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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. Jeus Is Lord

    @EvelynWaugh
    I would start by asking you where does morality comes from?

    I believe what God said is true: We are made in His image. Animals are not made in God's image and do not live according to any moral code – only humans.

    Yes, God will judge all of us. The verdict is already set. ALL who reject Jesus Christ will be found guilty and condemned to hell. ALL who accept Jesus – and that means to obey Him – will be found innocent and allowed to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

    But why go through life wondering if any of it's true? Ask Jesus (pray) to prove it to you. He is real – He is alive and He will answer you.

    August 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jungle Recon Commando

      Praise Jeus! Heilz yeah!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause ... either. So .. I'm just a skeptic. I need proof. Show me the Science.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jason

      Why is that some people must rely on supernatural, magical nonsense as a basis for morality? Humans are capable of forming ethical, well-reasoned decisions without needing to perpetuate such incoherent, closed-minded fantasy... I swear, christians are among the most frightened, baby-brained people on the planet!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      Evelyn,

      Look in the mirror. God says that YOU were fearfully and wonderfully made.

      Jesus is the answer.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Jeus Is Lord

      You said: "I would start by asking you where does morality comes from?"

      How can an immoral god be the giver of morality?

      Curious in Arizona

      August 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jeus Is Lord

      You said: "Look in the mirror. God says that YOU were fearfully and wonderfully made."

      Some can look in a mirror and say that. Others are born with horrid birth defects.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      Belief in God isn't the problem .. Organized Religion is the problem. Religion has cause so much death and destruction. It's insane to me that so much of that has been caused by Religion. You see those bumper stickers "What Would Jesus Do?". Well, Jesus wouldn't have created so many wars, public beheadings, torture, death, etc. Religion created that .. Belief in God isn't a problem .. Humans are the problem.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      David,

      Your god (satan) did not give us morality. My God (Jesus Christ) gave it to us. Your god will drag you you down into hell when you die. You will cry and beg for mercy, but none will EVER be given to you. The Bible says that hell is a place where you are tormented day and night – no rest. Is that really what you want?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Well, jeus (you do realize that your screen name is incorrectly spelled, don't you?), it seems that you want eternal torment for people who don't think like you do. If you had some actual proof to back up your claims, I might be worried.

      I'd also like to point out that humans are morally fine without your god. Empathy and the needs of society are better arbiters of morality than an ancient book where half of the rules exist to simply enforce the following of a specific supernatural claim.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bizarre

      @Jeus Is Lord, "Your god (satan) did not give us morality. My God (Jesus Christ) gave it to us."

      - or -

      "My imaginary superhero is better than yours - Neener, neener, neener..."

      August 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jeus Is Lord

      You said: "Your god (satan) did not give us morality. My God (Jesus Christ) gave it to us."

      Satan does not exist.

      You didn't answer my question: Did god give us these moral commands because they are good, or are these moral commands good because He gave them?

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jeus Is Lord

      If god is all loving, all good and all just as Christians profess, how do you reconcile this with the fact, that there is a place called hell?

      How could an all good, all merciful, all just god, spend His time constructing such a place? Did he whistle while He worked?

      If god is all loving, all good, all merciful and all just...how do you reconcile this with the fact that god would burn humans for all eternity? What crime could justify such a punishment?

      Man lives a finite number of years. Only a finite number of "sins" could be committed in this finite time. How is it just to punish a finite number of sins with eternal agony?

      Christians also claim their god is all knowing (omniscient). If this is true, then He would know who will be saved and who will be damned, even before they are born. Yet, god lets them be born knowing their ultimate fate is eternal punishment. Seems wrong somehow. Maybe it's just that I am sane...

      Christians often prattle on about having a choice of accepting Christ or spending eternity in hell. This is not a choice. This is Vito Corleone making an offer that cannot be refused. Pfui!
      If you were trying to start a religion, as the New Testament authors were, wouldn't this be a good PowerPoint bullet? I mean it really couldn't hurt the membership roster, right?

      Join = Eternal Bliss

      Decline = Eternal Agony

      If a puppy peed on the floor, would you hold it over a burner, even for a second? I couldn't. Not a puppy and certainly not a human. I am more moral than your vile god.

      Like many of your fellow Christians you seem overjoyed with the idea, that people who do not agree with you will be horribly punished. You draw it like a gun. It is the better part of any argument you make. If I am wrong and there is a god and there is a Jesus...you and I may be roomies.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  2. failed.

    Our ECONOMY IS RUINED!!!!

    August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  3. papermusic

    Im an atheist and believe in holding yourself to high standards and conduct. yes the article has valid points but when they say, "god is listening to you" then you know you're with the wrong therapist. The therapists are subjective. Michael has a better chance of coming to an understanding and possible solution by visiting a therapist that does not bring up god. Your problems are a reflection of yourself and upbringing, not a reflection of your devotion to the bearded man in a cloud, who by my view of the world and its turmoil, is a selfish god.

