Church Tries New Approach on Pornography

Wed Mar. 8, 2006 4:08 PM PST

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:

Advertise on MotherJones.com

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.
  • Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.