Chris Sevier, a 36-year-old man from Tennessee, got so addicted to porn videos that his wife took his children and left him. Now he has sued Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), saying the Cupertino, Calif.-based company failed to install any filter in its devices to prevent his affliction.
In a 50-page complaint, Sevier calls Apple a “silent poisoner” responsible for the proliferation of “arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and countless numbers of destroyed lives.” Sevier is seeking damages from Apple, but said he will drop the lawsuit if Apple agrees to sell devices with a “safe mode.”
Sevier claims that his addiction started when he “accidentally” replaced the “a-c-e” in Facebook with a “u-c-k.” Sevier said this F***book site “appealed to his biological sensibilities as a male,” and he started to prefer the images on the screen to his own wife.
“His wife abducted his son and disappeared, which was a subsequent consequence of Apple’s decision to sell its computers not on ‘safe mode,’” Sevier argued, adding that until he got the MacBook, he had never seen porn of any kind or been to a strip club or sex shop. “The Plaintiff became depressed and despondent, unable to work as a result of observing porn on his MacBook and the impact it caused.”
The lengthy description also blames Apple for helping to put old-fashioned sex shops out of business, ignoring the irony of several thousand other words describing the destructive effect porn has on people and societies. Sevier also compared porn, at various points, to cigarettes, weapons, alcohol and cocaine.
Sevier even took some time to remember the good ol' days of America in the 1950s, before things like the Internet and the ACLU created homosexuality, sex trafficking and prostitution. Apple, apparently, is responsible for turning people away from “the unquenchable reality that God is real.”
“Man has a spiritual side to him,” Sevier said. “Porn poisons the spiritual side of man.”
Perhaps the strangest part of the lawsuit comes at the very beginning, where Sevier includes a YouTube link to an edit of Zedd’s “Shave It Up” he made with his electronic music project, Ghost Wars. Sevier said the edit, called “The Demise of Guys,” a reference to a Phillip Zimbardo book, summarizes the facts of the lawsuit. Sevier even requested that Apple employ Zimbardo, a Stanford psychologist, to write the notice consumers are required to read in order to remove the porn filter.
This post was written by Ryan Neal. For the original post with comments, go to: http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-sued-porn-addiction-man-says-macbook-cost-his-marriage-kids-1345831#
How do we know that we are not deluding ourselves, that we are not selecting those words that best fit our passions, that we are not just listening to the voice of our own imagination?...Who can determine if [our] feelings and insights are leading [us] in the right direction?
Our God is greater than our own heart and mind, and too easily we are tempted to make our heart’s desires and our mind’s speculations into the will of God. Therefore, we need a guide, a director, a counselor who helps us to distinguish between the voice of God and all other voices coming from our own confusion or from dark powers far beyond our control.
We need someone who encourages us when we are tempted to give it all up, to forget it all, to just walk away in despair. We need someone who discourages us when we move too rashly in unclear directions or hurry proudly to a nebulous goal. We need someone who can suggest to us when to read and when to be silent, which words to reflect upon and what to do when silence creates much fear and little peace.
This post is excerpted from Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen.
Here is the link for The Henri Nouwen Society: http://www.henrinouwen.orgBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Men who struggle with sexual temptation are especially vulnerable at church. One would think that church would be the one place a man could be safe and free from temptation. Not so. As the weather is warming, people are wearing more comfortable clothing. Some of that clothing is fairly revealing, even in the church.I was a camp counselor and we were having a great worship time with our preteen campers. However, up front, two backup singers (they were camp counselors as well) were helping the worship leader by moving in time with the music (some people would call it choreography, others would call it dancing). With their movement, certain body parts were also moving and it was very noticeable. Being a normal man, I was distracted from my worship by such movement. Afterwards, I overheard a couple of the preteens boys in a discussion about how these two women looked. It was obvious that I wasn't the only male that was stimulated...
Men whom I have counseled have told me similar stories. They become stimulated, and some even become triggered by such activity in the church. Their mind wanders away from worship and often this stimulation leads to physically acting out once they leave church. Not only do some become triggered by viewing worship leaders but sometimes they also become stimulated by the way that some women dress in the church. If they attend a church that "hugs," these men may also be triggered by such activity.
These men need the strength that comes with corporate worship but it often backfires for them.
