per cent of girls by age 16.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenPornographyScience & TechnologyTeens / Youth* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted August 2, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...before pornography is a legal or cultural or moral issue, it is an ecclesial one. Judgment must, as Scripture tells us, begin with the household of God (1 Pet. 4:17). The man who is sitting upstairs viewing pornography while his wife chauffeurs their children to soccer practice might well be a religionless, secular culture warrior. But he is just as likely to be one of our church members, maybe even one who reads Touchstone magazine.

To begin to address this crisis, we call on the church of Jesus Christ to take seriously what is at stake here. Pornography is about more than biological impulses or cultural nihilism; it is about worship. The Christian Church, in all places and in all times and in all communions, has taught that we are not alone in the universe. One aspect of “mere Christianity” is that there are unseen spiritual beings afoot in the cosmos who seek to do us harm.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMarriage & FamilyPornographyReligion & Culture

0 Comments
Posted July 24, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Google is to spend $5m (£3.1m) fighting child pornography and abuse, the company will announce today, after criticism that it is not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful online imagery.

With a Whitehall summit on online protection set for.... [today], chaired by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, the internet giant has pledged to tackle child sex abuse images through "hashing" technology that gives each picture a web "fingerprint" that can be identified and removed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenGlobalizationLaw & Legal IssuesPornography* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"We're beginning a new sermon series that is scaring me to death," pastor Jay Dennis said on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008, from the pulpit of First Baptist Church at the Mall.

The series was titled "Sex and the Saint." For six Sundays, Dennis addressed what God says in His Word about sex. His goal: to combat a "stronghold" in the congregation that destroys Christian families and harms teenagers, singles and even children -- the stronghold of sexual sin.

Dennis candidly conceded to the congregation that he would be criticized and misunderstood, that he would receive angry letters and emails, and that he fully expected to find himself in a spiritual battle.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesBaptists

0 Comments
Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Yet, there is a dark and deeply troubling side to the web. The very unshackled freedom of expression and communication – the revolutionary, even noble, principles on which it was founded – has allowed a despicable underworld of sickening pornography and violent depravity to grow up virtually unregulated.

Those who take an extreme libertarian view would say that this downside of the web, while unpleasant, is a price worth paying for the enormous freedoms the internet brings all of us. However, such an argument cannot be sustained when viewed in the light of heinous murder cases, including, most recently, that of schoolgirl April Jones. Police officers found that Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April, had numerous indecent images on his computer He had also views violent sexual scenes. There is a pattern here. Stuart Hazell, who killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp, regularly downloaded child abuse images on his mobile phone. And such cases do not only involve children. Jane Longhurst was 31 when she was murdered by extreme-pornography obsessive Graham Coutts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornographySexualityViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland

1 Comments
Posted June 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today 12% of websites are pornographic, and 40 million Americans are regular visitors—including 70% of 18- to 34-year-olds, who look at porn at least once a month, according to a recent survey by Cosmopolitan magazine (which, let's face it, is the authority here). Fully 94% of therapists in another survey reported seeing an increase in people addicted to porn. It has become a whole generation's sex education and could be the same for the next—they are fumbling around online, not in the back seat. One estimate now puts the average age of first viewing at 11. Imagine seeing "Last Tango in Paris" before your first kiss.

Countless studies connect porn with a new and negative attitude to intimate relationships, and neurological imaging confirms it. Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, used MRI scans in 2010 to analyze men watching porn. Afterward, brain activity revealed, they looked at women more as objects than as people. The new DSM-5 will add the diagnosis "Hypersexual Disorder," which includes compulsive pornography use.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornographyPsychologySexuality* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spending* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted May 14, 2013 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Sexual Sanity for Men, David White of Harvest USA writes a book for men about their struggles with sexual immorality. White’s book is needed in the midst of a culture with expanding opportunities for sexual sin and a church whose skills to address those temptations have, at times, appeared weak. As White seeks to expand the church’s wisdom to address men’s sexual struggles, there is much to commend.

The most important thing that can be said of White’s effort is that he repeatedly emphasizes the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ for change. The most significant element of the church’s approach in the battle against sexual immorality does not consist in any process or procedure, but rather in a person whose name is Jesus.

