Right to Porn Upheld

From the June 2002 Trumpet Print Edition

Some forms of child pornography just received a thumbs-up from the highest court in America.

On April 16, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional major sections of legislation passed by Congress in a 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act.

This act sought to protect children from gross exploitation. As it stands, the act “forbids sexually explicit material that gives the appearance of involving a minor, or material that when advertised ‘conveys the impression’ that it involves children” (Agence France Presse, April 17; emphasis ours). The court decided this definition was too broad and trampled on the constitutional right of others to freedom of speech.

Child pornography that shows real children is illegal, but there is still plenty of it available on the Internet.

The Supreme Court decision, in a 6-to-3 vote, ruled that “virtual” child pornography—created using computer images instead of actual children—can be okay, along with pornography that involves adults who look like children.

Technology today can produce computer images that are indistinguishable from the real thing. It is ridiculous to think that this decision won’t have terrible consequences for thousands of children and families.

Pornography is hugely damaging to those who view it. Common sense should make this obvious, but many researchers also have linked child pornography to heart-breaking consequences.

Ernest E. Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said, “Molesters use child pornography to stimulate their desires and fuel their fantasies for children. Child pornography is a ‘molestation tool,’ used to seduce and manipulate child victims, break down inhibitions, and make sex between adults and children appear ‘normal’” (US Newswire, May 2).

By law, in the United States, material that is “indecent” is protected by the First Amendment, while “obscene” material is not protected. Who decides what is “indecent” and what is “obscene”? Congress says “contemporary community standards” should determine what is harmful to children (Associated Press, May 13). In other words, whatever the majority of people believe is okay.

The Bible shows that man is not capable of deciding for himself what is right. The U.S. Supreme Court has just proven God’s Word correct.