Monday, August 11, 2008

Are McCain and Obama Concerned about Offending the Hardcore Pornography Industry?

When It Comes to Enforcement of Federal Obscenity Laws, the Leading Presidential Candidates Remain Silent, But Why? 'Cat got your tongue?'
NEW YORK, Aug. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- On August 7, Morality in Media received an email that stated in part: "As a very concerned citizen, I have to wonder why pornography isn't even an issue on the radar screen in the upcoming...elections. I can certainly understand why certain sectors of the population don't bring it to the forefront, and I can understand why candidates don't address it, but why don't organizations like MIM bring it up CONSTANTLY? I'd really like to nail down the candidates on their views and the methods they plan to use to enforce pornography laws, then hold them to it. Please, please, please do what you can - my letters and emails to candidates go unanswered!"

Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, had the following comments:

In April 2008, MIM commissioned Harris Interactive to ask this question in a national survey: "Were the next president to do all in his or constitutional power to ensure that federal obscenity laws are enforced vigorously against commercial distributors of hardcore pornography, would you support or oppose the President in this matter?" An astounding 75% said they would support the President; only 19% said they wouldn't. These poll results prompted no response from the Presidential candidates.

In May, MIM organized a conference at the National Press Club, followed by an orderly demonstration at the Justice Department, to call attention to the Department's failure to enforce federal obscenity laws vigorously. Both John McCain and Barack Obama were invited to attend the Conference or to send a written statement expressing their views on enforcement of federal obscenity laws.

A representative of the McCain Campaign called to say that the Senator could not attend but they hoped to send either Senator Sam Brownback or former Senator Dan Coates. Neither could attend. Another representative of the McCain Campaign called to say a written statement would be forthcoming. No written statement was ever issued. The Obama Campaign did not respond at all.

After the Conference, follow-up letters were sent to both candidates. Neither candidate has responded to those letters. MIM members and others were also urged to contact the candidates. The Obama Campaign responded to one email (which asked the candidate to state his views on enforcement of federal obscenity laws) with a general letter that did not mention pornography or obscenity.

Back where I grew up (and I'm sure elsewhere), folks used to ask, "Cat got your tongue?"

Can it be that John McCain and Barack Obama are more concerned about offending avid consumers of hardcore pornography than they are about the harms that obscenity is causing to our nation and to its communities, families and children? Or perhaps worse, can it be that neither candidate views the explosion of obscenity as a serious moral issue that merits their attention?

Common sense ought to tell us that when millions of individuals of all ages become addicted to viewing hardcore pornography that depicts among other things - adultery, pseudo child porn, barely legal teens, gang bangs, group sex, unsafe sex, bestiality, incest, sex with excrement, sex with she-males, male- on-male rape, and the degradation, rape and torture of women - there will be problems.

Those problems include (among other things) the decline in and break up of marriages, promiscuity, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse of children, sexual assaults against women, sexual trafficking in women and children, and on the job sexual harassment. The explosion of obscenity also undermines our nation's efforts to combat religiously based terrorism.

When compared to the Clinton years, the Bush Administration has made progress in the war against obscenity. In 2000, during a meeting of the Free Speech Coalition, attorney Jeffrey Douglas described the Clinton/Reno years as an "eight-year free the federal level" (Adult Video News, April 2000). But to reverse the floodtide of obscenity, the next President must do more, much more.

The American people deserve two answers to the question, "If elected President, will you do all in your power to ensure that federal obscenity laws are enforced vigorously against commercial distributors of hardcore pornography?" At this point, it is not clear they will get even one.

Christian Newswire
To: National Desk
Contact: Robert Peters, 212-870-3210

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