The Editors

Three ways to kick porn out of your life

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Note: This is part three of a five part series on pornography

Part I: My porn addiction
Part II: Porn, devil or an angel?
Part III: Three ways to kick porn out of your life
Part IV: The fight for sexual sanity in a world awash in porn
P
art V: The pointlessness of pornography

November 29, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - But even if we can all agree that porn is a devil, that is only the beginning. That we even come to hate pornography is no guarantee that we will be freed from its allure. Many are those who have believed that they had their porn use “under control,” but who, upon seeking to quit once and for all, have found themselves inexplicably returning again and again, in defiance of their convictions and their good sense. It turns out that the temptation of anonymous, responsibility-free sexual pleasure on demand is a remarkably enduring one, even if we know from experience that all its promises of happiness are an illusion, and that if we give in it will only end in loneliness, bitterness and self-recrimination.

To cut porn out of your life once you have welcomed it in is no easy thing: for many it requires hard work, constant vigilance, and dramatic measures. And many will fight discouragement as they discover that despite their most ardent resolutions, they continue to fall back into a habit which they have come to despise. The first and most important lesson these will have to learn is how to set up realistic expectations, and how to forgive themselves when they fail to live up to them. This is especially important for people who may be part of communities or families that have not yet caught up with the reality of how completely porn has flooded our culture, and where frank discussion about the issue or any hint that any of their members might be struggling with it, is verboten. Part of my hope in writing this series is that we might begin to break open the barriers of communication, to throw unreasonable expectations out the window, and to smash the damaging perfectionism that can lead to a crippling shame. This does not mean that we are in any way compromising our convictions on the issue. What it does mean is that we are willing to give those who feel entrapped by porn the space they need to start taking the practical steps required to heal and overcome.

When I think back over my own years of wrestling with this problem, I can detect clear patterns to my successes and my failures. In particular, I can remember three specific, protracted porn-free periods of my adolescence. Each of these now seems to offer a specific insight into how one might gain the upper hand in the battle for sexual sanity. I offer them not as definitive, or comprehensive techniques for putting porn behind you, but simply as examples gained through personal experience.

The first period of reprieve came when I was 17, when I first went to college – a small private Catholic liberal arts college located in Michigan. As soon as I arrived I fell madly in love with a girl from California, whom I will call Christine. This love had about it all the vehemence and ardor of a first love, and, as Christine professed to return the sentiment, it was not long before we were dating. Like most adolescent relationships, it didn’t last. But what I find instructive looking back is that, in the first place, my love was so vehement and sincere that I honestly could not imagine even wanting to use Christine in any way, and so our relationship was thoroughly chaste. But, even more interesting and to the point, is that this love killed all desire for any sort of illicit sexual pleasure. And this was, I think, for two reasons: firstly, because when set up against Christine all other women, and most especially the uni-dimensional actresses featured in porn, seemed to pale by comparison; and, secondly, because my love made me desire to be worthy of the love I received from Christine, a goal in which a porn habit could have no part.

I am not, of course, saying that everyone who wishes to quit porn must have a passionate romance. But this experience points to a profound truth – that love (true love, and not mere “feelings”) is self-transcendent. Love draws us outside of ourselves, and focuses all our attention on the beloved, and makes us desire the happiness of the beloved even above our own. This is true across the board, whether we are talking about romantic love, or friendship, or the love between family members, or love of God. Love is the exact opposite of selfishness. It makes sense, then, that in love I should have found an antidote for porn. Porn, after all, is essentially selfish: its sole purpose is to gain pleasure for oneself by using someone else, without intention of giving anything in return. There simply is no more noble or constructive goal.

Practically speaking, what this suggests is that if we want to beat a porn habit we should start looking for ways to give to others, rather than focusing on ourselves. This can express itself in a million different ways, even in the most mundane details of our lives, but for the person struggling with porn, it might mean spending more time developing close friendships, or looking for volunteer opportunities, or even developing new and constructive hobbies - for the love of learning or of art, or even of sport, are authentic forms of love. Anything at all, really, but the endless, suffocating hours locked up in our own rooms, far away from people, surfing the internet, watching television or movies, playing video games, and, inevitably, watching porn.

