The Road To Smutville

Long-Haul truck driver Todd McCann breaks the stereotype that all truck drivers are out looking for meaningless sex.

Driving a truck nowadays is almost like having a subscription to Playboy. Well, I guess the billboards only show portions of the actual goods, so maybe it’s closer to Maxim. Any way you look at it though, today’s truck driver has waaaaay too many loads going to Smutville.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. “Here comes another lecture from a holier-than-thou bigot. Who are you to judge what’s right or wrong?” Okay. First off, I’m not holier-than-thou. Second, you can do and think what you want; including not reading this post. Third, it’s my blog, so it’s my opinion. Fourth, quit using the word “bigot” for anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Whether you’re a bigot or not depends on how you act towards the person you disagree with. From Mirriam-Webster:


: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

I’m sure some of you think there is absolutely nothing wrong with porn. You’re entitled to your opinion. Now I ask you this. What good in this world has come from pornography? Sure, since the porn industry brings in more cash than all the major sports combined, I suppose you could say it stimulates the economy. But how does that really benefit anyone? Other than your two minutes of happy alone time, I mean. I guess it does provide some jobs, but the majority of the money you spend on smut goes directly into the producer’s pockets, which in turn, goes to make more porn. If you can think of some wonderful benefit of porn that I’m neglecting, please feel free to argue your point by leaving a comment. I’ll be glad to have the debate with anyone who can carry on an intelligent conversation and doesn’t resort to name-calling. Now back to the subject at hand. Uhhhh… perhaps that’s a bad cliché to use right now.

Anyway, I’ve been truckin’ coast to coast since 1997, and I don’t remember it always being so bad. Maybe my memory is just shot from staring at too many long stretches of road, but back then I only remember Las Vegas being overrun with porno billboards. I can’t say as I was all that surprised about that though. It is Vegas after all. And being Vegas, they have now lifted it to a new level. Last time I was through there, they had numerous billboards advertising production job openings for a company called “Bait & Tackle.” This sure looked “fishy” to me. The pictures on these billboards were of Jolly Green Giant-sized half-naked men and women. My suspicions led me to wonder if these “productions” were porno flicks. Turns out, I was right. Here’s the story if you don’t believe me.

While Vegas is always at the forefront of risqué, the rest of the country isn’t that much better. If you’re in an urban area, there are billboards for “Gentlemen’s Clubs” every time you glance up from the road. Now I can honestly say I’ve never seen one gentlemen in these establishments. It’s hard to be gentlemanly when you’re holding up a dollar bill with lust in your eyes and drool on your lip. And yes, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been to a few strip clubs in my younger years. All three times, I buckled to peer pressure from the guys in my band. It was never my idea. I can honestly say that I was just never into it. While I wasn’t exactly a great Christian example back in those days, I guess my Christian upbringing always made me feel that something was just “wrong” about the whole situation. It didn’t help that I’m a tightwad. I couldn’t really see the sense in paying a woman to tease me. I knew plenty of girls that would do that for free.

Temptation isn’t just in the cities though. Even out in the stix, you’ve got billboards telling you to that there is truck parking at the adult video store at the next exit. And how convenient that it’s open 24 hours. Couples welcome? I’ll bet. I wonder how many of those places have hidden cameras stashed around the joint? It still amazes me how many of these shops are on the highways of America.

Every once in a while you’ll see a billboard for massage parlors. And guess what? They have truck parking. And how about the topless cafe’s down on I-75 in the Southeast? Their billboards list topless waitresses, food, truck parking and showers. I’m sorry, but even if my electronic logs tell me I’m out of driving time, I’m not stopping for the night and taking a shower at one of these places. I feel sorry for the plumber who has to clean out those drains.

Even when you’re at the truck stop, you’re not immune from sexual bombardment. Most of the large truck stop chains stay away from porno mags, but many of the smaller places have magazine racks that devote more than half the shelf space to porn. That always disturbs me, knowing that a graphic image like that can get burned into a kid’s brain with one glance. And yes, I’m fully aware all the naughty bits are covered, but they’re still revealing enough to peak the kid’s curiousity.

Once you’re back in the protective cocoon known as your truck, you’d think you’re safe. But no, here comes the lot lizard. That’s a truck stop prostitute, for you non-truckers out there. Granted, most truck stops don’t have infestations of lot lizards, but you can pretty much count on a knock on your door if you’re anywhere near an urban area. I’ve seen a few nice-looking lot lizards over the years, but by and large, you’ve gotta be pretty desperate to go there.

Clearly, all these smut pushers know their audience. If their advertising didn’t work, they’d change their billboards or get rid of them altogether. Sadly, it is working. It’s not very often that I pass an adult store without at least one truck in the parking lot. Likewise, lot lizards wouldn’t be frequenting truck stops if there weren’t drivers forking over the cash for their services. Truck stops wouldn’t be carrying nudie mags if drivers weren’t buying them either.

So what’s a driver to do? Well, if he’s thinks there’s nothing wrong with porn, he goes as crazy as a nymphomaniac at a swinger’s convention. While he’s doing so, he’ll probably get lost in a world that will only take him further into the heart of Smutville. I’ve never been an avid porno guy, but I’d be a big fat liar-liar-pants-on-fire if I said I’ve never seen any. I’ve seen my share. Some of my friends went for the hardcore stuff, but I’ve always liked something left to the imagination. See, I was even classy back then. Pssshhht.

I can only tell you that the more you see this stuff, the more obsessed your mind gets. I hate to tell you guys this, but your mechanic is not a hot chick who’s going to get all hot and bothered when you bring your car in for a busted radiator. It’s just plain unrealistic. Your partner may or may not get into playing “housewife and UPS man.” But guys, you don’t really want your wife hopping into the sack with every delivery guy that shows up at your door, do you? But hey, because there’s a woman doing it on video, your distorted perception tells you that you should probably leave your partner to find someone more adventurous. Good luck with that.

Like I said, I was never heavy into the porno world, so it was easy for me to get rid of it altogether. I’m grateful that I never got lost in it. I know myself and how easily I could fall prey to this stuff. And I know that I don’t want to go where that road would take me. A few slaps upside the head from The Evil Overlord (my wife and ex co-driver) was all it took for me. It’s not so easy for others to walk away.

So why am I even talking about all of this? It’s actually for two reasons. I’m trying to warn anyone who may already be struggling with this, and I’m also trying to help those who may be considering becoming a truck driver in the future. It’s similar to me telling someone with a weight problem to really consider it before they start trucking, because it’s likely that their weight problems will only escalate once they set foot in a truck. It’s just the nature of the beast.

If you’re going to be all alone out on the road, you’ve got one of two choices. You can embrace the smut, which means you’ll be risking a wicked wrist injury and/or a scorching STD; or you can resist the urge to give into temptation and keep your jump shot and the bliss of peeing without pain. Naturally, the latter is the harder of the two and the road less traveled.

Here’s the thing. It would be all too easy to take the road to Smutville. Most of us drivers are alone out here on the road. We can stop into any video store or strip club we want. Who’s ever going to find out? “Sorry I didn’t answer the phone last night, honey. I was in an area with no cell service.” Or you could load up on porno mags when you leave the house and trash them before you get home. The pages are probably all stuck together by then anyway.

My point is this. If you want to stay away from this stuff, you need to have a strong will and possibly even a little help. Now I’m a Christian, but even so, I’m not immune to this stuff. I admit that all the opportunities out here are tempting at times. When I see a racy billboard or a nice set of legs in the car beside me, I try not to take a second look. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. The thing that helps me most is that I know God is always watching. Even if The Evil Overlord never found out, I would still know and so would God. Now that may be enough to keep me from caving in, but if you’re not a believer in a supreme being with an ever watchful eye, you may need more help.

If you even think you might be addicted to porn, just do a Google search for “pornography addiction help line” and call one of the toll-free numbers to get some help. And if that still isn’t enough, I might be able to talk The Evil Overlord into coming over and giving you a good THWACK upside your head. You know; while that is rather effective, she does seem to enjoy it just a taaaaad bit too much.

*Please feel free to leave a comment and/or give any further advice you might have. And please go rate this blog post. Now go on with your bad self.*

This post originally appeared at About Trucking Jobs


Photo courtesy of taberandrew

About Todd Mc Cann

Todd McCann has been trucking since 1997, alongside his wife, co-driver, and antagonist, Lorinda (affectionately named The Evil Overlord). You can read more of their adventures at his blog, About Trucking Jobs.


  1. I want to Thank you for sharing this! My husband has just recently started driving and we are both christians. The “trucker” stereo type is horrible, I am so glad to know there are other men like my husband on the road. I’m not a stupid wife lol i know there are temptations that is one of the many reasons I am super excited to travel with him full time (as soon as his insurance allows it). I think it takes a true man of God to call this smut out and share your views and your faith. Thank You again and God Bless!!!

  2. Speaking of targeting the audience, how many of those porn shop or gentleman’s club billboards offer a CDL discount or Trucker’s discount. I don’t drive truck across country, but I have made a couple cross country drives on 1-80 and 1-70, and it is utterly amazing how many do. (I have a CDL, but I’ve never taken advantage of the discount)

    • That’s a good question, Alan. Thankfully, I don’t know the answer. I’d have to go into a lot of them to find out. That ain’t gonna happen.

      I’m betting you’re right though. If they’re going to make sure “truck parking” is listed on their billboards, I’d say it’s a safe bet that they offer a CDL discount too. I have seen signs on some of the buildings stating that they offer discounts to truckers. I bet they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

      Thanks for bringing up the question.

  3. No Todd. You are stating beliefs. I have presented facts and reasoning.
    And I continue posting for the benefit of those who may come across this thread, and are struggling with choosing between a life based on reason and a life based on mythology.

    • Well that didn’t take long. Facts and reasoning can both be subjective. For example, many scientists believe the fossil record to prove the theory of evolution. Christian scientists could look at the exact same data and determine that the records don’t give enough evidence to support that. You just assume the non-Christian scientist are right. I don’t. Reasoning can be subjective too. For example, the attack on the twin towers was totally unwarranted according to those in the US. But for Muslim terrorists it was totally justifiable.

      My point is this. Just because YOU believe something, doesn’t make it fact or the reasonable choice. Nor does it when I believe something. I never claimed that God is a provable fact and that the Bible was inspired by God. There’s no way to prove that. I believe there’s enough evidence to support it, so I believe. You don’t.

      I guess the only way to know who’s right is to wait until we die. Here’s the thing. If I’m wrong, we’re both worm food. If you’re wrong, we could still be worm food. If we’re both wrong, who knows where we’ll end up. But if I’m right and you’re wrong, I’ll be spending an eternity with my creator in a heavenly place. And you? Well, I’m sure you’re familiar with Revelations. I pray that doesn’t happen though.

      • “But if I’m right and you’re wrong, I’ll be spending an eternity with my creator in a heavenly place. And you? Well, I’m sure you’re familiar with Revelations. I pray that doesn’t happen though”

        This is the thing that seems condescending. I’m not sure how to explain it better, but it really does. I can see how you’d feel condescended to by Tbyte, but I imagine he/she feels condescended to by you.

        Let’s all try to back off from that?

        • I suppose I can see why you consider that condescending, but I don’t consider it so. I’ve called myself a sinner too. So am I being condescending to myself? I’m trying to figure out why everyone else seems to be able to tell me how wrong I am without being considered condescending.

          Anyway, this won’t be an issue any longer. As you probably read, I won’t be acknowledging TByte any longer.

          • Condescension is an easy thing to fall prey to. I know I’ve been guilty of it. None of the moderators here want people getting into snide fisticuffs, insult battles or sarcasm wars. Religion (or not) is a tough topic. Like, race as well. We’ve had a lot of comments on race lately.
            We’ll keep moderating and if anyone has questions they can contact us directly.

      • Wrong again.
        Facts and reasoning are not subjective.
        Facts represent things that are known with a high degree of certainty. Short of my existing in some sort of matrix-like world of imagination, the fact that I am typing on my laptop is not subjective.
        Reasoning represents conclusions that are drawn from a collection of facts. These conclusions are reached by logical methods first developed by the achient Greeks, and refined through the centuries. Reasoning is in no way subjective.
        While there may be such a thing as a scientist who is also a Christian, there are no “Christian Scientists”. No Christian claims have ever been demonstrated using the scientific manner. Therefore, the beliefs of Christians which conflict with scientific knowledge are subjective opinions. By definition they are based on faith, not facts or reasoning.

