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|The Legitimizing of Porn
Pastor Kelly Boggs
The American Heritage Dictionary defines pornography as “pictures, writing, or other material that is sexually explicit and sometimes equates sex with power or violence.” The First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as protecting such material so long as it does not cross the line into obscenity.
“Offensive to accepted standards of decency or modesty,” is how the same dictionary defines obscene. While the denotation for obscenity is fixed, the standard for what is decent and modest is not.
In the realm of the pornographic what was once considered lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable in American society is being legitimized.
In the 1996 movie “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” the founder and publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler is portrayed as an affable jolly good fellow. Larry Flynt, the title character, is also depicted as a champion of the First Amendment. In reality his magazine is nothing more than a lewd obscene rag that routinely sets new standards for bad taste.
Pony, an athletic shoe manufacturer, recently featured female porn stars in print advertisements. The most notable was Jenna Jamison, a XXX film legend. Anna Nicole Smith became famous by appearing nude in Playboy. She now stars in her own reality program on the Entertainment Television network. It seems that shedding one’s clothes has become an acceptable career stepping stone.
The most recent effort in removing pornography’s stigma comes courtesy of the Fox Network. “Skin,” a modern day Romeo and Juliet set in Los Angeles, debuted on Fox a couple in October. The plot revolves around the tortured romance of teens Adam Roam and Jewel Goldman and their feuding families.
Jewel’s father, Larry Goldman, is an extremely successful porn peddler. Thomas Roam, Adam’s dad, happens to be the L.A. District Attorney. The families’ worlds collide when Roam targets Goldman for prosecution.
If the fathers’ occupations were not far enough removed from one another, the depiction of their demeanor only adds to the television tension while at the same time casting porn in a softer and gentler light.
District Attorney Roam is portrayed as hard nose and politically manipulative. His sole motive for pursuing Goldman is an effort to score points with voters in his re-election campaign. If Roam is hard on crime he is equally tough on his son. When Adam comes home well past curfew, his DA father rails on him. However, the motive for the tirade is not the boy’s well being but the possible ramifications Adam’s behavior could have on Roam’s political career.
In the most recent episode the District Attorney is revealed to be a hypocrite. It seems the image conscious Roam is having an affair with his pretty politically astute campaign manager. Legalistic, short tempered, manipulative, and self-centered, Roam is not a very lovable character.
In stark contrast, Goldman is depicted as a loving family man. When Jewel prances in at 4:00 a.m. he gushes that he trusts her because she is a good girl. Goldman’s only concern is that his princess had a good time at the party she had attended.
Goldman is also quite the philanthropist. In the opening episode he hosts a fundraiser for a local hospital and even makes a six-figure donation. When the hospital board of directors declines to name a future wing after his father, Goldman’s response is to offer to add another zero to his proposed gift.
Of course this pornographer has principles. When a man possessing child pornography murders a young girl, Goldman thunders that he hates “kiddie porn.” When a drug dealer wanting to launder money approaches him, he flatly refuses to participate in the scheme.
Goldman is quite the model citizen. He loves his family, gives to charity, and opposes criminal activity. What a guy!
Thus far, “Skin’s” endorsement of the porn industry is nothing short of glowing.
Once viewed as unseemly, pornography has morphed into the acceptable “adult entertainment industry” and is subtly being embraced as legitimate by mainstream society.
The ramifications for such acceptance are being ignored. Pornography divorces sex from matrimony, love, and intimacy. It also reduces women to the sum of their body parts.
The culture that embraces pornography will eventually trivialize marriage and objectify women as mere sex toys. Neither bodes well for the long-term health of society.