White not only understands the importance of Christ’s power, he also underlines the necessity of connecting that power to the tangible categories of life in the midst of powerful enemies in the culture, the dark desires of humanity, and the prince of the power of the air. Furthermore, White explains that, in his great gospel, God not only forgives us but also gives us actual power to change (91).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksMenPornographySexuality* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted November 27, 2012 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Children are getting “unrealistic” expectations about sex as a result of watching online pornography, a study indicates.
The survey conducted by Plymouth University discovered that youngsters are regularly watching porn from the age of 11 and some are “addicted” to it before they are sexually active.
It found that watching the material gives them expectations that are impossible to fulfil and can cause problems in later life once they are in a relationship.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenPornography* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted October 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This week, on 6th September, the Government consultation into Parental Internet Controls will officially close.

This is our last chance to put across to Ministers our concerns about the growing amount of inappropriate material on the internet being accessed by children and young people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPornographyReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Note that the above headline is from the print edition--KSH).

On a recent morning at the main public library here [in San Francisco], dozens of people sat and stood at computers, searching job-hunting sites, playing games, watching music videos. And some looked at naked pictures of men and women in full view of passers-by.

The library has been stung by complaints about the content, including explicit pornography, that some people watch in front of others. To address the issue, the library over the last six weeks has installed 18 computer monitors with plastic hoods so that only the person using the computer can see what is on the screen.

“It’s for their privacy, and for ours,” said Michelle Jeffers, the library spokeswoman. The library will also soon post warnings on the screens of all its 240 computers to remind people to be sensitive to other patrons — a solution it prefers to filtering or censoring images.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPornography* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments
Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Witnesses told the inquiry that the regular use of pornographic material desensitizes children and young people to violent or sexually aggressive acts and reduces their inhibitions, making them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. In addition, exposure to pornography leads young people to early sexual involvement.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornography* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted April 30, 2012 at 4:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Safe places are designed so the people of God can share their struggles with others in the journey of life. We believe that there are real sin struggles in the lives of our people. The purpose is to create an environment where the beginning of accountability, sharing, and confession can occur.

As it says in the gospel of John, “The word of God [read Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The philosophy of our church recognizes that if Christ comes in the flesh we must be in the flesh with each other. Meaning that Christ initiated with us, identified with us, and invaded us with the gospel of truth. The Safe Places ministry creates a venue where the congregation of [this parish of] MRPC can take off our veneer and initiate with each other the truths of our lives.

Read it all and note especially the areas which it encompasses.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPastoral Care* Culture-WatchGamblingPornographySexuality* South Carolina* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted April 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This week a federal grand jury indicted Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo, age 21, on three charges related to a plot to attack soldiers near Fort Hood, Texas. When authorities arrested him, they found in his possession bomb-making materials, a gun, ammunition, and the article "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," from a recent issue of al-Qaeda's English online journal Inspire. Initial questioning of Abdo indicates that his intended targets were U.S. military personnel....

Any effort to make sense of this troubled young man will need to include understanding how he chose to approach and interpret his religion, and perhaps most importantly, why he adopted the interpretation he did. Any effort to understand Abdo without considering this question would be profoundly incomplete.

Yet tucked away, often near the closing paragraph of the articles about this case, is mention of an issue that I believe warrants more attention than it has received in the past decade of terrorism studies: namely, pornography. And in Abdo's case, child pornography.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesPornographyPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted August 12, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2005, Pamela Paul coined the term “pornified” (in her book of the same name) to characterize the ubiquity and mainstreaming of pornography in contemporary American society, in large measure because of the Internet. Her book described the deleterious impact this phenomenon is having on marriage, women, young people and men.

Five years later, Princeton’s Witherspoon Institute has published this impressive collection of 11 papers from its 2008 conference, further detailing how corrosively widespread Internet pornography has become. The essays are divided into three main groups: evidence of the harm pornography causes (including a new essay by Pamela Paul); moral perspectives (including Roger Scruton’s thought-provoking essay busting various modern sex myths); and how public policy might combat this ill (including essays by James Stoner and Gerard Bradley discussing the very real impediments certain trends in contemporary constitutional jurisprudence could interpose).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetBooksPornography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted May 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While it's accepted that women are watching – and enjoying – porn more and more, it's less recognised that some are also finding it hard to stop. At Quit Porn Addiction, the UK's main porn counselling service, almost one in three clients are women struggling with their own porn use, says founder and counsellor Jason Dean. Two years ago, there were none.While more than six out of 10 women say they view web porn, one study in 2006 by the Internet Filter Review found that 17% of women describe themselves as "addicted".

