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Obama Nominates Pro-Porn Advocate to the Justice Department

Last Updated: July 14, 2021

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Back in November, the day of the Presidential elections, I pointed out that the porn industry was rooting against John McCain. Why? One reason was because a McCain administration might appoint someone to the Justice Department who would be more willing to enforce obscenity laws, which in turn might curtail the availability of porn online.

Two months ago, President Obama nominated David W. Ogden for Deputy Attorney General. Pro-family and child-protection agencies are very concerned about this appointment. Why? Because of Ogden’s reputation as a porn-protector.

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David Ogden and Porn: A Brief Review

David Ogden is a man with a long, impressive resume, but one that is also littered with many examples of protecting the rights of the the adult industry:

  • Ogden fought for Playboy in Puerto Rico, helping them keep their adult programming on cable TV.
  • Ogden pleaded for Playboy again when they sought to use taxpayer dollars to print Playboy Magazine in Braille against Congress’ wishes (I guess people do buy Playboy for the articles, huh).
  • Ogden has claimed in court that there is a constitutional right for pornography to be kept in firehouses (much to the chagrin of female firefighters who don’t want to be subjected to humiliating images in the workplace).
  • Ogden sued to allow pornography to be accessed in federally-funded public libraries, challenging the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
  • At the beginning of his career, Ogden wrote a memo against opponents of public obscenity, saying that the “offensiveness” of pornography is merely an excuse to bring morality into legislation.

Patrick Trueman, former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department, states,

“David Ogden filed a brief in the notorious Knox v. U.S. case in the United States Supreme Court supporting Knox, who was a child pornographer. This created a firestorm in the Clinton administration because Janet Reno wanted the Supreme Court to throw out the conviction, and President Clinton publicly rebuked Janet Reno for her weak position on child pornography. And she changed her position in the case, but David Ogden didn’t.”

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Oops . . .

A month ago Ogden went back on some of his controversial positions when questioned by senators during his confirmation hearing. He said he regretted the memos he wrote at the beginning of his career, explaining that they were due to “immaturity.” He also said that he “couldn’t remember” whether his previous arguments against regulating pornography regulation were made on behalf of “paying clients,” or if he had made them when working “for the public good.”

Brian Burch, president of Fidelis, says,

“Ogden spent his entire life arguing for far-left extremist positions. And he expects us to believe he has matured and abandoned those views now that he is before the Senate? What we have here is a nominee who knows that his views and Obama’s views on the law are far out of the mainstream in America, so he is adjusting his rhetoric to get the votes he needs.”

Conservatives are saying that this appointment by the President sends a clear message about his own attitudes regarding pornography and obscenity laws. For instance, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has recently discussed this issue on his radio show.

Patrick Trueman adds, “I believe David Ogden is being groomed for a position on the United States Supreme Court, with this appointment to a high office.”

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Defending Porn?

British philosopher Roger Scruton has noted that David Ogden’s defense of pornography is based on the idea that explicit pornography is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment. He writes,

“The idea that pornography is ‘speech,’ within the meaning of the first amendment, and thereby protected by the Constitution, is so absurd that it is hard for an outsider to see how American judges have been persuaded to accept it again and again. Of course porn is big business, and can afford to keep beating at the doors of the courts. But the real reason for the legalization of pornography in America lies in the culture of the liberal elite and in the strategy of legal activism whereby that elite continues its relentless assault on majority values. Porn has been incorporated into the ‘culture war’ precisely because ordinary Americans see it as a threat to family and religious values. This fact is sufficient to prompt the liberal establishment to add porn to its agenda, as one more thing to be defended in the court against the legislature. Again and again we have seen this process at work, as the values and transgressions of elites are seized upon by the ACLU and similar organizations, rebranded as essential liberties, and defended as constitutional rights, regardless of their subversive effect on society as a whole.”

