Creating a triple-X domain for pornographers to use could well increase the amount of pornography and obscenity on the web and make it even easier for children to come across it. Until May 10, the public can make comments about whether such a domain should be created.

The governing board that controls the Internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, otherwise known as ICANN, is once again considering establishing a triple-X domain for pornography. Before ICANN acts, find out what you can do to make sure more pornography doesn’t flood your home.

The creation of a triple-X domain has twice been considered by ICANN and twice been rejected, but it has risen its ugly head once again. While it might seem logical to have an identifying domain on which pornography and obscenity can be put, most people familiar with the porn industry and Internet usage believe it will actually increase the amount of porn on the Internet and make it more available to adults and children.

If you want to have a voice in this issue, ICANN is receiving comments by email, but the time for submitting comments is short; they are due on May 10! If you want to make a comment, you may do so by sending your email to

Here are some thoughts for your consideration, some of which you might want to include in your comment:

  1. Neither ICANN nor the company urging the establishment of this new domain is arguing that the triple-X domain would clean up the .COM domain and require all pornographers to move to the triple-X domain. The .COM domain is a cash cow for pornographers, and they are not leaving it. Since ICANN has no enforcement powers to make them leave the .COM domain, pornographers would simply expand to triple-X and maintain their current .COM sites, perhaps doubling the number of porn sites and doubling their menace to society.
  2. The triple-X domain will not make it easier to filter porn, even if all pornographers would voluntarily move there (and that will not happen). The problem with filtering is not that it is difficult but sadly that too few parents care enough to employ filters for the home or laptop computers used by their children. Even if most parents did use filters on home computers, kids have access to the Internet outside the home.
  3. Since most families do not use effective filtering services, the triple-X domain would merely make hardcore pornography even easier to find for children. Thus the argument that a triple-X domain would benefit children by “cleaning up the Internet” is without any basis in fact.
  4. U.S. citizens should not believe claims by some that the U.S. Congress could merely pass a law requiring all porn companies to leave the .COM domain for the triple-X domain. Any law attempting to force pornographers to relocate to a triple-X domain would likely be declared unconstitutional because under the First Amendment, all pornography is “presumptively protected” by the U.S. Constitution until it has been determined to be “obscene” or “child pornography.” Just as the U.S. Department of Justice cannot force porn stores to move or go out of business because it believes that such stores are operating illegally, the Department cannot force pornographers on the .COM domain to move or go out of business without first charging them with a crime and having a court make a determination of illegality.
  5. Hardcore pornography (or “obscene material,” as it is called in U.S. law) on the Internet is already a violation of U.S law. The point here is that if the U.S. Department of Justice is already not enforcing the laws on the books, what is to make us think they will prosecute pornographers for merely locating in the wrong domain address?
  6. If somehow all porn sites providing obscene material would actually leave the .COM domain for the triple-X domain, they would still be violating U.S. obscenity law, which prohibits such material on the Internet regardless of location. We don’t want to provide the Department of Justice a ready-made excuse to say to illegal porn companies, “As long as you operate under the triple-X domain, we won’t prosecute you for the distribution of your illegal materials.”

The Next Frontier

Between the attempts by the ACLU and adherents to philosophical naturalism in the science classroom to remove any thought of God from our schools and graphic demonstrations of sexual penetration through sex education, it is clear that liberals know that the classroom is the next frontier for controlling the direction of future generation of Americans. Will these “pioneers” of this new “frontier” seeking to “claim” the minds of next generation go there alone, or will those with a different worldview seek to stake out their “claim,” too?

The United States has been a frontier nation over the years. When it came to geographical expansion and exploration, in the early years the West was the frontier. Then space became the new frontier. But last week it became even clearer where the next frontier is in the so-called culture war.

Last week three events in the news have brought to the attention of those watching the news what many already knew: The public classroom is where the guns are aimed for those who want to reshape America. Actually, this isn’t anything new, but a couple of events in recent weeks woke up a few folks. We can hope that, as Japanese Admiral Yamamoto said after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, these events will have “awakened a sleeping giant.”

Specifically, on Monday night last week over 100 Cheatham County residents assembled to find out what could be done after their local school system signed an Agreed Order drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union in settlement of a lawsuit against the school system. Unfortunately, a lesson was learned the hard way that when the ACLU comes knocking in your town, you don’t rely on elected officials or the lawyers that their insurance carriers provide to protect your First Amendment rights. If any citizen hears of any lawsuit against any local governmental agency by the ACLU or the Freedom from Religion Foundation or even the threat of a lawsuit, that citizens needs to contact FACT or some public interest legal entity that specializes in defending religious freedom.