How does a man who is addicted to sexual activity keep himself from becoming triggered when he goes to church? This is an extremely difficult thing for such men to work thru. There are no easy answers and it takes real work to follow thru with some of these ideas:
1 - Don't sit up front or where you can see the worship leaders
2 - Or sit close to the front behind a large person who will block your view (that way you won't see the women in the congregation nor the women up front)
3 - Close your eyes when you are singing
4 - Concentrate on the Creator rather than the creation
5 - Come late to the service so that you miss the worship time
6 - Consider going to a church that does not have such stimulating activity
7 - Sit with a male friend who knows of your struggles who will help you stay focused and not let you look around and who will pray for you while in church
8 - Talk to your pastor about your struggles and ask for assistance/ideas
9 - Join an accountability group and be honest about your thoughts during church and also pray about your mutual struggles.
These ideas are very hard to do and take much prayer, much mental discipline and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
The answer is not to just make sure that women dress correctly. In case you didn't know, in churches that have organs, many have a screen so that you cannot see the organist's feet. This is done because it used to be too sensual for men to see the organist's naked foot. So, policing what women in the church wear is not the answer.
If you are a pastor, worship leader, or someone in a position of authority in your church, I would encourage you to spend some time thinking and praying about your church and what kinds of messages your church may send to people who struggle with sexual sin. Ask God to give you wisdom so that your church is healthy and not a hindrance.
BE A MAN.
"We're gonna put our money into a computer rather than marriage counseling." This was a statement from a man with a rather troubled marriage. "I don't think counseling is going to help us any. We can spend time together in front of the computer and find good resources there." I looked at his wife and she, in a rather pie-eyed fashion, gave her tacit permission towards her husband's solution to their many marriage troubles. He proceeded with a rather lengthy story about how a new, more powerful computer, would be the solution not only to their family woes but also the difficulties in his marriage. "We will gather around the computer as a family and make our computer a place of bonding, we'll become stronger if we invest in that rather than counseling." I attempted to protest but he had won his wife over to his point of view. They cancelled their remaining sessions and I never saw them again.
Do you think the computer helped this marriage? A computer is amoral. It is neither evil nor good. It is what is done with the computer that brings in the morality.
I have been able to watch this man's behavior from a distance and unfortunately, his life has fallen apart. His wife divorced him. Several things transpired that she could not live with: 1) he used the computer for watching porn, 2) he used the computer to develop relationships with numerous women with whom he had affairs, 3) he was arrested for having sex with a patient, 4) he was also arrested for domestic violence and 5) he lost his medical license.
The computer also affected his children. One of his children became addicted to pornography (from the same computer), another was charged with sexual molestation and must now register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the rest of his children have completely cut him off, wanting nothing to do with him.
I'm not saying that if they had continued in counseling that everything would have been perfect and these problems would not have occurred but I think it is ironic that the very thing he convinced his wife would solve all of their problems seriously contributed to his moral failure and the subsequent behavior of his family. I'm also not saying that the computer was his main problem. His main problem (in spite of claiming the name of Christian) was old-fashioned selfishness. He was not allowing God to transform him.
I'm writing this to you to ask you a few questions:
Into what are you pouring your time, energy and money?
Have you convinced yourself that possessions will bring your happiness?
Or have you invested your life into accountability, honest relationships and seeking God's will for your life?
God is very clear about His will: It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
I have heard that this man is now trying to repair the damage he has done and is trying again to live a life that is pleasing to God. I find that encouraging.
Please pray for him.
BE A MAN.
What should you do when you find yourself attracted to another woman? Here are some helps: 1. Avoid being alone with her. Ensure that your spouse is with you whenever you must be with this person. If not, tell your spouse ahead of time and/or immediately afterward.
2. Stop fantasizing about being with her romantically and/or sexually.
3. Don't open Pandora's box by telling her that you are sexually attracted to her. It will only complicate matters more. She may turn around and accuse you of harassment.
4. Share your feelings of attraction with a close friend who can hold you accountable.
5. Take responsibility for all your actions. You are not to blame for your feelings but you are responsible for the actions that follow your feelings.
6. Try to look at the whole picture. A few moments of passion can lead to a lifetime of regret and hurt.
Taken from The Sexual Man: Masculinity without guilt
BE A MAN.
Men who read and watch a lot of pornography have active imaginations and often live in a fantasy world. Pornography messes with a man's mind. His reasoning changes.
Men who are avid fans of pornography develop an unusual perspective on women. They view women as sex objects. They forget that woman have their own motives, ideas and plans.
