The President of Morality in Media, Robert Peters, has thrown yet another hissy fit. He demands to know when Bill Marriott (yes, THE Mr. Marriott) is going to stop offering pay-for-view adult films in hotels across the country.
In an open letter, Peters says he stayed at Marriotts in Massachusetts and California last month and was shocked—shocked! With the attention to detail of a good lover, he lists eighteen titles (like “Please Pump My Wife,” “Slutty Older Women”) that he had the option of renting in his room. Ironically, Peters spent more time documenting the porn than many people spend watching it.
Peters describes why Marriott should stop offering adults the option of renting these movies. To summarize his position: men watch porn. Then they rape women, destroy their marriages, and bankrupt their families. Not satisfied, these men then watch kiddie porn and support the sexual trafficking of women and children.
“Decency” groups across the country say that 50,000,000 men look at porn each month. If doing so is that destructive, how is it that America has any marriages left, any women who aren’t prostitutes, any children who haven’t been raped or sold into slavery?
Morality in Media isn’t just anti-porn—they’re anti-fact. They don’t trust their beliefs enough to rely on the truth—which is that they believe that porn is evil. Instead, they take a handful of titillating crime stories, mix in apocalyptic warnings of perversion, season with Americans’ phobias about their kids’ safety, and create a witches’ brew of fictions about how porn is destroying our country.
Peters’ final insult is to demand that Bill Marriott live up to his obligations as a Mormon—by banning rent-a-porn in his hotels. Indeed, just a few years ago, the American Family Association bombarded Brigham Young University with thousands of emails. Upset that Marriott hotels offer adults pay-per-view porn, the AFA wanted the Mormon college to refuse future donations from Marriott (whose family has already given BYU twelve million dollars).
More than most Americans, Mormons should know how important democratic pluralism is. At one time, communities gave themselves the right to ban Mormon churches and to discriminate against Mormons in jobs, housing, and police protection.
But in a democracy, certain things are beyond voting. Cities can’t vote to exclude Mormons, reinstitute slavery, or require a tax to vote. Every Mormon should celebrate America’s golden promise of leaving people alone to pursue their private life as they wish—by extending this promise to hotel guests.
Otherwise, the next open letter we see will demand that Marriott discontinue its other features:
* in-room mini-bars: Mormons and Muslims are against alcohol; besides, that $5 Snickers is hard for dieters to resist at midnight.
* health club: Sooner or later, someone will have a heart attack in there.
* TV: You know how much time people waste watching the weather channel?
* hot showers: People burn themselves in there every year. Besides, what do you think people do after they have sex with hookers?