Published on August 1st, 2013 | by Nathaniel0
Because I’m a Sex Addict?
“First of all, I’m a very emotional person, so I’m going to try to get it out. I’ve stated before that I was a victim of sex acts when I was a child. This led me into viewing pornography throughout my whole life.”
These were the opening words of Ariel Castro’s full testimony right after he was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 1,000 years on August 1, 2013 (You can view the full testimony here. He later went on to say, “I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it really makes me impulsive and I just don’t realize that what I’m doing is wrong. I know it’s not an excuse.”
It was close to three months ago that Castro was arrested and charged with four counts of kidnapping and three cases of rape for harboring Amanda Berry, Amanda’s 6-year old child (born to Castro), Georgina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. For ten years, these three women existed in the captivity of Castro’s man-made prison on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. For ten years, they remained as the objects of Ariel Castro’s “sexual addiction” while family and friends went on looking and praying that by some thread of hope, their loved ones were still alive.
It’s haunting to listen to his testimony and repeatedly hear that his addiction was the catalyst for kidnapping, sexually abusing, and mistreating three young women all in the secrecy of his own home. To think, this man stepped into the world every morning concealing the reality behind smiles with neighbors, handshakes with co-workers, or jokes with grocery store clerks. I would think that the dichotomy of such an existence alone would be enough to make any seemingly rational person crack. But then I thought about it a little deeper. To some extent, maybe on a less pronounced scale, we are all guilty of this dual existence.
In my previous post, I elaborated on what a normalized attitude toward porn does to an individual. This case is a prime example of what happens when we allow our addictions to metastasize; they slowly erase the line between rational and irrational behavior. However, we’re all guilty to some degree of sliding on a glossy veneer that hides who we really are.
I’ve written in numerous posts about how I worked and am always working not to succumb to “just a little click.” If we continually feed raw meat to what we think is our normal house pet whenever he wants it, he’ll eventually become strong enough and dangerous enough to overpower us. What we see and identify as harmless, consensual, or normalized behavior is a beast waiting to be fed. He starts out as cute Little Sparky who likes chicken thighs and before you know it, he’s Not So Little Sparky who wants to eat your thighs.
When I look at Ariel Castro, I see a man who was obviously sick, demented, and cruel hiding behind the title of “sex addict” but I also see what is the end state in the evolutionary cycle of someone who “just” looked at porn. The first time Ariel Castro consciously looked at pornography, he probably didn’t think it was a big deal- probably thought it was normal and accepted it as so. Over time, the centerfolds or computer images didn’t do it for him; he had to feed the beast larger, more extreme portions.
Addiction is real. It leads us to do things that are harmful to ourselves and others. The first step is acknowledging that it’s a problem, something that we need to free ourselves from. The second is getting help. God intends for us to live in freedom- not the ability to do whatever we want when we want, but the ability to live free from the condemnation of our sins. If you or someone you know needs prayer through overcoming addiction, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be honored to pray for and with you.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”