Preachers do their people no favors by preaching against pornography. A new peer reviewed study published in “Addiction” magazine shows that men who have been taught that pornography perceive themselves to be addicted even when they are not. This perception continues to dog them and cause problems in their lives. So their lives are made worse – not by their viewing pornography – but rather because they have been taught that what they are doing is wrong.
Not surprisingly, this terrible feeling of guilt that the church has imposed on these men does not help them “overcome” their addiction. Nor does 12-step programs or any of the other “addiction” treatments. The reason that none of these programs or treatments work is because THEY ARE NOT ADDICTED. Treating men’s fullfillment of their normal erotic desires as an addiction is like treating an overweight person for diabetes. He doesn’t lose any weight, but he can die from your treatment.
In this study, they studied people who had viewed porn in the past six months. They asked the subjects how much porn they viewed, about their religious views, whether they felt like porn was a sin, and whether they felt like they were addicted to porn. Not surprisingly, the religious people who believed that porn was sinful also believed that they were addicted. The subjects who didn’t think it was sinful didn’t believe that they were addicted. By the normal standards of “addiction” (significantly negatively influenced their lives) the unreligious people didn’t display any problems in their lives.
Then six months later they asked the same people about their porn habits and about their feelings of addiction. The religious people were WORSE not better. They perceived themselves to be addicted at a far higher level than the non-religious ones.
In short, preaching against men looking at erotic images does not help them. It makes them feel worse about their lives while not giving them any help to “overcome” The reason it doesn’t help them overcome is because it is
Looked in the church bulletin this morning and saw the same thing that was in every bulletin. Events this week for the high school teens, the college youth, and the women’s weekly fellowship.
Hmm, do you notice who was left out? The men, of course. There was no place for the men to socialize. There were no hunting, fishing, or four-wheeler/camping trips. There were no trips to see sports games or monster trucks.
Do you think that men stay home all week and don’t go out with their friends? Of course not. The young men are hitting the single’s scenes (They are certainly not showing up to the “college youth” meetings. Who wants to be sneered at as a sex-addict and probable future “emotional abuser”)
Their are lots of social events that men go to, but none of them are sponsored by the church. There are soccer groups, bowling leagues, amateur baseball teams. There are hunting groups, fishing friends, and bars where men can just hang out, drink beer, play cards, and talk about women. Men get together to go to the rodeo or see wrestling or monster trucks. None of these are approved by our new female-led churches. We are more likely to be told that we have to go on “Daniel Fasts” that don’t include meat. Certainly we can’t drink beer or talk about sports and boobies.
But the fact is that men have always done these things and always will. The masculine pursuits are as Godly as weight-watchers and diabetes education workshops. Jesus and his 12 disciples, along with the many other disciples including wives and single women, spent time in the wilderness, resting just before the crucifixion week. I guarantee you that during that time there was some wine drinking, some wrestling, some races, and I think that the married couples did a lot of humping and the singles flirted.
This is not how the modern church treats its men. It sneers at sweat, hunting, and bloody sports. It treats their God-given sex-drive as an addiction.
Oh, by the way, there was one event scheduled that the men were encouraged to go to – Celebrate Recovery. The church wants them to deal with their “addictions.”
Looking forward to the Game of Thrones Season Premier tonight, especially the nude parts…..
Predictably, the “Christian” position being preached in the churches today is that Christians can’t watch because of the nudity. We aren’t allowed to admit that breasts exist or that we like to look at them.
I remember when we couldn’t watch television because of the cursing. This was always strange. The Bible contains curse words. Elijah said that God would kill all of Ahab’s children that “pissed against the wall” – in other words, all the males. But Elijah didn’t just say “males” he wanted to throw the extra curse because God was really angry and wished to express that angry clearly.
So, also, the Bible contains many clear descriptions of nudity. Often those descriptions are explicitly sexual and intended to arouse. Solomon was clearly a breast man, but he liked legs and butts, so he included those.
Now, the sex in Game of Thrones is rarely marital (except those great Danerys-Drogo scenes (hubba, hubba). But I think it is noticeable that the fornication and adultery is usually described as poor behavior and consequences follow. Explicit rape scenes are shown, but they are shown as horrid and deserving of the inevitable consequences. The Dothraki engage in public orgies, but this is used as an example of their continued bad treatment of women. And when Danerys makes a pact with the Iron Islands, she explicitly insists that the raping must stop.
