Keeper of the Hen House

Barack Obama has been widely touted as the Democrat who steals the issue of spirituality from the Christian Right. That being the case we can safely assume he clearly supports what Christians would recognize as a family-friendly policy at the Justice Department.
Well…

Obama's choice of David Ogden to be the man who would ultimately supervise such things as federal enforcement of anti-pornography laws should be deeply troubling, given his repeated forays into advocacy for child pornographers and against standards that limit the access of pornography to minors.

What sort of zeal for the protection of minors can we expect from someone who has been consistent in defense of the "free speech rights" of pornographers?

Why should we worry? Pornography is addictive. Its addictiveness is increased by early exposure.

Pornography is a terribly enticing male lie about the FUNCTION of women:

Pornography reduces humans to the level of animals acting solely on instinct. It does not encourage self-control, a fruit of God’s spirit. (Galatians 5:22, 23) It may pave the way for sexual perversions. These are but a few of the reasons why Christians shun pornography.

Pornography destroys marriages. This should be easily apparent, given that a healthy relationship is not founded in false conceptions of one's partner, and that a marriage requires two people to face up to tough circumstances and hard times together in a realistic cooperation:
Matrimonial lawyers across the country attest to the growing docket of cases. "Pornography wrecks marriages," says Marcia Maddox, a Vienna, Virginia-based attorney. Among the five attorneys in her office there's always a case involving pornography under way.
Some of you may be crying "foul!" at this point. "Lee has sourced blatantly religious websites for some of his links!"

Well.. As I was pointing out earlier, Barack and Michelle Obama are supposed to take the religious and spiritual side of "Family Values" away from the political right. If they do they do it with a form of Christianity hardly any Christian can recognize as disciplining the president's choices.

If he's planning to steal Christian thunder from the right shouldn't the tenor of that thunder sound even a little like the voice of, well, God?

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at February 6, 2009 10:49 AM
Comments
Comment #275111

Hopefully, by spiritual leadership, we mean he will take a road that has a lot of common sense and a ton of common decency. So far he rates an A+ in both categories.

Have you, at one time in your life watched or otherwise enjoyed sexually explicit materials? Were you of age? Did it permanently damage your psyche? Has it adversely effected your marriage or your married life? Do you, personally, know someone, perhaps a friend or relative who has been so effected? How many nations of the world that see not so much evil in pornography, have more sexual predictors than America. How many nations of the world that have, in the past, elected to ignore pornography, actually seen its use decline in their society?

I’ve run out of breath, but I imagine I could come up with several more questions along this line…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 6, 2009 11:55 AM
Comment #275114

To your questions I can answer, without going into too much detail that pornography has damaged my personal relationships. Furthermore I have close friends for whom the answer is the same, including one for whom the issues escalated to physical abuse, battery, and divorce.

If addictive activities are no trouble why bother with cigarettes? Don’t you know of people who have smoked all their lives and still lived to ripe old age? Why pull the cocaine out of Coca Cola? What’s the matter with making a little money off of a few people if it doesn’t really cripple everyone?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2009 12:12 PM
Comment #275115

Wow, Lee. That’s a pretty unrealistic world view, your article has there. What your article calls pornography has been a part of the pedagogy of art since the dawn of homo-sapien and cave drawings.

Your moralizing on this and demand that your morality be applied to all with the force of law appears like many laws of Nazi Germany.

Thanks to books and images of sexual possibilities and research by the likes of Kensey, millions have actually educated themselves in becoming satisfying partners in their relationships and marriages.

Images are funny things. To some they can be educational and inspirational. To others the same images can be confusing and even maddening. The image of God’s son nailed to a cross, speared in the side, wearing an embedded and bloody crown of thorns, is a pretty horrific image of the power of mortal men over God. The image without story telling embellishment is an outright pornographic image, denigrating the worth and value of the human form and human dignity, not to mention depicting powerlessness of the Christian god over the actions of men.

The meaning of an image is in the eye of the beholder and the explanation of the image provider as my crucifix example amply demonstrates. The problem with the 1st Amendment which you seem to have in your article is that it protects the freedom to express and communicate both what one may consider positive and negative pedagogy. But, that is the nature of freedom, Lee.

