Culture Ethics Evangelism Music Online Articles Sex and sexuality

“Pornography, Paedophilia, Perversion and the End of Civilisation?”? CT

This weeks Christian Today column – I regard this as absolutely vital if we are seeking to understand the decline of our culture and the solution to that.  A lot of different things came together in this article.  I feel very convicted by it.  CT originally had the title – “Sex Positive or The End of Civilisation”.  They have now changed it to “Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion: Empowering women or the end of civilisation?”  Given that the article is about much more my own title is “Pornography, Paedophilia, Perversion and the End of Civilisation?”
by itMegan Thee Stallion and Cardi B topped the charts with their X-rated and foul-mouthed rap duet

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have a new video/song called WAP, which is going to make them a lot of money. It’s so gross, degrading and demeaning of humanity in general and women in particular that I cannot recommend watching – under any circumstances. Ten seconds was enough for me to reach for the off button. But of course, hundreds of millions have already watched it. Sin sells.

The justification for this pornography is that it is empowering women by celebrating their sexuality. Because singing lyrics like “never lost a fight, but I’m looking for a beating” is obviously what women really want! I was going to say that this video is the ultimate in the commodification of women for the pleasure of men, but doubtless within a few weeks it will be surpassed by an even more ‘shocking’ ’empowering’ video.

It’s difficult for church leaders to say anything because we get accused of being obsessed with sex (from a society that actually is obsessed with sex). I suspect that many church leaders also just can’t be bothered with the hassle that inevitably follows. Sometimes it is the secular commentators who get it best. For example, Russell Brand was mocked and vilified for his comments on the video. What is fascinating is how he saw it as a sign of the collapse of Western civilisation. He’s right.

Sexual perversity is like drinking saltwater – it never satisfies; it only feeds an appetite for more. We keep thinking it can’t get any lower but there are depths of human depravity yet to be plumbed. Having rejected the Christian view of sex and sexuality, where are we going to go?

In answer to that question, Peter Tatchell gave us an insight in a fascinating recent talk, where he declared that equality for LGBT was not enough. He argues that it’s not just homophobia and transphobia that is bad, but what he calls erotophobia and the criminalisation of sex workers, as well as the criminalisation of teenagers who have sex before the age of consent.

Tatchell has form on this.  In 1997, he wrote a letter to The Guardian which declared, “several of my friends, gay and straight, male and female, had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None say they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time that society that acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.”

While paedophilia may still be the last cultural sexual shibboleth, I suspect that may not last long. After all, a society which believes that pre-teen children can determine and choose to change their gender has little argument against the claim that they should also be able to ‘choose’ when to be sexually active.

Already there are signs of the increasing sexualisation (’empowerment’) of children in some areas of our society. Netflix were forced to issue an apology this past week over an advert for a French film called ‘Cuties’. It’s about an 11-year-old, from a religiously repressed (Muslim) home and her friends who join a ‘free-spirited dance crew’, which is code for saying a group of pre-teens who ‘twerk’ and engage in sexual dancing. It’s a paedophile’s dream.

Netflix are still going to screen the movie but have apologised for the promotional material, which shows the girls baring their legs and midriffs provocatively. Again, the same claim is made: that it’s all about empowerment and exploring female sexuality. The argument is made that the film is more subtle than that and actually is against this kind of ‘exploitation’. But the reality is that both the publicity and the trailer show the sexualisation and sexual exploitation of children – largely for the pleasure of men – in much the same way the WAP video does.

What was astounding was Netflix’s response to some complaints. In response to the question “how does a movie sexualising children get approved?”, their customer service replied, “We understand that not all stories may appeal to all our viewers, which is why we always invest in a diverse range of content from all over the world.” In response to the question “do you support paedophile – a simple yes or no will suffice?”, there came this incredible answer: “We cannot really comment on that but while we believe in creative freedom, at Netflix we respect all religions and their cultures, values and traditions.” While this may have been the answer of an errant employee, it is none the less disturbing and reflective of the confusion in a society where ‘diversity’ can be used to excuse almost anything.

Meanwhile Amazon Prime have a film called I, Paedophile, understanding the mental disorder, a documentary which says, “Paedophiles have long been the most demonised people in human society….This documentary does not seek to vilify or condemn paedophiles nor to undermine the concerns and fears of parents but rather to understand paedophilia and its complex causes.”

