Prof dismisses uproar over book on porn                                                                 [Back]


[This second Herald article was published, its author apologetically said in phoning me a second time, because under editing, all response by me had been cut from the first article. Unlike The Post, they gave me a chance to reply. But just raising such an emotion-generating question was enough to sully my reputation. And a Calgary radio talk-show (that of Dave Rutherford), also broadcast in Edmonton, discussed me in its response to the Herald articles. To repeat, all of this occurred because of the Post reporter's actions. ]


Deborah Tetley. Calgary Herald.   Apr 2, 2001.  pg. B.2                                


An Edmonton author says a book he wrote on pornography has nothing to do with his involvement in a parents' rights group after a Calgary chapter voiced concerns last week.


The Calgary board of Equitable Child Maintenance and Access Society (ECMAS) said the Edmonton board should have asked Ferrel Christensen to step aside while the issue of his involvement was examined.


Christensen, a philosophy professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, who wrote a book in 1990 entitled Pornography: The Other Side, said his book is an analysis of pornography.


"It's a defence of pornography, per se," Christensen told the Herald on Friday. "It's not defending every possible form it could take. It's sexual explicitness, per se, that it's defending. One point . . . talks about child pornography and I give reasons why it's reasonable to make it illegal even though I was generally defending the legality of regular porn," he said.


A motion by the Edmonton board to suspend Christensen for three months was rejected. Controversy surfaced last week after political infighting erupted following a board of directors vote in Edmonton.


The eight-member Calgary board resigned en masse and members said the group will change its name and create a new identity because they no longer want to be associated with the organization.


In a letter, the group demanded the resignation of another member, lawyer [Tim] Adams, after learning he was convicted of sexually exploiting a minor in 1996.


A motion to suspend Adams, who was elected vice-president March 12, was defeated. He has since resigned his post as vice-president but is still involved with the support group.


ECMAS is Alberta's largest non-custodial parents' lobby group, providing support to divorced parents who have been denied access to their children, ordered to pay unreasonable amounts of child support or have been falsely accused of sexual abuse.


Christensen, who has volunteered for ECMAS since its inception in 1992, is also the president of a group that runs parallel to ECMAS called MERGE -- Movement to Establish Real Gender Equality.