Thursday, April 05, 2007
When sex and salvation collide
We live in such a sex-saturated culture. Everywhere you look, flesh is on display: on TV, at the movies, in the pages of glossy celebrity magazines, even on your ipod. It leaves each of us with so many tough moral questions: When is the right time in life to have sex? How do I battle lust? What if I'm gay? What if I'm gay and my parents wish I weren't? What, finally, should I teach my kids?

Millions of Christians turn to the Bible to light the way down this thorny path. But the ancient lessons can be interpreted in so many different ways that it's hard to find agreement, even among Christians. The complicated moral issues cut to the heart of who we are as individuals and as a society. So it stands to reason that the deeply personal relationship of sex and religion has become highly political in our country.

Tonight, we explore those challenges in "What is a Christian: Sex and Salvation." Has the church become the sex police? Or is sex a beautiful part of a Christian's walk with the Lord?

We gave correspondent Joe Johns a tough assignment: head down to Florida during spring break. But here's the catch: amid all the horny, drunk college kids, Joe found hundreds of devout young evangelical Christians preaching the gospel of abstinence. Their motto: True Love Waits.

Other stories deal with more painful conflicts within Christianity: Gary Tuchman explores a controversial therapy that claims to turn gay people straight; David Mattingly covers Christian efforts to battle crippling addictions to pornography.

Tonight, at 10 p.m., we'll explore sex and salvation. And we want to know what you think. Do you lean on your faith to resolve sexual dilemmas? Do ancient biblical pronouncements still resonate in our fast-moving modern world?
Posted By Claire Brinberg, CNN Producer: 5:00 PM ET
As a gay man and a secular humanist with perhaps some Buddhist leanings, faith plays little part in my sexuality.

My personal faith guides my soul through this life and all that faith requires of me is that I live my life as best I can, as honestly as I can, and as a respectful, loving human being who wants to live a peaceful and contented life.

Unfortunately, there are many in society, including many religious believers, who believe their way is the only way.

As long as someone isn't harming another, I say live and let live. Life is short so enjoy it while you are here.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:25 PM ET
"Do ancient biblical pronouncements still resonate in our fast-moving modern world?"

Are you kidding me? Of course it does! When the NT was written it was during a time where the Ancient Romans and Greeks attitudes regarding sex would make anyone blush today! Let's get something was created to be GOOD! God created it to help us feel and understand what ultimate commitment and intimacy really is and should be! The Bible uses the imagery of a marriage to describe the deep intimacy that Christ "the groom" will have with the church "the bridegroom". Our world has molded sex into the simple idea of a means to satisfy an appetite. But it is so much more than that! It is God's way to show us that there will be a day when we will have ultimate intimacy and security with our maker in Heaven. It is a strange concept for many of us exposed to such an oversexed culture. Christianity florished under similar Roman and Greek times and it is totally revelant today.
Posted By Anonymous Gerald, Chicago IL : 5:34 PM ET
I feel that the bible being its old text and one of the many wonders of the world, should be taken more literally. In my opinion I think that if society would have stayed with the bible that this country was formed around, we wouldn't have the promblems with pron addiction and rapes.
Posted By Anonymous Steven Hot Springs South Dakota : 5:38 PM ET
I happen to be a young college student, who is just a month away from being married, and a few months shy of graduation. My parents raised me to believe that sex before marriage was bad. But as I got older, I realized something: love comes in all forms. I remember going to all the True Love Waits rallys when I was younger. And I still do believe that sex is something that should be shared between two people who love each other. If they're not married, then so be it. My personal belief is that sex should be an emtional act more than a physical, and I think that's what really upsets most Christians. Because the sex we see all the time seems to focus more on the physical aspect rather than the emotional. I don't agree with the "wait until marriage" line. I prefer "wait until you find someone you are deeply in love with and who loves you in return". If that relationship ends in marriage, then that's all the better.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel Martin, TN : 5:39 PM ET
What the heck has happened to CNN? This is news? It sounds like sensationalism wrapped up in fervent Bible thumping. TPTB (what religion are they BTW?) need to give their empty heads a shake and watch BBC to find out what the viewers want to watch.

I'll be watching something else.
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 5:46 PM ET
I love that "wait until marriage" thing. You know where the highest divorce rate in the country is? The Bible Belt. Poor kids and their abstinence pledges....they talk themselves into marriage before they're really ready for a lifetime commitment.

Another point to consider...what happens if you don't find anyone suitable for a marriage partner? lifetime celibacy? At what age does abstinence translate into fear?

