Essays

Porn Kills Love

Driving down Grand Avenue the other day I saw a billboard that said “Porn Kills Love.” I thought, huh? Was this a new phrase from the people who created “Take Back the Night?” The graphics are bold, slick, and not quite hip, but the folks behind the graphics are the same old tired ones who brought you Prop 8.

I googled the name and found out that it is the slogan of a group called Fight The New Drug. Weirdly enough, it turns out to be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), better known as the Mormons. Although you wouldn’t know it at first glance, or even second glance. Perhaps the church found out that their young missionaries are dealing with sexual impulses in all kinds of ways they consider deviant and decided to attack the challenge in a seemingly direct way, all the while covering up who they are fronting. This must be the new modern Mormon Church—inspired by the CIA.

Photo credit: fightthenewdrug.org

Photo credit: fightthenewdrug.org

The website www.fightthenewdrug.org states it is not a religious organization. But it has been carefully promoted in the well-oiled LDS PR machine (see notes at the end). All of its founders are members of the LDS church. Remember, LDS is not an organization well known for truth-telling, from the beginning up until the current day. Do the Urim and Thummin ring a bell? Does the name Mitt Romney mean anything? The Mormons are the folks who brought you the homophobic Prop 8 with their vast piles of cash. And then they tried to hide it. Their hell is going to have freeze over before I believe what they claim they are behind, or not behind.

On the Fight the New Drug website, they claim scientific research backs up their assertions about how pornography affects the brain. However, according to a dispute on Wikipedia, the citations are not accurately used. Not that we shouldn’t do more research on the topic, but it turns out that four undergraduate males at Utah State University who founded this organization haven’t created any breakthroughs.

http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/

http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/

When you find the photos of the “FTND Team” on the website, everybody is cheery and white. Their biographies are full of mentions of pizza and family and skateboards. Faux hip. Only one person is wearing a tie, to give the enterprise some gravitas.

And that’s the key to what this is really about. The tie-wearer, the director of research for Fight the New Drug, is one Jason Carroll, PhD. He is there to beef up the research, although his own research has been fairly controversial. The website goes on to say, in its insipid tone, “…Jason Carroll is a big deal. He keeps things factual here at FTND and leads in-depth research and analyzation on the effects of pornography use. Jason is a professor of Marriage and Family Studies, a Fellow of the Wheatley Institution.” What is analyzation?

The Wheatley Institution, by its own admission, is the Brigham Young University’s version of Stanford’s Hoover Institution. That would be a rightwing think-tank at a rightwing university. And where do you think Mr. Carroll is a professor? At the school of family life at the LDS-run Brigham Young University. He is a well-known opponent of gay marriage who wrote the essay “Who’s My Daddy: How Legalization of Same-Sex Partnerships Would Further the Rise of Ambiguous Fatherhood in America.” He has been very active in fighting gay rights and went so far as to file an amicus brief in Utah against equal marriage. He is also a coauthor of the controversial report “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America.”

If you wanted to be independent of the Mormon Church, Jason Carroll is not the adult you want in the room. Make no mistake, this Porn Kills Love slogan is a shill for the far-right element of the Mormon Church (is that redundant?). More like “We Want to Kill Your Right to Love Who You Want in America.”

Photo Credit: Benson Kua/Wikimedia Commons license.

Photo Credit: Benson Kua/Wikimedia Commons license.

I am not saying that pornography is good or bad or that it helps or hurts a relationship. Like sleep, alcohol, or food, it depends. It’s just that I smelled a rat. And that rat turns out to be the Church of Latter Day Saints.

If you were really concerned about pornography’s effects on young people, you might have built on the foundation Andrea Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller put down all those years ago. Except they were radical feminists. You might want to talk about how pornography shapes the LGBT community’s perception of itself. Except they aren’t straight. You might want to talk about how pornography affects communities of color. Except they aren’t white. Porn Kills Love is another political campaign for straight white male hegemony. Let’s call it what it is.

Photo credit: John Goetz and the Estate of Andrea Dworkin

Andrea Dworkin at an anti-porn demonstration. Photo credit: John Goetz and the Estate of Andrea Dworkin

I think what people watch on their home computers or hotel televisions is their own business. We hear people talk about how people are exploited in the porn industry. I would like to see this exploitation stop. Just as I would like to see the exploitation and slavery in the garment-making industry end. I would like to see the exploitation in the restaurant industry and the architecture industry end. Just about every capitalist industry has terrible exploitation. I would like to see all of it end. But a website sponsored by an anti-gay organization isn’t going to get us there.

Love is love. Porn is porn. Neither is what the LDS thinks it is.

 

For further information:

http://www.ldsliving.com/LDS-men-launch-youth-anti-pornography-campaign/s/65670

http://ldsmediatalk.com/2014/10/30/fight-the-new-drug-fighting-pornography/

https://www.lds.org/church/news/coalition-works-to-fight-pornography-with-faith?lang=eng

http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/12/why-all-this-pressure-to-marry-young.html

Posted Saturday, October 10th, 2015 | Essays
COMMENTS
  1. David says:

    I was wondering about those billboards! There’s a second one on MLK I think, or maybe San Pablo. Anyway, thanks for doing the research Kenny.

  2. kelly fehr says:

    by my own analyzation, you’ve nailed it again, Kenny

  3. Bryant Rice says:

    Thanks for the research and the commentary. As always, spot on.

  4. Gayle says:

    It’s sad that you generalize this whole article based on what you say are lies of the LDS church. Don’t judge what you don’t understand.

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