In most places of work and education the viewing of porn on on-site computers is considered an unacceptable practice, worthy of reprimands or dismissal warnings. Whatever people’s morals might be in this regard, it’s simply deemed an irresponsible use of work or study time. You just don’t do that.
I imagine that the offices and halls of Parliament are awash with either sly smirks or embarrassed musings as to who could have helped rack up so many porn page hits – apparently 300,000 last year, to be precise – according to official figures published after a recent Freedom of Information request. If ever there was a time for the British public’s faith in our politicians to be undermined, I suggest it is now.
The report has revealed that rather than focusing on more pressing issues, the people in the place of ultimate power are also subject to a significant desire for online porn. I wonder how many MPs are biting their nails and fretting over whether their personal search history data could be made public.
In less than a generation we’ve gone from disgust and derision to virtual dependence. No longer reserved for the top shelf or dark corners of dodgy stores, porn has become a virtual commodity in demand by, and in possession of, the majority. The eyes of the masses are now so captivated by a plethora of sexual options on their flickering screens that people joke about it. It’s just another banal daily activity, comparable to brushing one’s teeth or going to the loo. One can’t even sit back and enjoy the inane wrangling between middle aged men on the BBC’s Top Gear, without the occasional reference to porn cropping up. Even several years ago on popular sitcom Friends, the topic of porn was considered to be suitable material for mirth and hilarity.
Where it once would have been subject to hushed tones or embarrassed whispers, porn is now discussed and accessed with not so much as a snicker. The topic graces our newspapers, our TV programmes and the search histories of most men and a considerable percentage of women. (See here and here, for some data on that.)
And so we discover that our politicians are not only engaging in what has become a popular pastime – but also think it’s a tolerable pursuit in the House of Commons! It would seem that many MPs perhaps have ulterior motives for not yet following through with reforms to porn accessibility and child online protection. In seeking to satisfy their own urges, politicians have demonstrated that they do not place high enough value on protecting children’s innocence by blocking sites that may so easily be stumbled upon by unsuspecting underage viewers.
How can we trust our country’s leaders to make prudent and well thought out decisions, when it is quite clear that during their work day many are in thrall to the allure of porn? Is it any wonder that the public confidence in politicians is plummeting?
For anyone wanting to find out more about how they can respond to the epidemic of porn in our society, and in the church, the Porn Scars conference is a must. Backed by the Evangelical Alliance, CARE, Romance Academy and the Message Trust this one day conference takes place on Friday 18 October and is repeated on Saturday 19 October.
(Image via SXC)