Elective war which kills 100,000 people unnecessarily, and maims many more for life, is about as pornagraphic as one can get. The ripping to shreds of children’s, men’s, and women’s bodies, and using money as an enticement to elicit participants in this carnage just doesn’t get anymore pornographic.

Pornography literally is any images which denigrates and undermines the dignity and respect for life, especially human life. Yet, with a simple twist of rationalization, folks such as yourself are at ease justifying the invasion of Iraq as noble, just, and humanitarian, while at the same time such folks work to silence those whose private actions and commerce offend their sensibilities.

What is required is a common sense pragmatic approach to pornography that is consistent. Yes, children should not be exposed to pornography unless they actively seek it out, in which case, no law could stop them from creating and sharing their own peer graffiti on the subject.

Yes, the adult population should not have to suffer the open display and marketing of sexual expression, but if they seek it, it should be readily available for their education as well as entertainment purposes.

Morality has no place in legislation on this issue for one simple reason. We are a nation of all religions and none, not just one, and the morality of one particular religious sect cannot be allowed to mandate the morality all others must live by. On the other hand, a secular approach which seeks to protect freedom of expression without encroaching upon the freedom of others to be free of such expression is the pragmatic and common sense approach worthy of being called American.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #275116

Lee, if you are an abuser, you will find a way to display that characteristic without pornographic images !!!! You need no enhancement or encouragement, so your whole argument is not only full of holes, it’s full of crap.

Posted by: jane doe at February 6, 2009 12:54 PM
Comment #275117

>To your questions I can answer, without going into too much detail that pornography has damaged my personal relationships. Furthermore I have close friends for whom the answer is the same, including one for whom the issues escalated to physical abuse, battery, and divorce.
Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2009 12:12 PM

Lee,

I don’t want the detail, so please don’t go too deeply into it. But, isn’t it about the same kind of ‘grow up’ mentality that conservatives use to explain how welfare recipients should act? How girls who become teen pregnancy problems should act? How folks who seem unable to put aside enough during their lifetimes to carry through retirement without retirement insurance, like Social Security? The same concept as turning part of Social Security over to Wall Street?

You and your friends who may have suffered from psychological hemoraging due to pornography, would not have had the same problems if you had never witnessed a screen full of blow job…right? You are absolutely sure ya’ll were just not weak and helpless to begin with?

I read those little eight page comics, you know the ones, they starred Dagwood & Blonde, Andy Capp, etc., when I was in my prepubescent years. Later I read books like Lady Chatterly’s Lover and The Adventures of Pauline, and later yet watched films such as Deep Throat and What’s Behind the Green Door. I subscribed to Playboy for thirty years, and have not succumbed to any real deviency. My marriage to the same woman has lasted 45 years now, and unless she springs a big surprise on me tomorrow, will likely last until one of us dies.

Perhaps that conservative ‘rugged individualism’ does not extend to the realm of sex???

Posted by: Marysdude at February 6, 2009 1:11 PM
Comment #275119

I love the way people who say the government should require us to step into the breach to forcibly solve the problems caused by predators using our indiscretion and lack of dicipline against us to the tune of trillions of dollars will stand up for the ready availability of other predations.

I have not said pornography should not be permitted to exist. Nor do I propose that even the most odious forms of the genre obviate the right of an author (or anybody else) to competent legal council. What I have said is pornography can be harmful. There is no end of secular resources to back that up, either. It should be very difficult for juveniles to access. The president proposes that we consider him a Christian while his policy choices speak to a determination to make the access of pornography easier for the youth of America.

It is that to which I object.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2009 1:32 PM
Comment #275121

Marysdude,

You and your friends who may have suffered from psychological hemoraging due to pornography, would not have had the same problems if you had never witnessed a screen full of blow job…right? You are absolutely sure ya’ll were just not weak and helpless to begin with?
You know, let’s take that logic to a logical conclusion and pull the police out of drug-infested neighborhoods.

Those people are probably just “weak and helpless to begin with”.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 6, 2009 1:36 PM
Comment #275123

Lee writes; “If he’s planning to steal Christian thunder from the right shouldn’t the tenor of that thunder sound even a little like the voice of, well, God?”

Once again Lee I applaud your wonderful gift of writing great prose. You have a great ability to sum up an argument in few words.

