A man deciding between God and porn
Christians fear that during quarantine, the extra free time and 24/7 internet access will lead to an epidemic of pornography addiction.

Have you noticed your habits changing during quarantine? Life as we know it has changed in innumerable ways - many Americans are ordering groceries online, spending their entire day on the couch, and applying hand sanitizer at every available opportunity.

But does all this isolation have consequences? Many Americans are frustrated with their lack of social interaction. Some are gaining weight due to lack of gym access. And now, a well-known Christian author is raising the alarm about another potential consequence of the lockdown: getting addicted to pornography.

Is Porn Destructive?

With many of us stuck inside, shut off from the world and with constant internet access and a lot of time on our hands, Christian author Josh McDowell fears that countless men will turn to porn – and become addicted by the time quarantine lifts. And he’s not taking this crusade lightly.

"[Porn] is right at this moment destroying more churches, more pastors, more marriages, more people's lives, more relationships than any one thing has ever done simultaneously in history," he said in an interview with Christian Post. He fears that porn addiction will spike, a problem that will poison society and take “years to recover.”

And it’s not just relationships that pornography destroys, McDowell argues. He also called it “by far the greatest cancer ever to the church.”

The Christian War on Porn

If McDowell’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s no stranger in the war against pornography. He’s been fighting the fight against pornography for a long time, and even has dozens of blog articles about pornography on his website. In 2017, he caused a stir when he urged parents to start warning children about pornography as early as 5 years old. And he compared preparing children for the reality of internet pornography to preparing them for the harsh reality of drug abuse.

But McDowell isn’t the only Christian leading the charge against pornography. Last month, author and Christian Post contributor Dr. Michael Brown wrote an article condemning Pornhub for offering free premium pornography subscriptions to the countries hit hardest by COVID-19. Brown says that “porn leads to shame. To pollution. To degradation. To perversion. To death… It is prayer, not porn, to the rescue.”

These faithful anti-porn crusaders are certainly right about one thing: adult entertainment has become more popular than ever during the quarantine. Industry leader Pornhub saw their traffic increase by 25% in the United States alone since the quarantine began. Curiously, users are also searching for coronavirus related videos, with over 17 million searches for terms like “coronavirus” and “COVID” – a trend which may inspire a whole new genre for watchers to enjoy. 

A Moral Argument

Despite strong sentiments from religious leaders, many supporters argue that pornography isn't a threat at all. In fact, some say that pornography actually has net benefits to society. Everything from "increasing tolerance of other people's sexualities," to "sustaining sexual interest in long-term relationships" has been attributed to pornography consumption.

So if porn use is indeed on the rise in America, is it a risk to our mental and spiritual health?

What do you think? Is porn addiction a serious threat during quarantine, or this merely a case of Christians trying to force their strict moral standards onto the rest of society?

42 comments

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    Oh dear. Christians and their campaigns. When people are houseless, people are expiring due to Covid-19, people are going to dangerous jobs with a lack of PPE, and you have to worry about porn?

    Yes, some people get addicted to porn. Some people get addicted to online shopping. Some people get addicted to reality TV and the Kardashians. All of these things can cause you to not go to church, or mess up your family, or be detrimental to your job. If your church is so poorly presented that any of these keeps the members from coming you need to examine your presentation.

    The only reason to focus on porn is because you don't like it. If you spend as much time worrying and helping the houseless as you do on anti porn campaigns, the country would be better off.

    1. Peter Bradshaw's Avatar Peter Bradshaw

      I like, by which I mean despise, the way Christianist extremists dance around so much, straightwashing Jonathon and David with copious hand waving. While waging campaigns against same sex marriage and outrageously demonizing gays.