        “I guess the only way to know who’s right is to wait until we die. Here’s the thing. If I’m wrong, we’re both worm food. If you’re wrong, we could still be worm food. If we’re both wrong, who knows where we’ll end up. But if I’m right and you’re wrong, I’ll be spending an eternity with my creator in a heavenly place.”
        Seriously? Pascal’s wager?
        But how about this possibility: There is a God, and She gave us brains on order to use reasoning and logic to explore and discover our world, and thus has not interfered in the universe since its creation. Furthermore, She only wants to spend eternity in the company of those who were wise enough NOT to believe in her without evidence.
        Note that the argument for this God is much stronger and logically sound than the argument for the Christian God.
        Now who’s going to heaven?

        • I am.

        • While you have continually called ME condescending, I believe that YOU have been condescending to me the whole time. Now you’re implying I don’t have the ability to reason. So here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to agree to disagree (althought I doubt you will) and you may now comment on anything I post in the future. I will not be responding to anything more you say. I’m sure you’ll consider this a win for you. You’re welcome to do so. We both think we’re right and nothing is going to change that, so what’s the point of continuing our discussion? That’s a rhetorical question. So if you choose to answer it, you won’t get an answer.

    • GMP Moderator says:

      And posting facts are fine. Please tone down the commentary that is insulting to Mr. McCann personally, or to TByte personally, or anyone else on either side.. This is a difficult thread, and we recognize that.

  4. Wow, my comments are now on “moderation.”

    • And good morning to you, Tom.
      There are usually 5-10 comments held in moderation each night. Some are due to content or words, some are accidental. We don’t have a lot of volunteer moderators willing to work between midnight at 6 am.
      When commenters are placed on permanent moderation, they receive an email from on of us (Joanna, Lisa or myself) letting them know why.
      No conspiracy here, Tom. Just things getting held up and now placed in the post as I just got up and just looked over the mod queue.
      You’re welcome!

      • It is now evening Julie, so good evening to you. I just finished a 12 hour shift and was pleased to see your response but somewhat disappointed that I wasn’t actually moderated. Even “I” like to be a bad boy at times. 🙂

        Nice to see others are up at the crack of dawn as well …. it’s quiet time for me and I enjoy a strong cup or I should say half pot of coffee and read this stuff. It gets my Adrenalin going so that when I walk onto the residential adolescent unit (38 adolescent boys), I’m ready to go.

  5. @Todd … ^5 to you buddy! I couldn’t wait until I read all the responses before I wrote something to you. God bless ya man for enduring the responses you’ve got on your article. I’m with ya. It’s amazing how so many see you as forcing your ideas on them but are blind to the fact that they are forcing their lack of morals on you and me.

    Porn addiction (aka sex addiction) is a BIG problem in this country. If any of these people on here knew anything about “addictions” they may not say some of the things they say. I didn’t see your article as attacking anyone who may be into porn, I saw it as a perspective of a trucker that has simply resisted driving into Smutville. The proverbial “word to the wise.” From MSNBC “According to experts, 25 million Americans visit cyber-sex sites every week, leading some to become sex addicts.” That pretty much sums it up. And as I said, if people understood addictions, they would be supporting your thoughts.

    Todd, I commend you for your concern for your nephews and what they may be confronted with in their life. As Christians, you and I are a minority in this group and no matter what, we’re seen as attempting to “force” our beliefs on others. For people in this group to claim that they are interested in what a variety of men have to say, it’s obviously limited as to what they feel we can or can’t say.

    You’ve been put on blast in this group and I commend you for hanging in there and holding your ground. All I can say is that if it weren’t for authors like you in this group, I would have walked away

    Moderator’s Note-Please do not generalize about people’s moral standing, based on religion or lack of. We didn’t allow it to happen to you in a post, please back down from claiming others don’t have morals.

    • Christians are a minority in the US? Would you please show cites for that? Here’s what I found on a cursory Google Search. in a survey of 2000 americans 84 percent were Christian
      A wiki, indicating some 70 percent of americans are religious
      Christianity Today indicating 159 million USians are Christian (85%)

      So….that doesn’t seem like a minority to me. I see that as a hell of a lot of voting power. And frankly, even minorities with strong lobbying plans can win elections, but I see a lot of people there.

      Also, no one is limiting you for saying what you want unless you attack the author or other commenters. We ARE interested in a range of viewpoints or the article wouldn’t be here at all. We ARE interested in commenters (and obviously heated dialogue ;() or we’d have shut comments down. We won’t allow anyone to push past the commenting guidelines. But no one would say you can’t talk about god, Jesus, Church, love etc. Go for it.

      I am not sure how we are forcing a lack of morals on you. I would NEVER ask you to participate in sexual or moral activity you object to. I talk about things here, as do others, but that isn’t an invitation. It’s clear where you stand, and you are happy where you stand so…..

      Just like Todd is talking about things but I don’t consider him asking me to join up. If he did, I’d probably feel irritated but ignore it. I wouldn’t ever say…Oh Come On!!! You Must Try X! Here, let me show you how!!!

      I and others will provide argument and info, educational information etc, much as Todd has done, and we can all argue about it, but I am not seeing Todd actually evangelizing, nor am I.

      • I’ll say it for him, to save the trouble…Tom was saying Christians are a minority at GMP…which, yeah I don’t know about the stats on that either.

        Anyway, as to the rest of what you’re saying Julie…yup x10.

        • Ah, that would be interesting to breakdown and find out. Maybe we should do a poll? Apologies Tom, I misunderstood. They may be a minority here, but you still have every write to post your opinions and beliefs so long as they fall in the policy.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      @Tom B: “they are forcing their lack of morals on you and me.”
      HOW are they forcing you? 😯
      I don’t think anybody asked you to change your behaviour. Do whatever you like, the way you like.
      Don’t you forget you are here by your choice, and you read by your choice. Nobody is forcing anything on you.
      I smell a little bit of paranoia here… 😉

      OTOH, it’s people like you who would like others CHANGE THEIR behaviours…
      Thus, who’s the tolerant and who’s the “forcer”? :roll:

      @Tom B: “Porn addiction (aka sex addiction) is a BIG problem in this country”
      Porn and sex-addiction are NOT the same thing (as a matter of fact, porn addiction often leads to no sex!).
      If you believe so, your ignorance on the matter is astounding. 😕
      And I’d say that ignorance is the mother of ALL problems. 😉

      • “If you believe so, your ignorance on the matter is astounding. And I’d say that ignorance is the mother of ALL problems.”

        You’ve obviously never worked with someone who is addicted to sex. Not indulging in “Porn” plays a big role in their sobriety. Just as someone who ocassionally has a beer may not be an alcoholic, someone who ocassionally watches porn is not a sex addict. BUT all alcoholics drink and all sex addicted people watch porn. What I quoted was from MSNBC, not anything that I made up.

        And yes, I agree “And I’d say that ignorance is the mother of ALL problems.”

    • Moderator’s Note-We understand that subjects such as religion are highly charged. We ask that people do not compare and contrast moral standards, which will ultimately create more division in the thread. Please contact a moderator if you have any questions regarding the editing of this comment.

      • Uhm…then how is Tom allowed to get away with accusing us lacking morals?
        Tom B, April 5, 2012 at 7:22 am:
        “It’s amazing how so many see you as forcing your ideas on them but are blind to the fact that they are forcing their lack of morals on you and me. ”
        It is offensive to read these people’s comments accusing those who do not share their faith of moral decrepitude. This has occurred several times in this thread. If theists are going to compare our morality with theirs, then we should be allowed to argue in like kind.
        Moderators, please reply….

        Moderator Note: Tom said this “It’s amazing how so many see you as forcing your ideas on them but are blind to the fact that they are forcing their lack of morals on you and me.” which was vague (non specific to one person) about a group of people. So yeah, it probably should have been moderated due to generalizing, though there was a sling of comments doing that work back to Tom. Your post pointed out Tom specifically, his morals specifically and was seen by the mod team as a personal attack towards Tom rather than a general comment.

        We know how heated these conversations get, and the moderation team is small, a volunteer base, and not always on at the same time. You can always email us- julie, heather, joanna, if you have questions.

    • Thanks Tom B. It’s nice to have someone else on my team here. Was beginning to feel like a golfer against a whole football team. 😀 I have to say that most people have been civil when discussing this with me. Obviously, they disagree immensely (that’s putting it mildly). To be fair, those who have gotten a bit too fiesty have been warned by the moderators. So while I’m definitely under attack, I’m doing my best to hold my own. Good thing I just heard a sermon on persevering. 😀 Honestly, if this is the worst thing I have to persevere in my Christian walk, then it’s all gravy from here on.

      Thanks for your encouragement.

      • I hope you don’t think I am attacking you. I’m arguing with you, certainly. But I am not doing, nor is Heather, anything that would cause you bodily harm, hurt your work etc. Nor would we. But we are arguing and providing counter-information for our positions. If you do believe anyone is attacking you personally, please let us know and we’ll email them directly.
        If my arguments have hurt your feelings, please do let me know. I don’t intend that, but find that actual discussions here are important.

        • It’s all good Julie. You’ve been more than civil to me, as have most of the commenters. I was just meaning that I’m in the minority on this thread and it FEELS like I’m taking a pounding because I’m so outnumbered. I reply to one person and end up having to defend that statement to two or three people. The blog post has totally sucked my time. For instance, I just spent 5 hours researching and replying to comments.

          Also, the only person I’ve felt has attacked me personally was already reprimanded. So thanks for that. And then I got reprimanded for my snarky comment. LOL Also, it’s really hard to hurt my feelings, so don’t worry about that. We all have different opinions and I’m fine with that.

          What truly amazed me is how far off the topic we are from the original post.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    Back to the “truckers going to Smutville” theme:

    I’m wondering how many of those sex/porn stops for truckers are actually there for men who are not truck drivers but local men looking for some action far from home, out on the interstate. I would be very surprised if the only vehicles at those places are big rigs. Truck drivers are not the only solitary men out driving on the highways looking for cheap, anonymous sex or escapist porn. There is a certain truck stop/truck driver subculture out there which seems to have its own norms about sex and nudity. (The nude silhouette mudflaps are an obvious example.) It’s a subculture that you don’t have to be a truck driver to emulate, so I’m wondering how many “wannabes” there are out there who are going to the same places.

    I also wonder if truck driving as a job has changed a lot over the last 10-20 years and if that may have something to do with changes in the way that people market to truckers. I’ve heard that the hours and distances and time away from home have gotten longer and longer in recent years, which could translate into more loneliness, more isolation from the women you know, more desire for sex/porn/companionship at any price, etc. Just a theory from a total outsider here.

    On a local note: Here in the Pacific Northwest, the logging truck drivers drive like suicidal/homicidal maniacs. I’m surprised commuters aren’t crushed by giant logs every day. If more porn and more prostitution would mellow them out, I’m all for it.

    • wellokaythen, you make a good point. I was by no means implying that truckers are the only group that are targeted by these billboards. Sorry if it came off that way.

      I’m sure you’re correct that they’re trying to pull ALL men in. They do make a point to say they have truck parking. Guess auto parking is just assumed. 🙂 And I’m sure your theory on being lonely and away from home for longer periods of time has something to do with it too.

      And sorry about those logger drivers. LOL There’s always a few bad apples. Okay, in our case maybe it’s a basket or two. 😉

  7. Valter Viglietti says:

    Glad you liked it, Todd.
    Here’s another article about sexuality, and why in the USA is such a controversial (and confused) topic:
    It’s from Dr. Marty Klein, a brilliant sexuologist, IMO one of the smartest voices about the subject.

    One of his points:
    “The very idea that the consensual and responsible expression of sexuality can somehow be sinful is psychotic and abusive.”
    And yet… 😕

    @Todd: “I hope you don’t have the impression that all Christians are like that, because we aren’t.”
    I hope you’re right.
    And yet, the most sexuophobic people I ever met, were almost always Christians (ok, Muslims can be even worse 😉 ). This is telling.

    • I tried to read this article, but quite frankly, I stopped because I don’t consider anyone “brilliant” who speaks so condescendingly of another person’s faith. I don’t think the Buddists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. are correct in their beliefs, but I don’t mock them. They’re free to choose their path. Your Dr. Klein clearly thinks Christians are imbeciles. You don’t act that way Valter, so I’m a little surprised you think this doctor is so smart.

