Our friends over at Westside Family Church, the monstrous Kansas corporate megachurch, have started a program to cure women who are "addicted to pornography."
Addiction is a bad thing, right? Of course! But wait, women addicted to pornography? I've never heard of that. I always thought it was the men who go for dirty pictures. Women, I am told, often prefer erotic literature to visual stimuli, and so why would they get addicted to porn? But hey, I'm a modern guy, equal opportunity advocate, and definitely not a sexist, so why not? Wouldn't it be sexist to assume women couldn't be addicted to pornography. Maybe this is just one of those problems we've never heard about because we're a sexist society that assumes women are somehow more "pure" than men about porn.
OK, so I'll go with it. Let's read the NY Times article ... wow, interviews with actual female porno addicts. Now let's read the Dirty Girls Ministries forum where these ladies go to confess ...
Wat a second ... were are the porno confessions? Most of these women are talking about having normal sexual feelings. Their big sins are having desires? Feeling lustful before they're married? Masturbating? These sound like healthy, happy women to me. Where is the self-destructive addiction? Where is the part where they are ignoring their work, families and health and destroying their lives?
Reading through these confessions, there are indeed a few women who talk about pornography. But most of the confessions seem to be about normal sexual feelings. These women are "confessing" to simply feeling lust, as any healthy woman should. In other words, they're nothing wrong with them at all!
Then I realized that their lives are being destroyed ... by the Westside Family Church. WFC is teaching these women that normal, healthy sexuality – you might say God-given sexuality – is disgusting. WFC tells them they should be ashamed of the natural feelings that any healthy, happy adult feels. They're taught to suppress their desires and passions. They're told that they are unworthy sinners merely for being normal women.
WBS is perverting these women's healthy attitudes about sex into shame and and teaching them to loathe their own bodies. They're damaging these women's self esteem. They're teaching them to feel revulsion for their sexuality when they should be feeling joy. They're teaching them to suppress their very humanity.
I shouldn't be surprised by this, it's one of Christianity's oldest tricks: convince a moral woman that she is actually immoral – for no apparent reason &ndash and that she has to become Christian. They invent the disease, and only they have the cure.
What better way to sow guilt than through the human species' most powerful instinct, those wonderful feelings that urge us to find a mate and procreate? There is no stronger force in the human psyche, so if you can subvert it and turn it into something nasty, you've got real power over your victim.
The problem is that sexuality, love and lust are all perfectly normal, healthy and moral feelings for any human being to have. Anyone who doesn't feel them is missing out on one of the most wonderful parts of living. Nature made humans into sexual animals, and we're supposed to be attracted to the opposite sex. We're supposed to feel lust. There's nothing immoral about it.
I wish there was a way to put a stop to Westside Family Church. At best, this program is a fraud, curing a problem that doesn't exist and damaging its victims in the process. At worst, it's really more like spousal abuse. They're turning these women into victims, destroying their self esteem, and planting guilt and self-loathing that will interfere with their intimate relationships forever.