Monday, February 9, 2009

Pornography and the Courts

By way of Mere Comments an article on "global porning" and while, like one of the comments at MereComments I would disagree with the idea that the biggest problem the Muslim world has with us is our smutty culture, this article makes some good points, chief among them, the ludicrous position that, "The idea that pornography is “speech,” within the meaning of the first amendment, and thereby protected by the Constitution..." It also highlights the destructiveness of this material on society.
From Public Discourse

President Obama’s choice of David Ogden for Deputy Attorney General is not of concern to Americans only. The world-wide explosion of pornographic material, and its exploitation through the internet, is to a great extent the result of legal activism in the United States. Legal activism is a threat at the best of times—a way in which elites and special interests can circumvent the democratic process and impose themselves on the majority. In the case of pornography it also opens the way to a temptation against which ordinary people are inadequately protected.

Porn exploits the existing screen-addiction, induced by TV and the internet, in order to catalyze a far worse addiction, which is the addiction to vicarious sex. Psychologists, philosophers and social critics concur in the judgment that this addiction is immensely damaging, not merely in undermining family relations and exposing children and other vulnerable people to sexual predation, but in destroying the capacity for loving sexual relations. It is one of the great social diseases, and it is looked on with dismay by the majority—including a majority of those who are addicted to it.

Yet it is legal activism in America that has paved the way for the world-wide flood of pornographic material, and for the world-wide revulsion against a society and a culture that seems to find nothing wrong with it. The issue of pornography is therefore not just a major domestic problem: it is, or ought to be, at the top of the foreign policy agenda. For President Obama to be making overtures of conciliation towards the Muslim world—something that is certainly needed—while appointing to high legal office one of the most virulent advocates of a culture that poses the greatest threat to Muslim society is, it seems to me, indicative of a deep confusion—a confusion inherent in the essential negativity of liberal politics.

The idea that pornography is “speech,” within the meaning of the first amendment, and thereby protected by the Constitution, is so absurd that it is hard for an outsider to see how American judges have been persuaded to accept it again and again. Of course porn is big business, and can afford to keep beating at the doors of the courts. But the real reason for the legalization of pornography in America lies in the culture of the liberal elite and in the strategy of legal activism whereby that elite continues its relentless assault on majority values. Porn has been incorporated into the “culture war” precisely because ordinary Americans see it as a threat to family and religious values....(more)

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