You have claimed several times in the past that Christians don't want to "force" their beliefs on others. This is just *one* example that shows otherwise.
If I remember correctly, you work for a newspaper. If this is the case, you have access to this story and the hundreds of others that are floating around out there. Thus, I can only assume that you don't want to acknowledge unpleasant facts that show that your claim is bullshit. I *urge* you to research this topic, if you're truly interested in the truth instead of blindly following your precious delusions.
For Immediate Release
April 17, 1995
NEW YORK, April 17 -- The American Civil Liberties Union, seeking to secure the future of free communication on the Internet, has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in what is believed to be the first case involving the cross-country prosecution and conviction of computer bulletin board operators.
In its brief, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Tennessee, the ACLU urges the court to overturn the conviction of Robert Thomas and Carleen Thomas of Milpitas, California. The Thomases own and operate a computer bulletin board that specializes in the posting of sexually explicit words and pictures.
The couple was indicted and convicted in the U.S. District Court in Tennessee because a U.S. postal inspector [who is a part-time Fundamentalist cult's minister] learned of their bulletin board and filed a fake application seeking access to its contents. Once he obtained access, the postal inspector downloaded several pictures from the California-based bulletin board, which a U.S. Attorney then deemed to be "obscene" under the "local community standards" of Tennessee.
In its brief, which was also filed on behalf of the ACLU affiliates in Tennessee and Northern California and the National Writers Union, Feminists for Free Expression and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, the ACLU charges that the government is engaged in a "clumsy attempt to censor communications in cyberspace through application of an obscenity law and standards wholly inappropriate for this new medium."
"Computer networks have created vast new fora for the exchange of ideas," the ACLU's brief said. "They have created new communities with new opportunities for people with similar interests to communicate with each other.
"Until now," the brief continues, "computer networks have been faithful to the values of the First Amendment. They have fostered, encouraged and even nurtured the robust exchange of ideas.In this case the government seeks to use a criminal law never intended to apply to computer communications, to put a brake on that development, to stifle the explosive creativity and breadth of expression occuring on computer networks."
(The full text of the ACLU's brief in Thomas vs. United States of America is available in the Constitution Hall's section on the ACLU in the Courts.)