The church’s attempt to preach against watching the Game of Thrones is self-defeating. Here is a series that speaks explicitly to the morality of our time and strongly supports the idea that evil is tempting, but is ultimately self-defeating. National Review has a great article which argues for this interpretation.
I, of course, don’t believe that the modern evangelical church has the right attitude toward nudity to begin with. If we would adopt a biblical, instead of a Victorian, attitude, we could start to reach out to the men who are either not attending or just attending nominally, without letting it have any effect on their lives.
Firstly, Christian men aren’t getting married because there are so few single Christian men.
When is the last time you saw a Christian single man at church? Was he available? Of course not. He was grabbed up. There are few single men at the church because the church makes no attempt to reach them. Oh yes, the women are trying to reach them and bring them to church with them. But the men don’t show up, and are not being sought, by the church. When the grace of God reaches down and touches a young man, and he shows up to church, then the feminized church will drive him away. Masculinity, sweat, hunting, fishing, competing, are all treated as a vaguely distasteful necessity of having men at the church. But the “real” Christian men will be feminized. They will have great “listening” skills and their gestures will be comfortably familiar to females. When the church later discovers that they are homosexual, they will be shocked.
The only “men’s” program at the church is the program for families. The singles groups are full of women and the lessons are all about dieting, diabetes education, communication, and recovery from “emotional abuse” of their ex-boyfriends and husbands.
If a man is a real man, if he likes beer and naked women. If he has a beard and a likes to look at women’s boobs, then he will be shunted to a Promise Keeper’s group to be properly educated out of his gender.
And, God help us, if these men like sex, if they like to look at naked women, if they go online to look at pornography and erotica, then they must be disciplined, they must be discipled, the must be cured of their “Porn Addiction”
Are you surprised that masculine men don’t want anything to do with Christ?
And it is a shame, because Jesus and his disciples were men’s men. They could stand up in front of the Sanhedrin and tell them that they would obey God rather than men. They could work all night, naked, on a boat in the middle of the sea of Galilee, even if they caught nothing.
Christian men aren’t getting married because the church has decided it doesn’t want Christian single men, it just wants properly schooled girly-men.
So you’re a sincere Christian man and you have looked at porn your entire life. You feel terribly guilty about this. Your prayers are hindered as a result. All of the “Men’s retreats” at your church concentrate on one subject and one subject only – “Pornography Addiction”. You have tried giving it up multiple times. You confessed to your pastor and got an “accountability partner.” After the first couple of times you stopped telling him how you have “fallen” again. Maybe you even lost him as a friend as a result.
You feel all alone, because your church has placed you on a merry-go-round of eternal guilt. After decades of trying to beat your “porn addiction” you sense that you will always watch it. Maybe you even dropped out of church, since you knew that you must not be a Christian. Christians should be able to overcome at least one addiction!
You have fallen prey to the modern Pharisees. You have been duped into a falsehood. There is no command in the Bible telling you to avoid erotic stories or images. In fact, the opposite is true. The Bible is full of erotica. It describes and treats masturbation just like it treats sex, pregnancy, and menstruation – as normal parts of a holy life. The command to avoid pornography is man’s tradition, not God’s command and certainly not Bible.
Here are the links proving that you are a good Christian with whom God is well-pleased.
Are you tired of the nannies who keep trying to tell us what is bad for us? I know that I am. For some years the vegetarians have been trying to order us to give up meat. They told us that humans are all supposed to be vegetarians or vegans. They enlisted the support of nanny-state regulators to stop us from enjoying Big Macs and T-Bones.
Meanwhile, we doctors have to treat the anemia from the B12, Folic Acid, and iron deficiencies of people who allowed the food puritans to give them orders.
Now a segment of the right has jumped into the Nanny business. Supposedly viewing pornography is now “addiction”. All of the studies disprove this. I treat addicts all of the time. Not once have I had a patient who could not go to work in the morning because he couldn’t stop watching porn. Not once have I had a man who ended up in the emergency room from porn. I have treated hyper-sexual people, but they are, without fail, suffering from another psychiatric disease that caused the hypersexuality. (Bipolar, Mental Retardation, Schizophrenia)
I want you to notice something. All of these “Porn Addiction” experts ARE NOT PSYCHIATRISTS. The number one man out there making money off of these false claims (dare I say “fake news”) is Gary Wilson (Your Brain On Porn). He is not even a scientist. He has not one peer-reviewed study to his name. He is an anatomy lab tech is at a 2nd rate state university.
