Michelle VanLoon

My father was a porn addict

Michelle VanLoon
By Michelle VanLoon
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My father taught me how to ride a bike, the value of a great punchline, and what a woman was supposed to look and act like.

My dad was a great guy with a bad habit.

When we consider relationships negatively impacted by a pornography addiction, most of us first consider the addict’s spouse or girl/boyfriend. It is not just the adult partner who is affected by a porn habit. Even if the addict believes he or she has the habit under wraps, porn’s toxicity leaks into other relationships in an addict’s life.

When I was growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s, porn made its way into our home in the form of Playboy magazines on our coffee table, next to copies of my mom’s Redbook and Ladies Home Journal. My parents had come of age in the Mad Men era, when Hugh Hefner’s magazine was a signpost of cool in the same way that other sophisticates of their generation smoked cigarettes in the doctor’s office, slow-danced to Sinatra, and imbibed a dirty martini before dinner.

The coffee table reading was only the tip of the iceberg in our home. I can still remember the shock waves that hit me when I discovered the cheaply printed hard-core erotica stashed in my parents’ bedroom. I was 11 or 12 when I discovered a stash of the stuff in my dad’s dresser drawer and nightstand. Whenever my parents left the house, I pored over each plain-wrapped volume. I didn’t fully understand what I had read, but I knew that I’d been initiated into the world of adulthood at an age when I barely understood the mechanics of how babies were made.

I thought these books and materials encapsulated what it meant to be an adult. Porn taught me that the single most important thing to grown-ups was this mysterious world of fantasy, pain, and animalistic impulses too powerful to ignore. I was jarred by the difference between the sexually ravenous Barbies I’d met in the books, and the skinny, frizzy-haired, braces-wearing preteen I saw staring at me in the mirror. By 8th grade, I was determined to do what I could to close that gap. I used some of what I’d learned from the books and magazines with some willing neighborhood boys, which I later discovered is a very common response in children who are exposed to porn.

However, it wasn’t just the early exposure to porn and the resulting sexual experimentation that left dark smudges on my soul. It was devastating to realize that porn was an additional partner in my parents’ marriage. The discovery of my dad’s stash stripped away a sense of trust from me. From that point forward, I was a little uncomfortable around my dad. I was uncomfortable around my mom, too – but the awkwardness was definitely more pronounced whenever I was around my dad. It was as if I’d accidentally seen him naked, though that was never the case. I was left with questions I didn’t have the words or the nerve to ask: How did my dad view my mom? Other women? Me? Was my dad disappointed in me because I didn’t look like the women in Playboy?

I don’t remember either parent ever telling me I was beautiful. I would have given anything to hear that from one of them. In fact, I did give anything when I gave myself away to some eager boys, hoping to hear from one of them that my parents were wrong about me.

Not surprisingly, my dad once advised me to “get some experience” before marrying. He didn’t know I already had. Much later, I realized that his advice was probably a sad self-report on his relationship with my mom.

It wasn’t until later in my life, after I’d become a Christian, after I’d married, that I began to come to terms with how deeply I’d been affected by having porn in my childhood. Men who have grown up with a porn-addicted parent tell me that they learned that real men are addicted to sex, and that it’s okay to objectify women. I thank God that my husband did not bring porn baggage into our marriage. My lost innocence and warped self-image have been more than enough baggage for both of us.

God is an amazing healer. Though I can’t entirely forget, I can forgive because I have been forgiven. I’ve forgiven my dad and mom – and myself, for choices I’ve made. I continue to practice forgiveness as God continues to excavate and reshape my life. I’ve been blessed with a patient husband who has walked alongside me for over three decades, occasionally helping me loose clenched fists from this carry-on or that tote bag I’ve schlepped for far too long.

And restoration has also come as I’ve shared my story with parents who have discovered that their spouse is a porn addict. While these parents may be waging an adult war for their relationship with a combination of prayer, Internet monitoring tools, counseling, and support groups, they need to remember that this is not an adults-only battlefield. Porn’s effects permeate the atmosphere of a household like noxious gas. Commitment to cherishing each child’s personhood and protecting their innocence with ferocity are essential weapons in fighting the battle as well.

This article first appeared on Christianity Today’s her.meneutics blog. It is reprinted with permission from the author.

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Hillary Clinton: ‘I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven days after calling videos of Planned Parenthood officials harvesting fetal parts "disturbing," leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is throwing her support behind the embattled abortion giant.

In an ad released on Monday, just hours before the U.S. Senate failed to defund Planned Parenthood, Clinton called such legislative efforts "a full-on assault on women's health."

She also described Planned Parenthood as "the nation's leader in providing reproductive health care."

“Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new," Clinton said. "They’re more of the same. We have seen them in Wisconsin, where Governor Walker defunded Planned Parenthood and left women across the state stranded with nowhere else to turn. We have seen them in Florida, where Jeb Bush funneled millions of dollars into abstinence-only programs while gutting funds for crucial family planning programs. And we have seen them in Texas, where Governor [Rick] Perry drastically cut funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings."