Personally, if I'm going to buy a pair of $1000-dollar shoes, you bet I'll try 'em on first.
Posted By Anonymous Liz..Vancouver WA : 6:00 PM ET
As we know from experience here in our schools in Madison, abstinence is the only real solution to raising people who think about sex in a healthy way. If we give into the indulgences of sex before marriage then all is lost morally and socially. People should not violate the sanctity of thier bodies before marriage, it is what the bible taught and what should be followed. The Bible only resonates with people who are living in this world corretly, not the evil people who go out and fornicate.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 6:04 PM ET
One very important perspective of the Bible is the issue of sex. Just to show you how sacred it is, parallels can be drawn between it and the way God gave instructions for being worshipped in the times of Moses. In His Tent,The Holiest of Holies, He allowed only one person, The High Priest,to enter therein.If we remember Korah who rebelled and usurped the position of Aaron the High Priest, all he and his family were destroyed utterly!!!. The Holiest of Holies is structured (at least symbolically) in the same way as a woman's matrix and the level of sacredness we should attach to it should also be commensurate. There is also the similarity of the veil and what we call the 'hymen'. The woman is only meant to have one 'High Priest' in her life, and likewise (lest men should dwell on the lingering possibility that I am advocating polygamy for the man) the High Priest is only allowed to worship in one temple, The Holiest of Holies!
Today, it is no surprise when even Christians talking of divorce and being remarried or living in physical immorality, being perverted by the 'new' gay rights and 'serving' at another alter, begin to find the presence of God in their lives limited, being unable to fathom out the true will of God for them?
Posted By Anonymous Jide, London, England : 6:11 PM ET
Honestly I personally feel that we have to be sensible with our kids and realize that they are only human. I believe that as parents we should talk about different aspects of sex as our children reach puberty. Frankly, I think a christian effort to change a gay person to straight is ludicrous. Sexuality is difficult enough to figure out without someone trying to force a gay person to be something they are not. That sounds like a good way to screw someone up to me. That is not something I would do to my children.
I don't believe in "cheap" thrills but I have one tiny little question: If it's true love, what are you waiting for?
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 6:12 PM ET
I think some lessons have to be learned the hard and harsh way. I think ideally sex is between two people who love each other. I think it's better for your soul. But sometimes sex is just sex. Experimental sex is just that, it's sex. You learn from it, you try to protect yourself from life long effects. AND sometimes people DON'T get to have sex for love, probobly more often than we would like to admit. I think the danger is when we try convince ourselves when it is love, but it's not. Many of us DON'T get to be in life long commitments out of college, and odds are most certainly against those that attempt it. Sexual experimentation SHOULD be about self empowerment, it should be about discovering well ... one of many assets about love, and sometimes it just is.
Posted By Anonymous Matt Eugene, Oregon : 6:15 PM ET
I was brought up in the Sicilian Roman Catholic land of the double standard. I have lost the man of my dreams when he died after battling a life threatening illness. And I still believe that love is sacred, sexuality is sacred between two partners (regardless of gender preference). You bet true love waits. True love honors vows to love and obey and cherish one another through good and bad no matter whether the rings are on your fingers or not. I know my thoughts are archaic and that following church teaching is a bit unpopular. But in following that I had perfect love once and would never settle for anything less again. Life is too precious to not wait until we can have something amazing.
Posted By Anonymous TA Cheramie, Berwick, LA : 6:23 PM ET
God created sex to be a beautiful thing between a man and woman, but there's one thing that gets in the way: Selfish pride. Who's enacting self control over the sexual part of your being?..yourself or God? A prime example to look at is all the STD's in the world. They are the consequence of having sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant. When we allow God to help us exercise self-control in the sexual part of our being, lustful desires will in time have no control over our thought life and our behavior. The decision ultimately is in your have to choose wisely, not only for your sake but also for the sake of others.
Posted By Anonymous Matthew Miller, Pullman WA : 7:05 PM ET
Sex was created by God, and it is good! However, it was created to be enjoyed in the marriage bed alone, between a man and a woman. Whenever we take what is designed to be good, and use it irresponsibly, it inevitable comes back to bite us in the butt! We must remember in all things, that God wants and desires what is good for us. He knows what is best for us, and his commandments and laws show us that path.

Sex before marriage, outside of marriage(affairs,) or between same sex partners can lead to much sorrow, pain, and serious consequences: babies without fathers, single mothers and children living in poverty, abortion, broken hearts and shattered expectations, HIV & AIDS, Gonnorhea, Hepatitis, HPV & cancer, syphillis, and many other STD's. The sad truth is that sex before or outside of marriage often does cause serious harm, emotional or physical. Sex as designed and ordained by God in marriage leads to none of these problems. There is no greater gift a young woman can present to her husband than her purity, and no greater intimacy than that between a husband and wife, except that between you and the Hound of Heaven, Jesus Christ.

The Laws of the bible aren't here to make you feel guilty, they're here to show you a better way. The Grace of the cross means we are forgiven for past errors and poor choices, but now we should make the wiser choice. Sex in the context of a holy marriage is beautiful and wonderful, don't spoil what God has for you by cheapening it with meaningless, casual sex!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Bellingham, WA : 7:05 PM ET
Sex is a human urge to reproduce. Instead of leaving it at that, we've turned sex into both a billion dollar industry and one of the greatest Western taboos at the same time.

