Christian and Muslim Join Forces to Ban Hotel Porn

If you needed another reminder of how the Christian right in America is actually very much like the Muslim right that they tend to be so freaked out over, take a look at this letter sent by Robert George and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf to hotel executives asking them to get rid of adult movies in their rooms.

We write to ask you to stop offering pornographic movies in your company’s hotels. We make no proposal here to limit your legal freedom, nor do we threaten protests, boycotts, or anything of the sort. We simply ask you to do what is right as a matter of conscience.

We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.

No, what you seek is a society where your religious views determine what other people can and cannot do.

36 comments on this post.
  1. jamessweet:

    Well, in fairness they didn’t even threaten a boycott. Really, if every believer in religious dogma limited their activities to politely-worded letters asking businesses to pretty-please voluntarily adhere to that dogma, I’d be overjoyed.

  2. magistramarla:

    I’m a teacher and a parent, and it is my legal freedom to watch a dirty movie with my husband while on a well-earned getaway in a motel with him.

  3. tommykey:

    I say we mail them pictures of naked people.

  4. yoav:

    I have another offer for Messrs George and Yusuf, when you stay in hotels just don’t order any adult films. See, problem solved.

  5. matty1:

    As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing

    I dispute both the unspoken premises in this, that hotels are making these movies available to minors and that watching porn causes one to treat other people as an impersonal object.

  6. Raging Bee:

    Since when did Christians and Muslims need each other’s help in not paying extra for porn in a hotel room? I’m a Pagan (supposedly more sex-positive and porn-positive than all the Abrahamic sects put together), and I can skip past the offers of extra TV channels all by myself. (Of course, knowing the porn they offer isn’t worth paying for kinda helps there.)

  7. petermountain:

    This is senseless, I mean haven’t they heard of the internet?
    Or am I skipping ahead to their next letter~
    We write to ask you to stop offering internet access in your company’s hotels.

  8. tfkreference:

    I bet they’re just angry because they didn’t realize that the charges for the movies they watched would show up on the bills they needed to submit to their congregations for reimbursement.

  9. slc1:

    Considering the fact that one can download porn for free off the internet, including in HD, why the fuck would anyone pay a hotel for it?

  10. Marcus Ranum:

    Where, exactly, in their respective scriptures does it say porn is bad? I love asking christians this question. :)

    Because, generally they refer to the sermon on the mount, where jesus supposedly equates lusting in the heart with committing adultery. Presumably, that means that porn is fine for those of us who aren’t married and can’t commit adultery. If jesus had meant “committing fornication” presumably he’d have said that (in which case it’d be fine to watch porn if you were married) I don’t know my koran and suras as well as I’d like to but I would be surprised if mohammed had anything to say on that topic other than the bit about image idolatry – which applies to television in general.

  11. MikeMa:

    @tfkreference #8
    That was for research. No sperm were hurt.

  12. Marcus Ranum:

    We should, seriously, all write letters to the same hotel asking them to ban christian and muslim television content, for the exact same reasons. It’s just a courteous request, after all. Suck it, religious wingnuts.

    In fact, since I have some free time tonight, I will see if I can research the hotel’s address and write a letter.

  13. cjtotalbro:

    Between this and the bill in Louisiana it seems clear that the fundies are actually going to be more likely to bring about Sharia than stop it.

    Andrew Sullivan made a good point about this (Robbie George actually responded to him with some straw man about the evils of human trafficking) which was basically that obviously human trafficking is bad- but hotel porn has nothing to do with that issue.

  14. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    Andrew Sullivan made a good point about this (Robbie George actually responded to him with some straw man about the evils of human trafficking) which was basically that obviously human trafficking is bad- but hotel porn has nothing to do with that issue.

    Unfortunately, anti-sexers insist on conflating those issues (or, that issue and non-issue).

  15. gridlore:

    Were I one of the hotel executives, I would have found the figures for how much we made on porn channels each month. I would then tell these guys that I will happily remove the porn so long as they paid enough to make up the lost revenue.

  16. Tyrant al-Kalām:

    I have another offer for Messrs George and Yusuf, when you stay in hotels just don’t order any adult films. See, problem solved.

    Sure, like it’s that simple. While you’re at it, why not claim that we don’t really need to hide all women under big black sacks if the men exercise some minimal restraint (like not trying to immediately hump anything with humps). Nice try though.

  17. rork:

    So they should have gotten an atheist to co-sign?

  18. sqlrob:

    Isn’t one of the largest providers of hotel porn a devout christian? I seem to recall seeing that somewhere.

  19. Ray Ingles:

    Technically, asking the hotels not to offer porn isn’t the same as a ‘ban’. A ‘ban’ would be a policy disallowing people to bring in their own porn, for example.

  20. d cwilson:

    Considering the fact that one can download porn for free off the internet, including in HD, why the fuck would anyone pay a hotel for it?

    Seriously, who pays for porn these days?

  21. theschwa:

    So they should have gotten an atheist to co-sign?
    I am sure S.E.Cupp, True Atheist Spokesperson, would gladly sign.

