Earlier this week, a lot of people testified that children should be exposed to obscene and pornographic materials. Well, they didn’t exactly say it that way, but it was all the same. By testifying against House Bill 384, they were taking a stand against attempts to keep obviously harmful material out of the hands of children and teenagers.
Thankfully, every Republican on the committee voted to send it to the floor, where I’ve no doubt it will pass.
I am so proud of Republicans like Rep. Jaron Crane of Nampa, who not only sponsored this bill, but sponsored H314 last year which made it all the way to the governor’s desk before being vetoed. We are making progress. I remember when the first attempt to keep objectionable materials away from children was called “crazy” and didn’t even get a vote in the Senate.
The Idaho Republican Platform calls children “an inheritance of the Lord.” That means that the job of elected representatives is to protect children’s innocence, rather than destroy it. Fifty years ago, you didn’t have to worry about your children stumbling upon hardcore porn in schools and libraries, because everyone agreed that things like that were not meant for kids. Heck, back then those things were confined to dingy old stores in a bad part of town and anyone going there rightfully felt ashamed!
How things have changed. Today, people are writing and publishing things aimed at children that would have gotten them arrested just a few years ago. It’s perverse and pervasive, you can’t get away from it, and some very misguided people in our schools and libraries are facilitating this filth.
They want you to believe this is about literacy, about freedom of speech, and about catering to underprivileged groups. That’s all bunk. This is about exposing young children to ideas and imagery that will stay with them forever.
Nina Beesley, Chairwoman of District 3 and our Republican Worker of the Year, said it perfectly in her testimony on this bill:
“I want to remind this committee that we’re talking about the sexual exploitation of minors through sexually explicit obscene materials that are in libraries and schools in Idaho. Research shows that wherever sexually explicit obscene materials are available, rape, murder, and child molestation increase. This means the risk goes up that I, one of my five children, one of your children could be raped, murdered, or molested.”
She was right. Our children are the future, and protecting childhood innocence is the foundation of a free, safe, and prosperous society. I thank the Republicans on the House State Affairs Committee for standing up for our children, and I urge the rest of the Legislature to do the same.
Publisher’s note: As is the wont of the Dorothy Moon, MAGA contingent of the GOP, this letter employs misdirection and oversimplification in what seems to be the current Republican legislative mandate; it is more important to “own the libs” than to legislate or serve the public; far more important to rail on exaggerated issues concocted to progress the “conservative” agenda, such as the sudden, unexpected and entirely overblown national “crisis” of porn falling into the hands of sensitive “inheritances of the Lord.”
It might lend credence that such a problem existed were it not for the fact that none of the many libraries under attack seems to have any pornographic materials unique to their facilities … no patron at any seems to have taken a look at what Junior brought home from the children’s section and was found ensconced with under the covers, late a night, perused sweatily by the feeble beam of a flashlight. No, the great conservative library crisis, just like the conservative war on woke, is but an effective and well thought out method by which to keep their MAGA base riled and frothing and force the liberals to turn away from whatever they were doing in response.
A lot of people testified against HB384, but not because they favor filth or think children need to be exposed to it, but because it’s yet another effort by the so-called freedom-loving MAGA conservatives and Christian Nationalists to meddle in matters that are none of their business, to satisfy their incessant need to impose their supposedly superior and high-minded morals on others when they can’t or don’t follow their own strictures. We call it hypocrisy.
No, Dorothy, people spoke out against HB384 because it’s bad law, unnecessary and an infringement on the rights and freedoms of others not bound to or buying your particular brand of goodness and virtue. And no amount of self-congratulatory, pat-on-the-back propaganda is going to change that. — Mike Weland