*The recent decision by Peoples Drug Stores (and the High's Dairy Stores and Dart Drug) to stop carrying adult magazines will most certainly fail to buy off the morals vigilantes whose repeated chorus of complaints brought it about.
Have the stores' executives forgotten so soon that only a few years ago they thought they had appeased the same harriers by agreeing to hide the magazines behind the counter? What will the righteous members of the little band find at Peoples that offends them next? Perhaps they will insist the stores stop selling contraceptive products or women's cosmetics.
Most likely, though, they will continue with the printed word for a while longer, because they seem to be doing so well in that area. Rock magazines will be a future target and then perhaps Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Mother Jones, The New Republic and, of course, The Washington Post, which gives comfort to their enemies by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas.
Good luck, Peoples . . . and good luck, people.
-- B. Freer Freeman
*Peoples Drug's decision to stop selling adult magazines at its area stores is further evidence that the United States is being perverted by Christian radicalism.
The function of retail enterprises in a free-enterprise system is to supply goods efficiently at agreed to prices. The test of this classical economic theory is whether consumers purchase the goods or leave them on the shelf. In the case of Peoples, its sales of adult magazines is estimated to be between $3 and $4 million a year, which amounts to 400 magazines per store per month. These sales figures clearly indicate that consumer demand warrants continued sales of adult magazines at Peoples Drug Stores.
In recent years, fundamentalist Christians have feverishly been trying to impose their prudish life styles on communities throughout America. Examples include pressuring textbook publishers to excise chapters on evolution, mandating Christian prayer in public schools, bombing women's medical centers and screening judicial appointments for compatibility with extreme Christian principles.
And now comes Citizens Against Pornography. It is of no concern to me what individual members of this group think about human sexuality or nude photography. However, I draw the line when my liberty and the liberty of my countrymen and women is trampled upon.
-- Robert V. Ritter
*I was disgusted by Peoples' chairman Sheldon Fantle's pious explanation of why Peoples Drug Stores is removing "pornography" from its shelves. Fantle cited changing community morals as the primary reason for his decision to purge "offensive" magazines from his stores. In fact, the declining sales of Playboy and other adult magazines are due more to the availability of adult videos than to Jerry Falwell's influence on the mores of the '80s.
Fantle's motivations are not inspired by a commitment to morality but to the dollars in the marketplace, as usual. His pandering to the forces of intolerance represented by Citizens Against Pornography won't bring him a penny's worth more of business, but certainly it will fan the flames of bigotry.
-- Brian T. Petty
*The Maryland lawmakers want to ban the sale of certain records to minors, Peoples and Dart drugstores and some High's stores are discontinuing the sale of adult magazines, and "Huckleberry Finn" is banned in numerous school systems.
How have we survived the past 210 years with these and countless other evils in our society? Or have we become a bit overzealous in our protection of the masses from these so called evils?
My father has subscribed to Playboy since I was 11 (I am now 26), I read "Catcher in the Rye" at age 13 and was a devoted "Starsky and Hutch" fan who realized that the TV violence was just that -- TV violence, make-believe. I am normal, have never been arrested and am now a devoted family man. With all of these so-called negative influences, I turned out okay.
It is much easier for Peoples to give in to the pressures of the Moral Majority types than to stand up to them. Better to lose the revenue earned from selling adult magazines than to receive bad publicity from God-fearing and, unfortunately, very powerful groups. Better to be thought of as a good Christian than immoral. I am neither, but will now fill my prescriptions at another pharmacy, stop at 7-Eleven to buy milk and renew my subscription to Playboy.
-- Eric Marburger