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McManus - Ethics & Religion
May 21, 2008
Column #1,395
Press Indifferent To Porn's Harm
by Mike McManus

Imagine that 19 pro-family and pro-decency groups such as the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America and Focus on the Family called a press conference to criticize the Bush Administration.

Wouldn't every network, news magazine and major newspaper cover the event?

No. None showed up at the National Press Club on Monday. 

Why?  The criticism of Bush was over his failure "to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws."  YAWN.

What could the press have covered?  How about this blistering criticism of Bush's  Justice Department by Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, the event's organizer:

"In 2002 we created a website, www.obscenitycrimes.org, to give citizens a way to report violations of federal Internet obscenity laws.  Before doing so, we discussed it with Justice Department, and they said, "Great!"  By February, 2008, 70,000 citizen complaints were filed.

"After six years and 70,000 complaints, the Justice Department has NOT ACTED ON A SINGLE COMPLAINT," asserted Peters.

Janet Shaw Crouse, of Concerned Women for America, lamented: "Obscenity is not taken seriously even by those legally charged with prosecuting offenders. So while the Justice Department is not looking, our homes are being invaded by...blatantly obscene so-called `entertainment.'

"Small seedlings of the obscene can grow into giant sequoias of criminal sex networks. Once the predator sees someone as a mere object - instead of a person worthy of respect and dignity - that person can be used, and abused, for the personal satisfaction of the predator; then, it is a very easy step to becoming a pimp and using that person as a commercial sexual commodity."

She cited FBI research of jailed sex offenders who possessed child pornography, 85 percent admitted to abusing children. She added, "Obscenity is also used to ensnare women and girls into prostitution and sex trafficking. So called `modeling agencies' or `modeling agents' take nude photos of girls and women and then threaten them with the exposing these photos if  they are unwilling to prostitute themselves."

Pornography also has an horrific debasing impact on the culture. There are Academy-Award winning songs like "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." Chicago and Miami now have the "Pimp's Ball," a spectacular event for pimps and their tattooed whores arriving in gaudy stretch  limos. Pop Star and Beyonce have a line of CHILDREN'S clothing that looks like "pedophilia chic," says Crouse. 
The problem goes much deeper. At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of 350 divorce lawyers acknowledged that online porn contributed to MORE THAN HALF of divorces they handled.

To put it bluntly, millions of men are masturbating to pictures of 18-year-olds having sex rather than having real sex with their 40-year-old wife. One of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not commit adultery."  How is this not adultery?

As President of Marriage Savers, I was invited to speak to the non-existent press.  I noted that I covered the meetings of the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography which voted at its next to last meeting, 5-4, that hard core obscenity was "not harmful."  I was stunned, and decided to publish the names and addresses of the "libertarians" who alleged it was harmless.

Dr. Park Dietz of the Un. of Virginia read a dozen letters, which asked the Commission "do something," often because hard core pornography destroyed a marriage. He said he was also moved by the law enforcement people "who were almost unanimous in citing a link between porn and crime."  He switched his vote, as did four liberals, making the Commission unanimous.

However, Attorney General Meese ignored his own report!   In my Introduction to a commercially published Report, I wrote, "As of August (1986) both Attorney General Meese and the President have shied away from publicly endorsing the document."

However, Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and others bought the book at a discount and distributed 70,000 copies. Those readers put pressure on Meese and he began to enforce the law.  Major pornographers were put in jail and their bank accounts seized! That continued for 6 years until Clinton became president.  He halted enforcement.

And Bush, WHO PROMISED ENFORCEMENT - RENEGED WHEN ELECTED.

Therefore, I recommend that the Presidential candidates and all candidates for Congress be asked if they'd support creation of a new Obscenity Commission which can document the harm, and call for specific reforms in a new Report.

The last Report noted, for example, that rapists are 15 times as likely as non-offenders to have had exposure to hard core pornography between ages 6-10. A study of 411 sex offenders revealed "a staggering number of victims," of 581 offenses with 336 victims EACH.
 
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