We seriously need to re-think the role of sex in our lives. But while ignoring that urge may be good for some people, i personally consider it unhealthy and unethical.

We need to teach responsibility. Not abstinence.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, East Brunswick, NJ : 7:17 PM ET
Personally, there are problems with using the Bible as a guide for today's world. The Bible was not written by one man (or deity), but was written by an unknown author, and then edited by a number of different men, each with their own agendas, and each in their own historical context, which people can forget sometimes.

It is good to teach children about sex, but our social norms and mores are not the norms and mores of when the Bible was first written, and as a result, imposing the same restrictions on children wouldn't work. I think it's important for parents of any religion to be open-minded concerning their children, and for parents realize that their children need attention now more than ever, because of what's happened to society's attitude about sex.
Posted By Anonymous Bianca, Savannah, GA. : 7:28 PM ET
Such a sad world we live in that people feel the need to "try out" the person they're with before they consider marriage. Sex should be the final step two people in love experience because it's very special. If sex is considered a way to help you figure out whether you truly love someone or not is just simply wrong. Sex then slowly loses it's true meaning causing the person to see it as a sport or just a means to release "tension."

Those that wait for marriage to have sex create an emotiona bond that can't be broken. It's an incredible experience.
Posted By Anonymous Angel, Greenbelt, Maryland : 7:29 PM ET
I think this is great news to post. CNN is giving credit to something that is good. Sex before marriage isn't just wrong because its wrong. When that act is carried out it creates many consequences that one is left to deal with. As a father of a 19 year old beautiful girl I'm happy to say that she has maintained her purity and is saving it for marriage. Unfortunately, I didn't chose that route and have my own regrets to deal with on that matter. Thanks CNN for giving us something good.
Posted By Anonymous Jon, Salem Oregon : 7:30 PM ET
Every perspective I have read promoting abstinence here thusfar looks like a regurgitation of a sermon.

Sex is a natural human drive. It needs to be handled responsibly, but so long as all participants are adult, of a sound mind, well-informed, consenting, and willing, I would like for someone to show me conclusively how giving in to "the indulgences of sex before marriage ... all is lost morally and socially."

As far as my own personal decisions, I lean on communication with my wife. We are monogamous, but we also explore new things with one another and discuss them openly among friends. When questions come up, we talk with one another and work things out. We build trust.

Are ancient biblical pronouncements still relevant? I think they are. But I also question how much the Church has changed in 2000 years to suit its agenda. In trying to understand the mind of the God of the Bible, it seems to me that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control are more important than persecuting others over their sexual practices.
Posted By Anonymous Charles, San Antonio, Texas : 7:55 PM ET
The savage ideals of a loser nation of genocidal jerks are not a great fit in 2007. Judeo-Christian faith is rapidly becoming irrelevant in modern human societies.

Mainstream Christianity has changed with the times, although the followers don't like to admit it.
Posted By Anonymous Sean, Torrington CT : 8:25 PM ET
In response to what Liz from WA said above...yes, it is true that the divorce rate is high in the church and that's because a lot of Christians won't be real...we won't even be real w/ each other and we believe this lie that we need to be perfect, when in fact we're not...we're called to live under accountability, but there can't be accountability when u're not being real. ("Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-13)

To all those out there that feel they're buckling under the pressure to be perfect...Christ didn't die for us cuz we're perfect, He died for us cuz we aren't, but thru Him we can be made perfect. We should always be changing and growing, but never expecting perfection out of each other.

This is a Christian who learning to be real.
This is also a Christian who waited for marriage and can now see the consequences if she hadn't

Visit if u'd like to meet some more Christians being real.
Posted By Anonymous Nicole, Albany NY : 8:49 PM ET
Well, lets take a tour of the sex lives of some of God's chosen people in the Bible and the sexual morality dictated therein

Abraham: the man who had tete a tetes with god, was married to his own half sister. Also a polygamist

Isaac: polygamist

Jacob: polygamist

Lot: the man who was so righteous god chose to save him from the burning cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, ended up in a drunken orgy with his own daughters, impregnating both

Moses: ordered his followers to save the virgins for their own uses after slaughtering people like the Amalekites upon god's orders. Also dictated that a raped women should be offered to her rapist in Marriage

David: sent another man into battle so that he could have his wife, also offered the foreskins of 200 Philistines as a dowry

Jesus: ?????

Paul: suggested that it was good to castrate oneself for God

And we are supposed to use this book as our moral guide? Have you people actually read it?
Posted By Anonymous DF Sparks, Los Angeles, CA : 9:00 PM ET
Teaching abstinence until marriage breeds ignorance, which translates into unplanned pregnancies as a result of misinformation.

