This is a long one. Buckle up.
There is a blog I used to frequent. I share a similar sense of humor with the author of the blog. He is a conservative (like me), he has a family (like me), and he is a Star Wars geek (like me). He is only a blogger part time. He has a day job. His job is dangerous, and I have the utmost respect for him for doing it. In the past several years I have exchanged a few emails with him. I wouldn’t say we were “friends” but we were friendly acquaintances, especially given the fact that we never actually met in real life.
The only problem was that his blog contains frequent pictures of half-naked women (wearing bikinis, in suggestive poses, etc). For simplicity, I’m going to refer to these from now on as “lust posts” since the obvious intent of showing these photos is to incite lust in the viewer. He used to post one of these photos every now and then (I don’t know, a few per month, maybe). When reading his blog, I would quickly scroll past these photos so that I wouldn’t have those women in my mind.
Several months ago it seemed to me that the ratio of lust posts to non-lust posts had increased to where it seemed about every third post was a lust post. I decided to stop reading his blog as a result.
Yesterday I clicked on the bookmark to his blog (which I hadn’t done in a while) to see if anything had changed. The very first picture had the word “Naked” in the title and had a picture of a woman (fully clothed). Not encouraging. So I scrolled back through his recent blog posts. Four out of the previous seven days had a lust post. I decided that I had had enough.
With any other blog, I would have simply deleted the bookmark and forgot about the blog. But I had some history with this guy. I had been reading his blog for several years. I had communicated with him personally. And so I sent him an e-mail letting him know my concern and my problem, and telling him why I was no longer reading his blog. This is what I said:
You used to do police stories, funny stories, news stories, entertainment stories (Star Wars, etc) with the occasional hot babe thrown in the mix. For the past several months, your blog has turned into a regular pinup collection. Seriously, go back and count how many pictures you posted a year ago, and look at one of the past few months and compare numbers. I don’t know how your wife feels about this, but it really irritates my wife, and I don’t need to be tempting myself with looking at women who aren’t my wife, and that’s why I haven’t been frequenting your blog.
You may call me a prude, a Puritan, or what have you, but Jesus Christ is my Lord, and He said in Matthew chapter 5 verses 27-29, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
That seems pretty clear to me that if I am going to be faithful to my wife, I need to not frequent places where nudity and partial nudity are prominently displayed. Unfortunately your blog is now one of those places. And so I have removed your blog from my bookmarked page. Please let me know if you ever decide to go back to your former habits of posting news and entertainment stories without posting half-naked photos along with them.
I thought I had made my case pretty clearly. I thought I had been respectful and polite. But today I looked at his blog one last time, and I found that he responded by turning my private email into a blog post, printing most of the letter and stating how angry my email made him, and how I said he was probably going to hell. For the record, I never said he was going to hell. What I said was that Jesus said adultery isn’t just PHYSICAL. Adultery is MENTAL. Adultery is VISUAL. And then Jesus says (basically) that if there’s something in your life that is encouraging you to sin (in this case, to commit visual adultery), you should get rid of it.
And he asked his readers (of whom I used to be one) what they thought. Here are their thoughts about me, and my response to them:
1. “I do feel the readers comments are a reflection of his marriage and the demons he may be fighting.”
“Seriously it sounds like this guy has other issues if he thinks reading a PG rated blog is adultery.”
“It sounds like he has issues in his life beyond your blog.”
Am I fighting demons? Yes. Do I have “other issues”? Yes. Actually these readers understood my e-mail as I intended it: not as a condemnation of the blogger, but as a statement that I have a problem with lust: a problem that every man I know struggles with.
2. “That couple needs to learn how to live life. They need to sleep in, have a little Woo-Hoo or a lot and then go have donuts for breakfast! Better yet have the donuts in bed.”
For the record, my wife and I are very happy in our marriage, and she was glad that I sent him that e-mail, because it showed her that she is important to me, and I am trying to be faithful to her, and the vow that I made the day we got married. Am I sinless? No, but I am forgiven, and I am trying to sin less.
In addition to these, three readers assumed I was struggling with secret homosexual thoughts about the occasional pictures of half-naked men. Let me just say this in response to that: no.
Let’s do an exercise in perspectives. Let’s say you eat at a restaurant once a week. You’ve eaten at this restaurant pretty much every week for several years. Now let’s say that the quality of the food starts to decline. The food doesn’t taste good anymore. You go away for a few months, and return, only to find that the food has gotten even worse. If you like the owner, do you simply walk away, never to return? I wouldn’t. I would say, “Hey, just to let you know, I used to come here all the time, but something happened, and I wanted to let you know why I’m not coming back. Please let me know if you ever fix the problem, because I value our relationship.”
Now let’s say you are the owner. You have a patron that eats at your restaurant weekly. But then he disappears for a few months. He returns finally, and he tells you the message above. As a business owner, should you get angry? If you can’t take constructive criticism about your restaurant, people will start disappearing, and you won’t ever know why. If I were that business owner, I would want to know why.
In conclusion, he was hurt by my e-mail, but instead of emailing me privately, he made it public. And so I am responding publicly. I am truly sorry that he was angered by my message. It was not my intent to offend him.
I will be praying for him, because I truly believe that lust is evil (according to the Bible), and by posting what he does he is encouraging others to lust. This is not a good place to be. I will miss reading his posts. But not as much as I will enjoy the absence of added temptation.
PS: For the record, all these people who think watching porn isn’t affecting their relationship with their wife are deluding themselves. Here is one website that discusses the negative overall effects of porn. Here is an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association detailing the effects of pornography on the brain (it shrinks the brain). Turns out Jesus knows what he’s talking about. Makes sense, Him being God.
EDIT: In attempting to afford him the same courtesy he afforded me by not naming me in his blog post, I had decided to keep the other blogger anonymous, but he has stated on his blog that he does not appreciate the fact that my blog post does NOT name him, and so I am now naming him, in keeping with his wishes. He goes by “Wyatt” and his blog post about me can be found here. Again, I have nothing but respect for Wyatt, I simply disagree regarding the issue of lust.