Special to WorldTribune.com
A mother, father and two children are at an Awards ceremony. Suddenly, a performer on stage makes gestures that are so lewd the whole family stares in open-mouthed shock. In the blink of an eye, the children’s rights have been assaulted. The parents are disgusted. But it is too late. Their children’s innocence has just been violated.
Now the parents are in a no-win situation: they can ignore the pornographic gestures and thus risk the consequences of any interpretations the children will draw or explain adult concepts to unformed minds. Why has this happened? This was supposed to be a fun night out. The kids are simply too young for this exposure and for the questions and discussion that must inevitably ensue.
This past weekend that family is none other than Hollywood elite, Will Smith and his two children, Will and Jaden, at the Video Music Awards. A photograph of them looking shocked went viral. Some reports stated the Smiths were reacting to Miley Cyrus’ controversial performance while others stated that the family was instead admiring Lady Gaga’s antics.
Regardless of whether the Smiths were outraged at Ms. Cyrus, the picture captures the dilemma of American parents at large. In an attempt to participate in a major cultural event with their kids, they are suddenly ensnared by Hollywood’s demonic dragnet. Families across the nation were as horrified as that picture portrays, with the adults looking as convulsed as Mr. Smith.
What do we do, many parents were forced to ask?
And this has happened again and again — Michael Jackson grabbing his crotch on stage, Madonna kissing Britney Spears, Janet Jackson showing a nipple at the Super Bowl and now Ms. Cyrus fondling a married man, Robin Thicke, at the VMAs while also touching her private parts with a giant foam finger. Every year, the acts get lewder and another cultural standard of decency is shattered.
It is time for Americans with a moral compass to get tough in retaliation. We need a new legal and cultural doctrine: A doctrine of cultural rights. In other words, every individual in America has the right to enjoy his or her society, including the arts, without having his conscience, his moral standards compromised. We all have the right to watch television, enjoy the Internet, stroll the subway system without pornography being forced upon us in some way or form, including advertisements that are indecent.
Sadly, we need a barrier against the abuse of the First Amendment, especially the opprobrious interpretation of free expression. In other words, your right to free expression is also limited by my right to be free of exposure to indecency as this violates my religion. This used to be common courtesy and common sense.
In 1896, the Supreme Court adopted the Hicklin test in Rosen v. United States that regards obscenity as material that can “deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences,” regardless of its artistic merit. In subsequent rulings, standards have been relaxed so much that now, even virtual child pornography, meaning illustrations of children being fornicated, is deemed protected free speech. Our Founding Fathers would throw up — or better yet, they would take up arms to defend their nation’s honor from this iniquity.
The perversions within our culture are today so far beyond the pale of our previous Christian civilization that we now face a very stark choice: either stand up to the barbarians in our midst or become submerged by their depravity. There is no middle ground and there is no escape.
We have learned after almost sixty years of trying to appease and accommodate the progressive agenda with concessions, that these individuals cannot be appeased. We, as a society, cannot give enough individual sexual freedom: They are coming to make us complicit in perversity. It is not enough for perverts to be free to be perverted in their own private lives; they seek to make us all perverts too. And it makes sense, because that is the ultimate perversion.
Like other evil ideologies, such as Nazism and communism, contemporary liberalism is relentlessly destructive and can only be defeated with a forceful, head-on confrontation.
We must declare that we have every right to exist in our society, to be free from obscenity, as they have the right to practice their obscenity. With a new doctrine of cultural rights, we can challenge any violation in the courts and impose massive criminal and civil penalties against transgressors.
Letter-writing campaigns do not work. Boycotts of networks do not work. Using the marketplace to make choices as to which artists survive does not work. All these theories conservatives have touted on how to respond to these debauched entertainers ultimately fail because controversy of any kind usually only accelerates the reputation and prosperity of the violator. The more we discuss Ms. Cyrus, the richer she gets. The more we protest, the more famous she becomes.
Yet, if we had the legal power to prosecute and bankrupt her for violating our cultural rights, she would sing a different tune. Instead of saying “We Can’t Stop” as she thumbs her nose at Christian America, she would wiggle her behind in private and smile nice for the camera when she is on stage.
As Robin Thicke’s mother, Gloria Loring, stated in reaction to Ms. Cyrus grinding her body on her son while he sang: “I was not expecting her to be putting her butt that close to my son. The problem is now I can never unsee it.”
Innocence lost is gone forever. Purity of the mind is gone forever. We should at no time be forced to say: “I can never unsee it.”
Grace Vuoto is the Editor of Politics and Culture at World Tribune. The founder of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal, she is the host of American Heartland with Dr. Grace on WTSB Radio Saturdays at 3:00. See show and archives at: the Grace Vuoto channel at WorldTribuneTV.