No. 635



As I thought about what I wanted to share with you in this column, I felt like this avid fisherman who took his preacher fishing one day. On about the second cast he hooked what had to be a 10-pound bass. He fought that fish for more than 30 minutes, and when he got it right up to the boat the fish got off. At this point, the fisherman threw his rod and reel down in the boat and said, “Preacher, one of us ought to say something.”
As I say, that’s the way I feel today about a subject I am not comfortable talking about, but in light of what I see happening in our nation I feel like someone ought to say something. I am talking about the growing threat of sexual addiction.
I might also add that I realize what I say here is not going to make any difference, unless of course enough of the right people agree with me and it causes a groundswell that forces our elected politicians to take action. In light of America’s glorious past, this kind of action, and even this column, should not be necessary, but let’s briefly take a look at where we are. The you can be the judge.
A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a friend and it was titled “Jo’s Soap Box” because this lady by the name of “Jo” was on a tirade because of the sexual nature of this national restaurant chain’s advertising campaign. I won’t tell you which one because I want you to watch them all. The one line that stood out is when she said, “There is absolutely no reason to promote sex to encourage you to eat a hamburger.”
Sometime back I got a letter from a reader in Princeton, West Virginia, who told me about a 61,000-word article she had written and wanted to get published. At the urging of some friends she made an appointment to talk with a literary agent about the possibility of having it published. The agent asked her to tell him what the story was about. Then without so much as reading the title, he told her that probably no established publisher would be interested in publishing her work, not because it was poorly written, lacked interesting characters or an attention-holding plot. Her story contained no profanity, no sex, or in-your-face violence. He suggested she consider some little out-of-the mainstream publisher, perhaps one interested in “religious” works, and that she consider self-publishing.
What bothered her most about his advice is that the majority of publishers today are looking for steamy romance, serial killers, vampires, and other supernatural hair-raisers. She went on to say that what incensed her most was what this literary agent had implied about Americans. Perhaps publishers do believe that only violent or profane fiction sells. Seemingly, movie and TV producers share that belief. However, both she and I are convinced that the reason syndicated shows such as “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and others have such a long run and wide appeal is because many Americans long for decent entertainment. At this point, the reader hit me with what is really the basis for this column. She said, “America isn’t indecent at its core.”
This true story is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is happening to the culture of our country. We see and hear reports in the news almost daily of some older person, usually male, molesting and even murdering a child, teachers having sex with students and neighborhoods trying to keep registered sex offenders from living there. I personally believe one of the greatest threats to our society is the proliferation of “male-enhancement” drug television commercials. The pharmaceutical companies that produce these products and peddle them are making millions, and even billions, of dollars and they could care less about the wrong message these commercials send to our young people.
I don’t know whether we will ever get there or not, but do you remember when we used to have cigarettes advertised on television? The last television commercial for cigarettes ran during the Johnny Carson Show back on Jan. 1, 1971, but the tobacco companies have barely skipped a beat. I see male-enhancement drugs in the same light. And then there is the Internet that is flooding our nation and the world with sexually graphic messages, videos and other sexually explicit content. Just what comes across my e-mail screen every day is enough to make you sick.
Sexual addiction is growing throughout all segments of society and it is now epidemic. The problem is that you can’t tell a sex addict just by looking at him or her, like you can an alcoholic. We must get a handle on this problem.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)