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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. Ozzie

    This is one of the main reasons that I, myself keeps on thinking every day that no Christian sholud ever tell any other believer, you are wrong.! Because we all know that wrong is, has, and still is the way this world has turn into. No God! No Good!

    August 24, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  2. Muneef

    Quote;
    (An Episcopal church, the Washington National Cathedral considers itself a spiritual home for the nation. It is the traditional site for official presidential inauguration services and for funeral and memorial services for 10 of the 14 presidents of the United States since 1893.)

    The tower sustained damage on three of its four pinnacles, or corner spires, the church said in a statement. Cracks have appeared in some of flying buttresses, though the buttresses supporting the central tower appear to be sound, the church said in a statement.
    Unquote:

    Is't in that some sort of warning that the countries Christian Image and Moralities are Damaged and Cracked...!?
    ----

    Religion: Fools for Christ
    Monday, May 24, 1948

    "All our talk about peace and the weapons of the spirit is meaningless unless we try in every way to embrace voluntary poverty and not work in any position, any job that contributes to war . . . We must give up our place in this world, sacrifice children, family . . . And we will be considered fools for Christ."

    * Corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, harbor the harborless, visit the sick, ransom the captive, and bury the dead. Spiritual works of mercy: to instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afilicted, and pray for the living and the dead.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,794390,00.html

    ----
    Classrooms In Chaos
    Article 1: Douglas S. Winnail
    What is happening to schools in our modern Western world? Why have discipline, order and respect disappeared from an increasing number of classrooms? Why are $exually transmissible diseases skyrocketing among teenagers, and why is suicide a leading cause of death among young people? While parents and educators bemoan these sobering developments, few understand the real causes of the troubles so evident in today's schools. Fewer still grasp the real significance of the dramatic changes we are witnessing among today's youth. However, the Bible and history provide important insights on our present state of affairs—and the Bible alone reveals where these startling changes are taking our youth and our society. Chaotic classrooms and disrespectful students are symptoms of powerful forces building to a climax that will surprise and shock the world in the years just ahead!
    http://www.tomorrowsworld.org/magazines/2006/jan-feb/classrooms-in-chaos
    --

    An Atomic Nation..
    Update: Lawsuit over 9-11 cross fails to win much support
    by Dave Ficere

    One group of atheists in America is bearing the cross alone in their attempt to eliminate the Christian symbol from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

    The suit sought to have the cross completely removed or to have “equal representation for all religions” added to the memorial display. The group’s president, Dave Silverman, went so far as to suggest atheists add the symbol of an atom, “because we’re all made of atoms.”
    http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/morality-in-america/
    --–

    Morals of America65
    rate or flag this page
    By jacobt2
     
    Morals of America in the 1960s
    In the 1960s the moral integrity of America began to decline. During the ‘60s America had struggled through racism, poverty, and the Vietnam War, and these struggles greatly affected the culture and the values of America.

    First, the American people began to have a derogatory att-i-tude towards authority. Young people were beginning to lose their old, long-standing morals with the bombardment of all the problems occurring in the US. Slowly, the values of the nation were slipping away and families and churches were not able to specify values and influence behavior in the way that they used to when all people believed in unified purpose. The Protestant denominations in America lost influence and church attendance began to decline. Secularity became more popular, and the people really were drifting from the good principles that the nation was founded on. Even the Roman Catholic Church became less serious and moral. Their hymns were growing more secular and old traditions were being lost.
    http://jacobt2.hubpages.com/hub/Morals-of-America

    August 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Reality

      The Image and Moralities of Islam are defunct as shown by the following acts of koranic-driven acts of terror and horror done in the name of Allah:
      --

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,483 and 925 in non combat roles. 99,901 – 109,143 Iraqi civilians killed as of 3/3/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,141 killed in action, 242 killed in non-combat situations as of 03/03/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Muneef

