by Haley Ashworth
Recently, the Deseret News published an opinion piece by John Harmer, who speaks out loudly against our society’s indifference to the sex trafficking and pornography epidemic. Harmer is only one man, but hopefully his voice will be amplified with this article. It is refreshing to see someone else who recognizes the connections between pornography and the horrendous sex crimes being committed, especially someone who seems to be so in line with the mission of pureHOPE. Harmer uses the specific tragedies of two young girls’ murders to point to the more universal problem of the acceptance of porn. Both girls were raped and then murdered in ways that reenacted hardcore child pornography. Sadly, these are not isolated cases; you can learn more about the effects of porn here.
In the article, Harmer asks, “So who killed Destiny Norton and Sierra Newbold? We all did. We did it with our passive shrug of the shoulders for the continuing production and distribution of materials that cannot be described in this newspaper.” Admitting to this truth is crucial for a change to take place, and we can start by looking inward.
I know not all of us support or view pornography, but that is not enough. To the millions of men, women, and children enslaved in the sex industry, it is not enough that we abstain from buying them. We must be their voices and advocates. In Isaiah 1, we are told to “seek justice, encourage the oppressed.” This is more than an issue of abstinence. It is a command to proactively pursue justice for those who do not have it.
Until we take a stand against the apathy of our culture, things will stay the same. According to Brent Ward, a man who used to be the U.S. Attorney for Utah and head of the anti-pornography unit for the Dept. of Justice, the reason the government cannot help with this issue “is because there is no mandate from the people to deal with it.” We cannot expect our government to fix a problem if our society doesn’t consider it to be a problem at all. Let us begin to seek justice and avoid apathy, gain wisdom and understanding, and encourage others to make a difference. The pureJUSTICE Bible study is a great place to start.
- The Connections Between Pornography and Sex Trafficking
- Expert Shares How Porn Feeds the Demand for Sex Trafficking Around the Globe
- Teenage Relationship Violence Linked to Internet Pornography
Haley Ashworth is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University and is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern.