Comments about ‘In our opinion: Prosecuting obscenity should be a priority’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mad Hatter
Provo, UT

Get real! With all the problems confronting people today, you want to commit a significant amount of resource (i.e. money) to wage a battle against pornography? When people need jobs and the country needs to repair its aging infrastructure, you can only come up with "pornography" as a major issue requiring priority status?

Is it true that per captia consumption of pornographic material, Utah ranks in the top 10? Do we assume that fighting pornography should be a major focus of law enforcement rather than dealing with violent crime?

We can come up with measures to deal with this issue, but it is not a priority of highest importance.

Eagle Mountain, UT

While I agree pornography has very little, if any, socially redeemable value, my problem is who decides what is obscene, and what is art? The article itself admits this is vague.

Is Michelangelo's "David" to be censored? What of the art on the Cistine Chapel? What if someone is offended during a movie?

If it is consenting adults being depicted, I feel the government should have no authority in the matter.

If you want to stop pornography, stop the viewing of it. If the money disappears, it will too. Attack the demand, not the supply.

Eugene, OR

Really? With all the real problems we have right now, we're supposed to focus on legal materials that consenting adults choose to manufacture and consume in private?

So much for keeping the government out of people's personal lives...

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Receipts show that Utah is a big fan of Adult Entertainment online.
Why are you against the Free Market?

But I have to agree with Darrel as I remember when Rodan at BYU was being called Pornography?
Once again the party who SAYS they want less government in their lives, wants to make decisions
about the most intimate parts of peoples lives.

Park City, UT

"...it has provided a sound basis for putting pornographers in jail. " You espouse imprisoning people because in your opinion something is offensive. This opens a slippery slope to oppression.

Imagine that I am not fond of your religion. I decide that your religion offends me and that it should not be classified as a religion. You lose your status as a religion and all of the protections it affords.

There is no difference in the religion scenario versus the pornography scenario. Who defines offensive pornography? who decides that your religion is valid?

Salt Lake City, UT

America is flooding the world with Pornography. It seems like most of the serious criminals have said that it all started with porn.

That is the root of the problem and we should rip it out.

It is time to draw a line in the sand and fight.

Columbus, OH

Love that you have to try to make Obama look bad in every aspect. By "some critics" you mean Rick Santorum. Sorry, not going to buy it just because Santorum said it.

Also, I find pornography generally offensive. I also find people trying to dictate public policy according to their religious convictions offensive. I also find Thomas Kincaid being called an artist offensive. Offensive does not, and should not, equal illegal.

I'd be much more interested in devoting resources to programs aimed at helping our youth have a healthy body-image--programs that aim to show both boys and girls that they are more than merely sexual objects. I'm not in favor of imprisoning anyone to achieve that aim.

Salt Lake City, UT

Pornography and Freedom go hand in hand.

Pornography is legal in countries like the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Italy, etc.

Pornography is illegal in countries like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, etc.

When you start outlawing "obscenity" what's next? Blasphemy?

Sex and violence are part of the 1st Amendment, even the most conservative Supreme Court Justices recognized that when they struck down California's video game law.

Yes, America and other free-market democracies do flood the world with porn, thankfully. Nothing says freedom and capitalism like the ability to buy porn.


"Adult pornography, unfortunately, has over the last two decades gained increased social acceptance. It is available in many hotel rooms and ubiquitous on the Internet."

It was acceptable under the Marriot empire for how many decades?

Salt Lake City, UT

Marketers and ministers have done a great job of telling people to be horrified by the human body.

The end result is a societal fascination with other people's bodies.

American Fork, UT

Really? Nothing else important on the go right now, so another dose of porn paranoia is in order. Honestly, if it wasn't for the DesNews, I'd never think of porn.

Joan Watson

Pornography is a lethal cancer that is eating away at the moral fiber and ideals of America and other nations. It has become a disease that has adversely affected, if not destroyed, individuals and families. So what to do - be as bumps on a log or an ostrich with its head in the sand - as this man made poison continues its deadly distructive course?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Deseret News should know that 1st Amendment rights extend to more than just freedom of the press. The DN should also know that 1st Amendment rights are inviolable as protected speech, which the Supreme Court has ruled covers sexually explicit materials as well as journalism.

The essence of protected speech is not that it is legally obligated to reflect a particular set of values, which defeats the purpose of freedom of speech. It's not even that it has an obligation to not offend any segment of society, which is an impossible standard to apply across the board. The essence of protected speech is that it free of attempts by government to coerce or police it.

Shame on the Deseret News. Any news venue in America should know better.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Joan would you be comfortable living in places like Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan.
"So what to do - be as bumps on a log or an ostrich with its head in the sand"

How about you live and let live, and pray for the sinner, not legislate laws against adults who believe differently than yourself.

Who decides what is pornography, religious leaders, artists, politicians?

Ying Fah
Provo, UT

Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID

"Pornography is a lethal cancer that is eating away at the moral fiber and ideals of America . . . "

I thought that was "socialism"!

It's only a problem if you make it a problem. In the religious Muslim world, a man talking with a woman who is not related to him is a serious offense. And a woman in certain parts of the Muslim world exposing her body (for example, her hair, her face, or her wrist) can result in stoning and death. For some, dancing is sinful. It's the Old Testament, a thousand years of men writing stories and dealing morality, dragging us back to a time best remebered so not to repeat it.

Teach children about pornography so they can deal with it on their own in a mature fashion. It will never go away. Perhaps it's the world's second oldest profession, but then sex has always been a central part of any culture. You just need to understand the simplistic, unrealistic, and basically ridiculous nature of it.

Salt Lake City, UT

Is that more obscene than 23 million without jobs or our sovereign debt?

Salt Lake City, UT

What federal budget money are we going to use to do this? Are we going to raise taxes in order to fund additional prosecutions of adult pornography? We are in a bit of a budget crisis right now.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Conservative ideology is at cross purposes with itself when it demands spending reductions but wants to stick us with the tab for increased obscenity prosecution. It rails at excessive government as the root of our problems but what do they call this? It opposes Federal Government meddling in state and local matters and calls for stepped up Federal involvement in vice enforcement which is traditionally a state and local matter. It decries the erosion of freedoms while wanting to crack down on commerce rights of choice.

The Deseret News should consider how the press are the only business enterprises that enjoy special protection under the Constitution. They of all entities should be slow to call for restrictions on others under the 1st Amendment. No one should have to tell them that a smut peddler’s right to peddle smut is a new outlet’s right to do its job as it sees fit. In a free society, the rights of all are diminished when the rights of even one are threatened.

Bountiful, UT

I am curious Desnews. Under your proposal and in your opinion what would be banned in a community such as Utah? Playboy for instance? Would mere nudity that has purient interest without scientific or artistic reason for having it qualify for being banned? Can anyone else also answer this question?


Here's my opinion: Practice professional unbiased journalism and stop having an opinion. You're a newspaper ... act like it.

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