The 2016 Republican draft platform contains a blistering denunciation of pornography as a grave threat to public health and a “menace.”
The amendment introduced by North Carolina delegate Mary Frances Forrester, which was adopted unanimously, promptly unleashed a wave of criticism from left wing commentators eager to poke fun at the Republican Party.
“Only an idiot would scoff at the statement that pornography constitutes a public health crisis in America,” he said. “With hundreds of thousands of marriages destroyed by porn addiction, an estimated 100,000 child-porn websites and the reality that Americans, including a high percentage of teens and even children, are routinely exposed to graphic hardcore sexual images due to the ubiquitous nature of online pornography – of course it’s a crisis. Few things in our modern era reliably deliver more misery, suffering, bondage and family breakdown than pornography.”
It’s also part of a long-term trend. The Republican Party’s 2012 platform went beyond the previous platform wording which only condemned child pornography, stating “Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.”
The 2016 draft platform goes even farther.
It reads: “The Internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and wellbeing. We applaud social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography which closely linked to human trafficking.”
The resolution was mocked on Twitter and condemned in several media outlets.
“[T]here isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove that porn addiction is an ‘epidemic’ by any stretch of the imagination,” claimed Leigh Cuen at Mic.
She also condemned Republicans for labeling porn a public health issue “while the rest of the nation worries about gun safety.”
Jason Linkins at The Huffington Post had similar criticism, arguing Republicans should “address mass shootings from a health policy perspective,” and snarked that pornography “hasn’t really been the most pressing concern for most Americans lately.”
David Boaz of The Cato Institute also slammed the decision, saying pornography is not a public health problem “despite the views of the right-wing groups lobbying the Republican convention.”
Not surprisingly, Steven Hirsch, the founder/co-chairman of the porn distributor Vivid Entertainmentsaid the resolution shows Republicans are “out of touch.”
Kupelian compared users of pornography to drug addicts and said the vice has similar effects on the brain.
“Porn activates the exact same addictive pathways in the brain as do drugs like heroin, and all addictions – whether to opioids, food, gambling or pornography – are extremely harmful and, by definition, a public health crisis,” he commented.
“We are spearheading what we hope will be a movement for corporate America to be part of the solution in providing a safer Internet experience to patrons,” she told WND. “Any business offering free WiFi has the opportunity to develop corporately responsibly WiFi policies for their patrons, including shopping malls, stadiums, airports, theme parks, family resorts, schools, libraries and other locations.”
Hughes praised McDonalds for its decision to filter its free WiFi, saying the decision “has shown corporations can behave responsibly for the safety of all of its customers.”
However, despite 46,500 petitions being sent to CEO Howard Schultz, Hughes said Starbucks has yet to respond to the efforts of anti-pornography activists. Hughes said she hoped the coffee chain would soon follow McDonald’s lead.
Hughes was also enthusiastic about the Republican Party’s efforts to confront the dangers of pornography.
“It’s a huge victory!” she said. “The harms of pornography are being discussed on a national level. This is a bipartisan issue, based on peer-reviewed research that reveals pornography negatively affects the brain, sexual development, rates of sexual violence, sexual exploitation of children and women, fuels trafficking and more. This is a significant achievement for our movement!”
Kupelian also hailed the efforts of the Republican Party’s delegates but had harsh words for the critics who are seemingly eager to dismiss the dangers of porn.
“Why are some left-leaning commentators mocking the proposed GOP anti-pornography platform plank?” he asked.
Answering his own question, he said: “Sexual anarchy has long been a key component of the political and cultural left. The ever-expanding ‘sexual liberation movement’ as it was called in the 1960s, today codenamed LGBT, has become the tip of the left’s spear for attacking its greatest enemy – Christianity – the most objectionable part of which is its biblical moral code regarding sexual behavior. So of course the left ridicules anything that upholds Judeo-Christian morality, including a no-brainer platform plank decrying the indisputably negative effects of pornography.”