All in all the trip was amazing. Thanks so much to InternetSafety.com for hooking us up down under. So much to say, we have to go back. Looks like November we will be back in Australia for sure. Podcast is coming up later in the week with some more stuff from the trip including the authors of The Porn Report.
Check out some of my daily thoughts below…
I felt like I was in 10th grade again. Friday night I caught MXPX in Australia and last night I caught the end of the Newsboys show. My old intern and friend John Reinl would have loved it as they sang Breakfast in Hell. MXPX played some oldies but played a great new song called Shut It Down off their new record.
The festival here is great. We spoke to hundreds of men yesterday morning about the issue of pornography and finally connected with Adrian Rowse from The Fight. Today I am suppose to play in some special Cricket game and then speak this afternoon again. I was able to catch two songs from a band called Freedom One which are from Australia and these guys are amazing.
Brisbane To Sydney
Yesterday I caught up with Andy and Steve again this time for breakfast over at Citipointe Church. It looks like I will be speaking there in November when we come back. We had some pancakes with maple syrup which I found out most people here don’t eat and they don’t cook their bacon crispy either. The money here is plastiC … did I mention that already. Colorful and plastic.
In the afternoon, Ben picked me up from Garden City church and I spent the rest of the day with him. He is a good bloke who has been following XXXchurch for a while. We headed over to ABC for an interview for a show called Conversations. Turns out the host had a copy of The Porn Report in his hands and had just finished interviewing the authors for the same show that I was going to be on. He gave me the book which I read todayâ€¦more on that later.
The show is about an hour. Half the time with me and half the time with the authors of The Porn Report. You can listen to the show on the ABC website beginning on Thursday I believe. Ben took me to a real Australian Steakhouse for dinner called the Norman Hotel. They don’t have Outback here, the word over here is that Outback is a joke. Check out this place. Ben recorded a little video for me at the restaurant as well. Check it out here. We headed over to the church where I spoke at. There was a great crowd there and lots of good conversations. Afterwards we went out to a coffee shop with several people and talked for a while.
This morning I took off for Sydney. I am speaking tomorrow about three hours from Sydney. On the plane over I read The Porn Report and was unimpressed. The book is based on a survey of 1,000 people and their findings about porn in Australia. They make some good points but overall it is pretty weak. Basically, they are for porn and think it is harmless because the 1,000 people they surveyed are doing okay. We asked one of the authors to come on our podcast and he declined. Here is what he told Brandon.
It sounds as though our research would not be of much interest to you. We have no theological or ideological line to push, and the facts that we uncovered would contradict the ideological thrust of your project (eg, we found that most consumers of pornography experience a positive effect from their consumption).
If however you are interested in engaging with the information, the results have been published in The Porn Report (Melbourne University Press, 2008).
My position would simply be that we should pay attention to the facts on this issue. Given that your position is a theological one, I presume there wouldn’t really be the opportunity for discussion on this? We would be talking at cross purposes, surely? You would say ‘But God hates porn,” and all I could say is “I don’t know.” I’m an atheist. Or you would say: “I know lots of people who’ve been hurt by porn,” and I would say: “statistically they’re in the minority,” and again, we find ourselves at an impasse? It’s morality vs research – the two don’t really connect,
I checked out the waterfront, the tower, the red light district and some other cool spots around town today. I tried to check email at the Internet cafe in Kings Cross which is a trendy little spot which also is the red light district. Internet at the hotels here is about 50 cents a minute so it was cheaper there but not worth it. The 60 year old man next to me was watching hard core gay porn and the guy across from video was looking at straight porn. Just a normal afternoon for these folks I guess. I left quickly and wondered if they were part of the group surveyed for The Porn Report. I have a ton of interviews in the morning for New Zealand stuff this week. The local paper already ran something yesterday. Finished the night with a little Ichat with the family.
One more thing if you would like to hear a 5 minute conversation on masturbation and wet dreams click here.
Porn and Power
Josh picked me up yesterday in Sydney and we drove over to Canberra which is the capital of Australia. It is also the porn capital of Australia. It is the only place in Australia where you can legally buy porn besides the Internet. So, there are 100 plus porn shops and it is the most profitable thing in town.
I found it interesting that it is the capital. So, the place where all the power is. Word from the porn shop security people and others around town is that the many members of parliament spend a lot of money at the shops and brothels in town. Brothels are legal all over Australia but porn is not? Strange.
I spoke at St. Matthews church last night and the turn out was amazing. We had all sorts of people drive in from all over the place. The coolest was getting to meet two faithful prayer wall dudes. They had never met each other until last night and came out and showed their support. I shot a video with them that you can see.
Josh and his wife and baby drove me back to Sydney last night and I took off this morning for New Plymouth, New Zealand. I dont think I can get any further away. I landed here and walked over to the beach across from my hotel and got on our google analytics account and just wanted to see how far XXXchurch has gone. In the last three weeks, we have seen people come to the site from 198 different countries and territories. As I sit in in New Zealand I am blown away that this ministry has covered the world and that I get to be a part of this. Just wait to you hear what is next for XXXchurch!
New Zealand to Home
I have never seen Lord of the Rings so I had no idea what to expect in New Zealand. Lets just say the media went a little crazy over this porn thing. Grant from North Point Church did an incredible job. We had a pancakes breakfast, a parents night and two PornSunday services. I did not get to see much of New Zealand but the people were great and the flight home was long. I flew from New Zealand to LAX, LAX to Chicago, met up with the family in Chicago and Sam Sanchez and then drove home. Today is a bit of a blur.
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