Religion in Society

Glenn Beck Urged to Speak Out Against Porn

| by

NEW YORK, NY -- On September 29, Morality in Media President Robert Peters sent a letter, with accompaniments, to FOX News Channel host Glenn Beck. The letter stated in part:

You won't remember me, but I twice appeared as a guest on your CNN Headline News program. The topic of both programs was the proliferation of pornography, and while I don't remember the details of our brief discussions, I do recall that while you appeared to agree that pornography is harmful, you did not appear to agree that enforcement of obscenity laws against commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography was an appropriate response.

What primarily prompted this letter was the media response to the somewhat surprising comment you made on the O'Reilly Factor indicating that you do not have a problem with "gay marriage." I say "somewhat surprising" because you have expressed great concern about the breakdown of morality in our nation; and the growing acceptance of "gay marriage," especially among young adults, is at bare minimum symptomatic of the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian values. In the early 1980s, a "gay rights" advocate described how the breakdown would come about:
....
I would add that while it would be unfair to blame the destructive "sexual revolution" on gay activists, gay activists have been and remain at the forefront of this ongoing "revolution."

The proliferation of pornography over the last 60 years is also symptomatic of the breakdown of morality, and this hellish proliferation is also a substantial cause of the breakdown. As former Supreme Court Justice Harlan observed in Roth v. United States...

Furthermore, even assuming that pornography cannot be deemed ever to cause, in an immediate sense, criminal sexual conduct...[t]he State can reasonably draw the inference that over a long period of time the indiscriminate dissemination of materials, the essential character of which is to degrade sex, will have an eroding effect on moral standards.
....
In Roth, the Supreme Court went on to hold that obscenity is "not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press."

In Paris Adult Theater v. Slaton...the Supreme Court recognized that there are "legitimate state interests at stake in stemming the tide of commercialized obscenity, even assuming it is feasible to enforce effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles and to passersby"... These governmental interests...include: Protecting the total community environment...Protecting public safety...Maintaining a decent society...Protecting the social interest in order and morality...Protecting family life...
....
More recently, in Ashcroft v. ACLU... the Supreme Court also rejected a constitutional challenge to application of obscenity laws to the Internet....

I would add here that most U.S. adults would agree that obscenity is problematic and would support enforcement of federal obscenity laws to curb this material...

This is not to say that enforcement of obscenity laws is the whole answer to the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography. It is to say that if we hope to protect society, women, families and children from the scourge of hardcore adult pornography, law enforcement will be necessary.

In closing, I regard myself as a "political conservative" because in principle I agree with the notion of "limited government." There is a difference, however, between "limited" and "none," just as there is a difference between ordered liberty and ruinous anarchy. In the U.S., the far greater threat to our long term well-being is not from moral zealotry but moral degeneration.

I hope you will agree and will speak out against the flood of hardcore adult pornography that is engulfing our nation and its youth and in support of vigorous enforcement of obscenity laws.