It’s rare for us to devote a whole issue to a single theme, but the recent controversy over pornography touches us at THE SUN personally and raises profound questions about free expression in a democratic society.

Radical feminists are in a startling alliance with right-wing fundamentalists to make pornography illegal. In the language of a model ordinance introduced in Minneapolis and now being considered in other cities, this would include not only overtly violent pornography, but any sexually explicit material that presents women as “dehumanized” or “in postures of sexual submission.” The sweeping language of the ordinance goes further, allowing anyone offended by pornography to bring a civil action against those producing, selling, exhibiting, or distributing it.

Civil liberties groups, as well as many other feminists, are appalled by the measure, insisting it’s nothing but simple censorship — and a crude and dangerous way to address complex questions about sex and violence.

This issue of THE SUN attempts to look at some of those dilemmas, and we invite your response as a way to keep this important conversation alive.

— Ed.