"And then [Perry] signed legislation that forced health centers across the state to close their doors in an attempt to wipe out access to safe and legal abortion all together,” Clinton said.

Walker boasted of defunding Planned Parenthood at a Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire last night.

As governor of Florida, Bush put millions of dollars towards pro-life pregnancy care clinics, which are pro-life alternatives to abortion clinics.

The measures Perry signed in 2013 banned most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation, forced abortion centers to upgrade to the same level as ambulatory surgical centers, and required abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

However, according to Clinton, defunding America's largest abortion company is "cutting people off from the health care provider they know and trust."

“When they attack women’s health, they attack America’s health," Clinton said. "And it’s wrong. And we are not going to let them get away with it."

"We are not going back. We are going to fight back," she vowed.

She concluded, "I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood."

Her video came between the releases of undercover video footage revealing Planned Parenthood's work in harvesting the organs of aborted babies and turning them over to research firms for a fee.

Clinton has long supported abortion-on-demand, saying earlier this year that religious beliefs opposed to abortion "must be changed."

Last year, she said it was "a bedrock truth" that "you cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights."

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Bobby Jindal cancels Planned Parenthood funding in wake of body parts scandal

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By Dustin Siggins

BATON ROUGE, LA, August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Louisiana has canceled its contract with the state's two Planned Parenthood centers.

Louisiana governor and 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said that the decision came because of new videos showing illegal activity by top Planned Parenthood officials.

“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life,” he said. “It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”

Jindal, who had ordered the state to investigate Planned Parenthood for potential felony violations following the release of the first video, canceled the contract because of its "at will" provision. That means that "either party can choose to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice,” according to a press release from the governor's office. “Governor Jindal and DHH decided to give the required 30-day notice to terminate the Planned Parenthood Medicaid provider contract because Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life."

"Pending the ongoing investigation, DHH [the Dept. of Health and Hospitals] reserves the right to amend the cancellation notice and terminate the provider agreement immediately should cause be determined," it states.

This action is just the latest by the pro-life governor, who last year signed a law requiring all abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Louisiana has been named the number one pro-life state by Americans United for Life for six years in a row.

A Planned Parenthood official told the left-wing blog Talking Points Memo that no Planned Parenthood facilities provide abortions, although the abortion provider hopes to build a facility to do so.

Gov. Jindal also halted the building that 8,000-square foot abortion megaplex, scheduled to be built in New Orleans, following the release of the first video.

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This one shot from the latest PP sting video might be the most disturbing thing you see all year

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By John Jalsevac
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I’m about to show you something that, if you're alive and have a heartbeat, will deeply disturb you, and then make you hopping mad.

I warn you, it’s graphic. But everybody needs to see this. Because this is the truth. And even if the truth is difficult, and gruesome, and challenging, it must be known.

This morning the Center for Medical Progress released the latest in their series of undercover sting videos exposing the fact that Planned Parenthood is harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

The first part is plenty disturbing, as director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, discusses how she “diversifies” Planned Parenthood's “revenue stream” by selling aborted baby parts, and how their abortionists can modify the abortion procedure (Note: totally illegal) to obtain “intact” fetuses.

But then the camera moves into the lab, where workers are actually involved in dissecting and dismembering aborted babies to get the useful body parts.

Describing their “last case” of the day, one of the workers tells an actor posing as someone interested in purchasing fetal body parts, that “it was a twin” at about 20 weeks gestation.

The camera then pans over to a dish, filled with what Planned Parenthood describes as “tissue.” One of the workers uses tweezers to pick up the intestines, and boasts about how sometimes “the organs come out really, really well.”

And that’s when I saw it. A little, beautiful, perfectly formed hand, gently clenched in a fist – a hand attached to an arm that had been torn from its owner's body, and thrown in a dish swimming with body parts.

...And then I saw the foot. And the other foot.

I wish I could say I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. But I could, because I know what Planned Parenthood does. But there’s a difference between believing, and seeing.

And that’s why these photos must be shared as far and wide as possible.

After that, it gets even worse, as the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to pick up and inspect an arm and hand...and then the leg...and then another leg.

Yes, it is horrifying that Planned Parenthood is apparently lying about the fact that it makes a tidy profit off trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies.

But the worst thing of all is that Planned Parenthood has body parts to sell in the first place. That Planned Parenthood is daily, constantly, aborting babies that have hands, and feet, and hearts, and lungs.

The worst part is that every time Planned Parenthood sells a body part, it is because they have killed a baby, a human being like you and me – a human being that had the right to live, and love, and be, a baby whose life was summarily snuffed out, and turned into a “revenue stream.”

The worst part is that year after year, decade after decade, we let Planned Parenthood get away with the canard that they are only aborting "blobs of tissue," or "products of pregnancy" - as if we don't all know perfectly well what the product of a pregnancy is: a baby. 

I say, enough is enough. Shut Planned Parenthood down, now!

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