    August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      I agree with you. God should not be a part of a Therapy. That comes from within. You shouldn't rely on God that's a crutch and for the weak minded. Essentially it's up to yourself to change and God has nothing to do with that. People use God as a way of shrugging off the responsibility of changing your life. When people say "It's in God's Hands" umm no it's not .. You and you alone have the power to change your life.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Jungle Recon Commando

    Man, people jump through a lot of hoops for Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/Jesus. It all seems so unnecessary.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  5. G Man

    CNN policing free speech, won't post all comments.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • disgust

      sure they do. You just have to make sure you don't use certain language. Although not intended, some words are rejected when they fall next to 'as' 'some' see now?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Robrob

      You probably should look up the big words like "free speech" before you embarrass yourself using them again. A private company (CNN) has no legal requirement to provide "free speech" to random people on the internet.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I strongly suspect that either you used one of the words that the automatic censor doesn't like, or there is an error in the system. When one of my posts didn't show up, I tried to repost and from the response I got, the system believes that it had already been done. It think it's a glitch and I hope CNN figures it out and fixes it.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Helpful Henry

      G Man,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic word filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Adam Webster

      I think you have CNN confused with the government. No web forum is required to be your personal soap box. CNN is a private company that can censor what it chooses, including your speech on its site.

      August 21, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  6. jayne

    I am very surprised at what I am reading and start to wonder whatever happened to the long ago American missionaries who were strong morally correct Christians? I actually dont believe we have to discuss addiction and sin. Sin is obviously caused by lack of self-control whether it is an addiction or a habbit. So yes, ofcourse an addiction can be classified as a sin. And for your info it is not a matter of being a good christian which i get tired ot hearing, being a loving husband or wife or child or young woman or young man, it is about being obedient to God and what he requires of us as his children and his creation. It is either right or wrong. We all strive to be obedient christians not just in words but in deeds also as long as we are on this planet earth. Perfection will come when we are changed in a twinkling of an eye and go to heaven, but while here, we try our best to keep the faith and be obedient and self-controlled and lastly leave a good and positive legacy behind

    August 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • disgust

      Yes, the early xtians coming to the North America –> 11 million Indians massacred.

      or

      Mother Theresa, become catholic and I'll feed you

      August 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      Very well said my sister! God bless you. Thank you for encouraging me this morning:)

      August 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Many people have an addiction to religion. So, is this sin?

      Is there a 12 step program to get me off the "god"?

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  7. fda

    Well said. Making a decision to be Christian should also not be taken lightly, I mean really, what else is there? Are you going to be an atheist, or an agnostic purely evil? Atheists have their own miracles to attend too, I don't see why they spend so much time evaluating what we believe. Its like... okay okay already, we know you don't believe and think its evil to believe in a faith that promotes love and peace but why should we believe you that there is nothing? I guess its not their fault, perhaps atheists have a deeper understanding of evolution since there ancestors are apes and Christians well, are built in the image of God. Thats how I see it, atheists are apes and Christians are divine. Perhaps there were more than one way and I just happen to be made perfect in the image of the Lord.

    So atheists, the next time you trash our religon, answer this one question, what is that single bit of information that makes you think there is no God. Why should I believe you? Let me start, the reason I believe, outside the bible, is because of the apparition in Portugal in the early century. Ever hear of Fatima? Wikipedia thinks its mass hysteria of 100,000 people. Is that the level of your understanding, is that REALLY the opposite answer?

    August 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • speedro

      " I guess its not their fault, perhaps atheists have a deeper understanding of evolution since there ancestors are apes and Christians well, are built in the image of God. Thats how I see it, atheists are apes and Christians are divine. Perhaps there were more than one way and I just happen to be made perfect in the image of the Lord."

      First of all, its 'their', not there. Secondly, you have no understanding of science clearly, and choose to be nasty because you are upset that your life is a tragedy, you never got to get a decent education and you are too stubborn to face this fact. Believing in your religion is all you have to keep your mind off of how substandard your intelligence is. Meanness is your only response because you cannot face the idea of having to go out and become educated. I feel sorry for you and I do hope your god 'saves' you or whatever, because you are not doing a very good job of it by yourself.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • PulTab

      Love and peace? Have you ever looked at religious history? And while I'm at it, where is this magic man in the sky of yours while thousands of innocent children die of starvation every day? I't seems to me that he should be able to wave his magic wand and fix that. Must not be worth his time. Or for that matter, what has he ever done about anything at any time in history. With a god like yours, who needs enemies?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow. You're a nasty person with absolutely no understanding of atheists or science. You are welcome to your religion. I want nothing to do with such hatred and ignorance.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • fda

      Actually I have an engineering degree...

      August 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Magic

      fda,

      Brilliant Nikola Tesla spent his last years feeding the pigeons and thinking that one of them was his wife. People can get *some* things correct and be wacko in others.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @fda

      You said: "So atheists, the next time you trash our religon, answer this one question, what is that single bit of information that makes you think there is no God. Why should I believe you? Let me start, the reason I believe, outside the bible, is because of the apparition in Portugal in the early century. Ever hear of Fatima? Wikipedia thinks its mass hysteria of 100,000 people. Is that the level of your understanding, is that REALLY the opposite answer?"

