The Pornography Problem
The purpose of this article is to focus attention upon the pornography problem. I receive numerous church bulletins and religious journals, but seldom is anything said about pornography. The word "pornography" originates from the Greek porne which refers to "a prostitute." Thus, we have writings and pictures of prostitutes specifically designed to arouse sexual desire. (Webster's Dictionary). The problem is serious, and we should intensify our efforts to oppose it.
An article in the Ladies' Home Journal indicated that many P.O.W.'s were having difficulties "readjusting to life in the United States. The spread of pornography and the drug culture jolted all of them. The women's liberation movement came as a shock to many." (March, 1974, p. 16). I have seen many articles against drugs and the women's liberation movement, but not much has been said or done about pornography. It jolted the P.O.W.'s, but because it is such a delicate subject, we seem to be ignoring it. Nowadays, it seems that such matters can be discussed in every place except the pulpit. It appears that some are either prudish or pessimistic, or both. If we are prudish, pornographers will continue to prosper, and if we are pessimistic, the laws will not be strengthened or enforced.
We should realize that pornography is illegal, and something can be done about it. I am happy to say that we have done something about it in Victoria, Texas. Victoria is located near the Gulf Coast, and it is a city of about 50,000 people. A few weeks ago, "X" rated movies and pornographic magazines were in abundance here. However, that is no longer the case, because concerned citizens have organized and spoken out against these obscenities. We have examined many magazines and expressed our disgust through every available means. The issue was thoroughly discussed in the local newspaper, The Victoria Advocate. For two months, there was a daily flow of letters to the editor on the subject of pornography. At a meeting with the city council to discuss the pornography problem, the council chamber was filled to the point of standing room only. The Mayor mourned the fact that citizens did not show as much interest in other civic affairs. Previous to this meeting, a public poll had been taken to determine how local citizens felt about the enforcement of obscenity laws. The local poll indicated that over 75 percent of the people wanted the laws to be enforced. This harmonizes with national polls taken by Harris and Gallup. In 1969, the Harris poll showed that 76 percent of our American citizens were opposed to pornography, and the Gallup poll indicated that 85 percent wanted something done about it. (Pornography, the Sexual Mirage, John Drakeford). A more recent Gallup poll maintains that most United States citizens are still opposed to pornographic materials. (Reader's Digest, January, 1974).
Since so many people are fed up with pornography, why don't they do something? More appropriately, "Why don't You do something?" Although some battles have been lost, the law is still on our side. This is especially true since the June, 1973 Supreme Court decision of Miller v. California which, within certain bounds, allows local communities to determine what is obscene. State and local laws also declare the, selling or distributing of pornographic materials to be illegal. If you are apathetic toward pornography, you can be sure that existing laws will not be enforced. We are Christians, but we are also citizens, and citizens have rights. Let us not allow those rights to be flagrantly violated by the peddlers of public filth. We should speak up! We can act within the law and urge city officials to prosecute pornographers. Legal aid can also be obtained from a national organization known as "Citizens for Decency through Law," 5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036. Petitions can be circulated to remove "X" rated movies and filthy magazines. It may surprise you to find that there are many decent citizens in your city who will encourage your efforts. Of course, you can also expect strong opposition from the forces of evil, for when you attack pornography, you are attacking a modern idol.
Pornography brutalizes its victims, creates a fantasy world of perverted sex, feeds fiendish lust, and depicts every possible form of sexual deviation. Pornography ridicules every good thing Christians stand for, and it makes a constant attack upon family life. According to the promoters of pornography, "about the only thing worse than being married is being an unmarried virgin." The pleasure philosophy of these perverted animals (2 Pet. 2:12-14) says, "Chaste makes waste." The River of Filth flows throughout our nation and contaminates every city with guts and garbage. The motion picture industry is concerned about fattening its pockets, so it slops the pigs of America with violence and twisted sex. (Prov. 11:22; 2 Pet. 2:22). Movie ratings are made by a panel which is controlled by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). That is like having dope peddlers control the drug market. If you are well informed, you know that what used to be rated "X" is now rated "R." In a radio interview, a public relations man for Playboy Magazine said that The Exorcist should be rated "X." And if you don't think Playboy believes in "public relations," you should examine the January issue.
Since there is a public demand for obscenity, some people say it is useless to fight against it. I despise the attitude of our permissive society, which says, "If you can't fight it, legalize it." That's just what the filthy-minded smut peddlers want. The same foolish attitude would put no restrictions on prostitution, gambling, or drugs. Pornography is a source of moral pollution, and if it is not checked, it will continually contribute to spiritual and social destruction. (Story of Civilization, Volume III, p. 369; Rom. 1:24-32).
Truth Magazine, XVIII:31, p. 2