The advertisement shows a little girl sitting before a computer. It says: “See Jane. See Jane click. Click, click, Jane. See, Jane, See.” The last frame shows a picture of Jane looking amazed, shocked. The words say: “Jane saw!”

Jane is perhaps ten. She has stumbled onto a porn site. Jane can never unsee what she has seen anymore than you can forget your own first introduction to raw sex.

The ad is for an internet filter which prevents such sewage from ever reaching your home computer. Not everyone is happy that Jane and her brother can view the grossest of sexual deviancy on line, either by chance or by choice, when they set about surfing the web.

It used to be that one had to seek out porn in adult bookshops, behind-the-counter magazines, or x-rated movie houses. Now it comes into homes, schools, and libraries unbidden. One only has to surf cable or satellite offerings and it’s right there in living, moving color.

The ACLU has become the champion of the porn industry and challenges every effort of Congress to protect children from the dangers of internet pornography. The American Library Association has taken the stand that everything that is out there on the web should be available not only to adults but to children. The Library Bill of Rights wants parents, and parents only, to limit what their children have access to. It reads in part: “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” The use of the word “age” was reaffirmed in 1996.

Robin Johnson’s eight-year-old son chanced upon pornography using his elementary school computer in Glen Arbor, Michigan. Mrs. Johnson testified in support of legislation to protect children from such obscenity and the Children’s Internet Protection Act was introduced by Senator McCain in 1999 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003. It required that schools and libraries accepting federal subsidies must use blocking technology to restrict access to pornography. Planned Parenthood filed suit against this law.

Another bill, the Child Online Protection Act, passed in 1998, ruled that a commercial website cannot make material which is harmful to minors available to anyone under 17. The ACLU sued the Attorney General to kill this law which was eventually struck down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court decided in 2004 to let the decision stand.

Pornography makes big bucks for its producers, a reputed $3.9 billion dollars in 1993, escalating to over $10 billion today. To quote one porn executive: “President Clinton is a total supporter of the industry, and he’s always been on our team.” This is hardly surprising since Mr. Clinton’s behavior in the White Houses gifted us with gags about the oral office and about children being expelled for playing President. Significantly, he also received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from such sources as Playboy’s Hugh Hefner, Penthouse’s Bob Guccioni, and Hustler’s Larry Flynt. In 1996 Adult Video News recommended that their readers vote for Clinton “since he will be a lame duck with no reason to change his hands-nearly-off porn policy…”

I was hoped that under George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft it would be more likely that some sort of internet obscenity control would come to pass. But the porn industry has deep pockets. Greed and lust have many devotees. They say they fear that laws might “transform this dynamic medium into one that is only for children,” in the words of Attorney Beeson.

But this is not really a First Amendment, free speech issue. The First Amendment was not intended to protect distribution of porn to children on the internet or anywhere else. The government has a compelling interest in safeguarding the physical and psychological well-being of minors. It is about choosing not to serve our children garbage.

I have received spam in my e-mail which was vulgar enough so I would be unable to quote it in any respectable magazine article. It comes complete with an invitation to click on a website and the temptation to do exactly that – just to see – just out of curiosity. That’s the hook. Next come the line and sinker. Like any habit, addiction to pornography grows by one fine thread at a time until it is a strong cable, almost impossible to break. Then come the ruined marriages, the sexual crimes, the inability to love a real person in real time. It does not happen overnight but our children are exposed to it daily. They live in an ever-increasing sexualized milieu and are committing sexual crimes at an ever younger age. Nearly 90% of sexual crimes against children involve pornography in some way.

Any viewer knows that porn is extremely sexist, devoid of love or responsibility, ignores sexually transmitted diseases, destroys marriages and dehumanizes its participants. It is sex mis-education. What we see does affect what we do. To deny this is to question the sanity of those who spend millions on advertising. As the computer techies say, garbage in, garbage out.

According to Internet Magazine most internet service providers (ISPs) have available porn filtering software. Does your child’s school filter the net? In Minnesota 12 librarians complained of hard-core porn sites left visible on terminals, graphic printouts on tables, and youngsters exposed to images of bestiality and child rape. They received a favorable ruling from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Most libraries will not – I repeat – will not filter to protect your child. Be aware. Be wary.

Pending legislation may put a guardrail around the gutter which will protect some children from some of the sewage out there. I wouldn’t count on it. We need a groundswell of people who turn in disgust from places and websites that will not monitor what is offered to children. What are your children being exposed to? Are your library and school computers filtered? Caring parents want to know.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8