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Can the Christian crusade against pornography bear fruit?
After avoiding talk about sex from the pulpit for years, pastors are now speaking out against porn.
August 21st, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Can the Christian crusade against pornography bear fruit?

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - He is a good Christian, Michael is telling his two therapists. He goes to church most Sundays. He’s a devoted husband and father of two daughters.

“But when I would leave on business trips,” he says, “I knew I was going to get to be someone else.”

“Prostitutes, porn - I took anything I wanted.”

Sitting on a comfortable, worn couch, Michael glances out the window and sees a reflection of himself set against the parking lot of this suburban Atlanta office building. He fidgets, runs his fingers over his closely cropped blond hair and straightens his green tennis polo. He clears his throat.

Above his head hangs a poster covered in words describing feelings - angry, anxious, sad. On it is a big yellow cross.

Therapists Richard Blankenship and Mark Richardson wear solemn but empathetic expressions. Certified counselors and Christian ministers, they tell him they know how to listen and nod for him to continue.

“I’ve had a record of purity since March when I confessed to my wife,” says Michael, whose name has been changed by CNN.com to protect his privacy. “No porn, no masturbation.”

“Awesome,” Richardson says, leaning forward in his chair. “God knows you’re trying.”

This is Michael’s second week at “Faithful and True – Atlanta” a 16-week counseling program that, like dozens of others like it around the country, combines traditional psychotherapy with the Bible in an attempt to treat addictive behavior.

Blankenship, a devout Christian who once struggled with sexual abuse, says his own ordeal has helped him to treat and “graduate” nearly 500 Christian men and women with similar addictions in the last five years.

He says he has helped people achieve what he calls “sobriety,” which means resisting porn and lustful thoughts.

Though controversial in secular circles, much of the evangelical Christian world has been cheering this relatively new kind of therapy. Many believers, including many Christian leaders, consider it a powerful tool for fighting what they say is one of the modern church’s biggest problems: porn addiction.

A crusade is born

Not long ago, it was unheard of for a pastor to talk about sex from the pulpit.

Today, clergy are talking about porn.

Many evangelical pastors say they don’t have a choice. The Internet has made porn unavoidable; it’s everywhere. And porn, they say, leads to a lack of intimacy in marriage, threatening the biblical mandate to get and stay married.

In the past few years, Christian leaders have established online ministries to tackle the problem, hosting anti-porn podcast sermons and Web chats. The popular evangelical blog Crosswalk.com recently ran an article headlined “How many porn addicts are in your church?”

Christian publishers, meanwhile, have produced a wave of recent books on the subject, including popular titles like “Porn-Again Christian,” “Secret Sexual Sins: Understanding a Christian's Desire for Pornography” and “Eyes of Integrity: The Porn Pandemic and How It Affects You.”

Evangelical pastor Jeremy Gyorke recently came forward to talk about how porn has affected him. In July, the 32-year-old confessed his porn addiction in a sermon at Wyandotte Family Church, just outside Detroit.

“I’m part of a generation of Christians who grew up keeping your mouth shut about your personal life,” he says. “Goodness no, we didn’t talk about sex.”

“But now that we have a little say in the attitude of the church, we’re taking a different approach,” Gyorke continues. “We’re putting it all out there, saying you don’t have to keep secrets. Come forward and admit that you’ve made a mistake, and you can be healed.”

Gyorke said he confessed to his congregation after his wife caught him looking at porn and told him it made her feel inadequate. She wanted him to seek help and to be transparent as a man of God.

Gyorke ultimately decided that viewing any porn, even once or twice, is a problem for believers.

“It’s like a gateway drug,” he says. “You can’t just have a little look. If you look at porn, you’ve already given your heart and spirit away to someone who isn’t your wife.”

As he wrote his sermon on the matter, Gyorke felt tremendous anxiety. “I thought it would make or break me to them as their pastor,” he says.

But his flock reacted with empathy and support. Several congregants approached him afterward to say that they, too, felt that they’d acted against God by looking at porn.

Different interpretations

Though the words “porn” and “masturbation” don’t appear in the Bible, Gyorke believes the biblical verdict is clear. “Sexual immorality is mentioned a lot in the Bible, and that is what porn is,” he says.

He quotes the Gospel of Matthew: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

“Porn is lust, and lust is a sin,” the pastor said.

Many religious scholars say that such a view reflects just one of many interpretations.

