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Porn isn’t free speech, we’ve ‘every duty to regulate it’: pro-family activist

'Porn is harmful. It's very obvious that it's harmful,' Terry Schilling said.
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Stephen Kokx By Stephen Kokx

Stephen Kokx By Stephen Kokx

PETITION: Call on U.S. Attorney General to declare war on porn! Sign the petition here.

February 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Over the last few months, there has been an increasing number of conservatives and Republicans calling for the ban of pornography. Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principles Project in Washington D.C., is the latest to throw support behind that initiative.

During a recent interview with pro-life activist Jonathon van Maren, Schilling said that it’s “really foolish” and “absurd” to think that the First Amendment protects porn as an act of free expression.

“It's obscenity,” he exclained. “We not only have every right to regulate it. We have every duty to regulate it where we can.”

Much of the debate around banning pornography has centered on ideology, and whether or not it’s appropriate for the state to take a more active role in policing the industry. 

Libertarians argue that porn is consensual, and that adults should be able to watch what they want. If parents are concerned about their kids watching porn, they, and not the government, should be the ones ensuring that they don’t.

Schilling believes this is wrong.

Porn is a 97 billion dollar a year industry, he told van Maren. It’s “not possible” for parents to fight that on their own.

“All we're asking here is just for a little help from the state to keep pornography and harmful materials from getting in the hands of our children. And I don't think it's that much to ask.”

Schilling believes that the libertarian approach is not only misguided but naive.

“Porn is harmful. It's very obvious that it's harmful.” The “rights” of “pornographers and porn users, people who are making money off of this…do not trump my rights as a parent or trump my children's rights as children to be free and innocent and pure, and not have that stuff put up.”

“If you have a factory that's pouring sludge into a river, you have every right as a state or as a government agency to start regulating and putting sanctions on that business until they stop putting sludge into that river. This is no different.”

Schilling told van Maren that, philosophically speaking, there are many similarities between the porn industry and other ones that the government already regulates.

“All we're asking is for online pornography companies to live by the same rules and standards that we ask television companies and radio companies and movie production companies to live by.”

Schilling, who recently wrote an article for First Things on how best to regulate the porn industry, also compared it to smoking cigarettes.

“One kills you after 50 years and the other one ruins your entire life. It ruins your marriage. It ruins how you view the other sex and objectifies women. It ruins your mind, which is corruptible much quicker and has much broader effects on society at large.”

Listen to the entire interview below.

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