Waiting until marriage doesn't always work for all couples. And those who do wait often marry for lust instead of deeply committed love.

Couples are waiting longer and longer to get married. Our great-grandparents may have waited until they were married, but waiting until you're 16 and waiting until you're 25 is a big difference.

We shouldn't be teaching our children that sex is bad, that God doesn't want you to have sex outside of marriage and that you should commit to one person for the rest of your life -- it is unrealistic.

Divorce rates are so high these days, people should experience all parts of a relationship and be sure of that relationship before they decide to head down the isle.

And what about those who can't marry? Should gay people stay abstinent and deny their feelings to be "good" Christians.

The Bible is a guide full of metaphors. It's not to be taken literally, especially when that means discriminating and judging.

The Bible is centuries old, my thought process isn't.
Posted By Anonymous Danielle Welty, Omaha, Neb. : 9:02 PM ET
What is wrong with CNN?!?! If I wanted to listen to Bible thumping, I would go back to church. Many of us that come here for news aren't Christian. I'm honestly insulted to read such biased items. Have we found the solution to world peace, ended poverty, and stopped widespread violence? No? Then there's a lot to report on that's newsworthy, not this tripe.

And as for an opinion, some need to form their own opinions rather than quote an ancient piece of mythology. Stop being sheep! I can't even begin to count how many people have told me my own homosexuality or any type of sex before marriage is wrong because the Bible says so, that. When pressed to deliver an opinion, they can't, they just quote Bible verses. It's honestly disturbing to hear people on this site be like a mess of tape recorders. Be your own person, already!
Posted By Anonymous Bekah, Coral Gables, Fl : 9:18 PM ET
Of course the ancient rules are relevant today. Thou shalt not kill or steal will never stop being good rules to live by. Just because society has evolved into a different form than it was 2 or 3 thousand years ago it doesn't mean moral guides are no longer necessary.
Posted By Anonymous L Paxson, Wichita, Kansas : 9:18 PM ET
This is not the kind of program what I expected to be a CNN program. Need a better creative director. I am available if you guys want.
Posted By Anonymous sundar, denver, colorado : 9:28 PM ET
Have you ever made love to your spouse thinking only of them and no one else and looking into their eyes with the lights on? Through Christ, it can happen.
Posted By Anonymous Dana, St. Croix US Virgin Islands : 9:32 PM ET
If one believes in God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then the answers are in the bible in black and white. The detail defining adultery in the Mosaic law is very clear; there is nothing to debate for followers.

Is it relevant today? Yes.
Is it easy? No, and it never has been.
Is it more difficult today? Yes.

All that we are seeing today are signs that were prophesied in the Old & New Testaments.

"It isn't easy, but it's worth it" -Jesus
Posted By Anonymous G. S. Hart, Crozet, VA : 9:46 PM ET
For goodness sake, it's 2007 not 1207! I'm not going to live my life in fear of being "shunned" or "excommunicated" just because I want to experience physical pleasure. If people would allow themselves to make their own decisions instead of being dictated to by religious idealogues they'd be so much happier. Like Nike says; "Just do it".
Posted By Anonymous Lee, Honolulu Hawaii : 9:50 PM ET
At one timeI could quote you Chapter and Verse from the Tora, the Qu'Ran, and teh Bible, but i do remember the answer to your question, It can be found at Matthew 7:1&2.

All three books are subject to interpretation. I leave it to you to interpret.
Posted By Anonymous Fred T. Black, Detroit, MI : 9:56 PM ET
I could never understand those who want to eventually get married and be sexually faithful to their spouse and the spouse to be faithful to them, yet they both sleep around before marriage. If they're sleeping around they've already blown the notion of being faithful.

The one divorce statistic that never gets quoted - Christian marriages that pray together daily only have a 2% chance of divorce.

I could never understand those who say there are "many ways" to God and all spiritual beliefs are equal, including Jesus. Jesus said he's the ONLY way, so how you could you possible include Him in the "many ways" thinking?

I love it when atheists throughout history have set out to disprove the existance of Jesus, his death and resurrection and end up become Christians.
Posted By Anonymous Rich, Hillsborough, NJ : 10:22 PM ET
God is not a prude. Organized religions are the ones who have warped and twisted sex and made it a bad thing. Sex is natural, healthy, and normal, whether you are just "IN LUST" OR "IN LOVE", Married or Not, Straight or Not.

As long as you are responisble and it's between consenting adults and it is an enjoyable experience, it can be a beautiful experience. Sex is play and recreation for adults and it can also be for a committed relationship. It is whatever you wish to experience.