Dean says: "I remember getting my first woman contacts about two years ago and thinking that was fairly unusual. Now I'm hearing from about 70 women a year who are coming for their own reasons, not because their male partners have a problem."

There is little difference in the way the genders become hooked, says Jason. There is the same pattern of exposure, addiction, and desensitisation to increasingly hardcore images. The main contrast between male and female porn addicts is how much more guilty women feel. "Porn addiction is seen as a man's problem – and therefore not acceptable for women," says Dean. "There's a real sense among women that it's bad, dirty, wrong and they're often unable to get beyond that."

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornographyWomen


Posted April 13, 2011 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

High school junior Kelsey Upton was puzzled....

Without her knowledge, someone had placed her name and phone number on the site next to a photo of a naked woman, in an explicit position, who somewhat resembled her.

How could that be?

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal IssuesPornographyScience & Technology

1 Comments
Posted March 23, 2011 at 5:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Pornography is the elephant in the pews, says Craig Gross, who produced the video and whose sermon is featured in it.

"The statistics say that 48 percent of Christian families are dealing with the issue of pornography in their home," Gross says. "I would say the other 52 percent are just unaware of it being an issue in their house."

Gross is the founder of XXXChurch.com, a Christian ministry that tries to help people resist pornography. He says Christians know there's a problem: His website has as many as 300,000 visitors a week. But churches are squeamish.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornographyReligion & Culture

22 Comments
Posted February 5, 2011 at 9:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A longtime minister at one of the country's largest and most prominent conservative Anglican churches has been fired for repeatedly using a church computer to surf for pornography, an official at the Fairfax church said.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPornography* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology


Posted January 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Authorities are banding together ever more closely with the financial sector and Internet providers in hopes of disrupting the multibillion-dollar global child-pornography trade.

These concerted efforts come as the child-porn industry has shifted in the last five years to a more anonymous, web-based system for moving funds, according to law-enforcement officials, technology specialists and money-laundering experts.

To root out the companies that supply an estimated $20 billion annual global child-porn market, the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography -- comprised of Internet service providers, financial heavyweights and technology companies -- is working closely with law-enforcement agencies in the United States and around the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetChildrenPornography* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life

0 Comments
Posted June 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Recent headlines about pornography use at the Securities and Exchange Commission stirred public disgust with government officials who viewed thousands of hard-core images while Wall Street banks imploded.

Yet experts and religious groups that have struggled for years to raise awareness about the destructive consequences of pornography use hope the news will contribute to a sea change in social attitudes.

In fact, anti-pornography crusaders received another boost from the American Psychiatric Association, which just released new draft diagnostic guidelines that identified pornography addiction as a form of “hypersexual disorder” and thus worthy of serious study and treatment.

The breakthrough at the American Psychiatric Association provides additional context for a new report endorsed by a broad swath of academic leaders: “The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography

4 Comments
Posted May 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Please note that the title above is the one in the print edition of the paper--KSH).

To the wide array of programs offered by evangelical megachurches like Westside, the group adds what Ms. Renaud says is something long overdue. While churches have addressed pornography use among the men in their congregations and among the clergy, a group for women who say they are addicted to pornography is new territory, she said.

“In the Christian culture, women are supposed to be the nonsexual ones,” said Ms. Renaud, who also runs an Internet site called Dirty Girls Ministries, choosing the name to attract people searching for pornography. “It’s an injustice that the church is not more open about physical sexuality. God created sex. But the enemy has twisted it.”

