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Jesus set out a radical manifesto for redeemed relationships in the Sermon on the Mount. This series calls for a relationships revolution - fuelled by love. A bold vision for a different Northern Ireland built on strong and just relationships. It involves everyone in society, from individuals to churches and government.

#RR3 PORN FREE

R E V O L UTION

#RR3 PORN FREE

Design: alice@weoften.com

R E V O L UTION

The Evangelical Alliance is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK. Our mission is to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. Downview House, 440 Shore Road. Newtownabbey, BT37 9RU. Tel: 028 9029 2266 Web: www.eauk.org/northern-ireland Email: nireland@eauk.org

R E L AT I O N S H I P S R E VOL U T I O N

We dare to see Northern Ireland as a world-leader – a place where broken things are given the opportunity to be made whole and where relationships grow healthier, stronger and deeper.


WWW.EAUK.ORG/NORTHERN-IREL AND

This is the third in a series of booklets from the Evangelical Alliance. Volume One _Why Relationships? Volume Two _Marriage: The New Radical Volume Three _Porn Free

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Pornography: instantly accessible poison. Porn isn’t new to this generation, but its’ move from top shelf magazines to the phone in your pocket is. Instant access to porn presents everyone from governments, employers, parents, and churches with new challenges.

A porn culture The wealth of pornography available today highlights our growing relational poverty. A culture fixed on porn loses its focus on relationship. Every human being is made in the image of a relational God, to be in relationship with him and each other. Pornography infects these relationships, distorting and disturbing actions and attitudes. In the past buying porn meant physically going to back alley shops, now it is freely available, unlimited and unregulated on the internet. Porn fundamentally removes sex from relationship. Looking ahead this is dangerous – what happens to a generation whose understanding of sex and relationship is based upon

pornography? The British Board of Film Classification for example is concerned that “young men in particular are accessing sadistic and sexually violent content which could serve to normalise rape and other forms of violence offering a distorted view of women.” In our consumeristic society sex has been branded, commoditized and sold as a product. Demand is growing and consumption rising. This is not about scaremongering or moralizing – how will a generation hooked up to a drip of porn form lasting, healthy and safe relationships? We must act radically to restore the fundamental link between sex and relationship in Northern Ireland today.

“SINCE THE 1960S PORNOGRAPHIC UPSURGE, THE SEXUALITY OF CHILDREN HAS BEGUN TO BE SHAPED IN RESPONSE TO CUES THAT ARE NO LONGER HUMAN. NOTHING COMPARABLE HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPECIES...” Naomi Wolf 2


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”SOME OF THE MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOW GETTING ACCESS TO HARDCORE PORNOGRAPHY. WE HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT CHILDREN ACCESSING THIS ONLINE AS IT GIVES THEM AN UNREALISTIC AND DANGEROUS VIEW OF SEXUAL RELATIONS.” Jon Brown, Head of NSPCC Sexual Abuse Programme.

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Porn&Us/Porn & You/You & Porn Porn use has dramatically grown in recent years and is affecting our relationships, wellbeing and identity. Relationships - pornography changes the way we view and treat each other. It normalises unhealthy and dangerous behaviours. A recent government report found that following exposure to porn attitudes towards consent and violence were diminished. It affects marriage: even back in 2002 American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers found that obsessive pornography use was a factor in 56% of divorce cases. Rape and violence are disturbingly common themes within pornography. There have even been a number of cases in recent years of children raping other children following exposure to porn. Lawyers in one case where a 12 year old boy raped a 9 year old girl have warned that this is just “the tip of the iceberg.” Wellbeing - The quality of our social relationships is crucial to our wellbeing. People need supportive, positive relationships to live well. Porn replaces relationship with something artificial and dangerous affecting physical, emotional, financial and spiritual behaviour. We commend Ofsted who are calling for a new focus on healthy relationships within schools including age appropriate discussion of pornography and violence. Identity - pornography reduces people made in the image of God to flesh to be vicariously consumed. Naomi Wolf, a prominent author on culture today, has worked at length investigating the psychological damage of pornography on women. She’s found that it lowers women’s sense of value and worth and creates a pressure to offer far more sexually than they are comfortable with.

Porn Stats Pornography use is a growing reality in Northern Irish homes, families, schools and churches. Porn in Northern Ireland A Love for Life survey of 2731 teenagers aged 15-16 found that 48% of boys in Northern Ireland are accessing porn weekly and 24% daily. These figures reflect an addiction reaching epidemic proportions.