Sex is beautiful and Christians should stop perverting it. Amen.
Posted By Anonymous David S. South Windsor, CT. : 10:25 PM ET
Bible not allow adultary and homosexuality. This is the guide line we needed to maintain family value and keep up a high moral standard of our society.
Posted By Anonymous Charlie Yeung, Toronto : 10:26 PM ET
There is a false dichotomy in this whole argument. Gay or Straight. Human sexuality is so much more complex than that. Even the Kinsey report states that, if left to man's own devices without the pressures of culture or religion, sexual activity would fall along a bell curve. with very few 100% gay Or 100% straight. So, any "CURE" couldn't work for those at the deepest end of the bell curve. Can many in the bell curve function as straight? Of course would they ever be happy? Depends on the individual. If you fall at the end of the bell curve the answer would be an unequivical NO.
Posted By Anonymous David Dodson - Pahoa, Hi : 10:29 PM ET
If indeed the dynamics of religion are true then that means even at times when one's natural instincts kick in one should have the ability to decipher what is within the reasonable means of interaction with others, especially for a person of religious belief.
Posted By Anonymous Ana A, Ocala FL : 10:34 PM ET
Joseph Nicolosi, the "Love Won Out" conference was such a ridiculous pig! He refused a decent interview and was very defensive. When the interviewer asked him questions he did not like his answered being questioned. He threw off his mic. I cannot get over the fact these insaine people think being gay is wrong. There is nothing wrong with loving someone of the same sex. Who cares? And those two people who "changed" from being gay to straight. So big deal...they could like both genders...hello, Anne Heche! I am completed disgusted with Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D. Just because he is published does not make him the expert!
Posted By Anonymous J. Couret, Metairie, La : 10:34 PM ET
wow. sex. the bible says sexual sins are the worst sin because it is the only sin you commit against not only against your self, but against another. look at sodom and gamora (excuse the spelling errors). also, the bible doesnt say "dont have sex with childern" so does that mean its ok to have sex with them? i believe no. homosexuality is a sin. from my studies here at cincinnati bible college and from my studies of the bible and theology, i can only conclude that men are to be with women and women with men.
tripple x church .com is a great ministry to by the way.
Posted By Anonymous Levi, Cincinnati, Ohio : 10:42 PM ET
I'm amazed at how obssessed with sex the christian bible believers appear to be. Why are they so concerned about who's doing what with whom? God Bless those fortunate enough to have enough sense to turn away from something they don't like to see. We are only humans, not some demi-god beings with a need to "instruct" others onhow to lead their personal and intimate lives.
Posted By Anonymous mike, minneapolis, mn : 10:46 PM ET
There's nothing wrong with staying in control of one's bodily functions. Whether it's faith or just self-discipline that keeps one in check, that pattern of behavior is far less risky and socially damaging than the hedonistic viewpoint of "if it feels good,do it". Most of what we percieve as 'wrong' with our world today is simply due to the fact that in many areas of our lives, people simply cannot, or will not, control their own impulses.
Posted By Anonymous Rod C. Venger Colorado Springs, Colorado : 11:02 PM ET
I�m a sixty- seven year old morther from the old school, but I�m not socially ignorant. Young people will have sex at some point, it�s all a part of being young. What they need to know before hand is crucial to their health, happiness, and future. If you have the strength to abstain � good for you, but if you don�t, choose your partners wisely and be safe. However, you can only be safe with the right information in hand. As far as I know there is no gospel of sexual safety, but there is medical information available. Education and information, along with making the right choices when the time comes, that is the only safe sex I know.

I also find it disturbing and very sad that there are individuals out there who still believe homosexuality is something you can cure. I�ve been around the block one too many times, and can tell you there is no cure for real love. It is irresponsible for the Christian community to think you can cure someone of their right to happiness and freedom. The homosexual community needs support and acceptance, not intolerance disguised as a cure. My daughter and I have many openly gay friends and family members, I know there is nothing wrong with them. It�s time for mainstream Christians to stop living in the dark ages. Wake up and live in the world with the rest of us.
Posted By Anonymous Gloria, Cambridge, MA : 11:06 PM ET
Martin Luther said it best more than 500 years ago: "Men and women can no more live without each other than they can live without bread and water." He knew then what we should know now, namely that abstinence for its own sake is stupid. I think you'll find most who abstain from sex do so out of fear of STDs or unwanted pregnancy then for religious reasons. But for those who insist on dragging the Bible into it, consider again the words of Luther: "Sin boldly, and trust in the grace of God."
Posted By Anonymous Jason San Angelo, TX : 11:16 PM ET
I find it very interesting to see ministers,pastors,or any other form of athourity on you rshow talking about what is wrong or right according to the Bible. I feel that the Bible can be interpreted in many ways but one thing that the Bible has taught me is that no one sin is larger than another. According to the Bible a sin of murder or a sin of hate is one in the same. All of those who judge homosexuals do not know what is really going on inside of them and yet you judge and that is not our right. I urge those who feel that they are good Christians to read Matthew 7:1-5 There you will see what GOD would like us all to do about judgement. Please remember that the Maker is our final judger and pur job in between time is to be kind and just to our brother and sisters around us.
Posted By Anonymous Bridget, Clarksville, Mi. : 11:27 PM ET
Why is sex such a hot topic for the church when there's lots of other topics that are just as, if not more important--such as the war in Iraq, the AIDS crisis and famine in Africa, hunger and poverty throughout the world, tsunamis and other world disasters? Sex sells I guess.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, New Ringgold, PA : 11:32 PM ET
Yikes! My kids have been lectured about abstinence, through Church and home, but when they went to college they were handed condoms. The colleges pass them out to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease. They couldn't wait to tell me! My daughter is still in the dorms and they got another lecture about safe sex before Christmas. Things are not always left up to the Church and family, anymore. I am actually ok with the colleges being involved. Today, one mistake can cost you your life. I would rather they be knowledgable than sorry. I'm not with them at school, so I can only pray that they make good choices. Thanks for the series and have a wonderful Easter and Passover!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 11:58 PM ET
What happened to Joseph Nicolosi? He stormed off camera after being asked a harmless question. I guess he didn't trust men well enough to answer Gary Tuckman's question.
Posted By Anonymous David, Pittsburgh, PA : 12:10 AM ET
The topic of sex will always be greatly debated in western countries due to their, or shall I say our indulgences in freedom. But, freedom and civil liberty may be the very core of the problem. Can freedom and liberty(which I believe is a gift from God), be abused? Can a society be truly free and not violate God's moral commands at the same time? Perhaps this is a question of cultural disagreements between conservatism and abused democracy.

