WAKE UP: Pornography is not victimless — it destroys lives and kills people


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PORNOGRAPHY’S RECENT SUICIDE SPIRAL

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry there are times that we have to deal with stories that are rather sensitive. Perhaps there are sensitive young ears around the radio or the smartphone or the tablet – we just want to give a heads-up to Mom or Dad that today’s subject is one of those. We’re going to deal with the fallout of those who find themselves involved in an immoral industry, the adult film industry.

Harry, The Daily Wire reported recently that a lonely actress in this industry, at age 20, took her life. She stated over Christmas that she was lonely during the holidays and she was also grieving the death of her boyfriend, who died from a drug overdose. What’s even sadder about this story, Harry, is this is the fourth young lady who has passed away – several of these because of suicide – that are involved in this industry.

DR. REEDER: Let me just use the term one time: this pornographic industry, “adult entertainment.” There’s nothing adult about it. I actually see it as an adolescent industry because of what it preys upon – the young people of our society – both in terms of those who participate and those who are purveyors.

NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME

Tom, one of the things that’s constantly said to us is that we have matured to a society so that we have recognized that this should not be criminalized because, if it was a crime, it’s a victimless crime.

Well, so much for that notion. What we are looking at is the multi-faceted destructive elements of this particular industry, which America, by far, is the most prolific producer of this adult entertainment. It’s like a tsunami wave through the internet into the lives of people.

We are now opening up entire counseling clinics based upon addressing the addictions of this industry, which it is designed to be addictive and it is designed to produce a downward spiral into the clutches of this industry. We now have them at junior high age – entire counseling centers that are there because of the addictions at the junior high age.

It is now said that 70 percent of men are engaged in this activity in our society – over 70 percent. The statistics on when young people are exposed to this have now identified the elementary age as the point of contact and then, once somebody sees something, you can’t unsee it anymore. There’s actually a chemical dynamic that burns the images into your brain.

What we need to realize is that this is not a victimless crime. Tom, honestly, we talked about whether to do this program or not. One of the reasons I finally was persuaded to do it is because this news item not only reminds us of the victims of broken homes and broken families because of the addiction to the products of the pornographic industry, but also the people that participate, the destruction in the lives of these young women, the objectivization of women in general because of this, the loss of the beauty and blessing of God’s gift of the sanctity of sexuality within marriage, the idea that sexuality exists for personal gratification and the other person becomes an object and there are no ethical parameters that are to surround the sanctity of the gift of sexuality by God to us.

WE MUST CONTINUE TO HOLD SHARED MORALS IN SOCIETY

This last week, Tom, I was in a forum dealing with a public ordinance that would penalize people if they will not extend civil rights to sexual activities, sexual orientation, and self-identification of gender. In that particular forum, at the end of it, a person asked this question: “Listen, can’t we just realize that there are some morals that we ought to all agree just to set aside for the sake of peace in the community?”

And the indication was that one of those morals we ought to not be prohibited from making ordinances about how people conduct themselves sexually in the apartment building that I live in and that I ought not to have any moral codes in the apartment buildings that I rent out or the businesses that we put in place. I just said to everyone, “Wait just a minute. You are now in the throes of a sexual revolution – a tsunami of degradation is taking place. You have just now gone through the #metoo, where women are being objectified, where they are being coerced by the powerful into objects of a person’s pleasure and that’s what’s happening in the sexual revolution which, by the way, exists to declare that there should be no parameters concerning sexual morality.”

Let me ask you a question: how is that working for us now to remove parameters? That’s why many of us are saying you must understand that the free practice of religion and the freedom of speech allows people to make the point that there are parameters for these things and, when you set them aside, it has destruction.

WOMEN ARE TREATED AS OBJECTS, JUST LIKE #METOO

Here are these women, most of them were in a vulnerable state, are drawn into the industry, told that it really doesn’t matter, but what they begin to find out is, “I don’t matter. All I am is an object for people to look at and to use,” and that empties their life.

And so, you’ve now had these four public cases, as many of us were celebrating the Advent season of rejoicing and the gift of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins, there were those who were caught up in this rebellion against God that has become this profitable entertainment industry and the people that are in it are being killed. That just breaks my heart. These women aren’t just names – they’re somebody’s daughter, they’re somebody’s sister – women made in the image of God that have become nothing more than objects of prurient voyeurism and then destruction.

THERE IS HOPE – AND HELP

If you are somehow listening to us and you have become a participant in this industry, I want you to know there’s a God who loves you, who gave His Son who died for you that you could have forgiveness, and you are somebody because God made you to be somebody and God’s Son can save you from your sins and you can have eternal life. And there are people we can help put you in contact with that were where you are and God, by His grace, has transformed them.