      • What you may not realize Todd, is that your tone about porn and erotica and how sexuality may be accessed by non-christians seems extremely condescending as well. It does to me, at least.

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        If someone says (or does) foolish things, I think it’s ok pointing that out, being them believers or not. Having a faith doesn’t make you immune from mistakes or critics.
        Dr. Klein does just that, he sees lots of foolish talks and behaviour against sexuality, and he points that out.

        I agree those people are free to choose their path – and I’m sure Dr. Klein would be more than happy to leave them alone – but, alas, those people often try hard to make OTHER people follow THEIR path. And that’s not fair.

        I don’t think Dr. Klein believes all Christians are imbeciles… but many of them are (or behave like that).
        Again, the problem is not what you (or others) believe; it’s someone forcing their beliefs onto a whole country. 🙁

        • I’d say this “I agree those people are free to choose their path – and I’m sure Dr. Klein would be more than happy to leave them alone – but, alas, those people often try hard to make OTHER people follow THEIR path. And that’s not fair.

          I don’t think Dr. Klein believes all Christians are imbeciles… but many of them are (or behave like that).
          Again, the problem is not what you (or others) believe; it’s someone forcing their beliefs onto a whole country”

          Is mostly what us of the non-believer/agnostic/could be spiritual if it wasn’t so difficult/ folk feel. That’s how I feel anyway.

          • I’m still confused by the notion that I’m “forcing my beliefs onto a whole country.” I simply vote my conscience, as do you. Every person in America votes according to their conscience.

            If a Christian tries to witness to a non-believer, the non-believer has every right to walk away or even to tell the Christian that they’re not interested. How is that “forcing?” Heck, I find used car salesmen and the prefume ladies at Macy’s more pushy than Christians. 😀

            • I’m not talking about you. Or a Christian witnessing to one person. I’m talking about a lobby of individuals and groups with such monetary power that they can influence laws and policies in ways that individuals cannot. And if those groups that lobby have a clear religious agenda I think that’s dangerous. And I assume that if you or other Christians saw other religious communities gather up similar forces and monetary power (Muslim, Mormon, Scientologist) you might find that frightening too. I mean, Obama himself had to fight accusations that he was Muslim and what would that do to the nation.
              That’s what I am referring to.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Re: Incorrect beliefs

        I’m guessing there is quite a bit of overlap between your beliefs and those of many other religions, especially Islam, so you probably don’t find ALL of their beliefs not “correct.” Islam generally sees the Old Testament prophets as their prophets, they trace their roots back to Abraham, they see Jerusalem as a holy city, they have scriptural injunctions against murder, theft, lying, and ungodliness, and they espouse sexual modesty, sexual abstinence before marriage, etc.

        If you’re looking to clean up America’s billboards, you’ll find some natural allies among people of these other faiths. There are FAR fewer racy billboards in Saudi Arabia, India, and Thailand. (Not sure what to do with the wild copulations found in some of the Hindu temple sculptures….)

        • wellokaythen (love the username LOL), you’re exactly right. Christians do have a lot of common beliefs with Muslims. We just differ in the big issues. For instance, they think Jesus was just a prophet. Christians believe he was God in human form and chose to die for our sins. Big difference there.

          They’re also a lot more strict than Christians when it comes to tolerance. The Quoran teaches to kill non-believers, homosexuals, etc. The Bible (New Testament) teaches to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “love your enemies and bless those who hate you.” WOW. Really big difference. Unfortunately, many Christians nowadays seems to have missed a few verses. 😉

          • “The Quoran teaches to kill non-believers, homosexuals, etc.”

            Alrighty, I’ve been pretty chill with regards to the discussion of religion so far…but here I’m putting my foot down. Before you talk about what the Quran teaches please read it first, preferably in Arabic…but if not in Arabic at least an English translation. Not to mention, just as there are many different interpretations of the Bible, there are many different interpretations of the Quran. Please keep that in mind before making generalizations about “what the Quran teaches.”

            • Some quotes from the Quran, for your consideration:

              “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” – Chapter 60, verse 8

              “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].” – Chapter 41, verses 34-35

              “And what can make you know what is [breaking through] the difficult pass? It is the freeing of a slave; Or feeding on a day of severe hunger; An orphan of near relationship; Or a needy person in misery; And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.” – Chapter 90, verses 12-17

              Which, those are all as problematic as quoting Biblical passages without context…but my point is that the Quran does teach compassion and love too.

            • I have not read the entire Quran, but I have done some research on it. What I said seems to be one of many ways to deal with homosexuals. None of them are good.


              I guess we could solve this another way. The next time you’re in the Middle East, how comfortable would you be announcing to the world that you’re LGBT? I just heard a story on the news the other day about a homosexual with the death penalty. Doesn’t sound like anything I’d be announcing.

              • Mate, look up Christianity and homosexuality and you’ll find something pretty dang similar. I won’t be going to Armenia any time soon and announcing I’m gay either, and it’s a Christian nation…or how about the awesome (sarcastic) response a lot of eastern European countries have had to Pride parades…yeah really friendly (also sarcastic). The move to a more lgbt-friendly society in the west is not because it’s Christianity, but to do with a secular influence. Also, much as Christians have had to create lgbt-friendly churches, Muslims have created lgbt-friendly mosques.

                Islam and Christianity are not exactly the same, obviously…they’re two different religions…but it is inaccurate to paint Islam as somehow more violent or intolerant than Christianity.

                • The Old Testment is the old covenant. The New Testment is how Jesus wanted his followers to act. At least that’s what he said in the Bible. If my understanding is correct, the Quran does exactly the opposite. It starts out peaceful and turns more violent as it goes along.

                  I know you’ll correct me if I’m wrong. 😉

                  • Well I’ve never thought about the placement of violent vs. non-violent passages in the Quran, so I can’t comment on that at the minute. It’s late in the evening here, so I guess I’ll look into it tomorrow. What I will correct you on is your view of violence in the Bible. Firstly, order of the books of the Bible is variable depending on which denomination you’re talking about…though yes the general division between what is Old Testament and what is New Testament is the same. However, there are also bits that are generally left out of the New Testament (the Apocrypha). Again, we need to take a historical and contextual perspective when looking at the Bible (like any text)…clearly the religious leaders for each denomination have found value in including more than just direct accounts of what Jesus is reported to have said. Otherwise, the Bible would be a heck of a lot smaller…even the New Testament isn’t only accounts of Jesus’ life. Paul, for example, wasn’t exactly the most tolerating sort of person…in fact all the New Testament bits about homosexuality are attributed to Paul.

                    Also…if you want to talk about violent endings, Revelations is certainly not butterflies and rainbows.

                    • wellokaythen says:

                      And then there’s the unpublished “Jefferson Bible” that Thomas Jefferson put together. He took a version of the Bible available in his era and cut out all the things that he did not consider to have good historical proof or that seemed too far-fetched or passages that contradicted each other. He reduced the Gospels to a set of basic, general guidelines ascribed to Jesus, and cut out all the references to unrealistic miracles and the book of Revelation. What was left was a VERY short version….

                      Clearly not a “Founding Father” establishing the U.S. as a “godly” country…. Practically an atheist up there on Mount Rushmore.

                    • wellokaythen says:

                      Well, now, Revelation only predicts violence to people who deserve it. Unholy people like me, who will be left behind when The Rapture comes and takes all the good ones to Heaven. Besides, you can’t expect evil seven-headed dragons to be peaceful, can you? That’s just unfair…..

                    • That’s right. Revelations is world of hurt. According to the Bible, God is a just God and in the end, all things will be made right. If people choose not to believe in God and the Bible, then they’ve got nothing to worry about. To them it’s just a fairy tale. Personally, I’m striving to make the “well done, my good and faithful servant” line.

                      Yes, I realize in the past there have been many atrocities done in the name of God. But I ask you this; how many radical Christians are bombing people who don’t believe as they do? Now how many radical Islamic terrorist bombs have blown up recently? I believe the Christian violence is past tense now, while Muslim terrorists keep escalating their attacks.

                    • “But I ask you this; how many radical Christians are bombing people who don’t believe as they do?”

                      I present to you, the IRA. I also would like to point out the Bosnian Genocide in the 1990s. It’s the ‘past,’ yes, but not so distant. And the IRA is not entirely gone. And for a more recent example of extremist Christian violence we could look at the death of George Tiller. Those are just examples off the top of my head.

                      As a side note, Timothy McVeigh most certainly wasn’t Muslim…though he wasn’t motivated by religion at all. My point, is that he doesn’t fit the “radical Muslim terrorist” label.

                    • Oh also, he victims of the Bosnian Genocide were Muslims. It doesn’t really make a difference seeing as the point was that people still commit violence in the name of Christianity. But it does provide an interesting perspective on things. In the U.S. we’re focused on Muslim terrorism so much that we’re ignoring when Muslims are the victims of violence themselves.

                    • I found this article on Revelation in the New Yorker to be incredibly fascinating for it’s historical perspective.

                      “Pagels then shows that Revelation, far from being meant as a hallucinatory prophecy, is actually a coded account of events that were happening at the time John was writing. It’s essentially a political cartoon about the crisis in the Jesus movement in the late first century, with Jerusalem fallen and the Temple destroyed and the Saviour, despite his promises, still not back. All the imagery of the rapt and the raptured and the rest that the “Left Behind” books have made a staple for fundamentalist Christians represents contemporary people and events, and was well understood in those terms by the original audience. Revelation is really like one of those old-fashioned editorial drawings where Labor is a pair of overalls and a hammer, and Capital a bag of money in a tuxedo and top hat, and Economic Justice a woman in flowing robes, with a worried look.”

                      I’ll look into the book if for nothing else to look back at an incredibly complex piece of history.

                    • Christian violence is not past-tense. It is at best dormant, which is why we must be vigilant regarding sanctimonious attitudes. All the verses in the bible that have inspired violence in the past (and even up to the last decade), are still in there.

                    • Yes Heather, two giant towers crumbling to the ground and many lost lives tend to bring our focus onto the Muslim terrorists. And let’s not forget Israel, who is constantly under attack. Yet any time they threaten to defend themselves, the world goes totally ape-crap on them.

                    • Lets not forget Israel, which is engaging in ethnic cleansing.
                      But anytime the rest of the world wants to admonish them for this, the U.S. uses its veto power.

              • wellokaythen says:

                It’s remarkable to read a Christian praising Christianity for its tolerance of homosexuality, or to suggest that Christianity is better than Islam because Christianity is much nicer to gay people. That almost sounds like equal legal rights for gay people is a fundamental Christian value. I’ll agree with that, if that’s what’s being said here. I think there is a thread of equality and acceptance of diversity in many forms of Christianity. Sounds good to me. Have I found an ally in the movement to legalize same-sex marriage?

                Or, maybe the intended message is for gay people to count their blessings and drop the whole gay marriage thing. Sure, you can’t get married, but hey, at least we’re nice enough not to kill you for being gay. (Well, not as much as they do in those other countries.)

                • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Christians are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. Sorry if you don’t like that word. I’m a sinner too. We all are.

                  No, don’t have an ally in the same-sex marriage issue. Guessing you were being sarcastic there. That’s fine. I respect some good sarcasm. 😀

                  • Ah no, he was asking whether you are an ally (not whether you had one). Straight people who support lgbt rights are called allies.

                    Oh nevermind, just realized I read your reply wrong; it’s 3am here.

          • wellokaythen says:

            Not all Christians actually believe the same things, even about seemingly universal things like the divine/human nature of Jesus. There are people who self-identify as Christians who have different views of how human and/or how divine Jesus was. Mutiply this current diversity with all the changes across the history of Christianity, and it’s hard to come up with many things that all Christians have in common. Early 21st century English-speaking American evangelical non-denominational working-class Christianity is just one of many, many versions of Christianity out there. (Leaving aside for the moment the question of what people actually believe compared to what they say they’re supposed to believe….)

            My understanding is that the Koran is actually organized according to the size of the parts, with the longest books first and the shortest books last. It’s not a narrative. The history of Islam as a religion is not a single narrative, either. Muslim toleration for other religions and for homosexuality has ebbed and flowed, just as much as Christianity’s tolerance has.

            • Thanks wellokaythen for always pointing out stuff I forget. 🙂 (No that’s not sarcastic).