      My disbelief is not the result of a single bit of information. Instead, it is the total lack of evidence. The Christian god is very unlikely.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • miscreant

      Atheists and agnostics don't think it's evil to be Christian.

      I don't get why Christians are always on the defensive about non-believers. As a non-believer, I couldn't care less what you believe. It's your right to worship–or not–as you see fit. So long as you leave everyone else alone there's no harm done, regardless of which path you choose.

      Seriously, this whole "atheists are out to kill our religion" thing is getting old. We have things to do in THIS life that are way more important than arguing over crap like this.

      August 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • speedro

      An engineer is no scientist.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  8. failed.

    There are sane people out there think bible believer need to take "MEDS" or prescription drugs.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  9. EvelynWaugh

    I've been Agnostic for a very long time but, I recently read the book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Very illuminating read even if you're a believer I think everyone will learn something about themselves from that book.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      Richard Dawkins will die and go to hell because of his unbelief. Jesus Christ is your ONLY hope. There is no other way to Heaven except through Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent, obey and be saved.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Godfrey

      Hey, I think you misspelled "Zeus".

      August 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      If what Christians say is true then we will be judged at the end of it all. Then surely if there is a God and you have lead a moral life without him .. at the end of your life when he presents himself you will still be able to go to decide and choose him. Being Agnostic just means I'm saying i do not know if God exists does not mean that I will not lead a moral life. You do not need God to be a moral Human being.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • jon

      Read "The Dawkins Delusion" by fellow Oxford professor Alistair McGrath

      August 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Godfrey

      EvelynWaugh: Sorry, but you're wrong. The Bible states pretty clearly that you can be a good person all your life, but if you die without professing belief in the Lord, you will burn in Hell for all eternity. Regardless of how many orphans you've fed, lives you've saved, children you've helped etc.

      Great religion, huh? Especially if you happen to be a sociopath.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • dhondi

      There is that healthy religious fanaticism.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Jeus? Like Juice? You worship O.J.? Even after all the criminal behavior?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • NotQuiteRight

      Yo, Jeus, pipe down, you're making yourself look like a delusional kook.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jeus Is Lord

      You said: "Richard Dawkins will die and go to hell because of his unbelief. Jesus Christ is your ONLY hope. There is no other way to Heaven except through Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent, obey and be saved."

      There is no evidence outside the Gospels, Jesus ever actually lived.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  10. Jason

    i do believe masturbation is a sin, but i don't believe in god. Actually, I believe in Santa Clause. Somewhere in Santa's book, it clearly states on page 373, verse 72:4, that touching yourself is a sin and will result in less presents.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • MrMustachio0001

      I don't like presents anyway

      August 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • dhondi

      What better gift is there than that which ones gives oneself?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  11. MrMustachio0001

    @rufusclyde: Yeah, believe it or not. I have seen many so called transitional species. consider this. the elk of the americas and the elk of europe is very similar and for a long time was thought to be related most likely an imported species and I do
    say that loosely but recent DNA investigation proves that they are not related at all, any thoughts?

    August 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Does this help?

      Phylogeny of wapiti, red deer, sika deer, and other North American cervids as determined from mitochondrial DNA.

      ncbi nlm nih gov / pubmed / 9878235

      August 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • speedro

      Dude, every species is a transitional species. Get a freaking education or stop trying to converse on the topic.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      In case you didn't follow the link, it's to a series of articles abstracted in PubMed on the phylogenetic relationships between red deer, sitka deer, and wapiti (the American elk). One paper puts them all about equally related to each other, two papers put wapiti a little closer to sitka than to red. All 3 are more related to each other than to white tail deer.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • speedro

      Rufus, I get it man. I am a biologist. I was talking to Mustacchio.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      speedro: LOL, I was talking to Mr. Mustachio too. Sorry that wasn't clear. ;o)

      August 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • David Griebel

      @Jeus is lord: The only fish you catch are the ones in your pocket.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  12. Jeus Is Lord

    Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent obey and be saved! There is NO OTHER WAY.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      That's fine you believe that but, please do not force your beliefs on everyone else because not everyone believes the same things you believe. Pray in private .. please.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • failed.

      It does work in atheism....

      August 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Nah

      evelyn: "That's fine you believe that but, please do not force your beliefs on everyone else because not everyone believes the same things you believe. Pray in private .. please."

      Ironic. Telling someone not to force their beliefs onto others, and then asking them not to pray where you can hear them.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nah

      jeus: "Jesus is the answer. He is the ONLY way to the Father in Heaven. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent obey and be saved! There is NO OTHER WAY."

      You write this on every article.

