April 5, 2001
Office of the President
Dear Friend of the National Legal Foundation:
Some things are beyond belief!
The United States Congress passed a law to try to put a dent in the traffic in the vilest of internet pornography . . . child pornography.
How could anybody be against such a thing? Well, the pornographers are!
How can such madness be happening in America today?
PLEASE READ THE NEXT FEW PARAGRAPHS CAREFULLY. I WILL NOT DISCUSS THE GRAPHIC DETAILS OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. AND I WILL NOT DELVE TOO DEEPLY INTO THE LEGAL TECHNICALITIES. BUT I MUST GIVE YOU SOME DETAILS FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE HAVE COME TO IN THIS COUNTRY.
It all hinges on an earlier Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld a New York statute that prohibited child porn. That case, called Ferber v. New York, was decided before some of the latest computer technology was available. Therefore, in those days the Court was very concerned about the impact on the children that were used in the making of the pornography. AND RIGHTLY SO!
The Court was concerned about the harm to the children both from the horrifying experience of being involved in the production of the pornography and from the fact that the children would be able to be recognized in the pictures in the future.
So far, so good.
But now comes the really ridiculous part. The child pornographers to this case and turned it to their own advantage. They actually argued that because they can now alter photographic and video images, they can change the childrens faces so that according to them there is no harm from being recognized. And they also argue that they can make "virtual" child pornography. In other words, they can make images that are so realistic like the images in the fanciest video games that sometimes they dont even need real children so there is to real children in these cases again, according to them!
Therefore, according to the pornographers, Congresss law must be unconstitutional.
Well, as you can imagine, most courts that have heard this argument have utterly rejected it. Some judges have said that they can consider other harms. Especially the fact that those who use child pornography will often sexually abuse children. Other judges have wisely said, we dont even have to do any fancy analysis about different harms because this filth has no constitutional protection whatsoever!
BUT . . . the pornographers convinced the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals probably the most liberal federal court in the county to agree with their silly arguments.
Now the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and decide the issue once and for all!
We have been working with President Bushs Justice Department to support them in this case. As you know, the Justice Department is under the direction of Attorney General John Ashcroft. Im sure many of you prayed for John during his confirmation hearings.
Now you have an opportunity to support him in court . . . by helping us have the financial resources to file our important brief. A brief that will help John and help protect Americas children from the scourge of child pornography.
We must stop the traffic in this vile filth. Please be part of the team!
For the Children,
Steven W. Fitschen
P.S. Please respond as quickly as possible. The brief is due in just days.
Some ministries would have subjected you to the graphic details of the horrors of child pornography. The reason, of course, is because they think people will give more when they are confronted with the hideous suffering of the children. But I didnt want to do that to you. You already know that none of work gets done without you. It is only because of your prayers and your financial gifts that we can do any of our work.
Therefore, I know that I do not have to use shock techniques in order for you and all of our other friends to pray about supporting us in this effort . . . and that is good enough for me. Please give as the Lord leads.
Post Office Box 64427, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 23467-4427
© 2006 by the National Legal Foundation & Minuteman Institute