The topic of pornography is one that always seems to be shrouded in controversy and blasted with personal opinions. Many think it is “wrong” or “bad” simply because of religious beliefs or political affiliation. Others think that porn is “healthy” or simply a “free expression of sexuality”.
Quite honestly, the issue with pornography goes much deeper than personal opinion or belief. Just like anything else, when it comes to porn, only science and fact can overtake the heated personal opinions and varying social commentary. So what is science saying? It’s simple:
Porn is harmful and research is proving it.
Academic journals and empirical research seems to be coming out daily on the subject, showing that there is a clear difference between the brains of those who compulsively view pornography and those who don’t. It is also being proven that those who view pornography report a significant decrease in their satisfaction in their real life relationships and also report being more critical of their partner’s attractiveness and sexual behavior.
These are the cold hard facts about porn and ones that have been published and widely accepted in the scientific world. However, despite these proven facts, recently we have come across multiple articles that insist that there is an “ethical” way to view porn. For example, one recent article ironically titled, How to watch porn responsibly, according to porn stars, interviewed a self-described “feminist pornographer” who said:
“A big part of my mission is ethical production practices and fair labor practices. I identify as a feminist pornographer, and a big part of my mission is ethical production practices and fair labor practices.”
As nice as that may sound to the ears, one fact remains: it is harmful to the viewer and it is almost always harmful to the performer as well. Compare the porn producer’s claims of “accountability” and “performer’s rights” to the very dark accounts of porn performers who have actually lived the reality, like Vanessa Belmond. A former porn actress who now speaks out about the reality of the porn industry, Belmond recalled:
“Like most porn performers, I perpetuated this lie. One of my favorite things to say when asked if I liked doing a particular scene was, “I only do what I like! I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it!” (I would say this with a big fake smile and giggle.) What a total lie! I did what I had to do to get “work” in porn. I did what I knew would help me gain “fame” in the industry.”
That’s just one reality of the porn industry. What is another?
In the same article mentioned earlier, the producer (who is on payroll at a major porn production company) goes on to say that when porn studios have “ethical workplace regulations”, it is a step toward legitimacy, which affects whether banks and credit card companies will do business with them. The producer goes on to say, “There’s an entire generation of people—and I work with college-age people—that believe porn is free and has always been free. There needs to be a re-education that says, ‘If you want more porn, especially from people whose work you really like, you have to pay for it. Because if you don’t, then we can’t make more.'” The article then goes on to encourage paying for porn as a great way to support the labor that is part of making and consuming pornography. To end the article, the interviewer asked the producer what he recommends for “ethical” porn viewing. His response?
“Pay for your porn! When you pay for porn, you’ve got credit card processors looming over the shoulders of producers to ensure that porn is done legally and that all the paperwork and those checks and balances are in place.”
How comforting. Not.
This just shows yet another unveiling of the true side of the porn industry. Porn is a $97 billion industry, according to Kassia Wosick, assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University. With this amount of money being the case, the porn industry’s bottom line is much more important than any concern for the well-being of viewers or performers. Just take into account this quote from former porn actress Anita Cannibal:
“I have been a performer now for 14 years in the adult film industry in many countries, states . . . all over the place. I have worked for most of these companies, and I was around for the once-a-month HIV-positive outbreak in ’98. Yes, I was, and I got to see those performers that nobody knows about—that nobody claims that got HIV, that are not a part of the statistics—walk out the door as non-performers, not to be counted.”
“Yeah, there are a lot of cover-ups going on. There is a lot of tragedy. There are a lot of horrible things.”
Starting to get the picture? Not only does the porn industry damage the lives of those who produce it, but it is extremely harmful to those who view it as well. Porn is inseparably linked to sex trafficking and is even shown to be as addictive as hard drugs. So we think it goes without saying that the delusional ideal of “ethical porn” is simply a marketing tactic but a corrupt industry with one singular objective: making money.
This post is taken front he website, Fightthenewdrug.org. For more information, go to: http://fightthenewdrug.org/is-there-such-a-thing-as-ethical-porn/#sthash.V84uyoX1.OdxpaXis.dpbs
Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?
Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz.
Every compulsive gambler, alcoholic or drug addict will tell you that they want increasingly more of a game or drink or drug in order to get the same quality of buzz.
