When I set up this blog, I wanted to make it easy for people to post comments, but alas, the spam-pornographers are making this increasingly difficult. Since yesterday, I have had hundreds of spam comments and trackbacks added to almost every post on this blog. I just set up a new spam-blocking program (I already had one running that was catching the standard sales stuff, but the porn purveyors were able to bypass it) and in the first twenty minutes it caught 245 spam comments, every single one of them pornographic.
How many times since my constitutional law class as an undergrad 20-plus years ago have I heard the argument that however repugnant pornography is, we must tolerate it in the name of free speech? That we must allow these debauchers of young women, these corruptors of children, these abusers of animials (you can’t begin to imagine the amount of bestiality in the spam I just deleted) to make their money by polluting our society. Sorry, but I don’t buy it. No one with half a brain in his head believes that Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison or any other Founding Father intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution should protect the right to sell DVDs of a Tiajuana donkey show on Amazon.com. The First Amendment was intended to protect political speech, and despite all their huffing about in righteous indignation, even lowlifes like Larry Flynt know it, and have a good laugh at the saps at the ACLU who buy their bogus argument and help them sell their porn.
It sickens me that pornography has gone mainstream in this country, that a major Hollywood film glamorized the life of Larry Flynt a few years ago, and that Geraldo Rivera was chatting amiably on his Fox News show a few days ago with Girls Gone Wild mogul Joseph Francis, providing a sympathetic ear as Francis defended himself against a charge that one of the drunk young women he filmed was under 18. Whether the slut in question had passed her 18th birthday interests me far less than the mainstreaming of pornography that Francis and his GGW franchise represents. The young women featured in those videos aren’t prostitutes or professional actresses in the porn industry. They’re college girls, the daughters of doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians and salesmen who shell out tens of thousands of dollars a year so their daughters can go to college, get drunk, flash their breasts and freak dance for a pimp like Joe Francis. If someone like Francis had tried that back when I was in college, I suspect a a few furious fathers might have taken a page from the script of those old Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson vigilante movies and given the cocky young pornographer some rather hard knocks. Now the dads just shake their heads and say, oh well, what can you do?
As a Christian, I’m supposed to hate the sin but love the sinner. That’s a hard command to follow in the case of pornographers, since they are (or seem to be) so utterly without shame, so lacking in remorse. Instead of admitting that theirs is a filthy business but they’re filling a niche in the market that someone else would fill if they didn’t, they brazen it out with high-minded talk about the First Amendment, corrupting and polluting the Constitution even as they corrupt and pollute college freshmen. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying the girls are blameless. God forbid they should exercise some moderation in their alcohol consumption and keep their clothes on. But there’s a vast moral chasm between the weak-willed who allow themselves to be led astray, and the coldly calculating predator who leads them.
In Dante’s Inferno, the upper circles of hell are inhabited by those whose sins are relatively innocuous, and as the circles descend to the ninth and most horrific, the sins of their inhabitants grow ever more vile. Those overcome by lust occupy Dante’s second circle, while gluttons (among whom drunkards would be included) occupy the third. The drunken co-eds who simulate fellatio for the camera would thus belong in one of these two upper circles in Dante’s scheme. Deeper, far deeper, lie the horrors of the eighth circle, to which those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil are consigned. Among them are the pimps, panderers and seducers, those who steal the innocence of others and lead them down the path of iniquity.
Dante was a Christian too, and I’m sure he too tried to hate the sin and love the sinner, to pray for the repentance and redemption of the wicked. But the advice he gave those who did not repent he inscribed, in the Inferno, on the gate of hell: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”