Monday, March 24, 2014

Soft Pornography in Public: Who is the Victim?

Wikipedia defines ‘soft porn’ as, “Softcore pornography or softcore is commercial still photography or film which has a pornographic or erotic component, but that is less [vague] sexually explicit and intensive than hardcore pornography. Softcore pornography is intended to be sexually arousing, and typically contains nude and semi-nude performers and sex scenes…”1

Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” video on YouTube, published on September 9, 2013, has 586 million hits, 2 million likes and 1 million dislikes. This video gets over a million hits every day - an indication of its popularity! Notwithstanding the dislikes, Wrecking Ball is a super hit video.2 Wrecking ball video belongs to the soft porn category, for it shows off a naked Miley.

Nicki Minaj isn’t far behind Miley. Her videos are equally provocative (e.g. Starships). And the lyrics, well let’s not even go there! Some lyrics of these celebrity singers are nauseatingly deplorable.

Several other celebrities belong to the category of Nicki and Miley. So Miley and Nicki are not the sole culprits.

A public domain video such as this would be watched by both the young and old, and Miley would have impacted the minds of her audience. Would this impact be positive or negative?

It is very likely that people would be divided over these performances. Some may consider these performances as utterly deplorable. Others may genuinely think, “There’s nothing wrong with this performance.” Yet another group may wonder whether these performances are right or wrong. This is the way of life.

These performances would be perfectly acceptable if they positively impact the audience. A positive impact is to help build one’s character towards goodness and progressively away from evil. A negative impact is to lead people into evil and greater evil.

There are two entities here – the performer and the audience. The performers’ performance primarily impacts the audience into motivating the audience to pursue either good or bad.

The audience can secondarily and responsively impact the performers. This secondary responsive impact occurs when the audience accepts or rejects the performer. In the case of the wrecking ball video, a majority of audience accept Miley. This is the impact of the audience on Miley. This impact can motivate Miley into similar performances.

The primary impact is of maximal concern. The reality of soft porn in the public domain impacts people adversely (negative impact).

Sadly soft porn is endorsed not only by the performer, but by the media and all those who play a role in the production of this performance. The presence of these entities deceives people into thinking that soft porn is legitimate. This deception lures people into disasters.

A person watching soft porn could get addicted to porn. Addiction to porn lands the addicted person into excessively dangerous situations. 

If a married person is addicted to porn, his / her marriage life could be threatened adversely. If an unmarried person is addicted to porn, he could even morph into a rapist, which in extreme situations could even lead him to be a serial killer.

Thus, the ramifications of soft-porn in public domain, apparently endorsed as acceptable, would adversely impact people and the society.

But why go to the realm of soft porn in public domain? There are other provocative storylines in videos doing their rounds in the public domain. 3

Apart from selling the commodity, the advertisement subtly persuades [young] men and women into promiscuous living. The storyline of this advertisement is of a mother being sexually attracted to the young man who is dating her daughter.

Would the message of this advertisement not lead young men to an obsession over the mothers of their dating partners?  We are living in a society that seems to not only recommend but also lead people into adultery (promiscuity). This is rank evil. 

Who then is the primary victim of the public domain soft porn? The audience, of course! The performer motivates the audience into sin.

Then there is another kind of evil resulting from soft porn in public.

In the past, Miley’s father Billy Ray Cyrus expressed his desire to save Miley from creating any negative impact on the society, “"I'm scared for her," Cyrus said of Miley. "She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger. I know she's 18 but I still feel like, as her daddy, I'd like to try to help. Take care of her just a little bit, to at least get her out of danger .” 4 

The very same father (Billy Ray Cyrus) who in the past desired to protect Miley from danger, and by implication, the audience, spoke recently to defend Miley’s public nudity. Billy defended Miley by saying, “… It wouldn't have mattered if Miley would have worn jeans and a flannel shirt ...a Tux ...or a nun's habit. The song's a smash ...and her performance vocally on the tune reflects her roots and sheer God given talent.”5

Billy Ray is known for his professed Christianity. This quote is attributed to him, “I think a lot of people think that Christianity is about always being perfect,” Billy Ray says. “It’s actually the opposite of that. It’s realizing that we’re all humans, and that’s why God sent his Son to this earth -- to save people like us.”6

Billy accurately states that Christianity is not about moral perfection in this world. But Christianity is also not about endorsing and promoting sins in this world.

However, Billy Ray seems to endorse Miley’s public nudity and the associated vulgarity – the sin. This is where Billy Ray is in troubled waters with his faulty belief (theology).

It is a greater evil when a parent either silently or vocally endorses the sin of the child.

When a parent’s theology is faulty, the child is bound to actively step into sin, and to adversely impact the society. Thus, the [celebrity] performer is also a victim – due to the parent’s faulty belief (theology).

How do we respond to this situation? Two situations need be addressed from within this context.

We should not endorse or promote soft porn in public or in private. We should learn and teach our children the dangers of soft porn.

It may be virtually impossible to perfectly protect or insulate ourselves or our children from these provocative advertisements or the soft porn videos that may surprise us when we are on the TV or the internet. While we should block soft porn videos, it may be challenging to switch off our TV as and when a provocative advertisement suddenly appears.

Therefore a solid education in moral choices is the need of the hour. We cannot dismiss these soft porn videos or the provocative advertisements easily. These powerful visuals will remain in our mind and will continue to tempt us to sin.

Discussions on moral choices are mandatory in the family and in the society. We ought to discuss the negative impact of these deadly visual viruses that lurk in the public domain. We can learn to be innately and spiritually motivated to switch off from these temptations.

It also goes without saying that remaining in Christ will give us the power to resist and overcome temptations. Only a mind that is totally convinced about the damage resulting from these deadly visuals will defeat temptation and stay clear of any sin. Only Christ can offer us this unblemished conviction. It is the desire to live for Christ that motivates a person to resist and overcome sin.

What about our belief? What about our faulty theology? Christians who subscribe to postmodern and liberal perspectives do not take sins seriously. For instance, postmodern and liberal Christians believe homosexuality is not a sin.

They fundamentally believe that there is no absolute or objective truth. In other words, anything goes. They also believe that the Bible is not dogmatic about anything.

So, on what basis would this Christian (who advises his community to support and promote homosexuality) mandate his community to avoid watching soft porn and even hardcore porn? Would not the audience respond to this Christian with the logic that pornography is not a sin?  

So as Billy Ray Cyrus defended his own daughter’s public nudity, these postmodern and liberal Christians would directly or indirectly motivate their children to sin and even defend the sins of their own children. This is terrible evil.

God said this to the parents who sacrificed their children then and will say the same now to these liberal and postmodern Christians, “And then you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had given birth to as my children, and you killed them, sacrificing them to idols. Wasn’t it bad enough that you had become a whore? And now you’re a murderer, killing my children and sacrificing them to idols” (Ezekiel 16: 20-21, MSG).

We should sincerely engage our postmodern and liberal Christian friends in discussion. But what if our postmodern and liberal Christian friends are not honest enough to discuss these matters with us?

Their dishonesty should not discourage us. We should strive to discuss these matters with those who are honest in their quest for truth.

More importantly we should continuously commit our life to the Lord Jesus by humbly and honestly introspecting our beliefs so to determine their truthfulness in the sight of our Lord. Only a humble heart will turn away from sins and move towards God. May that blessing be ours and those around us.

Meanwhile, let us also pray for the victims of soft porn. May they be liberated from evil and into Christ consciousness. Amen.








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