Ms. Renaud, who is taking a DVD course in sexual addiction counseling from the American Association of Christian Counselors, said she started the group and the Web site based on her own experiences. She became interested in pornography at age 10 after finding a magazine in her brother’s bathroom. After that, she said, “I wasn’t able to get enough of it.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornographyWomen

0 Comments
Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Amy was a little girl, her uncle made her famous in the worst way: as a star in the netherworld of child pornography. Photographs and videos known as “the Misty series” depicting her abuse have circulated on the Internet for more than 10 years, and often turn up in the collections of those arrested for possession of illegal images.

Now, with the help of an inventive lawyer, the young woman known as Amy — her real name has been withheld in court to prevent harassment — is fighting back.

She is demanding that everyone convicted of possessing even a single Misty image pay her damages until her total claim of $3.4 million has been met.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPornography

2 Comments
Posted February 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.

But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.

“We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography,” said Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse. “We couldn't find any.”

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenPornography* International News & CommentaryCanada

9 Comments
Posted December 4, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One week from today, the star of "Luau Orgy," "Gazongas" and the ahead-of-its-time "Wanda Whips Wall Street" will walk onto the campus of Truman State University in Kirksville to debate a pastor on the subject most dear to his heart: porn.

It will fall to the Rev. Craig Gross to rebut actor Ron Jeremy's arguments that pornography is a harmless activity that most people pursue in the privacy of their own homes.

"If Ron was right, I wouldn't have a job," said Gross, founder of XXXChurch.com — a Christian website dedicated to battling pornography. "Porn rips apart homes and families."

The Truman State debate is just one upcoming anti-porn event organized by local Christians. Such events reflect mounting distress among Christians over pornography's growing technological reach.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornographyReligion & Culture

4 Comments
Posted March 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take the time to watch it all, there is much to ponder here (Please note: because it is set in Las Vegas some of the images are less than helpful for the much younger blog reader). An excerpt from this was used this past Sunday in the sermon by yours truly--KSH

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchPornography* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

1 Comments
Posted December 9, 2008 at 6:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 300-member congregation recently bought the former Playtime Drive-In movie theater to develop as their meeting place, and it held a bit of a surprise for staff members when they closed on the sale: cases and cases of pornography from the 1970s and 1980s.

"Obviously, we knew the right thing to do would be to destroy it, and not let it ever be out on the market, so to speak," senior pastor Mark Eldredge tells NPR's Melissa Block.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Uganda* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPornography

33 Comments
Posted October 21, 2008 at 7:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Got two words for you this week: Canadian porn.

I don't think I need to write anything else. I'll just let you think about that, and I can log off and head home early. Sometimes the universe hands you a lovely gift with a big bow on it, which makes a nice change from all the days the universe jumps out from behind something and stabs you in the head with a railroad spike.

OK, OK, I realize I can't dangle a non sequitur like "Canadian porn" in front of you and then walk away from it. Send the kids out for ice cream and draw the curtains.

We all know that a lot of Canadian actors have come to New York or Hollywood to realize their dreams. I have no clue how many have come down here to the States to make it big in the porn biz, but if all goes according to plan, they won't have to. They will soon have their own channel, specializing in skin flicks with no tan lines.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has granted Alberta-based Real Productions approval for a digital pornography channel. It's to be called Northern Peaks.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography* International News & CommentaryCanada

5 Comments
Posted August 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

California state lawmakers are considering an unusual idea to solve the state's huge budget shortfall: Tax pornography.

The idea was proposed by a state assemblyman, and would impose a 25 percent tax on the production and sales of pornographic videos -- the vast majority of which are made in southern California.

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPornography* Economics, PoliticsEconomy

2 Comments
Posted May 24, 2008 at 1:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In 2002, the court struck down parts of the Child Pornography Protection Act that banned images that appeared to be explicit depictions of children, even if they were actually pictures of adults or computer-generated images. Banning images in which there are no real children, the court held, violates the First Amendment.

After that ruling, Congress passed a new law with its own problems. One provision punished anyone who “promotes” material in a manner “intended to cause another to believe” it is child pornography. That, once again, sweeps in fake child pornography — which is just what the court in 2002 said must be avoided.

This time, the court upheld the law by a 7-to-2 vote. That creates a bizarre contradiction. Fake child pornography is protected, but marketing fake child pornography is not. As Justice David Souter noted in dissent, it makes no sense to criminalize proposing to sell items that are themselves constitutionally protected.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPornography

0 Comments
Posted May 21, 2008 at 10:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 2003 federal law aimed at child pornography, concluding in a 7-to-2 opinion that a federal appeals court was wrong to find the law unconstitutionally vague.