  • Comments on: Obama Nominates Pro-Porn Advocate to the Justice Department
    1. dick chibbles on

      to think for a moment that the adult industry would be shut down due “family values” is utterly ubsurd. first of all, if you’re children are watching porn “which they probably are” it’s because YOU the parent did not teach them the dangers of a child watching pornography. you teach your kids about not doing drugs, drinking, playing with matches, guns etc… i’m sure you teach your teens about sex HOWEVER, how many of your parents teach your offspring about the dangers of watching porn. i’m sure that that number is very minimal.
      if you’re going to attempt to outlaw pornography in this country, then you really should outlaw, violence on the tv *especially the news*, guns, alchol, smoking, and pretty much the rest of the things in this country that made it a great place. along with outlawing all corporate bailouts, going to war for “alternative movtives” and all the illegal immigration checkpoints within our countries borders.
      unfortunately this country is now a socialist society and quickly becoming a communist country.

      very simple, if you dont’ want to watch porn DON’T, simple as that. we don’t come on TV trying to sell you porn like all those alchol adds, and the billboards that are selling tobacco , besides the adult industry 13billion dollar a year TAXABLE REVENUE for the country. do you want to replace that money in loss because you don’t like it??? is it really worth that? i hightly doubt in this economy to begin with.

      Reply
    2. Patrick Miller on

      I think this is an incredibly naive point of view – I am a Christian and a parent and I talk to my teenage boys about sex, and the fact that we live in a highly sexually charged culture.
      Guns, alcohol and cigarettes have barriers to them – unfortunately – porn does not. Porn – just like alcohol and cigarettes are addictive. I know this because I am an ex-smoker who was addicted to cigarettes and I am a ex-porn user who was addicted to porn. Yes – as an ex-smoker and an ex-porn user; I would love to see porn and cigarettes outlawed. At the same time – I am fully aware of mans bent toward sinful behavior – so it won’t matter if it is outlawed – people will find a way to supply and acquire it. Just as prohibition was a failure.
      The point here is not to outlaw porn – the point here is to control and regulate it’s distribution so that Children cannot get a hold of it or be exploited by it. The point is that parents (Christian or otherwise) should be able to raise their children without having to fear or compete with porn that is regularly available and pervasive in society. I talk to my children regularly about these issues. I am but one father who is facing a title wave of sexuality in our culture and many fathers like me are losing the battle. Our government has a responsibility to help families, citizens and parents far more and before they have a responsibility to protect the rights of porn distributors and users! Any argument to the contrary that has been given to me has been easily found to be a bankrupt argument. I challenge you to provide any facts or logical argument that support that unregulated and fully open access to porn has every helped a society or culture in any way – the Con’s will always out way the Pro’s on this issue.

      Reply
    3. Luke Gilkerson on

      @ Dick and Patrick,

      Thanks for your replies. If you read this article closely you will see that I am not advocating the outlawing of pornography. I do believe it needs to be regulated, and I am pointing out the irony of Ogden being appointed to a position where he will be expected to restrict the very industry he’s worked to defend. Moreover, it is foreseeable that he will use his position to channel funds and resources away from obscenity cases and toward other (worthy) cases. I hope I am proven wrong about this.

      I do agree that ultimately it is up to parents to do a good job of preparing their children for the sexual temptations of our culture. I say much on this blog about that.

      Reply
    4. dick chibbles on

      wow, so you stated that you talked to your children about sex. i’m sure you haven’t talked to them about “porn” which is so overlooked in todays’ society. i understand your point to regulate porn and keep out of the reach of children, however GOOD parenting will do it’s part if you are a good parent.
      outlawing ciggerettes and alcohol would just give the criminals more to profit on. just like they do with maryjuanna, and other drugs.

      simply said violence causes A HELL OF A LOT MORE PROBLEMS in this country than porn does. in a sex healthy environment that is more open about sex there is much less sexual crime, do the research…. porn stars (no sex offenders), clergy (no sex environment, you can’t count how many allegations there are)

      it’s very sad to think how much violence is just accepted especially by us americans’ standing for our men and women going to war for the governments personal financial gain while you try to exploit porn to be bad for your children, well PORN ISN’T FOR CHILDREN, teach your kids that….

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @dick – As a matter of fact, we have spoken about porn in our home. My oldest son is 5, and as he gets older we will talk more about why pornography is destructive and what it is exactly. My son knows his daddy works in a place where they help people not look at porn.

        I agree violence is everywhere, but I see no reason to be less silent about the injustices in child pornography and other forms of obscenity simply because there are a lot of battle fronts.

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