Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

PETA and Porn. . . Unbelievable! . . . .


It was so ridiculous that I had to read the little story several times over. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is looking for ways to effectively promote their message of animal rights and vegan eating. OK. . . I get that. Not a surprise at all. But it’s how they’re doing it that’s both stunning and telling. PETA is going to launch a new website – peta.xxx – a pornographic site intended to raise awareness of the group and get a new/expanded audience exposed to their message. PETA reps say that whenever they use racy stuff, more people pay attention to the plight of animals. It seems that by drawing people to nudity, they’ll be drawing people to understand animal rights. More proof that sex sells.

I first read this story yesterday morning. The day before I had spoken at Abilene Christian University on youth culture. In a session on the need for relationships, I had mentioned some specific ways that fallen expressions of sexuality have taken root and grown in our culture. . . destroying lives while at the same time delivering the empty promise to redeem and fulfill. I talked about body image issues, objectification, the sexualization of everything, and pornography. In my remarks about pornography I mentioned some of the fallout that we can expect as a young generation of kids – who have been exposed to and are seeking out this stuff in an online world filled with pornography of all types – come of age. I highlighted these main points:

-Greater exposure at younger and younger ages. That’s right, kids will see more and more at younger and younger ages.
-The envelope stretched to extremes. What they see will be more and more extreme in terms of what is depicted and portrayed.
-Desensitization. In other words, the more they see, the more they’ll need to see as tolerance builds. . . just like it does for a drug addict.
-Pornography as a matter of personal preference. That’s just the way it is in a postmodern world. It’s not a matter of ethical rights or wrongs. Rather, I can choose whatever I want to be right for me to be right for me.
-Normalization of depicted values and practices. In other words, the stuff I saw when I was in fourth grade will be the stuff I do when I’m in middle school, high school, college, or just later in life. The seeds being planted now will bear some pretty ugly fruit.

I guess the big question for me is this: How can an organization that is committed to protecting animals promote that message by harming humans. . . children even. . . and not see just how wrong that approach really is? Come on PETA. . . you’ve got the word “ethical” in your name. You should know better. And I wonder. . . will you be posting any pornography featuring bestiality? Or, would that be unethical?

18 Responses

  1. Walt, in answer to your last question, according to bestialists, bestiality is unethical when the animal does not have the freedom to reject the sexual contact.

  2. Walt, I just don’t understand where and why we draw the line on what are acceptable or unacceptable areas of the female body that can be exposed.

    Guys (and women) have told me that my full lips are more of a sexual turn-on than my large breasts. Should I cover my lips ala Muslim women? I have seen men on the beach with larger breasts than some women. Should they cover up? Should flat chested women be given a pass?

    I have yet to hear a logical or even a biblical explanation as to why a woman’s chest should be concealed anymore than a man’s chest.It is pure discrimination, sexist, and a covert controlling measure.

    You “objectify” a woman’s breasts by insisting that they be kept fully covered, taboo, and kept from sight, NOT by exposing them. Does a woman “objectify” her nose, feet, hands or ears by exposing them? Why do you think women couldn’t care less when seeing a man’s chest on the beach?

    There is nothing more sexually boring than a nudist colony. Take my word on it.

  3. Walt,

    is it necessary to post the web address of the site? You can still convey the same message without “advertising” (or leaving the temptation to go to) the web address. I appreciate the thoughts and write up, but knowing the url is less-than helpful to me. Something to keep in mind!

  4. In answer to the last question. . . I’m very careful about what I post on the blog. I realize that, at times, there are some things that people believe to be over the edge or a bit of a stretch. I consider that all the time, but do struggle to maintain a balance based on things that are mainstream trends in youth culture. In this case, the url I posted was not a hyperlink – you can’t click on it and go. Neither is the link live (too my knowledge) as they have simply applied to use the address in that manner and it’s reported that it won’t be approved – if it is – for months.

  5. TO DJ_ ILLNESS.

    Dj_illness (why that moniker?), GET OVER IT!

    How can you question Walt for what he posted on his site, when on your website you write, “I really suck….” ? (Sept. 26, 2009 post). That is an expression that many people have a visceral repugnant reaction to (as in suck what?). Its origin was “You suck”, and was used solely as having an awfully debasing and derogatory meaning. We all know what “suck” was referring to. I certainly don’t think it is appropriate on any Christian website, especially if you’re going to play “holier than thou”.

    I cannot imagine Jesus using that phrase in any way, shape or form, – I suck, he sucks, she sucks, we suck, they suck, it sucks… can you dj_illness ?

    Please, everyone, do not reinforce the acceptance of this term by using it. This language contributes to,
    “We can now be all over the place and uneven morally, spiritually, ethically…”,
    as Walt so insightfully recognizes in his post of Sept 6, 2011.