The opposition above were addressing arguments to a position that you didn’t pose in your original post.

Some folks are eager to express opinions contrary to those they merely believe the opposition holds. My understanding is that you question dems hailing PO as the new spiritual voice of the Christian community. And you back up your argument by asking the reader to judge PO’s Christian leadership fairly in looking at those upon whom he has given the mantle of promoting Christian values.

Is it fair to judge PO by the folks he appoints? Of course it is. Who would appoint as his/her spokesperson, one who is in disagreement with their position?

Lee, I always look forward to your posts. Never allow the opposition to degrade or falsify your moral clarity.

Posted by: Jim M at February 6, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #275125

“Your moralizing on this and demand that your morality be applied to all with the force of law appears like many laws of Nazi Germany”

Thats rich, David. On one hand, you criticize Lee for “moralizing” about sex, while you all moralize about the poor and demand that your morality be applied to all with the force of law, on the other.
You both are using your morals to determine your idea of what would benefit society. You both are fine with infringing on the rights of others to reach that goal. You both are wrong.

JaneDoe
Lee’s “whole argument” is how the Obama is billed as the one who is going to wrestle the family values edge away from the political right, but makes a choice such as this that proves otherwise.

Dude
You make a valid point there, but the problem isn’t in “rugged individualism,” its in how you guys pick and choose to what and when your rules and morals apply, instead of being consistent.
The hypocrisy is almost comical at times.

Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2009 2:14 PM
Comment #275126

Jim M, pure B.S. You are reading into Lee’s article what you want to read.

First, Lee makes NO case or evidence indicating the Obama administration is going to lift restrictions against selling porn to minors. Yet, that is the allusion he makes in his article, without evidence.

Second, he touts research regarding porn being harmful to youth, which I know to be valid up to a point, as a means of making a moral argument against Obama being a ‘true’ Christian.

That is just a straw man argument and convoluted at that.

But, hey, no asked you to consider the depth of the article and its implications, I know. That is reflected in the apparent knee jerk applause comment to Lee’s article.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #275127

kctim said: “Thats rich, David. On one hand, you criticize Lee for “moralizing” about sex, while you all moralize about the poor and demand that your morality be applied to all with the force of law, on the other.”

If you are going to address me, kctim, address what I wrote, not what others wrote in your reply to me. I am not responsible for other’s comments.

As for mine, please quote my moralizing about the poor. Please quote my moral position on sexual materials. I defy you. I have never offered my moral position on this issue, so, how can you speak to it? Another right wing straw man argument, apparently.

And I love your reference to infringing on others rights as you attempt to defend abridgment of the 1st Amendment on your particular religious moral grounds. There is also this clause in the Constitution about the government not establishing a national religion, from whence morals spring. Are you proposing abridgement of that Article of the Bill of Rights as well?

Some of you folks on the conservative side appear all hell bent at times to shred the Bill of Rights without any concern at all, so long as you are doing the shredding. I guess it is a lack of depth in understanding the Bill of Rights and ALL their implications, as the right to be wrong, and the right to choose to do the wrong thing.

Haven’t you learned yet that you can’t legislate morality without horrible unintended consequences? Apparently not. Unintended consequences seems to be the Right’s Coat of Arms.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 4:18 PM
Comment #275130

David
You wrote: “Your moralizing on this and demand that your morality be applied to all with the force of law appears like many laws of Nazi Germany” in your response to Lee concerning pornography.
You, and your words, are criticizing Lee for “moralizing” about pornography.

We have discussed the poor many times on here and unless I am mistaken, you do believe everybody should be forced to pay a tax to help aide them. Especially if they are elderly. Whats that saying your so fond of again? Without govt help, our poor and elderly would be out begging and dying in the streets as they are in India? Or something like that.
Do you not believe it would be immoral, unethical, shameful and wrong for us to allow that to happen?

If you really love my reference to infringing on others rights, then you should have read the whole thing. For if you had, you would have seen that I very clearly said that you both were wrong.
As an atheist, I don’t believe I have any “particular religious moral grounds.”

I understand the Bill of Rights just fine David and there is no attempt to “shred” it on my part. Can you say the same? I am a firm believer in the right to choose to do the wrong thing, that is why I believe every American should be allowed to live their life as they want and live with the outcome of their actions.
Do you also believe that? If not, maybe its not me who lacks depth in understanding the Bill of Rights.

