TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 06, 2004
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Let choice guide obscenity not law

COMMENTARY
Brian Chatman

Is anyone else tired of hearing about Janet Jackson’s mishap in Sunday’s Super Bowl?

If you read on you will hear yet another view about it. Why is this so important for me to talk about?

I feel that this, along with the Madonna incident last year, shows a rather alarming trait that Americans have developed. It seems the human body has become more abhorrent than violent.

Even football is little more than violence organized by a system of rules. Without the rules, it is basically gang violence. They wear colors to represent their team. They beat up on each other constantly to get a ball. They use cheerleaders to placate the sexual needs of their fans. When they are not attacking each other, they are trying to get us to buy things that we don’t need and have developed quite an addiction for.

Gangs sell drugs and stolen goods. Football players sell shoes, clothes and drinks by endorsing them.

People say that their children shouldn’t be allowed to see nudity. Regardless of gender, we all have nipples. In spite of this, when a bare breast is exposed at a football game, the camera quickly cuts away. They are more than happy to focus the camera on a football player that just had his neck broken, but nudity might cause emotional trauma.
The taboo we place on nudity creates the sexual reaction. Germany is much more open about sexuality, yet has 72 percent less rapes per capita, according to Nationmaster.com. Britain has the most incidence of rape per capita in Europe and still has only 43 percent as much as the United States. In light of that, shouldn’t we encourage our citizens to be more open?

Religious groups tend to be the core of the Republican party, so its no surprise that Republicans started limiting what is broadcasted and have pushed to increase regulation on indecency.

Ironically, this is the same party that believes in letting the market solve its own problems. Demand should decrease if obscene programs are shown, and then the stations will pull them. Should the market fail, it should be the Christian groups that call for an end to regulation on morality.

A major premise in Christianity is making the choice to be virtuous. St. Thomas Aquinas said that not all vice should be punishable by law. If law punished every immoral act, that wouldn’t be choice, it would be coercion. People would be moral out of fear of punishment, which is not the same as being voluntarily virtuous. Also, if the human body is made in God’s image, why is it considered obscene? Despite this, Christian groups are leading the charge to censor television.

So here are some crazy thoughts. If you like what is on, then watch it. If you are offended, then turn it off. If your children see something you don’t want them to, explain what it is and why they should not do it. If enough people stop watching, then it won’t air again and there is no need for the government to interfere. Most of all, remember that even if you are offended by Jackson’s Super Bowl flop, the rest of us would just like to have a good laugh and move on.


Brian Chatman is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.
 
 
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