I don’t begrudge Christians their porn habits. I completely understand. It’s classic reverse psychology: you tell someone they can’t do something, so they want to do it even more. You pack people into a church on uncomfortable wooden benches, you tell them they’re going to Hell if they fuck before they get married or look at porn and masturbate — what the fuck do you think is gonna happen? The sex has to go somewhere. Not everyone can stay that repressed for that long, and if you’re a Christian with a nut to bust and your choices are premarital sex or jacking off to an issue of Penthouse . . . well, what strikes you as the lesser sin?
I visited XXXChurch.com this morning and was greeted by a splash page advertising Unscripted 2007. What is Unscripted 2007, you ask? It’s a Christian pro wrestling event/rock concert/anti-porn crusade taking place later this month in Atlanta, Georgia. “Christian pro wrestling,” that’s correct. If you’ve never seen it, don’t. The same guy wins every match: Jesus. It’s as if Paul Crouch was flipping through the channels one day, stopped on an episode of SmackDown! and said, “You know what? I bet I could ruin this, too.” The splash ad promises appearances by such hot young stars from the indy wrestling scene as Brutus Beefcake, Jimmy Snuka, and Greg Valentine. And a special appearance by the once-awesome Ted Dibiase, who used to end his matches by stuffing a hundred-dollar-bill down his beaten opponent’s throat, and has now switched from hundred-dollar-bills to Jesus. Also advertised is a “special match” between porn icon Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross which will redefine shitty faux-hip evangelism for a whole new generation.
I have no clue who the fuck Stryper is, but from the looks of them I assume they are a Christian metal band in the same vein of shit as, say, Petra. I have yet to reserve my tickets, but something tells me if I decide to drive down to Georgia that day, there’ll be seats available.
It’s once you get through to the actual XXXChurch.com site (“The #1 Christian Porn site!,” despite a total absence of actual porn) when you find the really creepy shit. Linked on the main page, in versions for MAC and Windows, is a program called X3 Watch. It’s “accountability software.” You install the software on your computer (more likely your wife does, but women are hardly mentioned in any of this Christian porn talk, since apparently there are no female Christian porn addicts anywhere in the world) and it keeps track of every “questionable” website you visit and emails an “accountability buddy” of your choosing at the end of the month with the complete list. I have two questions:
One, what do these emails look like?
Dear PASTOR GREEN,
Your accountability buddy, LORNE DIGGS, has accessed the following pornographic websites in the last 30 days:
Please contact LORNE DIGGS and take whatever action you deem appropriate to badger and shame his sinful addiction away.
Yours in Christ,
Two, how self-hating do you have to be to download this software? I’ve long known of the Christian fetish for self-humiliation — some congregations take orgiastic glee in hearing and absolving their brethren of embarrassing sexual sins — but this is ridiculous. You knowingly install a watchdog program that will rat your porn-viewing habits out to a buddy? It’s like hiring surveillance on yourself and telling the guy to call your AA sponsor if he sees you going into a bar. Maybe that’s why so many church Nazis have no problem with the Patriot Act — they’re so fucking eager to invite invasion into their own privacy, they don’t see what the big deal is for the rest of us.
I’ve just read that “Stryper” is an acronym for “Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness.” I’m glad I saw that; for a while there I was thinking Stryper was a really fucking stupid name for a band.