      BRAINWASHING

      A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics

      The following treatise on communist brainwashing, which has been published and republished since the 1930s, is an edited version of an actual textbook on Russian "psychopolitics." It was used as a primer, here in America, to teach communist agents how to brainwash people, and, in fact, how to subvert entire populations. While the wording of this particular treatise and there are any number of them may or may not be completely authentic, two things are historically certain: 1) Such brainwashing activities really occurred, and 2) this volume accurately conveys the principles and techniques employed.
      An objective look at the state of America today her inst-i-tutions, her socialistic political-economic drift, her young people's values shows precisely the results that the Soviets, for decades, bragged they wanted to achieve. It is almost as though, while communism is dying (as a political system) throughout most of the world, the seeds of corruption it planted here in the U.S. have germinated and borne bitter fruit.

      Don't take my word for it. Read the following treatise on psychopolitics, and see whether the conditions predicted back then are not exactly what America faces today in the 1990's. Consider the methods described herein the degradation of youth through $ex and drugs, the se-du-ction of this nation's media, educational, and religious inst-i-tutions, the discrediting of her leaders and decide tor yourself whether or not they are the very means that have been employed to accomplish these ends.

      http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/brainwsh.shtml
      ---–

      THE PSYCHOPOLITICAL INDOCTRINATION OF AMERICA

      A number of years ago, I set out to para-phrase a Russian Communist text-book t-i-tled PSYCHOPOLITCS; (the art of controlling the mind of an entire nation, in order to subjugate them). It was the Zionist "blueprint for the Communist con-quest of Christendom, which means primarily the White nations of the Free World and the United States in particular.

      This book was introduced to a hand picked group of 48 American college students, who were attending the Lenin School of Psychopolitical Warfare, at the University of Moscow, as the first step in their training to become the cadre for the Communist conquest of America. 45 of these young people were Jews. The book was introduced in 1934, by Laventria Beria, who at that time was the Jewish head of the Russian Secret Police. Beria confidently predicted that Jewish Communism would eventually "have dominion over the minds and bodies of every important person in America", and would "bring about the quiet Communist conquest of the United States".

      http://www.israelect.com/reference/JackMohr/jm020a.htm

      -----

      Brainwashing in America
      WHY FEW DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY

      by Berit Kjos – 2001
      "Information is useful only if citizens can put it into a framework of knowledge and use it to solve problems, form values, and make choices. Education for sustainability will help them make individual and collective decisions that both benefit themselves and promote the development of sustainable communities. [It] must involve everyone." [4] President [Clinton]'s Council on Sustainable Development

      "...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened." [1]  Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970
       
      "The Protestant Ethic will atrophy as more and more enjoy varied leisure and guaranteed sustenance.... Most people will tend to be hedonistic..." [2]  Behavioral Science Teacher Education Program (B-STEP), Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1969.
       
      "We were trained in all phases of warfare, both psychological and physical for the destruction of the Capitalistic society and Christian civilization. In one portion of our studies we went thoroughly into the matter of psychopolitics. This was the art of capturing the minds of a nation through brainwashing and fake mental health... During the past few years I have noted with horror the increase of psychopolitical warfare upon the American public." [3] Kenneth Goff, member of the U.S. Communist Party from 1936 to 1939.
      http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/brainwashing.html

      August 24, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  3. john

    "she told him to get help or find a divorce attorney" what a @#$%, he should have went with the attorney

    August 23, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  4. sun

    In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine. That is why these rules at first seem to be constantly interfering with our natural inclinations.

    ~CS Lewis

    August 23, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Free

      Problem is, Lewis was arguing that the human machine should be lubricated with 2000 year old grease instead of fresher stuff.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  5. Jon

    MMM BEAR FRUIT
    WHATS THAT
    A NEW KIND OF FRUIT

    August 23, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  6. Naomi

    Present USA = Moral defeatists just like Sodomites.
    So long, any kind of victory for Americans. USA needs a new anthem.
    Christians systematically fight against immorality. All others either give up, just watch, or promote it.

    August 23, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Reality

      Naomi, the "red-neck" of many aliases continues her "spouts" of inanity!!