“One school of biblical study says that desire is a problem and needs to be monitored as a serious threat to salvation,” says Boston University theology professor Jennifer Wright Knust.

But Knust points to scriptural passages that appear to endorse sexual desire, including the Song of Solomon, a poem that some scholars say depicts two lovers graphically describing each other’s anatomy in an ode to unmarried sex.

“This is not new. It’s a cherry-picking of scripture used to address what’s happening right now in popular culture,” says Knust, author of the recent book “Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions on Sex and Desire.” “The new thing is that it’s being used by so-called Christian therapists.”

Knust says the anti-porn trend in Christian therapy reflects new questions in broader society about what constitutes an appropriate relationship, about gender roles and rules, and about what marriage really means.

“People are concerned and confused, and want to know if God is speaking to us in our sexual roles,” she says. “Can we find answers in divine revelation? People have always hoped that there can be certainty in the Bible.

“There is no certainty,” she says. “It’s interpretation.”

XXX churches

A few weeks after delivering his confessional sermon, Gyorke organized a Sunday event at his church intended to help keep congregants away from pornography.

He gave out study guides with scriptural verses related to lust and showed a slick video from XXXChurch, the main Web-based group for the Christian anti-porn movement.

The video opens with a mock-pharmaceutical infomercial for a product called “Lustivin.” It raves about how wonderful the drug can make you feel in the short term but then lists some major side effects: premature relational difficulty, divorce, shallow relationships.

Craig Gross, a young pastor from California, co-founded XXXChurch.com in 2001. Its URL was meant to snag people who were surfing the Web for dirty pictures.

“Ten years ago, when I wanted to bring the church up to date, everyone was like, ‘This won’t work. People will be confused about what you’re doing,’ ” Gross says.

“It was controversial at the time, but the church is always behind the times,” he says. “We should have had a XXXChurch.com in the late 1990s if we really wanted to get ahead of this problem.”

The site was slow to catch on for its first few years, but now gets millions of clicks a day from IP addresses around the globe, Gross said.

This year, XXXChurch sponsored Porn Sunday, a national anti-porn event that included hundreds of churches across the country screening a video starring Matt Hasselbeck, who's now quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, and other Christian NFL stars.

Soundbites from the players speak to the struggle between porn and faith.

“Sex is an awesome thing that God designed,” Hasselbeck says in the video.

Jon Kitna, a Dallas Cowboys quarterback, talks about surfing the Web and getting deeper into porn sites. “[You] see this [link] and it leads you to a link to this … ” he says. “And pretty soon, I’m into a world that I never really knew existed.”

For $7 a month, XXXChurch offers porn-detection software that fires off automatic e-mail alerts to a subscriber and his or her chosen “faith buddy,” a kind of whistle-blowing system designed to keep Christians from going astray.

Achieving “sobriety”

But some Christians have gone much further in their attempts to tackle porn addictions, literally rearranging their lives.

When Jeff Colon, a self-described recovering porn addict in Kentucky, confessed his addiction to his wife, she told him to get help or find a divorce attorney.

It was the early 1990s. Christian sex addition counseling was unheard of. But Colon’s pastor - to whom he’d also confided - called other church leaders and learned of a Christian counseling retreat called Pure Life Ministries, a kind of Christian compound that includes a chapel and all-male dormitory on 44 acres in western Kentucky.

Today, Colon is the president of Pure Life, which he credits with saving his marriage.

He says the program has cured thousands of men of their porn addictions through a six- to 12-month program of one-on-one or group therapy sessions.

The live-in program costs $175 a week. Men must move to the campus and live alone, with wives having the option of talking to Pure Life counselors by phone. Most insurance plans don’t cover Pure Life - a moot concern, really, because most program participants quit their jobs to relocate.

That’s what Colon, who was working as an elevator repairman, did. “I don’t regret it for a second,” he says. “It was a hard time not because I lost my job or had to move from my family. It was a tough time because I had nearly lost my connection with God. That is what’s most important in life.”

Pure Life’s curriculum relies heavily on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, which stresses that if one lives “by the Spirit,” he will not “gratify the desires of the flesh.”

The scripture goes on to say that those who gratify the flesh “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Women are not allowed on campus during the initial phase of treatment.

“People who don’t follow Christ aren’t going to get what I’m saying, but it was like intense Bible study that helped me understand how selfish I am as a sinner,” Colon says. “Basically, you have time to talk to God, and for him to show you the way to sobriety. And I’ve been sober for 17 years.”

