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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. John

    Love the corn dog vid CNN you guys are too much! you have no clue!

    August 21, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  2. martog

    I LUV the whole ' thou shall not have any other GAWDS before me'. Exactly which gawds would that be? IF there are no other gawds why would your gawd be worried about other gawds?!?!?! or is this about all the other man made gawds created before this even bigger better man made gawd? Either way, yes, there may be a higher power. No way to prove or disprove it.......yet. I mean yet! But religion is 100% man made horse manure along with all the other man made gawds.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Kristttian

      Place no Gods before me...yet these religious hypocrites all hold their preachers and organized religious structures up as God and worship another human being's point of view as if they were God.

      Additionally, people of faith have the freedometo do what they want but I will be G=damned if I am going to let them tell me I am an atheist because I don;t go to church. They are the ones with the falsified relationship with God, not me. I don;t follow rules made by humans in the name of God. I follow God and only God...NO MAN WILL TELL ME WHAT TO BELIEVE. NO PREACHER, NO PRIEST NO NUN NO MULLAH. THEY ARE FALSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Ahhhh interesting and very truthful statement, because, you are actually correct. God never EVER says that there are "no other Gods" does he? Hmmm..wonder why? That's because those other "gods" do in fact exist, and they do in fact have a very large sway over humanity. Just who might these other "gods" be then? "We wrestle against powers and principalities" Don't we. If you, in fact, accept that these other "gods" exist, then you are in fact acknowledging that there just might be another realm that humans are eventually going to have to deal with. Thanks for raising a very very good point!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • Know What

      It is interesting that this "God" of the ancient Hebrews just happened to think that those same Hebrews were "The Chosen Ones"! Well, isn't that special?!

      August 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  3. Prle

    There is nowhere more hypocrisy than in a religion, these so called "crusaders" all at one point lead life of "sin" and now they speak against it. These new born christians feel at liberty to tell everyone what should and shouldn't be done.

    Common person sees religion as true, wise as false and government as useful.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:19 am |
    • Roadrun63

      Useful idiots?

      August 21, 2011 at 7:21 am |
    • Kristttian

      God did not create the church. Mankind did. Therefore, the church is false. ALL organized Religon is false. stop worshipping the rules of other men and speak to God for yourself by yourself and onto yourself. Anything less is distinctly false and evil.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  4. Roadrun63

    AKA...today's installment of....CNN's campaign to reelect Obama

    August 21, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  5. Gary

    Addiction is part of man's corrupted nature. So there is no confusing of sin and addiction. Having said that, therapy exists to treat addiction. Therapists are masks of God to help people deal with their corrupted nature with medicine and/or counseling. The church exists to forgive sins, to give troubled consciences peace with God. It is not there to give therapy or provide a twelve step program to recovery.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  6. Two Witnesses

    Every Christian is not the "Michael" mentioned in this article. That "Michael" is a very weak person, and he would be in trouble irregardless of his "Christianity". He has a very addictive personality. You don't have to be a Christian to wrestle with those problems, and frankly, I can't understand why his religion even has to be mentioned? He is a dysfunctional human being. Period.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  7. Anthony

    SCAtheist: You are serving yourself

    August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  8. Anthony

    ..."walking the walk" I guess means confessing my sin and following Christ. I'm not sure how someone can be hypocritical when it is "Grace" that saves you, not by works so that no one can boast. Maybe you ran into a Christian that was boasting in his works?

    August 21, 2011 at 7:11 am |
  9. hendeeze

    they will never be able to shut down the internet

    August 21, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      .....Jesus will

      August 21, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Two Witnesses: Oh yeah? When? $10,000 says this time next year, there will still be an internet and there will still be s-exually oriented sites on it. You in, oh so deeply faithful one?

      August 21, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      You realize don't you, that if I take that bet, and win, you will never have to pay up. LOL.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • John Richardson

      Ah yes, when all else fails, the "faithful" resort to cowardly evasive actions. No, even if Jesus comes and raptures away those he deems worthy, nasty little haters like you will still be here. Get used to these words: "I never knew you!" So if closing down the internet is part of the end days deal, we'll both be here and I'm good for the $10K. Of course, the real reason why I won't have to pay up is that it is a slam dunk certainty that I will win.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Yes John, you will "win" and that is why I am not going to take the bet. You see, for you, there is no God, there is only the Internet, and nobody is ever ever going to take that away from you, come hell or high water. That's just awesome John, that you have in fact created a "religion" and "god" for yourself, and you sit in front of it and worship it hourly. Yes, Mr. Dylan was right. You do in fact have to serve somebody.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:51 am |
  10. tanya1111

    christians are stark raving mad, they are all for bombing children in the middle east but a view pair of boobies and off to hell you go. If I were to imagine a god it would be against death poverty and disease and for all things creative and procreative. But then again I don't dig cannibalistic rituals like munching on the body and blood of Christ either growing up. I hope you all find real peace and real sanity, it is out there.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  11. Roger

