Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The subject is a tough one: protecting Internet freedoms while protecting our children from the horrible exploitation of Internet kiddie porn. Of course I'm NOT for kiddie porn, and of course, I'm conflicted because I'm also very troubled by calls on government to censor anything, anywhere, including in schools. I revere the First Amendment and hate the idea of government "thought police" deciding what people should be able to see and learn.

But more than that, I'm troubled because I can't BELIEVE there isn't better judgment among our school officials and political leaders about keeping horrible junk away from kids in the first place. You know: the kind of junk that's so bad, good-hearted people are being forced to demand censorship in school curricula, school libraries and on the Internet. We shouldn't need to even be having these conversations, much less these lawsuits and criminal cases.

But even more than weak-kneed school gatekeepers, I'm troubled by people who would seek to wrap themselves in the American flag and argue for "freedom of speech" in contending that everyone should be allowed to view pornography -- even child porno -- the very concept of which, as the mother of four beautiful daughters, just crushes me.

That's why it's discouraging and distressing to learn that a big shot with the ACLU -- who has argued vehemently in the past that kiddie porn ought not to be censored -- who's supposed to be fighting to protect our rights and freedoms as a knight in shining armor in our best-in-the-world legal system -- is now in court himself on -- guess what? -- a kiddie porn charge.



Here's hoping that school boards and school officials will err on the side of caution more, and maybe listen to conservatives more and maybe even women more, on these issues. I don't know if liberals are kinkier when it comes to sex and morality, but judging from observing the culture for the last 25 years, I think maybe they are. It's a factor we'd better keep in mind when setting school policies.

As for the higher trust in women than men on morality issues, I just have noticed that the vast majority of people who have trouble with porno in general and kiddie porn in particular are men. For what it's worth . . . more women should be more vocal on this facet of child protection, and could really make a difference.

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