And, if you are a purveyor of this, it is nothing but a death spiral. This is going to take you to emptiness and there are casualties not only concerning your life, but your marriage and your ability to have relationships. There is a God who can work in your life so that you can see the glory and majesty of what it means to know Him and love Him and what is good and beautiful and true and we would love to connect you to people who are able to help you with this Gospel uplifting, transforming truth. You can be forgiven of all of your sins and you can be transformed so that your life can be totally renovated by the grace of God and it’ll be a glorious progress as God brings you from the clutches of this.

Maybe, as you’re listening to us, you have this secret life that’s not going to be secret very long – it is ultimately going to be exposed because the consequences of it will demand its exposure – but there is one who can expose your heart, and heal it, and give you a new heart and a new life and you can become a new creation in Christ where the old passes away and the new life has come.

Friends, listen: On the scale of public policy, the adult industry is not an industry with victimless crime. It actually is killing the people that are providing this entertainment and it is killing the people that are buying into this as entertainment – killing the heart and the soul – but there is One who can deliver you in heart, soul and body.

This is the will of God, that you abstain from sexual immorality and that you know how to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which becomes your glorious spiritual service of worship. Life can be worship. The marriage bed can be held in honor and God can be glorified in every aspect of His good gifts to us in life.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

11 hours ago

Are you afraid to answer the phone?

Millions of Americans fear answering their phone due to a plague of billions of robocalls. These calls have made a mockery of the national Do Not Call Registry and touch on several public policy questions.

We had seemingly ended the problem of unwanted telemarketing calls. Congress authorized the Do Not Call Registry in 2003 after more than a decade of calls disrupting the peace and quiet of our homes. Fines of $11,000 per violation largely put telemarketing companies, with hundreds of thousands of employees, out of business.

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Why have unwanted calls returned? VOIP technology (voice over internet protocol) allowed anyone with a computer and an internet connection to make thousands of calls. A handful of responses can make thousands of calls worthwhile when the cost is almost zero. Furthermore, technology makes robocallers mobile and elusive.

By contrast, telemarketing firms employed hundreds of people at call centers. The authorities could find and fine telemarketers. Firms had to comply with the Do Not Call registry, even if forced out of business.

Technology further frustrates the control of robocalls. Spoofing makes a call appear to be from a different number. Spoofing a local number increases the chance of someone answering, defeats caller ID, and makes identifying the calls’ source difficult.

By contrast, technology allowed the elimination of spam email. It’s easy to forget that fifteen years ago spam threatened the viability of email. Email providers connected accounts to IP addresses and eventually identified and blocked spammers. Google estimates that spam is less than 0.1 percent of Gmail users’ emails.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned almost all robocalls in 2009 (political campaigns and schools were excepted). Yet the volume of calls and complaints from the public rise every year. And the “quality” of the solicitations is lower: legitimate businesses employed telemarketers, while most robocalls seem to be scams.

Telephone companies and entrepreneurs are deploying apps and services to block robocalls. The robocallers then respond, producing a technological arms race. The technology of this arms race, however, is beyond me.

I’d rather consider some issues robocalls raise. The root of the problem is some people’s willingness to swindle others. Although we all know there are some bad people in the world, free market economists typically emphasize the costs and consequences of government regulations over the cheats and frauds who create the public’s demand for regulation. People can disagree whether a level of fraud warrants regulation, but free marketers should not dismiss the fear of swindlers.

Robocalls also highlight the enormous inefficiency of theft. Thieves typically get 25 cents on the dollar (or less) when selling stolen goods. Getting $1,000 via theft requires stealing goods worth $4,000 or more. In addition, thieves invest time and effort planning and carrying out crimes, while we invest millions in locks, safes, burglar alarms, and police departments to protect our property. America would be much richer if we did not have to protect against thieves or robocallers.

Finally, having the government declare something illegal does not necessarily solve a problem. Our politicians like to pass a law or regulation and announce, “problem solved.” Identifying and punishing robocallers is difficult; the FTC had only brought 33 cases in nearly ten years. And less than ten percent of the over $300 million in fines and relief for consumers levied against robocallers had been collected. Government has no pixie dust which magically solves hard problems.

The difficulty of enforcing a law or regulation does not necessarily imply we should not act. The Federal Communications Commission, for instance, recently approved letting phone companies block unwanted calls by default, and perhaps this will prove effective. We should weigh the costs of laws and regulations against a realistic projection of benefits and laws failing to solve problems as promised should be revised or repealed.
Still, a law that accomplishes little can have value. Cursing robocalls accomplishes little yet can be cathartic. A law that costs little might provide us satisfaction until technology solves the problem.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

12 hours ago

VIDEO: Culverhouse vs. UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Why did the media get the story with Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and Alabama so wrong?

— Is the Iowa slap-fight between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden a 2020 preview?

— Now that former ALEA head Spencer Collier has settled his case with the state over his firing, is the sordid Bentley saga over?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) to discuss medical marijuana, the prison special session and the lottery.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” that calls out Joe Biden for lying about the lack of lies and scandals in the Obama administration.

