Thanks to a heads-up from Not The Southern Cross I’ve now discovered Covenant Eyes now have their very own professional blogger, someone named ”Luke Gilkerson”, whose job is to monitor the ‘sphere and toss in a suitably pure $0.02’s worth whenever his master’s product is mentioned. And it seems Caliban’s Dream has annoyed him enough to devote almost an entire post of his own in response.
It’s the usual fundie tactic: I get pigeon-holed as someone who is concerned about “social justice” but who ignores “the fight for purity”. In contrast Luke and his employers are urging their customers to “embrace, with the right and left hands, the fight for purity AND the fight against social injustice”.
Except Luke, like any good spin doctor, carefully avoids mentioning what I my point actually was. I have never for a moment suggested “purity” isn’t something worth embracing. Certainly, my definition of the term is a whole lot broader than his, and not centred upon the concept of gazing upon digital renderings of other people’s genitalia, but I’ve never suggested abandoning the concept. My point was and remains this: Covenant Eyes – nor any other from of surveillance - isn’t going to resolve the issues of identity, gender and sexuality that lead to someone developing an obsession with pornography. And further, that by focusing on the symptom of these problems instead of their cause products such as that marketed by Mr. Gilkerson in the long term only exacerbate the problem, in just the same way that the fixations of the sort of people pressuring others to purchase products like Covenant Eyes have kept the problem alive. But then again, admitting this isn’t going to make them any money.
Several days after his dubious exegesis of my post, Luke “I blog for Covenant Eyes" Gilkerson made this slip in another defence of what may well be his biggest customer:
“I am looking at this new initiative at Moore Theological College as an outsider. I am not an Anglican, have never been to seminary, and have never been to Sydney, Australia.”
Right. So knowing nothing about the Sydney Anglican Diocese, nor how it operates, Luke still feels suitably qualified to address those of us who've spent much of our lives fighting the appallingly cult-like behaviour that infects every aspect of the Diocesan machine. But hey, Sydney Diocese are good customers, aren’t they Luke? So how can they be too bad? And who cares if they may use your product to crush people in ways you never imagined. It’s all money, ain’t it?
Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine and the folk at Covenant Eyes have more in common than they realise. Both of them make a living out of the porno industry, and both of them are doing all the things necessary to keep their customer’s interest in porn alive. There’s one big difference, however: Larry Flynt doesn’t try to use Jesus’ life and words to support his business, which in my book makes him a person of somewhat greater integrity.
Although let’s be frank about things: I don’t like either of them. Anyone troubled by their interest in pornography should seek professional help - or at very least start by reading Boaz's excellent two articles on the topic. Just don't punish yourself by listening to the snake-oil salesmen. And please don't ever forget that God really does love you.