About a month ago the brilliant and hilarious Stephy wrote a post entitled Not Masturbating on her insightful and astoundingly funny blog Stuff Christian Cultures Like. (There, not one but *two* links for you Stephanie!). She says:
Support groups are formed for the whackmasters to congregate and discuss how hard it is to keep their hands off their junk
I think Stephy has a point. Christians tend to get ... a bit obsessed with this whole thing.
Of course it's not just Christians. There are at least 3 big sexual addiction recovery organizations (SA, SAA, SLAA). There are guys meeting in rooms across Western World today, and tomorrow, and every day this week, reading the twelve steps aloud and sharing how sexual addiction has destroyed their lives, and then helping each other remain sexually sober, providing accountability, honesty, and support.
It's fairly easy to mock, on the one hand.
It leads one to ask questions about focusing one one particular "sin" to the exclusion of other "sins". And I'm using the term "sin" here in an entirely secular sense. I'm talking about relational harm, about ... life vs. death, about hope and glory vs. despair and destruction and horror.
I think people who really understand and appreciate the 12 steps, and *maybe* people who really understand and appreciate the way of Jesus, are aware that "sobriety", or "being in God's will", or whatever the hell you want to call it, go way beyond wanking, or not wanking, or (insert your "sin" of choice here).
Is it possible that 12 steps groups, or church groups, or churches, or what have you, are ultimately accomplishing more good than harm? This seems like a reasonable question. Often the answer is probably no.
But again, I think Stephanie has a point. While sex addicts are focusing on trying to improve or repair their relationships which have often been destroyed by their masturbation, use of pornography, voyeurism, exhibitionism, having sex with other people without their spouses knowing about it, sexual abuse, etc. etc., it is distinctly possible that they are missing the perhaps much larger sins of consuming inordinately large amount of food, gasoline, textiles, etc. etc. while a billion people go without fresh water and live on less than a dollar a day, or 30,000 children starve to death today, or their government spends another $600 billion on it's military this year, leading directly or indirectly to the death or impoverishment of millions of people.
On the other hand, maybe anti-wanking groups are actually helping people grow as human beings to the point where they can appreciate these larger issues. Just a thought.