Video game and porn addictions are different. They are "arousal addictions," where the attraction is in the novelty, the variety or the surprise factor of the content. Sameness is soon habituated; newness heightens excitement. In traditional drug arousal, conversely, addicts want more of the same cocaine or heroin or favorite food.
The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.
Stories about this degeneration are rampant: In 2005, Seungseob Lee, a South Korean man, went into cardiac arrest after playing "StarCraft" for nearly 50 continuous hours. In 2009, MTV's "True Life" highlighted the story of a man named Adam whose wife kicked him out of their home -- they have four kids together -- because he couldn't stop watching porn.
Norwegian mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik reported during his trial that he prepared his mind and body for his marksman-focused shooting of 77 people by playing "World of Warcraft" for a year and then "Call of Duty" for 16 hours a day.
In 1954, researchers Peter Milner and James Olds discovered the pleasure center of the brain. In their experiments, an electrical current was sent to the limbic system of a rat's brain whenever it moved to a certain area of its cage. The limbic sytem is a portion of the brain that controls things like emotion, behavior and memory. The researchers hypothesized that if the stimulation to the limbic system were unpleasant, the rats would stay away from that part of the cage.
Surprisingly, the rats returned to that portion of the cage again and again, despite the sensation.
In later experiments, when they were allowed to push a stimulation lever on their own accord, they self-stimulated hundreds of times per hour. Even when given the option to eat when hungry or to stimulate the pleasure center, the rats chose the stimulation until they were physically exhausted and on the brink of death.
This new kind of human addictive arousal traps users into an expanded present hedonistic time zone. Past and future are distant and remote as the present moment expands to dominate everything. That present scene is totally dynamic, with images changing constantly.
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that "regular porn users are more likely to report depression and poor physical health than nonusers are. ... The reason is that porn may start a cycle of isolation. ... Porn may become a substitute for healthy face-to-face interactions, social or sexual."
Similarly, video games also go wrong when the person playing them is desensitized to reality and real-life interactions with others.
Violence in video games is often synonymous with success. Children with more of a propensity for aggression are more attracted to violent video media, but violent media, in turn, can also make them more aggressive. This could be related to the fact that most video games reward players for violent acts, often permitting them to move to the next level in a game.
Yet research reported in the Annual Review of Public Health suggests a link between violent video games and real-life aggression: Given the opportunity, both adults and children were more aggressive after playing violent games. And people who identify themselves with violent perpetrators in video games are able to take aggressive action while playing that role, reinforcing aggressive behavior.
Young men -- who play video games and use porn the most -- are being digitally rewired in a totally new way that demands constant stimulation. And those delicate, developing brains are being catered to by video games and porn-on-demand, with a click of the mouse, in endless variety.
Such new brains are also totally out of sync in traditional school classes, which are analog, static and interactively passive. Academics are based on applying past lessons to future problems, on planning, on delaying gratifications, on work coming before play and on long-term goal-setting.
Guys are also totally out of sync in romantic relationships, which tend to build gradually and subtly, and require interaction, sharing, developing trust and suppression of lust at least until "the time is right."
Less extreme cases of arousal addiction may go unnoticed or be diagnosed as an attention or mood disorder. But we are in a national, and perhaps global, Guy Disaster Mode that needs to be noticed and solutions advanced to fix a totally novel phenomenon, which will only increase in intensity and breadth without the concerted efforts of educators, gamemakers, parents, guys and gals.
It's time to press play and get started reversing these trends.
This post was written by Dr Zimbardo of CNN. For more information go to: http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/23/health/living-well/demise-of-guys/index.html
Researchers found less gray matter in the brains of men who watched large amounts of sexually explicit material, according to a new study.
The research, which appeared this month in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, could not determine if porn actually caused the brain to shrink however, and the authors called for additional study on the topic.
"Future studies should investigate the effects of pornography longitudinally or expose naive participants to pornography and investigate the causal effects over time," said researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany.
The institute recruited 64 male subjects aged 21-45, "with a broad range of pornography consumption."
The men were not told initially that the research was monitoring their brains on porn, rather that it was "a scientific study including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements."
The men were told during a later phone interview that questions about pornography would be part of the research, and none dropped out.
