- Scott Dow, Director, War On Pornography
- Rep. Chris Cannnon (R-UT)
- JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton, President, Citizens for Families
- Alan Osmond, President, TheFamily.com
- Ray Sikkema, President, Citizen's Voice
- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
- Alan Keyes
SCOTT DOW, DIRECTOR, WARONPORNOGRAPHY.COM: We will get started, and I'd like to welcome you all here today and thank you for participating with us in the launch of the War on Pornography initiative.
Today, we're very grateful to have with us Congressman Chris Cannon, who's been a true champion in Washington in the war against pornography and indecency.
And Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General and protector of the children of this state, and he has brought with him his sword of justice. You will see it shortly, I'm sure.
We have Alan Osmond, the president of TheFamily.com and a shining light out in the world of entertainment. JoAnn Hibbert, president of Citizens for Families (www.strengthenthefamily.net). She has created a very successful community cleanup program that cleans up pornography out of the community. It has been featured in many newspapers across the country.
Ray Sikkema, president of Citizen's Voice. (www.1millioncanadians.com) His group was started at the beginning of this year in Canada, and has since become the largest, most proactive group in Canada, and they're fighting this war on pornography now.
I'd like to take a few minutes now to tell you about the War on Pornography initiative. Nine in ten kids eight to sixteen years old have viewed pornography online. The average age of first exposure to internet pornography is eleven years old. Pornography is much more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes, drugs. In many cases, it's instantly addictive. The pornography industry is larger than the NFL, NBA, and major league baseball combined. It's a problem. Many of our children, our youth, those that will someday carry the burden of our society, are rapidly becoming addicted to pornography and desensitized to wrong-doing.
Just listen to some of the final words of convicted killer Ted Bundy before he was executed: "Pornography, which is an indispensable link to the chain of behavior, the chain of events that lead to the behavior, to the assaults, to the murders. I have met a lot of men who are motivated to commit violence just like me. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography." End quote.
If we give the pornographers a free ride on our youth today, what is going to happen to them tomorrow? As a father of five young children, I am very concerned as a parent. Eighty-two percent of Americans agree. In using their common sense, they strongly believe that we need to clamp down on this pornography trend.
Now, why hasn't it happened? Why is pornography still the fastest growing industry out there? Maybe we could look to the Supreme Court for the answer. Last week, there was a five to four decision by the Supreme Court to block the Child Online Protection Act. Again, this is a very good piece of legislation that was unanimously supported in both Congress and the Senate. And Congressman Cannon was one of those supporters, right? Right. Of course.
The majority of justices felt that requiring adults to sign up to view pornography was too restrictive on those adults wanting to view it. Is it such an onerous burden to register on a site with a credit card before you use it? Isn't that what all of us do every day when we sign on to buy a book or to purchase travel? It's hardly a restriction of rights, especially given the protection it will afford the children that cannot protect themselves. It's just common sense.
The majority of justices felt that the problem could be fixed simply by parents using internet filters. This is a sad reflection of the justices' understanding of the problem, the internet, the technology, and the porn industry in general. It's just like saying it's OK to dump raw sewage in our town's water supply, just as long as everyone uses the handy-dandy Wal-Mart water filter on your tap, and just don't drink the water outside of your home. Obviously, we wouldn't stand for this, nor would the Supreme Court, and our children's learning environment is no different. We need to protect the source of information, as well as the tap that it comes out of.
Today, we are declaring a war on pornography, and fighting the real threat to our families. We're calling on that 82% of the population to join with us and spend a few minutes of your time each month using our website to protect the children. They can't protect themselves. Our elected representatives and the judiciary need our help to enforce the existing legislation that's there, and we also must educate the families.
Our goal is to rally and organize 10 million people
Thank you very much. Now we'd like to hear from our distinguished guests and supporters, each about what they are doing. Congressman Cannon, please.
