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Pastor: Facebook is encouraging adultery
November 18th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Pastor: Facebook is encouraging adultery

A New Jersey pastor is asking married  members at his church to delete their Facebook accounts because he says it encourages adultery.

The Rev. Cedric Miller of Neptune  made the demand after 20 couples at his church ran into difficulties after a spouse reunited with an old love interest, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article.

The article, which quotes an Associated Press story, says Miller had asked married couples in his church to share their Facebook passwords with spouses, but couples still ran into problems.

Miller, pastor at the Living Word Christian Fellowship church, says he’s now demanding that 50 married church leaders delete their Facebook accounts or resign.

Anthea Butler, a columnist with Religion Dispatches magazine, says Miller is invoking an old theme in fundamentalist and conservative churches: that any new media - like movies, television and radio - is  sinful.

What is interesting to me is that the conservative Christian cry used to be stop watching porn on the internet, or  your kids would be pimped out on the internet by perverts. Now, social media has become the latest “sinful” activity.

Still, Butler in her column entitled, “Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell,” says she could sympathize with the pastor.

So I am not surprised that the pastor is demanding all of his leadership cease and desist from Facebook. After all, looking up an old flame or your teenage dream à la Katy Perry is just the first step down the road to perdition - especially if your home life isn’t exactly what it used to be.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Ethics • News media • Pastors

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Pops

    If it had not been for automobiles, I could not have gotten my girlfriend pregnant at 16 in the back seat.
    Too bad my pastor didn't require my parents to get rid of the car before this happened.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
    • chettmoses

      LOL

      November 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  2. camperman1

    Trust in your life partner is all that's necessary. Blame the individual not FB for any digression from that trust.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • David

      True. Granted, one should take reasonable steps to avoid temptations/problems. If something is identified as a problematic outlet, maybe one should go without. The pastor could have talked about this without (apparently) making demands on the online social behaviour of people.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  3. TBera

    Really, the only solution so sin, since God made it so d*mn much fun, is to lock everyone away in individual cells with full camera suveillance–and I still bet the people that hold the keys to said cells will have an awful lot of fun...

    Our existence is a set up for failure in the religion/righteousness department, but maybe the religion, which was written after the fact, deliberately went about to make it so everyone feels bad enough about themselves they will fall into the religious traps.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  4. mhirst

    Unfortunately, this is another example of how we tend to blame external elements for our own personal failures. Facebook isn't to blame for extramarital affairs; if Facebook didn't exist, adulterers would find another way to cheat.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  5. Mike

    So does eating Apples. What a moron.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  6. JJ

    This pastor needs to take a look at this more closely. If he is ordering people to do what he says, then this is a CULT, not a church or religion. It is NOT a sin to be on Facebook. It is a sin to covet, lie, cheat, steal, etc.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  7. TBera

    Facebook can't take you anywhere you don't want to go... morally speaking, that is...

    November 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  8. Sam

    Technology is no doubt the key to undoing ourselves.

    But on the other hand, a simple, surface lesson in politics can be learned. The technocratic progressive elite will no doubt balk at any suggestion a rich Harvard semite's website encourages moral decline. They'll say that PEOPLE encourage adultery. But if that's true, they also have to admit that guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people. See? There can be a basic agreement that while tools certainly aid our vices, we're still making the decisions. We ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE, and we have the opportunity to resist tempation.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  9. tracy

    @ DAMIEN YOU ARE CORRECT.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  10. Satyr6

    Hey pastor, people cause adultery, the minds that think, cause adultery,....FB may help it along but, another mention....What about the pedophile priests buddy,...Does FB condone/cause that? NO!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • legionn1982

      I can 'friend' a kid right? RIGHT!

      November 18, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  11. Damien

    Encouraging and facilitating are two seperate issues, facebook does NOT encourage adultery, the ease of communication and the private nature of it facilitates adultery, however, takes a specific type of individual to gravitate towards adultery, the type, i'm sure could be helped by your church

    November 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  12. Laura

    Yeah, it increases cheating for people ready to cheat anyway. Give me a break.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  13. JeramieH

    Facebook is as much to cheating as pen and paper have been for hundreds of years.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  14. Redeye Dog

    Duuuuuhhhhh??? Guess the pastor never saw "Sleepless in Seattlel" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, uh, 17 years ago? Maybe it wasn't technically "adultry" in the movie but I am sure that the internet and AOL paved the way for it long before Facebook was an idea.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
    • charles stevens

      Well. If it was in a movie, it must be true... *cough*

      November 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • mshrmit

      You're thinking of You've Got Mail. Same actors, different movie. 😉

      November 18, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
  15. Ari

    I'm not religious at all, but HE IS TOTALLY RIGHT! People who are in a committed relationship, ESPECIALLY married, shouldn't be on facebook. It really does encourage cheating. It makes it easier. It makes it more accessible to meet people, and to start sending flirty messages. And you post pictures looking your best, so as to impress other people. He's right. GOOD FOR HIM FOR SAYING IT. I think organized religion is a SHAM, so I'm not biased. I just speak the truth. For anyone who thinks I'm wrong, you're not looking at it closely enough. You're not seeing it for what it is.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
    • Tracey

      Since you are so wise and all-knowing, can you explain why i have been in contact with several exes for years and am still happily married? What is wrong with me that I haven't up and left my husband for one of them?

      November 19, 2010 at 12:18 am |
    • hungrydog

      Guess you aren't aware of the ancient phenomenon of "I just happened to be lookin' irresistible and what do you know,by 'sheer coincidence' the very guy/woman I'm interested in happens to be here too?" It's been going on since approximately the beginning of mankind. Otherwise known as the "I chased him until he caught me" syndrome. Shortened version is called "manipulation."

      November 19, 2010 at 3:12 am |
  16. LoveFacebook&mySpouse

    BTW, I agree with most comments on here. It is not Facebook that has the problem. It is the decision of the person behind the computer. Each person is responsible for their own behavior.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  17. Sandra

    That's odd.. I've been on facebook since it started and haven't had any inclination to cheat on my husband. Methinks this pastor is projecting his own weakness on others, and using Facebook as his scapegoat.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  18. Mike

    Sounds like some pastor has a guilty conscience. I disagree with every pastor I've ever met, but this one especially. Let's turn it around for just a second, because the church doesn't exactly prevent adultery, and in some churches the pastors have higher rates of closeted pedophilia than the general population. Guess which one.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  19. SeaknightRex

    Yea, blame facebook and not the individuals who stray, yea, thats it. These animals would not have strayed if not for the evil facebook. If you play facebook backwards it says "satan" lol.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  20. YBP

    It's called human nature. It has nothing to do with Facebook. It's borderline scientific. And it's completely un-mystical. No need for any of our "holy" people to weigh in on it.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.