“The wicked freely strut about
When what is vile is honored among men.”
– Psalm 12:8
“Religion and morality are the twin pillars of freedom.”
– George Washington
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
President John Adams
I’ve been an entertainer for over 50 years now. How an “old-fashioned” guy like me has survived and flourished in an industry that increasingly is determined to throw off any and all restraints of morality or decency, only God knows. I’ve watched in dismay as our courts and legislatures, seemingly eager to disregard the very purposes of our freedoms, vie with each other to stretch them so out of shape that they are used to condone and promote almost every vile thing man can imagine.
The reflexively liberal media have gleefully reported every “progressive” transgression, often making bigger celebrities of those who openly break taboos, who defy long-established tradition and guidelines of decent behavior. You can make your own list of questionably talented young people who have become headliners via repeated drug arrests, drunken displays, sex videos or making a joke of marriage, motherhood and morality.
No wonder most everybody in the media and entertainment world screams bloody murder at the very mention of the word “censorship.” They’ve reacted so violently, for so long, that they’ve convinced the general public there’s something inherently wrong, even undemocratic, with the concept of censorship.
But the fact is: No society can endure without censorship!
What is the traffic light at the corner but censorship? What is any law, any prohibition about anything – drugs, murder, speeding, theft, perjury, destruction of property – but a society protecting itself against irresponsible, dangerous, even criminal behavior? What is it but a democratic people censoring what some self-centered person might want to do, but that would be offensive or downright destructive to someone else? Law is censorship, and we can’t survive without it – especially in a democracy, because, as John Adams pointed out, passions unbridled by religion and morality will inevitably wreak havoc.
It’s often pointed out that political speech – about or against the government – is the free speech the Founders meant. But have you noticed how law enforcement treats any who freely speak of bringing bodily peril to the president? There is freedom of driving; there is freedom of speech; why can’t a democratic people place limits on both? There is freedom in our air, both in air travel and in expression. Why should one be regulated for the good of all, and the other left without any limits, regardless of the harm many suffer, particularly our young? If we can legislate carbon emissions and second-hand smoke to protect the public, should we not all the more prohibit filth and images of perversion that corrupt our children’s minds? Which is worse? Freedom abused becomes license, an advantage the unscrupulous use against responsible citizens.
Look at the child pornography case that has just come before our Supreme Court, a vital First Amendment test of Congress’ ability to tackle that vile practice in the digital age. Is there anything worse, more indefensible in a free society than the degradation and ruination of innocent children for sexual gratification? How low, base and corrupt can human beings get?
But challengers to any limitations on child porn or its promotion, including the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, say among other things that the legislation in question “might threaten the marketing of ‘Lolita’” and other fictional depictions of adolescent sex! Can you grasp the self-serving twisted logic of that argument? In effect, it’s the same as saying, “If you deny me the right to sell heroin, it may threaten my chance to sell cocaine!”
New York lawyer Michael Bamberger, on behalf of the ABF and other publishing groups, actually said, “Consider the promotional speech on the DVD cover of the film ‘Cruel Intentions’ that talks of the ‘ultimate challenge to … deflower the headmaster’s beautiful, virgin daughter,’ played by Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon”! This actually is his warped plea: “Please, your Honors, don’t criminalize pedophilia. Next thing you know, we won’t be able to market teen perversion!”
While the Internet distribution, promotion and marketing of children being seen in sexually explicit acts is causing the whole sick perversion to spread exponentially, victimizing thousands of innocent little kids, the publishers and producers of smutty and outright filthy material are screaming for their “First Amendment rights.”
Does any sane, reasonable American really believe our Founding Fathers ever meant our Constitution to protect filth, perversion, sickness and sexual vileness – especially victimizing children? No, wise old Ben Franklin stated, “Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom. The more corrupt and vicious a society becomes, the more it has need of masters.”
Our society is indeed becoming corrupt and vicious; the masters it needs are … us! We need to, we must, direct our elected representatives to draft and enact legislation that puts limits on our freedoms of expression, speech and “entertainment.” Yes, you can call it “censorship,” because that’s what it is. BUT with these three provisos: It must be voluntary, self-imposed and majority approved.
In other words, our nation and its citizens must say, emphatically and legally: “Enough! We will set up a system to regulate what our children, and even decent families, hear and see. As a majority in a democratic society, we will decide the limits on these freedoms, lest they be abused to ruin, corrupt and destroy us. If we can ban smoking in public, we can ban filth, depictions of vile behavior and rank obscenity in public – and on our tax-supported airwaves. We’re the majority, and as long as this is a republic, as our Founders meant it to be, you purveyors of filth will have to eat your own excrement. We won’t allow you to shovel it on our children!”
Censorship is not a four-letter word. It’s a 10-letter necessity.
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