Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Demons are Stronger than Others

When Osama was killed and the search revealed his porn stash, a friend said to me, "The terrorists always have porn." Somehow I had missed that detail. But my friend wasn't the only one to notice. Touchstone put up a little blurb this morning that caught me by surprise:

Touchstone linked Salvo. I subscribe to both, and suggest you scrounge up the money to do the same - right after you renew your subscription to Gottesdienst. :)

I've linked the article in Salvo before. To their credit, they're taking this head on. Every issue has at least a couple of articles that deal with sexual sins. Pornography is a common thread in all deviancy. It is also rampant. It is not just "out there." It is on our church computers, on our seminary campuses, in the international center. OK. I don't know that. But then again, I do. Because the statistics are there. This addiction afflicts the Church, its pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, ushers, alligators, coffee and sign minister persons, etc.

So what do we do about it? Understanding it is a good first step. Some demons come out only with fasting and prayer. This demon will destroy your family, shame you in front of your mother, cause you to lose your job, etc. He won't come out easily. He needs to be confessed and external discipline needs to be put into effect. It is time to bear some fruits of repentance.

To that end, I suggest Open DNS. I am not a tech guy, but even I figured this out. Thanks, btw, to Rev. Jonathan Fisk for pointing this out. Open DNS is free and it doesn't slow down the computer. We have it at church and home and I never notice it. I am ashamed to admit it but we often sacrificed security for speed at home. We tried programs like Net Nanny and other filters but they slowed down the computer and since the kids complained, I blamed them. The truth is, nobody liked the slower speeds. But Open DNS actually speeds up the internet. And did you forget that it is free? So click on the link and set up an account and keep yourself and your kids safe.

But that may not be enough. Because if you are the addict, you will cheat. That is what addicts do. So in a sober moment, you need to hand the keys over to someone you trust, someone who loves you. Set up the account. Follow the instructions. Then give your user name and password to a trusted friend (or spouse) and have him change it so that you do not have access. He can do it from a distance, over the internet. Put it on at home and at church and everywhere.

Go to confession. Come to the Sacrament. Pray the Psalms. And use the tools that God provides, including Open DNS and Salvo and Touchstone and Gottesdienst.


  1. I applaud Fr. Petersen’s insightful and useful article. Salvo’s argument for comparing porn addiction to drug addiction is equally compelling. However, and to carry the analogy further, heroin addiction begins long before the junkie is strung out on needles. It begins with becoming desensitized to drug related terms and behavior (D.A.R.E. programs have become infamous for this), then associating with and befriending drug users, using milder drugs, then skin popping, and finally IVing.

    The same may be said about porn addiction. It begins long before hard-core internet sites and XXX movies. It begins with the milder porn of popular entertainment (so-called). As early as kids movies that make references to “butts,” “crotches,” sexual double entendres, or other “crude humor,” to older youth and teen movies that are blatantly soaked in sex and profanity, to “adult” R-rated movies that are filled with the most offensive of casual sexual encounters (e.g. James Bond), to others that are smattered with no-holds-barred graphic sensuality (Matrix or 300), Hollywood has saturated our society with every sexual immorality. This doesn’t even include the television (Sex in the City, Sopranos, soap operas), and all the visual porn seen in magazines, billboards, and other advertising avenues. Christians, even our children, are exposed to this type of “Porn 101—Introduction to Pornography” at every turn.

    However, one must never restrict the problem of pornography to the sexual variety. Its ugly twin sister is violence, as Touchstone’s article suggests. The same “entertainment” industry churns out the most ghastly, depraved, and vile imagery of savage, barbarous, and blood-thirsty violence. Disgusting scenes over which people actually cheer or laugh! When one adds to that the step-sisters of both extreme emotionalism and gushy sentimentality, this witch’s brew of moral poison goes far beyond the problem of X-rated internet sites.

    Fr. Petersen’s appeal to confession, the Sacrament, and prayer is crucial, to say the least. But the warning cry must begin long, long before the individual is strung out on hard-core pornography. The appeal must work toward prevention, not just cure. And prevention in this regard involves a return to the Christian leading a truly “chaste and decent life in word and deed.” We must add on what we watch or read.

    Pastor William Gleason

  2. I second the recommendation for OpenDNS. I use it at church and home. Its annoying when links from Facebook are blocked, albeit for good reason. I have no idea what the password is. Its buried deep in the recesses of the computer. But your suggestion of writing it down, handing it off, and having that person change it... that's good.

    Porn is poisonous.


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