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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pedophilia @

I wonder if you even noticed. This innocent little on-line book seller has marched forth and now wields a massive amount influence in society.

Sort of an on-line cross between Wal-Mart and Half Price Books, now sells just about anything you want to buy. It used to be that they were there with the best prices on the books you couldn't find elsewhere. Now they sell clothing, housewares, garden tools, appliances, etc. Oh yeah, they still sell books.

The thing is, has become a highly influential player in our modern American culture. By that I mean that Amazon makes decisions that impact the rest of us - whether we're doing business with them or not. How so?

They endorse things that then tend to look right. They ban things that then tend to look wrong. They pioneer new technologies that get adopted. They eschew other technologies that will fail. The older barometers for right and wronger, useful or not, are quickly fading into the vast sea of corporate powers like Amazon or Wal-Mart. If they sell it at or at Wal-Mart, then it must be okay, right?

This week, made global news when they decided to allow some yo-yo to self-published a nasty little book to go ahead and sell it at their virtual store. The book? All about being a pedophile. Seriously. The author says there are legitimate forms of pedophilia and he simply wants to shine the light on other alternative - but legitimate (at least in his eyes) forms of sexuality. And has agreed to be his distributor. Nice.

When approached by the news media (who were aghast), and lambasted by the morality police, Amazon defended its position. They simply said they did not believe in censorship. Freedom of speech and all that. Are you buying into that perspective? Actually Amazon's official statement was that to refuse to sell the book would in effect be censorship. They claim that anytime one refuses to sell a book because it is based on something objectionable or illegal ... that amounts to censorship.

It's an odd position, really. You see, Amazon sells plenty of things that are disgusting, offensive and illegal. Books that deny the holocaust, fictions that make light of murder or even espionage, and other such offerings are all on Amazon's virtual bookshelves. So at least their position is consistent. Or is it?

It seems that Amazon has something of a double standard. They run their Kindle store (for e-books) a bit differently than their direct book selling web site. And the Kindle store is not allowed to sell pornography. Now you might think that's okay, because porn is graphically disgusting. Right? Hold on there. Amazon has actually defined pornography as anything that is "adult" in nature.

About a year ago, they blocked ratings that would have allowed their Kindle e-book shoppers, for example, to purchase the biography of Ellen Degeneris - the self-professed lesbian talk show host and stand-up comedienne. Their logic? It amounts to "adult" material.

So while you can buy the book on, you won't find it in the Kindle (e-book) store. Apparently the Kindle store is a much classier place. I can only imagine Ellen Degeneris chagrin when she learned that Amazon considers her biography on par with graphic pornography.

So where am I going with this? Ah! I thought you'd never ask. I'd like to propose that American retailers get a backbone and fill it with some moral fiber. Other retailers, such as WalMart or JC Penney have pulled products off their shelves when it became apparent that they would not be appreciated or be suitable for the general public. Congratulations to them! Surely they realize that what they do or don't do sends a strong message to American culture about what's okay and what's not.

If isn't willing to drop this handbook for pedophiles, then they are by omission sending a message to American culture that says pedophilia is okay. As the author claims, perhaps it's just another form of legitimate sexual expression. Is that the message, Amazon, that you intend to send to your public?
Let's be clear. Censorship only occurs when the government outlaws freedom of speech. But human decency and morality prevail when society realizes that just because the government doesn't outlaw it doesn't mean we should pursue it.

After all, human beings are capable of policing ourselves just a bit. We don't have to wait for the government to tell us what's right or what's wrong. Then again, in Amazon's case, maybe the government does need to tell them how to run their business. It may be the only way that they don't become the giant toilet sucking human decency and common morality out of American culture.


  1. They just pulled it this morning. It's sad to me that they argued their right to keep it. I found out that this is not the first time they've done something like this either. In 2009 they had a "rape guide" on site...sigh. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the things of this world, but always am. Here's an article from FOX news that talks about it. I've cancelled my account and seller's account. I'm just afraid to let in anymore with (children and teens in the house especially). I bought so much from them too...sigh.

  2. Yeah, I don't think we can give them credit for finally pulling it. They did so only under pressure. Their first position was the most revealing about the moral character and fabric of the company and its leaders. People for whom this matters may want to follow your example and stop doing business with such ilk.