Conservative leader: Porn is a form of "pagan sexuality"

Patrick Fagan of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute links porn (and homosexuality) to "pagan Rome"

Published July 19, 2013 7:50PM (EDT)

 Dom DeLuise in "History of the World: Part 1"
Dom DeLuise in "History of the World: Part 1"

The influential Christian conservative organization Family Research Council (FRC) is hard (no pun intended) at work, trying to save us from pornography.  On Wednesday, in Washington DC, (the porn capital, incidentally) the FRC hosted a lecture, with the catchy title “Porn in the Dorm: The Impact of Pornography on College Campus Life.” Dr. Patrick F. Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI)--“which examines the relationships among family, marriage, religion, community, and America's social problems, as illustrated in the social science data”—delivered the talk and power point presentation. Fagan, who served as President George H.W. Bush’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy for the Department of Health and Human Services, warned that “For college students, the use of pornography is especially problematic” with the potential to “destroy their education, their relationships and their future.”

And how does porn manage all this? According to Fagan’s 2009 paper, “The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family, and Community,” on which he based his lecture, porn works through the mind, the, heart and the body, creating a “Distorted Perception of Reality, “ “Aggression and Abuse,” “Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Out-of-Wedlock Pregnancies,” infidelity, divorce and separation.

His grand thesis is that pornography is an anti-Christian vestige of a sick pagan world: “What we really have is a pagan sexuality, which is totally different from a Christian sexuality. Homosexuality, infidelity, euthanasia, infanticide - these were all common sexual practices of pagan Rome. Christians were for being very different, for being monogamous, faithful.” Using the precise tools of social science to which his organization is dedicated, Pagan explained in his talk that, “There’s a pagan sexuality which is a pan-sexuality which is the erotic. Abortion, homosexuality, infidelity, pornography, euthanasia, infanticide all of those things were just the common sexual practice of pagan Rome and Christians were for being very different. Monogamous, faithful, struggling, etc…you know the chastity, purity.”

Fagan surely has his finger on something: Christians watch porn and are lustful.  As the very worried news editor of Charisma Magazine, Jennifer LeClaire writes, a  “ChristiaNet poll reveals that 50 percent of all Christian men and 20 percent of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. Yes, addicted. Not just one-time viewers or even frequent users. Addicted.” And while not as addicted as men, perhaps, Christian women are sexual sinners nonetheless. LeClaire writes that “60 percent of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust, and 40 percent admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year." Moreover, Christian leaders seem riddled with what Fagan sees as pagan sinfulness. In a survey LeClaire reports, 54 percent of pastors surveyed said they had viewed porn within the past year.  So while the church fights against porn, church leaders personally patronize pornography and the sex trade industry. “The depths of this wickedness, then, are sadly ironic,” LeClaire despairs.

Whether it’s the church leaders’ unwitting influence or not, religious practice does not safeguard against porn use., the world’s third largest porn site compared 5 of the 10 least religious metro areas and 5 of the 10 most religious metro areas and found that there was little difference in porn consumption. In some cases, in fact, less religious places watched less porn than more religious ones: As David Homes points out, “Boston and San Francisco residents both watch far less porn than Huntsville and Montgomery.”

Luckily, for Fagan and his cohorts, there are Christian resources out there to help porn addicts. The Family Research Council offers several books, such as Dealing With Pornography: A Practical Guide For Protecting Your Family and Your Community and, of course, The Effects of Pornography on Individuals, Marriage, Family and Community. And check out, which offers X3Pure, a 30-day on-line cure for porn addicts.  And Fagan insists rehabilitation from “pagan” sex is well worth the struggle spiritually and physically. According to Fagan, “Those who are monogamous have the best sex they’ll ever know, because they don’t know anything else.”

By Katie Halper

Katie Halper is a writer, filmmaker, comedian and host of the Katie Halper show, a weekly WBAI radio show and podcast. She writes for The Nation, Rolling Stone, Vice, The Guardian, and has appeared on MSNBC, HuffPost Live, RT, Sirius Radio.

MORE FROM Katie Halper

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Pagan Sexuality Patrick Fagan Pornography