Pastor’s detailed book on sex divides reviewers, sparks controversy
January 6th, 2012
07:10 AM ET

Pastor’s detailed book on sex divides reviewers, sparks controversy

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Mark Driscoll, the pastor of a megachurch in the Seattle area, understands the uniqueness of a man in his profession coauthoring a book about sex with his wife. From the chapter on biblical approval of detailed types of sex to the chapter titled “Selfish Lovers and Servant Lovers,” the book is far from a timid look at a usually private subject.

And that has struck a nerve with a large swath of believers whose reactions have propelled the book to a trending topic on Twitter and has elicited responses that range from praise to disgust.

“Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together” released on Tuesday.  The book was written by Driscoll and his wife, Grace, to, in Mark’s words, “compel married couples to have important conversations about important things.”

In the first half of the book, the Driscolls discuss their own sexual issues using the lessons they learned to discuss how to reignite a marriage whose flame may have gone out. The book’s second half, which is getting most of the negative attention, discusses sex in detail.

In response, religious scholars and writers have blasted the Driscolls’ work on a number of grounds ranging from the logistical to the biblical.

“In the first place, there is a kind of sloppiness and inconsistency to the book…” writes pastor and religion blogger Tim Challies. “Real Marriage reads more like a series of seminars than a cohesive introduction-to-conclusion look at a subject.”

But more than just punctuation and flow, the backlash against the book stems largely from the revealing chapter titled “Can we ___?” The Driscolls fill in that blank throughout the chapter by using different forms of sex and then answering whether the act is biblically lawful. This chapter even comes with a disclaimer, warning conservative readers or readers who “live far away from a major city” that they may want to sit down while reading.

Denny Burk, a Biblical studies professor at Boyce college and popular blogger, writes the chapter is inherently flawed because Driscoll’s interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:12, his main argument in allowing many of the sex acts, is incorrect. Even more, writes Burk, this chapter could be dangerous.

I think chapter 10 has the potential to wreak havoc in such marriages where one spouse will feel a whole range of taboos to be “permissible” if he can convince his spouse to participate. This to me seems like a recipe for marital disaster, and I do not think the Driscolls’ requirement of “helpfulness” mitigates the difficulty.

And even that that was timid compared to what author and blogger Rachel Held Evans writes about not only the book, but Driscoll in particular. "True maturity,” she writes, “is marked not by how much a person knows but by the wisdom he or she shows in discerning when to speak with authority and when to hold back. And when it comes to maturity, I’m afraid that Pastor Mark still has a long way to go.”

When asked to respond to his critics, Driscoll said he hadn’t read any of the reviews but that “sometimes reviewers will reveal more of their own struggles than actual problems with the book.”

“I am not backing down from it. I am going to stick to my guns on it,” Mark Driscoll said. “This is not just stuff that I have pulled out of my mind. These are issues I have dealt with for 15 years and it is battle tested.”

Seattle pastor returns to Haiti

Mark and Grace Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in 1996. Though it started out as a single location church, as the congregation grew, Mars Hill became a multi-campus church and now has locations around the Puget Sound region and in California.

Though the scathing reactions have been loud, not all reactions were harsh – a fact that Driscoll notes on his website.

“I am so thankful that Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote this book,” writes Perry Noble, senior pastor of NewSpring Church. “Their approach to marriage, its benefits and challenges, are transparent and challenging.”

This division among pastors and scholars shows the polarization of opinion that boundary pushing pastors like Driscoll have come to embody. As noted by Aaron Armstrong on Blogging Theologically, “Whenever Mark Driscoll talks about sex and marriage, ears perk up. Some listen for ammo (and can usually find it). Others listen for something Tweetable. Still others search for something helpful.”

And in a way, that is how Mark Driscoll likes it. In response to the criticism, Driscoll jokingly said, “you try and write a book on sex with your wife.”

He went on to say that the negative attention is just part of writing a book like "Real Marriage." Looking at himself in that light, Driscoll said the controversy is worth it if marriages are helped by the book.

