Tom Flanagan’s outrageous public comments about child pornography have mostly stopped attracting mainstream media coverage, but the horrifying truth about child pornography persists. It is everywhere around us, every day. Today, a 54-year-old woman from suburban Houston, Texas was sentenced to 25 years in prison on child pornography charges. The evidence in her case is heartbreaking. Investigators found photos of a naked, nine-year-old girl who is “related” to the woman, who was sexually abused and tortured.
Some people have come to Tom Flanagan’s defence today, over his remarks about child pornography. They are misguided in supporting him, even when they attempt to contort this into a debate about free speech or academic freedom. Our history in this country, when it comes to the sexual abuse of children, is so horrendous, so appalling, that there can be no debate about whether child pornography, regardless of how or when it is consumed, is terribly damaging and worthy of jail sentences. It is one component in a continuum of exploitation and degradation. Consumers of child porn are complicit in a life-destroying criminal enterprise that has been concealed, rationalized and underreported for decades, perhaps centuries. The consumption of child pornography cannot be extracted and isolated from this continuum, to somehow insulate the consumers from the horrors done to the children captured in the images.