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Conventional Thinking: In other news

While most of the world was awaiting news of the birth of the “Royal Baby,” an Oklahoma pastor sent me a link to another story out of Britain that could be of major importance, this one also relating to children.

To be specific, British Prime Minister David Cameron is launching an initiative, using the powers of technology and the government arm, to enable all citizens to opt out of pornography.

According to the Telegraph, “Every internet user in the country will be asked whether they want to have access to pornography… A joint British and American ‘task force’ will be created to tackle obscene websites, while Google and other search engine providers will be required to draw up a ‘blacklist’ of the most depraved and illegal search terms.”

This “family friendly WiFi” that citizens can elect to use may debut as soon as August. This news is significant for several reasons.

For starters, Internet pornography has done nothing but grow since the late 1990s. The average man, woman or child could, at the click of a button, access untold millions of websites that display pornographic images and videos too horrible to mention, and this move by the government could stem the tide of easy accessibility.

Next, it is important to note that a major world leader like Cameron (who is liberal on issues such as same-sex “marriage”) knows and understands the dangers of pornography, which as C.S. Lewis said, inflames appetite and diminishes pleasure. Treating it like cultural pollution, rather than a private hobby of a few “consumers,” these British leaders recognize that what one person does in private will resonate into public view.

Thirdly, it shows that children and society itself can be victims in what Libertarians have called “victimless crimes.” Under the banner of freedom, some citizens have defended the terrible practices of prostitution, drug use, pornography and other self-destructive behaviors. As Christians, we recognize that sin does not happen in a vacuum.

Finally, this news story goes to show that the lead headline news may not always be the most important thing happening. Indeed, this anti-pornography initiative itself may not be the most important news to have happened on that July day across the pond, when compared to other happenings.

What I mean is that the most important thing in God’s economy often is not what people are paying attention to the most. For instance, I think of the retired lady in Southwest Oklahoma who spends hours a day on her knees in prayer for her family, church and community. I also think of that married couple who are fostering two raucous boys who are taking every ounce of emotion and attention they have. Or I think of that Pastor, though tempted by the Devil and his own flesh, who gets up each Sunday and faithfully proclaims the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While actions like these do not grab headlines, they are often what moves Heaven and Earth.

This should not shock us that while the whole world was focused on one thing, there were other important happenings of lasting importance. After all, many years ago, there was a birth that only a few shepherds and wise men knew about. It kind of makes you wonder, what God is doing even now that we may not even know about through the news media?

Brian Hobbs

Author: Brian Hobbs

Brian is editor of The Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Brian Hobbs.

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