“I will endure as much criticism as necessary to help as many people as I can,” concluded Driscoll.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Books • Sex • Sexuality

soundoff (727 Responses)
  1. Sniff

    The rule is u can do anything with anyone at anytime and ask for foregiveness in the morning and it's all OK. On that bases you could stick in in her butt while she resights the lords prayer. I think it would be acceptable to shout "Jeaus H Christ" upon climax, but not ok on Sunday's before midday. Sounds offensive doesn't it? Well telling or tricking consenting humans over 18 what they can or can do in bed offensive to most. Come on church, confess up and tell the truth, it's the plate money u really want.

    January 8, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Scott

      @Sniff; if everything you state is found as acceptable in the Bible, then yes, you can do it. If not, you cannot do it.

      January 8, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  2. PC

    Prayer and faith in god is a long wait on a train that will never come.

    January 8, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Revolution

      Actually, he just doesn't like you.

      January 8, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Graeme

      Yes.. Because that was relevant..

      January 8, 2012 at 4:41 am |
  3. WOT

    The Catholic Church is a Mega-Church, think with your mine, People!

    January 8, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  4. reality4u!

    can someone save me 30 bucks on this book and just tell me if can i stick it in her butt or not?

    January 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • HeathF

      If she says yes and you use KY jelly go for it. I put my finger in her butt when i am giving her head and she loves it. sometimes i do it in the butt.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Laura


      January 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • raul jimenez

      dear reality4u:
      You just need to buy a copy of their soon to be released video. Also on CD

      January 8, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Patient

      HeathF: "I put my finger in her butt..."

      My ob/gyn has done that to me to obtain a stool sample for testing - wearing disposable protective gloves, of course. What do *you* do with that finger afterwards?

      Oh well, I guess it's good to have people like you around. There are always fetid toilets to be cleaned and clogged sewer pipes to deal with...

      January 8, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    The spiritual dilemma

    In daily life we seldom encounter people, which behave really Christian.

    However, when we would ask them about their faith, they would tell us that they are Christians.

    Isn’t there an inconsistence? Wouldn’t we expect that a Christian behaves Christian?

    What is the reason why the confession of faith often doesn’t fit together with the behaviour of the person?

    Most people are either members of the mainline churches (Protestant and Catholic) or of re-baptizing Free Churches. It is still the minority, which belongs to a non-Christian faith or has abandoned any belief in supernatural things.

    Let us focus on the people, which are either members of mainline churches or of re-baptizing Free Churches.

    The group, which belongs to the mainline churches can be divided in Catholics and mainline Protestants.

    Now, what is the reason why neiter members of the mainline churches nor members of re-baptizing Free Churches behave really Christian?

    Let us assume that the membership in a true Christian Church would cause true Christian behaviour. At the same time we could assume that a distorted church would not lead here members to good behaviour.

    Indeed, there is something wrong with all the churches, which we regard as true Christian Churches and thus their members have a lack of good behaviour.

    First, the mainline churches. What about them?

    The mainline churches are distinguished by the sacramental baptism, which they keep.

    Whereby, there is a restriction: The Roman Catholic Church keeps the sacramental baptism, but is nevertheless no Christian Church, which could mediate any health, because the pope has displaced Jesus from his office as head of the Church. The Holy Spirit has left the Roman Catholic Church for a long time and it is only the husk of a church with no spiritual power. Hence, their members will scarcely experience any deliverance and will sacarcely get perceived as Christians in daily life.

    The sacramental baptism includes infant baptism. According to the doctrine of the Holy Bible and the Early Church, the doctrine of sacramental baptism or infant baptism is valid and correct. However, the members of the mainline churches often are not better than Babbitts. What is the reason?

    The mainline Protestant churches (as we have expeled the Roman Catholic Church, let us focus on the mainline Protestant churches) don’t tell the people anything about the meaning of sacramental baptism. They conceal that sacramental baptism is a divine call. By sacramental baptism we are called to follow Jesus or to say it in other words, we are baptized into a new life or into Jesus. After sacramental baptism we are able to follow Jesus and shall follow Jesus. Regretably, the mainline churches tell the people that work and family would be all about Christianity. True Christianity doesn’t mean only work and care for the family, but also active love for disadvantaged people. This love is independent from social status, nationality, belief, colour, etc..

