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Resolution On Pornography

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention has frequently expressed alarm about the consequences of pornography upon the moral, family, and social life of our nation and the dramatic rise in the availability of pornography; and

WHEREAS, New applications of media technology have produced new opportunities for obscene communication through media such as “Dial-A-Porn”, cable television and various obscene video cassettes; and

WHEREAS, Pornographers lure or kidnap many women and children annually for the purpose of being forced into a life of prostitution and sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, Legal opinion has long held that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States has set forth clear and precise standards which allow for a determination of obscenity applying the local community standards; and

WHEREAS, There is growing concern about the relationship between pornography and anti-social effects such as sexual violence, child abuse, and dehumanizing attitudes toward men, women and children.

Be it therefore RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, June 10-12, 1986, call upon Southern Baptist churches to intensify moral education of church and other community members about the harmful effects of pornography; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to vigorously urge law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to enforce laws which in many states are adequate to restrict the dissemination of obscene materials and the related sexual and other exploitation of men, women, and children; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to participate actively in legally permissible means of protest to dissuade retail outlets from selling pornographic materials; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That the messengers of this Convention commend President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edward Meese, III for appointing the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography and urge every Southern Baptist to write to the President and Attorney General thanking them for their past efforts and requesting them to enforce the existing federal laws concerning pornography; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urgently plead with the Christian Life Commission to prepare and distribute materials and methods that will assist local churches, associations, or groups in the battle against pornography, especially cable pornography which promotes homosexuality, nudism, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, rape, abortion, and infidelity right in the living rooms of our nation; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we call upon the Christian Life Commission to communicate our gratitude to those retail corporations which recently have voluntarily discontinued the sale of sexually-explicit magazines, and also communicate our gratitude to the National Federation for Decency for their courageous and effective leadership in the battle against pornography.