The law in question arose from a sensible, constitutionally acceptable approach by Congress to correct faults that the high court found in an earlier child-pornography law, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court.

“Child pornography harms and debases the most defenseless of our citizens,” Justice Scalia wrote. “Both the state and federal governments have sought to suppress it for many years, only to find it proliferating through the new medium of the Internet.”

The ruling scathingly rejected contentions that the 2003 legislation was so broadly written that it could make it a crime to share or even describe depictions of children in explicit sexual situations, even if the depictions are inaccurate, the children do not really exist and the intention is innocent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPornography

1 Comments
Posted May 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Australian bishops are educating the faithful about the possibilities and dangers of the Internet, and doing so with their own Internet ventures.

A pastoral letter called "Internet Safety" marks World Communications Sunday, celebrated in Australia this Sunday. And the letter has a unique element -- a video introduction featuring Bishop Peter Ingham on YouTube.

Bishop Ingham, the Australian bishops conference's delegate for media issues, said the video is a way to get the message out.

"That's where we have to be, if we're going to be talking to people, especially to young people about navigating the Net safely," he said. "If only a few people see this video message and think over the points raised, it will be most worthwhile."

Read it all and Check this out also.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornography* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZ* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted May 1, 2008 at 10:07 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all (and please note it is only appropriate for certain audiences). Pornography is also the topic of the cover story of Christianity Today this month (not yet available on the web).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography

7 Comments
Posted March 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The increasing use of pornography is creating not a few problems. Late last year a judge in Melbourne, Australia, sentenced a man to 11 years in jail on a rape charge, reported the Age newspaper on Jan. 3.

Judge Damian Murphy, said that the Andrew Bowen had acted out a fantasy seen in material downloaded from the Internet.

The article’s authors, Maree Crabbe and David Corlett, commented that one consequence of Internet-based pornography is a shift to more extreme and violent sexual imagery. Scenes that are so degrading and humiliating that they would be banned from film and television are now freely available to anyone with a Web connection.

Crabbe and Corlett said that research shows a link between consumption of pornography and male sexual aggression. Even when the pornography is not violent, exposure to it tends to increase in the viewer tolerance of sexual violence.

Earlier last year a report published in Australia revealed record numbers of visitors to porn Web sites. According to a May 26 article in the Sydney Morning Herald, a survey found that 35% of Internet users had visited an “adult” site at least once in the preceding three months.

According to the article, psychologists and counselors say Internet pornography is a growing cause of marital problems due to increasing numbers of men who become compulsive users.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted March 2, 2008 at 5:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Warning: this article's content may not be suitable for some blog readers.

n his remarkable twenty-year career as a New York Times business journalist, Kurt Eichenwald has seen himself as a kind of crusader—shedding light on the world’s dark places, uncovering wrongdoing, bringing criminals to account. Lately, however, the pursuer feels like the pursued. “I had no idea of what I was taking on. I had no idea of the magnitude of the evil of these people,” he tells me. “This is an organized-crime business, these are people—we’re not talking about people with an affinity for Scotch—they spend their days talking and living and breathing the sexual issues of children.”

Two years ago, Eichenwald wrote a sensational front-page story in the New York Times about Justin Berry, a teenage pornography star who ran an enormously lucrative business from his room while his mother thought he was doing homework. The article resulted in congressional hearings, arrests, book-and-movie interest, and an Oprah episode. Eichenwald followed that first story with disturbing reports about illegal child-modeling Websites and self-help chat rooms where child molesters perfect their strategies. The Berry piece was impressive in its vividness. Law-enforcement agencies seized upon it as the definitive word about a sordid, teeming underworld, and parents inclined to worry about the dangers of the Internet were given reason to worry much more.