“Haven’t you learned yet that you can’t legislate morality without horrible unintended consequences?”

How about an example of me wanting to legislate morality?
Pornography maybe? Nope, I have nothing against it.
Pot? Nope. Smoke up, none of my business.
Gay marriage? Nope. Big supporter of it.
Charity? Nope. Believe how you want and help who you believes deserves help in the way you think is best.
Cigs? Booze? Transfats? etc…? Nope. Your body, none of my business.

You see, David. I fully understand the “horrible unintended consequences” you speak of, I’m just not willing to accept any of them simply because their outcome favors my personal beliefs.

Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2009 5:59 PM
Comment #275132

Remer writes; “Jim M, pure B.S. You are reading into Lee’s article what you want to read.”

The first sentence in Lee’s article read; “Barack Obama has been widely touted as the Democrat who steals the issue of spirituality from the Christian Right.”

OK Remer, without your pure B.S. do you agree with that statement or not?

Posted by: Jim M at February 6, 2009 6:13 PM
Comment #275134

>You see, David. I fully understand the “horrible unintended consequences” you speak of, I’m just not willing to accept any of them simply because their outcome favors my personal beliefs.
Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2009 05:59 PM

kctim,

Are you saying that you ’ have no dog in this hunt’? You call me a hypocrite, but you have no reserves about the issue?

Obama has already shown more spirituality and morals and family values than any leader on the right since Ike, and he likely slept with his driver. ‘O’ does not have to address the issue of pornography until the issue comes to him. David is right about this being a strawman approach.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 6, 2009 6:25 PM
Comment #275136

Let’s see. There is an article that suggests that the Obama’s may have an influence that was usually considered to be Republican. From that you glean that they are trying to take it over?

Give me a break.

And that Obama’s choice somehow is going to put pornography in the hands of children because the industry has been sometimes represented in court by the appointee?

Lee, sometimes you really bewilder me with your linkage.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 6, 2009 7:15 PM
Comment #275137

marysdude writes; “Obama has already shown more spirituality and morals and family values than any leader on the right since Ike…”

Now that’s a mouthful. Care to back that up with examples?

Posted by: Jim M at February 6, 2009 7:15 PM
Comment #275138

Pornography, evil or not, is now endemic in its distribution. While the most extreme examples will be rightly be subject to legal action, it is inevitable in today’s world that kids will see some kind of pornography.

The question is whether or not we have prepared them, to the extent it is possible, to maturely deal with the impulses and issues that such exposure brings up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 6, 2009 8:03 PM
Comment #275143

kctim said: “You, and your words, are criticizing Lee for “moralizing” about pornography.”

Yes. Quite Right. If one is going to moralize from a particular religion’s point of view, one should not be hypocritical about it. The Ten Commandments include not coveting. Yet, our capitalist system directly depends upon coveting for its very survival. If Joe doesn’t want what John is wearing, marketing and advertising would disappear, and fads would end, and the whole notion of innovating the next hot record, movie, clothing style, tax deduction, hairdo, nailsdo, automobile, boat, airplane, sport, etc, etc, etc, would have not hope of being lucrative.

How about graven images? Another Commandment. How many Christian groups, Buddhist Groups, Hindu groups would have to be shut down in the name of this commandment, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution?

How about bearing false witness? If we actually prosecuted bearing false witness, a great many criminal trials would have a number of perjurers to be tried and jailed after the initial alleged criminal’s trial was over. With the verdict, comes a judgment by the jury that some of the witnesses either for the defense or prosecution, have to have been lying.

And the one moral sin America loves to engage in on a grand scale is Adultery. Some research have more than half of all married couples engaged by one party or the other in Adultery. America chose no fault divorce to accommodate adultery without all the mess of clogging the courts and putting the majority of its white male successful leaders in jail over this sin.

Pornography? As I said, reasonable accommodation must be made to protect those who don’t desire to view it, from having to in their normal daily lives, and children, while using the 1st Amendment to embrace the commerce of pornography as freedom of expression between consenting partners and customer and dealer. Otherwise, one has to slip down the slope of one person’s pornography being another person’s art. Been there, done that, 1950’s through 1990’s.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 10:04 PM
Comment #275144

Jim M said: ““Barack Obama has been widely touted as the Democrat who steals the issue of spirituality from the Christian Right.”