Many times women's motives, ideas and plans do not include men.
A man with an addiction to pornography cannot understand the previous sentence.
These men cannot imagine that women are really not always "on the prowl" looking for sexual encounters. What these men forget is that almost all pornography is written and directed by men. Therefore, men who use pornography develop a perspective of women that women exist just for men's satisfaction. These men's minds have become programmed by the pornographers.
When men get this distorted perspective of women, they are prone to act out. They have fantasies and often want to do what they see on TV, in the movies, and on the computer.
Let me tell about one man's reprehensible actions. This man had a fantasy that he would encounter a woman he did not know who would be wanting to have sex with him.
This man would spend a fair amount to time in the mall, sitting outside of women's clothing stores deciding which woman would be the one with whom he would have sex.
He saw a certain woman and decided that he found a woman who would fulfill his fantasy...
His fantasy was one that he played over and over in his mind, just like the movie he played over and over on his DVD player. In this fantasy, he would follow a woman who just purchased lingerie. As she walked from the store, she would turn and look back in a flirtatious manner on her way to her car and then he would follow her. He imagined she would drive to a secluded area where she had kept her lingerie on from trying it on in the store and then they would have a sexual encounter in his van or even better, she would drive to a motel and they would share a room.
Do you see how distorted this man's reasoning is? What woman, in reality, would actually do what he is fantasizing? But that's what happens to men who view porn, they think all women are ready for sex when a man wants to have sex.
He spotted this particular woman and realized that he had seen her several times before in the mall. On one occasion, he thought she had actually looked at him and smiled. That meant that she wanted to have a liaison with him.
He followed her down the mallway. She would turn and look back every so often and he felt encouraged. He knew his fantasy was going to be a reality!
What this man did not know because his reasoning was so out of whack is that the woman was fearful. She was looking back because she was watching him. She didn't like that he was following her.
She went to her car quickly (which he interpreted that she was so excited that she wanted to get to their encounter rapidly) and he got into his car and followed her as she drove away. She drove a rather circuitous route and he was closely following her, fantasizing about what was about to happen.
The next thing he knew, he was awakened from his fantasized induced stupor when she pulled into a parking space at the local police station.
This man was fortunate, he had enough reasoning to realize he was about to be in trouble. He quickly drove off and went home. That was when he finally understood that he needed help. That's when he called a counselor to get help.
I won't get into this man's counseling as that is not the point of this post; however, suffice it to say this was a turning point for him. He decided he needed to change. He was lucky. He wasn't charged with a crime. He could be sitting behind bars.
Do you catch the point of this post?
Pornography always takes. It never gives up. It is insidious. It ruins a man.
It changes the way you think.
Dump your stash/cache.
Stop watching "adult" programming.
Get rid of those movies.
Stop wasting time on the internet.
Ask your pastor for help.
Be a real man.
BE A MAN.
Early in our marriage, we would receive Victoria's Secret catalogs in the mail. Even back then, these catalogs were pornography. They've only gotten worse.
Nevertheless, I told Karyn about the draw those catalogs had for me and I asked her to not have those in the house, especially since we were raising boys.
By starving my eyes from those catalogs, they came to the point of having less attraction for me. Over time, by telling Karyn about the things that turned me on, she was able to help me. We would talk about those things that were tempting. It was liberating to tell her and she would continue to love me and shield me from those things that held my attraction.
After the boys were raised, I accompanied her to a Victoria's Secret store where she was trying on some clothes. Being the dutiful husband, I went with her. I thought, "I've gotten past that Victoria's Secret temptation. I can handle this now."
While I was sitting there, minding my own business and trying not to look at the images of scantily clad women on the walls, a very attractive young lady walked up to me and started talking to me. I was polite and talked with her. Then another attractive young lady and then another. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by three very attractive young ladies.
Well, my ego got the best of me. I started thinking, "these girls think I'm hot. They're talking to me because they really like me." I found myself paying more attention to them while they were flirting with me (or I thought they were flirting with me). Then it hit me. "What in the world am I doing? I'm almost old enough to be these young ladies' father!" Then Karyn came out of the dressing room and paid for some clothes she was buying.
When we got outside, I confessed to Karyn what had happened. She simply said, "of course those sales clerks were talking to you, you're safe. You're much older than them. The longer you stay in the store, the more likely I will buy something." Well, I'll tell you, my ego was instantly deflated. We continued our conversation and Karyn said that the clerks were occupying me so that she would spend more time shopping.