    Jesus says "whom the Son sets FREE is FREE indeed" if you continue in His Word. The key is consistency. Make a QUALITY Decision to follow Jesus no matter what happens and you will walk in Victory over the lusts of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.

    August 21, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • SCAtheist

      It would be nice to see a Christian follow the Jesus of the Bible – that is truly rare. But sorry he was really an insignificant man in REAL history. He's barely mentioned outside the folklore of the Bible which was written far after his life.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  12. Smith

    Your photographs are so very offensive. The photographer shows no sensitivity or respect for the bible. I am not a fundamentalist christian, just your average catholic. Clearly you (photographer) are an not a believer in any God – otherwise you would have demonstrated a little more respect..

    August 21, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • SCAtheist

      Let me see how hard it is to pull something out of Catholicism that was disrespectful towards others. Oh yeah they were a little late on the holocaust.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • John Richardson

      The photo is meant to illustrate the problem some Christians have and the outrage at self they feel.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Atheist

      I agree! Surely the photo shouldn't have shown both hands free!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Atheist Bwahahahaha!!! Good one!!!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • Frogist

      Is it just me or does all the fuss about the photo seema bit idolatrous?

      August 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  13. samuel

    Why all the science and technology cannot make an apple, they can copy from, that’s the best they can do, for sure there is a supreme power, but unfortunately in all religious sects, the so called Gods Generals have been using the His name, to profit, In the name of God, we have all the problems of the world.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:59 am |
  14. A "good" Christian?

    How can anything good stem from the biggest piece of mind control garbage ever to be fabricated by man? Any good pagan will tell you that Jesus is just the latest version of Horus.....Bone up on your Egyptian for Atta's sake.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Is there really such a thing as a "good Pagan" ??? LOL

      August 21, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Alex

      See, TwoWitnesses, that is why people dislike christian. In the eyes of christians only other christians are good people. Jews and catholics are given a pass since they sometimes speak english and also come from western countries. Everyone else though is written of as an unthinking heathen from some cave man area.

      Compassion was around LONG before christianity and will be here long after.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:00 am |
    • Anthony

      But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
      You're gonna have to serve somebody,
      Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
      But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
      -Bob Dylan

      August 21, 2011 at 7:02 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      You can't have your cake and eat it too...either you are good or you are evil...paganism is evil..."thou shalt worship no other God"....get it? You can't self-define yourself as "good". Christians don't self-define themselves. They leave it up to God. There's the difference. You'll never accept it. All you have to do is accept and you can't even do that.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • SCAtheist

      Bob Dylan is a wasted idiot. I don't serve anybody. I just go about with my life.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Alex

      Paganism is not evil, you just think it is because your old book says so. Forgive me for not taking the advice of a book written 1400 years after the passing of the guy it was written about.

      Trying to say christians and their ilk are the only "good" people shows the type of arrogance and delusion that makes people dislike christians. Because saying such things...is not christ-like.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • David

      Holy crap two wits you are showing how arrogant Christians are, there are no "Good" people other than Christians? Where is that humility, go back and read the bible, might wanna focus on the good samaratin story again. I happen to know several people who are Pagan's and they are good people, Yea I said it GOOD PEOPLE and from what I hear from you I would rather associate with them over you any day, at least they don't think they are better than me just because they read a book written by an assorted collection of nearly random authors about 2 thousand years ago, give or take a few hundred years.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:18 am |
    • John Richardson

      Blind hatred is evil and you, Two Witnesses, are evil for engaging in it.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • Atheist2

      I've been instructed that good non-Catholics do not exist.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:30 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Ok so you are trying to convince me that all Pagans are good, and all Christians are evil? That's bass-ackwards!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • John Richardson

      @Two Witnesses: Not all Christians are good. Not all Christians are evil. Not all Pagans are good. Not all Pagans are evil. Got it?

      August 21, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Yes John, I "got it"...but long before you did....

      August 21, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • jimbo junior

      Two Wits, you are exactly the kind of arrogant, deluded, self-righteous, a$$ hole that gives christians a bad name.