  22. Modusoperandi:

    magistramarla “I’m a teacher and a parent, and it is my legal freedom to watch a dirty movie with my husband while on a well-earned getaway in a motel with him.”
    Pah! Typical overpaid union public employeee, spending our tax dollars on getaways, motels and naughty movies! What about our Religious Liberty*?

    * ‘Religious Liberty’, copyright RCC, LLC.

  23. fastlane:

    Normally, I don’t bother, since there’s so much free porn on the intertubes, but I might buy one this weekend in honor of these jokers.

  24. vexorian:

    There should be non-theists mail too. Let them know that there is nothing wrong with allowing grown up adults to choose to watch porn if they want to. Christians and Muslims can just choose not to.

  25. Pierce R. Butler:

    Back in ’07-08, various hyperchristians raised the issue of porn movies in hotel rooms with the Marriott Corp, with particular emphasis on how this was being condoned by a board of directors including one Willard M. Romney.

    As public pressure mounted, Marriott confronted the opportunity of pioneering the opportunity of becoming a traditional-family-values-friendly business, proudly foregoing any engagement with business travelers whose morals fail to reach the level of purity associated with a new morning in America – and ended up going Mittless.

  26. Wes:

    We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.

    I love how they try to make this out to be about feminism rather than their religious sanctimoniousness and prudishness. This is why, when I get into an argument with someone about sexism, I make sure they understand I’m a sex-positive feminist. As long as the porn involves 100% consenting adults, I have no objection. I have no desire to interfere with or pass judgment on other people’s private sex lives.

    And I don’t judge someone’s dignity based on whether they do sex work. A sex worker can be just as dignified as any other human being. The unfair stigma on (consenting adult) sex workers is what deprives them of their dignity. It’s funny that the people who claim they want to preserve dignity are the very one’s who impugn the dignity of sex workers by implying that simply doing sex work makes you undignified.

    This “dignity” thing is becoming a common trope on the more “intellectual” side of the religious right. I’ve heard the “human dignity” argument used in opposition to abortion, birth control, IVF clinics, stem cell research, sex education, pornography, prostitution… all issues that primarily affect women and what they choose to do with their own bodies. It’s a good thing America’s women have so many conservative Christian men looking out of their “dignity” by telling them what they can do with their own vaginas.

    (NB: Just to be clear, I said “consenting adult” more than once for a reason. I’ve seen people attack sex positive feminists more than once for being soft on sex slavery and such, so when I say I’m a sex positive feminist, and that both women and men should have the right to be a porn star or a prostitute if that’s what they want, I mean ONLY for consenting adults. Of course I would never support anyone being coerced into sex work or any type of child pornography or bestiality or anything else where there’s no consent. It fucking irritates me that I have to say this, but this is how sex positive feminists gets labeled sometimes, including some feminists I respect on YouTube who were labeled as such by one Zinnia Jones.)

  27. Marcus Ranum:

    Wes says:
    This “dignity” thing is becoming a common trope on the more “intellectual” side of the religious right. I’ve heard the “human dignity” argument used in opposition to abortion, birth control, IVF clinics, stem cell research, sex education, pornography, prostitution…

    But oddly, the capital punishment, enhanced interrogation, drone assassinations and support for state-sponsored terror – do not seem to violate “dignity” in their world-view. Weird, huh? It’s almost as if their moral values are cherry-picked by using a dartboard or something.

  28. Aliasalpha:

    They can ban hotel porn! Who doesn’t love a bit of hot Hyatt on Hilton action?

  29. Aliasalpha:

    Bah, ‘can’t’ (stupid auto correct)

  30. dan4:

    “…but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures…”

    So then what was the point( just before the above-mentioned quoted words) of mentioning their respective religions in the first place?

  31. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven:

    Of course I would never support anyone being coerced into sex work or any type of child pornography or bestiality or anything else where there’s no consent.

    All the rest are not just moral but THE moral stance, but I think it’s kind of ridiculous that humans who will cheerfully buy, sell, selectively mate, castrate/hysterectomize, euthanize, put to work, and eat animals without any thought for consent develop a sudden interest in it when the issue of fucking them comes up.

  32. jnorris:

    Aliasalpha @ #28
    Hotel on hotel sex is just nasty. Hotel on motel sex is worse. And have you ever seen to old country inns getting it on? YUCKY!

  33. cjtotalbro:

    “The truth revealed in our scriptures”…is mutually contradictory.

  34. gingerbaker:

    “Of course I would never support anyone being coerced into sex work or any type of child pornography or bestiality or anything else where there’s no consent.

    All the rest are not just moral but THE moral stance, but I think it’s kind of ridiculous that humans who will cheerfully buy, sell, selectively mate, castrate/hysterectomize, euthanize, put to work, and eat animals without any thought for consent develop a sudden interest in it when the issue of fucking them comes up.”

    That’s a great point. New vistas in farm ownership.

  35. twincats:

    I guess it goes without saying that the hotels/motels/inns/b&bs are politely requested to discourage adultery and fornication, too.

  36. democommie:

    I would hate to see those guys suffer. Tell them to send me all of the porn and I will review it to see if it’s really that good, er, I mean, that bad.

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