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Supreme Court Pornography Dilemma

By Editorial Staff
Published April 1, 1988

WASHINGTON, D.C. (EP) – Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger told 300 religious leaders with the Religious Alliance Against Pornography (RAAP) gathered in Washington March 1-2 that “Nothing could be clearer from the Court than that obscenity is not protected speech.” Representatives of major Protestant, Catholic and Jewish groups attended the conference, which was chaired by Dr. Jerry Kirk, president of the National Coalition Against Pornography (N-CAP).

RAAP is an effort to mobilize churches and church leaders to renounce hard-core pornography, encourage the passage of child protection legislation, and participate in a national campaign to promote awareness of the harmful effects of pornography. Those attending the conference heard a wide variety of religious leaders address the need for a stepped-up war against pornography.

Joseph Cardinal Bernardine, vice chairman of RAAP, told members of the Washington press corps that “we are against censorship, but we are also against obscenity which is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Clinical psychologist Dr. Victor Cline outlined the steps taken by hundreds of men he treated following their conviction for sex-related crimes. Cline said that viewing pornographic material leads to sex-related addiction followed by departure from the values an individual has previously held. The appetite for pornography grows, and the addict finds himself desiring more and more violent and bizarre material until they finally act out some of the fantasies they have become obsessed with through their exposure to obscene material. “The more intelligent the man is, the more vulnerable he is to acting out his fantasies,” explained Cline.

William Weld, assistant attorney general, outlined current activities being undertaken by the U.S. Justice Department’s Obscenity Enforcement Unit. That unit is completing the training of 5,000 individuals who will enforce obscenity laws and prosecute offenders. The unit provides support for District U.S. Attorneys and local law enforcement units who need expert legal advice, including supplying experienced trial attorneys. The unit is also involved in long-range planning toward the goal of dismantling the obscenity industry.

Other activities of the Obscenity Enforcement Unit which were outlined by Weld include litigation. In 1987 there were 79 indictments of purveyors of obscenity – many under anti-racketeering statutes, which allow the proceeds of the lucrative porn industry to be seized. Over 40 U.S. attorneys are now prosecuting and investigating obscenity cases. Indictments of child pornographers have risen dramatically, from three in 1983 to 244 in 1987.

The Justice Department is also pushing for legislation that would expand the provisions of racketeering laws to cover high-tech dissemination of obscenity and the selling of children for pornography.


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

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Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

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This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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