For Colon, sobriety means abstaining from looking at porn, masturbating and performing any other sex act not involving his spouse.

“You learn that lust is just a state of mind,” he says. “If you lust for someone other than your wife, what you do is replace that lust with prayer. And you have a heart change.”

Indeed, Colon says that God was central to his recovery.

“I know secular people don’t get it,” he says. “But if I had a sponsor who was just another person, a person who is fallible, telling me to stay clean, it’s just not as powerful as God telling me that.”

“Women … drowning in this addiction”

Men aren’t the only ones who have started thinking that way about porn.

According to the creator of accountability2you, a Web-based service that dumps all the pornographic material someone surfs into his or her spouse’s e-mail inbox, roughly half of his 10,000 monthly subscribers are women.

“The Christian Church has started to realize that we’re sexual, too, and we are just as visually stimulated as men and we look at porn,” said Crystal Renaud, author of the recent book “Dirty Girls Come Clean,” a memoir about her own addiction to porn.

For the past year, the 26-year-old with punky-streaked hair has led Christian women’s porn addiction counseling sessions. Her Dirty Girls Ministries website has 450 members.

“I’ve met women who will lock themselves in a room and look at porn all day, ignoring their kids or their jobs,” she says. “I feel like I can relate because that’s all I cared about, getting my high. There are so many more women out there drowning in this addiction, you have no idea.”

Though there are few statistics to support Renaud’s claims about the extent of the problem, Christian media outlets like Today’s Christian Woman have recently run stories about women consuming porn, often theorizing that the habit starts with explicit romance novels.

Renaud has received a sexual addiction counseling certification from the American Association of Christian Counselors, though she is not licensed by secular organizations like the American Psychological Association. She promotes a five-step program she’s devised called SCARS - Surrender, Confessional, Accountability, Responsibility, Sharing - which encourages women to confess to each other about their desire to look at porn as a means of saying no to it.

In her memoir, Renaud writes about becoming a chronic masturbator and porn addict at age 10, after stumbling upon a dirty magazine in her brother’s room. It was a confusing, scary experience, she writes.

“My mother made it very clear what the parameters were when it came to sex, and there wasn’t a discussion beyond that,” Renaud said. She describes her relationship with her father as rocky, but wouldn’t elaborate.

In high school, Renaud was a leader in her Christian youth group, but she was also interested in porn. “I felt so bad and I wanted to stop looking at porn because that wasn’t what the Bible instructed,” she says, “and I knew God didn’t want me doing that.”

When she was 18, Renaud arranged to have sex for the first time at a hotel with a person she met in a Christian chat room. She says she went to the hotel but broke down in tears in her room and left before meeting the man.

“That was my rock bottom,” she says. “I remember being there and sobbing, thinking, ‘What am I doing risking my life to meet someone at a hotel I don’t even know?’”

Renaud said that she depends on God to keep her clean and that God is a kind of sponsor or monitor. When she wants to look at porn or masturbate, she and God have a kind of conversation, and the desire passes.

A crusade’s critics

The father of Christian-based porn and sex addiction therapy has a word for this “pray-away” method of sobriety.

“Hooey.”

Dr. Mark Laaser pioneered the Christian response to porn and sex addiction in the 1980s and chides counseling centers like Pure Life for what he says is their near-total reliance on prayer.

“Alcoholics don’t wish really hard to not be addicted to alcohol,” he says in a phone interview from his busy therapeutic practice in suburban Minneapolis. “The field of addiction is much deeper than opening your Bible.”

He’s pleased that more Christians are openly talking about pornography and sex addiction, but Laaser says he’s concerned that some Christian leaders and therapists are confusing sexual sin with sex addiction.

“Men come dragging into my office because their wives have caught them masturbating and labeled them addicts, or they’ve had one affair and they are now looking to have their affair excused by addiction,” he says.

“One affair doesn’t mean you’re a porn addict,” Laaser says. “Looking at porn occasionally doesn’t make you a porn addict. Those may be poor decisions, but they are not necessarily caused by clinical addiction.”

Porn is estimated to be a multibillion-dollar industry in America alone, banking at least 10 times what it did in 1970, the first time the U.S. government evaluated the retail value of the nation’s then-fledgling hardcore film, television and retail market.

During that same decade, Laaser had become the porn industry’s ideal customer. He was constantly on the hunt for it.
As a devout Christian, he spent a lot of energy trying to keep his porn a secret, especially from his wife, Debbie. His guilt distanced him from her emotionally, he says, and began eroding their relationship.