The men filled out surveys, describing how much porn they watched. Their responses averaged a little more than four hours per week.
Their brains were scanned with MRI technology while they were shown sexually explicit images from porn websites, along with non-sexual images of people exercising.
"Our findings indicated that gray matter volume of the right caudate of the striatum is smaller with higher pornography use," said the study.
Furthermore, when sexually explicit material was shown, the men's MRIs showed diminished function in a part of the brain that processes motivation.
But were men with smaller striatums seeking more porn, or did more porn make the brain smaller? Was it a consequence, or a precondition?
"Individuals with lower striatum volume may need more external stimulation to experience pleasure and might therefore experience pornography consumption as more rewarding, which may in turn lead to" more porn watching, said the authors, concluding that more study is needed.
For more information go to: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-porn-affect-brain-scientists-urge.html
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them, I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
God leads blind people along unfamiliar paths. God promises to make rough places smooth for sightless and disoriented people. God will not forsake them.
During recovery we often feel sightless and disoriented. Our abilities to see clearly are often very limited - we don't have enough distance on things to give proper perspective. Denial leaves us blind. Rejected emotions and ignored human needs can also contribute to spiritual and psychological blindness.
So many things in recovery are unfamiliar to us. We are not accustomed to feeling what we feel, to talking about our experiences, or to trusting other people. Honesty is new territory for us. All of this is not only unfamiliar territory, it is scary territory as well.
But it is exactly to people like us that God makes promises. God makes promises to sightless and disoriented people. God will guide. God will give light. God will smooth the rough places. God will not abandon.
I can't see very well, Lord.
I certainly am not familiar with this path, Lord.
Are you sure you know where this leads?
This feels like a pretty rough trail to me, Lord.
Are you sure we can make it?
Be my guide, Lord, I am afraid.
I would be lost without you.
I cannot find my way alone.
Guide me, Lord.
Turn darkness into light.
Make the rough places smooth.
Do not forsake me.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery
It had already been a long morning when we find this bloody man dragging a torture device through the center of town. People were yelling, shaking their fists, and some were keeping quiet for fear of being ostracized for their position that reflected the minority opinion. Many people have met their doom in this way, but not many have received such publicity.
If you think about it, the whole circumstance was a rather impractical way to die. The individual hung on a cross for a long period of time in public view for the sole purpose of humiliation. Death was a secondary bonus as far as the Romans were concerned. The act of being displayed before and during expiration was the modern equivalent of a billboard propagating the idea that this government was supreme.
So, here was this man, who was declared publicly innocent by the governor thus giving the screaming mob an out to possibly assuage their own guilty conscience. Minutes later he is beaten and forced to drag a cross for the amusement of hundreds. His countenance reflected someone with courage and missional resolve. He didn’t put up a fight, and acted almost as if he was marking items off of a task list. His heart was fixed on what was next, but at the same time his mind was meditating on what had already come to pass. Generations of people who claimed to know and love God…and every one of those generations falling into disobedience. Not this time though. He was going to end this cycle. This story started with the perfect couple, who doubted God’s perfect word. The story reaches its pinnacle here. A story defined by stripes, blood, and sacrifice.
This story has become so common in Christian ritual. It is something that is taught to children in a more tame setting, and conveyed to nonbelievers in a way that does not offend. We wear beautiful representations around our necks as fashion accessories, and buy them to match our home decor. Here is the problem with the cross. It is ugly. It is dirty. It is cruel. Yet, for this man, who made this event his vocation…it was strangely comfortable. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was infinitely painful, but there was a peace about it that follows anyone who finds themself being funneled into the center of God’s will.
Here is another problem with the cross. It demands for us to be more than we think we can be on our own. We can look at Jesus and agree that this story is life changing, but it really isn’t if we never allow it to penetrate our hearts and change our direction. There is something about this story that should cause us to fear what could have been. If Christ would not have done this, we would have been a goner. The problem with the cross is that we can’t take it back. It happened. We wish we could change things, but we can’t. We caused it, and now we have no right to complain about it. Our sin brought this upon Him. It is our fault.
Yet…that was not what was on His mind. We were. His love for us consumed Him. That’s the ultimate problem with the cross. We deserve it, but he accepted it.
