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Proliferation of pornography poisoning America, Land warns

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP)–A ravenous cancer is destroying modern society from the inside out, declared Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, at the commission’s annual seminar on the theme, “The Family & Human Sexuality: Reaffirming God’s Design.”
“Pornography is Satan’s counterfeit and Satan’s corruption of God’s design for us as sexual beings,” Land said, describing it as “one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of Satan designed to undermine the moral purity of human beings and to encourage lust that would then enslave them.”
“If being the salt of the earth means anything, it means burning this cancer out of our nation,” Land said March 2 in Charleston, S.C., adding, “It will not happen unless we make it happen.”
“Pornography is in your church, in your family, on your street and maybe in your home,” Land warned. “We must let Christ use us as the moral disinfectant — salt — that he called us to be to stop this plague.” If we fail to do so, the nation will continue to be brutalized, and “we will not recognize our country,” he said.
Citing 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Land explained “pornography” is derived from the same root word as “fornication,” which refers to “sexual behavior which is deviant from God’s moral law,” and is fed by lust — an intense sexual desire, preoccupied with self-gratification and the basis for the sin of adultery.
God purposely created humans as sexual beings, Land acknowledged. Sexual desire is a powerful motivator for human beings, he added. “It is an enormous power for good or for ill in our world.” God intended it for good, but Satan has corrupted God’s design, he said.
The church, Land charged, has shied away from teaching the full biblical revelation concerning sexuality, contributing to society’s susceptibility to pornography. “We have the ‘don’ts’ down, but we have failed to adequately understand and adequately share with our young people the Song of Solomon,” he said. “If you think God is against sex,” he continued, “you need to get a good, modern translation of the Song of Solomon and read it.”
Referring to the Song of Solomon, which Land jokingly said will never be featured as the Southern Baptist Winter Bible Study, he explained the four purposes for which God created mankind as sexual beings.
First, he said, God’s design is that two people “become one, forming a spiritual, physical union between a husband and a wife.”
God’s design for sexual intimacy also “results in an intimate knowledge of spirit between a husband and wife,” Land stated. They are “to leave and to cleave” to one another in order to experience a depth of intimacy in their relationship. He went on to say, “We need to recover the understanding that in the revelations of God, sex isn’t dirty. Sex is holy.
“God uses the relationship between the husband and the wife to describe his relationship with Israel in the Old Testament, and Jesus’ relationship with his bride, the church, in the New Testament,” he noted.
Furthermore, “sex was designed for the mutual pleasure of the husband and wife,” Land said. And, finally, in God’s design, “sexual intercourse was given as the means by which the human race was to be propagated.”
Pornography perverts and distorts all of the God-given purposes for sexual intimacy, Land insisted.
Pornography encourages lust. “Both men and women are encouraged to have sexual relations with many partners, disregarding the sanctity of marriage and the one-flesh concept,” Land said.
Pornography teaches people to “disregard the intimacy of knowing another person by encouraging sexual intercourse as a casual relationship,” he observed. “Sex is viewed as a form of recreation with superficial self-gratification.
“It’s narcissistic,” Land said. Pornography teaches “self- gratification without regard for the welfare of one’s sexual partner.”
And procreation is never the purpose of sexual intimacy in pornography, Land said. Instead, procreation is feared and the abortion of the results of an unwanted pregnancy is encouraged.
In short, Land declared, “Pornography turns God’s design for sex completely on its head.”
Land fingered the Internet as one of the most pervasive and violent venues of pornography in contemporary America. “Material that was once available only in the worst back alleys of the worst cities in America is now available to anyone, anywhere in the country with a computer and a modem,” he said. “I am talking about cybersex, cyber- porn. I am talking about a subterranean, electronic river of slime that is pure, undistilled evil.”
Cyberporn “allows an invisible horde of pedophiles and child molesters to surf the Internet seeking to solicit and seduce children through computer terminals in the children’s own bedrooms,” he added.
And even though Congress enacted the Communications Decency Act to restrict cyberporn, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law. In doing so, Land said the Supreme Court was saying “an adult’s right to see anything he wants to see on the Internet takes precedence over this society’s obligation and right to protect minor children from exposure to this filth.”
Other evidences of both the extensive reach and devastating effects of pornography cited by Land included:
— Rapists and sex offenders are 15 times more likely to have been exposed to hard-core pornography during childhood than the population at large.
— Pornographic material is highly addictive to men and boys; exposure to it often leads to extremely destructive behavior to themselves and their victims.
— Federal authorities reveal that a 6-year-old girl has a one-in- three probability of being sexually molested by her 16th birthday; for boys, it is between a one-in-five and one-in-seven probability.
— Pornography is an $8.5-billion to $10-billion industry annually in the United States.
— Surveys reveal virtually all 18-year-old boys graduating from high school have been exposed to hard-core pornography.
Continuing to tolerate pornography, Land concluded, “is like leaving radioactive waste around for our children to find and be fatally contaminated.”

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  • King Sanders