News: Republicans Declare Porn A Public Health Crisis

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Only one aspect of this photo represents a danger to society, according to Republicans. Can you guess which?

Britain is currently leading the way in political insanity, but you have to hand it to the Republican Party in America – they are not giving up their position without a fight.

This week, Republican delegates are meeting to set out their manifesto for 2016 and the forthcoming elections. These are the policies that they will take forward as their goals for the future. One such policy, pushed by North Carolina delegate Mary Forrester – apparently at the behest of a religious group called Concerned Women of America – is that “Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well being.”

Of course, there is no independent evidence that pornography has any harmful effects – none at all. For all the claims, there is no proven connection between porn use and sexual abuse. Claims of harm caused to under-age viewers are, at best, dubiously anecdotal and at worst, entirely made up. ‘Porn addiction’ might be headline news, but most experts who are not making money treating it agree that there is no such thing – indeed, it’s hard to see how a specific visual medium could ever really be addictive. People mighty have certain physical reactions to porn – I’m talking about the release of dopamine, giving a feeling of pleasure, while watching it – but then, they probably have similar reactions while enjoying films, listening to music or watching sport. In fact, there seems to be far more evidence that sport is addictive – there are, after all, people who watch every sporting event on TV, spend huge amounts of money travelling the country / world following their favourite teams and often seem utterly obsessed to the point where they can talk about little else. Yet no one talks about ‘sports addiction’.

You’d think that if the Republicans were really concerned with public health, they might drop their opposition to free health care. Or you might think that they would support measures to tackle a genuine, proven killer of American men, women and children – namely, the easy access to weapons of mass destruction. Yet any attempts to control the availability of guns are repeatedly crushed by Republican senators. Just last month, they voted down a measure aimed at stopping firearms and explosives from being sold to suspected terrorists. You read that right: on the off-chance that someone mistakenly placed on a watch list be denied his right to buy semi-automatic assault weapons and bomb making equipment (the desire for which really ought to be a good reason for being on a watch list, some might think), Republicans voted that possible terrorists should still be allowed to buy guns.

Only the mentally unbalanced could ever claim that a video clip of two people making love is a bigger threat to society than a bazooka. And yet that is what is happening. The mind boggles.