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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.

9 hours ago

Geneva County Commission strips funding for school resource officer program

The Geneva County Commission has placed the Geneva County School system in a bind after it pulled funds committed to the school resource officer (SRO) program.

Per a Dothan Eagle report, the county commission voted in June to give $15,000 to the SRO program this year, including an additional $60,000 next year.

After commissioners found that the budget would not balance, they realized that the promised funding for the SRO program could not be provided.

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Fred Hamic, chairman of the Geneva County Commission, sent a letter informing Superintendent Becky Birdsong of the decision and included a $15,000 check.

Birdsong said she was “disappointed,” but assured she will work hard to ensure the SRO program remains in place.

“I am disappointed, but I am still committed to doing what’s right for our students,” Birdsong told Dothan Eagle. “We don’t want parents to be concerned that this is going to make our schools less safe. I’m not saying we have the money now, but I am going to work on this and try to secure funding for this.”

Birdsong said that she is working with parents to increase security on school campuses in the schools she oversees.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

10 hours ago

Steve Marshall talks liberal tech bias, joins select group of national officials tackling the issue

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday joined a select group of state attorneys general for “a productive dialogue” led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Department of Justice (DOJ) officials regarding perceived discrimination against conservatives by leading tech companies.

Per a DOJ release, “The discussion centered on ways the Department and state governments can most effectively safeguard consumers using online digital platforms. Each state attorney general’s office shared their views of the important issues for federal and state authorities to consider when addressing these evolving technologies. The discussion principally focused on consumer protection and data privacy issues, and the bipartisan group of attendees sought to identify areas of consensus.”

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Marshall – who joined the meeting by teleconference – made it clear that there was a long way to go before reaching a consensus on how to tackle the complicated issues of tech transparency and bias, saying, “To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

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“Today I participated in a bipartisan meeting of several state Attorneys General, hosted by Attorney General Sessions, to discuss consumer protection concerns related to the tech industry. The conversation covered many of the same concerns raised in recent Congressional hearings,” Marshall outlined.

He continued, “I appreciated the invitation to participate and was interested to hear the perspectives of the various states represented. To the degree that there was any consensus, it is that we still have a lot to learn about how to best protect consumer interests in this context.”

The DOJ, which was represented at the meeting by Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore and other senior staff, explained, “Many shared the view that it is essential for federal and state law enforcement authorities to work together to ensure that these challenges are addressed responsibly and effectively.”

Sessions’ DOJ will review the information and insights shared by the state attorneys general and expects the constructive dialogue will continue moving forward. Marshall, in an interview earlier Tuesday morning with Talk 99.5’s Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg, made it clear that he prefers a market-based solution as opposed to stifling government regulation.

“It is a field that I think we need to tread very lightly,” Marshall explained. “You look at the ability of government to regulate – I think we do the military well and everything else is a struggle. So I think we need to be very, very careful in how we tread in that regard.”

The argument from some is that social media platforms are like modern-day utilities.

“You hear it coming more from Democratic AG’s across the country … it’s why, I think, you have to be very careful, because the market itself has the ability to regulate and one of the things that we have to do from the government side is do not tread into the world of antitrust lightly,” Marshall outlined.

Alabama’s attorney general used Google as an example, saying consumers have multiple choices in search engines, free online email providers and the web browsers themselves (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, etc.).

“It is important, however, when you do hear the stories of internally that Google may be directing people for political purposes that otherwise is not disclosed. That is concerning,” Marshall said.

For Marshall, the questions of whether these tech companies should allow their left-leaning biases to affect consumers “need to be asked, whether or not government needs to get involved in that, however, is a different story.”

Marshall summarized that his overall view is the tech services need to be held accountable to being open and honest with what they are doing and then the market can effectively take care of the rest. If consumers do not like what the services are doing, competition, not the government, should be the counterbalance.

“To the extent that there is transparency, I think it’s a good thing. Across the spectrum, whether it be private business or in government, and in this field particularly, if they are able to respond to questions about how it is that they control content and what they do, then I think we all have knowledge and then can make decisions ourselves,” he advised.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Strong like Samson, tough like Benaiah and wise like Solomon -Thomas Cox reveals his plan for himself and raising his kids

Finding the time to do everything in a day is tough, but Thomas Cox shared his secrets on “The Ford Faction.”

In this episode, Thomas Cox from Mealfit.co discussed where his parenting techniques come from and how he finds time to execute them. He breaks down the processes he does with each of his children.

First, he teaches them to be strong like Samson. He wants his kids to be strong in many ways: mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.

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Second, Thomas wants his kids to be tough like Benaiah.