REP. CHRIS CANNON (R-UT): Thank you. I think it's important that you see the technology presentation that Scott is talking about here, so if we can get that going
You know, if your principles are right, government will follow, and no government in the history of the world has done
Where there is a right there is also a wrong, and, in fact, people who don't like goodness and truth fight against it, and they fight on many fronts. It's harder to be good. There's only a few things you have to do to be bad. There are many, many things that you can do. And in fact, we are suffering today an onslaught unlike anything that has ever happened, I think, in the world before. The opportunity for iniquity, for pornography is greater than I think has ever been the case in the history of the world
Now, the internet is a source of great good today. In India, people are setting up little internet access sites all over the country, and the result of that is that doctors are about to help people in the middle of nowhere, people who have problems there with their crops are able to get guidance from agronomists at Utah State University.
A lot of wonderful, great things are happening because of the internet, but some really bad, awful things are happening, and that is something that we are here today to begin to deal with. That's what the WarOnPornography.com is all about. I'm not sure what we're going to end up doing. The first thing we have to do is teach our children
I want to make, actually, two points that I hope you'll hear. The first
So, you don't want your kids downloading Kazaa. It'll irritate you. But more importantly, Kazaa is one of these peer-to-peer softwares, and what happens with Kazaa is that your kids may want to be on there to trade music
The first thing that you can do today is get rid of Kazaa. Don't let that be on your computer. And then we have a much tougher set of choices
I'm not yet sure what those are, but what I can tell you is that if you will get engaged in through the five-minute activists on WarOnPornography.com, that will put you in a position, and if you'll get your friends engaged, as well, it will put many of us in this position to actually be supportive of the good things we can do in this battle against evil and vile influences that surround us and that are attacking our children with regularity.
I think that Dr. Keyes is going to be here shortly, but let me introduce JoAnn Hibbert, who is the president of Citizens for Families, and she's going to talk about what Citizens for Families is doing to fight the war on pornography. Thanks, JoAnn.
JOANN HIBBERT HAMILTON, PRESIDENT, CITIZENS FOR FAMILIES: I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here. My name is JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton. I'm president of a group called Citizens for Families. We are a non-profit organization that is speaking out for decency.
Roy Reed, a therapist who works with sexual addiction said, "One of the greatest tragedies is when children are exposed to provocative magazines just because they were shopping with their parents."
Dr. Matthew Hedelius concurs with the damage being done, because these magazines introduce sexual images into the minds of our children that cannot be erased, and that in turn influence other decisions that they will make, perhaps at a later time.
Our goal as an organization is to help communities establish child-appropriate community standards so this doesn't happen. Let me explain. Every community has the right to establish its own community standard. Like Provo can be different from Springville, which can be different from Salt Lake City, citizens define, by their tolerance or their rejection, what the community standard is. Every time you pass by something that you find inappropriate and say nothing, you have cast a vote saying that it's OK.
Here's what we've done in Bountiful. We went to the Bountiful city council, and they unanimously passed a resolution that Bountiful be a child-appropriate community, as have ten other cities in the state of Utah. In just a few months, that number will double, and we put signs like this up in private yards and flyers in windows, and they said, "Protect children. Remove inappropriate material from view."
And we gathered business signatures. Dr. John Harmer said that if we could get the support of most of the stores, that the community standard would prevail. And we've seen it happen in Bountiful. We found store owners who would order covers for their inappropriate magazines at a single request, just because we asked. One businessman said that if six to eight people talked to him in a two-week period of time, he made a change in his store. Polite requests at the service desks and persistence make a difference. Our success rate is that more than 95% of our stores in Bountiful have child-appropriate policies in place, and they are working with the covers.
I'd like to show you a sample. I don't know if the overhead is working. There's one. That's a 7-11 store. Another. OK, Walgreens. Notice that the things that are inappropriate are close to the floor, aimed, frankly, at our children. Another one. Again, notice that they are down low. As parents, we need to start looking down low to see, not what we're seeing, but what our children are seeing that makes a difference in their lives.
