The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Explicit content

Faith frames conversations about pornography

The Internet is a powerful source of information for families. With a few keywords and a mouse click, parents and kids can find articles, pictures, videos and more about virtually any topic.

These searches can also yield more than moms and dads might expect. Seemingly innocuous searches can pull up explicit images that aren't intended for children, and an inadvertent click can lead kids to adult-oriented websites. It's a situation that is prompting parents to talk about pornography with their children far sooner and much more unexpectedly than many of them would have predicted.

designpicsWhile some parents are comfortable with the traditional "sex talk," even fewer are prepared to discuss pornography. Parents can find some help in having these conversations by tying their values and faith into the discussion, said Amy Hartman, national director of Cherish our Children, an ELCA-affiliated ministry that seeks to prevent child sexual exploitation.

Parents can help teach their sons and daughters that pornography isn't consistent with the Christian call to love one another, Hartman said. "On the evening of the Last Supper, Jesus commanded his disciples — and us — to 'love one another as I have loved you,'" she said. "Jesus loved others with compassion, and he did not exploit those who were vulnerable.

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February issue


Embracing diversity