      You're the worst troll ever.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • AGuest9

      There are drugs that help with delusions.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • MrMustachio0001

      I heard you could sneak into heaven, just have to hop the fence. make sure st. peter doesn't see you 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • jon

      Evelyn – how is proclaiming something one holds to be true (e.g. "Jesus is Lord") the same thing as "forcing" a belief on someone? Give me an example of anyone "forcing" a belief on anybody in the modern world. One can claim something and want someone else to believe it without "forcing" a belief on that person.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Jeus Is Lord

      @Nah
      I'd say more of a fisherman than a troll.

      Place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved you enough to suffer and die for you. If you reject that, you have condemned yourself to an eternity of suffering in hell.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Vulture0911

      I thought that at one time to. But I realize being an Indian born into a Christian home mean't I got exposed to one religion only. What happened to the religion of my forefathers the eastern religions which are older than Christianity. Why don't I follow them? The truth was all religion made no sense. We only believe what we were exposed to. Have your religion if you want to but please don't condemn the rest us because we do not believe in your version of Santa Claus.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • itsjustme

      Suppose I believe in the God and Goddess?

      Or Allah?

      Or the supreme being is known under another name in my religion?

      What then?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Your "fishing" technique is rather like throwing big rocks into the lake - pointless and annoying. I don't imagine you catch too many fish.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • David Griebel

      @Jeus is lord: The only fish you catch are the ones in your pocket.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Jude

    i wonder if these "therapists realize that some of these people may have an addictive personality

    August 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  14. Godfrey

    When you find your life ruled by unhealthy compulsions, you have a few options. You can:

    a) realize there's a problem, and just stop doing it.
    b) seek professional help to figure out why you have the compulsions in the first place, and develop a strategy to help you replace your unhealthy addictions with healthy habits
    c) contact a wild-eyed shaman to tell you which parts of his ancient magic book, written primarily for an illiterate, credulous audience, apply best to 21st Century psychological issues.

    Yeah, it's a difficult choice.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Bdl1978

      Well said. Forget drugs, masturbation, etc, the Bible is the biggest crutch anyone can use. Christians are made to feel guilty for something as rediculous as masturbation when the desire to do it is genetically instilled into everyone. Hey lets all feel guilty about being human. Something Christians and every other religion seem to forget is that there is no proof or evidence to suggest any god truly exists. It is all based on speculation and written words. Myth passed on to generations of simple minded idiots who cannot bare to think there is nothing after death. Nothing gets in the way of a Christian and his/her faith, not even logic, and something most Christians do is confuse faith for fact. You can believe as stronly as you want in something but that will never make it true.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Nah

      Nice strawman.

      Generally speaking, when you seek professional help, the best way to overcome addiction is to also have a support group. In this case, having your church or synagogue or mosque help you is probably the *best* way to find motivation for stopping the activity.

      Consequently, you fail. Though your dogmatic anti-religious beliefs are cute.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Nah

      bdl: "Christians are made to feel guilty for something as rediculous as masturbation when the desire to do it is genetically instilled into everyone. Hey lets all feel guilty about being human."

      Ah, right. The same way no one should feel guilty about, say, wanting to hurt others, stealing money, or raping women. After all, they're all products of our natural desires, aren't they?

      Moron 🙂

      "Something Christians and every other religion seem to forget is that there is no proof or evidence to suggest any god truly exists."

      Evidently you're not well acquainted with the philosophy surrounding theism or the debates about the existence of a god. They go back many thousands of years and are based (you'll be sorry to know) on pure logic, physics, or some combination of the two. They rarely have any basis on the Bible, the Church or anything else man made.

      But should we expect a dogmatic atheist to know any of those things? Probably not.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • speedro

      Well said, man.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nah, if you can't figure out the difference between a personal act that hurts no one and a public act that hurts others, perhaps you do need a babysitter, supernatural or not.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Nah

      You said: "Evidently you're not well acquainted with the philosophy surrounding theism or the debates about the existence of a god. They go back many thousands of years and are based (you'll be sorry to know) on pure logic, physics, or some combination of the two. They rarely have any basis on the Bible, the Church or anything else man made."

      There is no evidence that any god(s) have ever existed, including the Christian god. Or do you have such evidence?

      Curious in Arizona

      August 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  15. Lee

    On abortion:
    Abortion is, put quite simply, the killing of an innocent human life who can do nothing to defend him or herself. In addition, the killing of the child is carried out on the orders of his or her parents – the very people who are supposed to defend their children.

    Of course, to put abortion in such simple, black and white terms can be shocking to some – and many pro-abortion activists would disagree, saying that a child is not human or nor a person or does not possess rights, or some other such argument.

    However, the truth of abortion is easy to see – especially when photographs or videos of actual abortions are watched

    August 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Joe Wojciechowski

      A fetus is not a child. I'm sorry to break this news to you. No thoughts, no emotions, not self-aware. It's just cells until it is born.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • EvelynWaugh

      Then sperm and eggs are life as well? Our world is becoming over populated. Look at the starving children all over the world. I think a world without Abortion, Disease, etc. is an over-populated world ... It Attrition. It's part of life.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Lee

      The "Starving Children all over the world can not be solved with abortion"
      You eave out the facts:
      Fact one is that many of those governments are in control of the supplies that get to those countries..
      You fail to mention how the food convoys suffer raids and you fail to mention the droughts that have occurred.

