This letter is in response to Kenneth C. Hyatt’s letter to the editor in the Nov. 6 edition of the Times, headlined “He who is without sin . . .”
In it, he chastised the Times for publishing an article entitled, “Statistics on murders of women a scandal” (Oct. 30), contending that it would harm Don Smith’s trial over his right to produce video/Internet material featuring violence to women.
Immediately obvious is the fact that in order for the article on actual murders to pose a threat to Smith’s case, Mr. Hyatt believes, correctly, that there is a link between violence on the screen and the actual deed (I doubt Robert Pickton was hooked on “Anne of Green Gables”).
The article in the Oct. 30 edition of the Times presented alarming statistics of murders and the scramble the government is having to pay for the aftermath. Yes, it likely alerted some people to the far-reaching
implications of the Smith case, but this case is not their family. This is where we must make a distinction.
Similarly, the recent crackdown on smoking in public buildings, and the articles on the issue, did not bring harm to smokers, nor did it turn us against our friends who smoke. It simply gave us a secure feeling to know that the powers that be are looking after our health and welfare.
Mr. Hyatt’s letter listed the Smiths’ skills, work ethic, intelligence, etc. These qualities are evident to all who know them. However, when he defends Mr. Smith’s production/distribution of this type of material on the basis of their work ethic, personal skills, education, etc., he’s not comparing apples with apples.
Take, for example, the recent Enron scandal in the U.S. One could not dispute the skills and intelligence of those top-notch accountants, but did their professional qualities justify their gross deception?
The increasing amount of movies/Web sites containing undue exploitation of sex and violence indicates that the Smith material is not isolated and brings magnitude to the issue.
Should the material in question be given the nod simply on the basis of similar smut that’s already out there? Does the demand necessarily justify the supply?
What do we expect from our laws? Do we want them to keep bending so that we can comfortably flush morality down the toilet and head blindly toward anarchy? Don’t we rather want them to protect our health and well-being, both medically and morally?
Do we want the crackdown, the mending of the dam (i.e., decent censorship)? Or would we rather pick our flick unhindered by that prudish notion, let alone the law.
In our Christian-based society, we enjoy the right to quote from the Bible and apply it to the various situations in life. Mr. Hyatt exercised this freedom when he quoted from John (chapter 8), where Jesus Christ was asked to judge between a pack of self-righteous accusers and the accused.
The accusation: adultery. The punishment: stoning.
Jesus’ one fell sweep to the accusers became the headline of that Nov. 6 letter. His words of amazing grace and instruction to the remorseful
accused: “Neither do I condemn you . . . Go, and sin no more.”
Without using or attacking the personal worth of either the accusers or the accused, Jesus exhorted to a change of heart in the accusers—and to a change of lifestyle in the accused.
May He change us all. And may “God keep our land glorious and free.” Thank you for space in your newspaper.