For myself, this insight was confirmed after I met my wife, to whom all I said above applies 100-times over. Earlier this week a liberal social media site linked to the first installment of this essay on porn. Many of the commenters there accused my wife of “forcing” me to give up porn (the implication being, I suppose, that it is selfish of her to ask so much of me). They weren’t entirely wrong. My wife has “forced” me to give up porn, and many other bad habits besides. But only in the sense that any miserable wretch who has ever encountered a woman far more beautiful, pure, and good than himself, has been “forced” to recognize his own wretchedness and aspire to become worthy of her. Love does that. It is a form of bondage, but a bondage that is far more liberating than any of our popular concepts of freedom. To be free to wallow in our selfishness and misery is no freedom at all.

Yes, it is difficult to overstate the role my wife has played in teaching me the remarkable power of love to purify. And yet, she cannot claim first position in this respect, for I have also begun to understand, at least a very little, the Great Lesson: that the only truly reliable Love, the only one that truly has the power in the long run to transform us from the selfish beings we are into something really admirable, is found on our knees, in the silence of a church. But more on that later.

Another seemingly banal, but nevertheless noteworthy period of success, occurred when I later transferred to another Catholic liberal arts college, this one in Virginia, after spending a year working. At this college, the Internet was only available on public computers located in the library – across campus from my dorm. And, as simple as it may sound, the removal of the source of the temptation to a distance, largely killed the temptation itself.

The more I think about it, the more I realize this truth cannot be overstated. The reason that porn use has exploded can be attributed in large part to the advent of this new technology: the Internet. It is true that the Internet itself is neither morally good nor morally bad, but what it has done is give the pornographers a path straight into our bedrooms, so that, at any time, an entire world of sexual fantasy is but a click away. So it is that many a man or woman sits down at a computer with no intention whatsoever of looking for pornography (possibly even with the very deliberate intention not to look for it), and then suddenly “finds” him or herself doing exactly that. It’s too easy. Once exposed to porn, the temptation to look just “one more time” is forever scratching, scratching, scratching, just below the surface of our brains, every time we sit down at a computer, until we feel that we will go mad unless we give in to it.

It was just as I was graduating from college that smart phones were starting to become common. This no longer made it possible to keep the Internet out of the dorms. And frankly, I pity the students who came after me, who will not have the freedom, as I did, to live and learn free from the influence of the primary source of addiction today. Some porn experts say that porn is as addictive as cocaine. Imagine for a moment if all that a cocaine addict had to do was pull his cell phone out of his pocket and press a button to get his next hit, for free?

And so, here is method number two of kicking porn out of your life: put as much distance as possible between you and the Internet. I realize that in the age of Facebook, Netflix, and Google, this will strike many as an impossible, if not insane, suggestion. And for many it may not be necessary. But most of those who have repeatedly tried to put porn behind them, and have repeatedly failed, will be forced to admit that this is because accessing porn is simply too easy. Put down your guard for a fleeting moment while surfing the internet, and voila! You’ve clicked on a link you shouldn’t have. You’ve searched for a word you know will lead you places you shouldn’t go.

If the price of freedom is limiting your access to the Internet, I say choose freedom. If porn is your problem, seriously consider disconnecting the Internet from your house. And if you must have a cell phone, don’t get a smart phone with Internet access. If you do need the Internet, go to your library to use it. And if you absolutely need the Internet at home, install filtering software on your computer, and ask someone else to set the password. Do whatever is necessary to remove the source of temptation to as great a distance as possible. The greater the distance, the less vehement the temptation, and the more space you will have to live your life without this albatross hanging about your neck.

The third period in which I achieved some consistent success in my own battle to cast off this albatross overlaps with the second. It happened at the same time as I began to recover from a protracted period of religious agnosticism, as well as fall in love again - this time with my wife. Both factors added fuel to the fire of my hatred of porn. While I had already been making considerable steps in dealing with the problem, I no longer wanted anything to do with it…ever. And so I decided to take a dramatic step. I decided to do something I had never regularly done before. I decided to start fasting: two days a week I would go without breakfast and lunch.

The results were remarkable. If you have ever fasted you will know what I mean. There comes a point in the day when suddenly the hunger pangs fade into the background, and this is replaced with a real sense of peace. It is a kind of pleasure, but of a completely different - frankly, higher - category than what we normally call “pleasure.” All the clamoring of the body for this and that or the other thing vanishes, the mind clarifies, and there is a strange, buoyant sensation of being “in control.” It doesn’t necessarily happen to the same degree every time, but even when the annoyance of not eating never quite goes away, there is still found a kind of intellectual satisfaction in having given the finger – as it were – to what Francis of Assisi called “brother ass” (the body), and forced it to listen to us for a change.