Today we have the freedom to choose life or abort it. We have the freedom of choice to marry a person of the same sex. We have the freedom to do almost any thing we want. This is what Karl Marx(1818-1883), Nilolai Danielesky(1822-1885), Constantine Pobedonostev(1827-1907), Yamagata Arimoto(1838-1922), and Mao Zedong(1893-1976), and their fellow commrades feared.

Our society has become indulgent and immoral. The liberty bell of freedom is ringing it's tarnished bell, as world politics becomes more democratic in nature. Perhaps their bell of freedom would have a crack in it too, as their society becomes tarnished and free to choose anything they want on their own as a free people.

As a society we must begin to realize that there is no freedom apart from the laws of God. Yet; ironically it is the very laws of God that pinpoints our imperfections(including my own), ever pointing us to the path of true freedom.

When discussing such hotly debated topics as homosexuality, same sex marriages, fornication, and our individual freedom to choose our own destinies; we must realize that if we are to stay true to what the Bible teaches us, we must love them, not judge them. We must care for them in time of sickness(HIV,STDs)and need. However, we must continue to voice our opinions against the act itself and not against the actors who are participating in such deeds.

Sex is a gift from God to be shared by two members of the opposite sex, much like a child is a gift to their must not be abused. If there was a political law of conscience, our nation would truly stand one nation, under God, indivisiable, with liberty, and justice for all. (Read the book of Galations in the New Testament of our Judeo/Christian Bible).
Posted By Anonymous Thomas Perez, Bronx, New York : 12:30 AM ET
Think of the world before condoms and the pill. Sex created life. I have not met the woman of my dreams but it makes me sick to think of how many guys will have "been with" my future wife. Chances are I will not find a pure woman. The recent polls indicate 95% of people have sexual relations before marriage. What if I find a smart, witty woman only to find out that she has been around the block more than a couple of times with more than a couple of guys? I would lose all respect for her. I think if we had not invented contraceptives then sex would be more about what it should be about: creating life.
Posted By Anonymous Thomas, Little Rock AK : 12:38 AM ET
I hear so much about "being realistic" and a "yeah right" attitude to the idea of the younger generation waiting until marriage for sex. My parents didn't tell me I had to wait until marriage but let me know that I had the strength and COULD wait! What kid would wait when they are only being told it's impossible? As a 26 year old newlywed I can say that it was certainly hard to wait but boy was it worth it. And boy, with the Lord's blessing, are we making up for lost time!!
Posted By Anonymous Erin Skifter, Prescott, AZ : 12:40 AM ET
For all those who think that sexual orientation is a choice. Wrap your mind around this. Can you change your own sexual orientation? Could you, if you wanted to, become sexually aroused at the site or touch of another of the same sex? Could you "learn" to love another of the same sex in the same way that you love those of the opposite sex? Could you get so excited by someone of the same sex that you would lust after that person like you do with someone of the opposite sex? Could you think about that persons different body parts and desire after them? Could you "learn" or "chose" to enjoy sex with that person ad desire no other? Or does the mire thought of such a thing repulse you? If your answer is that you could never change an become gay - then why are you so quick to believe that others can change their sexual orientation � as if it is a choice? So now you may be thinking that it is some type of disease � an all that is needed is a cure. If that is what you are thinking you are not too far away from the next step. That it is biologically innate. However, what probably disturbs you the most about believing that they are born that way is: if they are born that way God made them that way. Don�t be so quick to judge. Live and let live. How is the fact that a gay couple wants to get married violating the sanctity of marriage. Divorce has done more to destroy the sanctity of marriage - the dividing of children between parents. However, few view divorce in this light. My point here is this; society determines what is right and what is wrong. Social values have changed over time, and will continue to change � just as they always have. Changes are bad or good they are just changes. Would anyone really want to go back to the middle ages were men ruled and women were marginalized. No we enjoy our women being empowered, we consider them equals.
Posted By Anonymous Joe, Phoenix AZ : 1:02 AM ET
AMERICANS are obsessed with sex, period. Sex is not the issue in Europe that it is in America. I also find it scary that Americans (in general) are concerned with sex more than violence.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Wichita, KS : 1:09 AM ET
This is ridiculous. I am appalled at many of these retarded views. In one single line many views expressed here show "hypocrisy" and "lack of faith". Someone earlier said about waiting until you find true love is better than waiting until marriage. First of, don't define morality with time, because that only legalizes prostitution in many countries, western countries particularly. Promiscuity is rampant in the west, and its influence is spreading like Aids in other societies. No wonder folks from other countries distrust the Western values, which seems like lip-service Christianity mixed with a pint of nihilism and cloaked under the label of "democracy".
Posted By Anonymous Bradybunch, Bristol, UK : 1:12 AM ET
I'm an Episcopalian who attends services most every week and all the major holidays. I'm a gay man with no guilt or shame. My sex life is active and I do not think sex is a taboo if done safely. My Christian religion has its place, but it does not influence my secular life, which is kept clearly separate from my spiritual one--as it should be with the USA as a whole.
Posted By Anonymous Walker, Austin, TX : 1:19 AM ET
I hear people like Dr. Nicolosi speak and wonder why they are wasting their breath. How nice it must be to be so perfect that you can spend your life trying to change other people. I say people worry about achieving their own state of perfection before they concern themselves with what they believe is morally right for others.

