You Can’t Make This Shit Up! (part IV)

19 May, 2008

You Can’t Make This Shit Up!

Focus on the Family has launched a new crusade: “Focus on the Family Action is calling on families to co-sign a letter urging Marriott hotels to stop offering in-room pornography. The letter, signed by 47 family groups, will be presented at a meeting May 14 between pro-family leaders and Marriott International officials. It’s the first time a major hotel chain has agreed to meet to discuss the issue.” The meeting occurred earlier this week, but Marriott would not commit to making any changes.

Don’t you dare sit in a Marriot Hotel room and engage in solitary autoerotic pleasure.  This is offensive to (Dobson’s version of) God!  Everytime you touch yourself, a kitten dies.  Solitary pleasure doesn’t produce new souls who can be converted to turbo-Christianity.

Be a real turbo-Christian and beat and rape your wife.   Or go out and rob a sub-discount store. Or rape the young girls in your congregation.   Or set up a meeting with a 13-year-old girl for sex.  Or if you’re the principal of a Christian school, why go online?  Just abuse the students under you.  But whatever you do, don’t look at hotel porn, especially at Marriot.

Keep in mind, its perfectly legal for an adult to purchase and view this material at Marriot (or other hotels).  There are already controls in place to limit the viewing of said material by minors.  But, as my brilliant wife points out, the above links (to stories about ministers (and one principal at a Lutheran school)) involve things that are illegal, immoral (by just about any definition of the word) and would tend to damage families.

This is an open question to any theists who may visit my blog:  How does the solitary (or maybe some couples view it together (I have no idea)) enjoyment of adult films harm the family?  More specifically, how does it damage the family more than narrow-minded bigotry masquerading as ‘family values’?



  1. Well my husband would answer quite frankly “It doesn’t”. If pushed, he or I would probably agree on some consensus that if the porn “plot” involves violence against women (and not in a BDSM way) then there could be some issues (which various feminist blogs go into far more coherently than I ever could).

    Still, the last time I watched hotel porn was about five years ago, and it was a so-called “freshman fantasy” involving an inflatable pool full of green jello. I was too busy killing myself laughing to be aroused, much less want to destroy my family.

  2. Wouldn’t you love to have a search warrant to go through ALL of the property, especially hard drives, of the members of Focus on the Family? Oh what curiosities may we find do you think? I’m thinking there’s the kind of porn that would even make me cringe.

  3. Julia: Excellent point which I hadn’t even considered, but when did Focus on the Family give a flying fig about women (other than as vessels for their pestles (and 5 points to whoever can name the film that quote hails from))?

    On another subject, Julia, what happened to your blog “The Ethical Palaeontologist”? Did the American Paleontologists get upset about the extra ‘A’?

    Philly: Part of me is quite curious about the ‘ahem’ materials on right wing religious zealots hard drives. But a bigger part of me wants to avoid being physically ill.

  4. Julia: Nevermind, I see you are back up with a whole new look. I assume the ‘404’ error message from the last five days had something to do with your blog going through the change?

  5. First of all let me say I agree with your point and FOTF/Dobson makes me feel sick. I am not saying I am against porn – its a personal choice – but one of my goals in life is to educate people about sexual violence that occurs all the time, every day by all sorts of people.

    I have worked with rape victims, sexual assault victims, etc. and have studied all the facts/figures out there. Unfortunately a lot of predators and perpetrators of these crimes are set off by porn. So making it readily available is the same as handing someone that has a gun a bullet. It makes the temptation to use the gun even stronger to resist.


    It has the potential for affecting family because of the conflict it causes in many marriages. I have also been involved in recovery groups for women/men that were addicted to porn and heard how it ruined their lives. This may sound drastic, if it does be thankful that you can’t relate, its a serious issue in many families.

    BUT: with all that said, taking porn out of hotels is silly! That would be the same as not allowing those mini-bars with booze. Sure some alcoholic may be tempted, but that’s part of life when you are recovering.

