The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Churches challenge cybersex

At www.xxxchurch.com, Christians are into Internet pornography: They're offering the help and support of a faith community to those struggling with pornography addictions. Founded by two ministers and promoted as "The No. 1 Christian Porn Site," it had more than 3 million hits in its first two weeks.

The ELCA responds to the issue of pornography in the church by working to address addiction and recovery. Larraine Frampton, director of the ELCA program for the prevention of clergy sexual abuse, says users can be church members, loved ones or pastors. Frampton says addiction can develop "within weeks." She says both visual pornography Web sites and chat room "cybersex" can be addictive, and what some consider a matter unrelated to work and family "can separate us from real intimacy and alienate us from family, friends and God."

Support groups or 12-step programs for sexual addiction can be found locally or online. Parishioners concerned about a pastor should contact their synod bishop. Frampton recommends two books: In the Shadows of the Net edited by Patrick Carnes and Cybersex Exposed by Jennifer Schneider (both from Hazelden Information Education, 2001).


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Embracing diversity