Rick Santorum’s Misguided War On Pornography

18Mar12

Rick Santorum has declared war on pornography.

America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.  A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women.  It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.

Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography. As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.

I don’t disagree with Santorum’s comments on pornography. Certainly child pornography should be vigorously prosecuted because it’s directly taking advantage and harming children.

But the question is should the federal government be involved in pornographic enforcement (outside of child pornography) or is it best left up to individual states, cities and families to discuss?

I tend to fall in the latter camp because there is not really a set opinion on the matter. Some people are for strict pornography rules, while others aren’t. I do think pornography starts objectifying women, causes lust problem and encourages sex without obligation. A pastor friend of mine likes to tell the story about a church leader who lost his job and marriage after showing pornography during a sermon (he thought he was accessing his sermon notes). But it should be up to the parents to sit down, talk to their children about the dangers of pornography and why they shouldn’t look at it. And if they don’t, then it’s their choice.

I don’t disagree with Santorum’s stances, it’s his solutions that need to be considered very carefully. Is this something the federal government should decide on (as Santorum wants) or is it best left up to individual states, cities and families?

In an election where the economy,  the expanding size of the federal government, the ballooning deficit and whether taxes should be raised or lowered are the major issues, I fail to see how discussing social issues will help. Unless, of course, it’s to go for the social conservatives as Santorum has based his campaign on.



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