Join the ‘Book my Conscience’ Campaign

A frequent concern for travelers is the presence of pay-per-view pornography in hotel rooms. It can be a temptation for husbands away on business, a harassment to female lodgers, and an accident waiting to happen for young children who play with the TV controls. But, is this just one of those issues travelers just need to live with, no matter how unsettling?

A recent letter by Professor Robert George of Princeton University and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf of Zaytuna College encouraging hotel executives to stop offering in-room pornography has once again brought the harms of pornography into the public light. The letter itself is beautifully argued and compassionately written, urging business leaders to place the preservation of our shared humanity above profit. They write:

Our purpose is not to condemn you and your company but to call you to your highest and best self. We have no desire to hurt your business. On the contrary, we want you and your business to succeed financially—for your sake; for the sake of your stockholders, employees, and contract partners; and for the sake of the communities that your hotels serve. We believe that the properly regulated market economy serves the good of all by providing products and services at reasonable prices and by generating prosperity and social mobility. But the market itself cannot provide the moral values that make it a truly humane and just institution. We—owners, managers, employees, customers—must bring those values to the market. There are some things—inhuman things, unjust things, de-humanizing things—that should not be sold. There must be some things that, for the sake of human dignity and the common good, we must refuse to sell—even it if means forgoing profit.

If business leaders have a moral obligation to forgo profit to avoid further degrading and dehumanizing women, surely we, as consumers, have the same moral obligation to forgo convenience if need be in order to not participate in the pornography industry, even indirectly.

Join the ‘Book my Conscience’ Campaign

We invite concerned citizens, families, travelers, businesses, churches, other organizations and all people of faith and good will to join the ‘Book My Conscience’ Campaign. We have four goals:

  1. to live according to our stated values that recognize the dignity, beauty and humanity of all people;
  2. to provide safe travel and lodging for all people;
  3. to make a public statement through example that pornography is not acceptable or safe;
  4. to reduce the revenues going to pornographers and those companies supporting pornographers by distributing and profiting from their products.

In a Citizen article, Steve Bartolin, CEO of Colorado Springs’ 5-star resort The Broadmoor, said that people have more power over hotels than they realize.

“Hotels really listen when it comes from their guests. If their guests are telling them this — and it has an impact on their business — they’ll listen,” he said. “It costs money to recycle, but if enough guests tell hotels they want to see that in places they stay, hotels will recycle. I think the same thing has application with this decision. I think once guests speak out about their feelings, ultimately, the hotels will take note.”

Branson, Mo., hotelier Chris Meyer expects that many Christians will struggle with their consciences.

“Changing behavior is hard to do,” he said. “People have got to want to, and people have got to start standing up and saying, ‘enough is enough.’ You’re going to have to sacrifice something.”

Citizens for Community Values President Phil Burress says that any sacrifice is minimal when compared to the costs of family breakdown.

“We would ask anyone traveling this simple question: ‘Why would you give your money to pornographers, when you have the opportunity to choose a hotel that does not profit from selling hard-core pornography?’”

Take the ‘Book My Conscience’ pledge

As a citizen concerned with the rising tide of indecency and the negative impact pornography has on individuals, families and communities,

I pledge:

  1. to stay in hotels without in-room pornography whenever possible and encourage others to do the same, even when it might be inconvenient.
  2. to personally thank the management of any hotel that has chosen to forgo in-room pornography.
  3. to personally register my dissatisfaction with management of any hotel I stay at that offers in-room pornography.
  4. to only refer guests and visitors to hotels without in-room pornography whenever possible, even if it might be inconvenient.
  5. to only book conferences, training seminars and retreats at facilities that do not offer in-room pornography whenever possible.
  6. to instruct my company’s travel department and/or revise my company’s travel guidelines to require traveling employees to stay only at hotels that do not feature in-room pornography whenever possible.

What can corporations, nonprofits and churches do?

  1. Require employees to stay at pornography-free hotels whenever possible.
  2. Stop referring visitors to local hotels that offer hard-core pornography.
  3. Schedule conventions and large meetings at pornography-free hotels — and inform other properties of their lost business.

To stay at and support pornography-free hotels, find and book lodging at CleanHotels.com.

To read more about hotels that made the right choice, read Cleaning Their Rooms.

To join a growing movement of people dedicated to personal change and hopeful cultural engagement, visit and ‘like’ our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Brushfires.Foundation

Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.