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Weiner addresses lewd exchanges
July 24th, 2013
04:13 PM ET

XXX Church pastor: Weiner is an addict, not a joke

Opinion by Craig Gross, Special to CNN

(CNN) - There are still a lot of details to come out, but here’s one thing we know about Anthony Weiner: He is not a punch line; he is an addict.

I would assume Weiner has always had an uphill battle against being the butt of someone’s joke, just by the nature of his last name. Immaturity has always reigned supreme, and now in the days of Internet memes and Twitter zingers,  Weiner seemed ready-made for a scandal.

And yet he managed to get elected to Congress and once had a respectable appearance on "The Daily Show." He was on the rise, a politician ascending.

And then he got busted by the media for tweeting pictures of parts that should remain private to random women.

Shamed and chagrined, Weiner resigned and promised to get better. Things were looking up again for him when he entered the race to become the next mayor of New York, and he assured everyone that all his sexting and scandals were in the past.

And now, “Carlos Danger.”

Calls for 'Carlos Danger' to withdraw pour in

That is, apparently, one of the pseudonyms Weiner used last summer when he engaged in an illicit sexting relationship with a 22-year-old woman.

These are not the actions of a clown.

This is not something to make fun of.

This is a serious, family-wrecking, soul-crushing, career-destroying addiction.

Here’s what I would hope for Anthony Weiner: I would hope that he’d take himself out of the public eye, get back into counseling and put some concrete boundaries in place regarding his technology use.

And most important, I want him to get accountable.

Timeline: Congress, lewd photos and NYC's mayoral race

As the leader of XXXchurch.com, I work with a lot of sex addicts - people who can’t stop using porn or people who feel trapped in making it - and the biggest key to breaking out of the cycle of addiction is accountability.

Accountability is not prevention. You know the term “yes men,” when people - especially politicians like Weiner - surround themselves with others who will just automatically agree with them?

Most people think of accountability as surrounding yourself with a group of “no men,” who will always tell you what you can’t do.

That’s not it at all. Accountability is about having people around you whom you are intentionally open and honest with, people who will consistently challenge you to live up to the standards you’ve set for yourself. It’s about helping you to make good choices and live a freer, richer life.

I’m not going to point a mocking finger at Anthony Weiner. I can’t pass judgment on how he got to this point, because I don’t know him.

But I can say that being accountable to others is not just a way of battling your addictive demons; it’s a way of putting a positive spin on your life to create times where you don’t hear the demons at all.

There are millions of us working through some kind of something. For some, it’s drugs. For others, it’s alcohol. For still others, it’s an eating disorder or trying to quit smoking or being in financial disarray.

For Anthony Weiner, it’s “Carlos Danger” and all that symbolizes.

Whatever you’re working through, don’t do it alone.

You don’t have to.

Craig Gross is founder of XXXChurch and author of “Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable.” The views expressed in this column are solely those of Gross. 

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Opinion • Politics • Scandal • Sex • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. lol??

    Da wymen of New Yarwk are quite capable of makin' da hard choices. Dey do it all da time.

    July 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  2. hitler HATED CHRSITIANITY

    “…the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.”

    - ADOLF HITLER

    July 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • hitler HATED CHRSITIANITY

      “Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

      - ADOLF HITLER

      July 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
      • hitler HATED CHRSITIANITY

        "The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. All that’s left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic.”

        July 24, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
        • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

          "Frontier" ? What does that even mean. It depends on how you define "organic". Did you mean to say "life and non-life"
          Because there is a "barrier" between inorganic and organic by simple definition.

          July 25, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • M.A.P.

          I never thought I would have anything in common with Hitler, but what do ya know! Life is suprising!

          July 25, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  3. Reality

    Self-control apparently is not in Weiner's vocabulary. The addiction scenario is a cop-out just as it was with Tiger Woods!!!

    Weiner is a cheat and liar and should never be considered for a leadership role.

    And add significantly stupid to the mix !!!

    July 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  4. Wack Meoff

    It's hard times ahead for Weiner...but that's what happens when ya get caught with your pants down

    July 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  5. Wack Meoff

    He might be an addict but he's DEFINITELY a punch line!

    July 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Name*Curt Z.

    Good article. Admitting one is an addict and seeking help from friends is not avoiding blame, it is quite the opposite (when taken seriously).

    July 24, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • webzilloid

      No amount of therapy or twelve-step or whatevah can cure being a complete moron.

      July 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
  7. Sherlock Watson

    I heard a rumor he punched a midget right in his furry little balls and then immediately began jerking off.

    July 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  8. Vic

    "And then he got busted by the media for tweeting pictures of parts that should remain private to random women."

    I have always wondered about those scandals, regardless of what is appropriate or not, isn't that an infringement on personal privacy?!

    July 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The problem is that a politician can be blackmailed when these things aren't public. One of the most dangerous weapons in a democracy is blackmail.