    Without Walt publishing vastly different views and pushing the envelope with his posts, his website would resemble a wishy-washy Christian cult publication, which we certainly don’t need anymore of. Walt’s site is definitely unique and sorely needed.

    Everyone, keep in mind that the perfectly beautiful physical human body that God created before the apple was eaten, remained the EXACT same perfectly beautiful physical human body after the apple was eaten. It did not change.

  6. Stephanie. . . What we have to grapple with post-Garden of Eden is the fact that sin has touched and polluted everything. With our bodies, it has effected the way we view them, obsess over them, fight disease and malformation, etc. In addition, it has effected the ways in which we view the bodies of others. Ultimately, sin has broken and destroyed our hearts. From those hearts come all kinds of manifestations of our sinfulness. . . including the way we view and treat others. It’s for that reason that I understand the difficulty one might have with the posting of a web address if that’s an area of particularly deep, deep struggle. While I’m not sure if that’s the case here, I know it is with many people. That said, we need to be mindful of that and walk carefully so that we don’t entice another brother or sister into sin. Make sense?

  7. Walt, please give my comment a critical analysis understanding the dilemma I faced in submitting it. I will be as tactful and considerate as I possibly can, without being ambiguous or opaque. To do so would render my comment confusing and obfuscating.

    I don’t like to contradict you Stephanie, but I owe it to Walt’s readers to challenge (correct) one thing you said.

    “Everyone, keep in mind that the perfectly beautiful physical human body that God created before the apple was eaten, remained the EXACT same perfectly beautiful physical human body after the apple was eaten. It did not change.”

    Yes it did change.

    For better understanding let me preface my belief with an example. A tree or plant taking in pure sunshine converts this energy into sugars that sustains its growth. There is no physical waste material. All the sugars are fully utilized.

    Before The Fall all of the food consumed by man and beast was pure, fully utilized, with no waste material to eliminate. After The Fall, food was no longer perfectly pure and contained unusable noxious components, consequently there was a need for an additional perfunctory body part to dispose of these impurities. Prior to The Fall there was no need for this elimination process. All food was pure and fully utilized.

    The Bible does not describe this transformation for obvious reasons. Common sense tells us that there is absolutely no way that our bodies eliminated these malodorous waste impurities in the perfectly created Garden of Eden.

    Close Stephanie, but no cigar!

  8. “And I wonder. . . will you (PETA) be posting any pornography featuring bestiality? Or, would that be unethical?” asks Walt.

    Forced bestiality is unethical if you interpret Genesis’ “having dominion over” as caring for and tending to the animal’s needs.

    Forced bestiality is ethical if you interpret Genesis’ “having dominion over” as justifying the forced killing and eating of animals.

    If the gross and inhumane act of killing an animal for our own selfish pleasure of eating it is judged to be ethical, then it logically follows that any other selfish use of an animal below that set bar standard, must then also be ethical.

    Please, no “cherry-picking” of Leviticus or Deuteronomy unless you can justify the other aberrant commands in these books.

  9. Walt, for more on non-forced bestiality being perfectly ethical, may I suggest reading the article “Heavy Petting”, by the highly regarded Peter Singer.

    Peter Singer is a Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

  10. On the one hand, I’m stunned that we’re even having this conversation. Then again, when we appeal to the word of a bioethicist (no. . . I haven’t yet read the article)over and above the word of our Maker. . . I’m not surprised as that’s the way we think in our culture these days. I would recommend a great book on sexual ethics by Dennis Hollinger – The Meaning of Sex. Dennis writes from the perspective of Biblical world and life view.

  11. First Walt, let me apologize for submitting a comment that compelled you to respond at 10:24 PM, especially when I know that many of your posts are submitted in the 7:00AM range. This is definitely not a 9 – 5 job for you, but rather a God inspired mission. The time of your submission says so much about you.

    Second, bestiality is much more practiced by our young people than you realize, especially in the country. I won’t go into detail, but again take my word on it. I will just submit the following,
    “Of course I’ve had sex with a mule. You obviously have no experience growing up on a farm, why it’s a rite of passage for a young man.”
    – Neil Horsey (not a pun), candidate for Georgia State Governor, October 2008

    In your reply Walt, you say, “Then again, when we appeal to the word of a bioethicist … above the word of our Maker. . . I’m not surprised as that’s the way we think in our culture these days.”

    “…the word of our Maker…” This is the epicenter of conflicting proclamations of thousands of religions, that their interpretation of His “Word” is the one and only correct interpretation. My, how arrogant.

    Walt, did you ever play “Whisper Down the Lane”? A very short story is whispered into the ear of the person sitting next to them and so on down the line. After the story is told as few as a dozen times the final person hears a story that can be totally and hilariously different from the original.