      You fail in many ways..
      also the concept that life begins at this very time when the woman becomes pregnant, she begins making preparations for the new life that is in her..the moment she is pregnant she says to her I am with child.
      she does not say i am with fetus or cells..But she says I am with child.

      I am a father and I chose life, My fiance, she chose life..He is neither hungry nor starving.
      Neither are we. You say Look and see all the starving children..
      I say to you Look and see what man Kind has done in his name. Look and see the wars that leave kids maimed and wounded,
      Look and see the cold hearts that cause us to abort the very life we as parents are sworn to protect.
      Look and see, open your eyes...We are the ones that Should be blamed for hunger..Not an innocent life..Prove to me that that unborn child should die for what we have done in the name of adultery, War, and lust..

      August 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • AGuest9

      @Joe W – if a fetus was "a bunch of cells until it is born", explain second trimester preemies? As one, I can tell you that I'm quite alive – and that was quite a trick in those days without neo-natal care. There is a point, until late in the first trimester that your comments are true. Beyond that until the late second trimester, a fetus cannot survive outside the womb on its own, and would take a quantum leap in technology to change that.

      @EvelynW – that is what catholics are taught. That's why it is considered wrong for men to m@sterb@t3, thus, the topic of this article.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Nah

      joe: "A fetus is not a child. I'm sorry to break this news to you. No thoughts, no emotions, not self-aware. It's just cells until it is born."

      Not really. A fetus is, at the very least, "becoming" a child. You kill the fetus (a life form), you kill the child that would have existed.

      evelyn: 'so sperm and eggs are human? i don't think so'

      Fallacies, fallacies and more fallacies, eh?

      Sperm and eggs are not human because sperm and eggs - on their own - are nothing after 9 months. They're dried up, dissolved and vanished. A fetus, however, becomes human.

      Good job?

      August 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Nah

      evelyn: "Then sperm and eggs are life as well? Our world is becoming over populated. Look at the starving children all over the world. I think a world without Abortion, Disease, etc. is an over-populated world ... It Attrition. It's part of life."

      Ah, right. The world is becoming overpopulated. Therefore abortions are permissible.

      But then doesn't that logic justify euthanasia of perfectly normal, grown up humans?

      August 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Robrob

      "Sperm and eggs are not human because sperm and eggs – on their own – are nothing after 9 months. They're dried up, dissolved and vanished. A fetus, however, becomes human." – – A fetus left on its own is nothing after nine *minutes*. It's dried up, dissolved and vanished. The logic is yours and it doesn't work.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • speedro

      Get one thing stright, Lee. No one is "pro abortion". It is a heart wrenching affair and no one could be "all for it". However, the choice to do so legally and safely is what the people you refer to want to be upheld. If you and your religious freaky deakies would not simultaneously speak out against birth control, then maybe we could get somewhere. Until then, you are actually the reason abortions are being performed. You s u c k.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lee

      Abortion is an important part of the family planning toolbox.

      If abortion is illegal, women will seek back alley remedies.

      We, as a society, must take away as many of the reasons women seek abortions as possible.
      We need to make adoption easier and make it financially possible for a woman to keep and care for her baby.

      Obama has a program to do this. More needs to be done, but with the Republicans controlling the House, funds won't be forthcoming. But, there may be money appropriated, to force women to carry a child conceived by ra_pe or incest to term. If the product of incest is born with webbed feet...well, it is all part of god's great plan. Like babies born without brains...

      Most of all, we need to make birth control available free of charge, to all women. The health care bill passed in 2010 (Obamacare) does this. We need to educate the women on these birth control methods. Remember, the best way to prevent an abortion, is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

      Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift of the LORD

      Hmm... Well, the bible says it, so I believe it. Children are god's gift!

      Notice how god doesn't check to see if a woman is capable of raising a child, before he gives a baby to them?

      Women in p_oor countries bear children, only to have them die, because Mom has no food.

      Women addicted to drugs are given babies, when they are totally incapable of taking care of themselves, much less a child.

      Girls who are babies themselves, are blessed with a baby they don't want. Why are babies given to women who don't want them?

      If god would be more careful with giving out gifts/babies, abortion wouldn't be needed.

      The Christian god is said to be all knowing (Omniscient). If this is true, then god would know the gift (a child), that He is giving, will die.

      And remember, there are a lot of women, who god refuses His gift. They would be overjoyed with god's gift. No abortions in their homes!

      God works in mysterious ways. It's almost as if He doesn't exist... I guess He is just really, really hidden.