Sexually Graphic ‘Education’ in Davidson County Schools

Then it made the news that Nashville Cares, an AIDS awareness and education program in Davidson County, taught a sex education class at one of the local public high schools. To describe what was actually done—use of prosthetic devices to demonstrate visually how to have multiple-orifice sex—any more graphically than that would make most people blush or cringe.

While AIDS is an awful disease and we would never wish anyone to suffer from it, we also should not want our young people to be exposed to graphic demonstrations of sexual acts for which our bodies were not designed and which are not healthful. Yet, when a parent spoke out in objection, those in favor of such graphic demonstrations tried to divert the attention away from what was actually done in the classroom. By not wanting to focus on the propriety and necessity of what was actually done, it would appear that the objective of the visual, classroom demonstration of such sexual acts may not be so much to educate as it is ultimately to break down sexual inhibitions in order to advance a sexual agenda.

No ‘Equal Time’ in Knox County Biology Classes

But that was not all that took place in Tennessee’s schools. In Knox County, when a parent complained that his daughter’s biology textbook called the “Biblical creation story” a “myth,” the local school board concluded this was perfectly acceptable. So, while science seems to always resist dragging the Bible into the science classroom, it seems OK to drag it in if the purpose is to bash or ridicule it or those who believe there is a transcendent God behind what we see. It would appear, as with the sex education program in Nashville, there is something more at issue here than simply wanting to have the discussion of creation take place in a theology or philosophy classroom. No, it would appear that the purpose is to make belief in a God “behind” what is seen either not credible or irrelevant. Or perhaps the purpose is, by means of embarrassment as “backwards” and “unscientific,” to silence those students who would disagree. Supporters of the school board can protest their innocence to the contrary all they want, but those are real practical effects of the “myth” statement that was made.

For sure, scientists with a materialistic worldview would think any idea of a Creator a myth and “unscientific,” but the fact of the matter is that there are a number of credible scientists who now affirmatively state that neo-Darwinism as an explanation of origins has run its course. They believe that logical inferences drawn from observations could reasonably lead to the conclusion that the information in the cell and the exquisite, irreducibly complex molecular machinery in the cell indicate the existence of some intelligent, non-natural source for the information and design of the machinery. Makes you wonder what the school board might have said if someone had said that neo-Darwinism, as an explanation for origins, is a myth.

While Intelligent Design is not the same as the creation story in the Bible, both posit that there is a source of intelligence beyond nature that was in some way or other involved in the origins of things. But it would appear that giving equal time to this school of thought is not an acceptable option. Learn more about Intelligent Design,.

Don’t Keep Silent; Report Such Stories to FACT

If you should have a story similar to that of the Davidson or Knox County parent or, if as a teacher, you have felt you could not bring up Intelligent Design, will you let us know?

I hope so, because, you see, here is the real question: “Will these ‘pioneers’ of this new ‘frontier’ seeking to make a God-devoid, anything-goes ‘claim’ to the minds of next generation go there alone, or will those with a different worldview seek to stake out their ‘claim,’ too?” Time will tell.

National Day of Prayer: Alive, Well and Legal in Tennessee

National Day of Prayer celebrations are perfectly legal in Tennessee, despite a recent court ruling in Wisconsin. That means any mayor or city or county council in Tennessee is free to officially recognize the National Day of Prayer, even in government-owned facilities.

Considering the current state of affairs in Washington and across the country, the National Day of Prayer, scheduled this year for Thursday, May 6, is more important than ever. The day has deep roots in our nation’s history to which some organizations would like to lay the axe.

This annual event, which reminds citizens of the value of uniting in prayer for our country and its leaders, goes back to 1775 when the Continental Congress issued a resolution calling for a public day of prayer. In 1952, President Truman signed into law a resolution by Congress to set aside a day each year as a “National Day of Prayer,” and then in 1988, the law was amended by Congress during President Reagan’s term to make that day the first Thursday in May. Thus a national day of thanksgiving and prayer has been an essential part of our country’s heritage and culture. Historically, all 50 governors have issued proclamations in honor of this day.

Some Are Trying to Intimidate Those Who Pray

Not surprisingly, those who would like nothing better than to remove all vestiges of Christianity from our country try hard each year to prevent this event from happening by disseminating false and misleading information to governmental officials. Among other things, atheists and activist groups attempt to convince our state and local government leaders that recognizing this important day is illegal and violates the Constitution.

