Should graphic pornography be banned?

Graphic pornography was banned in America until the middle of the last century. Since then, it has flooded our culture along with many other symptoms of the the decline of Christianity (ban on prayer in the schools, abortion rights, same-sex marriage, etc.)

Should censorship be restored? Does anyone believe it could happen legally and would the public accept it? Why or why not?

Is there among Catholics a sinking feeling that our civilization is lost to the hedonists and moral relativists, and that no government action can or should be taken to reclaim the ban on pornography?

In the matter of pornographic movies, how is this to be distinguished from prostitution, since in both cases the actors are paid for sexual activity?

How many human lives have been sullied and/or destroyed by addiction to pornography?

“Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom. Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.” Thomas Jefferson

The Supreme Court held in Miller v California (1973) that for the state to prohibit material as pornographic it has to lack any artistic value. In other words it has to appeal purely to prurient interest. It’s a tough standard, and although so much of pornography today meets that standard, legislatures have thrown their hands up and said it’s not worth the trouble. Especially now in the Internet age, such laws would be practically impossible to enforce.

Considering the way Catholics as a whole vote (53% voting for pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage candidates and I assume protestants are no better). I would guess they would be up in arms if you tried to take their porn away.
Yes I do think that our civilization is lost, I believe it is too late to do anything but lament the way it could have been if we would just have not abandoned God.

I have always wondered what gives the Supreme Court the right to tell any state what it can and cannot do except in regard to the constitutionality of an issue. It’s been a while since I read the Constitution but I don’t remember pornography being mentioned.
I suppose as long as whimpy governors are willing to allow activist judges to rule the going-on’s in their state and the public is too stupid to even know or care what’s going on they will keep it up.

Personally, I don’t agree with pornography, but did our Creator not give us free will? I agree, our nation seems to have lost its way, but I think God gave us free will for a reason. I think we need to restore the sense of decency that most people once had and it should resolve itself. I cringe every time I hear someone say that the “government must ban XYZ”.

So, I agree that we need to do something about porn, but I think a ban is not the way to go. Change the way people think about it (same with abortion, etc) and then you will see real change in our country.

Just my 1 1/2 cents


The 14th Amendment has been interpreted to mean that the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights apply the states as well. So if the federal government can’t prohibit a certain activity because it’s protected speech, neither can the states. Pornographers claim to have a right to free speech and freedom of the press. To a large extent, the Supreme Court agrees with them.

Yes, it should be banned. And yes, it would be difficult if not impossible to enforce such a ban in the internet age.

I doubt censorship could be restored.

Just to caricature your point a little bit, we could use the same logic about graphic imagery that involves children. Why should the possession, creation and distribution of such material be banned when we have free will?

Laws are a useful way to change the way we think about things. The reason why we abhor the sexualising of minors is because of laws introduced last century. Before then, intergenerational relationships were common.

Pornography is harmful and abusive. Of course it should be banned.

It would not hurt my [strongly pro-First-Amendment] feelings one whit if a strict, enforceable ban were to be imposed on all forms of pornography, both graphic and textual.

That said, I agree with the above posters that such a ban would be impossible to impose and just as impossible to enforce. The picture in my mind is of cutting open a feather pillow in a hurricane, and then trying to gather the feathers and stuff them back into the pillow.

Your opinion seems at odds with Pope Francis’s attitude. His tweets are constantly filled with hope and encouragement, saying things like “dear young people, don’t be afraid to dream” or something similar, to the effect of, we can and should try to change the world for the better, every day, until the last day.

Yes, it’s true that the secular and even Christian population is declining in morality and increasing in depravity. I heard that something like 80% of Catholics who go to Sunday Mass don’t believe in the True Presence or something like that.

But, we have to do our best and have faith in God. He has done greater miracles than this! Christianity made suicide and infanticide illegal in Rome! ROME! The great city of Babylon (c.f. 1 Peter 5:13)! We can be vehicles of God’s changing grace if we have faith!

I think it should all be banned. However, that is unlikely to succeed. What would work is people not buying the stuff at all. Also, not going to movies or buying books that promote it. Take the money out of the equation and a lot of things would stop being a problem.

I’ve often wondered why pornography is even considered speech. Surely the Founders through the 1st Amendment were seeking to protect the open exchange of ideas, not the open exchange of bodily fluids.

From what I have read, much of the money has largely been taken out of it already. Many “adult bookstores” and theatres have gone out of business (not that that’s a loss). Virtually everything for every taste can be found for free on the Internet, and that which is not free is distributed in ways beyond local jurisdiction and control.

Prostitution is illegal in some countries I read some time ago. It is the same thing. The other issue here on the table is a kind of voyeurism. For example, if people were out on the street doing provocative stuff, beyond a kiss, they would be made to stop and told to get a room. Unless it was being hailed as modern art. Now the internet is not only outside in the public domain, it is in people’s very homes, like a permanent tenant. So surely this is public safety and nothing more. If governments cared two hoots about their citizens they would go after the people behind the making of such websites. If prostitution was illegal in every country then this could be done. What is different from having this on the internet to having it on TV?! Yet, to some degree, the TV has limits. People spend more time on the internet! The world would be a better place without this diabolically-charged industry. Politicians wake up. :shrug:

As someone who’s been addicted to the stuff for years:


It should be banned as a type-1 narcotic based on what it does to brain chemistry. If not banned, it should be relegated to specific web domains (something different from .com, .net, .etc. I think they already have one) so that it can be filtered across the board by simply blocking that single domain.

It is truly a rhetorical coup that the purveyors of porn were able to equate pornography with free speech. If I pay a woman to have sex with me, that is considered prostitution and I am charged with a crime. If I pay a woman to have sex with me, but then video tape it so that I can distribute copies and make money, it is free speech protected by the Constitution. The verbal gymnastics that allowed such arguments to actually convince rational people would be impressive if it were not so dangerous.

The Supreme Court has stated that pornography itself is not protected speech. The problem is if the product as any artistic value, it will be protected by the First Amendment.

Anyone have a clue where Iceland is with their ban on pornography? The first article I clicked on described how liberal and feminist- leaning the country is. The comments are full of grumbling about feminists and what they want.

Congratulations. *Everyone on here who wants porn banned must be a feminist. :stuck_out_tongue:

  • This is a joke. I just know you people who become unhinged at the f-word won’t get that right away.

In his book Slouching towards Gomorrah, Robert Bork made the following remarks.

“By now we should have gotten over the liberal notion that the citizens’ character are none of the business of government. The government ought not try to impose virtue, but it can deter incitements to vice. Liberals have always taken the position,’ the late Christopher Lasch wrote, ‘that democracy can dispense with civic virtue. According to that way of thinking, it is liberal institutions, not the character of citizens, that make democracy work.’”

This is what we are stuck with. Institutions supplanting character.

The liberals might reply that it is not the business of government to build character, but in a nation increasingly bereft of the influence of Christianity and any other viable resource for transmitting signals to the citizenry that we ought not sleep in the moral gutter, why should the government by its hands-off policy be making it increasingly attractive to sleep in the gutter?

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