      We should start real $ex education in school. Not abstinence only. Real education about the use of birth control. The Religious Right wants only abstinence taught. But then again, the Religious Right wants the kids to learn about talking snakes and trees that impart knowledge and eternal life. *sigh*

      We will never totally eradicate abortions. Only a god could do that, and he either does not care, or does not exist.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Lee

      Definition of fetus{ IS} An unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception.
      so whom ever said that it is not..is clearly uneducated int he matter.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Joe "It's just cells until it is born"???? It's not "just cells" even when a blastula. Many higher order psychological traits are there long before birth. I support an absolute, unequivocal right to early term abortion and recognize mid-term abortion as at times clearly and very often arguably the least bad of available options. But this "it's just a growth/parasite/bunch of cells" argument some make has always struck me as atrocious and modern prenatal medicine thoroughly disproves it.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  16. ruemorgue

    Hypocritical zealots. Well, near zealots. True zealots will *never* have any doubts of their holiness.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Lee

      We can do with out the name calling that just proves how unintelligent one is.
      when people resort to name calling and biggatry, it fails under freedom of thought and speech, Scientists do not resort to ae calling but stick with varied points of view.

      I simply am stating what I believe to be true and what others believe to be true. How ever if you have to attack it with name calling and the like, that is very unintelligent and serves no purpose Speedro..in essence you then become a troll

      August 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Lee

      AGuest9
      @Joe W – if a fetus was "a bunch of cells until it is born", explain second trimester preemies? As one, I can tell you that I'm quite alive – and that was quite a trick in those days without neo-natal care. There is a point, until late in the first trimester that your comments are true. Beyond that until the late second trimester, a fetus cannot survive outside the womb on its own, and would take a quantum leap in technology to change that.

      I have to agree on that one my self. as I too am a witness to such a miracle.
      Abortionists hate to hear this one true thing about second trimester preemies.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lee

      You said: " if a fetus was "a bunch of cells until it is born", explain second trimester preemies? As one, I can tell you that I'm quite alive – and that was quite a trick in those days without neo-natal care. There is a point, until late in the first trimester that your comments are true. Beyond that until the late second trimester, a fetus cannot survive outside the womb on its own, and would take a quantum leap in technology to change that."

      The second trimester is from week 14 through week 28. Most babies are viable (lungs developed enough) by their 24th week. Some by as early as the 21st week. Some states use 21 weeks as a rule for allowing abortion. 24 weeks being the norm.

      Cheers!

      I have to agree on that one my self. as I too am a witness to such a miracle.
      Abortionists hate to hear this one true thing about second trimester preemies.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Lee

    On evolution:
    Most major proposed transitional forms are problematic and controversial. Rarely does the whole organism fit into the proposed developmental path. For example, birds are often said to have transitioned from reptile- hipped dinosaurs like Velociraptor. But these have a different kind of hip structure than birds. Birds have the same kind of hip structure as the dinosaurs like stegosaurus and the horned dinosaurs.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Nope. Transitional forms are not a problem.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Godfrey

      Wow, Lee... seems like you've been sipping the Kool Aid for a while now.

      If you're taking requests, please tell us about how the Earth is only 6000 years old.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Robrob

      Dude, you need to keep up with science. You're locked in the 80's.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Lee

      When fossils are illustrated, the illustration should indicate which parts of the skeleton are actually present in the fossil material and which parts are inferred. This may be done for example by color, shading, or outline weight.
      Fossil abundance versus geologic period diagrams should be shown for all life forms discussed in the text or presented in tree of life or cladogram interpretations. One large diagram might be presented at an early point in the discussion of fossils. Where little intact fossil material is known, fine lines or dotted lines should be used to indicate inferred or hypothesized connections or relationships.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Reston

      That is what makes evolution of interesting. If you are looking for a clean progression in design, then you would have to assume Intelligent Design. When you actually look at bone and trace fossils you get more of a sense of life as a messy realization of potential. If it can happen, it will happen eventually. Sorting out what did happen in this vast realm of possibllity is the fun of it. If you are repelled by the ambiguous and speculative nature of this very sound science, then any of these open questions will allow you to shove back the whole messy enterprise.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Problematic? Maybe as expressed in books like The Panda's Thumb, but not in established evolutionary biology. For birds descending from dinosaurs, look up Archaeopteryx.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Most fossils are illustrated the way you wish. And phylogenies are inferred from a numerical analysis of characters (traits) common to the whole set of species being analyzed. Hypothetical relationships in the absence of such data are clearly identified as such.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Lee

      Nice way in trying to trap with the YEC, but not even I believe in that...
      How ever this an issue in some areas of science, one needs to do the Math.
      "Dinosaurs died roughly 64,000,000 years ago, and humans didn't totally evolve until roughly half a million years ago. There's a time difference of about 63,500,000 years there."

      Carbon dating that there are many false assumptions in carbon dating. Paintings, carvings and eyewitness accounts (including Job's in the Bible) show that man and dinosaurs did live together. Therefore the alleged millions of years that are supposed to separate the 2 disappears.

      Cretaceous rock is the layer of rock that many geologists say dinosaurs are found in. But they don't have any accurate way of telling how old a layer of rock is.

      They say it is Cretaceous rock only because dinosaurs are in it.

      So if a layer of rock has dinosaurs in it then they say it is 165 million years old.

      If humans are in it they say it is about 1 million years old.

      The circular reasoning doesn't even cross their minds.

