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Michele Bachmann’s Pornography Pledge

By Alyssa Rosenberg  

"Michele Bachmann’s Pornography Pledge"

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There are a lot of disturbing ideas in the pledge that the FAMiLY Leader is asking Republican candidates to take, among them the idea being gay is a choice (presumably heterosexuality’s totally genetic), or the statement that sex is inherently better after marriage. But I think it’s worth singling out the part of the pledge where candidates who take the pledge — to this date, only Michele Bachmann — promise that they’ll provide “humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy..from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion, and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.”

The whole thing is a lovely illustration of ways Bachmann’s out of the American mainstream. Equating pornography with human trafficking, prostitution, or infanticide suggests that Bachmann doesn’t know very much about any of those things, or much about the sex lives of actual Americans (particularly those she claims to represent). And if Bachmann interpreted that pledge as a mandate to seek a governmental ban of pornography and pornography broadly defined (rather than, you know, folks doing the work to keep kids away from material they don’t want them to access), it would be a demonstration of what startlingly low value Bachmann places on the First Amendment. “All forms of pornography” can be interpreted to include a lot of art and popular culture. None of this is surprising, I think, but it’s not minor. And it merits pointing out and pushing back against.

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