However, now they have taken their attack on this event to another level. The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed suit in a federal court in Wisconsin to have the law setting aside the first day in May declared unconstitutional as an establishment of religion. And last week, a federal judge ruled in its favor. At this time, we are waiting to see if the U.S. Justice Department will appeal the ruling. You can learn more about the history and legal precedent involved from the Rutherford Institute.

However, that decision is not binding in Tennessee. So there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional in a mayor or city or county council in Tennessee officially recognizing the National Day of Prayer. Furthermore, if a city or county allows a government-owned facility to be used by private groups and organizations for nongovernmental purposes, then use of that facility generally cannot be withheld for observances of the National Day of Prayer.

Tennessee Should Lead the Way in Invoking God’s Protection

In his Farewell Address in 1796, President Washington gave our country sage advice when he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. [T]he mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them.” Public officials throughout Tennessee should lead the way in invoking God’s protection and guidance over our state by issuing proclamations supporting the National Day of Prayer.

Please encourage your mayor, city council members, county commissioners, and other elected officials to do so. And if they encounter objections or threats of litigation by individuals or groups opposed to this lawful exercise of governmental authority, or to the use of courthouses, county meeting rooms, and other public places for citizens to gather and pray together on May 6, please do not hesitate to contact the Family Action Council of Tennessee or our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund.

What Would Jesus Do?

Jesus would keep his oath to uphold the Constitution. And if a law were constitutional, he would consider whether it was an appropriate exercise of the authority which he ordained for civil government, and whether it crossed over the line into authority which he ordained to individuals, the family and the church. Will we get it wrong sometimes? Yes, but even a wrong political decision cannot separate us from the love of God.

In a recent FAN in which I discussed a potential “positive” from the federal health care bill, I was asked by a reader what I thought “Jesus would do.” Well, I’m not Jesus, and as my former Senate colleagues will tell you, I often said that I am one whose feet are made of clay. But for the theologically inclined, here are my reflections, which I’m sure will generate more feedback than I can respond to.

Jesus Would Keep His Oath

First, as I mentioned in my original article, the first issue for a federal representative is always, “Is the proposed law constitutional?” So, if I were in Congress and trying to be like Jesus, I would have to consider fidelity to my oath to uphold the Constitution. Because Jesus was “the Truth” and because it is impossible for God to lie, I could not violate my oath and vote for a bill that is unconstitutional. Whether the federal health care bill is constitutional is another question, but if I thought it were, I could not vote for it.  Jesus takes our “yeas and nays” pretty seriously.

Jesus Wouldn’t Confuse Government with Individual Authority

But if I believed the national health care bill were constitutional, what other things might I be called upon to think about if I were to try to think like Jesus (and I have no insight any greater than any other person who takes the Bible seriously, and some might think I have less than most)? Believing that God has created a social order governed by his law and judgments, I would want to make sure that I didn’t vote for something that would cause civil government to violate God’s created design by exercising authority which God did not give to government when he ordained and established it.

In that regard, it seems to me that the jurisdictional authority of civil government is very, very different from that of individuals. For example, orthodox Christianity has historically and rightly noted that God denied to individuals the right to execute God’s judgment and wrath in the closing verses of Romans 12, while he granted this authority to civil government in the verses that immediately follow in Romans 13. I would note, too, in I Peter 2:14, that the magistrate is to punish evil yet only to commend/praise the good. This instruction and admonition seems to me consistent with Jesus’ answer in Luke 12:13 to the man who complained that his brother was not dividing up the father’s inheritance according to law. Jesus left the legal issue to the civil magistrate, who had certain authority over actions (there probate matters), but Jesus chose to exercise that authority which only God has—authority over matters of the heart (there the man’s greed).

Seems to me that this is consistent with the picture of a magistrate bearing a sword (relative to actions that can be judged) and the distinction between active punishment of evil and only commending/praising the good.

We often say, “You can’t legislate morality,” but that’s not exactly true. All law is a reflection and enactment into law of someone’s moral and ethical values. But what we can’t do is make people live moral and ethical lives. We can’t make people be good. But government can punish evil acts (but then not even all evil acts, the reasons for which I don’t have time to address) which effectively affirms its opposite—the good.

Jesus Would Love Us in Spite of Our Wrong Conclusions

So, I submit that what Jesus would have me do as an individual person is not the same as what Jesus would have the ruler do, for they have different roles and functions in God’s social order. We do not do well when we confuse the different institutions in God’s social order—the individual, the family, the church and the civil government. In fact, I would submit that when one oversteps its bounds, it does harm to the others as the equilibrium of the social order gets out of balance.