The Elephant in the Pew Evangelical Alliance, working with local churches launched the Marriage Week and Not Just a One Night Stand surveys. These found that: - 79% of men and 17% of women had accessed porn. - Of these 81% agreed porn was damaging to their relationships. - 50% of 25-55 year old male church leaders had intentionally accessed pornography.

Globally pornography use has gone viral: - 12% of all internet sites are pornographic. - 25% of internet searches are pornographic. - 28,000 internet users watch porn every second. - 43% watch porn online. - $97 billion has been generated worldwide through porn. - 11 years old is the average age of first exposure to porn.

48% OF BOYS ACCESS PORN WEEKLY

79% 17% OF MEN ACCESS PORN

OF WOMEN ACCESS PORN

28,000 PEOPLE WATCH PORN EVERY SECOND

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R E V O L UTION

We are the revolution a radically simple every day every body way of life.

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“1 IN 3 TEENAGERS IN THE UK HAVE RECIEVED SEXUAL IMAGES ON THEIR MOBILE AND THE AVERAGE FACEBOOK USER SPENDS 700 MINUTES A MONTH ONLINE. THE LONGER TERM IMPACT OF THIS IS AN OBVIOUS CONCERN WHEN WE CONSIDER THE EXPECTATIONS YOUNG PEOPLE ARE DEVELOPING. IT IS CLEAR THAT IF WE SHIRK OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK ABOUT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX, THEY WILL RECIEVE THAT MESSAGE FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.” Drew Steele, Programme Developer, Love for Life.

Pornified society Public standards of taste and decency change. This makes defining porn a difficult job. Potter Stewart, a former United States Supreme Court Judge, probably came closest in 1964 when he said, “I know it when I see it.” Hardcore pornography aside, overtly sexualised content dominates mainstream media and culture. Even with consent pornified and nude images in newspapers and magazines reduce women to sexual commodities in a way that would not be broadcast on TV nor allowed in the workplace because of equality legislation. These images tend to accompany advertisements for more hardcore pornography, adult chat lines and escort services. These publications aren’t age restricted and are often displayed at heights accessible by children. Sexting - home made porn and sexting, or the sharing of self-recorded sexually explicit content is a growing local problem difficult to regulate. Teenagers in Northern Ireland may not even realise that by sending explicit images they could be charged with making and distributing child pornography. Porn redemption Culture continually changes. The norms and values which we create will shape generations to come. We need to honestly look at ourselves and our culture. We need to move away from an obsession with cheap sex and reinstil the value of relationship. Out of the failure of the sexual revolution we have an amazing opportunity to put Northern Ireland at the forefront of a new relationships revolution.

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OUR CONNECTIONS

OUR CHURCH

OUR CULTURE

Naked truth – it’s time to be honest about porn. Protect and prevent: get into an accountability relationship, share struggles and develop a personal ethos for purity.

Porn in the pew – the church is not immune from pornography. Think about how your church teaches about sex and relationships.

Start the conversation – we need to begin talking about the damaging impact porn and overtly sexual content is having.

Porn Scars – there are organisations that can help you end porn addiction. Warning: adult content – pornography changes attitudes and actions. Watch what you watch. Parental advisory – monitor the movies/websites/pictures entering your home. Customer service – speak to your local newsagents about the magazines and newspapers they are selling. Pass it on – give this leaflet to someone else.

Porn in the pulpit – church leaders are not immune from pornography. Provide a safe space for confession, repentance, accountability and training. Make this a priority within ministry training colleges. Pursue purity – Jesus called for radical new attitudes within relationships challenging our hearts and hands. Run a course – pornography addiction may take time to tackle. Invite an agency specialising in this to speak at your church.

No more page 3 – Sign the petition against the publication of sexually explicit images in The Sun newspaper.

Stand up – join us in calling for the Northern Ireland Executive to create an opt-in system for accessing adult content online at the point of sale for internet service providers and mobile phone contracts. Speak up – call for modesty wraps, family friendly advertising in public places and a social media campaign to highlight the harm of porngraphy and sexting. Plan ahead – ask the DHSPSS to fund research into longer term effects of pornography on relationships and wellbeing. Sex education – our children are accessing damaging sexual content at younger ages. they need age appropriate relationship and sex education from family, church and school. Pray – there is a battle for right relationships that needs to be fought through prayer.

“[Porn is the] most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of existing today...The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors...To have the drug pumped into your house 24/7, free...it’s a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind.” Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program

Porn free  

Pornography: instantly accessible poison. Porn isn’t new to this generation, but its’ move from top shelf magazines to the phone in your poc...