We only have a couple of stores left. Ten other cities are organized in large areas of Utah, or are in the process of becoming organized, to become child-appropriate. To help communities follow our pattern, we have a website available. It is StrengthenTheFamily.net, not .com, but .net, and there you'll find a book that's informative for families, materials you can copy, a CD, a video that'll help you find volunteers and to help people understand what we're doing, and other resources to help you form a child-appropriate community standard in your community.
We support the war against pornography. We hope you'll join Citizens for Families at StrengthenTheFamily.net. Thank you very much.
ALAN OSMOND, PRESIDENT, THEFAMILY.COM: Hello, my name's Alan Osmond. It's good to be here with you today.
I was asked to address a comment on "what is TheFamily.com doing to fight the War on Pornography?"
TheFamily.com, much like our charity One Heart Foundation, is all about strengthening families. As I ponder and as I pray for ways to battle the dark forces of pornography that are allowed to penetrate our homes and our children's minds at such a young age, I actually get mad and very upset inside.
It isn't fair that our innocent children should be exposed to this dark force. What can we do?
Is it allowed? We're told that there are opposites in all things, so I guess it's going to happen, but we don't need to stand by idly and do nothing about it. What we do at TheFamily.com is the opposite of pornography. By way of our website TheFamily.com and other family sites on our network, we take the positive approach and we publish the good.
Ever since my family and I got into the entertainment business many years ago, we tried to get hit records, we tried to get on top TV shows, films, videos, and other media avenues so that we could share our music and our talents. We would edit the lyrics, we would cut out the innuendos and the gestures and the bad language and jokes that we were handed to say or do in the scripts, in order that we would stand for the positive.
We were sometimes called "square," "goody-goody," and told to "get with it," but at the least, we could sleep at night. We knew that if we didn't stand for something, we would fall for anything. Some music critics said to us, "There are no hymns on the top ten music charts"
I remember the time that our record executive had us go into the recording studio with this fabulous music writer who had found us a "hit song"
Well, my mother and father asked for a moment with this writer by just private, and they said, you know, they explained our desire to keep the positive approach to our music, not only for our message of families and our religion, but for what we were all about. And he looked at them, and he said, "You know, if my momma, if she were here right now, she would slap my face." And he said, "Let's go change those lyrics."
You see? You can get it if you just ask. You can do it. Well, guess what? We released that song and it went gold. We're very pleased. I'm grateful for my parents for speaking up.
Now, maybe we can't stop all the pornography and the dark forces in the world, but we can stand up against it and get behind the positive forces. We all have great freedoms and we have something most important: that's the power to choose. We have a choice to say yes or say no. We must say no to pornography and declare war on it.
With the Osmond Network we've teamed up our website with WarOnPornography.com. Go look it up. We invite you and all your family everywhere to join us. With over 80% of the population wanting to clamp down on the internet pornography, it's time to mobilize and organize these people into an army, over 10 million plus. It will show legislators and judges just how serious citizens are about fighting this plague. It's the right thing to do. Pornography can never be erased from a child's mind. Let's protect their innocence, and let's act, now.
RAY SIKKEMA, PRESIDENT, CITIZEN'S VOICE: Good afternoon. My name is Ray Sikkema. I would personally like to thank Mr. Scott Dow for initiating this much-needed War on Pornography.
As we battle the forces of terror, we also face war in our very own homes
Canada knows full well the violence and terror pornography has on society. Just a few months ago, Holly Jones, an innocent ten-year-old girl living in Toronto, was abducted, raped, and brutally murdered and dismembered by a middle-aged computer programmer who had no hint of any past criminal activity. In his defense, this perpetrator cited pornography
The war on pornography has already claimed the life of a ten-year-old girl. For her sake, and for the sake of millions of minds that will be stained by pornographic images, let us take up this battle with courage, resolve, and an unwavering commitment to defeat this tempting and alluring enemy. North America is under domestic attack. Let us work together in fighting pornography, the real threat to our families.
MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good afternoon. I'm Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General, and as Ray just explained, America is under attack. The very moral fiber of this nation is deteriorating, and as we rightfully spend billions of dollars in the fight against terror to protect our borders and to protect our people, we have to understand and remember that, as far back as Abraham Lincoln, we understood that this nation will never be overcome by a foreign power. We know that.
As Abraham Lincoln
And I'll tell you, from a law enforcement perspective, pornography is one of those tools, one of those causes of moral degradation of society, the breakup of the home, the degradation of women, the opening up to additional attacks and secondary crimes that is one of the major problems that this nation faces. We're grateful to our friends to the north who see the same problems, Scott, and who want to join together to fight this problem.
And we need to do it together. This is not something that just government can handle. Often, we turn to government and say, "Hey, we have this problem. Can you fix it for us?" and we do our best, and we have good people in Congress like Congressman Cannon who stands up for the right, and who supported Child Online Protection Act, and worked to create, to give to government, to give to law enforcement, a few tools, just a few tools to protect our children
Now, there's a lot of debate going on. A lot of people argue this, the sociologists and the psychiatrists, and they're all debating
And they use the fact that, during the decade of the '90s, and, quite frankly, during the Clinton administration, pornographers themselves have said they understood that nothing was going to be done. In their words, it was all blue skies and green lights. They could do anything they wanted to push pornography, and it just so happened that technology and the World Wide Web and the internet blossomed into all of our homes during that same ten-year period. Pornographers saw it. They knew that this was their way to get our children and our men, primarily, addicted, and then want continually more aggressive and destructive forms of pornography. They know it to be true. They started this war. They put our families under attack.
You understand that if your kids are just trying to do a fifth grade report on their favorite baseball team, simply trying innocently to look up information, pornographers have taken every name they can and every opportunity they can to throw the most disgusting, horrific types of pornography in their faces
It's happened, it happens in every home where there is a computer, and I urge you to take this rallying cry that John and Ray and others have started, to say we have to do something about it. They started the war, we need to get involved in this.
Now, I brought my sword. [Shurtleff raises a sword] If we're going to fight a war, I want to be armed. You know, as the attorney general of the state of Utah, my job is to enforce justice. You've all seen the statue of Lady Justice. We always talk about the scale of justice she holds in one hand, which keeps in balance and which represents equal access to the courts, equal opportunity, equal justice under law, but she always carries in her hand the sword of justice, which is the might and the power of laws to protect the people from those who would violate their rights, who would victimize them and take away those rights.
That sword of justice needs to be wielded in the fight for right, and that's the representation you need to remember. Those tools are given to us, to law enforcement, appropriately by our legislators, and there are so many things that are being done to try and give us tools. Unfortunately, we have Congress put together some great tools to protect our kids from online pornography and, as I said, we have an out of touch Supreme Court, five justices so out of touch that they struck down those efforts.
But we're not going to give up. Here in Utah, we're doing some additional things, and we're going to take these things, we've shared them with other states already
This will give you the right to sign up, much like a "no-call list"
A couple more quick things. My time is up, but I want to say a couple other things. We have to be able to go after and provide incentives, let's say, to our libraries. The American Libraries Association has fought tooth and nail to prevent us, those in the legislature and the law, to require some mandatory filters so that our kids and others can't use publicly-funded computers to access their addiction to pornography. We can use that tool by saying you can't have state funding, and if you want state funding, you've better put a filter in place. We've done it in Utah, it's in effect here now. We need to spread that across the nation.
