Acknowledging the connection of pornography to human trafficking, domestic violence and other societal ills in Florida, both houses of the state legislature are proposing a resolution to keep it from “creating a public health crisis” that is feeding into the hypersexualization of youth.
“The resolution warns of porn's addictive nature, outlines the physical and psychological risks and dangers in porn consumption, notes how it objectifies men and women, and damages families and relationships,” The Christian Post (CP) reported.
Less porn, less problems
Rep. Ross Spano (R-Fla.) insists that addressing the porn issue in Florida will nip much of the illicit behavior associated with it at the bud.
"After having several conversations with people involved in the fight against human trafficking over the past several years, it is becoming more apparent that there is a direct link between the use of pornography and the demand for paid sex," Spano told CP Monday, noting that no Democrats have signed onto the resolution as cosponsors yet.
Despite the Democrats’ inaction so far, Spano is confident that he will work with his progressive colleagues on the legislation to counter human trafficking as he has in years past. He wants to forward safeguards similar to what Utah, Virginia and South Dakota put in place through their recent resolutions that have declared the expanding problem of pornography a public health crisis.
“[Florida’s new resolution is necessary] chiefly to bring awareness to the harmful effects pornography has on people – especially our children," the congressman continued. "Whether it is the link to human trafficking, the link to increased domestic violence, or the changes it causes in one's mental and emotional state, it is a discussion we need to have as leaders – however uncomfortable it may be."
Florida Republicans are cracking down on multiple kinds of perverted behavior, as stated in the resolution’s language:
“Any person who knowingly uses a computer online service, Internet service, local bulletin board service, or any other device capable of electronic data storage or transmission to: (a) Seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child or another person believed by the person to be a child, to commit any illegal act … or to otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person believed by the person to be a child; or (b) Solicit, lure, or entice, or attempt to solicit, lure, or entice a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child or a person believed to be a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child to consent to the participation of such child in any act … or to otherwise engage in any sexual conduct, commits a felony of the third degree,” the 2017 “Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation Prevention Act” reads.
That was then, this is now
One of the resolution’s sponsors in the upper chamber is Rep. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), who insists that it is necessary because pornography is available online for free virtually everywhere today – as opposed to yesteryear, when a person had to walk into a shady store to purchase it.
"I think the timing [for this resolution] is important now," Stargel pointed out in the midst of rife sexual abuse allegations coming out of Hollywood. "Honestly, I feel like we may even be a little late."
She maintains that all of the sexual deviant behavior “point[s] back to this culture of early exposure to pornography – either intended or unintended."
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation and other pro-family groups – such as Trafficking in America Task Force and Covenant Eyes – are supporting the measure, along with others in the evangelical community.
“Jay Dennis – who has been a Baptist pastor for 38 years and led the Church at the Mall in Lakeland for 21 years before his retirement – believes this state resolution comes at a spiritually significant time,” CP’s Brandon Showalter informed. “Dennis, who leads Join1Million – a group that is also supporting the resolution – and Wingman Men's Ministry, a ministry aimed at helping men break porn habits and live their lives free from porn, has been rallying church leaders and Florida pastors to get behind the resolution.”
He shared about how much support Christian leaders are giving the fight against pornography.
"This is the most unique moment that I have seen," Dennis told CP Monday. "It's the only issue that I think that can bring people of faith and moral concern together. The beauty of this is that it is involving everyone. And I don't know of any other subject in our culture that could do this. And we better not blow it as the Church."
He says that the issue goes beyond political lines and asserts that churches cannot ignore the issue any longer.
"We all agree that pornography is harmful," Dennis added. "Who would have thought that it would be the state legislatures that are knocking on the doors of the church? Who would have thought that Pamela Anderson and Russell Brand would be the people saying to the Church 'Wake up. You're seeing culture say to the Church, 'You'd better deal with this.'"
A few years ago, Dennis shared some sobering statistics from Lifeway Christian Resources about the state of pornography in America.
“[I]t was revealed that 62 percent of pastors believe that 10 percent or less of the men in their churches are struggling with pornography, but other studies prove these pastors wrong,” Dennis shared on Covenant Eyes in 2013. “Among young men today, 65–70 percent admit to viewing porn multiple times a month or on a weekly basis. Over 30 percent of young women say they also look at porn.”
Porn has stricken the Christian community with a modern-day epidemic.
“One study showed that those who identify themselves as ‘fundamentalists’ are 91 percent more likely to look at porn,” Dennis continued. “More than 90 percent of boys and 60 percent of girls see porn before they turn 18.”