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The pointlessness of pornography (part 5)
lsn ^ | 12.23.2012 | John Jalsevac

Posted on 12/23/2012 5:53:02 PM PST by Morgana

A quote of dubious origin, but often misattributed to G.K. Chesterton, goes like this: “The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.” It is a somewhat shocking claim, but is, I think, nevertheless true. And the corollary is obvious: that every young man or woman who searches for pornography on Google, is unconsciously looking for God.

I do not believe that most people who look at pornography do so because they are particularly interested in sex, per se – at least not at first. Women, especially, are likely to confess that their interest in pornography is not so much about body parts, or how they come together, but is rather an expression of their deep craving for romance, affirmation, and relation. They don’t so much care about seeing nude men, as they do about fantasizing about having a satisfying love affair, in which all their unspoken needs and ardent desires are anticipated and met.

And while men, naturally more promiscuous, have earned a reputation as sex-obsessed brutes, I’m not sure that the reputation is entirely deserved, or that our motivations in viewing porn are any less “sublime” than those of women. Certainly in the beginning, I did not go to porn in search of sex, for I was not completely clear about what sex was. All I knew is that I increasingly found women beautiful, and that I wanted to see more of them.

There is, in men, a reverence for the female form that I think would be difficult, if not impossible ever to fully convey to a woman. For the average man, the female body is imbued with a sense of mystery and of meaning that rises very nearly to the level of the mystical. Every detail seems to whisper promises of happiness, of excitement, of mystery, of adventure, of fulfillment. This, of course, is why our advertisements are so packed with photos of beautiful, and often scantily clad women. Advertisers are not simply making their ads “attractive” by using these attractive women, they are cynically associating the aura of mystery and meaning that surrounds the female body with their banal and useless products.

Many great poets and artists, citing Genesis as backing, have claimed – with, I think, good reason - that woman is the pinnacle of physical creation, God’s final and greatest masterpiece. Perhaps this is why many men look to the female form to satisfy their deepest cravings. They have surveyed the earth and found nothing more beautiful, nothing more exquisite, nothing more sublime: and so have devoted their lives more or less to pursuing this most beautiful thing.

Why, then, does it fail to satisfy? Because it does fail to satisfy.

What man who has given in to the craving to view porn can ever honestly say that he has found the happiness that he hoped to find? Almost inevitably he has found disappointment. At first, it is true, there is the excitement, the anticipation, and then the thing itself, and finally (since masturbation typically accompanies viewing porn) the climax. But then there is the aftermath – the sense of deflation, of waste, of emptiness, of pointlessness.

In time the porn addict may come to accept those brief, highly intoxicating moments of anticipation as the nearest thing he will ever experience to happiness. But if he is being honest he will admit that he has settled – that he really craves something much, much more satisfying, but does not know where to find it. Again, here I am speaking from personal experience as a man, but I have heard women speak of the same thing – the sense of repulsion that follows a bout of viewing porn and masturbation, and which ironically drives them back to porn in the hope of erasing that sense of emptiness and recapturing the ecstasy that briefly seemed akin to happiness.

There are, I think, two reasons for the sense of pointlessness associated with porn. The first is the most obvious.

Sex is designed to bring two people together, to unite them, to bridge the gap between them. And it is also designed to be creative, to have the potential for new life. Porn, on the other hand, is simply an attempt to fool the body and the mind into thinking that sex has occurred. But the body and the mind will not be fooled. Porn is to sex what the Twinkie is to food. The first few bites of the cellophane-wrapped bundle of oil and sugar may be delicious, but the taste soon cloys, while the Twinkie provides no meaningful nourishment to the body. Eat only Twinkies and you will soon lose your taste for real, nourishing food, and you will become sick. Porn is sex without an object, sex without nourishment. It is a parody of sex. It is like winning a lottery, only to be told the prize is in Monopoly money. Porn does not, and cannot satisfy, for the simple reason that it is not real: it is fantasy, a shadow of the real thing, a mockery of sex.

But there is also another, and deeper reason for this sense of pointlessness. No one has addressed this reason better than the British Christian writer C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis explained in his autobiography how he sought happiness in sexual pleasure, and how it ultimately seemed so pointless. Why was this?