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. You can find his blog here: http://other-words.net
There is another view of the principle of self-love, or the natural desire of happiness, which requires our attention. We refer to that inordinate and unsanctified modification of it, which, in order to distinguish it from a properly regulated and sanctified action, is denominated SELFISHNESS. Whatever may be true of the properly regulated desire, it is certain that selfishness is morally wrong, and can never be otherwise than wrong. In a certain sense, I think we may truly say, that we find the root and center of all moral evil in selfishness; meaning by the term here, the inordinate action of the principle of self-love. It is true, that other principles of our nature are susceptible of an inordinate action, and that such obliquity of action always implies guilt. But there seems to be ground for saying, that the inordinate action of other principles results from the inordinate action of the principle of self-love. From this strong root of evil, an influence goes out, which is not more virulent than it is pervasive; and which, by a secret insinuation of itself in every direction, at length reaches and poisons every part of the mind. Examine, for instance, the social propensity, which is a principle good in itself, and we shall find, that, stimulated by a secret influence from the pernicious root of selfishness, it will often become inordinate and evil. The same may be said of the principle of curiosity; a principle entirely innocent in itself, and very important; but which, when unrestrained by sentiments of right and. duty, becomes divergent and capricious in its applications, and insatiable in strength. I think we may reasonably assert, that every active principle of our nature, even those which are embraced under the head of the benevolent and domestic affections, and which are so amiable and beautiful when free from contamination; are liable to be perversely affected by an evil influence going out from this source.
Thomas Cogswell Upham — The Interior or Hidden Life (1844) Part 2, Chapter 5.
For more information, go to: http://thomascupham.blogspot.com/2015/04/selfishness-is-morally-wrong.html
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Yesterday, we discussed the first part of this section of this scripture. Today, we will finish. Let God's Holy Spirit speak to you about your life.
9. Fits of rage (wrath) - The Greek word thumos is used throughout the New Testament to picture a person who is literally boiling with anger about something. Although the person tries to restrain his anger by shoving it down deeper into his soul, it intermittently flares up. When that happens, this person is like a volcano that suddenly blow it top, scorching everything within its reach as it hurls its load of deadly molten lava on the entire surrounding landscape.
10. Selfish ambition (strife) - The Greek word eritheia describes a self-seeking ambition that is more concerned about itself and the fulfillment of its own wants, desires, and pleasures that it is in meeting the same needs in others. When eritheia is working in someone's life, it means that a person's principle concern is to take care of himself and to get what he wants. He is so bent on getting what he wants that he is willing to do anything, say anything, or sacrifice any standard, rule, or relationship to achieve his goals. Because this self-consumed, self-focused attitude is engrossed with its own desires and ambitions, it is blinded to the desires and ambitions of other people.
11. Dissensions - The Greek word dichostasia means to stand apart, as one who rebels and steps away from someone to whom he should have been loyal. Thus the word "dissension" gives the impression of disloyalty. It is the ultimate act of defiance or disloyalty to an established authority.
12. Factions - The Greek word hairesis carries the idea of a group of people who adheres to the same doctrine or who ardently follow the same leader and are sectarian. The adherents of a sect are usually limited in their scope and closed to outsiders, staying primarily to themselves. In New Testament times, these groups were considered to be unauthorized because they were not submitted to the authority of the church leadership. In today's contemporary language, we would call them "cliques" - a group of people who believe or conduct themselves as if they are exclusive.
13. Envy - The Greek word phthonos implies a deeply felt grudge because someone possess what a person wishes was his own. Because this person has a chip on his shoulder, he begrudges what the other person possesses and is covetous of that person's belongings, accomplishments, relationships, or titles in life. Every time he see that other person, he inwardly seethes about his success. He deeply resents that person's blessing and tries to figure out a way to seize it away from the person he envies in order to make it his own.
14. Drunkenness - The Greek word methe refers to strong drink or to drunkenness. The consumption of wine for the sake of intoxication was common in the first century due to many pagan religions that employed wine as a part of their religious practices. A drunken state suppressed the mind's ability to think correctly and releases the flesh to fully express itself. The believers in the first century were trying to walk free from the power of their flesh. The last thing they needed was to drink wine, inhibit their ability to think correctly, revive their flesh, and then do things that were sinful or damaging! That is why Paul urged them to leave wine alone!
