By The Interim Staff
In February, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) published its Pornography Action Kit, a toolkit to help concerned Christians urge the government to act against pornographic websites.
The EFC says that “children and youth are exposed to sexually explicit and violent material online at younger and younger ages,” and that Ottawa must act, at the very least, to ensure that pornographic websites verify their viewers are adults and hold these sites accountable for hosting videos of sexual abuse, including child abuse, exploitation, and rape.
The Pornographic Action Kit includes: an explanation of why it is necessary for concerned citizens to act now; expert testimony about the dangers of pornography; a list of direction actions people can take; and sample interactions with government officials and talking points to use.
The EFC states that “videos of child abuse and rape, and images posted without the knowledge or consent of the youth portrayed, are routinely hosted on free porn sites, with lifelong, devastating consequences.” It further states that the time to act is now because of the growing public awareness of the issue, most notably due to the New York Times expose of Pornhub and its illegal content.
The EFC urges concerned Canadians to “join this battle by praying, contacting your MP, and by sharing this information with your friends and family.” “For greater impact,” they ask Canadians to “contact your MP in more than one way,” for example with a letter and follow-up phone call, or by sending a letter after a phone call or meeting with an MP.
The Action Kit has a number of examples on how to engage MPs, including sharing information contained within the package about the harms posed by pornography and asking for specific steps to be taken to protect those depicted in videos as a result of illegal means and preventing minors from viewing any pornography.
Key messages include: “no one should profit from sexual exploitation or child sexual abuse,” “access to all porn is regulated by law — except when it’s online,” and “Canada urgently needs to hold pornography sites accountable.” One talking point makes it clear why Canada needs to be more proactive on this file: “At least ten of the most popular porn sites in the world are owned by a company named MinkGeek, which has offices in Montreal.”
In December, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff reported in depth about rape and child sexual abuse videos hosted on the PornHub website, leading to major credit card companies severing their relationship with the porn giant and the company taking down millions of videos with questionable sources until it could verify that all parties depicted in the video were willing participants.
The Action Kit notes “there is very little to protect children from being exposed at younger and younger ages” to the “sexually violent and cruel” content hosted on these websites. According to one expert the EFC cites, Gail Dines of Culture Reframed, “this free porn model,” of PornHub’s, “delivers porn to boys on a scale never seen before,” and “because you don’t need a credit card or proof of age, it is the perfect way to deliver hard-core porn to boys at the very stage in their development when they are sexually curious and their brains are wired for novelty and risk-taking.”
The downloadable PDF of the Action Kit is available at the EFC website.
In 2019, the EFC updated their brief book Battling Pornography: A Guide for Canadians, which is now available under the title How Pornography Harms: What the Church Needs to Know which explains why pornography matters and how Christians, including (and maybe especially) parent.