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.


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. slickteigkc

    Just remember if you're in an accident, or plane that is crashing, don't bother prayer or calling on God to help you, you that don't believe , enjoy the crash, the accident because they're just a cool non believer experience while you off into the "great unknown" Why do you even stay in this harsh world if you have no faith or belief of heaven. It's so difficult here, I wouldn't stick around, if I didn't believe God has a plan and purpose for all of us, and have hope to live my life as He would have me. No faith, really why live? This place is too hard without faith in the creator of it all.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      ....or at least if you only believe you have a mere average 70 years of existence, try to do something instead of wasting your time bashing Christians! 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Or regardless of you religious beliefs, try to stop bashing those whose beliefs are different than yours.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • News Flash

      If you are in an accident, or in a plane that is crashing, you obviously NEED to think or hope that you have some control remaining over your environment. You NEED to think you do. In fact you don't. Praying, after the accident, is useless, and in fact prayer has been proven to have no effect, whatsoever. You are the "victim" of statistics and probability. If you need to construct a worldview which permits/allows you to say to your inner child, "everything will be ok", then go for it, and don't grow up. You are a wimp, admitting you would not "stay around" if you don't get the lollipop when the dental visit is over. How sad.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • john

      wow, talk about being an willful abject slave!

      If there was no god you would just kill yourself? I am happy to live without a sky daddy who plans every detail of your life.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  2. John

    It's amazing, they have to have something to complain about and stick their noses into. They can't simply worship their God in their own way and leave other people alone.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • rufusclyde

      That would be too Gnostic. Thanks to Constantine, we have Church Authoritarianism instead.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  3. Two Witnesses

    If you want to know what's going to happen in the next 7 years, read Revelation. After you have finished reading it, there will be a test. One question, it's a yes or no question. You have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Try to have a nice life people, but don't forget about your soul, it needs life too, and it deserves a chance at Salvation...listen to it...that's all you really have to do...listen to that little voice inside you....it's the Master calling you....and you know it's always been there too, hasn't it?.. 🙂

    August 21, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  4. aleforge

    I am really getting sick of seeing this BS blog on the front of CNN each time I come here! Is there a way to stop it from showing up? Christians are all a bunch of delusional idiots and I could care less what they are up too.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Oh come on, you know you love it. YOu love coming here to bash Christians. YOu could have easily ignored it and steered the other direction, but you chose to PURPOSEFULLY come here and bash Christians. You are such a deceitful liar!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  5. Wowreally?

    Once again we see how CLEVER cnn can be. I agree with a previous post...if this was a picture of the koran and a playboy..there would be an outrage! Also, why do the ATHEIST who profess to believe in nothing but themselves always come on these message boards posting against something they dont believe in ?? I say , if you are an atheist.....go enjoy ur life...stop being intolerant to christians! You dont believe in god so why are u talking about things related ?!?!

    August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • aleforge

      Because this crap is shoved in our face on the front page of CNN. I don't need a daily reminder on how many idiots are out there.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • NeuroNurse

      Turnabout is fair play. Christians have killed athiests and others for not believing in your god.... deal with it. We have for centuries.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • john

      not sure if i would say I "don't believe in anything except myself," that would be rather hubristic.

      Also if it was true that people are sent to eternal damnation for not believing in christ (as jesus himself said) then it would be IMMORAL to just push people away and say "go do your own thing." You should be actively trying to engage those who are "lost," if you actually believe the NT

      August 21, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • PleaseUseLogic

      While I wish it were that simple to just go about our business as an agnostic or atheist, it just isn't. Much like my abortion view (Don't like abortion? Don't have one!), other people tend to cause problems. Religious folks, mostly protestant christians, seem to be very interested in other people's personal affairs and feel the need to bother them. Also, it makes quite a bit of sense that atheists would have a vested interest in the public display of religious stories. Example: If you believe that the earth is round and you're surrounded by people that preach to you that they have an old book which can be interpreted to say that the earth is flat, then you would have an interested in stories which promote the concept of a flat earth.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Bob

      PleaseUseLogic pretty much summed up his issue: other people cause problems. See, he's not responsible for anything, because it's always those OTHER people.