              And this is well off topic and nit-picky but I’ll poin out that it should be spelled Quran or Qur’an…Koran would be misspelling it. I’m not criticising…it’s just FYI.

              • wellokaythen says:

                “Koran” is admittedly a somewhat archaic anglicization of the Arabic word, but it is from one of the multiple transcription systems for translating Arabic into Latin letters. Just as there are multiple accepted spellings of Mohamed, Muhammad, etc. Quran or Q’ran is the more up-to-date way, I admit, but it’s an old habit. (My parents still use the word “Mohammedans” for Muslims, so I’ve made some progress….)

                • Lol. Yeah like I said I wasn’t trying to personally call you out. Transliteration was just something we hammered on in my Arabic class. I can’t remember most of my vocabulary, but I can transliterated the heck out of words. Lol.

  8. Valter Viglietti says:

    BTW, here is a very reasonable and empathical article about sexual desire and the dangers of condemn/repress it:

    • I went and read that article, Valter. Wow. Talk about being on the far right. I hope you don’t have the impression that all Christians are like that, because we aren’t. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with teaching our young men and women to dress modestly, but this church and it’s leader have taken it to a whole new level. It’s absolutely nuts to make kids afraid of their own sexuality by teaching that all women are out to get sex.

      I think the author summed that up nicely at the end of the article. It all boils down to self control and personal choices. We’ll never be able to control other people’s actions. Interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

  9. MichelleG says:

    Canada just recently legalized brothels in Ontario. This just points to a huge disconnect….

    A quote from Peter Saxon:

    “Many men are still having sex in hiding and from a distance using pornography. Through prolonged use they consolidate neural pathways of disconnection with women through this fantasy culture which inflames their issues to receive love. Through the use of porn they begin to consciously see women as a purely voyeuristic, sexual object. They conceal and disguise their voyeurism as they constantly objectify every woman they see. Sizing them up, looking them up and down playing out fantasies.

    The word intimacy is derived from the Latin; Intimus meaning Innermost. Men are still using porn to distract, conceal and deny ‘what is’ in their life. They blind themselves to ideas about what is happening inside with no ‘Innermost’ connection with themselves. The loving relationship with the man’s self is denied.

    The Strong, Powerful, Loving Man does not use porn to distract himself from loneliness, isolation or confusion. He takes courageous steps on his journey to surrender and face what is happening inside him with a loving heart. To learn to love himself so he can truly love another with unafraid intimacy.”

    • “The Strong, Powerful, Loving Man does not use porn to distract himself from loneliness, isolation or confusion.”

      Yeah but he can still use porn to get off on occasion.

    • Valter Viglietti says:

      “The Strong, Powerful, Loving Man”
      Oh. Another myth to burden men’s shoulders… to deny our weakness and repress our needs.
      Aren’t we all fed up with those…?

      “so he can truly love another with unafraid intimacy”
      Unafraid? Sure, tell that to those facing rejection, abandonment, divorce, cheating, sex starving, and emotional walls.
      Sometimes it’s just wise to be afraid and cautious. Sometimes life sucks, and you have to cope with way-less-than-ideal situations.

      This is the problem with myths: they only work in an ideal, theoretical world, not in everyday reality. 😕

  10. And I don’t like the term “lot lizards” used in your story Todd. You should not like it either.

    • I agree that it’s highly disrespectful, and I apologize for that. You’re not the first person to call me out on this. I have been trying to catch myself more when I speak of truck stop prostitutes. Easier said than done when nearly EVERYONE in the trucking industry calls them that. That’s no excuse though. Thanks for holding my feet to the fire.

  11. Valter Viglietti says:

    @Todd McCann: “I am NOT one of those anti-sex dudes. I LOVE me some sex! LOL
    I just believe it’s meant for married couples”

    Sex only for married people?!? 😯
    Please! C’mon! In the third millennium! THAT’s bigotry… 😛

    I’m 49. I never found a woman I liked enough to marry. So, in your opinion, I should have lived without sex for half a century? I could kill because of that. 😉
    Oh, and that would exclude gay people from having sex, because in most countries they cannot marry.

    That’s why I can’t take Christians seriously; many of their assumptions just don’t make sense. :roll:
    Todd, with this you lost 100 points, and all credibility.
    But, again, if those beliefs make you happy (and you don’t plan to force them upon others)… fine. 🙂

    • There we go, Valter. Calling me a bigot. *sigh* Perhaps you should go back up and read that definition again. Have I said anything hateful? How exactly am I being intolerant? Yes, it’s true that I don’t believe in sex before marriage, but if you want to do it, that’s fine by me. That is an act of TOLERANCE. I believe the Bible teaches “hate the sin, not the sinner.” And yes, I know the word “sinner” is only my opinion (and God’s) so it holds no water with you. My opinion here really doesn’t matter anyway. If it were up to me, I’d say, “Let’s have a free-for-all!” But according to my beliefs, that doesn’t reflect God’s values. As a follower of Christ, I go by what he says (in the Bible).

      In the end, Valter, it’s what God thinks of me. So while it’s sad that’s I’ve lost all my credibility with you, I’m sure I’ll survive. And just because we disagree on certain things, doesn’t mean we can’t be friends. If you’d like to see WHY I believe in no sex before marriage (and some other controversial topics), check out my article called, “The Spitting Zealot.” Really, God only wants what’s best for us. I know you’re doing your eye-roll right now. LOLThis article will help to explain that.

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        @Todd: “Calling me a bigot. *sigh*”
        I said it tongue-in-cheek, Todd (check the smiley). 😉
        And I still think you’re a good guy. No hard feelings here… just some eye-rolling puzzlement on my part. :mrgreen:

        @Todd: “it’s what God thinks of me”
        Nope, it’s what YOU believe God thinks about you. You don’t know what God thinks about you (nobody can), it’s all your opinion.
        Please notice I believe God exists, but I think He (She? It?) is quite different from what most people believe.

        Regarding your article, I read it.
        I agree Bruiser is not literally a Christ-ian, yet many self-called Christians behave like that. You might have a “I’m Christ-ier than thou” attitude 😀 but still…
        For the rest, believe whatever makes you happy. That’s what beliefs are for, after all. 😉

        • You said, “I believe God exists, but you think He (She? It?) is quite different from what most people believe.” I’m curious. Where do you get your ideas of God? Didn’t you just he was unknowable? This is a serious question. I’m not poking fun.

          I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I do so because I believe it proves itself. 40 different authors wrote 66 books over the course of approximately 1500 years. There are very few contradictions, and the ones there are can readily be explained. There are countless fulfilled prophecies. Things that no one could possible know unless they were inspired by God to write it.

          So I get my view of God from the Bible. Where does yours come from?

          • Valter Viglietti says:

            Todd: “Where do you get your ideas of God?”
            I’ve been exploring spirituality, religions, philosophy and life itself for 30 years. My idea of God is the result of all that knowledge (and pondering the facts). I agree the true nature of God is unknowable to our rational mind (it’s so bigger than us), but we can have some faint idea about It (“It” because God is not humanlike, of course).
            Even more, we can have good ideas about what God is NOT (NOT focused on humans, NOT focused on this little planet, NOT acting as a “father”, etc…), observing how life works. The facts.
            But, honestly, explaining my vision would be too long and out of place in the comments. 🙂

            Regarding the Bible… again, I think you believe what you need to believe.
            That’s plenty of proofs against what you say, even several books written by people much smarter than me (and you).
            I could list tens of reason against… but I stopped doing that long ago, because I saw how pointless is. Peace. 🙂

            • LOL. That’s right, Valter, it is pointless. I’ve discovered this too. While it’s okay to have the discussion, I think it’s safe to say that very few people have ever had a change of heart due to a debate over the Internet, or even face-to-face for that matter.

              I would, however, be interested in reading a book claiming that the Bible is wrong. Please post a link to your favorite one (preferably something short and to the point.) If you’re interesting in a similar book from my viewpoint, here’s a really short book that costs less than $4 (used) on Amazon. And no wise-cracks about you getting what you pay for. 😀

              “Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible” by Erwin W. Lutzer

              • Valter Viglietti says:

                @Todd: “I would, however, be interested in reading a book claiming that the Bible is wrong.”

                Right now I just can remember a couple in my language, Italian, and I’m afraid they would be useless to you.
                I know I have seen others in English, but I can’t remember what they were.

                > “Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible”
                Problem is, when you want to believe something, you’ll always find proof to it. 😐
                This is true for any field, not just religions, of course; it happened lots of times within science as well.
                The mind is surprisingly able to fool itself. :roll:

      • “I know the word “sinner” is only my opinion (and God’s)”
        How convenient for you.

        It always cracks me up when christians accuse atheists of being arrogant.

        • Yes, that’s what I find condescending as well.

          • I ask you and TByte this. Do you think molesting a child is wrong? I’m sure you do. Can we agree that would be classified as a sin? So wouldn’t that make the both of you condescending toward the pedophile who committed the sin? I think we just have different definitions and levels of what we consider sin. And you know what? That’s just fine by me.

            • I’m really not sure how me finding an action repellent and illegal (an adult harming a child for his/her own pleasure/dysfunction) makes me condescending. I think it makes me someone who would seek justice on the behalf of the child and therapy/healing on behalf of the pedophile.

              I don’t think it’s a sin in the CHristian sense of the word, but I do believe it’s an act of grave import and injustice and is devastating and wrong. I believe the actions of that person are immoral and dangerous.

              I’m not sure how I’d be being condescending to that person who committed a crime.

              • Perhaps condescending is the wrong word there. We ALL judge the actions of things that we consider wrong. My standards are just different that yours and that somehow makes me condescending. Or am I misunderstanding what you’re saying?

                Gotta jump off here soon. Will catch up later.

                • I’m not sure. Perhaps this is something best taken offline. I commented to you about the post in which you mentioned dying and three options. The last option seemed condescending. If you are truly interested in conversing let me know, otherwise I’ll just pause this conversation.

                • Todd, you clearly stated that non-believers are ignorant of their indiscretions and make no effort to correct themselves.
                  That is condescending.
                  An apology would be nice, especially if accompanied by the realization that atheists can be morally upstanding, charitable, altruistic individuals without any theistic beliefs.

            • No. I would feel a lot of emotions regarding a child molester, but “condescending” is not one of them.
              Nice try though.

        • I’m sorry that the word “sinner” offends you. It’s an everyday word associated with Christianity. And for the record, I’m not being condescending. The Bible teaches that ALL people are sinners. That includes me and every other Christian. The only difference between us and the non-believer is that we realize it and try to do something to correct it, including asking forgiveness from our Creator.

          And since I know you’re going to question that all people are sinners, let me head you off at the pass. I believe that because the Bible says it and human nature seems to prove it. You don’t believe that. So let’s leave it at that.

          • “And for the record, I’m not being condescending.”

            …and a scant three sentences later:

            “The only difference between us and the non-believer is that we realize it and try to do something to correct it, including asking forgiveness from our Creator.”

            Wow, that was quick!

            What part of that last sentence do you not consider condescending?

            Do you really beleive that atheists do not consider morality? I can tell you that they put MUCH more thought into it than Christians who simply accept what they are told to believe.

            If you want to compare your theistic morality with my atheist morality, then:

            1) When I perform a good deed, I do it to help a fellow human being or make my community a better place to live. When you perform a good deed, it is at least partially resulting from the threat of punishment or the promise of reward.

            2) When I wrong someone, I ask forgiveness from that person. You apologize to thin air.

            Todd, you strike me as the type of Christian who considers himself enlightened and tolerant.
            Your statements prove otherwise. So, news flash: you are EXACTLY the type of Christian that non-christians find most offensive. The term “Sanctimonious” was coined with persons like yourself in mind.

            • GMP Moderator says:

              “The only difference between us and the non-believer is that we realize it and try to do something to correct it, including asking forgiveness from our Creator.”

              “Do you really beleive that atheists do not consider morality? I can tell you that they put MUCH more thought into it than Christians who simply accept what they are told to believe.”

              I’d like to remind everyone of our commenting policy:

              Specifically this part here – Don’t generalize.

              Thank you.

              • A good policy, though almost impossible to follow when discussing generalized groups of individuals were it not for the follow up:
                And if you want to say something like that, show us some evidence”
                To which I’ll point out that I at least cited several arguments supporting my generalization.

            • You’re confusing me now, TByte. If you don’t believe you’re sinning, then you have no reason to try to correct anything, let alone asking forgiveness from an entity you don’t believe in. So why should you take offense when I said you don’t try to correct it or ask forgiveness to a God you don’t believe in?