Why do I share this story with you?
Well I learned a few things about temptation:
- I said to myself before going into the store, "I can handle this." God says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall." Knowing this was a past temptation, it would have been wise to ask God for strength before entering. It might have been better to just not go into that store.
- I have a big ego and I need to keep it in check. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." If I stay humble, God will give me more grace.
- Temptation changes. I thought that I had the sin of lust conquered. However, this temptation played into something different. I was on my guard for lust but not on guard for my ego.
- My ego got in the way of my ability to think clearly. These young ladies were just doing what they had been taught. "Keep the hubby happy and his wife will buy more stuff." I was being played and never realized it.
So, my conclusion, my goal of this post is this:
Do you let your ego go unchecked?
Do you humble yourself so that God can give you more grace?
If you think that you have temptation conquered, get ready. You will find yourself tempted in ways that you haven't been considering.
BE A MAN.
There is an important principle in handling temptation. Did you know that many times, you can resist temptation? God tells us to submit to Him and then when we resist temptation, it will flee.
Resistance can be a matter of remembering this acronym:
H - are you HUNGRY? If your stomach is rumbling, if you feel weak from not having eaten for a while and you find yourself entertaining ungodly thoughts, go get something to eat. The renewed energy will give you strength to think clearer. If it's healthy food, you will feel even better than devouring a whole pizza.
A - are you ANGRY? Harboring anger makes you susceptible to temptation. I'm not saying anger is always bad. But dwelling on angry feelings and not letting go of things puts you in a precarious position where its easier to say yes to temptation.
L - are you LONELY? Being lonely causes a man to do stupid things. If you find yourself doing things you need not do because you're chasing away loneliness, then find a good male friend and spend some time together praying for each other. In this modern society, you will have a number of friends immediately available by Facebook, cell phone, texting, and/or email .
T - are you TIRED? When you're tired, your resistance to temptation is greatly weakened. If you find yourself tempted to do something sinful, just go to bed. Get some sleep.
S - are you SICK? Take some medication to improve your symptoms. It will increase your resistance to the bug of temptation.
S - are you SAD? Find a good male friend and spend some time praying for each other. Remember that the joy of the LORD is your strength.
This is the principle to handling temptation: submit to God and remember HALTSS
You can't use the excuse, "I just couldn't help myself, after all I'm only human." God gave you a brain, you're not stupid. You're not an animal that just reacts. You can HALTSS temptation...
BE A MAN.
This posted was adapted from an article in the Grapevine in 1971
There is an important principle in handling temptation. Did you know that many times, you can anticipate temptation?
Look at the picture of this mountain path and I will try and describe this principle to you. Imagine yourself at the bottom of this mountain and you want to reach the top. The path circles around the mountain, rather circuitously and over time, you get to where you know this mountain fairly well. You know that when you get to the east side of the mountain, the drop is shear and the side is craggy and the path is treacherous. Fortunately, for you, the path has rails (like in the picture) that help you stay steady. On the north face of the mountain, the wind is very brisk, you almost feel like you will be blown off the path. On the west side, the path is lush and covered with trees that shield you from the rain and sun. On the south side, it is stark and barren and the sun or the rain beats down upon you miserably.
You know pretty much what's coming ahead because you have been there before. So you continue on your journey in anticipation. You know that you need support when you come to the slippery east side. You know that you need to grab trees and use your walking cane on the windy north side. You know that you can take it easy and enjoy yourself on the west side. You know that you need to apply protection to prevent sunburn on the south side.
Usually, as you traverse up a mountain, it takes less time to go around it because it is usually smaller the further up you go. Just like temptation, the more you prepare for it and the more times you say no to temptation, the easier the path.
Do you have the picture? Do you get what I am saying?
Think of this path as your life. You can pretty much predict what will happen if you go certain places. If you have to go someplace treacherous, get some support. Take someone with you, be accountable when you go there. If you find yourself in a place that can blow you off your feet, look for trees and walking canes that you can grab onto. If you are in the heat and need to apply SONSCREEN, ask God for His protection.
This is the principle to handling temptation: Anticipate, think, plan, pray. Use your brain. Trust the Holy Spirit's guidance.
You can't use the excuse, "I just couldn't help myself, after all I'm only human."
God gave you a brain, you're not stupid.
You're not an animal that just reacts. You can think and plan ahead...
BE A MAN.
