ORIGINAL FICTION: "What Price Pornography?" By Charlie Starr (2009)

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Imagine that, when God made the heavens and the earth, He made several inhabited planets. Perhaps on some of those worlds, the “Adam and Eve” never fell. Perhaps on others there was a first sin that brought ruin as it did on our world, and God became a human being (or a Rigelian or Vulcan) on everyone one of those fallen worlds to save them as He did us. And maybe on one of those worlds everyone actually listened; they became that world’s version of Christians and established a vibrant and holy culture planet wide. Let’s imagine this world revolving around a star some 20 light years away from Earth. We’ll call it “Geo,” and the creatures who live there look very much like human beings.

One day, scientists on Geo discover life on another planet. They stumble across it, not by space exploration, but by listening to the stars. Radio telescopes begin to pick up alien broadcasts from a distant planet. At first the Geotians don’t know what to make of the pictures and sounds they’re picking up, but eventually they recognize creatures similar to themselves—fellow image bearers of God. Eventually they realize the broadcasts are sometimes of real events on the distant planet and sometimes just for entertainment. They see the horrors of war and pray for the people and for what they think is the one true religion of that planet—they’re not exactly sure because theirs is a culture that has found the truth, though they’re hardly sinless themselves.

After twenty or thirty years of studying these people, one Geotian scientist becomes very concerned by a trend he thinks he’s noticing: while the real broadcasts from the far off world have remained essentially the same, the entertainment broadcasts seem to show many of the people turning for the worse. While earlier signals like (as best as the Geotians could translate) Gilliganz Land Surrounded by Water, The Braydee Family and that hilarious farce Sun Trek were fairly harmless if not exactly uplifting, the more recent images are disturbing: portrayals of violence seem more graphic and less heroic, language is becoming crude and rude, and love making, an intimate act of union between body and soul, is on open display. It becomes increasingly difficult for the Geotians to keep the coarser broadcasts off of their own computers and airwaves. And religion is disappearing—not from all the broadcasts but from the fictional ones—as if the people of that distant planet are putting all their religions aside, even the true one.

Geotian governments becomes especially concerned when the scientists point out that these images are twenty years old. Things on that planet may already be worse! The concern goes global the first time a broadcast is picked up in which several men and several women are seen completely naked and copulating. And as years and broadcasts progress, these images become increasingly deviant, perverted, and demeaning. The people of Geo pray for God’s help and beg their governments to do something. These broadcasts are polluting their skies. “How can we protect our little ones from such images?” scream the women of M.A.A.D.*

Others are concerned about the apparent worldwide mistreatment of women on that planet. Clearly, where women were once held in high status there, they are being reduced to objects of lust. “How can they force those women to do such disgusting things?” people wonder.

Attempts by government to ban such images fail. The Geotians are a technologically advanced people, having for thousands of years been able to put their resources into science and culture instead of war. Their advanced computer technology can’t help but receive all data from any variety of sources—any attempt to “jam” the filth spewing from space causes real trouble for Geo’s progress and economy. Nothing seems to work. Many begin to propose technological rejection—because of the sins of one world, another may have to choose to reduce its communications technology to the most primitive in order to stay true to God. When a “black market” network of what the Geotians come to call pornimagery is discovered actually profiting by the discreet dissemination of the alien material to nearly two percent of Geotian homes, the united governments begin to contemplate military action.

No one had bothered to think of this before, but, just as the Geotians had begun to explore the stars, these wicked creatures might do the same, spreading their evil culture through direct contact, even violence—how to protect the women and children of Geo?! Another thought: if God created two planets of image bearing creatures, perhaps He created more—are there other planets suffering this filth, this damage to their cultures as well? Was God calling the Geotians not only to protect themselves but to protect the galaxy? In the end, plans were begun to attempt communication with the aliens and military options considered in case negotiations failed. The cultural filth of one people would not be exported throughout the galaxy. One way or another, something would have to be done!

And one day, years later, a hundred thousand extra stars appear in the night sky over Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Hong Kong—stars that begin moving toward the planet below them with ominous purpose...

* - "Mothers Against Alien Depravities"

Copyright 2009, Charlie Starr