Monogamy, Polygamy and the Temple Goddess of Porn

by Cindy McGarvie

I was recently privy to a conversation between two young women, 19-year old’s I know well. They were lamenting the fact that they would never meet a guy who didn’t consume porn, whether a Christian or not. Every guy is into it.

“I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’ll marry a man that watches porn,” concluded one of them.

What a low bar. A very low bar.

It was said in the same vein as, “Look, I don’t like a man who smokes, but if I fall in love with such a man, then I’ll just have to accept it.”

I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’ll marry a man that watches porn.

- 19 year old.

Porn is much, much more insidious and damaging than smoking. Don’t be deceived, the ever-growing body of research shows that consuming porn is detrimental to relationships, particularly marriage. The amount of marriages and relationships that fall apart because of pornography is sobering.

Jesus himself said that looking lustfully at a woman is adultery, and we know that adultery doesn’t end well.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:27

Now why would he say that?

Comedian Chris Rock divorced his wife of 16 years in 2016 and he’s speaking out about it now. Like so many others, he attributes porn as a big reason why. Here’s what he said in his recent special titled Tamborine about the harm of porn:

When you watch too much porn, you know what happens? You become, like, sexually autistic. You develop sexual autism. You have a hard time with eye contact and verbal cues … You get desensitized. When you start watching porn, any porn will do. Then, later on, you’re all f—ed up and you need a perfect porn cocktail to get [aroused]. I was so f—ed up … I’m a lot better now.

This is the same story young men who are now porn free have told me time and again, in not so colourful language. Those who got into it as young children, and there are many, said that they couldn’t look girls in the eye at school as the images would flood into their minds. They were depressed and anxious, little boys holding a big secret shame. Some even said that it even messed with their relationship with their mother and sisters.

Sadly, girls are getting into porn too, and I believe that they are following along with the guys. They are sabotaging their dignity and their marriage.

Pornography has taken a generation of young people captive. But Jesus proclaimed, "If the son sets you free you will be free indeed."

And those who say porn is healthy, you’ve got to be kidding? But this article is not focused on girls watching porn, or all the other detrimental effects which would take volumes to cover. This article is about what happens when society just accepts porn as the new normal for every guy (and girl).

It devalues women to have to share their husband with other women, real or imaginary.

Way back in the 1870s reformers in India discovered that the social institution that liberated women in the West was monogamy. That is, the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman for life. Vishal Mangalwadi writes in his book Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations:

This definition gave Western women unique power over their husbands and children. Physically, intellectually, socially and morally strong women nurtured strong children, strong men, strong communities and strong nations.

Way back in the 1870s reformers in India discovered that the social institution that liberated women in the West was monogamy.

Mangalwadi goes on to say that one of the reformers, Keshab Chandra Sen asked the British colonial rulers to make monogamy the law of the land. Polygamy was the accepted social norm in India, however since it was such an integral part of the Hindu religious culture, it was not outlawed until 1956. Mangalwadi says that polygamy devalued our women and weakened our children.

French magistrate Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1831-32 and wrote:

If anyone asks me what I think [is] the chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of this nation, I should answer that it is due to the superiority of their women [and family life] … Certainly of all countries in the world, America is one of which the marriage tie is most respected and where the highest and truest conception of conjugal happiness has been conceived.

The superiority of their women was due to the high value of the marriage tie, one man, one woman exclusively for life.

Mangalwadi explains in his aforementioned book about women in India:

So why don’t American women haul water and cow dung on their heads? Our women do so because they cannot say to their husbands, “You bring water today, because you are sitting and playing cards. I want to put my feet up and read Good Cow Keeping.” Polygamy and temple prostitution made our women weak. If a wife asked her husband to stop playing cards or smoking pot in order to haul water or organise the community and get the village council to vote for a twenty-four hour water supply, then the husband would simply love the second wife or go worship the temple goddess.

A woman is devalued when her husband can simply find love somewhere else.

Thank God we don’t have polygamy in the West. Or do we? A Muslim man once said to me, “You Westerners accuse us of polygamy, but you practice serial polygamy where a man will leave one wife and his children for another wife. Just because he’s only legally married to one woman at a time, he’s still a polygamist.

I’ve written previously about the growing fatherlessness epidemic in the West and our children are paying dearly. In Australia only 53% of children will still be living with both biological parents by the time they are 17. Too many of our men are leaving so they can love another wife. What has happened to the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman for life?

But there is more.

Our men, young and old, married and single, are also worshipping the temple goddess of porn. This temple goddess requires no emotional connection, no commitment, no intimacy, no responsibility of children and none of the hard work it takes to make a relationship thrive. And the temple goddess doesn’t judge, always open, available and desiring.

I am perplexed as to why this issue should not be on the absolute top of the current feminist agenda

After writing an article on fatherlessness I was criticised for a perception that I may be suggesting women should remain in violent or abusive marriages for the sake of maintaining the family unit. I was not. An abusive marriage can be just as detrimental to the flourishing of children. And fatherlessness can exist when a father is physically present but emotionally absent.

However, let me suggest that porn consumption is feeding the escalation of violence against women particularly by those who start at a young age. This, I believe, is one of the causes, if not the major cause of, toxic masculinity—treating women with callousness and seeing them as sexual objects.

I am perplexed as to why this issue should not be on the absolute top of the current feminist agenda rather than defending vocations of the porn industry and sex work as legitimate and even empowering job choices for women.

The temple goddess of porn devalues women, wives, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, mothers.

To all young women out there I say, DON’T accept the new norm of porn. To allow it would be a step back towards primeval life for women.

Monogamy is a potent force that dignifies women, men and children for life.

A husband that worships the temple goddess? Absolutely not.

Next steps…

For resources to help raise awareness on the harmful affects of porn, visit Fight the New Drug website.

If you are struggling with porn, Fortify is a great resource that can help you kick the habit.

Youth for Christ is actively targeting the destructive force of pornography addiction among our young people and in our churches, seeking to raise up disciples of Jesus who live in freedom. Subscribe for news and updates on the mission.

You can read more about the impact of pornography on our young men in my book Lost Boys available here.


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