      July 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      NOT IF YOU'RE FIRING OFF WANG SHOTS TO PEOPLE

      July 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • spoutinghorn

      Uh, Weiner posted them himself on his public Twitter account (by accident). He then accused Andrew Breitbart of hacking his Twitter account (a felony).

      I hope he wins so I can really laugh at New Yorkers when they continue their claim superiority over the rest of America.

      July 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • Saraswati

        I'd be interested in seeing the source of your stats for what percent of New Yorkers consider themselves superior. Was the Gallup data?

        July 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  9. Peter

    He's a bad man, like Jodie Foster

    July 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  10. Akira

    A man with such poor impulse control should not be mayor of Farmville, let alone the Mayor on NYC. He may be a sex addict for all I know, (but I thought they actually had sex, not texted pics of his unit), but if he is so far gone that he kept it up after his debacle in Congress, he should take himself out of the running.

    July 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Agreed, impulse contol issues of this magnitude indicate that one should not hold positions where this could be a problem.

      July 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      IT IS NOT AN IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM

      HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING AND ENJOYS IT

      July 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • saggyroy

      I am not addicted to cocaine, I just like the smell of it.

      July 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • Akira

        Lol...

        July 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Wack Meoff

      Farmville could use the exposure...

      July 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Jez

    An "addict"?? Puleeze. Is anyone responsible for any of their behavior with our "blame the 'adiction'" environment? We are becomming "addicted" to BS excuses.

    July 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • webzilloid

      'Addiction' is now a big industry; they have bills to pay.

      July 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  12. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    OH, AND ABOUT THIS ADDICTION.... AN ARTICLE WAS POSTED TODAY THAT SAYS IT IS NOT AN ADDICTION

    http://io9.com/new-study-suggests-sexual-addiction-is-not-actually-an-899234975

    July 24, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • webzilloid

      dude, find your CAPS LOCK key; I think it's stuck.

      July 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  13. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    YEAH LIKE POLITICS AND RELIGION MIX. REMEMMBER WWII?

    RIGHT NOW, I AM BLASTING MY TOILET WITH CHOCOLATE TORPEDOES. YOU ARE ALL A PART OF IT.

    July 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Webzilloid

      Your signal is breaking up...but your wackiness quotient is off the scale. Keep up the good work.

      July 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • LionlyLamb is a barely intelligible little troll

      FIRE AT WILL!!!!! Make it so.

      July 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

        WHAT REALLY BLOWS IS THAT TOILET PAPER ISN'T GOING TO DO THE JOB SO I HAVE TO HOP IN THE SHOW TO CLEAN THIS UP THIS MESS

        July 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  14. Voice of Truth-Censored by CNN

    Huma needs to leave this clown, mainly because I'd like a night with her before she's past her prime.

    July 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      SERIOUSLY? EVER SEEN REALLY OVERCOOKED BEEF COATED IN PHLEGM? THAT IS PROBABLY WHAT HER NETHERS LOOK LIKE WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN WHY DUDE HAS BEEN PHONE BANGING ALL THE OTHER AOL GIRLS

      July 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  15. Voice of Truth-Censored by CNN

    Behold!!!!! I give ye the one TRUE God!!!!!!

    All kneel before Him!!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Shammgod

    July 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  16. Webzilloid

    Well-meaning commentary, but crap. The 'addiction' industry wants you to think that your problems are not your fault; that you can't help it, cause you're 'addicted'; that your a victim. No. If you send obscene pictures of yourself to women you don't know, you're a pervert and very screwed up. Stop laying this 'addiction' crap on us; we know a pervert when we see one. And no therapy or counseling or hugs is gonna cure you. I gave this guy a pass when his first debacle hit the news; he did the right thing, and resigned. Now we're supposed buy into some pile of lies that he wants us to believe? And he drags his poor wife out to support him? Has this man no shame whatsoever? I'm starting to think his wife is an idiot too.

    July 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
  17. Age of Reason

    ...stop invoking this phoney (NEVER EXISTED) "jesus"character!
    "No one knows if this jesus christ existed, and if he did, NOTHING is known about him!"
    "Why I am not a christian" Bertrand Russell 1928

    July 24, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I guess I came away from this article with no idea of what any of the people involved believe, except maybe Carlos Danger, and he's not real. Maybe that's why this article belongs here. Most everything here is about believers and purveyors in things that most likely aren't real.

    July 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  19. Voice of Truth-Censored by CNN

    come on now....I guy named weiner, texting picture of himself....is INHERENTLY a joke.
    As is a belief in a God.

    July 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Drink responsibly

      You just had to put that little "pro atheism" plug at the bottom of your post. Like if I was commenting on the article and all of a sudden...
      Drink bud lite.

      July 25, 2013 at 4:54 am |
  20. Neo Atheist

    I prayed to God to not answer my prayers and guess what? He did answer my prayer by not answering it. HUZZA!

    July 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
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About this blog

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.