Print Edition: Feb. 22, 2015
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Let’s Fight Back Against Pay-Per-View Porn
BY Mary Ann Kuharski
our children looked forward to a family vacation. Granted, with 13 children,
our leisure spots were not always exotic.
In the early years, we were content
with summer weekends at Grandma’s two-bedroom cabin. (Yep, I said two
bedroom!) It was all we could afford. But as the children grew and the diapers
and routine became manageable, our entire crew would save throughout the year —
the kids doing babysitting, lawn and snow jobs, and John and I tightening our
budget a bit more — to afford traveling to cities and sites we hoped would
create lasting memories for all of us. And each trip did.
Through the years, we traveled to South
Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, Wisconsin’s Dells, Iowa’s farms (to see Pope John Paul
II), Chicago’s Alder Planetarium and Sears Tower, Gettysburg’s battlefields,
Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Philadelphia’s historic sites and Washington’s
One of the big travel bonuses for
our kids was dining out. In a super-size family the chance to eat out — even at
fast-food stops — comes only rarely. When traveling, our vacation routine was
to eat breakfast and dinner at picnic tables and road stops. The best treat was
lunch out at a local restaurant. (Lunch costs less than dinner.)
Better even than eating out, though,
was staying at a hotel — especially one with a swimming pool. We stayed in two
rooms — one for my husband and the boys, and another for me and our girls.
Still, it was first-class “luxury” to pull up to an out-of-state “inn” with our
12-passenger van and see the neon sign broadcasting: Pool and TV!
The kids could hardly wait.
No one minded the long day’s drive,
the cold cereal out of plastic bowls or the simple sandwiches on yesterday’s
bread. All that mattered was the chance to swim and splash around in a hotel
pool in the evening.
We have wonderful memories of those
trips. We chuckle over more than a few, such as the time our older kids brought
their sister Kari, then a toddler with plaster casts on both legs to correct an
abnormal walk, into the hotel pool. Her casts unraveled and then came apart. Or
the times we’d start to drive away from a place and discover we hadn’t “counted
off” and one kid was missing.
By now fun memories of family events
have become more precious than gold.
Which is why I shudder to think of
what today’s young parents face when planning vacations that include hotel
stays. I say this because I recently learned that even so-called “nice” hotels
offer pay-per-view pornography in every guest room.
Yes, I did say “pornography.” The
term should not be confused with R-rated and unrated film fare. Bad as the
latter may sometimes be, it’s a lot tamer than today’s “Triple-X” garbage. The
depravity of this stuff is hard to fathom in a civilized society.
did I learn of the hotel-porn connection? The hard way. A supporter contacted
us at ProLife Across America saying she would not attend our annual banquet
because it was being held at a hotel that offers pay-per-view
She also contacted Archbishop John
Nienstedt of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, who was to give the
keynote address at the event. Needless to say, the archbishop would not appear
at a hotel that offered pornography to its guests. We at our pro-life
organization felt just as strongly. After all, life and family is why we exist.
When I called the hotel to ask if
they indeed offered pay-per-view porn, the representative responded, “Yes we
No hesitation. No apology. No
exceptions. And the moral rot is in every room.
This would have been our fourth
consecutive year with this particular hotel chain. We’d had nothing but positive results from
the three previous years. From the caterer to the wait staff to the quality of
the food, the elements had always added up to a pleasing event for our guests
Ultimately, Prolife Across America
canceled the scheduled banquet and relocated to a wonderful church hall with a
terrific caterer. Sadly, we were charged a $3,000 “cancellation fee” by the
hotel — in spite of the fact we gave almost a four-week notice.
Since the cancellation and
relocation, I have learned that pay-per-view porn is offered at many
hotel and motel chains across the country. The one we’d been doing business
with is far from an exception to the norm. They are smack-dab in the middle of
the hotel-industry mainstream.
What a shame that once reputable
hotels are involved in contributing to an industry that has wreaked untold
havoc on marriage and family life.
the evidence documenting this damage, some maintain that there is no harm in
pay-per-view pornography at hotels. “If you don’t like it,” they say, “don’t
I say that’s not enough. Among the
reasons not to even patronize hotels that
offer pay-per-view porn:
Since when is it right to “look the other way” while an industry that
denigrates women, marriage, fidelity and family life benefits by your silence?
Pornography of every kind uses and abuses women (and, sometimes, children). The
industry degrades women and supports abortion.
The hotel is decidedly not “family
friendly.” Rather, it chooses to profit by catering to a clientele that is
indifferent to concerns about the state of the family.
If parents with children are staying at a site that offers pornography, will
their young be safe from a possible predator? In today’s climate of child
exploitation and kidnapping, the proximity of porn can increase a danger most
parents do not want to risk.
There is a risk. Ask any law-enforcement
officer. It is a well-known fact that when a child molester, predator or rapist
is apprehended, pornography can be found in his possession, his car or his
Will adolescent and teen children be tempted to “take a peek” when parents are
not in the room? After all, children are children. They come loaded with
not too late to turn this ship around. In fact, I have since learned of a
website — CleanHotels.com — that offers a list of family-friendly hotels. These
are totally free of pornography. In this mom’s view, these establishments are
safer and far more deserving of our patronage.
That’s a start. But together we
could do more to clean up America and rid our nation of the evil of
pornography. A good place to start is taking the time to express our views and
concerns to any hotels purveying pay-per-view pornography.
Whether you patronize a hotel for
business, personal travel or family vacations, especially where children are
involved, check first before booking
to ensure it is pornography free — and that includes pay-per-view.
For our children’s sake, we can’t
afford to “look the other way” any more.
Ann Kuharski, author of Outnumbered! Raising Thirteen Kids With
Humor and Prayer (Servant, 2006) and
three other books, is director of the billboard company Prolife Across America.
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