Democrat politicians like Rep. Karlee Provenza try to discourage conservatives from regulating pornography by appealing to localist and libertarian values, leaving decisions to school boards and parents, and trying to cast doubt on whether it’s even possible to judge some material obscene rather than “educational.”
It’s hard to take her seriously. If she herself thinks that these books are “educational,” she should make an argument to that effect. Or if she knows of other Wyomingites who think these books are “educational,” she should make that argument on their behalf. And if she believes that Wyomingites are incapable of distinguishing good from bad, decency from obscenity, she should say that directly.
The Wyoming Constitution itself argues that the Legislature has a duty to uphold public morality. Article 8, Section 10 reads: “As the health and morality of the people are essential to their well-being, and to the peace and permanence of the state, it shall be the duty of the legislature to protect and promote these vital interests by such measures for the encouragement of temperance and virtue, and such restrictions upon vice and immorality of every sort, as are deemed necessary to the public welfare.”
This November, Wyomingites should ask themselves: do we agree that exposing young children to sexually explicit degeneracy is consistent with “the health and morality of the people” and the “peace and permanence of the state”? Do we think our representatives are doing their “duty” to “protect and promote” morality by turning a blind eye to these obscenities—or even cooperating with, promoting, and celebrating them—rather than instituting proper “restrictions upon vice and immorality”? What “restrictions upon vice and immorality” do we, the people, “deem necessary to the public welfare”?
Every person makes his or her own moral judgments, and every community reflects some moral code or another. There are no morally neutral individuals, nor morally neutral societies. The Wyoming Constitution makes this explicit, and holds the Legislature accountable for affirming morality and restricting immorality. Today, the choice in front of legislators and voters is whether Wyoming will protect the innocence of children and encourage sexual morality, or enable the grooming of children and celebrate sexual degeneracy.
Pavlos Papadopoulos (Lander, WY)