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You Betray Yourself


Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

You Betray Yourself : Midwestern Sunset midwesternsunset@yahoo.com : 2000-05-30

When I first read Abby Aaron’s blistering condemnation of your stand on legalizing child pornography, I thought she was overdoing it a bit. But now, I’m not so sure. I think your own actions are beginning to betray you.

That is libelous accusation, especially one to make on such weak evidence.

I see where you just posted on your website a message from chosenofthelord, who said (s)he was only 13 years old. You website contains decidedly adult material — talking about oral and anal sex, orgasms, etc. — ithout any kind of warning or disclaimer.

There are RSAIC codings on the pages that is used by NetNanny style software. Putting an explicit warning would simply attract the people, especially children, seeking prurient material. These pages are not pornography. They are debates on social issues. Even children should be permitted to participate in them. The alternative is to sign up with a commercial service to block children, but then most of the adults who would be interested in such discussions would never read them.

Because the message was from a child well below legal age, you should have either ignored the message entirely, or returned it with a reply that the child should discuss such matters (religious beliefs) with his parents or legal guardian.

I disagree strongly. Religious dogma comes across the TV continuously without any warning or protection that it might pollute the ears of my nephews and nieces. Surely turn-about is fair play. Do you imagine religious faith is so feeble it can be demolished with a single sentence?

Instead, you chose not only to post the message, but to try to turn him against his parents by saying:

"The only reason you believe that the Bible, as opposed to some other book, is the word of God is that your parents drummed it into you before you were old enough to reason."

Such a statement can only be taken as an attempt to undermine the authority of the child’s parents and to convince him that his parents can’t be trusted.

Exactly. That kid is so insufferably self righteous, likely a habit picked up from the saintly parents. I wanted to plant just a seed of doubt by stating a very obvious fact (s)he had overlooked. Further, the parents cannot be trusted. They are fundamentalists. They have been brainwashing that poor kid, filling it full of flat-earth nonsense her/his entire life.

That kind of irresponsibility is inexcusable and the kind of person who would do such a thing would probably also not hesitate to try to circumvent the child’s parental teachings about government (like Hitler did) and sexual matters, as well. Since you are in favor of legalizing child pornography, would you hesitate to tell another 13-year-old, "Hey, your parents are close-minded. There’s nothing wrong with your letting me take pictures of you naked"?

That is quite a leap! If you actually read my essay you will discover it does not advocate legalising child pornography, only pornography created without exploiting children in any way.

Religious beliefs are just as important as sexual attitudes and they should be shaped by the parents — not by someone the child might happen to decide to write to over the Internet.

If a parent were to teach the child racism, should no one be permitted to offer a countering view? Surely fundamentalism is as great an evil and should at least be countered in debate. I see no reason to exclude children from religious debates. If a parent is so close minded that they want zero exposure to new ideas, then they have no business giving that child an Internet account.

Ms. Aaron might have seen something you’re too close to see for yourself. You say you care for the welfare of children — but your actions betray you.

Bottom line: Argue all you want to with mature adults — but leave our children alone!

You are infinitely more dangerous and harmful to children than I am, with your poisonous pegagogy. If anyone should stay away from the young, it is you.


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