      Then too, the anti-abortion campaigns that neglect to consider that the bible says life begins at birth. Rev. Bruce Waltke: “God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”

      And hey, Christians, might I suggest you campaign around the things that REALLY piss off God, things like homelessness and the needy? You surely know, because you've read your bible, that God told Ezekiel to "make Jerusalem see her abominable conduct." So Zeke tells Jerusalem "As surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, your [Jerusalem] sister Sodom and her daughters never did as you and your daughters have done." Holy shit - Jerusalem is WORSE than Sodom! What could Jerusalem possibly be doing that made Jerusalem worse than Sodom? As you know, because you've read your bible, Ezekiel told them “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

      Really, Christians, you should ask yourselves if you're sure you're hating the right people.

      Oh, one more thing, since you only pay attention to the OT when it supports your hatred, you'll recall what Jesus said:

      "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"

      “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      Yeah, you really really really need to think about what you're doing.

    2. John Camp Bernay III's Avatar John Camp Bernay III

      Porn or Sexual Behaviour is not condemned in Bible. However Christians do not use Scriptures. The have a 'Made-Up" book of hatred for Jews, New Testament. Any scriptures other than Torah are NOT creedable ot of G-D.

      G-D chose Abraham amd His offstrings threw Issac & jacob, and He Didn't NOT choose none other, Period. christians are Various myths about vampirism are widespread among Christians; films about cannibals, blood-suckers and similar heroes are most popular in the places where the Christian culture is dominating. There are so many maniac killers and violent perverts among Christians as nowhere else in the world; again and again in the Christian world there emerge people who want to be eaten.

      Are not those cases reverberations of the ‘Last supper’? – Most Christians constantly take part in religious rituals that willy-nilly are associated with cannibalism, so they can traumatise some oversensitive persons for the rest of their lives.

      So, there are many serious arguments that support the hypothesis that Jesus Christ was eaten after his crucifixion. If it is proved or at least accepted as a very probable one, much can be understood and explained in the Christian faith, psychology and in the whole Christian culture.

      Perhaps it could also be helpful in understanding the inhuman historical cruelty of Christians – in understanding why the millions of decent people who found the Christian ‘communion’ unacceptable were killed in cold blood, tortured to death or burnt alive during the long history of Christianity?

      Does it not seem very probable?

      1. pjm's Avatar pjm

        You post is a classic example of everything that is wrong in the world today: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME! It's all about ME and what I believe and what I want and what I feel and everybody else is wrong and is stupid and is ignorant and their beliefs should be totally discounted because only I am right and I have all the answers and only MY religious beliefs are valid and everyone else's beliefs are myths. And this attitude is across the board in both religion and politics. It's self-centered and myopic.

        You need a serious, healthy heaping dose of humility, along with all the others who think that only they have all the answers.

  1. Vern Dee Wall's Avatar Vern Dee Wall

    Christians really really should learn what they claim to believe. Watching porn is not a sin, not even mentioned in the bible. For those who have not read the scriptures, the bible has an entire book devoted to porn. It's called "Song Of Solomon".

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      You’re quite right Vern. In my years when I was religious, believing in a deity, no one ever quoted from Songs of Solomon, and no one ever postulated during Sunday School who had sex with the fictitious Eve having given birth to boys. Presumably she had girls at some point to the pleasure and delight of her sons....and possibly Adam? I bet Eve was relieved when she had daughters, she must have been exhausted. 😇

      🦁❤️

      1. Wayward73's Avatar Wayward73

        Well, since Eve was Adam's daughter it would simply be continuing the tradition.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          That's a very good point. I guess, if people want to believe the fable, we are all the product of incestuous original parents, yet their god was more concerned about disobeying him than having incestuous relationships. That deity has real Ego and anger management issues. 🤪

          🦁♥️

    2. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

      Growing up, we had a version of the bible in the back of the pews that did not have Song of Solomon. I didn't know it existed until around the fouth grade and my grandmother's bible.

    3. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'vk wail': What is sin? Porn? Intelligent people usually explain/define their terms before making sweeping, all-inclusive intimations.