      August 23, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Nope. Bearing false witness are you? Judge not lest you be judged.

      August 23, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Naomi

      Christians can judge non-believers. Read the Bible again.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Rick

      Naomi......spend a lot of time on your knees, do you?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • SHRIKE

      Naomi = troll

      "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means." G. B. Shaw

      August 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • rick jolie

      you're right: christians fight agains immorality – in others. they want to keep it all to themselves

      August 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Free

      1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

      Matthew 7:1-5

      Yes, Naomi is right, the Bible does state that Christians can judge other people, even non-believers. However, if they do, they should be prepared to be judged themselves. So, in warning, Jesus advised people not to expose themselves as hypocrites by judging others because nobody is perfect enough to get away with it. Basically, Jesus was saying "If you can't take it then don't dish it out."

      Point your finger at others and criticize all you like, but don't then complain when people turn around and do the same to you. It's to the point with some Christian posters here that any criticism of their actions and religious beliefs garners the immediate judgment that the person doing so is being hateful when, in reality, they are only fulfilling that very same Bible observation made by Jesus.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Naomi

      The answers are posted above.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  7. MRWBBIII

    JOHN MACARTHUR – ROB BELL RICK WARREN MARK DRISCOLL SERMON JAM

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HidbQZMKVI&w=640&h=360]

    August 22, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  8. Reality

    Google (or B-ing) p-orn and get ~ 1 billion hits.

    Google (or B-ing) Christianity and get ~200 million hits.

    And the winner is p-orn by a wide margin and most of it apparently is free.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • rufusclyde

      Not that being free says anything about the message's validity, but the Bible is also free online in lots of versions at bible gateway dot com. You could also steal a heard copy from a motel room, lol.

      August 23, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Bridget

      "The Prison of Reason

      The world has a soul. Not in the theologically specific way that a human has a soul. But in the way that two lovers sitting on a park bench does. It simply can’t be comprehensively measured and explained by science alone. There is more to it than just the empirically physical. Love. Justice. Goodness. Beauty. Where science sees nothing, we see life – and all the best parts of it.

      Unfortunately, the increasingly popular approach to finding truth in our modern-”thinking” culture is one based solely on natural science. Forget philosophy and theology (complementary – not contradictory – approaches to discovering the same truth). We refuse to believe in anything we can’t quantify in a laboratory. It’s a religion known as Scientism (even if many who practice it wouldn’t identify it as such).

      Scientism is self-defeating (as the very premise that all rational knowledge is only found in the natural sciences is itself not able to be proven scientifically). It’s also unnecessarily limiting, imposing an absolute (and impractical) requirement of rational understanding before belief. It’s a self-imposed “prison of reason.” So our belief and our embracing of life become squashed – completely limited by our capacity to reason. A dreadful, ultimately maddening outlook for finite, limited beings such as ourselves. And it makes us no fun, too.

      That doesn’t mean our beliefs can’t be reasoned. And it doesn’t mean that our reason doesn’t play a key role in our understanding and belief in God. But so does Faith.

      And it’s important to also note that not requiring absolute rational understanding of something before believing it doesn’t make a person un-reasonable. And it doesn’t make the particular belief un-reasonable either. It doesn’t mean being un-reasonable at all. It means going on an amazing adventure beyond your own reason. It just means believing in something bigger than yourself. Bigger than your own limits. It’s getting your head into the heavens without having to fit the heavens into your head.

      Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination. [...]

      Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion…To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits. – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy"
      http://fallibleblogma.com/

      August 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  9. McMillian

    The right question is never asked! Until then, there will be no clarity! Jesus says, "if any man is to come after me, LET HIM FIRST DENY HIMSELF, take up his cross and follow me daily! Daily!!! Practice makes perfect!!!