  6. I do appreciate everything you say, Walking Away – and you’ve done an excellent job of explaining the problems. But as you said, removing porn from the hotels would be silly. Not least because Marriott have free wireless connections and it should be even easier to get porn (and certainly less savoury porn than Marriott would show on their PPV).

    And I like your comparison with alcohol. Prohibition drives it underground, makes it “dirty”, perhaps even makes it more of a temptation because it’s not allowed. And then there’s even more of a problem than before. It’s perhaps over-simplified (but this is a blog comment and not a full-length post), and I am thankful to never have had to deal with problems in my marriage.

    But really, to criticise FOTF, there are an awful lot of far worthier threats to the family to challenge. How about poverty? I seem to remember a guy being nailed to a tree for saying people should look after the poor…

  7. I dare say that a large number of families have been created thanks to hotel porn… 😀

  8. Oh, forgot to say, it’s the Court Jester – where’s the brew that is true?

  9. *sigh* Paul Anderson. Lowering the tone of the conversation since 1979…

  10. Paul: You’re right. Danny Kaye in the Court Jester. You get either five useless points, or one free visit to (((Billy))) The Atheist (non-transferable).

    Walking Away: Welcome. My mom was a social worker for most of the 80s and 90s. I seem to remember this discussion at the supper table whilst I was in hight school. I haven’t kept up with the research, but I seem to remember that the studies at the time showed mixed results when trying to match pornography and rape. My view (and I am an historian by education, so this is out of my area of study) is that main-stream pornography would tend to help most adults fantasize in a safe way which would tend to minimize actually trying to carry out any of these fantasies. The less main-stream pornography, though, may actually feed the fantasies of disturbed individuals and increase the chances of the disturbed ideas being made into reality.

    I agree that it can affect the family if there is a conflict over viewing/use. By the same token, if the consenting adults are in agreement, could it not strengthen the family?

  11. Porn doesn’t harm families, obsessive infatuation with it does. From an Orthodox point of view (which means absolutely nothing to you, but you asked for opinions so here it is!) it’s “passions” that go with an act that make it wrong, not the act itself. Playing video games isn’t a sin; making playing video games a priority in your life to the exclusion of other things is. The Greek word for ‘sin’ (and as you know the New Testament was originally written in Greek) is ἁμαρτωλό (amartolo) and literally means ‘missing the mark.’ So, a sin is something which takes your focus off of God. Ta da.

  12. Zacharias: Be careful making assumptions. I am familiar with many (not all) of the definitions of orthodoxy, both within and without the religious connotations. The Eastern (or Greek, Russian, etc.) Orthodox tradition has done a very good job of staying true to the Nicene Creed. That said, thank you. I was unfamiliar with the Greek transliteration of ‘sin.’ It makes sense, and it also helps explain (in my mind) the link between thought sins and physical sins.

    Oh, and be careful saying that the New Testament was originally written in Greek (and I don’t dispute that) but when I did a post called New Sins ( https://iambilly.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/new-sins/ ), someone named Marianne absolutely Freaked Out at the idea that the New Testament was written in Greek. Although, thanks to the (occasionally fractious) discussion, it did garner 90 comments, so I can’t complain. Hopefully she won’t see your comment about the New Testament and the origional language.

    Again, thanks for the explanation. I don’t agree, but it does make sense and helps explain a concept I had missed.

  13. Any time.

    We’ll never all agree, but it helps to understand the other side’s view.

  14. Zacharias: Definately. Although, I have to admit that there are some viewpoints (see Dobson et al.) where the viewpoint is so foreign, the meanings assigned to words so different, the logic so skewed, that, if I ever do understand the thought process, I will immediately make an appointment with a psychiatrist (not a psychologist — they can’t prescribe drugs).

  15. Oh hey, and as far as Marianne goes, on her blog page http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/the-number-666-according-to-muslims/ she writes:

    “Recall that the New Testament is written in Greek…”

    Heh, guess she can’t decide what she thinks?

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