Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are You Sure?

Let me preface this by saying that I understand that pornography is a bad thing. A really bad thing. I have seen people trapped and ensnared by the lure and temptations of pornography. I have seen a few isolated encounters with online pornography become devastating addictions that have broken hearts and torn families apart. I have spent hours hoping and pondering and praying that I can keep my children and my family safe from its ever-reaching grasp. Those under its influence have been known to make poor decisions without fully understanding the span of the consequences. And it seems that even the fear of what pornography can do to our children is enough to adversely affect our critical thinking skills. 

I'm sure you have all seen it. It's usually preceded by some snappy little blurb...

"It only takes a minute"

"If it's working in England, why not here?"

"Think of our kids!"

"I just signed....will you??"

You know, that petition from the White House website to require porn to be an "opt in" feature with internet service providers. It's been posted by 6 of my Facebook friends today alone. 

Yikes! *porn* I don't want pornography in my home. Ever! Where do I sign? And how do I get all of my 400 Facebook friends to sign too??

Believe me, on the surface it sounds like a reeeeaaalllly good idea. Let people that like porn opt in and leave the rest of us alone. There's only one problem.....

After I worked my way through the emotional response I had when I read the word pornography and thought it through for a minute, I realized the ramifications of this petition are less about pornography and more about censorship. 

Let that sink in for a second. 

Yes, pornography is bad. But is censorship good? At the hands of our government, I'm not so sure. 

If we ask Washington to do this for us, what are the limits? I don't want pornography working its way into my home through the internet but what about art? In my opinion there is a fine, yet distinct line between nudity in art and pornography.  Will congress place that line where I think it should be placed? Or will my children also be "protected" from the no less than ten works of art that I can think of (just off the top of my head) that could easily be tossed out with pornography should the government so decree? And how long until some self-serving politicians with hidden agendas convince us that parts of history should be included in what is shielded from the general public?

Do we really want them to have the power to decide what comes into our homes and what doesn't?

There has to be another way. There are already filtering programs available. My husband and I use one. We have come across several instances where a website was unnecessarily blocked and WE have been able to make a decision and override controls to make those websites accessible. Will the government do the same?

If we don't consider filtering systems good enough, perhaps we should have our friends and neighbors sign a petition to show internet service providers that we would be willing to pay extra to opt out of pornography. Or if we all think and brainstorm together, maybe we will come up with an even better idea. 

I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press were important enough, when combined with other concerns, to incite a revolution. Are we really so willing to give that up?

I think our kids deserve better