And as far as the attendees at his seminar, Brett (the homosexual teenage son) seemed like the only well-adjusted person in the whole group! I hope his parents grow up to be a mature and accepting as he is.
Posted By Anonymous Mary Jackson, Lawrenceburg, IN : 1:33 AM ET
I disagree with the producer's comment, "...the ancient lessons can be interpreted in so many different ways that it's hard to find agreement, even among Christians." It's true that many people do interpet them diferently from how they are supposed to be, but that's when people bring their own agenda to the table, rather than just looking at the words for what they are, and the facts for what they are. I challenge anyone with an open mind and honest heart to read Romans 1:18-32, and then state that there are many ways to interpret it. Not to "thump" excessively, but for those of you that don't have a bible handy, I'll copy it here:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Posted By Anonymous Nathan - Irvine, CA : 1:41 AM ET
Men going away for six months because they are addicted to porn?
Jobs? Wives? Kids?

boo hoo.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Boston Mass. : 1:54 AM ET
As a Jewish woman who is also a lesbian, I have to point out that many people's arguments about premarital sex, and even gay sex, certainly don't apply to lesbian couples. Pregnancy and any offshoot issues of it aren't an issue, STI transmission is least likely between women- if those were the only things one was basing the "no sex before marriage" argument, then the obvious solution would be for all women to become lesbians!

But seriously, as a Jewish woman, I have difficulty accepting bibical arguments for retaining so-called 'purity' from Christians, who pick and choose amongst the laws put forth in the old testament to their liking- it's a bit hypocritical to be munching on shrimp or bacon at any point and lecturing on staying true to the text. I don't think you can follow biblical rules to the point in a modern setting- they just weren't written with today's society in mind. In a general guideline sense, a lot of lessons from the bible are helpful to take into account- fidelity is certainly a good quality if it's what your partner expects of you, after all- but a word for word interpretation leaves pretty much everyone a sinner. My religion has no saviour figure as of yet, and I'm not willing to accept that everyone on this planet is frowned upon by a God who made us in his image.

