Sandy residents gather to discuss ills of pornography

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28 2013 9:55 p.m. MST

A large group of demonstrators scream during anti Porn demonstraiton and march at the Utah State Capitol.

Scott G.Winterton

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SANDY — Parents and youths gathered for a community meeting Thursday to discuss how to combat pornography in the community. 

“All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good men, women and students to do nothing,” said John Gunter Jr., director of the Citizens for Families and the Clean Services Foundation. “We want to make Sandy city a model for all cities in Utah. We want to be able to go to the store or a restaurant or a movie theater or your school without having to see that stuff.”

The meeting was hosted by the Healthy Sandy Partnership, a coalition of community leaders and partner organizations working to promote health and wellness within Sandy city, and Fight the New Drug, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness to the harmful effects of pornography.

The two organizations partnered up to launch a educational campaign that hosts community meetings and a website.

Gunter said Sandy is the first city in the world to initiate such a program. The initiative will be threefold, requiring education, technology and intervention.

The problem runs much deeper than politics or religion, said Clay Olsen, one of the four founding members of Fight the New Drug.

Olsen spoke specifically to the teens at the meeting, asking them to “fight the fight.”

“The pornography industry is a $97 billion industry worldwide,” he said. “And they have their sights set on you guys.”

Olsen drew upon scientific evidence to show how pornography is an addiction: “You can’t detox. Those images are in your head, and it’s everywhere." 

For Sandy resident Jerry Anderson, the community meetings are a step in the right direction.

“They opened my eyes to the horrors of the industry,” Anderson said after the meeting. “It’s important for our community and it’s important for our nation to have these strong Christian values.”

Cam Lee, another Fight the New Drug founder, said the program is intended to spread the word to Sandy teens and their parents about the dangers of pornography in a fun, light but serious way.

“We want to get out there and we want it to be peer-to-peer, and we want it to be non-judgmental and empowering,” Lee said.

Nicole Martin, chairwoman of the anti-pornography committee, said the Healthy Sandy Partnership has issued a booklet filled with articles discussing the issue to all local ecclesiastical leaders and will made available to public online.

A second meeting will be held at Alta High School at 7 p.m. March 13.

E-mail: rlowry@desnews.com

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