by David Sisler
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year to celebrate, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA) of 1996.
With its decision released on April 16, upholding an earlier vote by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the CPPA, which extended the federal prohibition on child pornography to include “any ... computer or computer-generated image or picture that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct” was ruled to be in violation of the First Amendment, and therefore, unconstitutional.
The majority opinion from the Supreme Court said that the law was too vague. CPPA, they said, went beyond accepted decisions “which distinguished child pornography from other sexually explicit speech because of the States interest in protecting the children exploited by the production process” (quoting from the majority opinion as written by Justice Kennedy).
“These images do not involve, let alone harm, any children in the production process,” Kennedy writes.
But a few sentences later, Kennedy writes, “The sexual abuse of a child is a most serious crime and an act repugnant to the moral instincts of a decent people.” In the decision of Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition, the First Amendment must be allowed to protect those who, using the logic of Justice Kennedy’s statement, must be indecent people with immoral instincts.
In protecting the free speech rights of child pornographers, the U. S. Supreme Court gags at a gnat and swallows a camel. The law is too broad they protest.
Writing the dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Rehnquist correctly points out, "The CPPA’s definition of sexually explicit conduct is quite explicit in this regard. It makes clear that the statute only reaches visual depictions of: actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.” How much clearer must the definition be made?
In speaking to this issue, many people have referred to the famous confrontation between Dan Rather and President Richard Nixon – if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. If it looks like a child, if it looks like a child performing sex acts, it satisfies the immoral cravings of kiddie porn users.
The Supreme Court says, “These images do not ... harm any children ...” And by that sweeping statement we are supposed to believe that no one is harmed, that there are no victims when kiddie porn is computer generated.
There is no such thing as “victimless pornography.” Pornography desensitizes those who view it, making women and children merely objects, things, to be used and discarded.
What the U. S. Supreme Court refuses to see, and what all of the supporters of their decision blindly ignore, even if these are computer generated images, those images still violate and victimize every child. Thanks to one of the worst decisions from the U. S. Supreme Court in years, child violators now have one more excuse for their twisted behavior, one more tool with which to prey on their innocent victims. The rights of the child pornographers are protected, but who will protect the rights of the children?
Pornography dehumanizes all of us, and an object that is not human is an object that can be violated in any fashion whatsoever. What will child pornographers do when the “virtual” images no longer satisfy their desires? Glutted by images, they will do what they have always done – look for real children to violate, rape, abuse and murder. By that time, this victimless pornography will have plenty of victims.
Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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