15. Orgies - The Greek word komoi describes a person who can't bear the thought of boredom and therefore constantly seems forms of amusement or entertainment. This person is actually afraid of being bored, so he constantly contemplates what he can do next to have fun or be entertained. The word komoi can refer to a person who endlessly eats at parties or who seeks constant laughter and hilarity. Although there is nothing wrong with laughter, this person is consumed with the need for comedy, light moments, fun, pleasure, entertainment, or constant eating. He lives for his next meal, the next restaurant, the next movie, the next vacation.
16. and the like - Paul ends this list with this Greek phrase, which alerts us to the fact that this list of the works of the flesh is not comprehensive; it is just the beginning of the works of the flesh! Many more examples of works of the flesh could be added to the list, but Paul uses these as examples of how the flesh behaves, ending the list once he has sufficiently made the point to his readers.
If you routinely do these things as a matter of lifestyle, I believe you need to go to God and ask Him to tell you the truth about your spiritual status!
You cannot afford to make a mistake about this eternal question!!
This entry and yesterday's entry are taken from the book, Sparkling Gems From the Greek by R. Renner
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Let's break this down, go over each word. Let God's Holy Spirit speak to you about your lifestyle:
1. Sexual immorality - some translations call this adultery. The Greek word porneia describes any sexual relationship that occurs outside the sanctified boundaries of marriage.
2. Impurity - The Greek word here means "uncleanness." This refers to lewd or unclean thoughts that eventually produce lewd of unclean actions. It strongly suggests that these actions begin in the the mind as unclean thoughts before they manifest themselves as unclean deeds.
3. Debauchery - The Greek word here describes "excess." It primarily refers to the excessive consumption of food or wild, undisciplined living that is especially marked by unbridled sex.
4. Idolatry - The Greek word eidoloatria depicts the worship of idols, or simply put, "idolatry." The act of idolatry transpires when an individual gives his complete, undivided attention, devotion, passion, love or commitment to a person, project of object rather than God. When something other than God takes first place in a person's mind, he has entered, at least to a measure, in the the sin of idolatry.
5. Witchcraft - The word "witchcraft" is from the Greek word pharmakeia, the Greek work for medicines or drugs that inhibit a person's personality or changes his behavior. We would call these mind-altering drugs. The Greek work pharmakeia is where we get the words pharmaceuticals and the word pharmacy. This word was used in connection with sorcery, magic, or witchcraft. However, for our purposes in today's world, the word "witchcraft" describes the flesh's attempts to avoid being confronted and changed.
6. Hatred - The Greek word echthra pictures people who cannot get along with each other. They have deep issues with each other, holding resentments, grievances, complaints, and grudges that go way back in time and have very deep roots. Something occurred along the way that caused one or both of them to be offended. Instead of letting it go, they are divided, hostile, and fiercely opposed to each other. They are antagonistic, aggressive, and harsh. They hate each other. They have a grudge and are determined to hold on to their offense.
7. Discord - The Greek word eris depicts a bitterly mean spirit that is so consumed with its own self-interests and self-ambitions that it would rather split and divide than admit it is wrong or to give an inch to its opponent! This is exactly why churches end up divided and families frequently dissolve. Most of the issues that bring such division are not important. Nevertheless, division occurs because the flesh simply hates to surrender, to admit that it's wrong, to let someone else be right, or to compromise. Flesh would rather blow all issues out of proportion and wreak havoc than to let someone else have his way!
8. Jealousy - The Greek word zelos is used in a negative sense to depict a person who is upset because someone else achieved more or received more; therefore, the first person is jealous, envious, resentful, and filled with ill will for that other person who received the blessing he wanted. As a result of not getting what he desired, this person is irritated, infuriated, irate, annoyed, provoked, and fuming that the other person did get it! In short, you could say that this person is really incensed and ticked off!
Tomorrow, we will finish with this section of scripture.
This entry and tomorrow's entry are taken from the book, Sparkling Gems From the Greek by Rick Renner
Equal parts controversial and needed, Paula Harris and Doug Schaupp pen Being White: Finding Our Place in a Multiethnic World. Writing from the white vantage point, Harris and Schaupp call on the white evangelical to move forward into the future making a difference in multiethnic contexts through justice and reconciliation.