The Psychiatrists have made it clear. Porn is not an addiction. There is no “Porn Addiction” diagnosis in the manual. It doesn’t have the effect on the brain that drugs and behaviors of addiction do. You do not become desensitized to porn with use, in fact the opposite occurs, the brain responds better with more use. You are no more “addicted” to porn than a newly wed is “addicted” to sex with his wife. Nor does use of porn lead one into more perverse sexual behaviors. The opposite occurs. The young man sees the perverse behaviors, may even try them out, is repelled by them and returns to more healthy sexual habits as he gets older. Ted Bundy’s manipulated his dupe “Dr.” James Dobson into becoming an anti-porn activist. But Dobson has a single child-psychology degree and no post-doctoral research to his name. Bundy claimed that porn caused his abberant behavior. If that is true, then why are the 70% of men who admit to using porn and the 99% of men who actually look at it running around killing people.
What is it in humans that causes us to want others to stop having fun. Is it resentment that if I can’t have fun, then no one else should be able to? Because Mama made me eat my vegetables, I have to make sure everyone eats nothing but vegetables. Because Mama didn’t want me to “play with myself” then I must make sure that no one ever flogs the one-eyed snake?
Every temptation is not an addiction. Addiction is a medical term, not a spiritual one. As the churches have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus, they have begun preaching a secular “health” gospel. But while surrendering the authority of the Bible and Christ, they are attempting to argue for the same traditions that held over from more religiously oriented times.
Therefore, while no longer preaching against “lust” they wish to preach against “sex addiction.”
The problem is that medicine is a very poor substitute for God. This article fairly represents how the “porn addiction” nonsense started and why it is not science. If you want to argue against pornography based upon scripture – great – let’s have that discussion. I admit that you have at least a few strong points to make. But if you want to attempt to use MEDICINE then you have nothing of interest to say.
Firstly, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are not physicians. None of them have any degree higher than a bachelor of arts – except for the occasional, Doctor of Divinity. They don’t do original research, they don’t know how to conduct a clinical study. They don’t know the difference between cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies, clinical trials, etc. They can’t separate between correlation and causation. They don’t know a category I statistical error from a p-square analysis. They just go searching through google (not google scholar) for any article that supports their pre-determined view.
This is called “confirmation bias” and no one who is participating in it should be allowed to treat anyone.
Secondly the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because they are arguing dishonestly. If you have a moral or religious position, then that is fine – I have several items that I believe on faith myself. For example, I believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. But it would be insane for me to start trying to prove parthenogenesis (scientific virgin birth) is possible in human beings. It is not. The virgin birth is a miracle, it is not subject to the reasoning of science.
The religious argument against porn is based, I believe, on tradition. A tradition that is very old and has gained ascendancy in the evangelical church for the past couple of centuries. Tradition is not unimportant in religious and moral arguments. Tradition does not always arise by accident and usually has or had a good reason for it in the past. But don’t try to defend it by bringing in poorly understood subjects in science. You simply make yourself foolish.
Finally, the porn addiction advocates have nothing interesting to say because the science doesn’t support their position. Addiction is a very specific thing. At its most basic, it always includes progressive tolerance and pathological effect.
Progressive tolerance is the need for greater amounts of the drug in order to gain the same effect. At first 2 beers could get me buzzed, but now I need 10. But porn only has this effect in the short term. Once the participant has masturbated, it requires more arousal for him to reach climax. But porn does not have this effect over the long term. In fact, the exact opposite happens. The porn viewer becomes more sensitive to porn as he watches more.
In an addiction, the sufferer needs more and more of the substance and enjoys it less and less. This does not happen in porn and sex. When a virgin couple first get married, their sexual unions are awkward and not terribly enjoyable. Only after practice and frequency do they find greater and greater fulfillment. All of sex works this way. Including porn.
The stories of men who started with playboy and ended with torture porn are nonsense. This fairy tale was made up by mass murderer Ted Bundy in an interview with “Dr.” James Dobson. Bundy was trying to find a way to get out of the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, Dobson fell for it and began a movement to get Bundy off. Dobson has a long history of being a good patsy for anyone with a good story.
As any regular viewer of porn will tell you. We do seek higher quality porn, but not more perverse. If porn had to get more perverse in order to be enjoyable, then I should be pretty deep in the mud by now, since I looked at my first playboy at age 11. But, in fact, I don’t like perverse porn. I like a nice high quality video or a couple who show love for one another.
