I don’t understand how some people can be so obsessed with with pornography. I’m not talking about people who watch it, I’m talking about people who do things like this:
Morality in Media announced today the mobilization of its War on Illegal Pornography coalition in a three-day effort to flood the U. S. Attorney General with calls asking that he enforce existing U.S. obscenity laws.
Some people like to watch movies of other people having sex. In a free market, this naturally means that some people will get into the business of having sex on camera. We’re not talking about child pornography or sex slavery. Everyone, from the sexual performers to the producers to the distributors to the viewers, is doing it of their own free will. And some people think they deserve to go to jail for that.
Looking around the Morality in Media website, I can understand some of the things they’re concerned about. Parents want the ability to control their children’s access to online pornography. The standard libertarian response is that parents should take responsibility for supervising their children online. That’s little comfort to a busy parent, and given the increasingly ubiquitous presence of the internet in our lives, it’s not realistic to assume parents will be able to supervise every second of their children’s access to the net. I don’t think that censoring what adults have access to is a good response, but I can at least understand why these people are concerned.
But what sort of craziness makes people like Morality in Media President Robert Peters say things like this:
While there is a difference between soft-core and hard-core pornography, both are still pornography, and what pornography does is sexually arouse and enslave those who view it.
“Enslave those who view it”? WTF? I guess that’s the sort of BS you have to make yourself believe if you want to criminalize a consensual act.
In my libertarian corner of the world, these people are obviously nutcases and self-important busybodies trying to restrict other people’s freedom and impose their morality by force. Merely pointing that out to them, however, is unlikely to change their minds. Their world view is radically different from mine, and if I want to advocate my view to them, I’m going to have to understand them first.
(Hat tip: Richard Abowitz)
Mark is a computer programmer, website builder, photographer, and sometimes journalist in Chicago, where he also writes the long-running Windypundit blog.