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

      Bob, I'm not sure what angle you're trying to apply, but it's not the right one. The "problem" that I discussed was meddling in the personal affairs of friends, neighbors, coworkers on the grounds of a self-justified personal religious crusade. In other words, bothering me with public religious expressions. In this context, just by default, that has to be other people. Given a different topic, I could certainly be at fault.

      August 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Beat my meatg

    I need to go rub one out.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • NeuroNurse

      Buahahah!!!! Enjoy the endorphin release that jebus/sky daddy made possible!!! I love a good laugh in the am 😉

      August 21, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  7. myklds

    @ mb2010a

    TSK! What a hopless case..TSK! TSK! Even Science can't help you. TSK! TSK! TSK! Sorry, but there's no meds. ever discovered to to cure extreme arrogance.

    May I know where you came from? It find it amazing to discover a place that's not yet civilised but has modern technology such computer and internet.

    To the rest, except nofed

    How typical.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  8. CaringFool

    Organizations of 'faith' can't even agree on which version to ram down my throat. Gesh!

    August 21, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • Wowreally?

      Really? people are ramming versions down your throat? Which ones...when does this happen? You sound experianced....OR are u just SPEWING your rhetoric again? Pft...typical atheist!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • Eddie Hurley

      organization is not what you need you need christ organization is as bad as sin get it confuses people and divide people

      August 21, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  9. JAB

    To parphrase a great man:
    Once you've allowed yourself to believe in things you know are not true you are then capable of of doing anything no matter how unreasonable or evil including committing any possible crime.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • rufusclyde

      So, as soon as you've told your first lie, you're toast? Sounds just like the Christian concept of original sin.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      This is true. However, it can be applied to both sides of the ATHEIST vs CHRISTIAN fued, can't it?

      August 21, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  10. desi

    atleast they are not Praying Away the Gay, or using witchcraft to do so.

    I am glad there is reparation of church and state here, otherwise us non-christians will have to deal with this crap too.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • rufusclyde

      reparation? lol

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • Frogist

      @desi: No, they're praying away the se_x. That'll take care of the gays AND everybody else. How a religion so hellbent on procreation can demonize desire, I'll never understand.

      August 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  11. alan

    We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Going one god further may be a clever Dawkinsism, but it ingores that there are religions that don't share the JudeoChristian God, so you're really going lots of gods further.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      "Monotheism" seems doomed due to its' lack of luster and glimmer, besides, I dare say it took eons for the Gods and Goddesses to build our Celes-tale-ness this "one" universes of untold zillions of universes,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  12. Jordan Kerr

    I think reading an article written by CNN on this subject is analogous to reading about how the Libyan rebels are progressing written by the Libyan "government".

    August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  13. Bubba316

    I find it highly disturbing and disresectful to Christians from all denominations and walks of life that this so-called news outlet would display a picture of the bible with Playboy Magazine. Imagine the uproar if this picture was one of the Koran and Playboy Magazine???

    August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • TheDude

      Maybe Christians should be more like Muslims then?

      And *you* find it disrespectful? Think of this next time you are bashing some liberal for being too PC. Get over yourself.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • rufusclyde

      But if Christians do it to make a point, it's OK?

      August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Bruno

      Hey Bubba,
      christians and muslims should be disrespected! 2000 years of their BS is enough.

      August 21, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  14. Hypocrite Logic

    Their weakness becomes everyone else's fault. Face it people, you are responsible for your own actions, not the outside world. Quit blaming others for your own problems.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  15. Bob


    August 21, 2011 at 8:36 am |
  16. F'N BOOT

    I like how CNN likes to bash christianity every Sunday.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • carl

      everyday should be christian bashing day

      August 21, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Hypocrite Logic

      I like how Christians like to bash everyone else for their own inadequacies.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • rufusclyde

      I like how religious folks would rather post here on Sunday than go to Church. So?

      August 21, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • JAB

      Me too.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • TheDude

      (79% of America) – Help! Help!! We're being oppressed!!!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:46 am |
    • ufeud

      This debate is going on right now at ufeud.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • John

      i like how christians bash anyone who doesn't believe as they do EVERY day.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  17. Praise Jebbus!

