The religious right has been fighting to keep churches open during a pandemic, putting parishioners at risk of catching the novel coronavirus, some even insisting they’re “covered in the blood of Jesus” and therefore protected.
Now they’ve upped the ante, saying the true “silent but deadly disease” is being ignored: people are watching pornography and masturbating while they’re cooped up at home.
Liberty Counsel, the group defending a pastor who was arrested for holding services despite his state’s Stay-at-Home order, put out a press release decrying the “mental health stress” the global lockdown is causing.
Of the problems the listed, they ranked pornography higher than suicide and divorce.
“There has been a dramatic increase in viewing pornography,” they wrote. “The pandemic has increased online pornography in many parts of the world. Some people who were addicted to pornography have relapsed during the lockdowns.”
“There has also been an increase of suicides reported. Some law firms that practice in the area of domestic law have seen an increase in requests for divorce.”
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “There are many forgotten people who have become collateral damage in these far-reaching lockdowns. We must not forget them, and we must do better to protect the people who are being harmed by the government’s response to COVID-19. Churches are more essential now than before the pandemic.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, one of the most powerful religious right organizations, spent an entire podcast on the issue and warned: “For porn, there’s no vaccine.”
“This is a really good time,” Perkins’ guest, Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, said, “for parents to reset with kids about what they’re doing online.”
“We cannot afford to let this crisis open the door to a craving that destroys our kids’ innocence and future happiness,” Perkins added.
Both Liberty Counsel and Family Research Council have been designated as anti-LGBTQ hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“During a worldwide pandemic that has already taken thousands of lives, concerns about a rise in porn usage may seem trivial. However, to brush these concerns aside would be a huge mistake,” Terry Schilling wrote at The Federalist. “Like the coronavirus, pornography use is silent but deadly, a powerful disease that has had devastating effects across our society.”
“Although coronavirus may attract more headlines today, pornography will be with us for the long haul. Porn cannot be vaccinated against, it has a nearly $100 billion industry devoted to its spread worldwide, and few are brave enough to stand against it.”
Madeleine Kearns at the National Review has also joined the crusade against “jerking off or rubbing the raspberry.” In her piece, she unironically linked NoFap.com, a website that urges users to “abstain from pornography, masturbation, or even sex altogether.”
The site has an article dedicated to how to avoid the temptations of touching your no-no parts during the pandemic.
“If you’re excessively stimulating your package to cope with waiting for the incoming governmental stimulus package, it’s a good time to evaluate whether or not you’re properly dealing with stressors in your life,” the site warns.