OK Remer, without your pure B.S. do you agree with that statement or not?”

How wide is widely? Touted? Touted by whom, representing the expanse of ‘widely’? Can spirituality be stolen? I have never heard of such a concept. Stealing a soul, I have heard of. But, stealing another’s spirituality? Nope. Sorry.

Which brings us to the last part of the sentence. Why would Obama who those on the Right claim is on the Left, have any desire to steal or borrow spirituality from those on the Christian Right? Obama is a Christian in his own right. And he is on the Left. Obama has no need absence or lack of Christian spirituality, let alone a need to ‘steal’ it from those on the Right.

C’mon, Jim M, you are reading what you want to read into Lee’s words, instead of critically analyzing what is written, logically and rationally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 10:11 PM
Comment #275146

Stephen D.

Many adolescents will create their own distorted and misinformed pornography in the absence of any other. It has been thus since the dawn of homo-sapiens. You take primal hormonal urges and combine them with a capacity for symbols and communication, and you will get pornography from adolescents and adults.

Pornography is prevalent in all societies, at least as judged by other societies throughout all of history. But, let’s be clear what we mean by the word. Sexually explicit instructional materials designed to create a stronger bond and greater reciprocity of pleasure between a couple, let’s say a married couple, can hardly be called pornography, if pornography is defined as that which denigrates and undermines human worth and value.

On the other hand, sexually explicit materials which have as their primary communication message the denigration or undermining of human value, and whose targeted audience is likely to accept such communication uncritically and without responsibility for owning it, is in fact, pornography. Just as war is a living exercise in pornography. As are movies whose entire appeal is based on blood, guts, and gore and defilement of both life and limb. I find the latter far more pornographic than any pleasure oriented sexually explicit materials of consenting adults.

Pornography can also be defined as that which exploits the least human aspects of another human being. The sexual act is participated in by all mammals and a host of non-mammals. Sexually explicit materials which encourage and elicit the sexual exploitation of children, or the helpless is then, by this definition highly pornographic.

Adults must however be held responsible for their own participation in and use of sexually explicit materials. Children however, can be exploited by such materials as they are in many ways both legally and sociologically, helpless compared adults maturationally, experientially, educationally, and psychologically. Hence, the 1st Amendment must bend to afford protections for children.

Legislating the protection of children is not the same as legislating morality. Though many on the Left and Right fail to observe this all important distinction in such a discussion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 10:32 PM
Comment #275148

kctim said: “We have discussed the poor many times on here and unless I am mistaken, you do believe everybody should be forced to pay a tax to help aide them.”

Yes, we have discussed society’s responsibilities toward the creation of poor, and assistance to the poor, who become poor through no fault of their own.

No, I don’t believe my beliefs should be forced upon anyone. That is an attribute common to the moral Right, not me. I do believe in our democratic republic and Constitution and Declaration of Independence as our ideals to be striven for. And in accordance, I believe that if the voters elect representatives who legislate assistance for the poor with the reelection consent of the voters, then that is just according to the principles of both democratic elections and a republic form of representation.

Our economy is well beyond the control of any one individual. If that economy should make of hard working people, them unemployed and poor, I do believe it is the responsibility of those who do control that economy to make allowances for those made poor by it. But, that is just one person’s belief, and it should not forced to be the law. To be law, and enforced, it should be a consensus of society that chooses to assume responsibility for the poor, made so by forces beyond their control.

I personally love America for having, increasingly through its history, matured in accepting the responsibility for its fellow citizens made poor by circumstances beyond their control.

We are nation of people, communities, and States; not a geographic concentration of individuals. A nation of individuals owing only to their individual selves is the very definition of anarchy.

