Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Why pornography is not a freedom-of-speech issue

Pornography is inherently degrading. The nature of watching other people involved in sexual activity is by its essential, unchangeable nature, defiling.

For the government to restrict pornography is not like the government restricting the discussion of political ideas it disapproves of, or banning all kitchen knives because once Johnny waved one at a friend. Neither discussion, or kitchen names are essentially and necessarily degrading by their very nature.

Therefore, from a Christian perspective, all arguments connecting attempts to regulate pornography to freedom-of-speech or state-overreach issues are bogus. They belong in the same category as arguing that if the state is allowed to forbid murder, then our freedoms are lost because the next thing you know they'll be banning scrapping in the playground. And just because they probably already have banned scrapping in most playgrounds, does not mean that we or anyone else should want to repeal laws against murder.

We need to both be clear that state-overreach is a real and increasing problem for godly living in our days, whilst equally avoiding falling into the ditch on the other side of the road: becoming radical anti-statists. The Bible is certainly neither. The state can, and should, penalise everyone involved in the production of inherently degrading material, and no issues of privacy or free "speech" or state over-reach are presented if it makes their transmission unlawful. (Though the current uproar has been caused by discussion of what you do or don't have to tick in order to receive it, rather than any proposal to actually make anything at all illegal. Obviously many commentators I've read online do protest far too much).

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