    August 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Reality

      Some contemporary NT scholars after thorough analyses of Matt 16:24/ Mark 8: 34 have concluded that this passage was not uttered by the historical Jesus e.g. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=044_Carrying_Ones_Cross

      Then there is this:

      ref: Mark 3:20-21

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

      August 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Haime52

      Reality – Some scholars doubt the hohcaust, and your point is? Were they there to not hear Him speak those word? Why would those men< the Apostles, go out as they did, risk ing and giving their lives, for a lie?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Reality

      Christian economics 101:

      The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

      Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!! And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

      Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

      The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
      Some of Paul's money gathering activities some of which resulted in buying the Gentile entry into the then mostly Jewish version of Christianity:
      Paul claimed almost total independence from the "mother church" in Jerusalem.[12] and yet was eager and diligent to bring material support from the various budding Gentile churches that he planted to the mother church at Jerusalem.

      When a famine occurred in Judea, around 45–46,[24] Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem to deliver financial support from the Antioch community.[25] According to Acts, Antioch had become an alternative center for Christians following the dispersion of the believers after the death of Stephen. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians."[Ac. 11:26]. This act basically "greased" the entry of non-circu-mcised Gentiles into Christianity.

      "Paul collected the money from his four provinces, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia but, for obvious reasons, of propriety, had representatives take each province's own contribution. "

      August 23, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  10. Brian

    because of it's past, the word "crusade" should never be used again

    August 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Naomi

      The Christendom had a few crusades, others had thousands of them. But it was the Christian West that educated the world to be civil at the end.

      August 23, 2011 at 3:26 am |
  11. Heather

    the URL listed above for the accountability monitoring is wrong, it's http://www.acountable2you.com

    August 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  12. Dave Davis

    I would like to share a personal story of a miracle which I saw with my own eyes. This being a "belief blog" I think it quite fitting for the occasion, it is completely on topic with the Subject being raised. This story took place in the south-eastern corner of Missouri known as the "Bootheel". The location was a Church on the outskirts of Sikeston, home of the original Lamert's Cafe, Home of Throwed Rolls. The lady involved was named Wanda. She is still living. She had a large growth( a cyst) growing on her back, on the right shoulder. She was wearing an off-white clor dress. I was a nine year old boy at that time. Our family sat behind hear a few feet away. Very few people who were present even knew of this growth. But a few of us did know. A Preacher was present whowas known as a "faith healer". This Preacher man walked up to her during Service and asked if she would like to be healed. He then laid his hands on her (forehead) and said "In Jesus' Name." Then he walked away. A few seconds passed and suddenly the syst popped. Dark blood and puss ran down this woman's shoulder. I was there. I SAW this happen. And I knew that it was a MIRACLE and that God is REAL.

    August 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Mark C

      Cool story, bro.

      August 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Magic

      Dave Davis,

      I'm sure that you have the copy of the medical journal where this was verified, right?

      I feel like an ogre telling you that these faith healers are hoaxers. There are even videos and articles explaining how they do it. I'm sure that, as a nine year-old, you were quite impressed, since you were the perfect, gullible pawn in the game, as are numerous unsophisticated adults. You should grill Ms Wanda thoroughly about it, just in case that she was in on the trick.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tripp

      I hate to burst your "miracle" bubble, but I'm sure there is a more plausable explaination other than "god did it". Im sure if she had Not been at that scam/conman called a healer, the cyst would have popped just the same. YOu have no proof that any miracle happend other than coincidence. Everything can be explained–EVERYTHING. If you cant explain it and need time to figure it out, you say, "I dont know". Very simple really.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  13. Josh

    Honestly I am not a Christian and I find the photograph above hilarious. However it is very offensive to treat a holy book in such a way and I agree with some comments that say if it was the Koran it would not be tolerated and the writer would be in hiding. Now obviously the article isn't about Muslims so it wouldn't have a picture of the Koran but take a second and think about it in my perspective (Which is a non-biased, equal rights opinion). I believe this picture should be taken down or at least have the name "The Holy Bible" taken off the front cover. If this had been about Muslims instead of Christians the reporter wouldn't dare add a Koran with Playboy magazine as the picture from the article. So shouldn't we show the same respect to the Christians as we would the Muslims? No matter what you believe you should respect others decisions and respect that they may get offended. We come to an age where we view ourselves as people of equality but I see our society far from what "equality" really is and I think what we consider equality is a joke.