He said, “Toughness is one of the biggest parts of our lives we have to get better at so we can adapt to what’s happening around us.”

Finally, you have to be wise like Solomon.

Thomas told host Ford Brown, “I think if you’re not spending a lot of your day on self-development, you are missing the boat.”

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Rep. Byrne: Breaking down Tax Reform 2.0

Since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year, the American economy is booming, and Alabama families have more money in their pockets. By lowering taxes and simplifying the tax code, we have unlocked our economic potential and made life better for hardworking Americans.

The economic numbers speak for themselves: higher wages, lower unemployment, more jobs, bigger paychecks, employee bonuses and much more. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the average family in Southwest Alabama will see their tax bill decrease by $2,187 a year.

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The good news is that we aren’t stopping here. This week, the House is expected to vote on additional changes and improvements to the tax code, something we are calling Tax Reform 2.0. Working with President Trump, we will continue to make the tax code even fairer and more competitive.

Tax Reform 2.0 includes three major pieces. Here’s a quick overview.

First, we want to make the tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families permanent. Due to Democrat obstruction and arcane rules in the Senate, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was only able to lower taxes for ten years. Under Tax Reform 2.0, we will make the tax cuts permanent.

The non-partisan Tax Foundation found that making the middle-class and small business tax cuts permanent will create 1.5 million new jobs and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.2%. This further expands our economy and makes life even better for families and small businesses.

Making these changes permanent, will also lock-in the simpler tax filing process. As you may remember, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplified the tax code to the point where many Americans are now able to complete their taxes on a postcard-style form. A Tax Foundation study shows that this will save Americans between $3.1 to $5.4 billion in compliance costs. Instead of needing an accountant to navigate the complicated code, most Americans will be able to file on their own.

Second, Tax Reform 2.0 promotes family savings and helps more Americans plan for retirement. Currently, too many Americans have been unable to save for retirement or put money aside to cover unforeseen emergencies.

We want to help small businesses provide retirement plans to their workers by allowing small businesses to join together to create a 401(k) plan more affordable and by giving employers more time to put new retirement plans in place. Just as important, we will help more workers participate in retirement plans by exempting small retirement accounts from mandatory payouts and by eliminating the age limit on IRA contributions.

We don’t stop there. Tax Reform 2.0 will create and expand additional programs to help Americans save. For example, our plan creates a new savings account to offer a fully flexible savings tool that families can use at any time right for them, expands 529 education savings accounts, and creates a new baby savings program to help with the birth of a new child or an adoption.

Finally, Tax Reform 2.0 will help grow the economy by promoting start-up businesses and spurring innovation. We do this by allowing new businesses to write off more of their initial start-up costs and by making it easier for start-ups to bring in new investors. America must lead the way on innovation.

As you can tell, Tax Reform 2.0 builds upon our efforts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to ensure the American economy remains strong. We do that by allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. I fundamentally believe our country is the strongest when money is with the people instead of the government.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

11 hours ago

Ivey, Merrill celebrate National Voter Registration Day – ‘Easy to vote and hard to cheat’

Tuesday is recognized as National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), which Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Secretary of State John Merrill celebrated by encouraging all of the state’s eligible voters to register.

The annual occasion is the largest single-day drive to register voters of the year. Merrill joined hundreds of different partners around the nation to observe NVRD, with Merrill specifically encouraging a “voter refresh” effort to update state voter rolls with correct information about Alabama citizens.

“Since I became Secretary of State, we have registered more than a million new voters who have helped us shatter state records for voter registration and participation in our elections,” Merrill said in a release.

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“But we also want our voter rolls to be up-to-date, so we are urging everyone to take a moment to make sure their current address is correct in the state system. We are pleased to participate in this special day that encourages more participation in our electoral process. We continue to work daily to make sure every eligible U.S. citizen in our state is registered to vote and has a photo ID. We want to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill continued.

NVRD, held on every fourth Thursday of September since 2012, is endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors. Since 2012, more than 1.4 million people around the nation have registered to vote or update their registration as part of this event alone. This year, libraries, schools and other partners will hold local voter registration drives.

Since Merrill took office, Alabama has registered 1,064,616 new voters, bringing the state’s total to 3,418,839 as of September 7. Yellowhammer State residents can update their voter registration information by downloading the “Vote for Alabama” app on a smartphone or visiting the Secretary of State website here.

“There is no freedom more integral to this Republic than the right to vote and participate in our democratic process,” Merrill emphasized. “I am so proud we are able to work with the partners involved with National Voter Registration Day to help make increased participation a reality here in the state of Alabama.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn