Home / News / No more porn: Santorum vows to enforce US obscenity laws if he becomes president: Larry Flynt tells him to "butt out"
No more porn: Santorum vows to enforce US obscenity laws if he becomes president: Larry Flynt tells him to "butt out"

No more porn: Santorum vows to enforce US obscenity laws if he becomes president: Larry Flynt tells him to "butt out"

Rick Santorum wants to ban porn–at least, the "hardcore" stuff.   According to his website, Santorum says "a wealth of research" (that he does not cite) states that porn is ruining children for life and contributing to misogyny:

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.

For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

Congress has responded.  Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.

Santorum vows that federal obscenity laws ought to be "vigorously enforced," and "If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

Larry Flynt thinks Santorum's proposal is obscene, and he's got two words for Rick Santorum:
"Butt out."

Two giants in the industry contacted by msnbc.com scoff at the Republican presidential candidate's claims that porn is causing “a pandemic of harm” in America and contributing to violence against women.

Nonsense, says Hustler publisher Larry Flynt.  Absolutely no proof, says Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Los Angeles-based Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest makers of erotic movies.

Flynt notes that a 1969 commission set up by President Lyndon Johnson spent millions of dollars studying the impact of porn and concluded there was no evidence such materials were harmful.
“I find it ironic that Republicans (like Santorum) are out there wanting less government and government intruding into our lives, but when it comes to moral issues they want government to legislate morality," says Hirsch. "It doesn’t work. It will never work.”
According to Wikipedia, studies on the social effects of pornography are often biased:
In a recent review of this literature Ferguson and Hartley (2009) argue that the results from controlled studies are inconsistent.[11] They state that the authors of some studies tended to highlight positive findings while deemphasizing null findings, demonstrating confirmation bias in the published literature. Ferguson and Hartley concluded that controlled studies, on balance, were not able to support links between pornography and sexual violence.
The Pacific Center for Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii Manoa agrees.  According to a 1998 study  that looked at countries that had previously been quite prudish and then became more liberal regarding pornography–Japan, Denmark, Sweden and Germany,   the study  found that the more permissive a society is regarding such material, the more attitudes about sex change and the more sex crimes actually go down:
The concern that countries allowing pornography and liberal anti-obscenity laws would show increased sex crime rates due to modeling or that children or adolescents in particular would be negatively vulnerable to and receptive to such models or that society would be otherwise adversely effected is not supported by evidence. It is certainly clear from the data reviewed, and the new data and analysis presented, that a massive increase in available pornography in Japan, the United States and elsewhere has been correlated with a dramatic decrease in sexual crimes and most so among youngsters as perpetrators or victims. Even in this area of concern no "clear and present danger" exists for the suppression of SEM. There is no evidence that pornography is intended or likely to produce "imminent lawless action" (see Brandenberg v. Ohio, 1969). It is reasonable that the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently rejected the principal that speech or expression can be punished because it offends some people's sensibilities or beliefs. Compared with "hate speech" or "commercial speech" there seems even less justification for banning "sex speech."21,22
Santorum vows to fight the War on Pornography with his fellow social conservative supporters:
I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced.  That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups.  Together we will prevail.
The only studies this reporter found that agreed with Santorum's point of view were primarily religious studies and a widely publicized/reprinted study done by the Family Research Council, which is currently one of the frontrunners in the "war on pornography."

Henderson told XBIZ on Friday that it’s no coincidence that the consumption of porn in Republican-leaning Bible Belt states is either equal to that of Democratic-leaning states, or higher.

"The more the Christian Right aggressively forces an agenda of extreme, radical social conservatism on people, the more they rebel," he said. "The more the Christian Right tries to make adult entertainment the forbidden fruit in states like Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, the more exciting it becomes to people in those states.

"Also, people who are sexually repressed are hungering for sexual information. So when the Christian Right oppresses people sexually and deprives them of sexual information, their need to consume porn becomes even greater.”

Henderson went on to say that in other parts of the world porn is generally accepted without apology.