    The books of the Bible were written by numerous men, telling one to another, over thousands of years, covering wide and separate lands. But you say, “Our books were written by men inspired by God.” So say all the other conflicting religions interpreting the same books.

    Throughout history a select few men have professed to know “His Word” by either being “told by God”, or only after “going deep” into studying the Bible for many, many years and acquiring the necessary degrees, documenting their authority on the subject. Among those who have been told, or who have gone deep, there are widely divergent views of “the word of our Maker”.

    I believe God would never allow His Word to be understood by just a few self-proclaimed “message receivers”, or necessitate years and years of study. Believing and following a select few of “God’s Orators”, has led to an apocalypse of horror. Wouldn’t a “just” God ensure that all the commonest of men and women would clearly be able to understand what was expected of them, without years and years of study, especially when their salvation depended on it?

    Here’s what I cannot figure out. Knowing that there is all this confusion over the intent of His words, why does He not make a bold appearance in the sky for all to see, and with a booming voice, clarify His message, engage us in conversation, to help eliminate all this confusion, ESPECIALLY since our very salvation depends on it.

    Continued into next comment…

  12. Continued from above comment.

    Let me give a hypothetical example. Although some of this is somewhat far-fetched, it is no more far-fetched than some biblical interpretations, and serves to make my point.

    Your four children are preparing to go to a party-like, Tupperware demonstration (I know, already far fetched). Before leaving you instruct them,
    “I want you home, sober, and by 12”

    Only 8 words, said by one person, heard immediately. That is far short of the thousands of words in the Bible, translated by hundreds of men, over thousands of years, in many different lands.

    Let’s examine the 4 different interpretations each of your children could have.

    Caitlin: “Dad only said, ‘I “want” you home by 12. He “wants” or “desires” that we be home by 12, but he’s not “demanding” that we be home by 12. Remember, dad also “wants” a 67 Corvette, but knows it’s not going to happen.”

    Josh: “He was looking only at you Nate when he said it, therefore it only applies to you.”

    Bethany: “I think dad meant to be back sober and by 12 noon tomorrow, so that I don’t miss my 12:30 dentist appointment.”

    Nate: “I think dad wants us to come back sober sometime tonight, with 12 Tupperware sets. Maybe Mom wants them for Christmas presents.”

    Now which response would you choose after overhearing their discussion through the front screen door, as they walked toward the car?

    1 – Say nothing and let them sort it out.
    2 – Boldly step outside, and with a booming voice declare, “I will clarify my command! I DEMAND that you ALL be home and sober by 12 midnight TONIGHT, and mom doesn’t want ANY Tupperware sets, let alone 12!”

    Now which one would you choose if their very salvation depended on them clearly understanding your message? Which one would a loving father choose?

    If such a simple 8-word sentence can be so misunderstood, can you imagine the need for God to intervene and clarify the many misinterpretations of His numerous words and sentences, especially since our very salvation depends on it?

    I’m at a total loss to explain His silence.

  13. “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son…the Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God…” Hebrews 1:1-3.

    No one besides Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. If you’re really searching for the true Word of God, go to the scriptures that tell His story from the beginning of the earth to eternity – if you truly want to know Him, He will meet you right where you are at and introduce Himself! What a rush!

  14. PB

    Although your responses are ALWAYS filled with Godly love and good intent, it always appears as though you refuse to critically and logically digest what is said. You always avoid the argument that is presented.

    Your interpretation is but merely one of thousands of interpretations of these ancient books, written by hundreds of men, as was “whispered” to them over hundreds of years, from many different lands.

    You have to admit that millions of people have died and will die without ever hearing any of the numerous conflicting religions. What happens to them? What happens to the child born, indoctrinated and brainwashed into believing Judaism, or any other non-Christian religion, being condemned to Hell when God could so easily present Himself and “tell it like it is”. It is not fair to people born outside of Christian families.

    Please see the logic in my example using Walt’s 4 children. All of this confusion could be so easily cleared up by God talking to us now, in person, as we were made in His image, and could easily understand Him. This would give everyone a FAIR chance to either accept or reject Him.

    Wouldn’t you make sure your children fully understood exactly what was expected of them, before harshly punishing them for not fulfilling your expectations?

    By the way, why did God never choose a single woman as a prophet (according to Protestantism) as compared to hundreds of men? There has never been an answer for this.

