I’ve always been worried about the whole pornography business. I mean, you hear the statistics. You hear about the addictions. But lately a few things have made me just plain mad.
I promised I would write about the pornography conference my parents spoke about back here. Well, it was really an amazing day. So many proactive people out there and I appreciate their efforts so much. My main take-aways were these:
1) TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX! Have the pre-emptive conversations. Talk things through. If you don’t have that open relationship, how can you explain why pornography is destructive? If you’ve had the “Big Talk” with your children, you can explain why sex is supposed to be beautiful and committed. (I wrote all about how we have that talk back HERE and HERE.)
(That part of what I learned was from my parent’s portion of the conference, in case you didn’t guess…:)
2) Know that in our day, in our world filled to the brim with technology, you would have to live under a rock to not be exposed to pornography in some form. Have an action plan for everyone in the family when it pops up (because it will). The best plan I’ve heard of is just like the fire emergency plan of “stop, drop and roll,” except in the case of pornography it’s “turn off the computer, RUN to a parent, talk it through.” I know that’s easier said than done. But if kids know they can trust their parents to talk to them about things, it will come up. I have a friend who’s son’s friends showed him some stuff on the computer. For a whole year that poor 11-year-old kids carried those images and that guilt around. Some lesson at church prompted him to talk to his parents about what had happened. When he did it was like this huge weight had been lifted (they had been kind of worried about him because he had been kind of withdrawn and sullen). Kids need to know they can trust their parents to tell them things. Again, easier said than done in a lot of cases, but a good thing to be aware of.
3) There are some awesome campaigns being represented at the conference to stop the ravaging effects of pornography. The one I learned about that weekend was called “Fight the New Drug” and their website is HERE. It is an amazing organization I tell you. Check it out.
We learned about how to set up filters and how to keep your home safe. We talked about the reality of pornography addiction and how horrible it can be.
But you know what?
I’m mad that these big-profit businesses can get into our homes. I’m mad that without permission they can just put things out there that are dangerous and that can hurt people. I read a book this summer called “The Curtain
” that was SOOO interesting. I keep trying to find a moment to do a book review about it, which I will at some point, but it made it more clear than ever to me what lengths those pornography (and gaming too) companies will go to in order to create addicts. Read it if you want an interesting way to open your eyes to how companies work to gather information and use it to catch people in their snare and make money. It’s scary business.
My wise friend Sarah wrote an interesting comment on my blog when I mentioned this conference:
“I viewed the most disgusting pop-up last week and I was so mad I couldn’t sleep that night thinking of the chance that one of my kids could have seen it. It was on a college basketball site! Shawni, what makes me so mad is that we parents are trying so hard today to raise good kids…and it’s NOT easy. We have our hands more full than any other generation I think with school expectations, extra-curriculars and just the way society is today with materialism and kids going in all directions. And now WE have to “protect” our kids from this junk! But why??? Why do WE have to do more? Why not attack these pornography sites at every level? What if we consider them trespassers in our private homes? What if we considered them like some pervert out on our front sidewalk flashing our kids? What if our children could be protected by LAW from these sites and those laws were enforced just as much as any crime against children) or drunk driving, or serving alcohol etc. could be? Why do THEY get to hand us one more thing to do? To me, it’s like telling my kids they can’t go outside because drunk drivers have more rights than they do, and we have to “avoid” them…or flashers, or kidnappers or any other criminals.”
I so agree with all those thoughts! (I love Sarah’s wisdom.)
I am happy to say that many people have made me aware that we CAN go after these people. We CAN try to do something. There is a petition going around we can sign to show that we care. To show that we don’t want that junk in our homes. To show that we want to have people “opt in” if they want those kinds of things filtering through their homes.
There’s more information about the background to the petition here: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=27631200
The only problem is that they need people to sign TODAY! I think tomorrow is the deadline. They have to have 41,000 more people sign the petition. It takes a minute because you have to sign in, but I think it is so very important. They make it easy to share with Facebook or Twitter or whatever you use. I am just here to beg people to show the government we are serious. We need angry parents to help. Sarah is right, fighting this should not be solely on parent’s shoulders. We need restrictions for these companies. We need the right to keep it out of our homes. We need to keep our families safe and we should have support in that any way we can.
So go sign that thing and share it with everyone you know! Let’s get 41,000 more people to be angry about the dumb pornography businesses.
Thank you for joining in this important cause!