Congress has taken laudable steps in recent days to eliminate some kinds of pornography particularly telephone dial-a-porn but a great deal more remains to be done.
The proposed Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988 being considered by the House Judiciary Committee would give lawmen more weapons to attack the spread of sexual sleaze.The measure is particularly aimed at child pornography and hard-core obscenity. The exploitation of children is a special concern; it appears to keep growing despite public revulsion against it.
The proposed bill would prohibit anyone, including a parent, from using a child to produce pornography. It would ban the exchange of child pornography information through computer networks, and would allow forfeiture of property of those caught producing, distributing, or selling such material.
In addition, the bill would require record-keeping by those dealing in any form of pornography, including producers, distributors, and retailers. It also would prohibit transmission of obscene material over cable or subscription television.
Local areas often do a good job in keeping a community free of obscene films and publications. Salt Lake lawmen recently cited a number of retail shops for selling pornographic materials, and seized theater films.
But many communities particularly large cities like New York and Los Angeles are centers of production for pornographic items. The porn industry itself spreads across the entire nation, making it necessary to have far-reaching national laws. Organized crime is heavily involved in the obscenity market. The current federal tools are simply inadequate to get the job done.
Opponents of such tough action always cry "free speech," but the U.S. Supreme Court long ago ruled that the First Amendment does not protect pornography.
As John K. Carmack of the LDS First Quorum of the Seventy said in testimony before the House committee this week, pornography is a form of "moral garbage."
No one would allow rotting garbage to pile up in the city streets. It would be offensive to have around and a threat to physical health. The moral garbage of pornography is just as offensive and is a threat to emotional and spiritual health. Let's get the tools to clean it up.