    We need a Reformation of the mainline churches like Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, etc., so that they may preach the gospel of the costly grace again, which means active love.

    The mainline Protestant Churches are actually the true Christian Church, regarding their confessional docu-ments, which fit together with the doctrine of the Early Church and the Bible. It is only that they have adopted the heresy of the cheap grace: Being a Babbitt is all about Christianity. When the mainline Protestant churches would abandon the cheap grace and adopt the costly grace again, their members would behave really Christian in daily life.

    As we have yet expeled the Roman Catholic Church, we also expel the re-baptizing Free Churches. They don’t belong to the worldwide Christian Church, because they don’t keep the one, holy, sacramental baptism, which is according to the doctrine of the Early Church and the Bible. They may tell a lot and fervently about discipleship, yet it is all meaningless, because they have not yet realized the entry door to a Christian life, which is sacramental baptism. The re-baptizing Free Churches regard baptism as a mere symbolic act or as an act of obedience: After conversion someone shall confess his personal faith publically. This doctrine has nothing to do with the true doctrine about baptism and hence the re-baptism gives no releasing power to the person to be baptized. Thus, members of re-baptizing Free Churches have no power to follow Jesus, even if they have a strong will. The strongest will is too weak to overcome the demonical power of the original sin, which dwells in us or our body.

    The good and holy Sacramental Baptism

    Mostly Sacramental Baptism goes along with infant baptism. Usually, churches, which practice infant baptism, acknowledge Sacramental Baptism.

    First, how is it possible that infants can be baptized. The reason is simply that faith doesn’t depend on the reason of the infant, but on the impact of the Holy Spirit. An infant may even believe easier, because he or she is not yet able to scrutinize like an adult with his or her reason.

    That gives us the bridge to the subject in general.

    One may have heard the gospel: Jesus has borne our sins, when he died for us on the cross.

    We may be able to grasp the gospel to a certain extent. Worst case we could even err and assume (by our fallen reason) that after Christ’s sacrifice we could sin more, because the more we sin the more grace we will get (that would be according to our damned reason).

    It is, of course, necessary that we get the gospel rightly. It is, of course, impossible that the gospel could cause that we start to sin more. Of course, the gospel shall cause that we sin less. In order to mediate this to us, God has “invented” Sacramental Baptism. At Sacramental Baptism our faith gets strengthened and confirmed by God himself.

    Sacramental Baptism is a physical homily and the locus in space and time, where we get fully connected with Christ’s atonement. Your whole man gets involved: Body, soul and heart. The heavenly preacher is God himself. He brings the gospel near to you in a way, which cannot be described by human words or a human homily. At Sacramental Baptism all barriers of space and time disappear and you die and resurrect together with Jesus. At Sacramental Baptism you make a real physical experience, which goes beyond understanding of any human homily. At Sacramental Baptism the sin in you gets dethroned and you receive the Holy Spirit or a new life or in other words you get baptized into Jesus. You get born from above. Baptism is a Holy Fountain and a supernatural process of recreation. God acts during Baptism and makes you a new creature.

    After Baptism you are fully empowered to follow Jesus and there is no more need to doubt the personal faith. You have been at Calvary in a real sense. Just follow Jesus right now. Do the first step and believe. If you have yet received infant baptism, don’t get baptized again, but refer to your infant baptism.

    The lousy rebaptism

    What is rebaptism? Free Churches, which re-baptize have not understood at all the true doctrine of baptism. They assume baptism would be a mere symbolic act. After someone has become a believer, he shall confess his faith publically as an act of obedience. Furthermore, they reject infant baptism, because they assume infants could not believe.

    Rebaptism is a crime.

    God has given us the Sacramental Baptism, in order to strengthen and confirm the small faith, which we can produce by nature. The re-baptizing churches should tell the people to refer to there infant baptism, but instead they tell the people that faith would completely depend on true conversion and repentence and baptism would be a mere symbolic act, after someone has yet become a believer. Hence, people, which have received infant baptism and get baptized again by a Free Church get totally dispensed from their first baptism, which was the right and only one and could give them health, if they would refer to it.