As much as the stories provided a window into a seldom-seen world, they also raised troubling questions about how they were reported—and ultimately about the man who reported them. To start with, Eichenwald made himself a character in the story about Berry—highly unusual for the New York Times. The reporter appeared as a savior, working to win Berry’s trust and finally rescuing him from the business he’d fallen into and delivering him back to his religious faith. But once Eichenwald became part of the story, others began to ask questions: Why would a Times reporter believe he should go into the rescuing business? And how had he accomplished what he’d accomplished? (Reporting on child pornography is inherently difficult, because looking at the images themselves is illegal, even for a journalist.) And behind those questions is a more fundamental one: What drives the people who fill these roles, criminal and pursuer, obsessive fan and obsessive foe?

With the country’s vexed relationship to youthful sexuality as the backdrop, Eichenwald’s stories, hectoring as they were about the evils they were uncovering, had a kind of prurient power that is undeniably related to the power of pornography. The cure and the disease are impossible to separate.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaPornography

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Posted November 7, 2007 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Supreme Court today will take up a First Amendment test of Congress' ability to tackle child pornography in the digital age.

Justice Department lawyers defending a 2003 law that criminalizes the advertising of purported child porn say such Internet ads fuel the market for smut and hurt children even when the advertised pictures are fake.

Challengers to the law, including the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, counter that it sweeps too broadly. They say it threatens the marketing of Lolita and other fictional depictions of adolescent sex.

At stake is Congress' latest attempt to prohibit sexual content on the Internet. Backed by 28 states, U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement stresses the need to curtail the marketing of child porn to protect the children abused to create it.

Clement, who will argue the case today, stressed in a written filing that because of the Internet "the distribution of child pornography has expanded exponentially." He said even fraudulent offers to buy or sell child porn feed the market.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPornography

9 Comments
Posted October 31, 2007 at 6:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than a decade after employers began cracking down on those who view online pornography at work, porn is continuing to create tension in offices across the nation — in part because laptop computers, cellphones and other portable devices have made it easier for risk-takers to visit such websites undetected.

Devices providing wireless access to the Internet appear to be giving the porn-at-work phenomenon a boost even as employers are getting more aggressive about using software to block workers' access to inappropriate websites. About 65% of U.S. companies used such software in 2005, according to a survey by the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute, up from 40% in 2001.

Many employers say that because it's so easy to access porn on portable devices — even those that are company-owned and outfitted to block access to adult-oriented websites — they are increasingly concerned about being sued by employees who are offended when co-workers view naughty images.

With wireless devices, close monitoring of workers is "impossible. There's nothing you can do," says Richard Laermer, CEO of the public relations firm RLM. "Liability is the thing that keeps me up at night, because we are liable for things people do on your premises. It's serious. I'll see somebody doing it, and I'll peek over their shoulder, and they'll say, 'I don't know how that happened.' It's like 10-year-olds. And it's always on company time."

Through the years, surveys have indicated that many workers run across adult websites or images while at work, but few say they have done so intentionally.

About 16% of men who have access to the Internet at work acknowledged having seen porn while on the job, according to a survey for Websense by Harris Interactive in 2006. Eight percent of women said they had. But of those who acknowledged viewing porn sites at work, only 6% of men and 5% of women acknowledged that they had done so intentionally.

Read it all from the front page of today's USA Today.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetPornography

1 Comments
Posted October 18, 2007 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ten guys plop themselves into chairs and sofas arranged in a circle at Eastside Faith Center in Eugene. One of them pulls out a guitar and strums the chords of a hymn. Others close their eyes, nod their heads and quietly sing along.

Common bonds bring these men together each week. They are the bonds of faith and fellowship and pornography.

Participants in this "For Men Only" accountability group vary in age, temperament and work status. But most will tell you, privately, that they share the same problem with pornography: They want to stop using it but can't, and need the help of God and others to quit.

"You have made the way to take our shame away," says the guitar player in an opening prayer. "Lord, I'm living for you, to be worthy of you, regardless of my situation today."

No religious or other demographic group is immune from pornography's reach - not in a country where an estimated 40 million adults say they regularly visit porn Web sites on the Internet. In one survey cited by Internet Filter Review, an oft-quoted resource on cyberporn, 47 percent of polled Christians describe porn as a major problem in the home.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPornography

3 Comments
Posted August 27, 2007 at 4:23 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...but hold it just a minute there, folks. Haven't we heard this trope before? About a guy named McGreevey? And remember how that ended--much ado about nothing?