              Now for the morality questions:

              1) The Bible teaches that we are to “love our neighbors as ourselves,” and that “we should also love and pray for our enemies” too. We are also supposed to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. And yes, the fear of hell and a just God is a strong motivator, just as the fear of a parent helps a child to learn.

              2) Thin air to you. God to me. The Bible teaches that we are to “forgive others as God forgives us.” There are numerous passages that talk about making things right with others. It even goes so far as to say that “if you come to God in prayer and then realize you have something against your brother, go and make it right before you come to God.” In other words, “LA-LA-LA, I’m not listening until you go apologize to that person.” I’m guess there are a LOT of unheard prayers in today’s world.

              I beg to differ about me being “sanctimonious” and offensive. I wish you could talk to my 900+ Twitter followers. I bet you’d get laughed at for saying that. I’ve got people from all walks of life who follow me. There are liberals, gays, pagans bi-sexuals, non-Christians, etc. They know me as someone who they can have a rational conversation with about religion, politics, etc. Some of them have told me as much.

  12. Valter Viglietti says:

    Todd, I basically disagree on most of what you said (and especially the judgmental attitude), but…
    ok, sure, whatever floats your boat. :roll:

    • Valter, I love your little eye-rolling emoji there. LOL I better keep The Evil Overlord from seeing that!

      Thanks for being civil in your disagreement. Looks like both of our boats can stay afloat. 🙂

  13. HeatherN says:

    Alrighty well after reading this article it looks to me like your conflating a whole bunch of different issues under the label of “smut.” You mention sexual advertising, prostitution, porn, lying to a spouse, exposure to children, strip clubs, and porn addiction. I think it’s problematic to talk about all of these different things as if they are the same, because they aren’t. So let’s take these things one at a time and discuss them a bit:

    Sex in advertising: This certainly overlaps with your issues about exposing children to sexual imagery, but I think it’s too simple to say that all sex in advertising is harmful. Sometimes it certainly is, particularly when the imagery is objectifying (to women or men). However, sometimes it’s not objectifying…it’s just sexual. Not to mention, sometimes a sexual advert actually fits the product – if you want to sell underwear, putting a hot man/woman in your brand just makes sense. Personally I hate pretty much all advertising…but not because of the sex…just because of the way they use anything and everything to try to convince you that you need something you actually don’t.

    Prostitution: Now I personally think prostitution should be legal and regulated, like any other industry. If it were, perhaps you’d find fewer street prostitutes and more women (and men) working in legal brothels.

    Porn, strip clubs and porn addition: I’ll lump these together for the sake of keeping it short. I don’t think porn is inherently addictive…just like gambling or video games aren’t inherently addictive. It’s only when someone with an addictive personality uses those things that there ends up being a problem. The issue isn’t with the media itself, but rather that some people can’t moderate their use of the media. The same could be said of strip clubs. Visiting a strip club isn’t inherently problematic…it’s only if it overtakes other aspects of your life that it becomes problematic.

    Lying to a spouse: Here’s the thing, I think that the problem with your hypothetical phone call isn’t that the guy was potentially at a strip club, but rather that he was lying to his wife about it. If someone is neglecting the real people in their lives to spend time with a fantasy, that speaks of addiction. And then that is the problem, the addiction and the lying…but it’s not the fault of the strip club, or the porn, or whatever.

    In general I get a very anti-sex vibe from this article. Which, fair enough, you’re allowed to have that opinion. However, I think it’s important to evaluate your opinions on what you classify as “smut” to see whether your objection is based on logical arguments or on cultural values. Because, there is nothing inherently evil or wrong about any of the ‘smut’ you mentioned…the negative aspects of it are only when people abuse it. And frankly that’s something that could be said of anything…when people work so much they neglect their family we don’t suggest that work is somehow evil.

    • The Wet One says:


      I could say more, but why offend people when I don’t have to? (that’s me being considerate)

      The Wet One

      • Well yes, Heather inadvertently hits the mark from time to time 🙂 – even though she is a cultural essentialist!

        On a bit of a tangent – I do want to raise a distinction for things can be simialrly abused, yet produce significantly different outcomes. Some “things” can, whether by design or not, wreak more havoc when abused. I subpoena the classical argument for firearms and accompanying glib phrasing: “guns don’t kill people; people kill people”

        Sure – but automatic and semi-automatic weapons, for example, do facilitate killing at an order of magnitude higher than of a musket or Kung-Fu chop.

        • HeatherN says:

          I am not a cultural essentialist, I just think culture plays a larger role than biology in our social identities, including gender. Also, just because I talk about cultural trends doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that culture is ever-changing. Actually, some of my comments have pretty much said exactly that.

          • I exaggerate at your expense. I know you are not, though you do lean that way. A little rib; hope you don’t mind too much.

            • Ah okay, no that’s fine. Just difficult to tell when you’re making a bit of a joke and when you’re serious…what with the fact that we’re just relying on text. 🙂 And I think that because of the nature of the discussions we have, I end up sounding like I think culture is a more stable/static/clearly defined entity than I really do.

      • The Wet One, huh? Nice username. LOL Thanks for the +1.

        I enjoyed your comment. It was short and to the point. Two things I’m completely incapable of. 😀

    • Well HeatherN, I see your point about the word “smut” in the title. Perhaps I should’ve used “Sexville” instead. First let me address the thing about the lying spouse. I was only using that as an example of how easy it would be to lie about it. You’re right though. If you’re lying to your spouse, it’s not porn’s fault.

      Next. Okay. This is America. There is Freedom of the Press. That includes advertising. I just think that advertising should be targeted at those who want to see it. Fine by me if you put underwear on a hot model. Just put the ad in a Men’s magazine or an appropriate cable channel. Why should my nephews have to see a Victoria’s Secret ad while watching prime time network television?

      As for prostitution, well, I’m torn there. You make some good points. I just can’t get past the fact that we’d be legalizing it. As it stands, only those willing to take the chance on getting caught do it. If it were legalized, many people who’d never even considered it would probably start.

      As for your point about porn, sex shops, etc., you just reconfirmed my point. Maybe you missed that in the article. I was telling people that if they already had an issue with porn, their temptations would only be worse out here on the road. The opportunities truly are endless.

      Here’s one thing that’s for sure. I am NOT one of those anti-sex dudes. I LOVE me some sex! LOL I just believe it’s meant for married couples. If you want to read my full thoughts on this, check out my blog post called, “The Spitting Zealot.” It covers the sex thing, but it also talks about how we Christians should be treating others. Gotta warn you though. If you think my opinion is based on my values in this article, wait until your read this one. If you read it carefully though, you’ll see there’s no malice intended. That in itself is what the article is all about.

      And lastly; speaking of values. There is absolutely no doubt that I’m basing the word “smut” on my personal values. I can’t write from someone else’s values. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. And if I’m not mistaken, you’re basing your opinions of this article on YOUR personal values, correct? I thought that’s what we were all supposed to do. Or am I missing something?

      I certainly respect your opinion and appreciate you speaking out with such clarity.

      • HeatherN says:

        My issue with your use of “smut” wasn’t the term, but that you were combining a whole bunch of issues into one. Your article treated them as if they all were equally deserving of your contempt. It ended up putting them all into the same bag of “bad.”
        “Why should my nephews have to see a Victoria’s Secret ad while watching prime time network television?”

        What is the harm if they do? I don’t mean ‘how does this go against your values?’ I literally mean – how is your nephew harmed by seeing a partially naked woman on the cover of a magazine? How does nudity harm kids?
        “As it stands, only those willing to take the chance on getting caught do it. If it were legalized, many people who’d never even considered it would probably start.”

        Perhaps at first, but I also think that eventually it’d become normalized to the point that it wouldn’t be such a problem (similar to if we legalized various drugs). Or maybe more people would still use it, but think about this…if it’s legal it’s taxable. The other point I’d like to bring up is that making prostitution illegal to deter people from participating in it is very much making a law to ‘protect you from yourself.’ It’s along the same lines of, say, making a law that a woman can’t be out in public with a man who isn’t her family member – it’s protecting people from themselves. I don’t think our laws should do that. Let people make their own choices.
        With regards to porn: Yeah I saw that you said that it’d be worse for people with a problem with porn, but you also spoke about porn as if it’s inherently bad, particularly in the comments. At one point in your comments to Copyleft you asked whether it makes a difference whether you’re talking about ‘heroin’ or ‘porn’ when it comes to addiction, and yes it does. Heroin is a drug which can cause a chemical dependency. It literally changes your brain chemistry permanently…and it does this to everyone. Yes, some people can use heroin (or other hard drugs) and not be addicted, but that is the exception. Porn, on the other hand, can be addictive, but it is not inherently an addictive substance.

        • Well Heather, as a Christian I try to teach my nephews Biblical values. That doesn’t mean that nakedness is bad, it just means that it should be reserved for after they’re married. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this 😉 but boys have a tendency to be a bit sex-crazed. I mean, I can still remember the redhead in the Playboy that me and a friend found behind the public library when I was 12. Men in general are more visually-oriented than boys. That’s why I wish they didn’t have to see all those billboards and sexually-oriented ads. And before you comment on that, please read the response I left on your next comment.

          So in your opinion, porn isn’t bad for all people. That’s your opinion and I respect that. But I ask you (as I did of everyone in the article), what GOOD has come from porn? No one has yet to give me a true benefit. Yes, some people can keep it in check. But why is it whenever you hear about a child molester being caught, his computer is chock full of porn? Not just kiddie porn, but good ol-fashioned adult porn too. And no, I’m not saying porn will lead EVERYONE to child molestation.

          • Valter Viglietti says:

            @Todd: “what GOOD has come from porn?”
            Pleasure? Enjoyment? Relief? Excitation? Joy? Satisfaction? Elation?
            Believe it or not, I got all of that from porn – and apparently I’m not the only one.

            @Tood: “But why is it whenever you hear about a child molester being caught, his computer is chock full of porn?”
            OH PLEASE!
            I’m pretty sure they have a fridge with food and they drive a car, as well. What does this prove?
            Most men have porn on their PCs, and yet they aren’t child molester.
            Making such connections is an insult to your own intelligence.

            • Valter,

              While I know you said it was your choice to be single, I actually find it kind of depressing that you choose to experience all those wonderful feelings through a medium where you don’t even know the person. Surely you know the real thing (especially in a trusting relationship) is far better than the fantasy world of porn? And you’re not sharing those feelings with another human. But hey, if you choose to get your intimacy through a TV screen, then more power to ya.

              And yes, I agree that having porn on your computer doesn’t make you a child molester. I wasn’t saying that. I was just restating something that the media always points out. Most serial killers start out with their neighborhood’s pets. I doubt all child molesters were born child molesters. It all starts somewhere. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.

              • Valter Viglietti says:

                Todd, sure I know the “real thing”. 😉
                I had wonderful (and not-always wonderful, but still precious) relationships.
                Actually my not being married is a choice, but being single is not: I’d like very much being in a relationship, yet I seldom find someone in tune with me.
                In the last years I was mostly lonely (and not by choice), hence porn has been “helpful” to me (hey, when you’re hunrgy, a snack is better than nothing 😉 ).

                Your assuming that everybody can be happily married (and then having sex inside a marriage) is naive and unempathical: many people can’t find the “right one”, or are divorced, or the like. Life is hard.
                Most of the times, I’d rather having sex with a woman than using porn (of course!); but, hey, there’s no woman here, so… I do what I can. :roll:

                PS regarding child molesters: sure it begins somewhere, and usually it begins with them being abused/molested first.
                Media often point out silly connections because they get more attention, while truth is often more complicated and uncomfortable (like: “most abuses happen inside the family”).

          • HeatherN says:

            On the topic of boys being sex-crazed: Girls are too….or rather, being a boy doesn’t make you more sex-crazed than being a girl. Our society just frames it differently – we look at girls who put up posters of teen pop-stars, and ‘boy-crazy’ teenagers and we don’t think about it in terms of them being sex-crazed, but they are.

            As to the men are more visually oriented – could someone please provide me with a link to the study that shows this? Because this getting bandied about is really starting to get on my nerves. (Not at you, Todd…just in general). Because…yeah…obviously men are more visually oriented – that’s why the Beckham Super Bowl ad was so totally ignored by women – oh wait…(yeah that was sarcastic, sorry).

