'NRA for Families' Leader Claims School Libraries Need 'Pornography' Purge

'NRA for Families' Leader Claims School Libraries Need 'Pornography' Purge

DALLAS — The leader of the American Principles Project, a well-funded right-wing lobby that calls itself “the NRA for Families," this week described the current Republican-led book-banning movement as an effort to purge “pornography” from school libraries.

Terry Schilling, the son of the late religious conservative Illinois and Iowa politician Bobby Schilling, gave an interview this week to right-wing talk show “The Chris Salcedo Show” during which he said the conservative campaign targeting public libraries in Texas and other GOP-controlled districts aims to remove “radical sexual indoctrination ideas” and “racist ideas” from public education.

Salcedo, a conservative broadcaster currently sharing airtime on Texas’ WBAP radio with controversial former law enforcement officer and current social media phenomenon Dan Bongino, wrote in the episode's description that Schilling “joined the show and is on the side of families who want to clean up the school libraries of the illegal pornography and keep the important books from being banned.”

'These Books Should Have Never Been Written'

The Virginia-based Schilling claimed that he and his organization are only interested in “getting rid of child pornography” and other material that “constitutes pornography.”

“These books should have never been written,” Schilling added.

Salcedo followed Schilling’s statements with a quote from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” which he said he was bringing up to compare the Democratic party to the Nazi party, and referred to some of the books being targeted as “graphic novels” that are also “graphic in nature.”

Schilling, who also brought up his opposition to abortion and LGBTQ visibility in schools, claimed that “gay marriage” is part of an agenda to “destroy our country.”

Yet Another Well-Funded Anti-Porn Lobby

The American Principles Project has a lower profile than older crusading anti-porn outfits such as NCOSE — formerly Morality in Media — or Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, or louder upstarts such as Exodus Cry and the related endeavors of its mouthpiece Laila Mickelwait. However, the APP has been wielding its checkbook power in several electoral races, with a related super PAC that has spent millions on recent efforts to elect candidates who support its social and cultural agenda.

Last June, congressional news site The Hill reported that the American Principles Project was rolling out a membership program known as "APP’s Big Family," which the organization dubbed an “NRA for families.”

The group's hope, Schilling told The Hill, was “to replicate the NRA's vast membership base."

“What we don’t have that the NRA has is an activist army of people across the country that care about these issues organized [politically],” Schilling acknowledged, adding that his group’s goal is currently to get to 1 million members in five years, and to specifically “attract parents on issues like school choice and opposition to critical race theory in schools, and [oppose] having transgender people participate in school sports.”

Speaking for All 'Families'?

Throughout interviews and in his literature, Schilling relentlessly depicts the views of all “families” as supposedly identical to those of himself and his organization’s membership.

“If we can start inflicting a political consequence on these elected officials, it doesn’t matter if it’s the school board or the presidency, we’re going to have very quick turnaround for the family when it comes to public policy,” Schilling told the Hill, praising Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis for his culture war strategy.

“When the Left and these woke corporations start freaking out, that means we should probably dig even deeper,” Schilling advised. “A lot of these suburban parents are going to be the prime targets for this simply because we’re already seeing them be outraged at what’s going on in their kid’s schools and they only know 10 percent.”

Reviving Obscenity Prosecutions

In April 2020, Schilling penned an anti-porn op-ed for The American Conservative magazine, claiming that since Nicholas Kristof’s article for The New York Times, “The Children of Pornhub,” there had been “a growing chorus of leaders calling for an increasingly out-of-control porn industry to finally be held accountable. And as more evidence comes in, it could not be clearer that porn use is indeed out of control.”

During the 2020 election cycle, Schilling advocated granting more power to the Department of Justice through “more powerful porn laws” that he wanted Congress to pass, and revealed that “behind the scenes, several conservative groups, including my own, the American Principles Project, have actively pushed DOJ to do more to protect children from online pornography.”

Schilling’s editorial blatantly invites law enforcement and politicians to revive ancient obscenity prosecutions to target adult content online.

“Current law (18 U.S.C. § 1470),” Schilling wrote, “does prohibit the knowing distribution of obscene content to children, and this statute could, and ought to, be applied to porn sites. If such a site makes itself available to the public at large and fails to put any sort of age verification system in place, thus allowing young children unfettered access to its obscene content, then it is technically committing a crime — the same as if an alcohol distributor sold liquor to a minor without checking his ID. However, unless law enforcement is willing to act, the law itself has no teeth.”

The editorial also advocated abolishing Section 230 protections, and Schilling concluded that in practice he could even settle for “a cleaner and safer ‘zoned’ version of the internet where pornography remained behind closed doors, while still allowing those of age who wanted to visit the web’s seedy underbelly to do so.”

Schilling's 'Butt Sex' Tweets

In 2020, the 34-year-old Schilling was the subject of a controversy over his tweets from 2019 — which he deleted — stating his views on LGBTQ Americans.

“I have zero problem explaining heterosexual sex to my kids if they ask — it's how babies are made. Am I really a snowflake for not wanting to explain butt sex to my kids?” Schilling wrote. “‘Dad, can two dads have kids together? Why do they get married? How do they have kids?’”

“Yes, two dads can get married and can have kids, but they have to hire a woman to implant an embryo in her uterus and carry the baby to term, then the two dads take the baby away from the mom, just like a puppy,” he added.

"Is this the conversation I should have with my kids?" Schilling continued in a social media tirade that revealed his granular preoccupation with the love lives of others. "Parents, you're not snowflakes for not wanting to explain the sordid world of gay couples — who really don't get married anyway."

After another Twitter user informed Schilling he had “archived a few” of his incendiary tweets, Schilling’s account replied, “I will give you even better ones in the future!” along with the hashtag “#womencanthavepenises.”

“Would you like me to send some really offensive ones right now? I can get some good ones going,” he added.

When interviewed by The Quad-City Times about the controversy, Schilling repeated that “what we're building is the NRA for families ... Just like how the National Rifle Association organizes gun owners in public policy and politics to protect their rights, we are organizing families and parents to protect their rights in public policy and make it easier to raise children [and] to protect your children.”

"If you want your kids learning about homosexual sex and learning how to masturbate in school, by all means, vote for the Democrat,” he continued.

“I have many gay friends, I love them all,” Schilling also noted. “I hang out with them, I've had beers with them, I've smoked cigarettes with them.”

Main Image: American Principles Project's Terry Schilling

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