At the time, there was virtually no established psychological research, or mainstream therapy, for sex addiction. So Laaser reached out to secular 12-step programs, using Alcoholics Anonymous’ framework as a guide to reaching what he called sexual “sobriety,” abstaining from sex outside of marriage and avoiding masturbation.

“I remember thinking I wish my problem were drinking because I could get help easier,” Laaser said.

By the late ’80s, Laaser says, he was on the road to sobriety, combining therapeutic methods he’d learned while pursuing a doctorate in psychology from the University of Iowa and a divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

“It began to seem very evident to me that secular therapy does not work as effectively for Christians,” he said. “And that’s because the secular world … to us as Christians, seems less moral. Sex is everywhere in secular society - television, film, billboards. It’s just so much a part of life that it is excused.

“Christians just aren’t going to seek out a secular therapist - they won’t seek therapy at all if they don’t have some aspect of Christianity woven into their treatment.”

In 1992, Laaser authored the first book on Christian sexual addiction, titled “The Secret Sin.”

“The Christian church, both Protestant and Catholic, is experiencing tremendous turmoil in the area of sexuality,” it began. “The problem seems epidemic.”

It sold barely enough copies to stay in print.

In 2005, the publisher changed the title to “Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction,” and Laaser added chapters on Internet porn. It has sold 75,000 copies.

In Laaser’s care, a patient will undergo psychiatric evaluation, just as he would in the secular world. Laaser wants to know if the patient has any symptoms of depression, ADHD or anxiety. He says many sex addicts suffer from other mental health issues.

“You may need to go to a meeting every day, or connect with a sponsor; you may need to check in with this office once a day,” he said. “Every client is different, but we’re essentially helping them establish boundaries and restrictions.”

Some secular therapists have warmed to this kind of approach.

“The deeply religious were a group that were hard to reach years ago because they had extreme shame connected with their addiction,” says Tim Lee, a licensed social worker in New York with a specialty in sex and porn addiction treatment.

But Lee and Pennsylvania sex therapist Dr. John Giugliano, both members of the Society for Sexual Advancement - a national nonprofit think tank of licensed sex therapists - worry that therapy can become overly focused on dogma and ignore the patient’s real-life issues.

“If you spend your time in session talking about what God thinks and what the Bible says, you don’t get to understand what the patient thinks and what happened in their life up to that point that explains why,” Giugliano says.

Even within the world of Christian therapy, some counselors criticize the methods of other religious counselors.

Richard Blankenship, the Atlanta-based Christian therapist, studied under Laaser in the early 2000s. When Blankenship set up his practice in Atlanta to treat sex addicts, he used the same name as Laaser’s ministry, “Faithful and True,” adding only the word “Atlanta.”

But Laaser wants to make it clear that he has no association with Blankenship’s practice and doesn’t agree with some aspects of Blankenship’s program.

Blankenship doesn’t rely enough on psychological expertise, Laaser says. Laaser objects to a therapist telling a patient that an addiction may be patterns repeated through generations, as Blankenship does. And Laaser disagrees with Blankenship’s habit of connecting a patient’s addiction to a biblical character’s family tree.

Abraham’s family tree

For the rest of his therapy session at Faithful and True, Michael circles emotions from a list that Richardson and Blankenship have provided. He circles “anxious” and then describes a fight he had with his wife about his infidelity.

Blankenship responds to Michael’s description of the fight by saying that addiction is generational, mentioning the Kennedys and the Fondas.

Then Blankenship queues up a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop, showing Michael a family tree he has designed around the biblical story of Abraham.

It has a lot of boxes. There are several pages.

Abraham, Blankenship says, was a guy who committed some sexual transgressions, like fathering a child with Hagar while his wife was barren. Ultimately, God forgave him.

Michael starts talking about his own family. He describes a difficult upbringing with a father whom he said was philandering and verbally abusive. He says sex wasn’t talked about at his house when he was growing up.

Before the session ends, Michael is assured that there’s no reason to think that he won’t kick his addiction. He’ll be on a new path, Blankenship says, toward “sexual integrity.”

The 90-minute session comes to a close with a prayer.

Blankenship and his co-counselor Mark Richardson lower their heads.

Richardson asks that God look after Michael. He asks God to bless this therapy process. Michael is heading out into the world, he says, heading back into a culture of temptation and lust and ungodly ways.