            So as to the good from porn – well yeah relaxation, enjoyment, relief of stress, etc. More to the point, as someone who is sex positive, I definitely believe that porn is part of that. The more that we are open about sex, the more porn can become normalized, and the more it is normalized, the more we can talk about it openly…etc.

            But also, I think it’s really bizarre that in order to argue that it isn’t bad, you ask me to argue that it does good. Some things aren’t inherently bad or good…they just are. Like, what good has come from art? How has art actually done any good in the world? It hasn’t really…we have huge museums filled with photos and paintings and none of it benefits humanity in any way. But you wouldn’t argue that art is bad, just because it isn’t good. It’s not either of those things…it just is.

            As for the molesters have porn on their computers: I’ll echo Valter (though with a bit less sarcasm) and point out that you are confusing correlation with causation. Not to mention, before you make that statement you gotta show me the stats on the type of porn that is found on molesters’ computers…because I don’t know that they all do have mainstream porn.

            • You’re right, Heather. That “boys are more visual” thing is tossed around quite a bit, yet I couldn’t find any stats to support it. I don’t think you have to have stats for everything. For instance, most men would rather sleep with a woman than another man. I don’t have any stats on that, but I think it’s something we can all agree on. I’m not saying we men have cornered the market on the eye-candy thing, but, since you mentioned ads, just look at them. Sure, there’s a few David Beckham type commercials (even I’ll admit he’s hot LOL), but aren’t there about 10X as many ads with hot blondes with big boobs? The advertisers know what they’re doing. If they didn’t, they’d be out a job.

              As for your statement, “porn can become more normalized,” well that’s just downright disturbing to me. Since when do we need porn to be socially acceptable to talk about sex. We Americans are just stuffy about it (yes, I know Christians especially). But how can kids looking at porn be a good thing? They’ll eventually get a wonderful spouse, only to realize that they don’t look anything like the porn models they’ve gotten used to. Not to mention the fact that most girls have no desire to have a wad shot on their face. LOL We’re teaching them to have unrealistic expectations and that could easily lead to unsatisfying marriages and more divorces. How is that good?

              I’ll give you the point that me saying “something is bad because it doesn’t do any good” is a lame argument. I stand corrected.

              As for the child molester’s computer porn, I’ll say what I told Valter. I know everyone who watches porn isn’t a child molester. I’m just saying that kind of perversion (I hope we can agree the word perversion fits here) starts somewhere. Most serial killers admit to starting with animals and working their way up to humans. Most porn addicts started casually and then things escalated over time. That’s the nature of addiction. You start small, but you need more and more to get the same fix. Most normal people can partake of porn without getting weird. Some can’t.

              • “For instance, most men would rather sleep with a woman than another man.”

                Except that there are stats about that…there have been all sorts of surveys and studies done trying to figure out just how many men are heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual. And with regards to ads, I think you and I would have two separate ideas of what causes that trend. Our social narrative says that men care about sex more (and that women use sex for money, love, etc)…so advertisers use that narrative. I think we’re only recently discovering how false that is (that women are also sexual people) and so advertisers are slowly coming around to appealing to the sexual side of straight women.

                As for the porn thing – now what you’re talking about isn’t just inherent to porn, but it’s about our culture in general. Pretty much every magazine cover you see has someone who is air-brushed on it. At the very least they are heavily made up and lit to make them look amazing. Our rom-com movies paint a picture of love that is completely unrealistic, and our dramas often don’t get things much better. My point being that porn is not more (or less) guilty of idealizing and creating false narratives around relationships. Much more acceptable forms of media do the same thing; they just aren’t as explicit about the sex. Yet how many parents are worried about letting their children see the next Katherine Heigl movie for fear that they’ll develop unrealistic expectations for their relationships?

                Now this next bit is just my own personal opinion, but I’ll voice it anyway: I think that part of the reason pornographic images can become the expected norm when it comes to sex, is to do with the fact that we don’t discuss sex frankly and openly. If the only images you have of naked women (or men) are from porn, or advertising then that is what you think is normal. If we weren’t quite so prudish, and if we explained the difference between fantasy and reality to kids (well, maybe teens), then I think they’d be better able to understand that their future wife/husband/whatever isn’t going to look like a porn star. That’s what we do with rom-coms, and t.v. shows, etc…we should do the same thing with porn.

                With regards to molesters and porn: I again think you need stats to back up a claim like that…that ‘vanilla’ porn eventually lead to kiddy porn which eventually lead to actual child molestation. That’s a pretty hefty claim that relies on drawing parallels between two very different crimes (serial killers and child molesters).

                • @HeatherN: “if we explained the difference between fantasy and reality to kids (well, maybe teens)”

                  Awareness and communication solve problems, not fear and repression.

                  Besides, I think many more women go into relatioships having unrealistic expectations (due to media), than men go into sex expecting a “sex goddess” (due to porn). :roll:

                  • “Besides, I think many more women go into relatioships having unrealistic expectations (due to media), than men go into sex expecting a “sex goddess” (due to porn).”

                    I don’t know about expecting a “sex goddess,” but when it comes to breast and vulva shape/size/etc…yeah I actually think that it’s probably about even with how many women have unreal expectations about relationships. I only say this based off of how many women I’ve been with who’ve felt insecure about the way the appearance of their genitals, as if they were afraid they differed from the ‘norm’ too much. Mind you, I also think the same is true about expectations regarding penis size…though I have no personal experience in that.

                    I think it’s more…the rest of the media ends up blurring the lines between fantasy and reality with regards to emotions in relationships. Porn (and other sexual imagery), on the other hand, can blur the lines between fantasy and reality with regards to physical appearance.

                    • Yeah, but… nobody ever said porn is realistic, while media portrayal of romantic ideals (“female porn”?) is often held as “the way things shoud be”.

                      If a man says “Your vagina is not cute enough”, we easily dimsmiss him as a moron (and rightly so); if a woman says “You don’t love me enough” or something like that, most people tend to think it’s the man’s fault (and not the woman’s expectations).

                      IMO, the damage/issues created by romantic myths are way bigger than porn’s damage: but porn is demonized, while romantic myths are celebrated (thus, not questioned).
                      If the issue is “lies creating unrealistic expectations”, we should question many beliefs we take for granted (like “true love lasts forever”). ❗

                    • This could go on and on forever, this back and forth. I’m seeing that both partners in hetero focused relationships come to the table with some potentially problematic notions of “how things are/should be.”

                    • Like I’ve said…the world would be better if everyone was gay…LOL (Kidding, of course).

                      But yeah seriously…I’ll just echo Julie here. 🙂

                • I totally agree with you here, Heather. Sex should be talked about more openly when kids are an appropriate age. I don’t think showing unrealistic porn should teach that, but proper sex education is fine. I don’t know where Christians got the idea that talking about sex should be so taboo. According to the Bible, God invented sex. And the Song of Solomon talks about it quite a bit.

                  I also agree that the “reality distortion field” goes way deeper than porn. Like you said, it’s on every magazine cover and in every movie.

                  • “I don’t think showing unrealistic porn should teach that, but proper sex education is fine.”

                    I don’t think porn should be used to teach kids about sex either. I’m just saying that so long as we impress upon kids the difference between fantasy and reality, I don’t see how their seeing the covers of a few skin mags in a shop is a bad thing.

          • “Well Heather, as a Christian I try to teach my nephews Biblical values. ”
            Like the ones condoning slavery, rape, genocide, and murder?
            Most likely you are teaching your nephews secular humanist values, cherry-picking the parts from the bible that happen to agree with them. We, as a society, have outgrown bronze-age morality.
            I’d suggest you teach them respect for others, honor for themselves, and the wisdom to form their own moral principles when faced with difficult decisions.

            • Why yes TByte, I teach my nephews that it’s okay to rape and murder. I also tell them it’s even more fun if you rape and murder your slaves. C’mon. Really? I’m trying to teach my nephews the Biblical values and morals that were taught by Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament. I’d say that’s a pretty good standard. Even a lot of non-Christian scholars admit that the the Bible puts forth one of the best ethical standards.

              And for the record, the things you suggest that I teach my nephews are ALL taught in the New Testament.

              Yes, some of the Bible talks about those issues, but those issues

              • “I’m trying to teach my nephews the Biblical values and morals that were taught by Jesus and the Apostles in the New Testament. I’d say that’s a pretty good standard. ”

                So…you teach them this?:
                Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

                Of course not. You teach them modern, evolved, secular values. You teach them the exact same values that 99% of the world teaches their children, regardless of religion or lack thereof. So, for you to claim these as “Biblical Values” is simultaneously incorrect and insulting.

                The Bible has never been a source for morality. Ever. No more so than modern laws are a source for our morality. The New Testament, the Old Testament, and our current legal code merely reflect the prevailing agreed-upon morality at the time each was drafted. The problem with Christians is that they search the Bible for confirmation of their morality, rather than examining the validity and consistency of their morality. Its ethically lazy, and has led to numerous obvious social issues over the past 2000 years.

                • That passage you quoted is part of a larger lesson on how Christians should submit to authority to show respect for God. Authorities such as governments, law enforcement, etc. Slavery back then was a way of life. No, it wasn’t right, but throughout history people have done many things God wouldn’t approve of. Still, that’s the way things were.

                  I’m not convinced that 99% of children are being taught good morals (and yes, I realize that’s subjective). How many kids are taught that winning is everything, that they need to look out for number one, that it’s okay to lie to get what you want, that when they grow up they should spend all their time at work and very little with their families? Now I’m not saying the parents are SAYING these things to their kids, I’m saying that’s what their kids are SEEING much of the time. Any expert on kids will tell you that kids learn through watching more than they will through words.

                  And I only use the word Biblical values because that’s what I believe. You’re welcome to call it anything you like.

                  • “That passage you quoted is part of a larger lesson on how Christians should submit to authority to show respect for God.”

                    That’s the beginnings of a contextual analysis of the Bible, and you’ve got to go further, I think. What section was that passage from? What book? Who was the original, intended audience for that book? Who wrote it? What is the cultural context for that author? etc. (And I’m not saying you don’t do these things).

                    • Sorry. People usually get turned off by a scripture quoting Bible thumper. But I see your point.

                      That passage is in Ephesians 6. It talks about submitting to authority in order to honor God. One passage that most people overlook is verse 9. It says that a master should treat their slaves well (yea, I realize that’s a bit of an oxymoron).

                      This passage is from a letter written by the Apostle Paul that was written to the church at Ephesus. He was in prison because of his teachings when he wrote this letter and it was intended to teach Christians how God wanted them to act in order to honor God. Still preaching from a prison cell. Now THAT’S dedication! LOL

                  • Okay TByte. You win. I renounce God and the Bible. 😉 Seriously, you’re stating your beliefs and I’m stating mine. Whether these morals were originated in the Bible or not is a matter of opinion. Clearly we don’t agree.

                    Honestly, I don’t know why your’re bothering to pursue this. You clearly think I’m a condescending, holier-than-thou, confused individual who is out to force everyone to believe as I do. You’re entitled to that opinion. But if it were me, I don’t think I’d even bother to acknowledge such a horrible person. Therefore, I ask you: why are you still here when neither of us is going to change our minds? Perhaps it’s time to agree to disagree and we can both go on with our lives. I somehow doubt that’s going to happen though. Talk to you soon.

      • HeatherN says:

        Okay as to the idea that sex should only be in marriage…that’s very much a personal value. It is obviously totally your right to have that moral value. Here’s the thing, though…you can’t expect the entirety of our society/culture to adhere to your moral values. This is particularly true in the U.S., where we have people from a huge variety of cultures and moral systems living in one country…and a (mostly) secular system of government. We are constantly trying to find a balance between that diversity and protecting our citizens. This is why I’m against laws/policies that seek to protect people from themselves…because then our laws stop being rational and start becoming extremely culturally biased.

        As for whether I’m writing based on my own personal values, well yes and no. I am a very sex-positive person. I believe that our society doesn’t talk about it enough or with enough frankness, and I believe that children should definitely have age appropriate sex education…so when I talk about my opinions on sex in advertising and porn, they are partly based in my own personal values. However, I’d never be able to use a prostitute and I’d be really pissed off if my (eventual) spouse used a prostitute…but I still think they should be legal. There is a difference between what I want and find acceptable in my personal life, and what I find acceptable for society as a whole.