In his autobiography Surprised by Joy, Lewis catalogues his encounters with what he labels “Joy.” Joy, in the sense that Lewis uses the word, is that overwhelming sense of desire, the “immortal longing,” which is at once painful and immeasurably pleasurable, that we sometimes experience when we encounter something beautiful. It is, of course, nothing other than the divine discontent, the “restlessness” spoken of by St. Augustine in his Confessions, the pulley of George Herbert’s poem that draws wearied man to the breast of God.

Lewis points out that some irreligious people have interpreted Joy as simply a manifestation of the erotic instinct. Now, this is not an entirely unreasonable interpretation, since Joy very often is associated with sex. A newlywed beholding his bride on their wedding night, for instance, will experience a veritable tidal wave of Joy. But even a newlywed will in time learn that sex, no matter how pleasurable and loving, is not an adequate answer to Joy. Sex may lead to the experience of Joy, but Joy is not the desire for sex. Joy is a desire for something immeasurably more, and those who go looking for that something more in sex, or even worse, in porn and masturbation, will be sorely disappointed.

“Those who think that if adolescents were all provided with suitable mistresses we should soon hear no more of ‘immortal longings’ are certainly wrong,” Lewis explains in Surprised by Joy. “I learned this mistake to be a mistake by the simple, if discreditable, process of repeatedly making it.”

He continues:

I repeatedly followed that path – to the end. And at the end one found pleasure; which immediately resulted in the discovery that pleasure (whether that pleasure or any other) was not what you had been looking for. No moral question was involved; I was at this time as nearly non-moral on that subject as a human creature can be. The frustration did not consist in finding a “lower” pleasure instead of a “higher.” It was the irrelevance of the conclusion that marred it. The hounds had changed scent. One had caught the wrong quarry. You might as well offer a mutton chop to a man who is dying of thirst as offer sexual pleasure to the desire I am speaking of. I did not recoil from the erotic conclusion with chaste horror, exclaiming, “Not that!” My feelings could rather have been expressed in the words, “Quite. I see. But haven’t we wandered from the real point?” Joy is not a substitute for sex; sex is very often a substitute for Joy. I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.

In other words, the reason porn fails to satisfy, is the same reason anything else fails to satisfy – because it is not God. And the reason we become addicted to porn is the same reason anyone becomes addicted to anything – because we do not possess, and do not know how to possess, God, and thus we frantically scramble about for something to take His place. Woman may be the pinnacle of creation, but even the most beautiful and most fascinating woman ultimately fails to satisfy a man, because creation is not enough – we desire the Creator. One need only consider the endless cycle of divorce and remarriage among the world’s most beautiful people in Hollywood to see how true this is.

If you have ever attended AA meetings, you will have noticed the curious fact that many of those who struggle the most with addiction, are also some of the most passionate, sensitive, and interesting people you will ever meet. AA meetings are packed with people who are anything but “normal” or “boring” or “safe” – they are filled with philosophers and poets and artists, who, in their desperate desire for happiness, have followed the rabbit down the rabbit hole, only to discover their terrible mistake. This is, I think, one reason why the 12-step program puts such a strong emphasis on a belief in a “higher power.” God is the only real, long-term solution to addiction: not only because He is the only thing that can possibly fulfill the infinitude of man’s desires, but also because He is also the only One who can give us the strength we need to fight the myriad temptations we will face, and to catch us when we inevitably fail: he is both the Goal and the Safety Net.

Yes, it may be possible for a certain type of person to beat a porn habit (or any other addiction) simply through willpower and psychological tricks. But in general, I do not believe most people with a porn problem will ever be able to ditch porn for good without developing a relationship with God. For without God we will continue our frantic searching for the Thing That Will Satisfy, a search that will be continually frustrated because there is nothing on Earth that can satisfy. And in our frustration we will return again and again to the thing that promises happiness, but instead leaves us feeling deflated and miserable.

Yes, a porn habit is a shameful thing. But if it brings us to our knees, and reveals our weakness and our need for something – or better yet, Someone – greater than ourselves, then it may yet prove to be our salvation.

I will leave the final word of this series to former Playboy pornographer turned devout Christian Donny Pauling. I once asked him how he believes people can beat a porn addiction. This was his response:

So many people don’t ask for help because they’re sitting there feeling guilty about their actions, saying, “There I go, I’ve done it again.“ I think that they need to realize that, although sin does separate us from God, He still loves them. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. His love doesn’t change. It’s not conditional.