    Of course it is a misery that the mainline churches baptize and tell the people nothing about discipleship. However, Sacramental Baptism is good in itself, even if the mainline churches have a false handling of it. Hence, people should not be re-baptized, but be told that they refer to their first baptism and regard it as a divine call to follow Jesus. After that they should just follow Jesus.

    Conclusion: Forget the re-baptizing Free Churches. Strictly speaking, they are cults. Members of mainline churches should realize the meaning of infant baptism and start to follow Jesus in daily life in the releasing power of Christ’s sacrifice, which was dedicated to them at infant baptism. Practice active love to your neighbour.

    January 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • HeathF

      orgasms and masturbation are ok.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Delly

      Think you should study the words of he bible. Particularly the new testament. yOUR arguement is not consistent and balanced. The truth is the only thing required to be guranteed of salvation is to believe in Jesus. However you do not need to believe in Jesus to get to heaven if you have never been educated about him. The law (of concience) i here, although because of our contaminated spirits its very difficult to walk in a world that evil reigns supreme and not become transformed by it. So Jesus is a gift o make mans life easier to do spiriual things. So accepting Jesus is the foundational for a resurected spirit. Man is spirit soul and body. The Spirit is in effective in alife that is without Jesus (due to Adam) so it is difficult to rstrain evil with just the mind and sould. However when one believes in Jesus the spirit become alive. It reuires he ind o engage in study and practice of spiriual things (love, forgiveness, belief, gentleness, focus, discipline ec) . now this is the oundation of being a Christian, not much of what ou have written about, baptism, holy omunion, speaking in tongues etc are things you can build on top of your foundational belief. but please read revelations, there are so many kinds chruches listed there. So calling a church that believes in thet foundational of Jesu being the resurecter of our spiriits" a cult is grossly misguided. sorry for the typos. You can email me on akta5@me.com if you have any further comments. Im out

      January 8, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  6. Ohmy

    Oh how I wished people would get the guts to throw away the bible, just commit to being a good person without the need of the social organizations called churches. Image if on sunday all the church goeres would spend that hour doing a good deed for someone else or instead of donating to a "church" give a donation to Planned Parenthood for birth control to stop the need of abortions.

    January 7, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • bobsw

      Amen! No. pun intended.

      January 7, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • John

      Pretty sure that was intentional, Bob.

      January 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Happy dance

      No person is good. We all have the ability to do wrong. So throwing away the Bible and be a "good person" doesn't work.

      January 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • NMK

      I'm not surprised that people don't understand what the Church is about, and it is not about "doing good deeds" although it is part of the faith. When they hear church they think "social organization" or a building. Depending on the context, The Church is a group of people who NEED and MEET Jesus. This includes imperfect people and we are imperfect people.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • OGR99

      Perhaps they do that very thing during the week.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Delly

      Ohmy. How do you hink you get people to speaK eNGLISH IF THER ARE RAISED BY FOREIGNERS? bY EDUCATING THEM? How do we make soldiers ou of boys, training right. How do we make doctors out of learners, edical School. Church organisatons are there to train, educae and instil confidence in imperfect people. Is not rocket sciece.

      January 8, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Rick

      Happy: How do you know what "works" and what doesn't?

      January 9, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  7. Bob berbowski

    So, is God cool with doggie-style or no?

    January 7, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • HeathF


      January 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  8. EXtian

    Silly Christians. Believing you need to check with your sky-daddy before your wife sticks a finger in your tushy. Whatevs.

    January 7, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • athée

      even sillier is the fact that some people claim to understand what God wants, and write books to say what's good and what's not.
      but the best part is that there are actually people who buy them (pun intended).

      January 8, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  9. Dan Allison

    Driscoll is a hot-head, a bully, and a shallow thinker. Most Christians know this and cringe whenever he speaks publicly.

    January 7, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    The joy of life is secreted in prayer

    January 7, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • jim

      Do you dance around a fire while chanting this?

      January 7, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Texan

      I completely agree, prayer does change things.

      January 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Adam

      Prayer is the least you can do, literally, the LEAST you can do.

      January 8, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  11. JiminTX

    It's not a "Mega church." Its "Six Flags Over Jesus."

    January 7, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Mr. Mark Driscoll is member of a re-baptizing Free Church. Re-baptizing Free Churches do not belong to the worldwide Christian Church.