VIDEO: Culverhouse/UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Posted by Yellowhammer News on Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

13 hours ago

Alabama team targets international connections at SelectUSA Investment Summit

Alabama is home to a diverse lineup of international companies, and the state’s business recruiters are looking to expand those ranks.

The economic development team is in Washington D.C. at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which starts today and is the premier foreign direct investment (FDI) event in the U.S.

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FDI is a significant part of Alabama’s economy. Last year alone, it came from 16 different countries, for a total of $4.2 billion in investment and 7,520 new and future jobs.

Since 2013, the state has attracted $12.8 billion in FDI, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. It’s spread across a variety of sectors, including automotive, aerospace and bioscience.

“Team Alabama is looking to capitalize on a record-breaking year for FDI in the state, by continuing to build partnerships with world-class international companies looking to grow in the U.S.,” said Vince Perez, a project manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

SHOWCASING ALABAMA

SelectUSA is led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and its annual summit regularly attracts top industry leaders and investors from around the globe. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 2,800 attendees from more than 70 international markets and 49 U.S. states and territories.

Participants of the past five summits have announced $103.6 billion in greenfield FDI in the U.S. within five years of attending, supporting more than 167,000 U.S. jobs.

“We are excited to have another opportunity to showcase Alabama’s vibrant business climate that’s been cultivated over the years through business-friendly policies,” Perez said.

“This year’s Investment Summit is very timely as we will be armed with the recently passed Incentives Modernization Act, which upgraded our already-strong incentive tool kit, making us more marketable than ever.”

The measure targets counties that have had slower economic growth. In particular, it expands the number of rural counties that qualify for investment and tax credit incentives. It also enhances incentives for technology companies.

Joining the Commerce Department at the SelectUSA Summit are PowerSouth, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Power Co., and Spire.

Speakers at the summit will include key government and industry leaders who will discuss opportunities in a broad range of areas and industries, such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and technology.

FDI supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and it is responsible for $370 billion in U.S. goods exports. The U.S. has more FDI than any other country, topping $4 trillion.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

A ‘Story Worth Sharing’: Yellowhammer News and Serquest partner to award monthly grants to Alabama nonprofits

Christmas is the season of giving, helping others and finding magic moments among seemingly ordinary (and occasionally dreary) days. What better way to welcome this season than to share what Alabamians are doing to help others?

Yellowhammer News and Serquest are partnering to bring you, “A Story Worth Sharing,” a monthly award given to an Alabama based nonprofit actively making an impact through their mission. Each month, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 grant from Serquest and promotion across the Yellowhammer Multimedia platforms.

Yellowhammer and Serquest are looking for nonprofits that go above and beyond to change lives and make a difference in their communities.

Already have a nonprofit in mind to nominate? Great!

Get started here with contest guidelines and a link to submit your nomination:

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Nominations are now open and applicants only need to be nominated once. All non-winning nominations will automatically be eligible for selection in subsequent months. Monthly winners will be announced via a feature story that will be shared and promoted on Yellowhammer’s website, email and social media platforms.

Submit your nomination here.

Our organizations look forward to sharing these heartwarming and positive stories with you over the next few months as we highlight the good works of nonprofits throughout our state.

Serquest is an Alabama based software company founded by Hammond Cobb, IV of Montgomery. The organization sees itself as, “Digital road and bridge builders in the nonprofit sector to help people get where they want to go faster, life’s purpose can’t wait.”

Learn more about Serquest here.

15 hours ago

Alabama Power wins Electric Edison Institute awards for power restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) awarded Alabama Power with the EEI “Emergency Assistance Award” and the  “Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Michael hit Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in October 2018.
The Emergency Assistance Award and Emergency Recovery Award are given to EEI member companies to recognize their efforts to assist other electric companies’ power restoration efforts, and for their own extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process.

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Alabama Power received the awards during the EEI 2019 annual conference.

Alabama Power’s extraordinary efforts were instrumental to restoring service for customers across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida quickly and safely,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “We are pleased to recognize the dedicated crews from Alabama Power for their work to restore service in hazardous conditions and to assist neighboring electric companies in their times of need.”

Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to make landfall during the 2018 hurricane season, was a Category 5 hurricane with peak winds of 160 mph. The storm hit Mexico Beach, Fla., on October 10 before being downgraded to a tropical storm and traveling northeast through Georgia and several Mid-Atlantic states. Alabama Power sent more than 1,400 lineworkers and 700 trucks to help restore service to customers over the course of two and a half months.

Hurricane Michael also resulted in 89,438 service outages in Alabama Power’s territory. Due to their tireless work, Alabama Power’s crews restored power to 100 percent of customers within four days after the storm, dedicating more than 124-thousand hours to the recovery.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)