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A friend of mine sent me a link to this story:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that could lead to the death penalty for persons convicted of working in the production of pornographic movies.

With a 148-5 vote in favor and four abstentions, lawmakers present at the Wednesday session of the 290-seat parliament approved that “producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corrupter of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corrupter of the world.”

The friend who sent it to me is, shall we say, a wee bit conservative. I was happy to read that he also wrote, Fighting shit like this I will help you with.

My reply to him — I’m fighting so that it never comes to this here.

There are people in this country who would be pleased to have Iranian/Saudi/Chinese style censorship. Rhonda Storms, James Dobson, Sheriff Grady Judd, George W. Bush, Jerry Falwell, Catherine MacKinnon, Sam Brownback, to name a few. Would all of them endorse the death penalty for production of pornography? No, probably not. In fact, I would venture to guess that none of them would, and even they would stand beside me and say that Iran goes too far.

But, when you feed off of zealotry and superstition to further an anti-freedom agenda… this is where you eventually find yourself. The Iranian Revolution was a nationalist movement, but its real power came from convincing people that some almighty power was on their side. The flaw in the Ayatollah’s thinking is the same as the flaw in the thinking of the aforementioned “leaders” (except MacKinnon, who feeds on secular superstition). They slurp up their power from feeding off of people who believe: a) there is an entity that created all existence, b) this entity sees us and knows what we are doing, c) this entity takes an interest in mundane human day-to-day activities like eating and screwing, and d) (this is the dangerous one) they are somehow an authority on what God wants, and they feel empowered to enforce their interpretation of his will on others – at the expense of everyone’s personal freedom.

When you have that, and it goes unchecked, you find yourself in a country where production of erotic films might get you served with a death warrant. You also find yourself in a country where enforcement of morality has horrifying results.

I am taking no position on the existence of a deity. However, I will say that if there is one, the last thing (s)he gives a shit about is whether or not we are watching adult movies. If you can create galaxies, I would presume that your “spare time” is spent on more important issues.

Some say that we should fight “the terrorists over there so we wont have to fight them here.” As if it were that simple.

I don’t know any terrorists who ever wanted to take away my civil liberties — which are what makes me an American. I know plenty of Americans who want to take away my civil liberties. I’d rather fight them now, so that I don’t have to fight them later – when their momentum is unstoppable.

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