Taking On the Porno Plague

Dealing with porn at an ISP level became an issue again yesterday when Tony Abbott’s team mooted some sort of filtering system, perhaps along the lines of what England had recently embarked upon. Whether it is an opt in or opt out system is not clear.

But since few details are now available, it is not my intention to go into the pros and cons of such a system here. It is my intention however to examine just how damaging porn is, and what other steps might be taken to deal with this huge problem.

One sure way not to deal with the problem is the laughable way in which the Fair Work Commission has treated it – basically to say that it is no biggee in the workplace so don’t worry about it. After Australia Post sacked some workers for spending their time looking at and sharing porn at work, the FWC incredibly sided with the irresponsible workers!

As one report states, “Sending pornographic emails at work is not an automatic sackable offence, the Fair Work Commission has found. The independent umpire released a decision today that found Australia Post had unfairly sacked three workers who had sent pornography around the Dandenong Letter Centre.

“The decision challenges many employers’ policies on pornography in the office. The Fair Work Commission, in a decision including a contribution from Senior Deputy President Jonathan Hamberger, found that sending lewd emails was not an automatic sacking offence.”

So workers goofing off and wasting their employer’s time is just fine, and they can keep on doing it? Amazing. The article continues, “The decision found that Australia Post had not given adequate warnings to staff and that there was a culture of sending porn around the letter centre.”

Warnings? What, it is not clear that lusting after pornographic images instead of doing the job one is paid to do is somehow a no-no? Mind-boggling. Next thing you know we will have the folks at FWA telling us that consumption of pornography is every workers’ fundamental human right.

Maybe the employers will just have to schedule in a few hours a day of free porn-viewing, and make that part of their obligation. We hafta look after our workers don’t we? They need their paid lunch breaks, paid coffee breaks, and paid porn breaks.

A far more sensible approach is found in Norway, where one major employer has taken some very sensible and morally correct steps on the porn front. This is how one write-up describes the situation: “One of Norway’s major hotel chains has removed access to pay-TV porn and replaced it with contemporary art channels. Petter Stordalen, owner of Nordic Choice hotels, said he will remove access to pornography in all of his establishments in favor of providing access to high-end contemporary art, according to a Guardian report.

“Stordalen said he came to the decision after becoming involved in campaigns aimed at stopping human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, which is fuelled by pornography. ‘The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn’t support or condone this,’ Stordalen said.

“‘It may sound shocking or unusual [to remove pay-TV porn], but everyone said that about the ban on smoking. We were the first hotel chain in the world to ban smoking and people thought we were crazy. Now it’s totally normal for public spaces to be smoke-free,’ he added. A spokesman from the chain’s flagship hotel in Oslo, The Thief, said that reaction to the no-porn rule has been positive. ‘No one has asked for their porn back!’ Siri Løining Kolderup told the Guardian.”

Well done Nordic Choice hotels! Hopefully many more groups will be encouraged to do the same. And such moves are for good reason. Sadly porn has become normalised in today’s culture, and it is getting worse all the time. Carl Trueman discusses how porn has become “the new normal”.

He examines three “reactions last week to the British government’s intention of making British customers positively ‘opt in’ to allowing pornography to be part of their internet package. The idea is ostensibly to protect children from seeing images which may prove harmful.”

After looking at each one, he discovers this unfortunate common thread: they all “simply assumed that pornography is harmless and that, so it seemed, on the grounds that everybody is indulging in it these days, even women.” He goes on to comment:

“When one reflects on this, it is hardly surprising: the detachment of sexual gratification from committed, monogamous heterosexual relationships happened a long time ago. We are now at a point where someone who does believe that sex is exclusively reserved for such a context is portrayed as sexually repressed and socially retarded in popular culture and decried as a hate-filled bigot by the political media.

“Further, there has been a radical abolition of the distinction between the public and the private, fuelled by everything from twitter to reality television. If sex is primarily for personal pleasure and there is no boundary between the public and private, then the acceptance of pornography as normal, harmless diversion is hardly an unexpected development.

“Indeed, those Christians who feel a compulsive need to tweet their every private thought and to live their lives as a public performance might do well to reflect on the possibility of a connection between that type of behaviour and the growing social acceptance of pornography.