    Some of your people are absolutely insane. if humanity fails to survive the next few thousand years it will be because the religious type set in motion some sort of event that started a war that kills us all. For the religious, they dont care about humanity's future because they believe in the coming apocolypse anyway, so us unfortunate atheists are just stuck on this planet fending for our lives, trying to survive amongst these wack jobs. If we ever colonize mars, can we segregate the faithful anf the none faithful? one of us stay behind while the other moves to mars? You all are obviously suicidal and hostile, so why dont you go beat some martian microbial life over the head with scripture .. cause they be sinnin'!

    August 21, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      You are entirely welcome to leave and try to find a better planet. Hey...isn't that what Christians are going to do? Why...you confused yourself with all your atheistic gibberish! 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • NeuroNurse

      Spot on Praise! I'm sick of whack-jobs too.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • Edward C

      You worry about YOUR yard, I will worry about mine!!!!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • ufeud

      Come see how the rest of America feels about this topic at http://www.youfeud.com

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  18. worships the true god almighty

    Sorry, my response was meant for "pray this prayer". Responding to "two witnesses", I totally agree with all you are saying! Eveytime a door is slammed in our faces let's us know we are on the right track! The Bible states that the true christian will be hated by mankind.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Kristttian

      A true Christian does not need to belong to a church or organized establishment to be close to God. What weak minded sheep you are people are!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Tom

      Well then the bible is right.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Two Witnesses

      Kristtian, you are so right!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • TheDude

      Hey, whatever you need to do to convince yourself that you are better than everyone else... Because, you know, no one has ever seen an overly self-righteous "Christian" before (rolls eyes).

      August 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      worships the "true god almighty", "Let me parlor this to your 'brainyard of recpeptivity'. Is it 'not' written to 'seek 1st the kingdom of God'? Where od you oh mighty woshiper of the 'true' god say where this kingdom is? Suredly, it is not of this world! The Lord, 'Christ Jesus' did so proclaim His Kingdom was not, I repeat was not of this world!"

      August 21, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Hypocrite Logic

      Yes, keep believing that it's everyone else's fault when Christians can't control their libido. Keep believing everyone else is the problem, and you're just innocent victims full of purity and compassion.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  19. JustGetOverIt

    The Bible, the biggest selling work of fiction ever.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • JoeK

      how you feel about the Koran? of is it just Christians you like to be intolerant to?

      August 21, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • NeuroNurse

      LOL!!! So true. I'm not naive enough to follow a book written so long ago..

      August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • Edward C

      ALL organized religion is fiction. You want truth; look into Darwin!!!!

      August 21, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • bentbo

      fiction???...hey ,i believe in jesus the historical figure....;-)

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • JustGetOverIt

      I don't need a book, any book, or anyone else telling me how I should or shouldn't live. Religion as a whole is nothing but psychological intimidation

      August 21, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  20. The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

    People who are "adjusted" and/or "comforted" with "Po-rn", are not, I repeat, are not social dev-i-ants just because they have an affluency toward "photos" and/or "videos" of las-civ-ious car-nal ambiguousity. People "read" all manner of books. Is the "reading of books" nothing more than bringing information to the reader? Are not videos nothing more than "informational" tools? Those who have their "heads hidden in the sand-piles of uneasiness" are deemed as os-trac-ized lemmings blindly running to and leaping off the cliffs of "dutied" aimlessness.

    Intimacy between 2 consentualisms of adulthood may well gain a deeper felt relationship if both parties do partake in "po-rn-ware". Heck, for the 'reclusive' individual such "ographies" be it photos and/or videos gives them an avenue with which they can relieve their body's "naturalness" tendancies. The Theosophies of se-x-ualism around "Monotheistic" religiosities is likened to falacies of lewed and lascivious "Behaviourisms" unbecoming moral interpritations by godheads of secular revulsionisms.

    August 21, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Didn't you post this already? Also, it reads like it was written by a postmodern random essay generator, replacing some of their jargon with yours.

      August 21, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Rich

      You are joking for sure.....arem't you?

      August 21, 2011 at 8:41 am |
    • ufeud


      August 21, 2011 at 8:47 am |
    • The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

      @ rufusclyde I posted on paragraph earlier because CNN's moderater wouldn't post it without 1stly putting -- -- and such in the words they deemed as unfit. And NO , I did not use "a postmodern random essay generator", My posting was of my own thought progressives. 🙂

      August 21, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • rufusclyde

      Congratulations then, on perfecting their style. ;o)

      August 21, 2011 at 8:52 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.