      So if humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs, but lived in different places, they would be fossilized in different places as well.

      Evolutionists believe that Dinosaurs died millions of years ago. But there is a great amount of evidence that dinosaurs lived only a few thousand years ago.

      One of these pieces of evidence is a blood report from a t-rex with intact hemoglobin. Hemoglobin breaks down rapidly and could not last millions of years.

      People try to disprove this, but a more recent (2005) find shows not only dinosaur blood, but soft, fibrous tissue, and complete blood vessels!

      On May 13,1572 one may have been killed by a peasant farmer in Italy (pg 41 "The Great Dinosaur Mystery" by Paul Taylor ISBN 0-89636-264-7).
      It is just as silly to say that man and bears never lived together... because the bears would kill the people.

      In actuality, when you put man and animals together, it is usually the animal that loses the fight. And are being pushed to the point of extinction.
      It is just as silly to say that man and bears never lived together... because the bears would kill the people.

      In actuality, when you put man and animals together, it is usually the animal that loses the fight. And are being pushed to the point of extinction.

      Animals do go instinct Shall I direct your attention towards the Polar bare and the DoDo.
      but seeing how some have forgotten this species I shall give you a reminder.
      The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter (3.3 feet) tall, weighing about 20 kilograms (44 lb), living on fruit, and nesting on the ground.

      I am prepared to give an accounting and answer Are you?

      August 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • speedro

      Lee, you do not really get evolution. Every species is in transition. There is no 'finish line' of perfection, no end to evolution. You need to read some books on the topic and maybe take some college biology courses. You will see that it is not nearly as difficult to comprehend as you think it is, and in fact is as beautiful, elegant and undeniable as gravity. But then again, you probably don't really understand gravity either.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Lee: You are aware, are you not, that theoretical evolutionary biology is chock full of mathematics and chock full of mathematicians. Second, there is actually zero evidence that humans and dinos lived together, but if they did, it's because some dinos persisted into the age of mammals. Your circular arguments are simply misrepresentations of how rocks and fossils are dated. You really need to expand your readings beyond Answers in Genesis, and read some REAL science, not made up BS and lies.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, the red blood cell was from a a 68-million-year-old T. rex. So much for a recent discovery.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      speedro: Does anyone really understand gravity? When I ask my quantum gravity pal, "What's gravity?", he smiles in silence.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Here's a link to a Smithsonian article on the heme in T rex...

      smithsonianmag com / science-nature / dinosaur html

      First, it's heme, not hemoglobin. Other soft tissues were found too. Second, the scientist who made the discovery is herself a
      Christian who resents her work being misrepresented by YECs.

      Try reading the original science instead of AIG.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lee

      The transitional fossils are not a problem, but let's consider:

      Why are there ANY transitional fossils, if a god created every organism once in its present form? Did god have to make prototypes until He god it right? LOL

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lee

      as for gravity, No one understands it, How ever they understand its effects and concept.
      Just like no one understands fully how this planet operates.. So here has been the age old argument ...Creationism and Evolutionist...Both are theory's..and I am surprised you have went into the who Ancient astronaut thing.

      it is one Idea that could very well be taught in schools.
      the astronaut theory comes about because every culture and every civilization speaks about "Chariots of fire" among many other things.for those that are non Christians this can be interesting and fascinating..Just as evolution come to be, this is going to spread like wild fire. and has been as the History channel currently has an entire segment devoted to it.."tell the people a lie long enough they will eventually believe in it.

      Now I reserve the right to say that evolution is not with out is faults..It is theory not fact, many sane scientists will argue that as well. Just as Creationism is a theory, It to is sound.

      and now a 3rd is entering in to the realms....So..Now when shall all this debate end??It will never end, for we as humans are subject what we have and what we beleive. We can not totally discount one theory in support of another theory.
      And sometimes the human mind can not grasp what we see feel and hear..Our technology granted, it is getting better.. but still there are Holes in Both theories ..

      It all boils down to this..Theories, hypothesis's, Neither one is rite neither one is wrong and both should be treated as equal.
      And that is what rue science is about is it not,Is it not about discipline, reason and Logic?
      But also OUR science can not yet prove and test either of these theories because we do not have the power to do so..

      As for e I chose the bibles explanation,that is neither wrong nor right it is my choice. How ever for some to say that my choice is wrong based up on a theory and is forced upon a generation, Now that is wrong to force on an individual an ideal or theory to be true when it is only a theory.

      Oh and as for Archaeopteryx the verdict is still pending.

      Now..that we have sorly got off the subject of Trippl X Church. it is time to resume that discussion.

      August 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lee's flawed and personal interpretation of science is proof of god. No, really!

      August 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Nope. Theory in science is the conceptual framework within which each science works, e.g. classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics, strings are all theories in physics. That evolution happens in the present is a fact. That evolution happened in the past is a fact. Hypotheses about how it happens or happened are tested within the framework of evolutionary theory. Creationism is not testable and is completely outside the realm of science.

