WASHINGTON, D.C.—A presentation on the evils of porn yesterday at the Family Research Council (FRC) before an audience of mostly young people by Dr. Patrick F. Fagan, Senior Fellow and Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI), is getting some media play not least because of the comprehensive way in which Fagan—who was appointed by the George H. W. Bush to be the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy before moving on to the Heritage Foundation—has encapsulated the inevitable harms caused by pornography.
There is a video of the 53-minute presentation available here, but it is almost more effective to go here and scroll through the slides that Fagan uses during his presentation. Presented on the Washington Post page in an embedded window, one can scroll slowly through the slides, or quickly. I suggest the latter, which offers an experience not unlike those thrillers in which the hapless hero is forced to watch a thought-control video made up of insane and disturbing images flashed before his eyes.
Here, too, minds are the prize, specifically young ones, college-aged ones, but so, too, is the future of the entire nation. That is not hyperbole on my part; it is Fagan and his ilk who present the issue in the starkest terms possible. Indeed, in his talk, which is titled, “Porn in the Dorm: The Impact of Pornography on College Campus Life,” perhaps the first third is used to explain how the structure of society works, and why the five basic institutions of society—in order of priority, "family," "church," "school," "marketplace" and "government"—are so absolutely essential to not only individuals and families, but to America.
“The core strength of the nation,” he said, encapsulating his argument, “is the intact married family that worships God weekly. That produces the greatest strength.”
So it is in that context that he shortly thereafter segues from the fundamental building blocks of society to the "pagan" evils of porn, which, almost more than any other single thing, contains no redeeming elements and contributes to an almost unending number of social and individual ills. Porn, one might very well believe after watching this presentation, is every bit as hazardous to the world as the Black Plague.
Absurd, perhaps, but as the Post notes, “Granted, it may not be a particularly valuable exercise to pick apart the scientific claims of a spokesman for an institution that is ideologically committed to Judeo-Christian values. But this isn’t some backwater policy shop. It’s one of the leading organizations opposing same-sex marriage in the states, has a wide reach in conservative colleges, and provides talking points to the socially conservative political establishment (Fagan himself served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy in the George H. W. Bush administration).”
True enough, and though even the Post had to reject Fagan’s conclusions, that doesn’t mean they still don’t hold sway where it so often counts, in federal, state and local legislatures as well as courtrooms throughout the nation.