This emphasis on justice is echoed in the work of Michael Eric Dyson. "Charity is no substitute for justice. If we never challenge a social order that allows some to accumulate wealth—even if they decide to help the less fortunate--while others are short-changed, then even acts of kindness end up supporting unjust arrangements. We must never ignore the injustices that make charity necessary, or the inequalities that make it possible."
In order to bring about justice and reconciliation, Harris and Schaupp provide four stages in their work that can bring about these effects: encounter, friendship, displacement, and white identity.
This first stage in the progression towards reconciliation and a more just society is an encounter. More often than not, the white person will have to go out of their comfort zone in order to encounter a nonwhite person. In this encounter, they should seek to develop a relationship that will engage both the heart and the head. The authors believe that the system has been set up in such a way that the white person does not have to think about race in their head and feel it in their heart, thus it is necessary for them to find those encounters. Once someone moves outside the proverbial comfort zone, one can expect to feel out of their element, which is exactly what needs to happen.
Once past the encounter, with mistakes foreseeable, one enters into the friendship stage. The friendship stage, built upon the commonality shared by two people, allows development to happen past the encounter in such a way that a friendship can form. Using the imagery of arms, Harris and Schaupp note that one person in the relationship opens their arms and waits, in anticipation of the other person coming in close, in order that arms may be closed and trust can be established. In the closeness, conflict and differences are inevitable because both are outside of their comfort zone. However, only in the soil of friendship can grace grow and be extended. As people deal with a conflict, enduring past the conflict towards resolution requires maintaining a listening posture in order to move towards a better place of forgiveness.
Moving past the encounter and entering into the depths of friendship, Harris and Schaupp progress to the third stage, which is displacement. This can happen in a variety of settings, may it be a long-term move to a particular neighborhood or visiting another gym or grocery store across town, Harris and Schaupp root the call to displacement in the biblical narrative.
"We embrace the biblical call to displace ourselves precisely because this is God's pattern for helping us trust him and live out his love. We are not committed to displacement because we find it personally enriching and intriguing to explore other cultures (though it may well be), because we dislike our own culture, or because we hope to fix other people's cultures. We are committed to leaving our comfort zone because this is an important way that Christ is formed in us, and it is the pattern of life in the kingdom of God."
While an encounter is a temporary experience, displacement is a long-term commitment that entails community and deep relationships. This commitment does not entail either party ignoring the color of their skin, but embracing the differences. Colorblindness is an inadequate goal because it ignores the heart language of the individuals, which sets aside the core of people where suffering is located. Thus, the relationship misses the richness that comes with diversity and the suffering together that comes with closeness.
Once the relationship develops depth and richness that comes through displacement and friendship, the final stage of white identity is appropriate. This is the stage where it is now feasible and appropriate to deal with racial reconciliation and progress together towards justice. Viewing racism both at an individual level (where partiality exists among individuals) and at the systemic level (where power joins partiality) the white person can engage in a conversation that seeks to identify the areas of racism, and find the origin.
Displacement is essential in this stage, in that often one does not notice the racist tendencies in one's own culture, because it simply operates as part of the norm. However, when immersed in a multiethnic context, the proclivities and inclinations become apparent.
By displacing one's self in a setting where one is the minority, it provides a multitude of opportunities to address not only individual forms of racism, but also at times the group level. These stages, encounter, befriending, displacing, and working in one's white identity seek to remove both the individual and the group levels of racism.
This is a sensitive topic in our world today. It reminds us that there are pains from the past that have the ability to still cause pain in the present. However, it is time to stop putting band-aids on open wounds. Conferences might raise awareness to problems, but conferences only draw people that know it is a problem. It is quite literally preaching to the choir.
It is going to take individual actions to bring about solutions to these problems. And this can start with you. As Phillip Yancey writes:
"The Christian solution is not a direct answer but an attitude which leads to the correct answer. It is not unlike the attitudes of both partners in a good marriage. Both partners take into account the interests and needs of the other so that their relationship thrives. A marriage in which one partner must acquiesce all the time is not healthy."
This post was written by Nick Pitts. For more information go to: http://www.denisonforum.org/reviews/1500-being-white-finding-our-place-in-a-multiethnic-world