Well, it turns out that's what we've got here: some incredibly sloppy reporting that's frankly unworthy of the venerable New York Times.

Your epiScope editor, who spent her youth as a reporter when Woodward and Bernstein were the heroes, decided to track down what really happened by talking to Mr. Boyer's rector, the Rev. Hank Mitchel--which is more than reporter Waxman managed to do. Let's go through the story, bit by painfully distorted bit.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchPornography

43 Comments
Posted July 15, 2007 at 5:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the New York Times:

SOME people have their midlife crisis in reverse, like Ronald Boyer, who for most of his professional life has been better known as a star of pornographic films, Rod Fontana.

After 30 years of sowing the wildest of oats, Mr. Boyer, 54, has searched his soul and chosen, to the surprise of family and colleagues, to seek a priesthood in the Episcopal Church.

From his work in the rented villas of the San Fernando Valley, where hard-core sex films are shot, he has moved just a short distance west, to the Church of the Epiphany, which is guiding his transformation from pornography star to preacher.

The psychic distance, however, has been vast. In January, the lumbering 6-foot-3 performer was greeting fans on the red carpet of the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, along with the superstars of pornography like Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy.

In June, he was carrying the Holy Bible and a text titled “Gospel Light” to a live Internet show where he preached on the relative evils of pornography. “Is pornography a sin?” he asked on the show, which is aimed at people in the sex industry. “Probably. Definitely,” he answered, a response that reflected his own ambivalence as much as a desire not to alienate his audience. “So is eating carrot cake until you’re sick to your stomach,” he continued. “And so is punching somebody in the face. That’s a sin.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchPornography

35 Comments
Posted July 14, 2007 at 12:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Three million and growing: That's the number of Web clicks on a steamy promotional video on the European Union's new link to YouTube. Two hundred and crawling: That's the number of clicks on an EU road-safety video. Sadly, the EU has fallen for the tawdry marketing motto that sex sells.

First, a little background. The EU has a tough time selling itself to skeptical Europeans. In 2005, the French and Dutch rejected a proposed EU constitution, and the continentals are pushing back at the idea of adding more members to this club of 27 countries.

But in the cultural realm, apparently, it's easier to make the case for togetherness, especially when it's spiced with a 44-second sprint through 18 torrid sex scenes taken from European films. The clip is one of five that advertise the EU's support for European cinema.

Moral objections to the vulgar snippet have been especially strong in heavily Roman Catholic Poland. But the official EU response is to decry the criticism as an "outbreak of prudery," and a comment that "the European Union is not the [American] Bible Belt."

What a tired defense....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPornography* International News & CommentaryEurope

2 Comments
Posted July 12, 2007 at 4:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sheryl and Paul Giesbrect are preparing to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary. The sweethearts cherish their life together, which began when they met while attending a Christian university.

It's where they found religion and each other. Today, Paul is a minister in California and Sheryl broadcasts spiritual messages. Both counsel troubled couples, but now they find themselves in need of counseling. Their marriage holds a secret, one the 50-year-old parents of two say rattled their union.

For 10 years, Paul kept the fact that he was addicted to Internet pornography a secret from Sheryl.

"The temptation will be with me until the day I die," Paul said.

Sheryl was shocked by the revelation. "I said something like, 'Well, that's just disgusting.'"

To help themselves and their marriage, the Giesbrects met with psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall. They allowed ABC's "Good Morning America" to watch them for their first time on the opposite side of the couch.

The sessions yielded surprises from the start, like how often Sheryl dwells on her husband's obsession.

She said she spent two hours a day thinking about it.

"I thought you were going to say five minutes a week," her husband said.

When Marshall questioned Sheryl on what she thought about specifically, she admitted wondering about how often her husband was tempted.

"She questions whether their lovemaking will be enough," said Marshall.

"I feel angry about it. I can't say, 'Well, this is your problem. Do something about it,'" Sheryl said.

Marshall said Sheryl couldn't hold other people responsible to fix her marriage problems, "because you're not healing him. You're feeding into the addiction."

Read it all.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyPornography

9 Comments
Posted June 7, 2007 at 5:57 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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