Morality in Media (MIM) recently released its 2014 Dirty Dozen list of the top purveyors of pornography, just as it has done each year, for over 50 years. This list will shock you. What follows is a summary of the rise of pornography and MIM’s gallant efforts to expose the companies, people and organizations that actively promote the spread of pornography and, the barrage of filth with which they’ve had to contend.
MIM was established in New York in 1962 by Father Morton A. Hill, Lutheran Pastor Rev. Robert Wiltenburg, Rabbi Julius Neumann and Greek Orthodox priest Rev. Constantine Volaitis, in response to a mother’s discovery that hard-core magazines were being circulated among the 6th grade boys in Father Hill’s parochial school. MIM is a faith-based, non-profit organization and Father Hill remained its President until his death in 1985.
The dissemination of pornography to the general public began in earnest the late 1950’s and, in response, most towns, counties and states in our highly Christian country, banned its production and distribution. Some deviant men were not content with their arrests and convictions for distribution of pornography and responded by suing the municipalities in order to reverse their convictions. When the convictions were not overturned, they sought appeals to higher and higher courts until Samuel Roth’s case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC in 1957.
Roth was from New York City and his U.S. Supreme Court case also included another non-Christian, named David Alberts, who was arrested in Los Angeles on similar charges. Both filed the suit to have their convictions for publishing and sending “obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy” materials through the mail, overturned. They lost, and their convictions were upheld. The court reaffirmed the responsibility to define obscenity to the individual state’s local municipalities, counties or to the state legislatures. But the court did, in its ruling, better define obscene materials as being “utterly without socially redeeming value.”
The next notable U.S. Supreme Court case concerning obscenity, Memoirs vs. Massachusetts, was about a particular book and it was decided in 1966. Massachusetts had a long history of banning books. I’m sure most of you have heard the phrase, “Banned in Boston.” This phrase had its origins with the Puritan settlers of Massachusetts when, in 1651, the Puritan leaders banned William Pynchon’s book The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption“, in which he criticized Puritanism. Pynchon was a wealthy English colonist, and fur trader, who founded nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. Not only did the Puritans ban his book in Boston, they burned it in Boston Commons. The Puritans charged Pynchon with heresy. He chose to transfer his wealth to his son and return to England rather than stand trial. So, it’s not surprising that Massachusetts should be one of the first state’s to defend its long-standing position against incendiary material.
The Memoirs vs. Massachusetts case revolved around the 1963 republication of John Cleland’s 1749 book, The Memoirs of a Women of Pleasure (Fanny Hill), by Massachusetts publisher, Peter Holmes. Holmes was convicted of publishing an “obscene and lewd” novel. Despite Holmes conviction, the U. S. Supreme Court only addressed the book, not the publisher’s conviction. This case would challenge the Roth definition of obscenity, especially considering the fact that the book in question had already been bought in large numbers by libraries and universities and was even translated into Braille by the Library of Congress. So, it was already deemed to be, not utterly without social value, by librarians throughout the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court, did indeed, overturned the Massachusetts ruling of obscenity as applied to Fanny Hill, for just that reason. They agreed that according to the Roth precedent, Fanny Hill, was “not utterly without social value.” As Justice Douglas wrote, “Even under the prevailing view of the Roth test the book cannot be held to be obscene in view of substantial evidence showing that it has literary, historical, and social importance.” This case began the never-ending legal debate about what was considered obscene and what was not.
The next notable U. S. Supreme Court case, to better define what was, and what was not considered pornography in relation to the 1st Amendment, was Miller vs. California in 1973. Another non-Christian, Marvin Miller, who specialized in pornographic films and books, brought the suit to overturn his conviction for mailing brochures to the general public, which graphically showed men and women having sex. Father Hill, from MIM, would influence the outcome of this case because of his involvement with a commission created by Pres. Johnson in 1968 to study the matter.
Incredibly, rather than making an effort to stem-the-tide of the non-Christian led, societal chaos which was sweeping the country in the late 1960’s, President Lyndon Johnson’s “Commission on Pornography and Obscenity” instead, added fuel to the fire, when it concluded in its final report of 1970, that all obscenity laws should be repealed. Duh.
Luckily, Father Hill, and another clergyman on the commission, Dr. Winfrey C. Link, wrote the minority report debunking the commission’s outlandish conclusion, because in 1973, when the issue proceeded to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rev. Hill’s report held sway and the court upheld the obscenity laws. Although, they once again redefined what was considered obscene, changing the 1957 Roth case’s definition from being “utterly without socially redeeming value” to materials that lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
I think you already know the end of the story. The obscenity laws have continued to be liberalized for films and printed material and are almost none existent when it comes to stemming the vast proliferation of pornography on the internet. All of which goes to proves Englishman Edmund Burke’s admonition, “When good men do nothing, evil prevails.”
