By James Lambert | Guest writer

A number of weeks ago, WABC radio and Fox News commentator Sean Hannity was lamenting on the air over the stark increase in sexual crimes around the country. Hannity was recounting news reports of a small girl who was abducted and sexually molested in a department store in the South. He also mentioned that it seemed during recent years such cases of rape, incest, molestation and other sexual crimes were markedly on the increase and it bothered him. Such discussions usually end there.

It is this writer’s contention that the pornography industry is one of the main reasons we see a noticeable increase in sexual related crimes around America. What Hannity and most of his friends in the media fail to do is connect the dots.

In May of 1998, I appeared on the popular Fox News program The O’Reilly Factor. Bill O’Reilly stated the commonly held belief that you cannot say that the porn industry contributes to increases in sexual crimes. He went on to say that such increases in crime of this nature do not occur in the Netherlands where their culture is overrun by the sex industry.

O’Reilly recently cited Sweden to make his case. He contended that, as far as he could tell, hard-core porn has not had a deleterious effect on society.

He also stated in his interview with me that he did not believe for a minute the testimony of Ted Bundy. Bundy attributed his indulgence in porn as the main contributing factor that strongly influenced his sexual crimes.

O’Reilly said he covered and knew the Bundy episode inside and out. Yet Bundy gave his last interview to a Christian organization, Focus on the Family, because he believed that the secular media would not honestly report the link between his long involvement with porn and the negative effect it had on his life.

O’Reilly forgot some important facts while making his assertions. First, the Netherlands and other European countries like Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Belgium, do not regulate the porn industry and do not report sex crimes like the U.S. does, i.e., incest, date rape, sex with underage participants, public nudity or even pedophile activity. In fact, there are publications in Europe that prominently promote pedophilia.

As for Ted Bundy, O’Reilly ignored the fact that the interview with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was his final one. Bundy was executed just hours after his interview. My question to Mr. O’Reilly is: What did Bundy have to gain by linking his addiction to porn and sex crimes knowing these would be his last words?

Porn’s powerful message

Clearly, it would be irresponsible to lay all of the moral devastation of our society solely at the feet of the pornography industry. However the porn industry’s constant message of sexual perversion has greatly desensitized this country’s moral sensibility.

Consider the following: It is not uncommon to find all types of bizarre and grossly deviant forms of porn on the Internet. This includes Web sites that graphically show sexual acts between animals and humans, children and adults, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, brothers and sisters, and offer rape Web sites, group sex Web sites, defecation Web sites, urination Web sites, and public nudity Web sites.

What is particularly disturbing is the sheer volume of these sites now on the Internet. Estimates of the total number of porn sites runs from 1.2 million to 1.4 million, according to some pro-family Internet providers.

With so many homes lacking appropriate Internet blocking or filtering devices to protect their family members, these images are now easily available to millions of people of all ages. Just one image can forever damage a young boy’s or girl’s mind.

Author Diana E. H. Russell, Ph.D., author of Against Pornography, The Evidence of Harm, recently said, “Hard-core porn has devastating effects on society: the sex acts perpetrated in it are acted out on women; the women used in it are harmed and degraded; and because of the escalating nature of pornography, what was hard-core becomes soft-core, and what was soft-core becomes mainstream images in society.”

It has become increasingly apparent that the flood of porn infiltrating our homes through the Internet has desensitized the public at large. Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America, contends that there is a strong “connection between adult obscenity and the seduction process.”

Hard-core porn is commonly used to desensitize young girls and children so they yield to sexual predators. Feminist Nikki Craft contends that “most women are unable to fathom the vicious acts done to women by the pornography industry in the name of free speech, profit, pleasure and, yes, entertainment.”

Rev. Jerry Falwell, senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, contends that most people “do not see or understand the lascivious nature of pornography.”

Falwell, a pastor for 47 years, says he has counseled many people about this subject and has seen the damaging effects of porn, even inside the church.

Falwell is convinced the reason so many churches are reluctant to tell others about this problem, is that the pastors have problems with Internet porn themselves.

While the evidence of cultural damage mounts, pornographers continue to protest that their trade is harmless to society. What they fail to explain is that each purveyor of porn reacts differently to the use of pornography.

Hard-core porn allows both sexes to take the love out of this physical expression and replace it with their own self gratification. Ultimately this makes the sex partner a means to an end. The partner becomes a tool of gratification and hence loses his humanity. The extent of this loss depends on each person involved.

The more graphic and deviant the sex, the more our humanity disintegrates. It is no wonder many feminists view hard-core pornography as hate speech.

This does not even factor in those who become obsessed with porn, giving way to sexual addiction (with estimates as high as 7% of the adult population) and hence a downward spiral in their lives.

Porn, profits, privacy
The porn industry is fueled by America’s growing appetite for sexual imagery, the reluctance of government to regulate it and untold billions in profits.

Falwell has been astounded in recent years by the awesome growth of the porn industry. He considers porn to be a “cancerous plague in modern history exceeding the negative influence of the drug epidemic” in America.

Technological advances, the introduction of video, and the development of the Internet have also greatly advanced smuts access to America’s homes.

Mark this in sharp contrast to the time, 30 years ago, when the vast majority of porn businesses were located in ‘seedy’ neighborhoods. Most Americans felt uncomfortable going to these areas and often would not. Today videos, DVDs and the Internet have changed all that.

In the 1980s, videos allowed Americans to go to their local video rental stores and access porn directly. Now on the Interent Americans can easily contact smut merchants and call girls directly from within their homes.

With little or no government regulation during the 1990s, the growth of the porn industry exploded. Pornographers now gross close to $14 billion annually, far exceeding domestic revenues of Hollywood and most professional sports venues.

All these factors have dramatically compromised our culture’s moral sensibility.

Firewalls for families
Americans need to wake up to what is happening and take every action to protect their homes and family members from the intrusive nature of the porn trade.

Inexpensive and accurate Internet filters, particularly the technology from Bsafe Online (www.afafilter.com), can block pornographers from your computer while maintaining access to the useful content on the Internet. There are also inexpensive software packages that can be used to block ‘pop-up’ porn advertising and spam filters for E-mail. It is imperative that parents take advantage of these protections for their families.

While we clearly see the damaging impact porn has on our society, we need to be vigilant for our families’ sake and do whatever is reasonable to protect our homes.

James L. Lambert is a licensed real estate mortgage loan sales agent. He is author of the book, Porn In America (Huntington House) available at www.afa.net/afastore/default.asp. He regularly writes for Agape Press and his articles can be found on his web site www.JamesLLambert.com.