Every Lent, like clockwork, the media runs a series of bemused articles in which they interview “on-the-street” Catholics to find out what they’re “giving up” (chocolate, Facebook, coffee, TV), as if nothing could be stranger than all this business of self-denial for the sake of Jesus. In reality, the idea of giving something up for the sake of something else is just good old fashioned common sense. Saints and mystics have touted the power of fasting in achieving self-control for millennia. Of course, for various reasons we don’t trust saints and mystics, but really, anyone who has spent thirty seconds in self-analysis will have realized that he often has conflicting desires, and will see that some are good and some bad: and that it sometimes takes a real effort to choose the good ones over the bad.

And so it is not surprising that if we are only ever accustomed to giving ourselves what we want, as soon as we want it, that we so quickly give in to temptation, even when we know doing so will only hurt us in the long run. We cannot isolate one of our habits from another, because our minds are not isolated parts. We are one whole person. And if we have a habit of self-indulgence, or at least of never explicitly denying ourselves anything, when porn comes knocking, it feels natural to open the door. So why not take a cue from the Catholics and “give something up” on certain days of the week, for no other reason than to take control of your own life and prove you can? It hardly matters what, as long as it is something you like, and that you can legitimately do without. Coffee, chocolate, the internet, movies, TV – these are the common ones, and they will do just fine. Or, if you are able, do an all-out fast.

These are just three ways to beat porn, based upon my own personal experience. There are, of course, hundreds of other ways to kick porn out of your life, some of which will be specific to your own unique circumstances in life. However, many of these other ways are ultimately contained within the three I have offered here.

The one thing that absolutely will not work is to do nothing, hoping that temptation will one day just “go away.” Temptation will never just go away. And certainly it will never be overcome, not without a deliberate, concentrated effort. Someone once famously joked that temptation will stop ten minutes after we’re dead. We cannot dream ourselves into the person we want to be. Life is a struggle, and it requires hard work. If we do nothing, we slide backwards. We must always be climbing upwards. So, don’t be afraid to take drastic actions to get your own problem under control. Extreme times call for extreme measures. And when it comes to the battle for sexual sanity, the times have never been more extreme…ever.

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Dynel Lane stands accused of numerous crimes, but murdering a baby is not one of them.
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Colorado Democrats vote to allow more deaths like baby cut from her mother’s womb

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By Ben Johnson

DENVER, CO, May 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Constituents and readers around the world were horrified when police reported that Dynel Lane cut a baby out of a pregnant woman's womb, nearly killing the mother and causing the baby to die. But Colorado Democrats voted down a bill that would have classified the crime as a homicide for fear the law could someday be used to challenge abortion-on-demand.

The state House's State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee voted down the Offenses Against Unborn Children Act (SB 268) by a party line vote of 6-5 on Monday.

The proposal would have allowed prosecutors to charge anyone who kills an unborn child with murder but, like bills in 38 other states, it specifically exempts abortion.

“It is a travesty that not a single Democrat voted in favor of this legislation, which would bring justice for babies like Aurora who die in violent homicides,” Colorado Citizens for Life said in a public statement. “At the very least, Colorado Citizens for Life would hope that lawmakers could put aside their partisan differences to pass this common sense piece of legislation.”

State legislators felt a need to plug legal loopholes after Lane allegedly lured Michelle Wilkins to her Longmont home with a phony Craigslist ad for baby clothes on March 18. Police say that Lane spoke with Wilkins for an hour before attacking her in the basement, smothering her with a pillow until she passed out, then using a knife to surgically remove the unborn child.

Lane, who had previous medical training, left Wilkins to bleed on a basement bed, officials say.

Wilkins revived and called 911, and emergency personnel rushed her to a local hospital.

Her unborn child, who was 34 weeks along and who had already been given the name Aurora, did not survive. Lane's husband said he saw the child “gasp” before dying.

Yet cautious prosecutors did not charge Lane with murder, because they feared they could not prove the girl had been “born alive.”

S.B. 268, introduced by Polly Lawrence of Littleton, would have made such a crime a homicide.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Democrats rejected the bill, saying it could be used to prosecute abortionists.

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado said that “the bill did not explicitly protect access to abortion, putting Colorado physicians in danger of prosecution if they provide care to pregnant women facing complications in their pregnancy or for providing safe abortion services.” The abortion lobbying group also claimed the bill may have “opened the door to prosecutions of women whose pregnancies face complications and tragically end in miscarriage.”

