Religion in Society

Groups Urge DOJ to Prosecute Porn Makers

| by Baptist Press

WASHINGTON -- The Southern Baptist Convention's ethics entity has joined a coalition campaign to persuade the federal government to resume prosecuting major producers and distributors of illegal adult pornography.

The effort by nearly 60 organizations, including the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), has the goal of convincing Attorney General Eric Holder to direct Department of Justice attorneys and the FBI to provide earnest prosecution of obscenity cases for the first time during the Obama administration.

"The nation is flooded with illegal adult pornography in almost every medium which is providing fuel to the fire of child pornography, destruction of marriages and families, addiction of children and adults, and an increase in sex trafficking, yet the U.S. Department of Justice has not indicted any distributors of such material in the last two years," said Patrick Trueman, chief executive officer of Morality in Media, in a Feb. 10 statement.

ERLC President Richard Land urged the entity's constituents Feb. 9 to call on their senators and representatives to join a congressional appeal to Holder to take action. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R.-Utah, and Reps. Mike McIntyre, D.-N.C., and Randy Forbes, R.-Va., are seeking fellow members to sign onto a letter to the attorney general.

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In his e-mail alert, Land said, "What you may not know is that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the First Amendment does NOT protect obscene material. In fact, federal laws prohibit most forms of pornography distribution, including through the Internet and cable/satellite TV."

In addition to Morality in Media and the ERLC, other members of the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography include the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family CitizenLink and the Pro-family Forum on Pornography. The Pro-family Forum represents about 20 groups.

Trueman served from 1988 to 1993 as chief of the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

The ERLC alert, and directions on contacting members of Congress, may be accessed online at http://erlc.com/article/urge-enforcement-of-federal-obscenity-laws/.