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Contrary to popular opinion, pornography is not merely harmless entertainment, but in reality is the inevitable exploitation of naive individuals for the sexual gratification of others.

This gratification, however, is always temporary, and those who seek after it do so to their own hurt. Those who are taken in by the illusion and illicit imagery that is pornography follow the promise of pleasure "as an ox goes to the slaughter."

Just as the ox is enticed toward the place of slaughter with a bucket of grain, so also those who follow after illicit sexual satisfaction are enticed toward their own destruction by the promise of pleasure.

Far from being harmless entertainment, pornography is like a national cancer that works by attacking the most fundamental building block of our society – the family. For many, pornography is an addictive gateway that leads to further illicit sexual pursuits.

Pornography is frequently mentioned at divorce proceedings as a factor in the breakup of marriages. A paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in 2016 reported the results of a study showing that the odds of divorce double for men and triple for women when spouses being watching porn. The results of pornography are pain and suffering not only for the ones who seek illicit entertainment but also for those whose lives intertwine – spouses, children, parents and siblings.

Far from being harmless, the illicit imagery comes with an incalculable price tag. As such, the golden yellow brick road leading to the heavenly utopia of Oz becomes a slippery, downhill slope leading to a dead-end, one-way street – a literal Highway to Hell.

Wendell Carr, Ottumwa

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