Standing Together Against ‘Shades of Grey’: The Birth of a Movement by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, MFT Intern (#63601)


Sunrise Girl

On February 6th I did the bravest thing I’ve ever done, sharing with the world “What One Person Can Do to Stand Against ‘Shades of Grey’”. Prompted from within, I believed the time had arrived. Diving into controversial waters, I knew many would attack both me and my message.

As I prepared for this bold stance, I gleaned from Brennan Manning’s wisdom regarding “those who choose to suffer for the absolute voice of conscience”. He wrote that “an increasing passion for truth evokes a growing indifference to public opinion and to what people say or think…When we stand on our own two feet and claim responsibility for our own unique self, we are growing in personal autonomy, fortitude, and freedom from the bondage of human approval.” I resonated deeply with those timely words. Beyond any moment in my personal history, writing this piece was standing strongly on my own two feet, proclaiming the truth that stirred within my heart. Even if nobody stood with me, there was deep satisfaction in knowing that I did what I knew was right.

To my great joy, many stood with me.

There was a massive surge of interest and the article quickly gained momentum. On the first day there were 611 views, which doubled the second day, steadily increasing from there. February 12th the article peaked in number of views, at 3,548 views in one day! Today, ten days later, the article has been viewed well over 16,000 times! With visitors from all over the world, there was an incredible response.

In the first week, I watched excitedly, witnessing the article spread like wildfire from one caring citizen to another, throughout Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I was honored when other bloggers wrote about and shared my article. Locally, the Center for Community Transformation endorsed the article and it was published in the Fresno Bee on Valentine’s Day.

What I will never know is how many lives were impacted by this rapidly spreading message. If only I could calculate how many letters went out to theaters or how many people felt empowered. I can only imagine. I also invite readers to share their responses and experiences as replies (below). I love hearing stories about the ripple effect. It encourages all of us.

It is my hope that this is the birth of a movement.

This article was about much more than standing against “50 Shades of Grey”, it was about standing against the pornography pandemic that is rocking our world. In the hearing before the senate on “Why the Government Should Care About Pornography”, Dr Jill Manning testified that “leading experts in the field of sexual addictions contend online sexual activity is a hidden public health hazard exploding, in part because very few are recognizing it as such or taking it seriously”….“Even more disturbing is the fact that the first Internet generations have not reached full maturity, so the upper limits of this impact have yet to be realized.” I believe the proliferation of pornography will be the downfall of the following generations if we do not start taking this threat seriously and standing in defense of our children and our world.

For these reasons, I hope that the success of “What One Person Can Do” is a sign that forces are joining us on the front-lines. This is a winnable war. Our community standards can rise. May we keep voting with our money, writing and speaking for this cause, investing in the good, sharing these messages in our spheres of influence, locking arms with others in the movement, persisting, and believing that “there’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for”.

Because of all of you, this article’s message was successful. Thank you for standing by my side, on your own two feet, speaking unpopular truths that needed to be voiced. As this movement progresses forward, I expectantly believe there are great things to come.

Hope is on the horizon.

Watch The Movement – https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/ys2n8NpKo6s?rel=0

Join The Anti-Porn Movement Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheAntiPornMovement/

Photo credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/33363480@N05/4288659311

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, MFT Intern (#63601), LifeSTAR of the Central Valley

If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and share this article and blog with others. Thank you!

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About fbenedict

Forest Benedict is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP). Forest loves the work he does as the Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley and the Program Manager/Teacher in the SATP program at Mid-America Nazarene University. He writes numerous articles on the LifeSTAR of the Central Valley blog (https://lifestarcentralvalley.wordpress.com/) and also on his personal blog (http://forestbenedict.com/). He created the Life After Lust VLOG on Youtube, sharing insights about recovery from sexual addiction. Forest also writes and speaks publicly about protecting children from pornography.
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15 Responses to Standing Together Against ‘Shades of Grey’: The Birth of a Movement by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, MFT Intern (#63601)

  1. Pingback: What One Person Can Do to Stand Against “Shades of Grey” by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, MFT Intern (#63601) | LifeSTAR Central Valley Blog

  2. Jon Worlton says:

    Forest, Thank-you for the work you are doing and the time you invested in sharing both this article and the “Standing Together” article. I posted the article on my Face Book page and sent a letter to the local theater. My wife also posted it on her page and received several responses from her friends sending a letter to the theater. Looks like I won’t be attending the movies for a while — small price to pay. It was inspiring to take this action and a little frightening. In part I am inspired by the idea that doing nothing allows for evil to triumph. Glad to be doing something. I am also happy to hear about so many caring about this issue enough to at least read the article.

  3. Marvin Glassmann says:

    throughout history there have been attempts to restrict freedom of expression of thoughts, feelings and behavior, particularly of a sexual nature. Puritanical US is notorious for this. Is this more of the same?

    • fbenedict says:

      I don’t think so. Now our kids are exposed to porn like never before. This is one way we are attempting to protect them from media that is causing extensive harm and addiction.

  4. No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

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