    August 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I've seen far worse things than Playboy tucked into bibles. It's an illustration meant to make a point.

      It makes that point.

      August 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jay

      That's not what equal rights is about. Nobody would put up a picture with the Quran rather than the Bible because people are afraid of Muslims (right or wrong), not Christians. Honestly who is afraid of a Christian's retaliation? There is nothing discriminating about the picture. The article is about the Christian response, and therefore displays the Christian's book.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Mark C

      Oh shove a sock in it.

      August 22, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Mark C

      "Honestly, who is afraid of a Christian's retaliation."

      Norwegians. Oklahoma City residents. People from Waco TX...

      August 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      The Sad thing is that if you look around the world folks, more often than not, do tend to treat some groups with more respect and fear when they lash out. CNN are scared of the Islamic community, they have a precedent for such fear. South Park, Family Guy and the Allah bom'b cartoons are just to name a few.

      Oklahoma City and Norwegian killings can just as equally be blamed on a racist white guys and Waco, that guy was more Jones town.

      CNN's Belief Blog is pretty biased against organized Christian faith and the two photos show that pretty clearly. It's all cool though, just continuing the fight here. 😀

      August 23, 2011 at 2:10 am |
  14. getting real

    Grow up peepin tom's, just because you pay for it doesn't make it ok....

    August 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • True

      We've become a race of Peeping Toms. What people oughta do is get outside their own house
      and look in for a change-John Hayes

      August 23, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  15. Reality

    Your choice.

    FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES ( from Guttmacher )

    Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

    Method
    Typical

    Pill (combined) 8.7
    Tubal sterilization 0.7
    Male condom 17.4
    Vasectomy 0.2

    Periodic abstinence 25.3
    Calendar 9.0
    Ovulation Method 3.0
    Sympto-thermal 2.0
    Post-ovulation 1.0

    No method 85.0"

    (Abstinence) 0

    (Masturbation) 0

    ===============================================================================

    August 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  16. William Demuth

    Christianity is mind control.

    Either they can control you or they can't.

    Problem is, if they can't control you with propoganda, they want to use other means.

    But trust in one thing, there will ALWAYS be those of us who will live our lives as we see fit!

    August 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bill

      Congratulations. I live my life as i see fit also. But its amazing how much better my life runs when I follow the teachings of Christ - love, mercy, forgiveness, respect, grace, selflessness, charity, acceptance.
      Now, if you chose to go in an opposite direction and ignore or reject the teachings of Christ, that is totally your call. But it seems pretty simple to me.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • PZ

      Bill, why do you need to be made to feel you are bad because you're human to live your life that way? I say that because Christianity is founded on "be good (believe, have faith, etc), or else." I agree those are all good attributes in which one should conduct thier life, but the fact people feel the HAVE to under the pretense of being 'saved' is what I feel is the kicker. You shouldn't have to be scared into being 'good'.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      No one makes anyone live any way or follow any particular creed. You have a right, Mr. Demoth, to believe or dis-believe. As you please. I don't care what you do or believe. I see your name/sreen-name on here regularly, as I am sure you must also see my name. What I cannot understand is why the intense amount of bitter hatred aimed at Christians by those who choose to not believe. If Christians/conservatives had been of a mind to force their fellow citizens in this Country to "convert or else", then non-believers would long since have been driven into hiding their non-belief. But that simply would not be right on our part, now would it? The fact that Atheists can continue in public discourse without fear of retribution is a testament to the congeniality of all of us "close-minded bigots". If we were the evil ones the non-believers portray us to be, no one, not even the United States Gov. could stop us from wreaking havoc on your community.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Mark C

      @Dave - hilarious. Veiled threats from a religious moron. The fact is there are more of us than there is any one denomination of you, and the only thing keeping you morons from declaring a theocracy is that you all hate each other as much as you hate us.

      August 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tripp

      @BILL...I love how you pick and choose your scripture. Typical chrisitan BS and propaganda.