The bill states, “For purposes of a prosecution of a homicide or assault offense, the bill does not apply to an act committed by the mother of her unborn child,” or to “a medical procedure performed by...[any] licensed medical professional at the request of a mother.” It also refuses to prosecute anyone who prescribes or administers any “medication,” such as RU-486 or the morning after pill.

“This has nothing to do with abortion,” Lawrence said, according to local media. “This is about justice for two victims of violent crimes.”

For now, Colorado remains an outlier in the national abortion debate. But Aurora Wilkins' story – and Dynel Lane's alleged ghastly crime – have inspired people across the country to speak out.

"Imagine the love and the bond that Michelle Wilkins had for young Aurora after seven months together, the handful of sonograms that showed the young life, the heartbeats that reinforced those images and the kicking that showed someone raring to come out,” wrote Bob Confer, vice president of a New York plastics business, in the Niagara Falls Gazette. “Aurora was just as real in the womb and her family’s hearts as she would be if she were resting in a bassinet.”

“So many people are afraid to admit what those with respect for life know to be true: It doesn’t matter if someone is seven months or seven weeks pregnant, there is a life in there," he said.

"Life is important no matter the stage. It’s time we treated it like that and punished those who take it,” Confer added.

“Why should we be robbed of the Aurora Wilkinses of the world while those who take them from us can roam free?"

The vote roll call was:

No:
Rep. Su Ryden (D) 303-866-2942 [email protected]
Rep. Joe Salazar (D) 303-866-2918, [email protected]
Rep. Mike Foote (D) 303-866-2920, [email protected]
Rep. Susan Lontine (D) 303-866-2966, [email protected]
Rep. Dianne Primavera (D) 303-866-4667, [email protected]
Rep. Max Tyler (D) 303-866-2951, [email protected]

Yes:
Rep. Steve Humphrey (R) 303-866-2943, [email protected]
Rep. Patrick Neville (R) 303-866-2948, [email protected]
Rep. Jack Tate (R) 303-866-5510, [email protected]
Rep. Dan Thurlow (R) 303-866-3068, [email protected]
Rep. Yeulin Willett (R) 303-866-2583, [email protected]

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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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UK Green Party is ‘open’ to legalizing polygamy

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

May 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- The leader of the UK Green Party, Natalie Bennett, said she is “open” to considering legalizing "marriages" between three or more people.

She made the comment in response to a question posed by a reader of the homosexualist news service Pink News, who asked, "As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship, I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?"

The radically pro-homosexualist Green leader replied that while her party had no specific policy on the subject, she was "open to further conversation and consultation" about polygamy.

"At present, we do not have a policy on civil partnerships involving more than two people," she said.

"We are, uniquely in this country, a party whose policies are developed and voted for by our members. We have led the way on many issues related to the liberalization of legal status in adult consenting relationships, and we are open to further conversation and consultation."

Speaking later at the launch of the Green Party's "LGBTIQ manifesto" in London's Soho district, Bennett said, “What I said was, we’d listen to the evidence on any issue, we believe in evidence-based policy-making. I have no personal view on this at all. This is the first time the question has been put to me so what I’m prepared to do is always listen to evidence.”

Bennett added, “LGBTIQ rights have come a long way since the millennium but there’s still an awful long way to go, as our manifesto sets out. Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are still too common and too many people fear their impact in the workplace, in their schools and on the streets.”

Critics of “marriage equality” for homosexuals have long warned that the redefinition of marriage to include couples of the same sex will eventually extend that redefinition to polygamous relationships.

Michael Cook, editor of MercatorNet, said that while "activists for same-sex marriage have always insisted, that it will not lead to polygamy or polyamory, 'never, ever, ever,'" their denials are a crucial aspect of the homosexualist agenda because "if they were to concede that same-sex marriage would ultimately lead to polygamy and more imaginative forms of marriage, they would prove that there is a slippery slope. So they are forced into vehement denials."

“It’s like this,” explained Stanley Kurtz in a 2006 National Review article. “The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless.”

In Canada, defense lawyers in the 2010 trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler of Bountiful, British Columbia, in fact used the country’s same-sex “marriage” law as justification for polygamy.

Blackmore was charged with marrying 20 women, though he openly claimed to have had 26 wives and more than 108 children. Oler was charged with marrying two women.

Blackmore's lawyer Blair Suffredine said his client had "a very strong case" in light of Canada’s legalization of homosexual "marriage."