        That is largely where I have a problem with your article….the “judgemental attitude” that Valter pointed out. There is an undercurrent to this whole article that suggests you want all the sexual imagery and ‘temptation’ to disappear, which is placing a judgement on all that sexual imagery. You aren’t just saying “I dislike it,” you’re saying, “it shouldn’t be there.” The article sounds as if you want your cultural values to dictate how our society, as a whole, behaves.

        That’s the difference between this article and your Spitting Zealots article, really. In Spitting Zealots your speaking from a Christian perspective to a Christian audience, and so therefore your own cultural perspective (that of a Christian) is not as important. You are speaking to people who use the same social label and have the same beliefs/values that you do – and you’re saying that there are some ways you think people are doing it wrong (i.e. being too judgemental, etc).

        With this article at GMP, though, you’re speaking about wider cultural phenomenon (sex in advertising, prostitution, etc) and about your own personal opinions on them. You aren’t just asking that people who are part of your same moral group (Christians) to change…you’re suggesting that society as a whole (in all its diversity) should change. More then that, you are placing a negative judgement on people who are actually okay with the aspect of society you dislike (sexual imagery, etc).

        In my opinion the only time you can do that (suggest that all of society to change) is when that aspect is inherently harmful to people. So that’s why I’m saying I think you’re speaking from your own personal perspective and not necessarily from factual information. Your values are your own; you just can’t expect the rest of society to follow them.

        Finally, here’s a link to an article I wrote about culture and cultural relativism, which is sort of what I’m getting at with this long post: (Also sorry my comment is so long).

        • Heather,

          I’m not sure how we got all the way from my personal opinion in an article to “you can’t expect the entirety of our society/culture to adhere to your moral values.” I DO NOT expect that. I’d LIKE that, but I don’t EXPECT that. Just as I’m sure most Athiests wish Christians would disappear from the face of the earth (one day we will). No where in my article did I call for those kinds of changes. Perhaps you should reread the article to verify that for yourself.

          You see, I know what America is. It’s a mixture of all sorts of different values and beliefs. I do my best to promote my values, just as everyone else with an opinion does. Ultimately, I think we agree more than you realize.

          While I don’t think it’s wise to legalize all kinds of immoral behavior (yes, my opinion), I think we as Americans have every RIGHT to do what we want to do, providing of course that it doesn’t harm anyone else. I shouldn’t have to wear my seatbelt or a helmet because it only affects me. Drugs, however, can affect others, depending how you use them. Porn and gambling can too. And here’s where we totally agree. It ultimately comes down to the choices we make.

          • HeatherN says:

            “Just as I’m sure most Athiests wish Christians would disappear from the face of the earth (one day we will).”

            No. No. No. No. No………No. All the atheists I know just want Christians not to evangelize and push their moral code onto people. That’s all.

            Anyway…I think reason I though you were being a bit prescriptive is because of the frustrated tone of the article, along with the undercurrent that you would like it if society upheld your personal morals. Part of the problem with written articles is the room for interpretation on the part of the reader…so I thought you were being more “sexual imagery should disappear” than you are.

            • I honestly fail to see the difference here. Christians want to tell everyone there is a God. Athiests want to tell everyone there isn’t a God. Both parties, including everything in between push their ideals. Christians say there’s such thing as right and wrong. Athiests say there isn’t . Am I missing something? What’s the difference?

              • Since when do atheists claim there is no right or wrong???? That’s absolutely not true. Atheists are highly focused on issues of ethics and equity, fairness and justice.

              • I’ve had many different versions of Christians come to my door and tell me about the good word even though I find it really annoying. They always offer to pray for me when I turn them away. I’ve never had an atheist come to my door. I’d find that annoying too, though amusing.
                I’ve had people at my work ask me about my church and invite me to theirs and cluck when I say I don’t go to church. I’ve never had an atheist ask me to give up some belief system.
                I’ve seen religious influence in the policies of my very state-from banning gay marriage to pushing against women’s reproductive rights. I’ve never seen an atheist push for people to HAVE to gay marry or take BC.
                When I had kids, people asked when I was baptising them. I never was asked by atheists if I was going to non-baptise.
                I don’t know who most of the atheists in my city even are, because mostly, they don’t talk about being atheist. This is probably for two reasons-one is fear at being ostracized and two, because atheists don’t have a culture of evangelizing to people in their businesses, communities and workplaces.

                • You must gay marry! Now! Dooooo it! 😉

                  So yeah, basically what Julie is saying is what I’d say. Todd, I think you misunderstand the morality of atheists, like a lot of people. Most atheists aren’t saying there isn’t a right or wrong – we just don’t think that right and wrong are defined by a higher power.

                • Wow, Julie. Odd that you weren’t even part of the conversation until I uttered the word “Atheist.” I trust you weren’t searching for that term looking to straighten someone out. Because that sounds kinda like evangelism. 😉

                  Now I’ll admit that I spoke too soon about Atheists. That was not a good example. I’m just trying to point out that it’s not just Christians who are taught to evangelize. Yet we’re the ones who catch most of the crap about it. Now let me ask you a serious question:

                  Of all these Christians who are evangelizing to you, what do they do when you refuse? Do they keep pestering you? I don’t mean asking you a couple more questions to try to understand. I mean pursuing you even after you’ve made it clear that you’re not interested. Are they condescending? Again, serious question.

                  FYI, I would never do that. If a person outright doesn’t want to hear it, that’s their decision and I’d walk away. I know all Christians wouldn’t, but I don’t believe that’s what the Bible teaches. We are to try our best to spread the Gospel, but respect the person’s decision to refuse it.

                  • Actually, I’m a moderator, so the heating up of the conversation drew me in. Because I’m watching nearly all the threads? I’m part of all the conversations in some way.

                    Thought I’d correct some inaccuracies. I’m not asking you to become an atheist, just pointing out false information. That’s not evangelism, but education, education which you are most free to reject. You opened the conversation up to what atheists believe, not me.

                    I’ve experienced a range of reactions. From pestering to condescension to ostracism (which I prefer). The point here is that most atheists don’t want to be contacted about it all. It’s like getting those annoying phone calls during dinner with people trying to sell you on stuff. Snarky? Probably I’m being snarky, but it grates on my nerves when it happens every week and in the privacy of my own office or home.

                    The condescension is that the Christians in questions ABSOLUTELY KNOW WE (the non believers) ARE WRONG AND MUST CHANGE US. Whereas, most of the atheists I’ve ever met don’t actually care if Christians are right or wrong or whatever. They just don’t want to have to be pressured by the Christians to believe a certain way.

                    The really sad thing to me is that the actual message of Christ is quite lovely. He seemed to be a radical progressive liberal from what I can tell, promoting love, forgiveness, keeping money out of the Temple, fighting for the people in jobs like prostitution, he was totally cool with women, and for breaking down bureaucracy. I’m pretty dang ok with Jesus. I’m extraordinarily turned off the denominations that think it’s ok to hate on gays, tell people sex is some sinful thing that shouldn’t be part of education or life, and carry themselves with a truly holier-than-thou behavior. There are millions of dollars going into the infrastructures of churches, various groups compelling their members to convert, and a concerted effort, in the US, to influence policy that will affect me and people I love.

                    Sometimes I wonder what exactly Christ would say if he could see what is done in his name.

                    • I will finally say that I know many Christians in the Quaker, UU, UCC and even Catholic traditions that don’t evangelize or promote anything other than a loving spiritual life. I’m friends with them, and respect their belief. I grew up in the deep south and can fully own my reaction to what I see, often, as absolute hypocrisy and condescention and intolerance to difference (and happy rejection of education of all kinds) wrapped in a cloak of religious authority.
                      I myself was Christian, raised by very loving progressive parents who themselves searched deeply into esoteric and spiritual text for more than what was offered by basic church doctrine. I’m highly supportive of spiritual, moral and ethical growth. I just am strange enough to believe that it doesn’t have to involve god.

                    • Actually, evangelism is a form of education too. We’re just trying to teach the Gospel to others. Love the line about preferring to be ostracized. LMBO

                      As for Christians KNOWING they’re right, well, we wouldn’t be very good Christians if we didn’t totally buy into what we’re pushing. Besides, I’m guessing Atheists are pretty darn sure that God doesn’t exist. If they didn’t, they probably shouldn’t be in the club.

                      When it comes to Christians pushing their agenda on the country through politics, I don’t see how it’s any different from any other person or group of people voting according to what’s important to them. I noticed in an earlier comment that you mentioned the vote against gay marriage. What still boggles me is how in a nation based on “by the people,” a law that “the people” voted on can be overturned so easily. I guess a few judges know what’s best for the public. *eye roll*

                      I wonder what Jesus would say too. I’d find it hard to believe that he’d be screaming at gays from a picket line. I would be willing to bet that he’d be talking to them about what he believed to be right though. He’d be doing so out of love, which is what we Christians are supposed to be doing too (and largely failing).

                    • On the road so for now I’d say Separation of church and state.

                    • I also think that doubt indicates intelligence and a willingness to question and change in the face of new evidence. If god exists, then I’d think he she it would want us to use our brains instead of engage in what seems to me to. E blind faith.

                    • “Actually, evangelism is a form of education too. We’re just trying to teach the Gospel to others.”

                      Ah, ah…no, not really. A religion is based on faith and belief…and so evangelising is about trying to convince someone else to believe what you believe (even if it’s done nicely and respectfully). What Julie was doing – pointing out factual inaccuracies – is not similar to evangelizing…because it is fact-based, not faith-based. Presenting facts is education…presenting faith is evangelism.

                      “Besides, I’m guessing Atheists are pretty darn sure that God doesn’t exist. If they didn’t, they probably shouldn’t be in the club.”

                      No…I’m just damn sure you can’t prove God exists. I “believe” in what can be proven (though believe is a bad term for it).

                      “What still boggles me is how in a nation based on “by the people,” a law that “the people” voted on can be overturned so easily. I guess a few judges know what’s best for the public.”

                      And dag namit now we’re going well off topic…but mate, that’s the point of having a judicial system. When the Supreme Court overturned Brown v. Board of Education, do you think that, had it been put to a vote, it would have turned out the same way? No, of course not…that’s why the had to go through the judicial system. We are not a direct democracy, we’re a representative democracy.

                    • I believe what was meant by the Separation of Church and State was that the church shouldn’t RUN the government as it did in so many European societies. At least that’s my understanding. That doesn’t mean that religion shouldn’t have anything to do with government.

                      And I don’t turn my brain off in order to blindly believe. I was raised a Christian but I rebelled from my teens through my early 40’s. Only after using my brain did I decide that the Bible had merit. Sounds like you did the same, only you came to the opposite conclusion. Each to their own.

                    • GIven the increasing strength of the religious right I’d say that
                      Separation is mOre important than ever.

                    • “No…I’m just damn sure you can’t prove God exists. I “believe” in what can be proven (though believe is a bad term for it).”

                      So can you prove all life came from a random act of goo turning into something more? And where did the goo come from?

                      Never mind. I really don’t want to get into this whole ball of wax. Seriously.

                    • Was that to heather??

                    • Yeah Julie, that was directed to me. And if you’d like to e-mail me at I’d totally be willing to continue this conversation.

                      Here’s what I’ll say to this though: we can observe evidence of evolution (much in the same way we observe evidence of erosion), so it stands that seeing as we can observe it happening today, it existed in the past. (And dang it I can’t remember what the heck that principle is called). So we have evidence that evolution is real…as to the question of where it all started? Well we don’t have that answer just yet, but just because we don’t know doesn’t mean that a god started it. I can’t prove there is no god, but you can’t prove that there is a god.

                      I do not make that leap of faith, that jump in belief to thinking that there is a god. For real, though, I’d be happy to keep discussing this in more detail. E-mail me if you’d like. 🙂

                    • Yes Julie, that last one was for Heather. Sorry if I got it in the wrong place. And sorry if this one is in the wrong place. Quite honestly, I’ve never gotten this many comments on a blog post before and I’m getting as confused as a hillbilly at a physics convention. 😀 It’s getting a bit overwhelming. Doing my best to keep up though. Just hope it runs its course soon. I’ve got other junk to do too! LOL

                    • Valter Viglietti says:

                      @Julie Gillis: “Sometimes I wonder what exactly Christ would say if he could see what is done in his name.”