America is about as far from anarchy as a form of government can get. (Though closer in practice in some ways, than many care for.) :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 6, 2009 10:45 PM
Comment #275165

DRR,

How hypocritical and naive of you to even THINK that America has the potential to live up to its potential…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2009 9:36 AM
Comment #275198

David R.,

Second, he (meaning me) touts research regarding porn being harmful to youth, which I know to be valid up to a point, as a means of making a moral argument against Obama being a ‘true’ Christian.
Actually, David, it was very tempting to load the article up with lists of references to articles from all manner of Christian groups, protestant and Catholic and more, which focused on the danger of pornography. Just search a term like “pornography marriage” and look at how many of the returns are church-related. That really was my point, as Jim M argues. The president seems badly tone-deaf to the song his handlers claim he sings.

Part of leading is made of appearances. A gesture like the creation of an office of faith-based initiatives should not, in the hands of sensitive leaders, have to compete with the APPEARANCE that one is setting up an assault on the values of Christian constituencies. David Ogden is doubtless a good lawyer, but there are literally hundreds of lawyers just as good who don’t have reputations for standing up for groups whose aim really is to get pornography into as many hands as they possibly can, and who, like cigarette manufacturers, don’t mind terribly benefitting from the pernicious addictions of some of those people.

What I said was he presents himself self-consciously as a Christian but, when given the freedom to act he is making choices that would have to be puzzling at best to the nation’s Christian community.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2009 7:06 PM
Comment #275200

Goodness, Remer, today you are a treasure trove.

Can spirituality be stolen? I have never heard of such a concept. Stealing a soul, I have heard of. But, stealing another’s spirituality? Nope. Sorry.
This was in response to Jim M’s quoting from me-
Barack Obama has been widely touted as the Democrat who steals the issue of spirituality from the Christian Right.
That analysis of the sentance would not have passed muster in a fifth-grade English class. Is the subject of the sentance “spirituality”? No. It is the ISSUE of spirituality, something we can communally discuss and assess. Something not intimately tied to the existence of a single human being.

That was a peculiarly clumsy turn of an argument, David. Not one that is up to your standards.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 7, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #275203

Stealing the issue of spirituality from whom? How can someone lose his spirituality? How could someone else steal it. Okay, spirituality is safe, so we’ll move on to the issue…who’s issue? Did Obama claim to be more spiritual than, say…McPain? Coulter? Hannity? O’Reily? Beck? Lamebrain? Who was the last Obama backer who laid claim to the issue of spirituality? How many people know about this claim? How serious was the person who made the claim, and how influential is he to America? All this jabber has me completely confused…why was it even brought up, if issues can’t be usurped and spirituality is safe from plunder?

Can anyone here authenticate that Obama subscribes to pornography? Does the lawyer in question star in porn movies? Was he a member of a legal partnership, and draw the assignment of defending a porn client? Does he belong to the ACLU, and chose to represent based on Constitutional issues?

Can someone please tell me why we are talking about this quite insignificant subject?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 7, 2009 8:35 PM
Comment #275209

Lee, I suppose. But, the issue of spirituality is only an issue for those who choose to make it one. Obama has a record of being a spiritual person. Hence, it would be impossible for him to steal the issue of being spiritual. He is spiritual, in the religious sense of the term.

To make the argument that Obama stole the issue, first makes the FALSE assumption that spirituality belonged to the RIGHT and was their issue by right of ownership, for only then, could it be stolen from them. Pure B.S. right wing propaganda.

Spirituality has never been the property of the Right or Left, but a phenomenon diversely and diffusely spread throughout the American population, regardless of political leaning Left or Right.

The entire premise of this issue you raise is clumsy, half-baked, and without merit in the terminology used.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 8, 2009 5:05 AM
Comment #275210

Lee said: “David, it was very tempting to load the article up with lists of references to articles from all manner of Christian groups, protestant and Catholic and more, which focused on the danger of pornography.”

And it NEVER occurred to you that those groups have a biased interest in formulating and subscribing to that kind of research result? Those groups have for many centuries attempted to make sexuality evil in every context except marriage sanctified by their own religious organizations, which has paid them very HANDSOMELY over the centuries in Sunday offerings, Church rental fees, and livlihood for their clergy.

Man, try researching some UNBIASED research results on the same topic, Lee, you won’t find nearly so many Google references, but, it has been done.