Look after him, the therapist says, keep him on the right path.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Sex

soundoff (3,536 Responses)
  1. Malakas

    I need LOTS of PU55Y to function in life!

    August 21, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  2. glenn

    The BIGGER question is can healthy p-rn/s-x survive a religious addiction?????

    August 21, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Stephanie

      Well, given that divorce rates are highest amongst evangelicals Christians, it kind of means that many relationships do not survive the God belief.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  3. ooo

    Everyone commits Adultery and no one get caught. Tried Tiger woods, Wiener, J.LO, Kim Kardashian !!! People paid millions for everyone to bash against Jewish Laws & Torah. Everyone got rich.

    Shame.

    August 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  4. Kirk

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5X4N2exOsU&w=640&h=390]

    August 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • rufusclyde

      LOL. Tom and Cookie rock.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  5. Jwzg

    If you disagree with this article, do those who don't a favor, and just go away. Your sniping will not change the mind of one believer, but this article will change the lives of many for the better. You lose.

    August 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Judge not lest ye be judged

      You just committed a sin of self righteous blogging. Now repent ye sinner.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • rufusclyde

      So, this article will cure 2000 years of s_xual misconduct by the clergy?

      August 21, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • SCAtheist

      Actually the more we speak out, come out of the closet (in my state you might get shot by an NRA thug, just after you lose your job), the more we become a part of the "protected" mainstream.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  6. Jeus Is Lord

    It's unfortunate that so many Christians have so little faith in God. When you know that God is telling you to stop doing something – obey Him. From personal experience, I can tell you that God will take care of the details. Just take that first step, God will carry you the rest of the way.

    August 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Howie76

      Whatever!

      August 21, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Judge not lest ye be judged

      This is Jesus – please stop the self righteous, judgmental rant on Sunday morning

      August 21, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • rufusclyde

      What if God tells me that having s_x is OK?

      August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • John

      Amen! He loves to reward those that do obey him too, so why go against the grain? It only makes sense to do what God asks of you.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • pt6071

      I'm sorry to have to be so blunt, but neither you nor anyone on this planet knows what God says/thinks/wants even if he exists.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      Guess it's time to smoke another "jehova-uanua" cigar,,,, Pass it on! 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • glenn

      I did. God told me to stop going to church and hanging around judgemental Christians and be the free thinking person that it created.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      @glenn
      God commands us to go to church – it's in Hebrews 10:25.

      You have made Satan lord of your life and it is his voice that you obey. Make Jesus Lord – while you still can. God loves you and wants to give you eternal life. Satan hates you and can't wait to drag your soul down into hell where he will torment you night and day – FOREVER.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Sally

      Gee so I am supposed to become a Christian out of fear of being tortured forever?

      That's just ducky.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  7. Howie76

    I find the counselors statement odd, "“Awesome,” Richardson says, leaning forward in his chair. “God knows you’re trying.”. He is talking about the guy just admitting he is not watch p0rn or master bateing (note we cannot use those words or you get censored) I bet he listens to Joan Jett in the closet. He sounds like a perv to me.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  8. Fred

    You Guys have a lot of nerve Putting a photo with a dirty mag on top of a bibile . and you think you have morals?

    August 21, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Judge not lest ye be judged

      I'm just mad that it's blockin' the babe!

      August 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • rufusclyde

      But if your minister does it to make the very point this movement is making, then it's OK, right?

      August 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • John

      The Lord Jesus has our sins covered. This photo makes perfect sense to me.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  9. Mike

    For you people asking why God and Jesus make people do this or do bad things or if God is real why doesn't he stop war. Well everybody has free will. God can't take someone's arm who has a gun and move it. Jesus died for humans because everyone sins or do things that are looked down upon and are bad for them. Nobody is perfect, everybody has secrets EVERYBODY. Jesus died so we don't have to pay for those sins because as humans we can't help it. I don't understand why people don't understand that. God doesn't control everybody's movements or their minds and he understands that we do bad things so that is why Christians believe he sent down Jesus to save us from our sins. We are our own beings and we make the choices not God. If we make the wrong choice we go to God for help and he has helped me many of times.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Judge not lest ye be judged

      Way too much proselytizing. You made a bad choice.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Aren't theodicies so much fun?

