Justin Hunt
Justin Hunt

Many would agree that our nation is in turmoil in many areas today. I'm of the mind that the rampant scourge of divorce is contributing to many of the ills we face. Pregnancy, drug use and gang involvement among our youth are dramatically tied to the breakup of the family. Poverty among adults and other social ills can also be frequently traced back to a divorce.

While there are many causes for divorce, our guest columnist today is going to great lengths to bring awareness to one leading cause. Justin Hunt is no stranger to many in our community for his past work on KOBF TV and for his more recent, highly acclaimed efforts in producing powerful documentaries on the evils of meth addiction and absent fathers. His most recent cause deals with pornography and the devastating impact it has on all involved.

I realize that any man who tells you he has never looked at pornography will lie to you about other matters as well. But Justin is learning it is not limited to the male of our species. Women are also turning to porn in alarming numbers and children are being exposed at very tender ages. The impact on the breakup of the family simply cannot be overstated.

The effect of pornography

First and foremost, thanks to Ron for giving me the space to share a small portion of his ongoing column with you and bring you up to speed on a very large issue in our culture, both domestically and internationally. What I've garnered thus far in working on this new film, which is entitled, ".xxx" (dot-xxx), is that pornography use and abuse is a much more common, much deeper reaching, much more damaging phenomenon than most realize. Here's some perspective: 58 percent of divorces in the U.S. today have one partner who cites obsessive interest in porn as the cause. That's a frightening fact. And it's not exclusive to stateside claim. I've got interviews from France, Scotland, Germany, Australia, Finland and the U.K. that show the same trend.

Also common among those I have approached in the making of this film is an insatiable desire to avoid the topic. Save those such as psychologists, counselors and pastors, who are more willing to speak on the matter, finding people to interview, getting response and interaction on Facebook, and raising the funds for this film has been more challenging than my other three films combined. I also find that very telling. I don't believe it's due to the topic being irrelevant, I believe it's due to its ABSOLUTE relevance and the associated shame involved. Case in point, during a recent crowd funding effort for the film, I was only able to raise 1.6 percent of the overall budget needed for completion. Conversely, in the 50 days that people had to contribute to our efforts, there were nearly 242 BILLION searches for pornography in the U.S. alone. For visual purposes, that's 241,920,000,000.

The intent of the film is to inform, enlighten and provide hope, as it has been with all of my other films. I don't attempt to sway a viewer into one course of action or another, I simply try to state corroborative facts and give folks to tools to go out and make more informed decisions. Having said that, one thing that can be an absolute detriment in creating a film like this is filling it full of triggers for those struggling with the issue. You wouldn't invite a dear friend out to discuss their alcoholism over a beer, so why make a film to address porn addiction and fill it full of images that inevitably send an active addict down the path of "acting out?"

That is what I truly believe will set this film apart from others of its kind, no provocative imagery. Through visual effects, motion graphics, animation, 2.5D photo manipulation, kinetic typography, etc., the vision is to paint a clear picture of the damage being done by pornography addiction — how it affects the individual, the brain, the family, society as a whole-and do it in a creative, engaging manner that will not only keep the audience interested, but make it viewable by just about any audience, be it a room full of addicts or a room full of students.

With this film, I truly believe that we can change the landscape in the effort to combat porn addiction. I say "we" because that's exactly what it will take. Although being independently wealthy would probably ease a lot of burdens, I am not. It will take the support of many to complete this project. The wonderful news is that, once the film is done, it will have distribution around the world through the distributors of my other films. The difficult news is that I'm on my own until it reaches that point. In essence, I may be wielding the weapon, but I need all of you to help me forge it.

Thanks again to Ron for the space and time, and I invite you to join me in Farmington on Saturday, April 12, at a fundraiser for the film. It will be at 7 p.m. in the Zia Room at San Juan College, hosted by our dear friend Scott Michlin. I hope to see you there and look forward to speaking to you all.

Helping the cause

I didn't figure Justin's words would put a smile on your face, but folks need to know that pornography is not just innocent, victim-less entertainment. Folks, I gotta tell you that marriage is under severe attack in our culture, and if your guard is not up your marriage will likely not survive. Couples simply must build walls of protection around their marriage. You must have boundaries for what is and what is not acceptable when dealing with people other than your spouse. And you certainly must draw a line against involvement in pornography.

So if you'd like to join in the fight for better marriages, safer homes and healthier children please consider attending the fund-raiser on Saturday and do your part to help Justin raise the funds to finish this project and hopefully catapult him on to the next one. The work he is doing is vital, but it's not cheap so I urge you to consider contributing what you can. If lots of folks give even just a little it will add up.

Ron Price is the co-founder and executive director of the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage & Family, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening and equipping marriages and families in the Four Corners area. He can be reached at 505-327-7870.