“I’ve traveled in some European countries where porn isn’t really controversial, including France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. If anything, violent action movies are more controversial and more stigmatized in Continental Europe than porn," he said. "And in the countries that have the most liberal attitudes sexually, people are generally a lot less dysfunctional when it comes to sex.

"Rick Santorum would faint if he went to Spain, which has nude and topless beaches, gay marriage, large gay pride events, comprehensive sex education programs and open prostitution in major tourist areas — and yet, Spain has much lower teenage pregnancy rates than a Bible Belt state like Alabama," he said. "That says it all. The anti-porn, anti-gay, anti-contraception, anti-sex-education agenda of the Christian Right does not prevent sexual problems; it encourages them.

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • Deborah_B

    XBIZ's findings are in line with New Scientist's study revealing that the largest consumption of porn occurs in the most religious, most conservative states:

    http://www.goddiscussion.com/3219/conservative-religious-states-are-the-biggest-consumers-of-online-porn/

    It's beginning to seem like Santorum of fixated on "all things sexual" in his anti-women, anti-gay, anti-porn rantings.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      I bet he goes home or to his motel room and watches "Emmanuel" on Showtime, that is, if they still have it since I divorced my first husband 20 years ago.  lol

    • Sheldon

      Thanks for the link Deborah… I wasn't aware of that study.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

       Like I said, they are obsessed with sex and, apparently, the ones watching it.  IMO, Santorum is probably into S&M porn, because he likes control, esp of women.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    These guys are overly obsessed with sex and probably are watching porn themselves.  Banning of porn would only make people view and read it more.

    • joe paterno

      Who are you refering to?

  • Larry

    Larry Flint is addicted to sexual immorality, impurity debauchery and lewdness.  No wonder he says there's no harm in pornography.  He's shackled to sexual addiction.  Rick Santorum is right and everyone who's bashing him is a slave to sexual impurity.  There's help for those who want freedom from this slavery.  Celebrate Recovery is one of them, so is S.A.A.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Mc/100001605142837 Thomas Mc

    Anyone who doubted there was a connection between Right Wing Republicans and the Mullahs of Iran, should now be convinced. Gays, contraception, porn, what's next? Virginity tests, crimininalizing masturbation, and a Cabinet position for the Office of Vice and Virtue?

  • Daniel

    Larry Flynt is a disgrace to the United States. I'm sure the O team will get their band of brothers hitting the keyboards about this.  Godspeed and remember Horatio Bunce and the spirit of his conversation with Davy Crockett.

  • joe paterno

    Women and children are being used the world over as sex slaves.  As much as I dislike Santorum, I have no love for Flynt who has used women in order to build an empire.

  • Sheldon

    This discussion concerns America and its porn industry. It is business with contracts and health benefits and vacations. Call it what you want but this is about making money in which case, consideration of market-place pressures should not be quietly dismissed in favour of some personal moral outrage over something that may not be exactly as it seems. 

    You will notice please, the article link below is about 4 years old. I am quite sure the porn industry has changed further since.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28022805/ns/health-sexual_health/t/women-top-female-execs-rise-porn-biz/#.T3DHstBtJWE

    While I do not subscribe to pornography, I would still agree with the quote below.

    The feminist Myra Kostash paraphrasing Camus: "Freedom to publish and read does not necessarily assure a society of justice and peace, but without these freedoms it has no assurance at all."

    • joe paterno

      It is NOT "business with contracts and health benefits and vacations."  Pornography is a world-wide business and people–usually women AND children–
      are coerced into it or simply enslaved. 

      The Price of Pleasure
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNlRoaFTHuE

      • Sheldon

        We're not talking about the world, we're talking about America. The world is a different discussion altogether.

        You are assuming I don't know the difference.

  • Jack

    Dakota – you are a "Biblical scholar" and yet advocate for porn? what did you study for? the Bible does you no good. Jesus who let the prostitute go also said "go and sin no more".
    And by the way- where are your sources for Flynt? Wikipedia?

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