John Stonestreet and Shane Morris on Why the Government Should Address Pornography

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John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.


Back in December, conservative voices on Twitter had a heated debate over whether or not the government should get involved in the fight against pornography—particularly because of how it impacts our kids.

Writers like Catholic Matt Walsh at the Daily Wire made the case that porn is no longer an issue of private morality, if it ever was. Today, porn is a public health crisis. Mountains of evidence reveal not only its addictive power but also its devastating consequences for women and children. Walsh argued that free market solutions have been exhausted, and so banning pornography and prosecuting those who distribute it is the only way to contain this scourge on our families and our society. Others argued for at least increased governmental regulation.

Some libertarians pushed back, insisting that although porn is harmful, the government should not regulate what consenting adults look at on their computers or phones. As one commentator memorably put it, “Social conservatives need to realize that we can handle pornography…without turning America into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia.”

Really, how’s handling it going so far? As much as that comment makes me want to scream, at least a long overdue debate is happening. So, let’s have it.

First, the idea that the government addressing something so dangerous to the public, especially to children, is somehow akin to theocratic tyranny is, to put it mildly, ridiculous. Even us limited government folks think government has a role to protect citizens. This clearly falls into that category.

Second, the idea that pornography falls under free speech protections is also ridiculous. It’s a stretch to consider the selling of digital flesh as a political or artistic endeavor worthy of protection, but the dissemination of the depraved abuse of real live human beings, which is what so much porn is today? No way.

Third, bondage to pornography isn’t an expression of freedom, especially when victims are children. Porn is predatory. Because it is unregulated, it assaults citizens not looking for it. Even worse, kids are being targeted at shockingly early ages. Studies say the average age of first exposure is eleven. For many, it’s as young as five.

That’s why I was so grateful to learn of a letter by Princeton University’s Robert George, considered to be one of America’s foremost conservative intellectuals, to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, pleading with him to take action against Internet pornography.

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Source: Christian Headlines