What you can do to combat pornography

The White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week is intended to educate the public about the extent of the pornography problem and what can constitutionally be done about it.  Fighting pornography, however, is a year-round challenge. Here are activities an individual or group can do during WRAP Week and during the year.  For more information about the WRAP Campaign, go to www.moralityinmedia.org (WRAP page).

1.  Wear a White Ribbon

Wear or display a White Ribbon during WRAP Week and all year long.  People will see the White Ribbon and ask why you’re wearing or displaying it.  That’s an opportunity!  To purchase individual enamel white ribbon lapel pins or car magnets, go to www.wrapfamily.com.  To purchase plastic white ribbons in quantities (30 cents each with minimum order of 100), contact the Burbridge Foundation, 3701 NW 42, Oklahoma City, OK 73112   Fax: (405) 946-3696 Email: [email protected]

2.  Make complaints to your U.S. Attorney and State prosecutor
In Miller v. California (1973), the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment does not protect obscene material (or “hard-core pornography”).  The Court established a three-part test to determine whether material (e.g., a magazine, video/DVD, cable TV film, or website content) or a live performance is obscene.  For a copy of the obscenity definition and a Summary of Obscenity & Related Laws, go to www.obscenitycrimes.org (Porn Problem & Solutions page) or contact Morality in Media at the phone number and address below.

Make complaints to your U.S. Attorney and state prosecutor about possible violations of federal or state obscenity laws.  You can find the name/address of your U.S. Attorney at www.usdoj.gov/usao.  If you don’t know who your state prosecutor is, check the phone book or contact your local police department.  You can also make complaints to federal and state law enforcement agencies (e.g., the FBI, Postal Service and local police). You can find links to all federal and state obscenity laws at www.moralityinedia.org/nolc.   You may also want to organize a meeting between your prosecutor/police and a delegation of community leaders. 

If your complaint is about Internet pornography (including “porn spam”), make a report at MIM’s www.ObscenityCrimes.org website. To make a report, you will need a Web site URL or Web site name. MIM will forward your report to the Justice Department in Washington and to your local U.S. Attorney.  The website also contains Help for Porn Victims & Addicts and Help for Parents pages.

If your complaint is about other forms of hardcore pornography (e.g., videos, DVDs, magazines, cable or satellite TV, or telephone), you will find “off-line” federal and state complaint forms on the www.ObscenityCrimes.org website at the PORN PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS page.

3.  If your state doesn’t not have a state law that prohibits obscenity…

Alaska, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia do not have a state law that prohibits obscenity.  Maine, New Mexico, and South Dakota, however, do allow local control of obscenity.  In Hawaii and Oregon, the State Supreme Courts invalidated the laws.  Morality in Media’s legal department can help draft a new or amended state obscenity law or, if the State Supreme Court has invalidated the law, an amendment to a state constitution.   Keep in mind that the Federal Obscenity Laws apply in each state!

4.  Ask city, county, and state legislators to curb “sexually oriented businesses”

In 2001, the National Obscenity Law Center (NOLC), a project of Morality in Media, launched the Safe States and Cities Project to help communities to curb problems associated with “sexually oriented businesses.” Case law studies (include model ordinances) are now available to address nude dancing, peep show booths, escort services, swingers clubs, and massage parlors.  For more information, contact the NOLC at [email protected] or at (212) 870-3222 or at the address below.   The Alliance Defense Fund (www.alliancedefensefund.org) also provides assistance in drafting SOB laws and defending them in court.

5.  Make complaints to businesses that distribute or advertise pornography

If retail outlets, cable TV systems, hotels, or newspapers in your community distribute or carry ads for pornography, tell them (politely but firmly) that they are hurting your community—and consider taking your business elsewhere.  If the pornography is “hardcore,” ask your state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents to investigate for possible violations of obscenity laws.  You should also make complaints about sexually offensive magazine covers displayed at supermarket and drug store checkout counters.  If you like to stay in a hotel/motel that does not provide in-room porn films, check the list at www.CleanHotels.com

6.  Write letters to the editor

Write short, punchy letters—no more than 300 words—to your local newspaper about the pornography problem and its solutions. The more closely you can tie your letter to a problem in your community or to an article or editorial in the paper, the more likely the paper will run the letter.

7.   Inform your community by distributing literature or having a speaker

Morality in Media is one of many national and local organizations that can provide literature or a speaker or that can help organize a workshop to educate your community about the pornography problem and solutions.  To begin your search, go to the www.obscenitycrimes.org Porn Problem & Solutions, Help For Porn Victims and Addicts, and Help for Parents pages, where you will find resources from MIM and other organizations.

8.  Educate your community leaders about the harmful effects of pornography

If leaders in your community—elected officials, prosecutors, police, clergy, media, etc.—need to be educated about pornography’s harmful effects, there are many articles/interviews that can be downloaded free of charge at www.obscenitycrimes.org (Porn Problem & Solutions and Help for Porn Victims & Addicts pages).   You can also order paper copies of the following articles at the address below.  Price is $4.00 each.                                  

*     “Pornography’s Effects on Adults and Children,” by Dr. Victor B. Cline                                                                     

*     “The Link Between Pornography & Violent Sex Crimes,” by Robert Peters                                               

*      “Sexual Trafficking and Pornography: The Link Between the Two,” by Robert Peters

9.  Ask religious leaders to address pornography as a spiritual (sin) problem

In addition to being a community problem, pornography is also a spiritual (sin) problem that affects both the church and community.  Clergy should be addressing this problem in some way.  If they aren’t, request that they do so.  Helpful sermon materials can be found at www.moralityinmedia.org (WRAP Campaign).

10.  Support those who are on the “front lines” in the war against obscenity.

Not everyone can be on the “front lines” in the war against pornography, but almost everyone can help keep those who are on the front lines remain there—by their faithful and generous financial support of organizations like Morality in Media and by remembering such organizations in your will.

Printed with permission from: www.moralityinmedia.org