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Failure to Raunch


People have been wondering for years how to get porn out of their communities. Now they know: Make bathrooms gender-specific!

That’s all it took in North Carolina, where one of the country’s leading adult sites is hitting the road to protest H.B. 2. A day after Bruce Springsteen’s tirade, xHamster is the latest liberal to jump on the bandwagon out of town. Like PayPal, the site is livid that Governor Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) is giving local businesses the freedom to set their own policies. (Also known as the free market.)

“Sorry, bigots!” they tweeted. “As of today, access to is blacked out in the state of North Carolina until further notice… Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not stand by and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them.”

That sound you hear is the cheering of concerned parents and pastors, who know the devastation porn brings to families and communities. If anything, xHamster is doing North Carolina a huge favor! Stacks of new research — secular and otherwise — is warning that pornography may be the greatest public health crisis no one knows about.

TheWashington Post sounded the alarm earlier this week on the heels of a sobering Time magazine cover story about the young men who are starting to fight the industry that devastated their relationships. “Is porn immoral?” expert Gail Dines asks. “That doesn’t matter: It’s a public health crisis.” After a two-decade deluge of easily accessible images and videos, Time explains, “some of the most strident alarms are coming from the same demographic as its most enthusiastic customers.”

Sexual dysfunction, aggression, exploitation, and even the broader evils of prostitution and human trafficking have their roots in the filth of xHamster and others. “Scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence, and gender equality,” Dines points out, “for the worse.” Believe it or not, porn sites get “more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.” Some of the more startling results of that consumption are in the new studies of college men. “Researchers found that 83 percent reported seeing mainstream pornography, and that those who did were more likely to say they would commit rape or sexual assault if they knew they wouldn’t get caught.” It’s the number one cause of child sex trafficking in America.

And if you think the church is immune, think again. According to a startling new survey from Barna Group and Josh McDowell, 64 percent of Christian men say they’ve viewed pornography at least once this month. In the pulpit, the struggle is just as real: 57 percent of pastors and 64 percent of youth pastors admit they’ve used porn, “either currently or in the past.” “Probably one of the biggest [groups] suffering today as victims are the wives of the men addicted to pornography sitting right next to them in the pews,” Josh told me last week on “Washington Watch.” (Full interview below.) And although most Americans believe porn is “bad for society,” those attitudes are quickly shifting toward neutrality or “good for society” in younger generations. (Believe it or not, a majority of teens think not recycling is more immoral than pornography!) Even more shocking: only one out of 20 young people have a friend who will say pornography is bad.

Nothing erodes a person’s faith faster than internet pornography — and because of the internet, pornography is everywhere. “It’s accessible, it’s affordable, and it’s anonymous,” Josh lamented. And its effects? Astounding. “Just as the tobacco industry argued for decades that there was no proof of a connection between smoking and lung cancer, so too, has the porn industry, with the help of a well-oiled public relations machine, denied the existence of empirical research on the impact of its products.” Nothing could help North Carolina more than flushing out an industry that shatters marriages and families. Of course, it’s a sad indictment of our culture that websites like xHamster think they have a viable seat in the business community to begin with. But in the end, the only people affected by the site’s exit are the perverted people who would have used Charlotte’s ordinance to take advantage of others. If I were a state leader, I’d ask XHamster’s competition to join the boycott of North Carolina. Based on the turnout at yesterday’s pro-H.B. 2 rally, they won’t exactly be missed!

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