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Land, others ask Bush for expanded anti-obscenity effort

WASHINGTON (BP)–Southern Baptist public policy specialist Richard Land and other pro-family leaders have urged the White House to step up prosecution of obscenity and have asked for a meeting with President Bush as a part of that effort.

Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, joined Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson and American Family Association Chairman Donald Wildmon, as well as nearly 80 other national and state leaders, in a letter to Bush requesting the meeting and urging an expanded effort by the administration against illegal pornography.

The White House said the president cannot meet before the November election but there is an effort to set up a meeting thereafter, a spokesman for the signers told Baptist Press.

The signers said they “value the administration’s accomplishments” on the issue so far and hope they can discuss methods of working with the president “to further protect children and families.”

Bush’s help “is essential,” the letter said, “because pornographers and sexual predators are increasingly targeting America’s most vulnerable citizens: our children.” The letter urged the president to speak publicly about the problem of obscenity and said a meeting with anti-pornography leaders would provide such an opportunity.

The signers also asked the president to add prosecutors and resources to the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force at the Department of Justice. They also called for the provision of field assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the anti-obscenity effort.

While their groups have organized local anti-porn efforts, the signers said it is critical for the federal government to “vigorously enforce obscenity laws.”

The letter reported that a recent study showed 33 percent of youth had experienced unsolicited exposure to sexual material on the Internet in the last year. It also said one in seven young people had received undesired solicitations for sex during this time.

Other signers of the Sept. 1 letter included Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defense Fund and former executive director of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography in the 1980s; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Jan LaRue, chief counsel of Concerned Women for America; Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media; Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough; Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and Patrick Trueman, former chief of the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

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