Another thing: we need to be able to use the taxing power. You know, we tax cigarettes. Why not tax
We need to continue to fight this fight, and we need to remember that it's not just about legislation, because, as we saw with this recent Child Online Protection Act struck down, one of the most important things we can do in this country, right now, this year, is to elect a president of the United States who is going to determine the makeup of the Supreme Court into the future, because we will have two, three, maybe four justices leave that Supreme Court, and we have to have a president in place who will appoint the kind of men and women who will respect the rule of law, who will understand their position to interpret the law and not make the law, and who will be in touch with reality. So, you need to go out and motivate these 10 million people to do the right thing in selecting somebody who will select those judges.
Again, in closing, government doesn't have the answers. We are now celebrating our 228 anniversary of the founding of this country, and it really truly was not the Thomas Jeffersons, the George Washingtons, and other heroes of the Revolution who won the Revolution, it was people like you. The minute men and minute women, the farmers, the ranchers, the ministers, the people who came out in the hour of need and fought the battle
That's who we're coming to now. That's the purpose of the War on Pornography, it's to motivate the people of America and Canada and the world to get together to protect us and to fight this scourge, and to provide the tools that we need to protect our children today. We need your help. There's a few numbers here, but you're the first. You have a mission, you have an assignment, spread the word, get people signed up, and let's get together and win this war on pornography.
DOW: Now, we have the technology fixed, so we can quickly go through, we'll take a couple of minutes here, and we'll go through the website.
Here you see, after you get to the website, you can click on a link that will take you to a letter-writing program, and we've designed this using the same tools that the pornographers are using to get their message out. So, we're using the internet and ease of use, so it only takes you a couple minutes
And let me tell you. This stuff works. So far, we've sent about 4 million letters through this system, and we have seen results, and we're just getting started. So, this tool will allow you act and it will also allow you to spread the word, which is
If anyone has any questions that they'd like to direct at any of the people here, stand up and let your voice be heard.
SHURTLEFF: The concern is, some people raise the concern that if you create a registry, and someone can somehow hack into that information, they can use that information then to further victimize your families. And so, that's why, number one, technology needs to be in place, and so far, what I've seen is very, very good cryptology that will prevent that happening. Second, yeah, look, listen, it makes it very difficult that in the nature of the World Wide Web
One thing we have to have that we're talking about now is forced identification, no longer allow pornographers and others to use false information, false sites to try and peddle their wares, so to speak. It is a huge complex problem. It's like a Gordian knot
REP. CANNON: I think we have Alan Keyes with us. Alan
ALAN KEYES: Good afternoon.
They invited me to come and say a word or two about the War on Pornography. What I want to talk about is really the tremendous necessity for it, because we live in a time when, more and more, our understanding of human sexuality has been debased.
And it has been debased to such a degree that that debasement has now, as I'm sure many of you are aware, become a threat to the most fundamental institution in our society.
I'm fond of reminding people that the meaning of the word "pornography" in its Greek root, pornos graphein, means to describe the harlot's work, to describe the business of the harlot. And what is it that the harlot does? The harlot uses or abuses human sexual formation for pleasure only, making that the objective of everything.
It is that understanding of human sexual relations that I think we ought to know is now at the bottom of the assault that is taking place on the traditional family. We are in a debate right now over what marriage will be, and some folks want us to accept an understanding of the marriage relationship in which that sexual relationship is defined as being between two people who have no possibility, in principle, of ever producing a child. And that means that the whole connection between human sexuality and God's plan of procreation is destroyed if we embrace this understanding of human sexuality.
But what is that understanding, at the end of the day? It is a pornographic understanding of human sexual relations
I think that one of the reasons we are seeing this understanding on the march
That means that, in effect, the war against pornography is a war against that mentality which is creating the fertile ground for the whole crisis of the family, which in the end is the crisis of our whole society.
So, I hope you all have given wholehearted attention today to the work that is being done. I believe that it not only deserves our wholehearted support, but that it is desperately important in these times that we reject pornography and the whole mentality that degrades human sexual relations that it represents. It is part of the great struggle that is now being waged to preserve our allegiance to God's plan for our humanity in the family.