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  • Is San Francisco Really All That Bad?

    This morning I discovered that the city which ranks first in the nation in searching for online pornography is… Elmhurst, Illinois.

    That’s right. NOT my adopted hometown, San Francisco.

    According to these stats on internet pornography, this leafy, upper-middle class suburb of Chicago (population 43,298, median household income $81,925) had the highest number of internet porn searches in the country. Of course, the fact that Elmhurst, Il, holds the national title for porn searching doesn’t change the number of porn shops or strip clubs in SF’s North Beach. It doesn’t lower your chances of seeing a naked gay man walking down the street in the Castro. It doesn’t diminsh the shock of the Folsom Street Fair and the lengths to which people will go to fulfill their base sexual urges.

    But what it does do is remind us of the fact that all the pagans aren’t “over there” in San Francisco or New York or Seattle. Those divine image-bearers who have exchanged the truth about God for a lie (Rom. 1:25) are no less likely to reside in openly gay SF than in comfy suburban bedroom communities. Human rebellion cuts across class, race, gender, and sexual preference.

    The lostness of Elmhurst doesn’t make San Francisco any less lost. But it should temper our harsh judgments of those pagans “over there.” We should all remember that the clean-cut family next door with the white picket fence and 2.5 children is just as much in need of the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the gay couple that lives in the flat downstairs.

    And you and me, we are just as rebellious apart from Christ. Every last one of us is as much in need of that gospel of grace as the queerest queen of the Castro or the most buttoned-down porn addict in all Elmhurst.