And the toy company Hasbro has been forced to withdraw one of its Troll dolls, which was advertised as having a button on her tummy which causes the doll to speak. But what they didn’t say was that the doll also had another button on the bottom which if pressed causes a gasping sound. Perverse is hardly an adequate word for it! The doll has been withdrawn. But who thought of selling it in the first place?!

If this does not cause you to despair or weep, in what sense can you call yourself a Christian? Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he saw what was coming. There is a slow train coming:

“Man’s ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don’t apply no more
You can’t rely no more to be standin’ around waitin’
In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin’ over in his grave
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
And there’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend”

(Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming)

Our society is confused, angry and struggling to cope with Covid, racism, poverty, corruption, injustice, violence and sexual perversity, among other things. How does Christianity have any answers? Much of what I hear from the church is an empty echo of the society garnished with vapid cliches and meaningless truisms. The real answer is found in Romans 1. It is because human beings exchanged the truth of God for a lie that our foolish hearts have become darkened and our thinking has become futile.  As a result, God has given us over to what we asked for – a world without God. A Godless mind is a depraved mind. So we do what ought not to be done. And this is the result:

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love,no mercy. ” (Romans 1:29-31).

In rejecting God, we are his enemies. And so, we become one another’s enemies. That’s the problem. But what is the solution?

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

That’s it. Everything comes from that. All the rest is fluff. Without Christ, we have worse than nothing. With him all things work together for good (Romans 8). Romans 1 to Romans 8 is a long road. But the Romans road is worth taking. It’s about time the church got back on the right track. Otherwise our civilisation has no hope. We are on the Highway to Hell.

Re-imaging Humanity – Sex, Sexuality, Gender and the Inhumanity of 21st Century Humanism – Part 1

Should Gay Conversion Therapy Be Banned?

11 comments

  1. There’s an article in the Telegraph today putting forward the assertion that Shakespeare was bisexual.
    Seriously? Who cares? Only the sex-obsessed trying to justify themselves.

    1. To suggest that Shakespeare “was bisexual” is blatant anachronism. In his day, nobody was bisexual. The doctrine of so-called “sexual orientation” wasn’t invented until much later in history.

      1. What nonsense.

        It’s like the leader of Iran declaring that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

        Which doctrine do you follow?

      2. You are no position to say what something I said is “like” if what I said was “nonsense”, because you’d have to make sense of it before you could compare it to something else, as you have tried to, not very effectively in my opinion.

        If you have an example of anybody mentioning the concept we call “sexual orientation” in the 21st century prior to the late 19th century, cite it. Otherwise, I stick to my point, that describing Shakespeare as “bisexual” is anachronistic. I think you know perfectly well what I mean by that.

  2. David, your spot on with your conclusion, which was that of Paul in Romans 1.

    These are the inevitable symptoms, the cause being the fact, ‘exchanged the truth for a lie.’

    But the truth exchanged is not mere sexuality. It’s not about homosexuality. It’s the truth of creation.
    They love the creation, not the creator.

    And this is manifest in science, social and education.

    The lie that has been exchanged is, humans are not created, therefore they are not designed, they have no specific purpose in life (sexual), nor function.(male and female) As a result, there are no sexual definitions to work from. Anything goes, logically.

    For the Christian message to make any sense, we have to get back to this core issue.
    Humans are designed, with purpose, and function. Or they are not.

    Our physical, emotional, psychological being requires a balance to be healthy. Excess or poverty in any of these areas leads to poor health. Healthy is not more, unrestrained desire is not satisfying. The West has proven that. Unbridled appetites are destructive. Look at the NHS dealing with overeating issues!

    Our arguments have to centre around creation, or accident. Anything created, has design, purpose and function.
    As long as people can deny we are created, it’s easy to dismiss the concepts that go with that. I.e. that sexual expression has any design, function or purpose, other than what people want to make of it.

    1. Meanwhile Joe Biden is interviewed by this Cardi B… Can they not see the inconsistency with criticising (quite rightly) Trump for his ‘locker room talk’?

  3. “Erotophobia” – that’s a new one. So where there is disagreement – there is a phobia, an irrational fear? And then it being irrational, it is a delusion and therefore a symptom of a mental illness. It seems that Peter Tatchell would perceive Russell Brand in this manner.

    In this helpful Russell Brand video he advocates communicating without contempt whilst also talking of the female sexual potency in the video not being helpful for him to watch,saying erotic material not beneficial to his growth as a person. And also, spirituality not that he wants to impose on someone.