                      I think Jesus would say “OH MY GOD!!!” 😆

                    • You’re a character, Valter. LMBO

              • Valter Viglietti says:

                What’s the difference?!?!? :roll:
                Religions commited every sort of crime to impose their fatih and “convert” others.
                Even know, many believers are still intolerant towards what’s not in their agendas (see Julie’s points above). In the East, believers are still using violence.

                AFAIK, no atheist has ever imposed his beliefs through violence or imposition. 🙂

              • Alrighty so with regards to atheism vs Christianity (or any organized religion) – most of the conversations I’ve had with other atheists point to the fact that they don’t want to convince people there is no god…they just want religious people to stop trying to convince them that there is a god. Now there are atheists out there that do point to Christians (and other religions) with a bit of derision, but I’d argue that mostly a reaction to what Christians (etc) are doing.

                So like, where I often bump heads with Christians is when religious belief ends up overshadowing factual, scientific data. I’m not saying don’t believe in god – I’m saying don’t let your belief in god blind you to scientific facts.

                • I think I got a bit lost in the flurry of comments, Heather. What scientific facts am I blinded to by my belief in God?

                  If I remember correctly, you’re an archeologist. Serious question here that I don’t know the answer to. I’ve heard preachers say that no archeological evidence has ever proven the Bible to be wrong. Is that correct? At least in your opinion anyway? And yes, I know showing something isn’t false doesn’t prove it to be true. We’ve already had that discussion. 🙂

                  • That comment about being blinded to facts by a belief in a specific religion wasn’t directed at you, personally…I don’t know enough about you to say that. I just meant in general…the big one being people who deny evolution, etc. Again, not that you do…I’m saying in general, that’s the sort of thing that the atheists I know find problematic…being blinded to facts and then trying to force their beliefs onto other people.

                    As for your question about archaeology and the Bible, well that’s not my area of expertise, but with that being said…your question is kind of difficult to answer. First it’d depend on which language you’re talking about…there have been some pretty big problems with Biblical translations. Secondly, it’d depend on which Bible you’re talking about…are you including the Apocrypha or not? Most importantly, though, it depends on what you mean by prove wrong. There are plenty of texts out there that archaeology has supplemented from a historical position (i.e. what cities were where, who was in charge, the nations at the time and the cultures of those nations). The Illiad and the Odyssey, for example, concern the city of Troy, which is a real city. Whether there was a Trojan War or not remains to be seen…but the point is that while the city of Troy is real, that doesn’t mean that the deities described in the rest of the story are real.

                    So with regards to the Bible (and we’ll go with the NIV), yeah nothing’s been proven wrong, exactly…but then we haven’t exactly found all the cities mentioned in the Bible either. It’s like any other text; there are bits of it that accurately reflect the history of the time, and there are bits that are made up. (Well from my perspective; I don’t mean to question your faith).

                    One of my really good friends is an evangelical Christian and a Biblical scholar, and she views the Bible more like this: the inspiration was from God, but it had to pass through the minds (and hands) of people, and so some things got lost in translation. And then people kept translating it after that, so even more got muddled a bit. Divinely inspired not divinely written.

                    • Ah and now with that being said I am reminded of the Exodus. Archaeologists haven’t found any evidence that Ancient Egypt had Jewish slaves, nor that there was a mass exodus of slaves out of Egypt. Does that mean it didn’t happen? Well…at some point in archaeology we’ve got to accept that we can’t ever know anything 100%…I mean we haven’t found evidence for unicorns in Ancient Egypt either, but we’re pretty sure those didn’t exist. We have to look at the quantity and quality of the evidence we do have for that period and region, and see where we might have any gaps. And I can’t tell you specifically about the quantity and quality of archaeological evidence we have from Bronze and Iron age Israel/Jordan/Palestine, because that’s not my focus.

                    • Good stuff on the archeology. You had it right. I was mainly asking about historical places and some events which I know have been proven to be true. Thanks for the info. I think you’re totally off-base on the unicorns though. I saw one in the first Harry Potter movie. Therefore, they must be real. 😉

                      As for evolution, I don’t really want to get into that whole bag of worms. Still, I’ve heard that the fossil record is extremely lacking. Got any good Web sites or other sources on that? Post it here if you do. Thanks.

                    • It’s been years since I’ve read anything about evolution so I don’t have any links to hand…but I’d suggest picking up any recent biological anthropology textbook. From an archaeological perspective I’ll point to domestication. The archaeological evidence for domesticated plants and animals is largely based on observed changes in the morphology of said plants and animals. Unfortunately I can’t find a good article to link to that isn’t full of really boring terminology…so I’ll just explain it. If you want me to link you to some wicked boring articles I will.

                      Anyway, when humans domesticated wheat, we selected for wheat where the separation from the fruit from the chaff was easier (made it easier to harvest and process). Humans did this for long enough and eventually the species of wheat changed, so that domesticated wheat had characteristics which made separating the fruit from the chaff easier than wild wheat. Human selection caused a change in the species. (Mind you it’s quite a bit more complicated then that…there were other changes and all sorts of genetic crap to look into…but that’s the long and short of it).

                      So over a longer period of time, like say millions of years, the genetic changes are even bigger…thus evolutionary theory. But yeah, I’m not going trying to derail the conversation to a discussion of evolution…I just don’t have any links for you, so I provided this instead.

        • Also Heather, I forgot to mention that this article was never meant to be anything more than an opinion piece and a warning to other drivers as to what they can expect as an Over-The-Road trucker. I’m just telling people what it’s like out here on the road. I am NOT a journalist looking to tell a story using only facts. That’s just not my bag. It appears from the vast majority of other writers on here that I’m not the only one writing from that perspective.

          And for the record, ALL my articles are being pulled by the staff here at The Good Men Project. I’ve given them free reign to post whatever they’d like. Also for the record, I’d say the majority of the readers on my site are NOT Christians. That “Spitting Zealot” article in particular was intended for both believers and non-believers. My goal was to open the eyes of both sides so maybe the Christians would quit being so stinkin’ hateful and the non-Christians would see that (according to the Bible) Christians aren’t supposed to act like that. I keep hoping the non-believers will quit accusing us all of being radical wackos. I won’t hold my breath on that one though. 🙂

          • HeatherN says:

            Oooookey pokey dokey…as I said it just reads a bit more like someone who is frustrated with the culture they find themselves in and wants it to change. (At least that’s how I read it).

            And on a total tangent: the thing about non-believers seeing Christians as radical wackos…well part of that isn’t necessarily the fault of average people. The more political leaning Christian groups really have done a lot of that for you. Which…well…seeing as we’re all about the self-promotion in this article (lol) I’ll link you to another article I wrote for GMP about an encounter I had with some conservative Christians.

            It’s interesting what you’re saying about the Spitting Zealot article, because I also definitely read that as being intended for a Christian audience. Again, the problem with written stuff is that it’s open so much to interpretation.

  14. I agree with you Todd – there exists some fairly offensive billboard advertising littered across highways that lead to somewhere. Imagine a world where such messaging, as the link below, would be supplanted by images of people doing the sweaty-nasty. One can dream!

    • Thanks for leaving your thoughts, elissa. While I do wish that there wasn’t so much smut on our nation’s billboards, I’m not sure I could get behind that billboard you linked to either.

      While I agree with the “Anti-American is Treason” statement, it’s my opinion that the statement, “Anti-God is Anti-American” is far from true. While this country was based on Godly principles, the very nature of the United States is that we accept all peoples from all walks of life. There is that whole “Freedom of Religion” thing to think about.

      I do understand what that billboard is trying to say, but I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it. We’ll win more people to Christ by setting a good example (following in Jesus’ footsteps) and loving people than we will beating them over the head with a 2 X 4 with a nail sticking out of it.

      God bless!

      • GirlGlad4TheGMP says:

        How far does this sentiment go? Is anti-God anti-American? Or is anti-the-RIGHT-God anti-American? While it assumes a position partially against Athiests, the link marks it as a Christian billboard.There are many that have non-Christian views of God but are very anti/pro-American, or anti-Christian and pro-American, or pro-Christian and anti-American, or even pro-no-God and anti/pro-American (oh Lord, my head is starting to hurt). The possibilities are endless.
        Religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and Patriotism are two separate ideological items.

      • Todd, the satire of Elissa’s post seems to have soared right over your head.

        • LMBO! You’re right, TByte. Elissa’s post did go right over my head. I guess I read it too quick. Thanks for pointing that out. Don’t I feel like a dork. 🙂

  15. Copyleft says:

    You don’t like it, you don’t patronize the business. Same as any other advertised business. That’s fine with me.

    I disagree with your stark either/or assumption, though. It’s entirely possible to consume porn and not be an addict with a ruined life. But if that specter is what it takes to keep you from (what you see as) temptation, more power to you!

    • You’re right, Copyleft. I don’t have to patronize those kinds of businesses. But my young nephews still have to see all the racy billboards and I have to explain to them what a “Gentlemen’s Club” is. The billboards have gotten racier and racier over the years too.

      On another point, I’m sure you’re right. It is entirely possible to dabble in porn without getting engrossed in it. It’s also possible to do meth “casually” or “experiment” with heroin. But addictions always start somewhere.

      And you’re right about me. When I started drinking right after high school, I didn’t drink every night, but when I did, I drank until I fell on my face. I know I have an addictive personality. That’s why I never used hard drugs and that’s why I never pursued the whole porn thing. The problem is, many people don’t know when to stop. They think they’ve got it under control until one day… they don’t. As a Casting Crown song says, “No one ever crumbles in a day. It’s a slow fade.”

      Good luck, my friend. And thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Copyleft says:

        Still seeing a bit of blind spot there, Todd. You’re comparing porn to heroin and meth, when in reality it’s a lot more like beer or “Dancing With the Stars.” Only the truly addictive are gambling with their lives by occasional exposure.

        Maybe porn is that deadly to YOU, but it really isn’t the life-threatening menace you portray it as for the rest of us.

        • It doesn’t really matter what I’m comparing it to as long as all the things we’re comparing “can be” addictive. Porn, meth, heroin, beer, “Dancing With the Stars,” food, cigarettes, whatever. The point I was trying to make is that all addictions start somewhere. Addicts don’t just wake up one day and say, “What a beautiful day it is today. I’ll think I’m going to be addicted to cigarettes from here on out.” Nope. It starts with one puff, one girly mag, or one season finale of “Dancing.” Actually, I think that last one may just be the worst. LOL

          You’re right. Porn won’t ruin everyone’s lives. But it has that potential. Thanks again for your comments.

      • “But my young nephews still have to see all the racy billboards and I have to explain to them what a “Gentlemen’s Club” is. The billboards have gotten racier and racier over the years too.”

        In most cultures parents have sex in front of children. Your nephew can deal with it.

        • Valter Viglietti says:

          @assman: “In most cultures parents have sex in front of children.”

          Seeing parents having sex won’t ruin your life.
          OTOH, your parents not having sex could have made your life very unlikely. :mrgreen:

          I always found the ickiness of Americans at the thought of their parents having sex, really odd.
          I mean, what the heck do you think you’re coming from?!? 😆
          Another by-product of (sexual) ignorance. :roll:

          • It’s a bit like the “think of the children” bit when Janet Jackson had her “wardrobe malfunction.” Omg it’s going to scar children to see a naked breast…wait a second…lol

        • “In most cultures parents have sex in front of children. Your nephew can deal with it.”

          What cultures?

          • In any culture in which children sleep in the same room as parents. One room houses are quite common in human history and still quite common today. Think India, Africa, China, most tribal societies.

        • Yes, I fully realize that my nephews seeing a racy billboard won’t scar them for life. I just wish they didn’t have to see them until they were older. But such is the freedom here in America.

          Seeing your parents having sex is the norm in OTHER countries, not here. So until I move to Africa, I’ll worry about what goes on here. Assman, are you from the U.S? If so, do you, or would you have sex in front of your kids? Cause if you did, I’d be willing to bet Social Services would come down on you like Godzilla on Tokyo.

          • @assman … Sleeping in the same room isn’t the same as having sex in front of your kids. If this were to happen HERE, then the parents should be reported. In a country where a 7 year old can be expelled from school because he commented on a teacher being attractive, I highly doubt that having sex in front of a child would ever be acceptable.

            But since you say “other cultures” do it, why is it that then it is not okay that “other cultures” oppress women. Why? Because some like to pick and chose what they want. Needless to say that in THIS country, feminism has changed women being oppressed and in THIS country, we don’t see having sex in front of children being acceptable.

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