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.
Sounds like you are another victim of “Wyatt”‘s burn and pillage relationships. If you don’t agree with him, you are can be his “friend”. Then, he will use you for fodder on his blog. His lack of self-esteem probably triggered the blog post. He needed all of his blog “friends” to tell him how awesome he is; he got exactly what he wanted. Look back through his blog. Every once in a while, he has a “feel bad for me post” or a “tell me I’m great” post.
Did you notice he even got mad that you didn’t “pimp his blog” on your blog. You were trying to keep it semi-private or respect his privacy and he just wanted a few more blog hits.
He cannot take ANY criticism well. He’s posted on his blog how he only has one friend in real life. What are the odds that every single one of his friends did something to him? Odds are, they got in typical friend arguements and he couldn’t take it. It’s easier for him to just abandon a relationship, I guess.
Kudos to you for sending a respectable email. There is no reason that the two of you couldn’t have had a decent discussion about this. You could have agreed to disagree. He never seems to look “inside”; it’s always someone else’s fault.
In regards to your email to him, I too am shocked that his wife puts up with his blog. He constantly “wants” other women (both regular women and celebs), and he flirts with female blog posters all the time (like Mollie and the girl who is in the Army).
I’d like to meet him in person one day and find out who the “real” Wyatt/Shawn is.
I understand if you choose to pull this reply. Just wanted to let you know that you are not the only person who views his blog and has similar feelings as you.
Thank you for commenting. I am not familiar with any past incidences of Wyatt’s “Burn and pillage” relationships as you call them. I know he has occasionally posted “hate mail” that he gets from people, but those are usually pretty sorry attempts filled with hate and loathing for Wyatt. I have agreed with his position on all of those I read.
As far as his “feel bad for me” posts, I think everybody has those every once in a while. As I have tried to state here (and there), I don’t have any personal grudge against Wyatt, I just disagree with his position that looking at lustful pictures of women is acceptable.
I’m not pulling your reply because you didn’t use foul language, which is pretty much the only reason I would. Thanks for your thoughts.
THIS BLOG IS APTLY NAMED.
Thank you for your comment, anonymous shouting internet person.
Also, I would reply to your comment on Wyatt’s blog regarding my late night internet activity, but he is evidently no longer allowing me to comment. Oh well.
First of all, I want to say Thank you for standing up for your wife. As a wife, I appreciate this. (Even though it wasn’t for me you did this.) It hurts my heart the way women put themselves out there for men to slobber over and the fact that men take them up on it. I have a friend whose husband was unfaithful to her during their entire 20 year marriage. He finally left her for another woman. She now believes that ALL men are pigs. I finally told her (after finally getting offended that she loops my husband in with all the pigs) that there ARE honorable men out there. She said “Really?”
Thank you for being one of them and for being that example to your children.
The women who do put up with it think they have no choice. As long as they come home for dinner, they don’t care where they get their appetite. I can’t imagine that is true deep down. Society teaches every man for himself. So, women feel like they can’t take a stand against it.
Most of the women I know believe that ALL men at least look at pornography regularly. Of course, when I argue with that belief, I’m labeled naive (or stupid) because there is no way my husband doesn’t look at it. I KNOW my husband doesn’t. And, I know my dad doesn’t. And, I know my brother doesn’t. And it’s not because of my stupidity that I have confidence in that. It’s the way they live their lives.
This is an issue that is dear to my heart. I don’t get magazine subscriptions because my husband doesn’t need any more temptation out there than is already there. When we had cable, we turned the channel during commercials because they can be worse than TV shows. (Now, we rarely watch TV that isn’t recorded on DVR so the commercials are bypassed.)
This person is insecure and needed people to support him in his anger so that he felt justified. The people that jumped on board are ignorant. I would say that if you didn’t have these convictions then that would indicate trouble in your marriage/life. Keep on keeping on.
Thanks for the support. I know I’m not supposed to worry about what man thinks of me so long as I’m doing what God wants, but it’s nice to get affirmation sometimes that I’m not the only one that believes this to be true about lust.
I’ll bet your feeling vindicated; I know I am.
Is there a specific reason for vindication that I don’t know about?
Aaah. I just went to his blog for the first time in weeks. The first thing my wife and I noted was that it seemed like the number of girlie photos increased even more than when I originally left (now it’s like every other post).
And then I noticed his post that he’s shutting down the blog. No, I don’t really feel vindicated, because my point to him was that women should not be lusted after and made objects of lewdness (aka made into things to use instead of people to love and care about). His blog is shutting down because of his use of photographs (probably unrelated to lust). But I still hope that Shawn comes to see the error in thinking that it’s acceptable to lust after women that aren’t his wife and that he gets right with God.
“His blog is shutting down because of his use of photographs (probably unrelated to lust)”
He said they were pics of Farah Abraham and Mariah Carey. Do a search for Mariah Carey on the blog and you’ll find her scantily clad.
I will say this: I find it intensely ironic that he is starting a new blog, but that they aren’t using a ton of photographs. As a matter of fact, I saw his co-blogger commented, “I am going to cancel Sexy Saturday. I can’t risk using photographs. Sorry.”
So yes: Irony.