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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. Jeremy

    To Anon:

    Reason, logic, and the scientific method are all coherent and consistent and find legitimacy within the Judeo-Christian worldview, so I ask you to please explain to me in a coherent manner how the Judeo-Christian worldview is equatable to "dark age mentality." Please define "dark age mentality", for I am interested in hearing your view of it.

    September 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Dark Age Mentality: Believes in Magic, Fear based, anti-feminine, expects women to be submissive and subservient to men, considers children chattel who can be psychically and emotionally brutalized by threats of corporeal discipline and hell, allows parents and churches to tell children they will go to heII if they do not obey, believes that logic and science are dangerous to religion and continues to try to run them off the planet, considers it acceptable to annoy your neighbors and call them names like pagans and heretics, will rat you out to the government for things that are none of your businesses or may be considered by some to be sinful, think you are better than all the other people, attempt to suppress the creation of art and music because it is not to your taste, still think natural disasters are god's punishment for sin, still think pandemics are god's punishment for sin; still think there is evidence for the existence of Jesus and some of you turn bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus. This took me about 5 minutues do to my typing speed. These are all no brainers. I am pretty sure that I could come up with lots, having studied both the so-called Dark Ages and the rise of Christianity and having been brutalized by being forced to attend a Baptist Church I could do a thesis on the subject.

      September 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  2. CW

    God hates us all.

    September 4, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • TheyNotHim

      SLAYER!

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdrBP-Rq-J0&w=640&h=360]

      September 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Something that doesn't exist can't hate.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  3. normalice

    no religion should be allowed to dictate legislation. All law should be based on one very simple instinctive concept: don't hurt each other. P0rn doesn't hurt anyone. However, any attempt to prevent someone from seeing it is an attempt to limit their options; and a group that has set itself up to limit the options of others can be used to hurt people, as has been shown many times in the past.

    September 4, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • Jeremy

      May I respectfully ask why we should not hurt one another? How do you define hurt? What might hurt me, may not hurt the next person, correct? I agree that religion should not dictate legislation, but I ask once again, how do we determine what our laws are? What do we appeal to? What do we look to in order to say that this "ought" to be done or "ought" not to be done? Is'nt the establishment of law based on hurt taking away my freedom? If I am told I cannot do such and such, is that not taking away my liberty arbitrarily? If I need to be successful in my life, and taking from you is the fastest and surest means of doing so, why should I be hindered? Why should I care that you are harmed in the process? Why should I be concerned with your loss, if I gain what I want?

      September 4, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • Anon

      I repeat, reason, logic and common sense based on science, not dark age mentality.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Jeremy. I am sorry that you do not have an education that helps you to understand how we came up with philosophies about morality and legislation to handle it. Your questions would do quite well in a first year ethics course as subjects to discuss. As this discussion has been going on for more than 5,000 years you might want to go read some books on the subject rather than expect a stranger on the Internet to do it for you. Likely you did not even realize that positing these questions make it look like you really think you are saying something clever in front of all us drones. Valid questions for students to ask who really want an answer. The Christian Bible, by the way is not the first book that deals with such questions. There are written legal systems before the Jews were a people and predate the OT.

      September 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Ben

      I think "don't hurt one another" is an oversimplification of the principle, but it's a good start. I think it's equal parts of a few different things. Firstly, violence is never anything but the worst possible solution. Next, respect for others is crucial. Unless their lifestyle causes you direct harm or loss, leave them alone. Another key, knowledge is always better than ignorance. Finally, give everything love, respect, and consideration. Don't kill animals for spite. Find beauty in everything. Spend more time enjoying the good in your life and less time stripping the joy from others' lives.

      September 8, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  4. Jeremy

    I see a great many angry, frustrated, disgruntled, sarcastic, unloving, dissatisfied, insolent, mocking, antagonistic people who espouse that the Judeo-Christian worldview is a worldview that for whatever reasons, should be laid aside and disregarded and denied in every way possible. The question I have for those who espouse this is: "What shall we put in its place?"

