Toronto Diary
9 min

University of Calgary professor resigns over child porn comments

Depending on whom you ask, Tom Flanagan is one of the most influential men in Canadian politics and is the father of the “Calgary school of conservatism” that gave rise to (ugh) Stephen Harper.

And here he is saying that he has doubts about jailing people for viewing child pornography. WAIT, WHAT?!

Surprisingly, there are still a whole bunch of people who aren’t totally cool with child pornography, and Flanagan has since resigned amid the ensuing shitstorm that comes wtih saying that child pornography isn’t all that bad:

The university announced on Thursday that Prof. Tom Flanagan, a former adviser and mentor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was retiring after a 45-year teaching career amid a controversy over his views on child pornography.

[…] Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman for Mr. Harper’s office, wrote on Twitter that the comments were “repugnant, ignorant, and appalling.”

Wildrose’s Ms. Smith, a onetime star student of Prof. Flanagan, condemned the remarks and effectively removed him from her inner circle. “There is no language strong enough to condemn Dr. Flanagan’s comments,” Ms. Smith said in a written statement Thursday, adding: “He will have no role – formal or informal – with our organization going forward.”

The CBC said his comments “crossed the line and impacted his credibility as a commentator for us.” It was on this network that Prof. Flanagan has made some of his other incendiary remarks, including calling for the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. [SOURCE]

Look, I’ll be one of the first people to defend a consenting, competent adult’s sex life, but that being said, children do not count as consenting, competent adults. Because they are kids. Kids who deserve to enjoy their childhood while it lasts without being sexualized by adults who should know better. Child pornography is child abuse, whether you are actively participating in it or simply witnessing it. How does that not register with you?

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EDITOR COMMENT by Ken Popert

Well, it was fun getting drunk on the picture of the anti-porn pitchfork-and-torch crowd setting fire to the castle of one of their most prominent enablers.

But it’s the morning after and time to think again.

Flanagan was stating an obvious fact. To believe that simply looking at a picture can cause harm to those pictured is akin to believing that sticking a pin in the head of a doll can give someone a migraine.

Not so long ago the sex-panic mob hereabouts believed that two men or two women having sex together caused damage to someone, somewhere, somehow.

And there are still places where they believe that. Just look at the international stories reported on other pages of this very website.

So, when our enemies fall out, we should be careful about who we cheer and who we jeer.