Teaching a 5 year old to drive a car can be very dangerous. Teaching a child to take pills when they don’t feel good is a very dangerous practice. Teaching children how to use firearms can be lethal to themselves or their friends or bystanders if not handled just so and with just some children. There are optimal times in the maturation of a human from birth to learn of and about certain issues. One body of research posits that a well adjusted child is ready to learn about a topic when that child inquires of the topic without prompting. Obviously, this research was not sponsored by a religious organization.

But, you are free to subscribe to anti-global climate change research and religiously biased research on the incredible harm pornography exposure can have on children, especially when it is forced upon them by peer pressure, a questionable parent, or family member.

I am far more concerned about the research on the effects of daily hours of exposure to TV violence, theft, blackmail, intimidation, and murder, all common themes of TV shows, upon children than I am about occasional exposure to sexually explicit photos or videos. The former being a vastly larger issue and more destructive by any objective measure.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 8, 2009 5:23 AM
Comment #275218

Lee
Oh come now> The attack of the blue-noses so early in the game. I guess red-baiting was a non-starter. The 1st Amendment means what it says. Whether porn does damage or not is beside the point. I will be happy to have someone that respects the 1st in governance.

Posted by: bills at February 8, 2009 8:00 AM
Comment #275244

David,

First, I want to be the one that calls me on being a smart aleck. In my last comment I said the subject of the sentance in question was “the issue of spirituality”. Well, of course, any aware fifth-grader would know the subject of the sentance in question was Barack Obama.

Second, the context in which the statement was made has been an environment in which it was long thought Christians, particularly Christian evangelicals, were a reliable Republican voting bloc. This has been because Republicans were thought to track well with evangelical values in crucial family value areas like the sanctity of innocent life, support of traditional marriage, and family integrity issues, of which the proliferation of pornography clearly is one.

Barack Obama has been presented to us as someone who tracks well with these general evangelical values precisely because it was felt the evangelical Republican monolith could be breached. Election night coverage did show some portion of the formerly solid Republican constituency defected to give Obama a portion of his margin of victory.

Therefore my presentation of biased viewpoints is not inappropriate because the issue is not whether the secular world will see secular support for a balanced approach to the issues of the day, but whether the Christian world will see their values reflected in Obama’s policies. To that extent this article was not written to the secular world at all. An unbiased viewpoint, to the extent such a fairy tale world exists at all, is irrelevant to this discussion.

The fact of the matter is if I apply ‘unbiased’, secular approaches to ascertaining Obama’s positions on spiritual matters I have nothing whatsoever, apart from his own statements about himself, on which to base an opinion. Every other sourse is, at best, highly equivocal.

Secularist will complain bitterly about it, but someone who is really a Christian can’t make decisions without being influenced by his or her value structure. They can make decisions that will seem, to witnesses not privy to the workings of their minds, contradictory to the call of faith. Abraham lincoln did this in decisions about the conduct of the Civil War. In such a case a Christian will understand the apparent contradiction and would know to get ahead of the impact of the seeming breach of leadership on his credibility with constituencies. Decisions like the appointment of Ogden make Obama appear clueless to this.

David Ogden looks like an appointment made to curry favor with pornogrophers and pornogrophiles, if not even pedophiles. To my mind that will mark him as probably the most over-scrutinized deputy Attorney General ever. How this is in any way a politically savvy decision I will hard pressed to imagine.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 8, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #275245

bills,
Let’s start with a review of the First Amendment-

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I read a number of years ago about a clever journalist who, after an extensive review of documents in the public domain was able to write a paper with a working design for an atomic bomb. The government classified it and he was not able to publish.

Neither freedom of speech nor freedom of the press are absolutes and they have NEVER been held to be so. Never the less, until the apalling Supreme Court decision on McCain-Feingold, courts had pretty much held that political speech in all kinds of forms was well protected. Even there, though, the harm people felt they saw in political giving as a form of political expression was deemed sufficient to call for a restriction of a form of politcal speech. And POLITICAL speech is exactly what the First Amendment was intended to protect above all other forms!

Harm is not irrelevant to the freedom of either speech or expression, particlarly not with something of such questionable value as outright pornography.

By the way, David Remer, there is a line, somewhere, between erotic art and pornography. Serious artists who seem to venture too close to the pornographic flame often find themselves shunned by the art collecting and academic world. A good example would be Gustav Klimt and his image of Danae being ravished by Jove in the form of a shower of gold. The reaction to this painting in the context of other sexually charged works set his career back substantially.