    September 4, 2011 at 8:21 am |
    • Anon

      Reason, logic and common sense based on science, not dark age mentality.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      How about some the religions that do not need a tyrannical and belligerent god? Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Native American... Guess what, Christianity is only one of the "western religions". It is not very old as human existence is counted. It is an infant in fact. It was not even meant to be a religion. It was meant to be a reform movement within Judaism. Just like Martin Luther was not trying to overthrow the Roman Catholic Church. He wanted to reform it, they got snotty and threw him out and caused one of the worst things to happen in the West: The development of Protestantism. But that is another story.

      September 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • ThrowMeaBone

      You make a very good point. I believe the human species actually prefers to be miserable. Even if the perfect religion were to be gifted to us all this very moment (no more world hunger, no more war, no more crime, everyone would live and grow to their potential in peace), there would be many who would reject it for no other reason other than just because they could.

      September 5, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  5. Paco the Avenger

    Beep says the cow.

    September 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  6. Anon

    Hey christards, why don't you castrate yourselves like your mythological savior advocates?

    September 3, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Fred1

      Well it would take care of the pedophile priest problem
      "For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." Mat: 19:12

      September 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • joshua

      No it means you are better off doing that without Christ. Why not read the Bible, it teaches the forgivness of sins thru Christ. Like all athiest, they use just a verse to make a point instead of looking at the big picture.

      September 4, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • Anon

      It's still mythological nonsense.

      September 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Castration of adult men usually does not touch their libido so they could still be pedophiles. People who are born without male or female organs or whose organs are not developed enough to tell are not eunuchs. It is a more or less a common occurrence.

      As many pedophiles are doing it to their own kids I think we should abolish families as well as the Catholic Church. Teachers do it to. No more education. Politicians do it too. No more elections. Oh, I am beginning to see the truth: They are everywhere and shutting down the priesthood and families and etc. will not stop it. It is inborn, poor buzzers, so you might have to start looking at Eugenics again. I suspect you are not carrying a set of good genes with reference to intelligence so you cannot breed.

      September 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Anon

      ^ I'm criticizing your mythological savior yet you pull out of nowhere something about eugenics.

      September 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  7. Douglas

    Celibacy Rocks!

    September 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It certainly eliminates A LOT of problems: marriage, pregnancy, wasted time, divorce.

      September 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  8. Curtis Rendon

    f*** 'em

    August 31, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Kyle

      In the butt!

      September 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  9. Charlie

    what if you marry a none or a once a year?

    August 29, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom Leykis

      Simple solution, DUMP THEM.

      August 31, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  10. Bruce

    LOL apparently very few, if any, people have read Genesis all the way through. Go in there and find a man by the name of "Onan" and you will find one of the earliest depictions of the "money shot" in literature...

    August 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Bruce.

      Quote;
      And Judah said to Onan, "Go in to your brother's wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.".
      Unquote:

      Am not sure what deception here if he was to marry his dead brothers wife...and am not sure how if he marry her and have children from her...still the children be for his dead brothers account? Unless they meant to say to commit adultery with his brothers wife so she would claim the child was from her husband before death and therefore keep a heir for the throne??
      Well no GOD or Prophet will order you to commit adultery for a purpose what ever it is...and this we are hearing is of Humenity Evil Greeds.

      August 26, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Voiceinthedesert)

      “There is no certainty,” she says. “It’s interpretation.” That is how someone in the article describes the Bible. I say: you are dead wrong! The Bible is the one single truth of God. The problem is that you have to interpret it rightly. I will interpret it for you, America. You fund Desert Voice, and you will no longer have to rely on false teachers and ministers! Just give me a call. I am a theologian with several degrees. But what matters aren't my degrees, but the fact that I am licensed by no one ... except God!

      August 28, 2011 at 4:13 am |
    • Muneef

      Well desert voice I do not know from which desert is your call....but as for me you may know we are at the Empty Quarter desert.... So maybe my voice is stronger..! 😉

      August 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Muneef

    These media's are meant for the inferiors masses only;
    Quote;
    "Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves."
    — Menachem Begin – Israeli Prime Minister 1977–1983
    Unquote:
    http://www.iamthewitness.com/

    August 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      "The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world dominion by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the Jews will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.

