The commentary “The Consequences of Pornography Are Too Extensive to Ignore” (Op-Ed Page, Nov. 12) is a blatant piece of misinformation. The authors managed to link “child pornography” to “hard-core pornography” every time the latter was mentioned. This was a simplistic attempt at guilt by association.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and the Rev. Eileen Lindner would have us believe that the adult film industry produces mostly movies about child molestation, rape, torture and murder. This is not true.
The vile films mentioned cater to a small underground of deranged consumers of decadence and child abuse that dates back far beyond the Marquis de Sade. The majority of adult films are produced for average men and women. These consumers may be oversexed, sexually repressed or suffer from any one of scores of minor sexual hang-ups, but they are not murderers, rapists or child molesters.
Of the two national commissions on pornography in the past 20 years, one found absolutely no link between violence and pornography. The other was so biased by right-wing pseudo-moralists that almost half the commission rejected the findings of the final report.
Bernardin and Lindner note that the Supreme Court has ruled that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. They didn’t mention that the vast majority of adult films are not obscene, by the court’s definition.
Hopefully, religious leaders will concentrate their energies on real dangers to society--poverty, war and unchecked capitalism--and stay out of our bedrooms.