    Doesn’t that not dissimilar to “do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matt 7:1,2).

    Of course Brand is going to receive a backlash – from both the religious and the secular community. I would suggest that in not judging others but also saying that the video is not helpful for him to watch there will be those from all of the spectrum of society that will choose to take offence.

    So what is the “Christian” engagement with this is not to be in the world but not of the world, being able to engage with everyone so that nothing be a hindrance to the Gospel?

    I wonder can we as men be more inclined to react to the sexual potency in this video than the equivalent male sexual potency in hip hop videos and then be tempted into hypocrisy if we are to pass any comment on it? It was her that made me eat from the tree of life – it wasnae me!

    Within all of us is a deep hunger that will only leave us more hungry with eroticism or indeed any other form of temporary pleasure, drunkenness, greed and the like. And God help us literally if we become addicted to such things. And each one of us has some addiction that we can only be unburdened with, with the love of God. Some may judge this as forcing or imposing spirituality. But what is the implied claim that Russell Brand has “erotophobia” if the the same standard of judging is to be applied?

    Just this week, someone I know took offence to this video that I shared with her to the point of not being on speaking terms with me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibnVRAMlXno&t=49s. However she had been welcoming to my sharing that the most courageous thing I have ever done is to face my own shadow. So have we, as men in being concerned as to not want to be or appear to be hypocritical over-compromised to the point of not speaking out and therefore not encouraging divine feminine power but denied this and in doing so committed both misogyny and also denied our own divine masculine power?

    As for the women in this video, and women in general – my experience this week has affirmed to me the need be cautious about expressing anything to do with actual or perceived female empowerment of any kind.

    1. Doesn’t that not dissimilar to “do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matt 7:1,2).

      Hi Adam,

      I think this can be misunderstood based on the language we use for English, compared to the original.

      To judge as the Greek implies is to in effect “pass sentence”. But that does not mean we can not determine right or wrong. Either being wronged, or doing wrong by others.
      A jury can find guilt, but not pass sentence. So by discerning and declaring right or wrong, is not to judge in the Matt 7 context.

      To judge is to in effect, pass a final sentence on another. I.e. condemnation.
      Which is different to determining guilt. I.e. that is /was wrong.

      I am not convinced Jesus was saying it’s never right to pass sentence either, rather to be sure it is based on what you will accept for yourself. I.e. if that was me, I accept the same consequence.

      Therefore, Brand stating what causes him harm is not judging. Nor are Christians who challenge the morality of such behaviour.

      In fact, what of those who declare evil that is good, and good that is evil?

      Why is it the feelings of some must be protected by socially constructed terms ending in phobia, but not the feelings of others, like Brand, who are affected by pornography?

      Interestingly, phobias are mostly identified by the behaviour of those subject to them, I.e. those who fear space, spiders etc. Not others or the things themselves.

      The subject has been broadened from its original definition, to be a tool to use when someone doesn’t like something I do.
      If you don’t like what I do, you have a phobia!

      Yet the English speaking public say nothing about how such language is misused.

  4. Never heard of this and would probably have gone to my grave blissfully ignorant and oblivious if it weren’t for your blog, David!

    The official video – and let me say up front I loathe rap to my very core – is bad. In fact, we may have to re-define the word bad just to accommodate this song.

    In fact, it is pushing bad taste to the nth degree. So much so I actually found myself laughing aloud.

    But I did like the white tiger!

    *Sigh*

    Alvin Lee, anyone?

    https://youtu.be/3lz3px4dTU8

  5. There are a few sad ironies about the success of songs and videos like W.A.P.

    1. Cardi B stated that when she did a more thoughtful song, “Be Careful” she was heavily criticised for it and so she decided to do a more sexually explicit song …..called W.A.P. Due to her past work, she’s been pigeonholed into a particùlar mould and simply now gives fans what their filthy hearts desire. If there were no demand, there’d be no supply.

    2. Rather than empowering women, songs and videos like this actually degrade them reducing their worth to their sexuality and body parts.

    3. Many of us within the black community don’t seem to realise that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallions song and video actually plays into lasting historical racist stereotypes and messaging of black women as hyper sexualized beasts (probably used to justify rape and sexual degradation of them by white slavemasters).

    Sad and troubling times indeed……

Leave a Reply to John Allman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: