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Comments about ‘Legal leverage: Laws to fight pornography aren't being used, anti-porn activists say’

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Published: Tuesday, July 9 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

What you CAN do that might actually work:

Communicate with your spouse about sex and intimacy, your needs, their needs, and how to keep the fire burning and stoked in your own marriage so porn doesn't become an alternative to a neglectful or ignorant spouse.

Stop demonizing the naked human body and learn to control your own reactions so that the mere sight of a naked person doesn't become an erotic trigger. Train your brain that eroticism belongs in a relationship and is not just a Pavlovian response to nakedness.

Learn how to tactfully tell friends, coworkers, and even strangers that you find certain words and topics to be offensive and would they please not use or discuss them in your presence.

"Become educated about pornography and pornography addiction"...and what it isn't. Regular use does not equal addiction for most people.

"Talk to youths..." I agree, and would add some frank conversation about porn.

Accept that the root problem with porn has to do with personal accountability and discipline and no amount of filters or isolation can stop fantasizing about sex and getting a dopamine high. Learn to be in the world not of the world.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Basic economics, a business is not going to open up shop in a location where it gets no value. This is why you don't see Rolex emporiums in poor inner-city neighborhoods or used car dealerships on the upper east side. Businesses go where the money is. If you don't like them, don't buy what their selling. If a vegetarian restaurant opened next door to me, they would never see my face. But don't try to use the law to determine what businesses other people can patronize. Using the law to regulate morality is a bad idea. I've lived a good bit in the Middle-East. I know where that slippery slope leads. If you don't like porn, don't buy it. Take responsibility for your children as well. But that is where it ends.

JBQ
Saint Louis, MO

Within the last month, I received a response from the FCC in regard to a letter complaining about "sex and violence" on tv. The envelope was hand written. All that was contained was a printout on "Freedom of Speech". The FCC is receiving new commissioners who are committed to liberalizing television. The Obama Administration is committed to "broadening" the definition of freedom of speech. That would include pornography.

jeanie
orem, UT

FatherOfFour- We regulate smoking because we agree as a society that smoking is dangerous. Very few people object to this. Porn is no different. Your children must be very young and therefore untouched by this plague. It is so easy to say "take responsibility for your children" but parents who do everything humanly possible to inoculate and guard their children against porn find it seeping into their lives through means that are not controllable - to heartbreaking effect. There are many teenagers who, if they had been born 100 years earlier, would not develop a problem with porn because it would not have been so amazingly accessible as it is today and therefore easier to resist. Yes, there could be a slippery slope, but doing nothing is foolish.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT

As someone with unique experience dealing with this issue, I think the focus on these articles is very misplaced.

You can't prove to someone who's convinced your wrong. Seeing isn't believing and even the educated world will never agree no matter how skillfully you present your argument.

You can't pass laws democratically without the support of the majority, which we lost long ago and it will not return on such an addicted issue. It's not like less and less people drink or view porn today than before. You can't fight fire by passing a law against it.

The truth we ought to focus on:

Our main focus should be convincing people of the greater truth. Every choice has a consequence and consequences can reinforce either truth or lies in our minds. The most damaging lie is that we cannot change, we are born the way we are, or that breaking addiction is impossible.

Repentance is real, the atonement can change ANYONE. The more I read the scriptures the more I understand and believed God could help me and wants to help me. The returning path has bumps on it, but it's worth taking.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Father of Four:

Funny that you would use the example of a Mid-East country as an example of having too much control. I live in a Mid-East country and they don't regulate the laws. There are some people who will tailgate so close that when they flash their lights, it doesn't work. Their lights are behind the bumper. Every couple of minutes someone will pass on the left shoulder going a hundred miles an hour. Every so often they mess up and hit broadside on a guard rail. It cuts the car in half.

I think 25 men having sex with a woman in an X-Rated video is way beyond healthy and normal. Like running a red light at a 120 mph. I don't want to live in a society that will permit that or where people will think that it is normal and healthy.

This is predatory capitalism where both men and women are degraded. If we don't have control, then let's get rid of minimum wage laws, environmental laws, hand things over to the Koch Brothers.

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Jeanie,

Two of my daughters are teenagers. One is a cheerleader. I also have 5 year old twins. All girls. And you are right, we do regulate smoking. We regulate where you can smoke and what age you have to be to buy cigarettes. We regulate alcohol in the same manner, for the same reason. We also regulate porn. To legally buy it you must be 18. and there are numerous ordinances forbidding public displays or viewing of pornography on trains, buses, and in buildings. Of course, they can still get to it on the internet. That is where we as parents step in and monitor what they are doing and keep an eye on our kids.

But the focus of this article is not about you keeping your kids from viewing porn. It is on you using the law (legal leverage) to prevent other adults from viewing pornography. That is simply wrong. What specific laws would you like to put in place? What repercussions would be involved for someone breaking one of those laws? Should we have a morality police?

FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Tekakaromatagi,

Oh I remember the crazy drivers, especially the buses. And you are right in that many laws are not enforced, or simply do not exist. But there are numerous "morality" laws that are enforced, especially against women. The point I was trying to make is that we already have enough regulations on laws involving alcohol, cigarettes, porn, and even which theaters can show which types of movies. Once we start the journey further and further down that road, trying to use our religion to make laws, we become no different that many of the shi'ite groups I fought against in Iraq.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

'Porn', unless your mind's eye sees it in the Old Navy advertisements, just simply and utterly is not that pervasive. It's not. I live a life far more exposed to the real world than most in Utah, and even do internet searches for words which contain the letter X. I'm simply not finding it, and suspect I won't unless I were to go looking for it. That's why I wonder of all this chicken little-ism. In addition, blowing this issue all out of proportion for your own agenda skews our understanding of what perils we experience every day. In a world of smokers, slow drivers in the left lane and air hockey table accidents, porn is a really serious problem destroying lives...just like so many other things.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

I think almost all the comments here are missing the point. I have worked with offenders as well as victims of sexual violence. I would consider myself fairly familiar with healthy sexual development etc.

The pornography that many kids are being exposed to is obscene and the creators should be prosecuted! Pregnancy porn, violent porn, and bestiality is not acceptable! I have seen many children effected by these types of porn.

Most people have no idea the impact that these types of pornography are having on our society. The consequences are not positive and they are serious. Thank you for a well written article that addresses the topic well even if most of the people skip to the comments without reading it and want to talk about freedom of speech.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Simply we have reached a point where the collective understanding of freedom in the U.S. approaches complete self absorption and anarchy... several generations now raised with the idea that freedom means doing whatever one chooses with self interest for that person or their own small subset. We are afraid to make laws or enact laws that would limit "freedom" of others to make choices. Those enlightened by a knowledge of God go further in expressing that regulation and setting boundaries were the tenets of the Adversary; that Free Agency is principle upon which we should abolish a lawful society. And in our quest to legitimize all selfish choices with no regard to society and civilization, thinking we are promoting freedom, we rather ensnare enslave ourselves. And yes, we do hasten our destruction, convinced in our superiority and enlightenment, ignoring history. Is there good to be found in America? Certainly. But we have become an evil nation descending in moral decay with a mechanism for spreading that ill abroad. The unpopular course we're afraid to take, lacking the consensus to do so? Legislation and enforcement of morality and decency.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

If a casual user of online porn is going to report an egregious website, he'd better do it anonymously, since, as the article says, "acquiring" objectionable images is illegal, and to have looked at it on your computer is to have "acquired" it - thus the person reporting is already in violation of the law, and COULD be prosecuted.

Once you look at a web page, that page is in your computer. You own it, and all of the legal liabilities that are associated with it.

So there is a disincentive to report. How can this be addressed?

jeanie
orem, UT

FatherOfFour - I would like to see all porn sites forced by law to use a specific address identification with strict legal consequences for disguising themselves as something else. I would like to see stricter laws on where adult websites can advertise. Bottom line, I would like to legally push the porn industry back into a much smaller space so they can easily be filtered out. Then we can talk more confidently about parental control.