      August 22, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • speedro

      Lee,

      You are really embarrasing yourself here. Maybe you don't care though. Anyway, one tip: Look up the definition of the word "Theory" as it is used in science. You may be able to realize that you should be using the word hypothesis, not theory. For you to say "evolution is only a theory" is laughable because it displays the fact that you don't even know what a theory is.

      Rufus puts it well here:

      "rufusclyde

      Nope. Theory in science is the conceptual framework within which each science works, e.g. classical mechanics, relativity, quantum mechanics, strings are all theories in physics. That evolution happens in the present is a fact. That evolution happened in the past is a fact. Hypotheses about how it happens or happened are tested within the framework of evolutionary theory. Creationism is not testable and is completely outside the realm of science."

      Lee. I am sorry your parents put you on this path. You try to present your opinions as if they are facts, just because you keep saying them over and over. They are not facts, they are mis-informed opinions that were put in your head by an un-educated person. What is really sad is that you do not even have the desire to try to seek the truth, you just 'believe'. I feel sorry for you and any kids you may raise. In essence, you are a quitter.

      August 22, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  18. Lee

    Abortion is premeditated murder of a person who can not defend them selves.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • yogi

      The majority of people getting abortions in this country are Christian.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lee is a person who presents personal opinion as fact.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Lee

      You spoke it now Prove it...show me the money that it Christians that are doing this...Now that you have Lumped all "Christians into do this..Give me facts and figures.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • YBP

      Then don't have one, Lee.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Lee

      I was waiting for Archaeopteryx. to be mentioned.

      JULY 29, 2011
      New research by Chinese scientists has thrown the winged Archaeopteryx – long thought to be the “original bird” – off the evolutionary pedestal as the case study for evolution from dinosaur to bird.

      AsianScientist (Jul. 29, 2011) – New research by Chinese scientists has thrown the winged Archaeopteryx – long thought to be the “original bird” – off the evolutionary pedestal as the case study for evolution from dinosaur to bird.
      Since its 1861 discovery in Bavaria, just a few years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, most scientists have placed Archaeopteryx at the root of the broad group of proto-birds, known as Avialae, from which our avian feathered friends emerged.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Lee: Nope, wrong again. Once again, try reading the original science...

      nature com/nature / journal / v475 / n7357 / full/nature10288 html

      ...rather than lies in AIG.

      August 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lee

      You said: "Abortion is premeditated murder of a person who can not defend them selves."

      A fetus is not a person, until it can live on it's own, outside the mother.

      States allow abortions anywhere from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. The majority being 24.
      The reason the 24 week max is chosen, is because the fetus in not able to live outside it's mother until 21 to 24 weeks, with 24 being the usual.

      Again, the fetus, less than 24 weeks is not a person. The fetus is not capable of feeling any pain until 24 weeks. Until the fetus can live outside the mother, it is just a parasite with no rights.

      Cheers!

      August 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  19. JGriff

    I did not read the article. Not one word. I only read the headline but because it is featured by CNN I already know it will be disparaging of Christians.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • yogi

      This is actually what most Christians will do with most information.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • GAW

      Self Censorship will not help you to cope with the world around you. Now go back and read the article and tell us how the article is overtly anti-Christian or please go bury your head in the sand.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • asrael

      Did not read JGriff's post. Not one word. Just seeing the name, I know there will be no content worth discussing...

      August 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Hypatia

      That proves you to be an idiot.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Robrob

      Predictible.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Magical

      I agree, facts can so easily disparage Christians (and blind adherents of any religion).

      August 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • YBP

      The primary problem with Christians is lack of information.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • antHONY

      I guess this post sums up A LOT....

      August 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Lee

      @rufusclyde that wasn't the AIG I got that from. It was from the Asian Scientist Just recently Published.
      “The most exciting result from our research is that both Xiaotingia and Archaeopteryx are primitive deinonychosaurs rather than birds,” Xu said.

      August 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Dude

    I thought it was a good article. Whether you believe in God or not the article has valid points. Is it a bad thing to hold oneself to a high standard of conduct in life? And I don't mean being a Christian either. I mean being a good example of a father, husband, wife, or mother.

    Maybe some feel that dropping their standards in life in okay, not me. I have a great wife and love my kids. I choose to be the best I can be, not for me–for them. To each his/her own, but be wary of those around you that mean something to you and how it affects them. To not consider your loved ones in your own decisions is selfish.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • fda

      Well said. Making a decision to be Christian should also not be taken lightly, I mean really, what else is there? Are you going to be an atheist, or an agnostic purely evil? Atheists have their own miracles to attend too, I don't see why they spend so much time evaluating what we believe. Its like... okay okay already, we know you don't believe and think its evil to believe in a faith that promotes love and peace but why should we believe you that there is nothing? I guess its not their fault, perhaps atheists have a deeper understanding of evolution since there ancestors are apes and Christians well, are built in the image of God. Thats how I see it, atheists are apes and Christians are divine. Perhaps there were more than one way and I just happen to be made perfect in the image of the Lord.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:48 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.