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SBC Life Articles

Pentagon Porn


A new law — passed as part of the 1996 defense authorization bill — which forbid the sale of sexually explicit magazines at U.S. military bases — was struck down Jan. 22 by a federal judge in New York. Proponents of the law had argued that the subsidized pricing system at base exchanges puts the government in the position of footing the bill for materials that undermine core military values of "honor, courage, and commitment."

Other proponents of the ban suggest that the availability of discount porn hinders combat readiness. Family Research Council Military Readiness Project Director Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis observed, "The major constitutional obligation in this area is for the Congress to protect the military's combat fitness. Congress has declared that selling pornography is bad for readiness, and the military should obey."

Maginnis also cites the military's recent increase in sexual misconduct cases and points to pornography's cause and effect relationship with sexual crime. The day prior to the pornography ruling, a maintenance instructor at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland was charged with sexual crimes against two female trainees and a female civilian — the fourth officer at Aberdeen to face such charges. In November, a captain and two drill sergeants at the school were accused of rape and other sex crimes. In early January, a private at Aberdeen — facing court martial for an alleged rape — was found dead in his barracks, an apparent suicide. At the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., a male cadet went on trial Jan. 21 for raping a female cadet. School officers said it was the first case of its kind since women began attending the prestigious military school in 1976.

"If the Pentagon won't read the research," Maginnis said, "they must listen to female U.S. Army officers based in Bosnia who complain about the 'rampant presence of pornography, which is offensive to women, degrading to the command atmosphere and encourages misconduct.'"

While Pentagon officials claim the law violates First Amendment rights, Maginnis suggests they are more concerned over the prospect of lost revenues. The Pentagon reportedly earns over $4 million from the annual sale of pornography.

In spite of these factors, Judge Shira Scheindlin still found the provision unconstitutional, ruling that it violates "our cherished right to free speech." Pornographer Bob Guccione, who sells 19,000 copies of his magazine, Penthouse, on military bases each month, was understandably pleased with the ruling.

 


 

Cyber-Sex Deliverance

A recent e-mail message to the correspondence counseling department of the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission caused rejoicing at the agency's daily prayer service.

They praised God because a man who had accessed the RTVC's "HelpLink" pages on the Internet had renounced his sexual addiction and had accepted Christ as his Savior.

Statements included in the man's e-mail messages to the RTVC included "Thank God I found you … I have struggled with sexual addiction for a long time … I asked Christ to come into my heart and take control of my life … I did clean off my hard drive and I deleted all the bookmarks to the porn places."

Darel Robertson, the RTVC counselor assigned to help people who write or call who have a sexual addiction, said the man has now gone to a minister of a local church who has helped him get into a sexual addiction support group.

"What happened with this man has been an all-around redemptive situation," Robertson said. "Sexual addiction is a much greater problem, even among church members and pastors, than most Christians want to admit. I think many sexual addicts access our pages on the Internet.

"They find hope on our pages because they say you can change, that God cares for you even in your addiction, and that you can have a real relationship with Jesus Christ.

"The Internet makes pornography available in the privacy of one's home, so it's obvious that the number of people who will become addicted to it will increase," he said. "Because pornography can be accessed in private, the stigma of being seen going into a sleazy place to obtain it is eliminated."

Robertson said, "The beauty of what we do is that once a person gets his or her secret out to someone, it takes away the power that secret has over their life. It's a first step to getting help."

Abridged from a story by C.C. Risenhoover.

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