      In this New World Order the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the Jews. It will then be possible for the Jewish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the resources of the state. Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which is said that when the Messianic time is come, the Jews will have all the property of the whole world in their hands."
      — Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx, 'La Revue de Paris', p.574, June 1, 1928
      http://www.iamthewitness.com/

      August 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Muneef

      Feel sorry for the Jews having established what now stands as a knife of their neck;
      Quote; 
      “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews. . . become worse. . . this will assist in realization of our plans. . .
      I have an excellent idea. . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth. . .
      The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews.
      The anti-Semites shall be our best friends” 
      — Theodor Herzl, Founder of Zionism in 1897
      Unquote:
      http://www.iamthewitness.com/

      August 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • pahhhhh

      Most jews don't stand by those views at all... What do you suggest Jewish people do? go back to Europe en masse and get erased? Get real fool

      August 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      May I ask what views does most Jews stand and live by...who are the other minorities who stand and live by it?
      Another thing is that Earth is for all and faith is in GOD....Not wishing any to be erased and no one will as long as there would be justice,love and understanding to living peacefully with out any hidden agendas of evil intentions..

      August 28, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  12. Muneef

    Such media are for "singles&greeds"..those with uncontrolled desires that make life nothing to them but...fishing for fl-e-sh .. child,youth,adult...if not by own self..!

    Some times feel that the world nation expansion is caused more by the unhealthy relations than it is by healthy Relations as a direct result of such media and related drugs as a business and a trade...?

    These with Alcohol or drugs are the key works of the devil....only now when seeing and realizing  the evil it brought among humanity into losing the real meaning of the word "Human" it self among Humans...!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  13. Tripp

    No god
    Know peace
    Know god
    no peace

    August 25, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Bridget

      "It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything."
      — G.K. Chesterton

      August 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • mary

      clever but....no

      August 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • pahhhhh

      Yes, you can be as clever as you want with existence and non-existence, but there is no good reason to suggest that there has to be a "prime mover" or ID to create something from nothing.. Who ever suggested nothing came first? It is a human conception... Existence of matter and energy could also have no beginning/no end... sick of people so emphatically claiming otherwise.

      August 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well it is the other way round really but has to be knowing one GOD and not many Different Gods...!

      August 28, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  14. John

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]
    ,.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  15. MG527

    The article is incorrect in one small area. The Bible does not command Christians to marry. In fact Paul, our greatest theologian, was single and encouraged others to remain as he was, if possible. but stated it was better to marry than to burn with desire.

    August 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • i wonder

      Paul of Tarsus was a misanthropic, misogynistic zealot, who sprung from Hebrew philosophy to hijack the new 1st century cult and used his great PR skills to spread it. He was quite effective at frightening people and controlling them with his rhetoric. There is not one shred of verified evidence that any of his supernatural claims are true.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Naomi

      The Pauline Epistles are ABSOLUTELY supernatural. Just reading them would prove the quality. In all earth past and present there is no writing like his in existence except for other Biblical canons. Billions follow him for 2,000 years because his life was true.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Naomi

      Mankind in all its wisdom just cannot produce anything like the books of the Bible. The Author is God.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Mankind, in all his supersti-tion, ignorance, and yes in some cases even wisdom, did produce the Bible.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Anon

      In other words it's an ancient game of telephone gone horribly out of control.

      September 3, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  16. John

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]

    August 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  17. Careful

    Temptations always allures its victims with an intent to destroy them.
    Say NO to temptation, Yes to Freedom!

    August 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Voiceinthedesert)

      Careful, I will rewrite your post a little, and lets see if you and others agree: Temptations always allures its victims with an intent to destroy them. But Christians, when mature, are immune to this allure.
      Say NO to temptation! Say Yes to Freedom in Christ!

      August 28, 2011 at 4:52 am |
  18. Pat

    @Naomi: "Christians can judge non-believers." Not just yet, not here and now, not while we all share this life on Earth. Christians are supposed to co-judge the world with Jesus when the time comes so don't get carried away just yet. Your pride could jeopardise your salvation! Don't take my word for it, I'm an unworthy non-believer but that's what The Book said the last time I checked. 😀

    August 24, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Naomi

      Pat, read Matthew 5-7 and I Corinthians 6. Christians are to judge everything here and now, especially the moral issues. Jesus told us not to be judgmental in petty matters. Read the whole texts.