  15. I quoted the Word of God because my words have no authority. You will not trust my word over Walt’s or anyone else claiming to know God, so why use my own words? I am not out to “win” an argument through logic but to show you only one place, although there are many, that God has answered the question you asked – “why does He not make a bold appearance in the sky for all to see, and with a booming voice, clarify His message?” The answer is in that text-HE DID and he did even better than that. Jesus LIVED on the earth for 33 years. God did not just merely appear for a moment, but he lived and walked and ate and was tempted and loved and died and was raised from the dead – all to validate what was written in the OT scriptures and to SHOW everyone how loving and good and just He is. So, God chose that people and that generation to appear to, and He then entrusted them with passing His message of a free gift of salvation and His Word through the bible. And faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to make us right with God spread like wildfire through the world at that time. I believe one reason for the rapid spread is that people understood that they were sinners and were asking the question you are “what does God expect from me? How can I be acceptable to Him?” The answer was and is – nothing, and you can’t. That’s the beauty of the gospel – you can’t do anything to make yourself right with God – EXCEPT believe in Him. God has done everything for you. He created you, he gifted you, all good things in your life have come from Him, He desires for you to know Him and trust Him. God says “taste and see that I am good” (Psalm 34:8) and wayyy back in Isaiah 1:18 He says “Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.” God is willing to spend time with you confirming His truth. Your role is to trust Him. Again, I quote from Hebrews: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

    I think your Whisper Down the Lane example is a good one. It certainly shows how we humans hear what we want to hear. Imagine a 5th child who had been part of the group. He heard Walt, then heard what each of the other four said and came to the conclusion “well, they don’t understand what dad meant so I guess I don’t either ” Don’t you think that child has the responsibility of going back to Walt and saying “I’m confused what did you really mean?” Now imagine a 6th child – again part of the whole exchange who totally understood Walt and said to the others “come on you guys, you KNOW dad and you KNOW what he meant – that he wants each of us home by midnight and doesn’t want us drinking at all.” But the original four continue on with their arguments because they don’t want to follow Walt’s instructions, they want to do what they want to do no matter what. The 5th child stands, stuck, in a state of confusion because the people around him can’t agree. The 6th child can argue, complain, persuade and beg the other 5 to listen but they refuse. This is exactly how it is with us and God.

  16. He has spoken, in fact, He spoke and had His words and actions written down for over 1,500 YEARS. There is no inconsistency in God’s word. Will you understand that from the minute you start reading it? No way – you need to spend time with Him. You need to read something and say “really, God, here’s what I understand you’re saying – am I right?” Ask others who know Him well – who have spent that time with Him already. Read books to help you understand. God says “when you seek me with all your heart you will find me.” Are you truly seeking? Or do you just want to challenge the beliefs of others? So, back to the example of Walt & his kids. He has spoken, he has a history of saying what he wants as plainly as possible but 4 of his 6 kids consistently argue, disobey, “misinterpret” his words. He has learned from their responsiveness to him, that no matter how many times he says it, or in how many ways, they will choose to do what they want because they are hard hearted and just don’t want to obey. So why would he repeat, and clarify knowing them – knowing that it won’t matter? He won’t. I’m sure you have known things – real truths – that when you tell someone they just will not believe. Do you continue on and on? What purpose does that usually serve? Actually that usually causes them to dig their heels in deeper. Is that you? Have you chosen to believe some myths about God’s word and God? Have you not opened yourself up to His truth? Are you digging in your heels? One flaw with your example is that no one is a child of God until they believe and have accepted that they are a sinner and that Jesus died to pay for that sin and God raised Him from the dead to show He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins. So, perhaps only one of those kids going out the door is Walt’s, the other 3 are not in the family. When the other three start arguing about what Walt said, it’s up to his child to clarify and speak the truth on behalf of Walt – because that child knows him and knows his intent and his purposes. That is why God has left His children on this earth – to clarify and speak His truth. Does it get messed up? Oh yeah, then you go to God’s word and you sit with Him and ask Him questions and pretty soon – through teachings or others, or His word and revelation – you get the answer.

    With regard to your question about those who haven’t heard of God or Jesus , God addresses this in Romans 1:19-20: “They (all people) know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” I trust that God IS just and IS loving and IS fair so I trust that God judges people only for what they can be held accountable for. I don’t have to know how it all works, because I trust that He does.

    So, I have responded to some of your questions. Now ask yourself, “am I scoffing at everything said? Is there anything in me that is willing to believe any of this?” If the answer is no – then there is no reason to continue to ask questions – you are not seeking the truth about God. But perhaps there’s a reason you don’t trust God – you can be honest about that, you can tell Him that –“ I don’t trust you because people who claim to know You have hurt me terribly.” God will meet you right there and show you that that hurt did not come from Him.

  17. PB
    Once again your response is saturated with Godly love and good intent. Your inclusion of a 5th and 6th child is nothing short of brilliant. Your writing is extremely articulate. You made excellent points. You gave me much to digest. Thank you.

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