- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Showing remarkable sensitivity toward the men-in-raincoats lobby, the Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a law that outlawed realistic, fabricated depictions of children in sex acts.

Here's the background. Using children to make porn is illegal, so child-sex perverts began creating kiddie cyberporn by altering innocent images or creating virtual images from scratch. The material is meant to inflame the lusts of men with an evil addiction to children as sex objects. It presents an obvious danger to children and conveys no ideas worth protecting under the First Amendment. Congress wisely enacted a law to close this loophole.

Yet the court sided with the porn-industry lawyers and decided that the law was too broad. After all, it might inhibit production of "legitimate" art such as sex scenes with a child in the big-budget film "Lolita."

A couple of things need to be said. First, the danger to children outweighs the fact that the law may or may not be perfect. Second, would it be so awful to prevent even big-budget perverts from depicting adults having sex with children? Meanwhile, media elites rose to defend a book from the University of Minnesota Press that advocates "consensual" child molestation and lowering the age of consent to 12. Judith Levine's "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex," due out in May, includes this gem: "Sex is not harmful to children. There are many ways even the smallest children can partake of it."

On another page, the author gushes over a "lush and mysterious" photo of "a naked 3- or 4-year-old." Quoting a variety of pedophiles, she says children are not necessarily harmed by sex with adults. A friendly New York Times article on April 13 states, incorrectly, "The book does not, in fact, endorse pedophilia." Oh, yes it does. The article goes on to contrast "angry" reaction against a cool, reasoned pro-pedophile position. In 1998, an article in Psychological Bulletin made a similar defense of consensual "adult-child sex," prompting the American Psychological Association to issue a statement that "sexual relations between children and adults are abusive, exploitative, reprehensible and properly punishable by law."

Note that there is no mention here of "consent." Children are incapable of giving consent because they are not mature enough to understand the implications. Sex has lifelong emotional, psychological, spiritual and sometimes physical consequences. The only people who think children are not harmed if they give consent is a pro-pedophile academic underground that is trying to burrow its way to the surface. But to understand the monstrosity of this, we need only look at the lives destroyed by it. At the American Boychoir School in Princeton, N.J., victims of years of molestation are now reporting sexual identity confusion, depression, suicide attempts, and drug and alcohol abuse.

The Roman Catholic Church is awash in a sex scandal, most of it involving homosexual men with teen and younger boys. Certain church authorities concluded it was more important to protect reputations than to make sure the molesters never harmed anyone ever again.

Children are being sexualized everywhere you look. Television sitcoms feature come-on lines by under-12 actors. Clothing stores for girls stock shorts that resemble the skin-tight hooker pants worn by Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman."

As parents find it harder and harder to shield their children from a world intent on sexualizing youngsters, they are finding little help from American elites.

Isn't it time for real grown-ups to assert themselves and say enough is enough?

Robert H. Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

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