As to abstinence before marriage in particular- some people cannot, or choose not to, get married, and these people who are in longterm committed relationships are just as viable as people who filled out a few pieces of paper for a marriage license. Dedicated love doesn't change whether it's on paper or not. And if nothing else, a few purely physical flings can make emotional sex that more precious and valuable and special, when one has something else to compare it to.
Posted By Anonymous Allie, Princeton, NJ : 2:00 AM ET
Dear Anderson,
I would like to believe that God recognizes and loves us for all of our shortcomings, and it is only ourselves that we have to atone for in the end. So if we haven't hurt anyone, and we try to fulfill our lives not only with purpose, but with love for God's creations, and the acceptance that we don't understand it all, then I think we might start to understand it.
Posted By Anonymous Jill Johnson Ajax, Ontario : 3:10 AM ET
I appreciate that Anderson has chosen this topic. I wonder if some views have been overlooked, especially in regard to the attitude of Christians toward homosexuals. The Bible, which Christians look to as their authority, clearly identifies the practice of homosexuality as a deviance from God's intention for mankind. In other words: it's a sin. However, not all Christians think homosexuals need to be "fixed" as if they can stop their same-sex attraction. The problem with every person, according to the Bible, is that we are spiritually and morally flawed. We need God's guidance (revelation) and the power to do what He says is right. Having the power to do what is right doesn't mean the temptation to do what is wrong is not there. It simply means a person chooses to obey what God says is right. God is glorified when people choose to do what is right in the face of severe temptation. God is not indifferent to our temptations. Rather, He gives more grace to those who are in greater need.
Posted By Anonymous Allan, South Bend, IN : 3:13 AM ET
My husband and I waited until we were married, and am I ever glad we did. Do you know how special it is to know that my man has never been with another woman like he's been with me? Very. But, I'll also admit, it takes more than just celibacy before marriage, and faithfulness afterwards to make a good marriage- it takes commitment and a real view of love. God's view. Being willing to give of yourself for the benefit of your spouse. Having fun together. Being friends. It's not all about the physical, but when that's in the order God laid it out in, than it's all the more special, and you're on a good road to having a great marriage. Like I do. Is it worth the wait? Absolutely.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Rochester, NY : 5:17 AM ET
Unfortunately the bible, (which there happens to be more than one version written), has been rewritten
and reinterpreted so many times, over so many years, that I find it hard to believe that anyone can be so
convinced that there interpretation is the only precise one. this to me, must be one of those boastful
acts, written in the bible, that is in itself a sin...
Posted By Anonymous Tracey Stansfield, Emmaus, PA : 6:15 AM ET
We as simple humans are still evolving.
Our DNA was programed millions of years ago with regard to sex. Before the BIBLE. SEX was necessary as a survival mechanism. Now men and women still think sex is necessary for survival. Sex is all about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We humans must realize that we also have a higher calling than just reproducing. "TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER".
LOVE is not about sex but about caring for one another in a civil respectable way. we are still evolving to that extent.
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Signoretto,Monroe Township,New Jersey : 7:48 AM ET
I have heard the idea of "trying on" a potential marriage partner before making a lifetime commitment. In reality, true love is not the result of great sex. Great sex is the result of true marriage.
Posted By Anonymous Robin - Tyler, Tx. : 10:42 AM ET
I live in an extremely conservative community which just happens to have an extremely high incidence of teen pregnancy. Not belonging to this conservative community, I raised my son with idea that sex should never be casual and should occur within the context of a meaningful relationship. After all, even if you don't marry, the birth of a child means that you will most likely be forced into a life long relationship with your partner one way or another. I did not preach, I did not condemn his natural inclinations, and I acknowledged that it was likely he may have premarital sex. I am happy to report that he married his high school sweetheart and after 10 years together they have no unwanted pregnacies and their feet firmly planted on the ground. Belief in a higher power and treating all people with respect is important to me but lets be real..married or not, people have sex!
Posted By Anonymous Em SLC, Utah : 10:51 AM ET
Being a christian I was interested to see how you would handle this subject, so I watched the program. I was disappointed; but, not totally.

In your blog text by Claire Brinberg, for example, one can see the confusion. Whether done on purpose, or just unfamiliarity when she writes, "But the ancient lessons can be interpreted in so many different ways that it's hard to find agreement, even among Christians." No, the Bible is only "...interpreted in so many different ways ..." because that is the way humans are. God is very plain in His instruction on all subjects. Humans 'color' things up so we can do what we want to do, when we want to do it, and on and on.

The answer to the confusion is within each of us. Humans face adversity from three sources: God, sin, satan. To be delivered from the adversity (or adversities) first one must accept Jesus as their Savior. Then comes the difficult part; for most christians. The act of advancing in spiritual maturity. To explain that would take more time than we have here. However, I will give a big 'tip of the iceberg' as to what most christians do not do to advance in spiritual maturity. The Armor of God. God gives us Armor and tells us why we need it. Most christians do not even know it exists. Ephesians 6 :14-17.

God loves every human and wants us all to have a joyful life and accept His son as Savior. Again, it is us humans that distort His word (the Bible) and bring confusion into our life.
Posted By Anonymous Fred Dunavant, Conway, Arkansas : 10:59 AM ET
One should be very careful about taking the Bible literally when it comes prohibitiion of homosexuality. Quotes are taken from Leviticus known as the Holiness Code. If you believe them word for word, then you must also believe the rest of the Code too. You might be very surprised what you have to accept. For an erudite address of the Holiness Code visit:
Posted By Anonymous Robert Munroe, London Onario Canada : 11:31 AM ET
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