    The worldwide Christian Church consists of all Churches, which keep the Sacramental Baptism, which is not allowed to be repeated. If one has been baptized once, there is no need to get baptized again. Everybody baptizing again is an evil deceiver and has not understood the true gospel of our Lord and God Jesus Christ.

    For times immemorial the Christian Church doesn't re-baptize, but all true Christian Churches acknowledge the one, holy baptism. For example, when someone shifts from the Anglican Church to the Presbyterian Church, there is no need for rebaptism. Infant baptism is valid, because baptism does not depend on reason, but on faith, which is caused by the Holy Spirit.

    Please notice: Although the Roman Catholic Church keeps the sacramental baptism, she is no Christian Church, because the pope has displaced Jesus Christ from his office as head of the Church. However, when a Roman Catholic shifts to Protestantism, his baptism must not be repeated. Reason: The baptism comes directly from God and is valid even when the baptism ceremony was celebrated by a Roman Catholic priest.


    Before Mr. Driscoll makes any remarks regarding Chrisitan life, he should enter God's kingdom. Then he can participate in fruitful talks.

    January 7, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Jake Farmer

      So, are you implying that I am not a Christian because I am a Roman Catholic? I'm surprised that someone as narrow-minded as you didn't refer to us Catholics as "papists"!

      January 7, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • EXtian

      I'll bet it's wonderful living inside your circle of friends/family/accquaintences. I know I'd love to be close to someone who has as much absolute truth as you do. Keep letting that light shine!

      January 7, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • t3chsupport

      Perhaps you should check your eyes... for planks.

      January 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jalene

      You obviously don't know at all what Mark believes or preaches. Once you have been baptized that is enough. If you change from one "religion" to another, he has never said you need to be baptized again. About the baby baptism.... following Jesus is a personal decision which babies cannot yet make. At Mars Hill babies are dedicated. It is a ceremony by which the parents profess their faith, profess that they want to raise their child up in that faith so that child may come to know the Lord. The ceremony is also about... and this is my favorite part... the community stepping up and agreeing that they will be in support and encouragement in any way they are able.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Sieg

      Man, why are you so insecure that you have to criticize so much. As a recovering Christian, I recognize that the reason I needed to correct the theology of others was because I needed validation. If there is a God, only he will judge; stick to your day job

      January 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Graeme

      Ahh feels like home (I'm from Northern Ireand)

      January 8, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • Scott

      Everything we do in religion must be done by Jesus' authority (Col. 3:17). The Scriptures provide us to all good works (2 Tim. 3:16,17), so if a practice is not included in God's word, it must not be a good work. If a practice is not authorized in the New Testament, then it must be human in origin and therefore not pleasing to God (2 John 9; Gal. 1:6-9; Matt. 15:9; Prov. 14:12; etc.)

      The Bible reveals that a person must do certain things before he can be baptized. If these things are not done, then the baptism would not be Scriptural. So we ask whether or not a baby can fulfill the Scriptural prerequisites of baptism.

      Note that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34,35; Rom. 2:11), so there are not two sets of prerequisites for baptism – one for babies and one for adults. Whatever the Bible requires of some people to be baptized, it requires the same of all people.

      A. Before Baptism One Must Hear and Understand the Gospel.
      B. Before Baptism One Must Believe the Gospel.
      C. Before Baptism One Must Repent of Sins.
      D. Before Baptism One Must Confess Christ.
      E. One must be fully submerged as Jesus was to be Baptised.

      The Bible says that baptism is a burial (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12). A person must go down into the water and come up out of it (Acts 8:38,39; Mark 1:9,10). Bible baptism requires much water (John 3:23). Infant baptism does not fit God's pattern on any of these points. The evidence clearly shows that Bible baptism is an immersion, not a sprinkling or pouring.

      January 8, 2012 at 8:48 am |

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!






    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!


    January 7, 2012 at 6:04 am |
    • unretired05

      Maybe it's the Wackos that won't stay on their medicine that aren't welcome.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Sockeyerama

      Did all that come from a shamanistic trance or do you make your coffee strong?

      January 8, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Scott

      @Sockeyerama; probably an old hippie from the 60s that tool one too many hits of acid.

