Church Tries New Approach on Pornography

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


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.
  • We've never been very good at being conservative.

    And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

    This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

    payment methods

    We've never been very good at being conservative.

    And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

    This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

    payment methods

    We Recommend

    Latest

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

    Get our award-winning magazine

    Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

    Subscribe

    Support our journalism

    Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

    Donate