I think if you had teenage boys you might feel differently about the subject. Our two oldest are girls and except for a few blips they sailed through their teen years just fine. I felt bad for families who had kids that got trapped in porn and felt secure knowing we had open communication, close relationships with our boys and all the reasonable safeguards we needed. I ignorantly believed that parents of kids who became involved had failed to be diligent - until it became an issue in our home. We could not have done more than we did.

Society has the right and responsibility to regulate anything harmful to society and at the least to push it into a small place to minimize damage.

Brian1001
Atlanta, GA

Good article.
Unfortunately, the Miller test has some flaws, especially when it comes to the internet, that make it nearly unenforceable.
I wrote a Memo on this topic which goes into more detail on ways to stop the porn industry through legal reform. You can read it online, just google Memo on Porn by Brian Black (it's on a wordpress blog).

JayTee
Sandy, UT

There are always those who on one hand say we have too much government (and we definitely do, witness the nearly $17,000,000,000,000 official immediate Federal deficit), but then want laws so they can come into your house and say, "You been thinkin' about sex again, ain't 'cha?" Or, "Hey, I saw you lookin' at that beer ad a little intently, and I'm here to tell ya we don't like it!" You can't legislate morality or save people from their own destruction. We need people to be better examples of good behavior, and get out of the business of trying to regulate and be the supper nanny for everyone's thoughts and actions.

JayTee
Sandy, UT

Winston Churchill said the best argument against a democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter . . . and it's absolutely true! Talk to the average person about any problem in society, and the likely response is, "The government ought to do something about it!" or maybe, "There ought to be a law!" I even see stuff on Facebook saying we ought to ban sagging pants. I'm here to tell you that we have way bigger problems than kids that can't pull their pants up. We have more people behind bars than any society in the history of the planet, and it's costing us dearly. We are officially a worse-than-bankrupt nation. We need to start being better, more charitable, more helpful people, and get over the idea that we need to monitor everything everyone sees, hears, tastes, learns, drives, rides, or wants. We need to get off the Puritan bus and get on the brotherly love and peace train. We've tried to remake the Middle East like we tried to remake Southeast Asia, and we've been abject failures at all of it. Read the Constitution a little.

Heidi T.
Farmington, UT

A major issue in confronting an out-of-control/controlling problem in our society is money. Pornography has become a BIG BUSINESS. Thousands of people making big money exploiting sex as entertainment is disgusting, irresponsible, and immoral. It is hidden yet easily accessible, degrading yet minimized, and being peddled yet destructive. How can we shrink such a monster is overwhelming, but we have to fight this. Is there an organization available where we can gather keen minds and moral integrity to investigate what heavy action we need to take, let our voices be heard, and create a wedge into this ugly business? Businesses, scholars, mothers, fathers, religious leaders, young victims can organize to battle this insidious addiction and moral degradation that is gripping our globe...everywhere! I feel quite helpless as a veteran school teacher who has seen destruction in children, family members, and neighbors through pornography. If any one knows of such an organization, please post it. Thanks.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

So I have a question. When it comes to guns, the 2nd amendment is to be protected at all costs, with no restrictions, and no regulations(according to my conservative friends) However, when it comes to the 1st amendment it's ok to infringe the entire thing. You don't like certain words, have the FCC ban them from TV and radio, you don't like certain images, call for a ban on them. Why is it that one part of the constitution is OK to trample all over, but other parts are sacred, and not to be touched?

Kate Hutch
Kenmore, WA

What? Nobody expresses the obvious.....porn is okay with people who are comfortable objectifying women. When you treat women as brood mares....what do you expect?

Kate Hutch
Kenmore, WA

to 'TRUTH' which is not a good moniker for you....

The term is 'could NOT care less.' Think about it a minute. Then, when you are done, break yourself away from 'news' sources that promulgate falsehoods, ie Faux "News." Snowden? Fast and Furious? Noen of his making. In fact, FISA was instituted by congress in 1978. Betcha didn't know that. Read some history about those topics before posting so you look like you know what you are talking about and not blindly striking out against President Obama, about whom you, apparently, know nothing.

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