SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – More than 1,200 people from across the nation gathered in Salt Lake City over the weekend for the 11th annual <a href=”http://www.utahcoalition.org/” target=”_blank”>Utah Coalition Against Pornography</a> conference.
Among other goals, organizers said the purpose of Saturday’s conference was to consider ways to protect children and families from pornography.
Speakers included former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Patrick Trueman, former chief of the U.S. Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the Deseret News reported.
Trueman said pornography has changed a lot since he served in the section 20 years ago. “Pornography has become America’s pastime. It is more popular now than baseball,” he said.
Trueman said the proliferation of pornography today is due to the lack of enforcement of existing laws. He praised Utah, saying it has good state laws in place against pornography.
“Back when we used to do raids on pornographers in California, we would consistently see a sign in the mail rooms that read, `Do not ship to Utah,'” Trueman said.
Darkness covers the Earth, Shurtleff said, and the right tools are needed to fight it. Using an analogy from the Bible, Shurtleff related the fight against pornography to putting on the armor of God and being prepared for battle.
“How do you fight a multibillion-dollar industry?” he asked. “You do it with faith. Faith that you can make a difference. Faith that you can help an individual.”
Attendees also heard experts address topics such as what teens wish their parents knew about pornography, secrets of the Internet and healing a marriage damaged by pornography.
“I want people to know that pornography is not acceptable,” said Pamela Atkinson, chairman of UCAP. “It is harmful. It damages relationships, lives and families.”
UCAP consists of organizations and individuals from various backgrounds united in their fight against pornography.