    4. Darryl Mizer's Avatar Darryl Mizer

      IMO porn is NOT a sin. However an addiction can occur when it interferes with life's responsibilities including family, friends and other activities. Addictions take the place of everything else. These include alcohol, drugs, shopping, sexual, etc. But they are not sins. They are a biological response to excessive exposure.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Personally, I've never been much into porn, but am great at mental visualization, and once a day keeps the psychiatrist away. I do have a couple of porn mags , on the floor behind my bed where I tossed them. I keep them for my girlfriends to look at while we're doing it. Once we get to be a certain age they want something else to look at. Only christians feel guilty about such things. They only feel good when they are'nt having fun. Only people with addictive minds become addicted to anything, and there isn't a very large percentage of such people. For those who do become addicted, if it becomes a problem for them they can iether check into a treatment center, go to outpatient counseling, and/or join a spiritual fellowship, such as a twelve-step recovery program like Sexaholics Anonymous,or Sex-Addicts Anonymous. I've known members of both of those programs, and have been a member of A.A. and N.. for thirty seven years, as well as having completed a year long course to be a substance abuse counselor. But if it works for you, don't fix it. Party hardy, and go for the gusto !!! Just don't forget to wear a mask and gloves...and condoms !

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'sea bee': Your use of the word 'only' portrays your academic inadequacy. Usually the ignorant, uneducated, and/or opinionated use such words as 'never', 'always', 'only', 'ever', etc. Such words render the statements in which thy are contained as unsubstantiated, exaggerated an/or false..Therefore, your submission is deemed as a careless mish-mash of inuendo and worthless blather.

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        It sounds like flugo has a resentment, but atleast he's paying attention.

      2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        It sounds like flugo has a case of the blahs. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        I'm glad you're not dead yet Professor flugo, but I bet I'll out last you on this blog by a few decades.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Comment has been removed.

        2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Fairytales only come true in the imaginations of the young at heart ; the naive.

      4. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        It apparently doesn't require a whole lot of education to be brilliant, and highly literate. Atleast I have a much better way with words than some doctors who can't get past quoting fairytales from an ancient book of fables, written by a bunch of schizophrenics, then called prophets.

        1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

          Then again, we can't expect someone with a fiftyear old college degree to remember much of what he learned. Less than three years ago I completed the last of seven consecutive, year long vocational correspondence courses, all with highest honors, in subjects which included Paralegal, Business Management, Hotel and Restaurant Management, Nursing Assistant, Drug And Alcohol Treatment Specialist, Natural Health Consultant, and Private Investigator. That tells me that my current level of education, and what I remember of it is far superior to an old doctor.

          1. flugo's Avatar flugo

            'sea bee': Proverbs 16;18 describes you well . . . . and your eventual downfall. Also, someone said something like: 'It's better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt." Will you never learn? AND, you seemed to have avoided owning up to the issue I raised 20 April. It's the humble that God do marvelous things with; not the proud, arrogant and self-sufficient.

            1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

              I'm not interested in that Christian version of god doing anything with me. If any of that fairytale was true I'd rather be a disciple of Satan.

      5. Peter Bradshaw's Avatar Peter Bradshaw

        If this were Reddit, you'd make it to the top of r/IAmVerySmart.

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully...as more and more people see that organized religion is not the panacea for life, the religions panic and blame everything but themselves...Peace...Tom B

  1. the People's Project 5's Avatar the People's Project 5

    People who call themselves Christians need to practice "Minding your own business" right behind practicing prayer.

    My daughter came up behind a vehicle pulling out of Sunday church services that had a bumper sticker on their car reading "Beg Less, Work More." I told my 45 year old daughter that that person is an agent of evil promoting greed inside our churches unfortunately finding their way behind the pulpit. I myself was targeted by a Pastor behind the pulpit as he praised his sheep saying all must be walking right with the Lord because they all had beautiful shiny cars in the parking lot as he looked at me sitting in the middle of his people. I was driving a 1969 Chevy Chevelle looked like rolling rust and rubber on the road. I picked my butt up off that pew and slowly walked out of that church never to return. That was 25 years ago. I find myself defending Christ most days, condemning those who behave like the poor are undeserving of love or compassion, ignoring Christs message of how we treat the least of us.

    Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.

    1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

      Church's are big business. It is one of the best ways to separate people from their money.