The following, is MIM’s Dirty Dozen list. Please note that below it, is a list of websites and devices you can use to protect your kids from internet pornography as well.
Morality in Media’s list for 2014:
- Attorney General Eric Holder – Mr. Holder refuses to enforce existing federal obscenity laws against hard-core adult pornography, despite the fact that these laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and effectively enforced by previous attorneys general.
- Verizon – Verizon pushes porn into our homes now through hardcore pay-per-view movies on FIOS, smartphones and tablets and as an Internet Service Provider with insufficient filtering options.
- Sex Week – Yale and other colleges and universities repeatedly offer Sex Week on campus. Porn stars are routinely invited to lecture, and pornography that glamorizes “fantasy rape” is screened.
- Playstation – PlayStation’s live-streaming abilities are filling thousands of homes with live porn, and the PlayStation Store sells hundreds of pornographic and sexually violent games.
- Facebook – Facebook has become a top place to trade pornography, child pornography and for sexual exploitation. Facebook’s guidelines prohibit such behavior, but the company is doing little to enforce them.
- Barnes & Noble – This Fortune 500 Company is a major supplier of adult pornography and child erotica. They regularly put pornography near the children’s sections in their stores and provide free, unfiltered porn publications on their Nook e-reader.
- Hilton – This hotel chain, like Hyatt, Starwood and many other top hotel chains, provides hardcore pornography movie choices. Porn channels are often the first advertisement on their in-room TVs.
- American Library Association – The ALA encourages public libraries to keep their computers unfiltered and allow patrons, including children, to access pornography.
- Google – Google’s empire thrives on porn. Porn is easily available, even to children, through YouTube, GooglePlay, Google Images and Google Ads.
- Tumblr – This popular social media blogging site bombards users with porn. Users must only be 13, and the filters do not work.
- 50 Shades of Gray – This bestselling book series and upcoming movie are normalizing sexual violence, domination and torture of women. Oprah Winfrey Network, Broadway and other mainstream outlets have even promoted this abusive lifestyle.
- Cosmopolitan Magazine – The magazine is a full-on pornographic, “how-to” sex guide, encouraging women to accept the pornified culture around them. They specifically market this content to teen girls.
Each and every one of the companies and individuals listed above should be boycotted. Petitions should be assembled, and signed, to cause them to retract their support for pornography. It’s the very least we can do for our children.
In the meantime, Brian Howard has compiled a list of ways you can protect you can protect your kids from online from pornography. Brian leads the Church Multiplication department for Pacific Church Network.
4 Ways to Protect your Kids Online
1. Norton Family Online
Norton Family Online allows you to monitor every site that your kids visit, see everything that they search for, and track their activity across social media. Norton offers a free version and a paid version. The paid version ($50 per year) adds instant message monitoring, video monitoring, and also monitors mobile devices. On the surface it looks fantastic. Reviews say that the software is buggy at times but it definitely is worth a look.
2. Open DNS Family Shield
Open DNS Family Shield is “pre-configured to block adult websites across your Internet connection. The filter is always up-to-date, adding new sites 24/7. Open DNS has Flexible parental controls that protect every Internet-connected device in your home, instantly. When you set up Family Shield on your router, every device in your home gets protected. That means everything: your kids’ Xbox, Playstation, Wii, DS, iPad, and even their iPhone.” Dang! and Open DNS family shield is free.
3. SkyDog Smart Router
Yahoo Tech says that the SkyDog Smart Router is the “Best web monitoring solution that (they) have ever encountered.”SkyDog claims to be a “First-of-its-kind home networking solution that allows you to powerfully, yet simply, manage your family’s unique digital lifestyle. SkyDog is made up of two parts—a wireless router and an and an app for your smartphone, tablet or PC. SkyDog lets you individually personalize the Internet access of every member of your family – across all connected devices.
4. Pandora’s Hope
I previously did a more extensive review of the Pandora’s Hope router. The Company promises that its router is easy to set up, works on computers and mobile devices, stops pornography at the “Gateway”, and causes no noticeable loss of browser speed. (Make sure to read the comments on my former post as well)
These four tools bring several options for protecting your kids online. As the father of four kids, my advice is to be proactive.
Please do what you can to stem the tide of pornography. Everyone needs to speak out! Be sure and contact your Washington, DC representatives because as long as Eric Holder continues to sleep with the enemy, matters will only continue to deteriorate for our children. Thanks. kqd