Church Tries New Approach on Pornography

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This weekend Florida’s Clermont Fellowship Church is hosting a “Free Porn” weekend, with symposiums led by reformed adult porn stars and pastors who have been “freed” from porn. Getting past initial chuckles over events such as the screening of the “award-winning” documentary, Missionary Positions, the church’s website seems to take a somewhat unorthodox position on porn—advocating for love, acceptance, and forgiveness rather than pure damnation. As Lead Pastor Tom Casolaro says:

Porn is at epidemic proportions, it’s destroying families, churches, and the fabric of our society, and it’s time the church stands up and says something. We want to offer hope and help people heal and build solid relationships with each other and God. Porn is 24/7 and the community needs to know we are here for them.”

But conservatives aren’t always receptive to churches having open and frank discussions about pornography with their congregations. Many believe that porn should never be talked about, that the only way these sinners will reach salvation is through the scripture. (And think that letting the church have anything to do with pornography is an abomination.) But even if Jesus did not “employ such unholy hyperbole” in spreading his message, as one letter-writer to XXXChurch writes, Free Porn Weekend is addressing an important issue that the majority of people of faith are often ashamed to tackle. So what if the star of their public service announcement is Pete the Porno Puppet?

Meanwhile, here are some statistics on pornography:

  • Number of pornographic web sites: 280 Million
  • People who regularly visit Internet porn web sites daily: 40 million
  • Christians who said pornography is a major problem in the home: 47%
  • Breakdown of male/female visitors to pornography sites: 65% male – 35% female
  • 30% of unsolicited e-mails contain pornographic materials
  • Women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.
  • Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.
  • US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC at $6.2 billion.
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    SIX TRUTHS

    Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

    Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

    Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

    Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

    Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

    Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

    Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

    Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

    And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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