      August 24, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Free

      Naomi

      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

      Sounds like Jesus was advising believers to concentrate on fixing their own behavior before tackling anyone else's, and since nobody's behavior is perfect, that means that you will NEVER get around to judging anyone else. Wise advice, even for a mere human.

      If you insist upon bringing God into the equation the He, as the only perfect being, is in a position not to have any personal faults to get in the way of His judging us, right?

      August 24, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Free

      Naomi
      Oops, I forgot this scripture

      When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7)

      Do you still think that Christians have the right to cast stones?

      August 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Free, see, those are brothers(fellow believers) who are better than oneself. Pagans and atheists do not apply in the text. Read the rest, please. Besides, telling the truth is not judging. You guys are paranoid because you worship your own evil deeds.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Naomi

      @Free, Bible-literate Christians don't stone offenders of immorality, but we don't condone immorality. We know our own personal faults(Matthew 5:28), nevertheless, certain wrongdoings are publicly addressed. Jesus said, "Sin no more," because the woman was already punished enough. Free, you are too warped. Just read the Bible through with an open heart. The Bible is seamlessly coherent and must be studied entirely. You hate Christianity and it is blinding you.

      August 25, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  19. jimtanker

    "Can the Christian crusade against po-r-n-ogr-ap-hy bear fruit?"

    Nope! My groupies and I won't let it.

    August 24, 2011 at 5:07 am |
  20. Naomi

    Christianity is not for the intellectual lazy. The "Do not judge" phrase taken out of the context(Americans don't read texts anyway) destroyed America. The native Indians were more diligent than the present whites.

    August 24, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Free

      It's "do not judge" unless you want to expose yourself to being judged in turn. Wise advice from Jesus, wouldn't you say? So, don't be so surprised then, Naomi, when people turn their criticism to you after one of your typical posts. It's not hateful, only exposing that it is hypocritical of anyone to do so, unless they are perfect and never sin. You aren't perfect, are you Naomi?

      August 24, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • J.W

      Please explain why it is taken out of context. If it does not mean to not judge, what does it mean?

      August 24, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Muneef

      Each of us is at fault in some way...no one is perfect or complete....but in every Nation or Race there is the Good,the Bad,the Ugly and we can not Judge all Basis a certain Group or Individual Act's....

      August 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Naomi

      "Do not judge" means not to be judgmental on fellow believers in petty matters where misunderstandings are possible. It also commands one's own life con-stantly both inside and outside for God is all-seeing. The reason Christianity alone provides absolute transparancy. Opposing moral issues like infanticide and s-e-x-ual perversions never applies here. Read the whole words of Jesus or the Bible. Unless you understand the whole, you never get the Author's intended meaning. @Free, don't be childish. Did you pass literature class?

      August 25, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Tripp

      @free....Yeah, jeeebus, the main fictional character whos lunacy was made into a book of fairytales and for the last 2000 years we have all suffered from it. Time to let the rational people take over, you've had 2000 years and havnt done anything other than kill non-beleivers and enact silly laws in the name of some sky jockey to control other people. Just like Stalin, Hitler and other dictators. Funny how biblical law/sharia law and beleifs in creduilty are a lot like dictatorships. Time for a change to a rational state of mind.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Voiceinthedesert)

      Naomi, you surprise me! Reading you is conforting like the fresh air! You are exactly right on "do not judge" being maliciously misinterpreted by the wicked who "do not want to be judged." I have been saying the same thing for decades ... but my very Catholic professors at CUA forbade me such thoughts (and eventually did not endorse me for a PhD). Your saying that "Mankind in all its wisdom just cannot produce anything like the books of the Bible. The Author is God" is also absolutely true! I may quote it in the dissertation I am now completing in Polish on the true meaning of suffering. Your saying, in Polish [conveniently paraphrased] will look like: "Ludzkość, w całej swej mądrości, nie mogłaby wyprodukować nic nawet zbliżonego do Biblii. Jej Autor, to sam Bóg". Establish a contact with me, and maybe, God willing, we can find some more truth, together.

      August 28, 2011 at 4:35 am |
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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.