“Internet pornography is probably the number one pastoral problem in the world today. I wonder if it is set to become yet more so: as the social shame dimension passes away, it will be harder to maintain discipline on this issue. The Christian church is currently mesmerized by developments relative to sexuality, not least because these developments are couched in the rhetoric of civil rights and have serious legal implications.

“I wonder if a more serious and lethal internal issue for the church will actually turn out to be pornography. Holding the line on this will probably not come with direct legal and financial penalties attached; but when even The Spectator carries not one but two articles in a single week which assume the harmless normality of porn consumption, the pastoral challenge of preaching and maintaining basic sexual purity in the church is set to escalate beyond our wildest nightmares.”

Yes when even supposed conservative bodies of thought cannot see the harm being caused by porn and why there is indeed a conservative case against it, then things are getting very bad indeed. And they will in fact get much worse unless we start taking steps to turn this problem around.

What the Nordic Choice hotels are doing is certainly a step in the right direction. But much more needs to be done. It remains to be seen what exactly the Coalition filtering scheme will look like. But assuming they get into power tomorrow, this proposal is well worth at least considering and discussing.

www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/sending-porn-emails-at-work-no-longer-a-sackable-offence-fair-work-commission-rules/story-fni0fit3-1226710444957#mm-breached
www.lifesitenews.com/news/scandinavian-hotel-chain-removes-porn-from-its-tvs-replaces-with-art-channe
www.reformation21.org/blog/2013/08/pornography-the-new-normal.php?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=1453745

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15 Replies to “Taking On the Porno Plague”

  1. I like the analogy with changing attitudes to smoking too. Very clever.

    Jo Deller

  2. I know it sounds good that the Nordic Hotels have removed smut from their Pay per view TV’s, however we need to be realistic here, just about everyone has a mobile smut device (smart phone / tablet) with internet access. So the removal of Pay per view TV smut will only affect a few people anyway.

    I do commend Nordic Choice hotels stance.

    Jeffrey Carl

  3. Glad to see someone is using their head about the porn problem. As Christians we should be at the fore in fighting this issue. Many people can see the damage this terrible industry is doing to our society but they need to see strategies like this implemented on a broader scale. Making people realise that we don’t find this acceptable and if you want access to it you must opt in is a good start. Seeing the obvious link between the porn industry and human trafficking as well as child abuse is also a good way to raise people’s awareness of the evil inherent in this industry. Thanks Bill for your views

    David Horton

  4. I remember when the TV guardian said the F word was OK on TV. It opened the floodgates and now it is hard to find a programme without it.

    This no doubt will happen here. Porn will start flooding workplaces because some bureaucrat said it was OK.

    Roger Marks

  5. Remember when the censors objected to the words “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” in Gone With The Wind. We have “progressed” a long way since then.

    Des Morris

  6. What is not good for children is usually not good for adults either. The exceptions are very few.
    It is commendable that they seek to protect children but even that good intention is hampered and hindered by their lack of understanding. For children It must be even worse to be molested by those who as adults have not broken any law by watching these images that in turn stimulate their sinful bent in that direction.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  7. The porn issue debate is really about what constitutes true, authentic human intimacy. Porn presents a seductively packaged, “on-tap” but fatally flawed idea of what human sex acts and physical intimacy are about. The end result of the marketing of the images and the unholy scriptures of fornication may be described in the words of Hosea 5:4b “For a spirit of harlotry is within them,
    And they do not know the Lord.” [NASB].

    John Wigg

  8. What concerns me is the probable desire of porn watchers might be a fantasy driven desire to take it to the street and live out that fantasy.
    I also think that A. Post should insist that after the men watch porn those that then go to sort mail should wear surgical gloves.

    Michael Mercier

  9. Hi Bill
    I read the interview James Dobson had with Ted Bundy the day before Bundy was executed in 1989. He directly attributed his terrible reign of terror (he killed possibly over 100 women) to pornography which he began viewing in the late 1950’s. When you compare what was labelled pornography then with what is available now, it’s a miracle that there are still young people who still hold to Godly standards in their relationships.
    Vic Trudeau

  10. As a counsellor, the only women I encountered who had been into pornography were pressured into it by their husbands or partners, and deep down they hated it.
    John Bennett

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