These distinctions reflect an historical understanding of Scripture that has been lost to modern Christianity that seems to have focused on grace to the exclusion of truth and has often despised as “old-fashioned” the wealth of knowledge we could glean from wise, godly men who have studied and worked out Christian doctrine over the centuries.

What would Jesus do? I know this much, as his child he would still love me, even if I reached the wrong conclusion.

A Pound of Cure Is Not the Cure

The General Assembly should rescind its previous calls for a national convention to restrain the size of government because of the great uncertainties that surround such a convention. A national convention is a “pound of cure” when the “ounce of prevention” of voting more wisely in elections could be all we need.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And a runaway federal government and the disregard of federalism are certainly in need of a cure. But this week the Tennessee General Assembly will have an opportunity to begin squeezing a pound of cure back into the proverbial tube. Let’s hope they’ll do it, and that we’ll then apply the necessary ounce of prevention.

The issue at hand is the calling of a federal constitutional convention. In the 1970’s and 1980’s Tennessee, along with a number of other states, adopted Resolutions calling for a federal constitutional convention. No doubt, the Resolutions were adopted in response to and out of frustration with the increasing size of the federal government and its unfunded mandates. With the passage of the national health care bill, that frustration has only intensified. But this time the intensity is being expressed not just by frustrated state lawmakers but also by the average citizen, as evidenced in part by the growing TEA Party movement.

No Limit to What a Convention Might Do to Our Constitution

In response to this well-intentioned enthusiasm to fight back and curb the federal government, some states are now looking at making a call for a federal constitutional convention. And right now, with Tennessee still being officially on record from years ago as having called for a constitutional convention, and with the passage of few more Resolutions by other states, the magic number of states required to call a national convention will be reached. Presto, the undefined and unrestrained machinery for a national federal constitutional convention will be put in motion. But as frustrated as conservatives can be, calling a constitutional convention is like applying a pound of cure when there is a means of prevention available to us, if we will use it.

The reason that a convention is a bad idea is that there is no limit to what a convention can do with our Constitution. We may think we’re calling it for one purpose, only to find out that the delegates have done something entirely different. In case you don’t think that can happen, then you’ve forgotten that our current Constitution was the product of a convention called by the states to only make suggested changes to the then-existing Articles of Confederation. The delegates were never authorized to scrap the Articles of Confederation, but they did and that is the national precedent for future action.

Not only is there no limit on what the convention could come up with, including a whole new proposed constitution, but we have no idea how the delegates will be determined. The U.S. Constitution does not specify how delegates are to be determined. But if the same kind of process is used to determine who will go to the convention for us as is used to give us activist judges, then Katie bar the door. We cannot assume that the same liberal groups that currently ignore our Constitution and control Congress won’t find some way to make sure they control the convention, too. We’d be naïve to think otherwise.

States’ Rights Made Even Worse?

It is of little comfort that some would respond by saying that a new constitution, if bad, would never be ratified by the requisite number of states. The reason that argument is of little consolation is that there is nothing to restrict the convention from setting up different ratification provisions. The Constitution we now have was ratified by a process contrary to that required by Articles of Confederation which the original 13 states were under. With some pushing for abolition of the Electoral College for a straight majority vote for President, who is to say that such people, if in control of the convention, would not move toward a populist approval process that ignores the sovereignty of the several states? In other words, the very states’ rights problems for which a convention would be called could actually be made worse.

For that reason, state Rep. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) has filed House Joint Resolution 30 to rescind all Resolutions adopted by previous General Assemblies that would call for a national federal constitutional convention. For once, with the passage of this resolution, the proverbial genie can be put back in the bottle.

The Real Solution: Vote Wisely and Vote Often

Of course, the question then is, “If we put back our ‘pound of cure,’ what is our remedy?” Actually, not unlike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we’ve had the remedy all along, but we have failed to apply it faithfully. It’s the “ounce of prevention” called elections. As we go to the polls in August to pick our party nominees for the November election and then as we go to the polls in November, each state can apply its own “ounce of prevention” by sending to Congress representatives whose first question is always, “Is the proposed law in question clearly constitutional?” and if so, whose second question is, “Does it respect the sovereignty of the several states, and is it a matter best left to those more closely situated to the people?” On many issues the one-size-fits-all federal government solution does not, in fact, fit all.

If we, along with the number of states required to call a national constitutional convention, will do just that—vote wisely—the specter of applying an untested pound of cure may not be needed.