      August 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  15. Shecky

    This article = typical liberal Christian-bashing.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • CSX

      More like the Devil's blog.

      I dare them to let the Playboy touch the Koran.

      August 21, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Your statement < truth

      Your statement = typical right wing herding of the sheeple.....You act like religion isn't a disease affecting both sides of the aisle......And BTW Christ threw the moneychangers and politicians out of Temple. He didn't care if they were right or left or center. They all went. They killed him for it .

      August 21, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • SCAtheist

      The Koran followers are too busy messing with little girls to need Playboy

      August 21, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • John Richardson

      That's a remarkably illiterate comment!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  16. zman

    Hippocrates...take a look at the stories of adultery & child molestation by those guys. Jesus is rolling in his grave from the pain inflected by those people.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • Anthony

      "Those People"... it's all an "us against them" thing as usual.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  17. PeaveNLoveBro

    You have to either have some sort of mental retardation, ignorance, or indoctrination to think there is some loving god(s) up there. Religion offers primitive explanations for the environment, and frankly are outdated. Science and logic through understanding and tolerance are the future of humanity. Not christianity, islam , or some other religion that all share the veil of delusion and deceit of knowledge.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      You are fatally wrong

      August 21, 2011 at 6:52 am |
    • David

      How is he fatally wrong two wits? Does he die because he does not believe in God? Seems alive to me? Pick up a dictionary, learn some words that make sense in the context of the conversation you are currently having. Regardless even IF a deity exists it is far more likely that it is watered down from what is written, honestly with the TONS of rewrites and translations the bible today is NOT the bible written by his disciples (If such a book even exists, it has been shown and tested that most of the new testimate books were not written till LONG after the disciples died, so who knows if the bible even has ANY real truth to the Jesus stories at all)

      August 21, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Atheist

      Fatally?

      August 21, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Fatally because the choice of Christ is but a two edged sword. You will either live on in salvation by accepting Christ, or you will die for eternity by not. Pretty simple. We Christians aren't the ones having a problem reconciling that fact. It is you pagans and atheists who are in denial of your potential eternal life. Sorry!

      August 21, 2011 at 7:35 am |
    • jimbo junior

      Two Wits, you are exactly the kind of arrogant, deluded, self-righteous, a$$ hole that gives christians a bad name. Look it up, it's in your bible. White-washed sepulcher.

      August 21, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  18. Goobs

    Really, to say that you don't believe in some kind of higher power is complete ignorance. No one with any knowledge of the human body or how the world works could truly believe it just happened.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • PeaveNLoveBro

      No , you just have to be totally stupid and fail elementary biology i suppose?

      August 21, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • SCAtheist

      What does the anatomy of the human body have to do with a higher power? We evolved to eat and sh!t just like all the other animals.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • MereEngineer

      Then there are those of us who passed elementary biology, and not wanting to be a "brainwashed" individuals, actually read "On The Origin of Species". Darwin's theory does make sense on a superficial level but I found it too narrow in scope for supporting some of his critical assertions.
      While I applaud Darwin for his honesty in laying out the difficulties of his theory in chapter 6, I found his attempts to resolve these inadequate. The one that influenced me the most was :
      "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. "
      Too many species out there that contain "whole systems" which could not have possibly been achieved by the above process.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  19. Kadalay

    Jesus is coming, stop playing solitaire on your PC

    August 21, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • mollyd

      lol lol lol lol
      Even wacko Christians are human after all....lol lol lol lol lol

      August 21, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  20. Dale

    I can tell you from my own experience, that turning this over to Jesus does work and IS the answer. The starting point for Christians or non-believers is to stop hiding it. Husbands confess to your wives. Get it out in the open. Hiding sin is like putting a lid on a boiling pot. Then completely open yourself up to God and let him change you.

    August 21, 2011 at 6:33 am |
    • total

      People like you are the reason I left the christian religion. You think you walk the walk, but you really don't.

      August 21, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Wow..you would confess to giving up Christianity because of the sins of others? That's a worse sin than the others, and that is specifically stated in the Bible. You just needed a convenient excuse for your anti-Christianity, and you found it. The whole purpose of Christ's tenure on Earth was that he provide each human being a very personal path to eternity. All you have to do is accept it. You'll never change the world, the world is sin, and the world is doomed.

      August 21, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Anthony

      "All have sinned..." that's why people go to Church, they recognize it.
      1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

      August 21, 2011 at 7:09 am |
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About this blog

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