Another possible example, though less in his work than his preparatory studies and photographs, appears to be Thomas Eakins, whose odd behavior with models, possibly driven by sexual addiction, cost him and his family terribly in his lifetime.

The classic example is Manet’s Dejuner sur l’Herbe, which caused an outrage, in France of all places, because a nude woman was in the midst of dressed men. Never mind that it was his echo of Greek sculpture going back nearly 2500 years.

There is a difference between art and pornography. Fly too close to the event horizon and a serious artist can disappear from the art world.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 8, 2009 7:57 PM
Comment #275251

Lee,

Pornography…schmornography…pron people can be spiritual too. But the question remains, the man in question is a lawyer, and as such has many clients, some of which were of questionable background, well, whoopty-doo, what attorney, other than corporate theives, have not had clients with questionable backgrounds? Can you tell me how a trial lawyer can make a living if he turns down clients? Nowhere, that I have seen, has explained how defending a client is somehow immoral or un-spiritual. And your supposition that Obama is somehow tainted because he asks a lawyer to do a legal job, is ludicrous.

If I wish to think of Obama as being more spiritual and more moral, because he does not believe we should be in an immoral, dishonorable war, and thinks everyone deserves a fair chance to be an American, then I shall do so. Your worry about this far-fetched case of un-spirituality changes nothing.

>Second, the context in which the statement was made has been an environment in which it was long thought Christians, particularly Christian evangelicals, were a reliable Republican voting bloc. This has been because Republicans were thought to track well with evangelical values in crucial family value areas like the sanctity of innocent life, support of traditional marriage, and family integrity issues, of which the proliferation of pornography clearly is one.

Your presentment in defense of your position is above…but, your post began with reference to Christians, then your defense is dedicated to evangelicals. To be honest, I don’t think anyone in Obama’s camp believes he can sway evangelicals any more than he could sway Lamebrain. Some good, decent, moral, spiritual Christians, may have crossed over, and as more good, decent, moral, spiritual Christians get used to him, more yet may do so. Being Obama, he might like it if some evangelicals came over, but I, for one, don’t want them. They have caused untold damage to America, and it’s not worth it to woo them. I think it would be better to leave them where they are, and keep the ‘right’ out of power. They can do less harm that way.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 8, 2009 10:23 PM
Comment #275260

Dude
I am saying that we should not allow the morals of one be forced onto others and we should be consistent when enforcing it. When we don’t, we get what we have now, a govt pushing personal agendas and creating resentment and division.

David
“I believe that if the voters elect representatives who legislate assistance for the poor with the reelection consent of the voters, then that is just according to the principles of both democratic elections and a republic form of representation”

That majority of voters would be legislating assistance for the poor because it is the right thing to do, morally. For the betterment of society.
How is that same majority legislating pornography for the betterment of society, any different?

“To be law, and enforced, it should be a consensus of society that chooses to assume responsibility for the poor, made so by forces beyond their control”

If that is the case, then people should have no problem when the consensus of society chooses to dictate anything.

Posted by: kctim at February 9, 2009 9:39 AM
Comment #275272

Didn’t Jesus of Nazareth hang out with prostitutes? This guilt by association thing is old and tired and we should seek to do better. After all we could associate Ogden’s defense of pornography cases with Jesus not stoning the prostitute just as easy. Let ye without sin….

Posted by: j2t2 at February 9, 2009 1:09 PM
Comment #275316

We are not talking about morality or spirituality in this post, we are talking about self-righteousness, and there is a huge difference!

Posted by: Marysdude at February 9, 2009 11:26 PM
Comment #275324

Self-righteousness? If you believe your beliefs and actions are of ‘greater virtue’ than mine, does it really matter where those beliefs, and reasons for those actions, come from? No.
Does it matter where your morals, which helps form ones sense of self-righteousness, come from? No.

One person forcing another person to believe and support a certain way in the name of a God or govt, is wrong.

Posted by: kctim at February 10, 2009 9:28 AM
Comment #275437

kctim,

What some call force, others call cooperation. We elect representatives to help us through the morass…it is not their fault we elect dunderheads who think more about their pocketbooks than their constituents.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 12, 2009 2:07 PM
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