      According to your bible, I, as an Atheist, should be stoned or killed. Why am I still alive? Why dont you carry out your gods commands? According to the State of Michigan there is a Blasphemy law. Why am I not in jail for mocking god?

      August 23, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  17. Fred1

    I’m a good Christian and I have no problem with pron, I like it. I also smoke and drink too much. I’m between marriages so mastur-bation and fooling around is no problem; but, even when I was married it happed on occasion. Christianity has set me free to do whatever I want whenever I want. It’s easy. I just say my prayers every night and ask forgiveness for my sins and no matter what I’ve done that day I become pure as the driven snow. After all, I'm not worried about pis-sing off god because Christ said to forgive 70 times 70

    August 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bill

      The neat thing about God is He is not a celestial vending machine ... nor is He a slave to magic words and phrases. Yes, if you are sincere and truly regret what you did, He will forgive you as often as you fall. And since I'm not perfect, I fall pretty often, not always with big things but little things too, But if, as you describe, you are simply repeating the words with no heart behind it, God certainly knows the difference. And hey, it doesnt matter to me what you do. And you dont have to convince me if you are sincere. That, as they say, is between you and God.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • seamoney

      @Bill – I think God would be more "Neat" if he was a celestial vending machine. I want to buy me some starz.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Bill: NO! Christ himself said all you have to do is ask. No other requirements are necessary. As it happens I am sincere. Believe me I sincerely don’t want to go to hell and Christ has made it so easy. Everyone is a sinner. The only way to heaven is belief and asking for forgiveness. I don’t have to feel guilty… ever. Each day I ask and I am forgiven.

      And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-13 NAB)

      And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NAB)

      August 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  18. ChristianComedyTour

    Hey, thank you thank you, I mean, thank God, thank God... it's great to be here, no really, it's great to exist, even if it is in a tiny poorly lit hole in the wall Christian bar like this joint...

    A lot of my Christian friends tell me they know the shortest man in the bible was Nehemiah, cause he was only knee high, but they're wrong, it was the guard who slept on his watch, though Adam and Eve had to be pretty small to live in a pair of dice...

    So my Catholic friend has me over for dinner last Friday night and when I see the steak on the plate I raise an eyebrow and my friend says "Hey, it may have been born a cow, but it was baptised a fish..."

    You know the bible confirms that there is no s e x after marriage, infact Onan had two wives and still ended up spilling his own seed...

    So I asked the pastor one Sunday how he figures out what to spend the donations on around the Church and how much to keep for his own expenses and he said "Well, I take the money box out to the parking lot Sunday afternoons and throw all the money recieved that day in the air, I figure what God wants, he keeps..."

    August 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bill

      Hysterical. Here is the headline, pastors at a vast majority of church's dont handle the finances ... and oh, by the way, if all Christians are so corrupt, who pays for the billions of dollars in humaintarian aid through the Red Cross each year? Atheists? Now THAT is funny!!!

      August 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Mark C

      "..if all Christians are so corrupt, who pays for the billions of dollars in humaintarian aid through the Red Cross each year? Atheists? "

      Uh, actually, half-wit, yes. The Red Cross is funded through direct donations from the public, through the United Way and to some extent government agencies. It is not a religious organization, and atheists as well as religious people donate to it.

      August 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Tripp

      @BIll...For crying out loud what a stupid idiotic statement. Im an Atheist and donate to many including the red cross. You certianly have a childish, low IQ stance about why you're here on this Earth. There is no gods plan. Everytime I hear grown adults talk like you I switch over to my "talk to a child" voice. "Awww, you're so sweet, do you really beleive that? Would you like a cookie"?

      August 25, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  19. sooooSad

    Does this mean I'll have to "Pray the Sasha Grey Away"?....Damn!

    August 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Chronicmasterbaitor

    Yes, I artificially pollinate marijuana. A lot. Sometimes five or six times a day, till my hands are all sticky.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bill

      your children and your mom and coworkers must be so proud.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
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About this blog

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