      August 21, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      God bless you Mike. You are my brother in Christ and I truly appreciate you sharing what God has done for you. It really does encourage me. Thank you and may our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and protect you and your family.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • pt6071

      What I don't understand is why you can't accept that there Allah is the only one God and Mohammed is his prophet. Or that Zeus is the God of the sky and will smite you with the thunderbolt for disbelief. Or that the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti monster starting with a mountain and a midget. Or any other number of equally-well justified theories of everything.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • August Washington

      So God can create the heavens and the earth etc... but he cant prevent war or control a human arm? We cant help but sin, whats the point in trying not to then?

      August 21, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Stephanie

      God just likes to kill innocents with tsunamies, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  10. Ramon F Herrera

    A much worse sin than p0rn is hate.

    The left hates ideas.
    The right, people.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Nooooo. The left is all about ideas.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Howie76

      That makes no since.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Liz the First

      Ramon, you're right about hate and the right hating people. but the left doesn't hate ideas, we hate the attempted brainwashing and imposed ignorance of the right. ideas come from God. the misuse of ideas comes from man. man has misused religion and used it for domination ever since man came up with the idea of religion. you can believe in God and have a better understanding of God's true nature if you're not brainwashed into and controlled by religions, most of which exist only for the purpose of power and control. that's not by any stretch of the imagination what God is all about. i believe most atheists would have no problem believing in the actual God, they have a big problem with the Christian version, some old man sitting on a throne judging everyone. Christians try to bring God down to human level, with all our faults. God is above all the pettiness and meanness Christians project onto it. no wonder their version is so widely rejected.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  11. Ramon F Herrera

    CNN can type "p0rn" and "s_x", but we cannot.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  12. Ramon F Herrera

    Can we even type p0rn here?

    August 21, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Howie76

      probably not

      August 21, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  13. Ramon F Herrera

    Does this work?

    August 21, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  14. CrazyOwlLady

    Leave it to Xtians to find sin in natural human functioning.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • AGuest9

      If you see it that way, you aren't so Crazy...

      August 21, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  15. hehehe

    hehehehe

    August 21, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  16. Ttom

    One more area where the religious right wants to use the government to cram their beliefs down everybody's throats.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • John

      Evangelical Christianity is not a religion. It's a relationship. Anyone who tells you differently is wrong.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Gene

      I didn't see any government involvement here.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  17. Jim

    The tag line on the main CNN page linking to this raises the question of whether this issue "confuses sin with addiction." That's understandable from a pure humanist/liberal viewpoint that denies absolute truth, would make every failing an "illness" and would never hold anyone accountable for anything they do. The reality is that there IS sin and that many sins are highly habit forming and addictive. The fact that one becomes addicted to something that's also sinful, doesn't mean that act is no longer a sin. It just means it's harder to stop committing that sin. Satan wants nothing more than to bind us all in chains of sin and addiction and he's VERY good at inspiring men to create things that will tempt others to sin and at tempting all of us to sin.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Judge not lest ye be judged

      This sounds conflicted. Were you flogging your wog whilst typing that blog?

      August 21, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Is being addicted to passing religious judgement a sin?

      August 21, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Jesus is fiction and you're kinda slow

      lol @ being an adult and believing in Satan. Grow up- it's all fiction. Live your life, and stop worrying about fictional Deities.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • RdclCntrst

      The problem is that unless you accept the Bible as literally true–a perspective that has NO basis is science or history–your argument is entirely useless. You may not like "humanist/secular" points of view, but they do have the advantage of being able to be proven, rather than having to rely on a message from God or a prophet that may not come. Looking at addiction as "sin" hasn't done mankind very much good for almost two thousand years; treating addiction–and other mental illnesses–as sickness rather than as moral failings or demonic possession has a much better track record, and it took less than 150 years to get there.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • TheSara

      You make Satan sound like an epic guy. I wish I could believe in fairy tales, because Satan sounds like the answer to all of our problems. Ah, what the heck, All Hail the Great Satan!. Love, peace, and all of that.

      August 21, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  18. Judge not lest ye be judged

    Repent ye self righteous sinners! Blogging on Sunday is a sin!

    August 21, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • AGuest9

      I was wondering myself this earlier. Why aren't these people in church?

      August 21, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  19. Haashim Shah

    For more accurate details on this issue look at simultaneous coverage in our blog, you can search the term: the Muslim Times.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  20. Khaula Rehman

    Excellent discussion. For more details on this issue look at simultaneous coverage in the Muslims times.

    August 21, 2011 at 9:43 am |
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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.