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August 30, 2012

Column #1,618a

Hard Core Porn: the Cancer of Marriage

By Mike McManus

Hard-core pornography is involved in more than half of all divorces.  It is also addicting our youth, distorting their values, and rendering many young men sexually dysfunctional.

However, there is hope.   One change in the Republican Party Platform this year over previous years is very important to American families. 

Past Republican platforms only opposed child pornography.  The new platform adopted this week states: “Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.” 

Believe it or not, “Current federal obscenity laws not only prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet, but also on hotel/motel TV, on cable/satellite TV and in retail shops.” according to Patrick Trueman, president of Morality in Media.

“Yet most children in America have free access to obscene pornography as soon as they learn how to use a computer. The average age of first exposure to obscene internet pornography is 11,” he said

Trueman knows what he is talking about.  He once led the Justice Department’s prosecution of obscenity in the Reagan and Bush I Administrations, when more than 100 major cases were filed and won in the courts.

However, that prosecution virtually ended in the Clinton Administration.  It was not revived during the Bush II years, and there has not been one case filed by the Obama Justice Department, and Justice’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was quietly shut down by Attorney General Eric Holder 

Democratic Administrations must shoulder most of the blame, but there was very little prosecution under George W. Bush‘s 8 years in office, either.

Why not?  According to Jill Manning of the American Society of Divorce Counselors, 56% of divorces cite Internet pornography as a major factor in the breakup of their marriage.

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute of the Family Research Council (FRC), wrote a report explaining that “Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives.  Wives notice and are upset by the difference. Pornography use is a pathway to infidelity and divorce.”

“Among couples affected by one spouse’s addiction, two-thirds experience a loss of interest in sexual intercourse. Both spouses perceive pornography viewing as tantamount to infidelity.”

Therefore, it is encouraging that Fagan’s boss, Tony Perkins, FRC President, was able to add the anti-obscenity plank to the Republican Platform as a delegate from Louisiana. “We are most grateful to Tony Perkins who led the effort to get this tough new language into the platform,” said Trueman. “Without enforcement of federal obscenity laws, pornographers have had a green light to target our children and families.”

However, if Mitt Romney is elected President, he pledged to Morality in Media that there will be enforcement.  As Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan said in his acceptance speech, Romney is a “defender of marriage.”

America is suffering “an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography, which touches nearly every family in America,” asserts Trueman. “Research shows children and adults are developing life-long addictions to pornography; there is a very substantial increase in demand for child pornography because many adult-porn users are finding they are no longer excited by adult images. 

“On average four of five 16-year-olds now regularly access pornography on line.  Girls consuming pornography are several times more likely to engage in group sex than those who do not.  And significant, growing numbers of men in their twenties are developing `porn-induced sexual dysfunction,’ said Trueman.

What priorities would he suggest for a Romney Justice Department?

1.      Prosecute the handful of companies, such as Vivid Video, which produce most of the material on the Internet.

2.      Target the one company, Lodgenet, which makes millions in distributing hard core porn to motels and hotels.

3.      Go after Verizon, Comcast and other cable and satellite providers of obscenity.

Will Congress ever pass legislation that would have such a sweeping impact?

Trueman’s Morality in Media launched a “War On Illegal Pornography” in 2010 that

Involved 127 national, state and local groups (including Marriage Savers that I lead).  He helped Sen. Orrin Hatch draft a letter seeking federal enforcement of obscenity law by Obama’s Justice Department and secured the signatures of 42 Senators, including California’s Dianne Feinstein and Amy Klobuchar who are Democrats.

            It will be much easier to win bipartisan support – if Mitt Romney is elected President, and he leads the battle to enforce existing laws, as he has pledged to do.

            Really, there’s hope!

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