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Community protest against pornography is growing

By Editorial Staff
Published April 2, 2008

When the 7-Eleven convenience store chain removed Playboy and Penthouse from its shelves in 1986, a national grassroots movement to eradicate pornography received a boost of encouragement. Since this key victory, North Carolina – the state dubbed “Smut Capitol of the U.S.” by federal attorneys and agents – has removed almost all pornography businesses due to enactment of the toughest anti-porn laws in the U.S. Several major corporations have also stopped distributing it in the U. S. since the 7-Eleven decision.

The Southland Corporation, which owns the 7-Eleven chain, said the decision to remove pornography from its shelves was based on consumer surveys and the 1986 U.S. Attorney General’s Commission report which demonstrated a correlation between pornography and organized crime.

There has been a growing number of community leaders who have focused their anti-porn efforts on the Holiday Inn hotel chain – now said to be the nation’s largest distributor of satellite pornography. Individuals, churches, and businesses have begun to boycott Holiday Inns for showing in-house pornographic movies. David F. Schultz Associates, Ltd., of Barington, Illinois, Medi-bill Inc. of Walnut Creek, California, and others have set company policy mandating a boycott of Holiday Inns, and many churches have cancelled functions and reservations.

Robert Brannon, vice president of corporate communications for Holiday Inns, denied that the company was airing pornographic movies. This angered a group of 18 Christian leaders, who said that they had reviewed excerpts of films which had scenes of female nudity, female bondage and torture, orgies, explicit rape, and other graphic sexual situations. The group sent Brannon a response to refute his statement.

While Holiday Inn has stood its ground against community pressure, over 26 of its hotels have decided to stop showing pornographic movies because of customer complaints. The Miller family stayed a weekend during Thanksgiving at the Holiday Inn in Hutchinson, Kansas, and complained about the movies. A few months later, they called to cancel reservations their in-laws made, but the manager told them that the movies had been cancelled because of a customer complaint.

Recently, the state of North Carolina passed a package of legislation which sets national precedent in its effectiveness in eradicating pornography. After the bill was passed, 19 pornography shops closed in one day, representing at least $10 million worth of annual business.

A citizen’s group called “Concerned Charlotteans,” organized by Joseph Chambers, was very instrumental in lobbying for enactment of the law. “Somewhere between 500 and 700 adult book stores were doing business across the state,” he said. “Not only were they selling violence and degrading pornography, but were operating homosexual brothels. The description of the acts transpiring in those establishments is too degrading to describe.”

The most pivotal victory in North Carolina was achieved on July 17, 1987. Reuben Sturman of Cleveland, Ohio – known around the U.S. as the “King of Smut” – still had 19 stores in a holdout operation doing business from Gastonia to Fayetteville. “Two of the lieutenants of this enterprise were facing a possible 123 years prison sentence,” Chambers related. “Under a plea bargain agreement, they closed all 19 operations by 5 p.m. that very day. Apparently, Reuben Sturman had been closed out of one entire state at one sweep.”

The newly enacted statute defines pornography according to the Miller vs. California Supreme Court decision; institutes a three part test to determine whether the material is obscene; and has a provision for confiscation of profits, said Chambers.

Concerned Charlotteans has also won 15 straight victories in the local court system against smut peddlers, including the removal of pornography from the “Starvin’ Marvin” convenience store chain. “I have received many ugly letters and telephone calls, and two death threats,” said Chambers, “but the victory of July 17, 1987, was more than adequate compensation.”

This new anti-pornography trend is growing, according to Don Wildmon, president of American Family Association, “Four years ago, getting people – even Christian people – involved in the fight for decency was like pulling out teeth. Now, however there is a growing number of people and organizations addressing this issue,” Wildmon explained. “Hardly a day goes by without someone writing us and telling us of a victory over pornography. And if there is not a report of a victory, there is a report of a battle starting in their community.”


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Your comments are welcome!

I am looking to help rid the world of the smut that infests our world. As a married woman I have been hurt deeply by the usage of internet porn by my husband. This not only degrades me but it hinders our marriage with a lack of trust. Any information on how I can help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kathy Neufeld

Posted by kathy neufeld on 08/08/2011 03:51 AM #

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