"If [homosexuals] can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can’t marry more than one person?" Suffredine said at the time.

The charges in that trial were stayed when the BC Supreme Court was asked to examine the constitutionality of polygamy.

In 2011 the Court ruled that the law against polygamy was constitutional, which allowed a newly appointed BC Special Prosecutor, Peter Wilson, to continue to investigate potential criminal activity of Bountiful residents.

Gwen Landolt of Real Women of Canada, commenting on the federal government's 2014 Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Practices bill, which would strengthen the Criminal Code provisions against polygamy, told LifeSiteNews that “polygamy is harmful to women because it allows them to be abused, treating them as chattels at the discretion of a few men. They are not treated as equals and their children do not get proper parenting.”

While Green’s Natalie Bennett is "open" to considering polygamy, with its inherent possibility of a huge number of children begotten by just a few people, a longstanding member of the Green Party and one of the British government’s past advisors on environmental policies is on record for saying that if Britain is to be made "sustainable," its 60 million-plus population must be cut in half, by instituting China's model of population control.

Jonathon Porritt, a patron of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), said that in order to reduce "pressure" on the world’s ecosystems, Britain must halve its population to 30 million inhabitants.

"Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact," Porritt told the 2009 OPT annual conference.

However, a number of media wags responded to the suggestion of mass population reduction, blithely saying that if Porritt was so enthusiastic, he was welcome to be the first volunteer.

Don Surber, a columnist for the Charleston Daily Mail, wrote, "He can go first." "This Jonathan Porritt is stuck in 19th century thinking. He said the Britons are worse on the world than people in developing countries. It is a combination of Malthusian logic and white man’s burden that I find amusing," Surber said.

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Lisa Bourne

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Nigerian bishop: Hillary must think she’s a ‘god’ if she wants us to abandon our pro-life values

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

May 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- An African Catholic bishop has said he thinks Hillary Clinton believes she is a god, someone who doesn’t value others’ morals, and he hopes Americans will wake up to what sort of people are running to be their president.

“I believe there are three groups of people in this world,” said Bishop Emmanuel Badejo. “Those who believe in God, those who do not believe in God, and those who think they are gods.”

“Hillary Clinton I think is one of those who thinks she is a god,” he said. “And I’m not obliged to believe that.”

In an April 29 interview with the Catholic website Aleteia, the Nigerian bishop was asked about Clinton’s recent statements at the Women in the World Summit, where she said, “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” to give women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.”

In addition to Clinton’s disregard for other people’s principles, Bishop Badejo remarked that she was pandering.

“My personal opinion of Hillary Clinton is: She is seeking election in America so you can expect that, like most politicians, she will say just about anything to pander to the thoughts of whatever audience she is speaking to,” he said. “So I really think that Hillary Clinton is just speaking for votes, rather than speaking for reason.”

Clinton can’t be bothered with God, he said.

“From the way she spoke, people like herself very clearly don’t want to hear anything about God,” the bishop said. “Even if they say they believe in God, they really don’t.”

Her language makes her approach evident, said Bishop Badejo, and he thinks she’s become too wrapped up in technology, losing sight of the fact that people have their own values, including African people. 

“We talk about the dignity of life, the sanctity of life, etc. Is she saying they ought to be changed?” he asked. “Well, I don’t know what she is talking about. What are human beings going to change to?”

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Bishop Badejo has in the past criticized the cultural imperialism exhibited by some groups by way of foisting population control efforts and the homosexual agenda on African nations, and said that life is sacred for the African people.

In his most recent Aleteia interview he said God created the people of Africa this way in his infinite wisdom, “which I think might be a little bit more than Hillary Clinton’s.”

God did this to add to the beauty of his creation, he said, and those who push for such things to be imposed across the board don’t know the meaning of beauty, “which is found in variety, in color,” he said.

Those who don’t get this shouldn’t get to make the rules for others, the bishop said.

“If these values are not precious to Hillary Clinton,” said Bishop Badejo, “I think she has no right at all to call for a change in religious values and religious beliefs.”

He remarked how Clinton’s agenda of not respecting people’s values was evident despite her choice of language. 

“She also called them ‘structural biases.’ Again, that is a misuse of language,” he said. “‘Biases,’ to many people, are the things that make them who they are.” 

“So that’s as much importance as I attach to Hillary Clinton’s statement about cultural beliefs,” Bishop Badejo concluded. “It is my desire that the American people open their ears and their eyes and know exactly what kind of people are running to be the next President of the United States.”

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