      January 8, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  14. Mirosal

    Hmmm.. "biblically lawful" .. what an interesting phrase. If I do something his little book says I can't, just WHO is going to arrest me for breaking that "law"? DO I get an attorney? Do I get the right to trial?

    January 7, 2012 at 2:18 am |
    • joe

      You get a trial, in the next life. Good luck.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:33 am |
    • Mirosal

      You ARE gullible aren't you? Let me guess, you think the only way to it all is through that dead guy jesus don't you?

      January 7, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Rick

      Joe: Or, judgment in the "next life" is a bad joke that has many people bamboozled

      January 9, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  15. theEndIsFear

    Two words for Mark Driscoll – "FALSE PROPHET"

    January 7, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • reality check

      He doesn't claim to be a prophet but an author.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Scott

      @reality check; what Driscoll is pushing is false doctrine when he uses the Bible as the foundation for his thinking so as to tell others to do it also.

      January 8, 2012 at 8:32 am |
  16. Reality


    To all us overse-xed h-o-mo-sapiens:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:


    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"

    January 7, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • evolvedDNA

      reality..you owe your existence to an over s-exed ho-mosapien.. and your over s-exed relatives... luckily for you the s-ex drive in humans is far stronger than the belief in myths..you sound like a another bitter catholic who almost hates the fact he was born. Embrace life and see the beauty that evolution has brought you..I hope you find the peace that only being a freethinker can bring..

      January 7, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • .........

      Hit report abuse on all reality repeat garbage

      January 7, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/Disease:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  17. Kilgore Trout

    II find it interesting that in Burk's critique of the work he writes, "[i]f he can convince his spouse to participate." The fact that Burk uses “he” is evidence of his fundamental misogyny; his predilection for a male dominated society. Why does he not write “if she can convince her spouse to participate.” He writes, “I think chapter 10 has the potential to wreak havoc in such marriages where one spouse will feel a whole range of taboos to be ‘permissible’ if he...” But, for Burk it is the “he,” not the “she” that is responsible for this. Burk fails to acknowledge that it can, and often is, the “she” who is the moving force. Obviously Burk’s response is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to a challenge to his own unexamined beliefs about what the husband/wife relationship should be.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • walter huff

      Burk's reaction is really not suprising. Having been raised in that "ol' time christofascism" some 40 years ago, I can tell you that evangelical women are indoctrinated from birth to accept the fact that one day they will be some man's chattel, responsible to stay home, have babies, raise kids, and acquiesce to all of her lord and master's commands, since the man has been madated by god to be head of every household, the sole decision maker. they probably still refer to their wives as 'the little woman.
      Now, of course, they don't let their women wait until they are married to learn their place. They have those creepy father/daughter purity balls (paging Dr. Freud), in which the daughters kneel before their fathers, proclaim themselves to be his chattel until he gives them to the husband of his choice, and to remain chaste until the wedding night.
      Which would be worse, do you suppose: Jesus being in bed with you and your spouse, watching, or the woman's father?

      January 7, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • TR6

      Just another typical idiot, PC, virgin. I’ve always eagerly agreed to anything any of my ladies has suggested; but, my ladies have not always eagerly agreed to my suggestions. If you had any experience you would understand this.
      But this is only my experience. Ladies and gentlemen please join in the discussion. I’d love to hear others experience in this

      January 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  18. fsmgroupie

    it must be kinda creepy knowing that jesus is right there under the covers with you watching your every move and threatening to burn you in hell for billions of years if you do the wrong thing. missionary position only!!!!

    January 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Franque

      If by creepy you mean hot, yeah!

      January 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • HZD

      Hah. "Missionary position only." Obviously YOU didn't read the book.

      January 7, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  19. Mercyme

    People, people, people. Se x is no longer a taboo subject. We are now living in the 21st century, not the 19th. Look around you, se x happens. It's going to continue to happen. Those of you who have children, did you not have se x to have those children ? Or ar you going to say you had a miraculous virgin birth ?

    January 6, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  20. Franque

    Surely the kind author refers to 3 Corinthians 11-20, where the LORD levies his opinion on tatty fecking.

    January 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
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About this blog

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