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WRAP Week Pornography Letter Sent to Presidential Candidates

NEW YORK — In conjunction with the upcoming White Ribbon Against Pornography Week, MIM President Robert Peters sent a joint open letter to Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Excerpts from the letter are set forth below. The entire letter is published at www.moralityinmedia.org and www.obscenitycrimes.org.

Dear Senators…

The annual White Ribbon Against Pornography Week begins this Sunday, October 26. Launched nationally in 1987 by Morality in Media, WRAP Week is intended to raise public awareness about the harms of pornography and about what can be done to fight back against pornography.

This would be a wonderful opportunity for each of you to state publicly that you are concerned about the explosion of pornography and that you support vigorous enforcement of federal obscenity laws.

[T]here is both a “demand” side to the pornography problem and a “supply” side; and parents, schools and religious institutions should be at the forefront of efforts to reduce the demand for pornography through efforts to educate youth about the harms it can cause.

Those harms include the degradation of women in the production of pornography and sexual addiction. Sexual addiction can lead to acting out sexually against other children and to ruined marriages when children become adults. Children can also get wrong messages about sexuality from pornography…

Religious institutions should also be at the forefront of efforts to make persons of all ages understand that from a “faith perspective,” viewing pornography is morally wrong (sinful, if you will) and that use of pornography is destroying countless marriages and contributing to other harmful sexual behavior…

The secular media should be at the forefront of exposing the social evils (harms) of pornography; and to their credit some in the secular media have helped make the public more aware of the addictive nature of pornography and of harms that pornography addiction causes…

There is also a “supply” side to the pornography problem; and as you also know there are federal laws that prohibit distribution of obscene materials in interstate and foreign commerce…

As you also know, the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that enforcement of obscenity laws does not violate the First Amendment…[T]he Court also recognized that there are “legitimate governmental interests” at stake in stemming the tide of obscene materials, “even assuming it is feasible to enforce effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles.” These include maintaining a decent society and protecting morality, family life, public safety, and the community environment.

This brings up an important issue: if elected President, will you nominate individuals to serve as Attorney General, Director of the FBI, and U.S. Attorneys who will enforce federal obscenity laws?

It is of course no secret that the U.S. has failed miserably at “enforcing effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles.” The Internet in particular is awash with hardcore pornographic materials that are available to minors without cost or proof of age; and surveys indicate that large numbers of children have been inadvertently exposed to these materials or have sought them out.

It is also no secret as to why it is so easy for children to access hardcore pornography on the Internet. For the past 10 years, a law that Congress enacted to protect children from Internet pornography has been tied up in the federal courts because some judges think that parental use of filtering technology alone can protect children from Internet pornography…

This brings up another vital issue: if elected President, will you nominate individuals to the Supreme Court and other courts who will follow the “ACLU-party” line or who will refrain from interpreting the Constitution and other laws in a manner that reflects the foolish preferences of unelected judges?
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What America needs now is a President who will build on the limited progress made during the past several years. I also think the American people will support such a President…

Next week would be a good opportunity for you to let the public know where you stand.

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