My thanks to Tom Eisenman for this concept.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Alain de Botton made a surprisingly theological argument against pornography. He argued that pornography often functions like an addiction. It inflames a particular species of pleasure and, over time, can order all of life to the pursuit of this pleasure.
A brain originally designed to cope with nothing more tempting than an occasional glimpse of a tribesperson across the savannah is lost with what’s now on offer on the net at the click of a button: when confronted with offers to participate continuously in scenarios outstripping any that could be dreamt up by the diseased mind of the Marquis de Sade. There is nothing robust enough in our psychological make-up to compensate for developments in our technological capacities. We are vulnerable to what we read and see. Things don’t just wash over us. We are passionate and for the most part unreasonable creatures buffeted by destructive hormones and desires, which means that we are never far from losing sight of our real long-term ambitions.
Drawing on the thought of St. Augustine, de Botton argues that true freedom is the freedom to pursue what is necessary for the good life, a freedom that pornography and similar addictions can practically destroy. De Botton concludes by saying that we should heed religion’s (and here I think he has Christianity mostly in mind) call to limit our sexual drive, not because sex is bad but to keep sex ordered to our overall well-being.
De Botton essay is an important commentary on the reality of contemporary life. As Pamela Paul research indicates in her book Pornified:
A good friend of mine I think summarized the situation best, “You used to have to exert an effort to view pornography. Now you have to exert an effort to NOT view it.”
- Overuse, pornography, infidelity, and risky behaviors are among the most frequently treated Internet-related problems by mental health professionals
- Over half of all spending on the Internet is estimated to be related to sex
- The best estimates indicate that 77% of Americans view pornography at least once a month
- 75-77% of males have downloaded porn in their lives
- 20% of males consciously abstain from viewing pornography
- 70% of 18-24 year-old males visit porn site monthly
- 47% of women believe pornography harms relationships while 33% of men said the same
- 33% of all Americans believe that pornography will not harm a relationship
- During a six-week experiment the statement, “marriage is an important institution,” was affirmed by 60% of men who viewed no pornography during that period, but only 39% of those exposed to heavy viewing of pornography during the same period affirmed the same statement
- 58% of women believe that pornography is demeaning to women while only 37% of men agree
- Both men and women who were exposed to pornography were significantly less likely to want to raise a daughter than those who had not viewed pornography
Pornography is not just addictive and ubiquitous though. It is also a story about how we should relate to people. In her article “Love your Enemy: Sex, Power, and Christian Ethics,” Karen Lebacqz describes pornography’s relationship script as follows:
Pornography would suggest that men are socialized to find both male power and female powerlessness sexually arousing. In pornography, domination of women by men is portrayed as sexy. It is the power of the man or men to make the woman do what she does not want to do—to make her do something humiliating, degrading, or antithetical to her character—that creates the sexual tension and excitement . . . . In pornography, women are raped tied up, beaten, humiliated--and are portrayed as initially resisting and ultimately enjoying their degradation. (Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics 10 (1990) 8)
The only addition I would add to this “relationship” narrative is the one Ariel Levy notes in her Female Chauvinist Pigs, women and men can switch roles, either one playing the submissive role or taking the assertive role. Either way, the pornography script makes rape not just acceptable but the norm. (I think Jana’s recent post makes a very similar point.)
Finally, it seems important to remember that pornography is also a business, with the lowest estimates making it a billion dollar a year business. It is not only taking advantage of an innate human drive, as de Botton argues, but also forming people in this perspective to generate a steady revenue stream.
Screwtape’s quip about the best way to corrupt a person seems to capture the cumulative result of the pornography industry, “An ever increasing craving for an ever dimensioning pleasure is the formula. It is certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return.”
I would probably despair of this situation except for two things. First, practically, the beginning of a solution to this problem is simple: stop (or do not start) viewing pornography. If help is needed with this, there are countless effective and free filters available for routers. This one was recommended to me by two of my tech savvy friends.
Secondly, theological, God made us such that in our hearts we desire much more than what pornography offers, we desire to love and to be loved. This is the heart of the Church’s sexual teaching: that sex should always be life giving, not destructive, dominating, violent, or commercialized. This is why the metaphor Jesus frequently uses for heaven is the wedding banquet, friends and family singing, dancing, and eating in the celebration of love. Pornography cannot ultimately compete with this joy for which God made us.
This post was written by Jason King. The original post can be found at: http://catholicmoraltheology.com/porn/
BE A MAN.