The great thing about the CP80 initiative is that it is about choice. It isn’t an argument that pornography should be made illegal in all forms or that laws should define that only adults may access it, but it is about giving a family or organization (I don’t want to leave business situations out of this) the choice of whether or not they want to allow pornographic content to come across their wires.
For those who are unaware, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and during the Priesthood session of the October 2006 General Conference, President Hinckley asked all the men of the Church (I’m assuming much of what he said applies to women as well) to “Rise Up, O Men of God”. During that talk he read a letter that was written to him by a brother who was (or at least I’m hoping I can use the past tense) heavily addicted to pornography. In the letter, the brother pleads, “…please plead with the brethren of the Church not only to avoid but eliminate the sources of pornographic material in their lives.” President Hinckley later tells us “…there must be self-discipline enough to turn it off.” Yes, I believe he was using the pronoun it to refer to the computer itself, but if it were possible, I think he would prefer we turn the pornographic material itself off.
The Family Movie Act is a great example of a way in which the US Government has given the family a say on what they can do to control media entering their home. The Family Movie Act is not about forcing rated R movies out of the house, or about forcing the movie industry to censor their products, but it gives families a choice about the kinds of media they watch. The CP80 solution to internet pornography is basically to require website to “rate” themselves just like movies are forced to be rated from G to PG to PG-13 to R, etc… Once a website is “rated” by switching to a different port, families can now decide whether or not they want that kind of media entering their homes.
There is no limit to freedom of speech, since those who want to access pornography will be able to, and it will not make it any harder for people to get to their website (the URL isn’t going to change, they’ll probably just be forced to have a landing page – something many digital certificate companies require for certification anyway [my roommate works at DigiCert]). Oh, and as for enforcement? I’m sure the government is OK with fining people like crazy if they violate; when do they not like collecting a lot of cash, they just need to make the fine hefty enough.
Just because it’s hard or seems like a large task doesn’t mean we should just give up. I don’t look to take away the right that others have to indulge in whatever they would like to indulge in, but I would very much like the ability to keep destructive materials out of my home. I have seen too many families, marriages, and lives destroyed over pornography to the point that I barely trust myself enough to say that I will never give in to it. Think about how much time you spend on your computer everyday! Think of how many idle hours some of you have spent just floating from one site to another online! What’s to say that Satan won’t hit you someday with a temptation strong enough to steer you or a loved one to something you would never partake of under normal circumstances. We will all face temptation, but I think it is wise counsel to eliminate as many situations and opportunities as possible when it comes to serious transgression.
Those of our generation can make a difference because we actually understand the technology behind the magic that is the internet.If we can’t stand as disciples of Jesus Christ on something like this, when will we stand on his side? I don’t know what legislation will pass, I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I think true discipleship asks us to stand up in situations like this. We wanted the ability to choose before we came to earth, shouldn’t we continue to fight for it now that we’re here?