  1. Hazel Diane Graep's Avatar Hazel Diane Graep

    My opinion is that this is how Christians are trying to force their stick-up-the-butt morality on everyone else. That's tantamount to respecting one religion over any others, forcing your religion on everyone else. Constitution of the United States clearly forbids that:

    The first amendment to the US Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The two parts, known as the "establishment clause" and the "free exercise clause" respectively, form the textual basis for the Supreme Court's interpretations.

    AND, if the Christians were as dedicated, and followed their God as much as they want us to think, then they wouldn't be watching porn anyway. If they're unable control themselves and really want to watch porn oh, they should take personal responsibility for it and not blame anyone else.

  1. John R's Avatar John R

    What is this "either, or" mentality about porn? Is the squawking Pharisee trying to get people to believe it's an all-day activity that crowds out everything else?

    Watching the churches risk the public's health by defying medical guidelines to keep the collection plate circulating is yet another eye-opener for those who haven't figured out what organized religion has (largely) become.

    Given the track record of the organizationally religious zealots, I think someone should impound his computer—these hypocrites have proven to be child molesters and child traffickers. When they're busy getting hot and bothered about someone else's sin, be sure your loved ones are safe, and maybe lock your doors and change your passwords.

  1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

    I don’t think porn is what’s going to take down the Christian institutions. I think it’s probably going to be power-mad church leaders without any checks or balances. Most pastors are the true power in their own home churches and most are ethical and safe to leave your children with for an afternoon. The minority are power-mad autocrats who rule rather than guiding their flock. Many churches are just harmful environments where ideas are shunned and dissent is squashed firmly. If you are feeling insulted, you are probably one of the bad ones. I am sorry for those congregations.

    1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

      Jim and Tammy come to mind.

      1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

        All the telepreachers seem quite power-mad.

  1. Mary E Benoit's Avatar Mary E Benoit

    Is this new more or just because you have more home time?

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Have y'all noticed that Professor flugo spends long periods away from this blog Everytime one of makes him mad ? Sooner or later he'll even come back using a silly name he made up , like Bob Fleutsch, for example. I wonder if he stomps his feet so hard that he sinks into a deep hole, and it takes him all that time to climb out of it.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It's not entirely my fault, little flugi, so don't blame me. I'm not the one who keeps publishing my brilliant, authoritative comments.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Durning this time the sex trade online goes up. Are you aware thatthe FBI has their own brand of flesh sites. That they record who logs on totheir sites. So that if by chance you happen to log on the a Russian flesh site that have underage bodies on it and you download them into your harddrive they will vist your home. Sting.

    1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

      Did you get a fine?

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I hope they put all such people in prison.

  1. Summer Bree Nichols's Avatar Summer Bree Nichols

    During this pandemic a lot of people will turn to porn or other Unholsome actives as leaders of the folk it there duty to help educate those of the dangers of this in this time of need we need more then ever the spiritual guidance

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    Is it strange that the only people who believe in porn addiction have no verifiable evidence it is real? And where is the verifiable data to support Josh's statement, "[Porn] is right at this moment destroying more churches, more pastors, more marriages, more people's lives, more relationships than any one thing has ever done simultaneously in history,"?

    Methinks they doth protest too much (apologies to the Bard).

    1. Darryl Mizer's Avatar Darryl Mizer

      I am a professional with a PhD who knows, not believes, addiction in porn is a diagnosis. (Read my comment above). It has distinct attributes and progresses as it increases in use. It's the same as any other addiction. It is a biological-psychiatric assault on the amygdala, the addiction, pleasure part of the brain. Yes, porn addiction is real. For one, google it. For another, check out various methods of recovery sites. Smart Recovery has a great deal of information.

      1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

        Ok, so it is a diagnosis. What’s the rate of incidence? How common is it, really? In my experience, as a spiritual counselor, I would characterize it as exceedingly rare, in fact nonexistent in the nine years I was counseling officially. That is anecdotal, and my impression may be biased by my sample group which was small.

  1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

    Comment removed by author.

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