One might argue that my desire for “higher quality” is an increasing tolerance, but this is like saying that enjoying steak is an addiction because one looks for a better restaurant as we grow older.
Secondly, an addiction requires pathological effect. It must hurt the participant. This is why tobacco is an addiction, but caffeine is simply a habit. Porn has not been shown to increase pathological behavior. In fact, the opposite is true. Sex crimes go down when porn becomes more available. Single men seek out fewer illicit liaisons and seek a higher quality of relationship in the women that they court.
If you reply that porn is pathological because it causes problems between couples in which the wife has been indoctrinated with an anti-porn belief, then I am going to tell you that meat is an addiction because you upset vegans by consuming it.
For some time now, Jonah Goldberg of National Review (Twitter @JonahNRO) has been arguing against the cultic nature of the new conservative movement. It is now trendy to defend any behavior as long as it is on the republican “side” and it is the height of heresy to criticism the president, no matter how malicious, dishonest, or unconstitutional his actions might be.
The same spirit has taken over the conservative Christian church. In fact the church may have begun it. Whether discussing moderate alcohol consumption, young earth creationism, porn “addiction”, or whatever the trendy anti-world sermon of the moment, one cannot diverge from the party line on pain of excommunication.
This is not the first time that this sort of thing has happened. During the Reformation people took sides of Consubstantiation, Transubstantion, Pansubstantion, etc based upon whether they were Calvinists, Lutherans, or Catholics and not based upon any understanding of the doctrines involved. Similarly, every protestant had to believe in predestination because the Catholics believed in free-will. In my childhood, we knew that the hippies were wrong, so women must not wear pants and men must not have long hair because that is what the hippies did. Neither could we listen to rock music, watch Jesus Christ Superstar, or like Coca-cola to much (I’d like to teach the world to smile … It’s the real thing…)
I should note that all of these all-or-nothing demands were made because a great ENEMY was determined to be on the other side. Whether that enemy was the Pope, Hippies, or Democrats doesn’t matter. The key is that once we have determined that we have an ENEMY then all individual free-will and any free-thought must be stamped out on our side lest a heretic be allowed to weaken us in the WAR.
The original meaning of heresy is important. A heresy is not, as usually supposed, an unapproved doctrine, but rather is a leader of a schism, of a group of people who don’t take orders from the top. Strangely enough, the excommunication of the heretic is not enforced from the top – but rather by the common people. John Wycliffe was protected by the Lollards despite being excommunicated. It was only when the common people were worked up against the protestant enemy that Bloody Mary could proceed with her burnings.
This blog is promoting a heresy in this sense, the belief that erotica is holy and appropriate to view. I have to write it under a pseudonym lest people in the church punish my family.
My heart goes out to her. I am a psychiatrist who deals with narcissists on a regular basis and they are very, very difficult people.
But I am also a little wary. People getting divorced almost always discover that their spouse had a personality disorder.
So, I want to give a word of warning to ladies reading this. Don’t be quick to make a psych diagnosis of your husband. Personality disorder diagnoses are easily given and often wrong – even by experts. They are also used as justification for mistreatment.
For example, a woman who struggles with Borderline Personality traits could write everything in the article and believe it all to be true, when the fact might be that she is the one with the personality disorder traits and is projecting her poor coping skills onto him.
In fact, every Borderline woman (and that is hundreds) that I have treated has told almost exactly this story – including the “Emotional Abuse” part.
NOTE: I AM NOT CLAIMING THAT THE AUTHOR IS THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM.
I am saying that before you use the popular label “narcissist” to justify leaving your husband, consider the possibility that you may be the one in need of cognitive behavior modification
30 years ago today in Loving v Virginia, the Supreme Court ended bans on interracial marriage.
Do you remember how “Evil” black/white marriages used to be? I am ashamed to say that I used to have some racist friends. I told one of them, one time, that there was nothing wrong with it. He blew up. “It is Worse than Adultery” No Christian could marry a (N-word). God would bar the gates of heaven against such abominations. They even had Bible to back them – Cain’s Mark, Ham’s curse, etc.
We now know that people didn’t get these opinions from the Bible, but from their traditions. The Bible is very explicitly Anti-Racist and Anti-Sexist (“With God there is neither Greek nor Jew, Male nor Female” – Galations)
But people use the Bible to back up their opinions, not vice-versa.
So also the modern opinion of porn is not from the Bible, but from Victorian tradition. It would be foreign to the writers or readers of either the Old or New Testaments.