September 27, 2003
Obscenity Laws Unenforced
President Bush, in his UN address on Iraq this week,
took a particularly courageous stand on what he called a "humanitarian
crisis spreading, yet hidden from view."
an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced
across the world's borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage
girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade."
special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and
vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the
very worst of it."
Thanks to the
leadership of the National Association of Evangelicals, which enlisted other
religious leaders, a law was passed to fight sexual trafficking. Former Rep.
John Miller was appointed to oversee this effort in the State Department,
and is effective.
virtually nothing is being done to enforce America's laws against obscenity,
that harm tens of millions of Americans. The Justice Department has no John
Miller in charge.
the Internet filtering company N2H2 (206 522-6997), the number of
pornographic web pages now tops 260 million, and is growing at an
unprecedented rate. N2H2 identified "only" 14 million pages in 1998. So
there's been an 1,800 percent increase in five years. Just in July, another
28 million were added - double the total of five years ago.
Family Foundation published a study documenting that 70 percent of teens on
line have accidentally come across pornography. Minors stumbled into sites
where unscrupulous pornographers deliberately registered names with typos to
drive kids to sites with hard core obscenity. Example of a "typosquatted"
Department prosecuted one such case. But it has ignored the large
distributors of obscenity, the companies adding millions of porn sites
harm of pornography?
Cline, an expert who helped persuade the 1986 Attorney General's Commission
on Pornography of its harm notes the word "pornography" comes from two Greek
words, "porno" and "graphia" meaning "depictions of the activities of
treated 350 sex addicts and sex offenders, Cline outlines four stages of
1. Addiction: "Porn consumers get
hooked. They keep coming back for more." The material seemed to provide a
powerful sexual stimulant, followed by masturbation. Once addicted, they
could not throw off their dependence on the material by themselves, "despite
many negative consequences such as divorce, loss of family and problems with
2. Escalation: "With passage of time,
the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant, and
‘kinky' kinds of sexual material to get their sexual turn-ons," like a drug
3. Desensitization: Material which was
originally perceived "as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive or
immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace."
4. Acting Out Sexually: Finally, is an
increasing tendency "to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the
pornography," including compulsive promiscuity, group sex, voyeurism,
frequenting massage parlors, having sex with minor children, rape,
inflicting pain during sex.
not everyone goes through all stages. But be warned. Dr. James Dobson
interviewed Ted Bundy before his execution for killing possibly 31 young
women. Bundy said, "You are going to kill me, and that will protect society
from me. But out there are many, many more people who are addicted to
pornography, and you are doing nothing about them."
common result of porn addiction is "the disturbance of the fragile bonds of
intimate family and marital relationships," Cline asserts. The wife of an
addicted pastor says, "How can I compete with hundreds of anonymous others
who are now in our bed, in his head?"
MoralityInMedia.org, which provided a link to Cline's overview, reports that
81 percent of Americans want vigorous enforcement of federal laws. "Most
Americans do not want their Internet-connected nation and homes drowning in
a floodtide of illegal hardcore pornography," said Robert W. Peters, MIM's
president. Yet enforcement has absent for a decade.
He notes that
two federal obscenity laws were amended in 1996 to prohibit interactive
computer service's transmittal of obscene material. Peters and Pat Trueman,
former director of federal obscenity enforcement, wrote a letter to Bush
signed by 150 leaders urging him to issue a Presidential Proclamation during
Pornography Awareness Week of 10/26-11/1 calling for vigorous enforcement.
everyone in your own home. Ask your e-mail service to install "parental
controls" blocking porn spam from most of those 260 million sites. To do so,
I had to call my provider to walk me through the steps.