God who loves us that much is not looking for a reason to send us to Hell, he’s looking for every reason to bring us to Him. So just stand back up. Stop letting your guilt get you down.


TOPICS: Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: moralabsolutes; porn

1 posted on 12/23/2012 5:53:25 PM PST by Morgana
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To: Morgana

I can’t

He Can

Let Him


2 posted on 12/23/2012 6:28:58 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: Morgana

Can’t even give your porn obsession a break at Christmas?

I swear, the only things you post on this forum, are topics that turn the stomachs of most sane and stable adults.

Go be with your family and give it a rest, for crying out loud.


3 posted on 12/23/2012 6:37:02 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

You didn’t have to click on it. You didn’t have to read it. You took the time to post to it.

To be fair, Morgana posts a LOT of wonderful links.

I don’t see one thing wrong with an anti-porn article on FR.

Why do you?


4 posted on 12/23/2012 6:44:30 PM PST by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Windflier

Honestly I’m reminded of those Westboro freaks who claim to hate gays but have their offices stuffed to the rafters with gay porn in the name of “research”.


5 posted on 12/23/2012 6:46:45 PM PST by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Windflier

Wind, there is a new tiebreaker thread that could use an alien ping.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2971759/posts?page=4


6 posted on 12/23/2012 6:50:03 PM PST by campaignPete R-CT (campaigned for local conservatives only)
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To: Marie; Sergio; Tax-chick

Thank you Marie.

and Merry Christmas.


7 posted on 12/23/2012 6:52:03 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Lurker; Chode

I did not know this about Westboro. Gay porn up to the rafters? So where do they keep their hymn books?


8 posted on 12/23/2012 6:55:26 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Marie
You didn’t have to click on it. You didn’t have to read it. You took the time to post to it.

True. I did do that. And I communicated precisely what I wanted.

9 posted on 12/23/2012 7:09:46 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Morgana

No problem, Morgana. You didn’t do anything wrong.


10 posted on 12/23/2012 7:10:29 PM PST by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Morgana
under the porn...
11 posted on 12/23/2012 7:11:44 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Lurker
Honestly I’m reminded of those Westboro freaks who claim to hate gays but have their offices stuffed to the rafters with gay porn in the name of “research”.

Yep. I think the same phenomena is at work with this one.

12 posted on 12/23/2012 7:11:58 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Morgana
creation is not enough – we desire the Creator

Outstanding summary for this topic and many others.

13 posted on 12/23/2012 7:13:50 PM PST by Tax-chick (If I had two dead rats, I'd give you one.)
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To: Morgana

Do sexy mermaid pictures count as semi-porn???


14 posted on 12/23/2012 7:14:51 PM PST by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
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To: Morgana
...they are cynically associating the aura of mystery and meaning that surrounds the female body with their banal and useless products.

Whoa! Beer is not banal and useless.

15 posted on 12/23/2012 7:20:59 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: King Moonracer; GeronL

I do believe in art. None of my mermaids are: underage, fully nude, or in a state of sexual arousal.

They are just swimming in the sea or getting a tan by the beach. Mermaids being mermaids.


16 posted on 12/23/2012 7:26:21 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Windflier; Morgana

I’ve been here awhile and I can’t say I’ve noticed any exceptional number of porn threads, but I can say I’ve noticed Morgana has posted many other interesting stories. I’d vote for you as the one with the obsession.


17 posted on 12/23/2012 7:36:54 PM PST by bramps (Sarah Palin got more votes in 2008 than Mitt Romney got in 2012)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: Morgana

and I appreciate that

:p


19 posted on 12/23/2012 8:09:06 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: King Moonracer

TPIWWP


20 posted on 12/23/2012 8:10:54 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: Morgana

Have been reading all these anti-porn postings. Fine and dandy. But, it seems like a lot of teasing. When are you gonna post some really good pictures of what you’re objecting to, so we can see what’s on your mind?

(sorry, just couldn’t resist that!)
carry on!


21 posted on 12/23/2012 8:13:09 PM PST by faithhopecharity
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To: Windflier

Maybe you should be the one spending more time with your family.


22 posted on 12/23/2012 8:15:08 PM PST by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Morgana

I for one appreciate your posts and the wisdom contained therein. If you feel compelled in love to put these posts out there then do so without care for those who don’t see the need!

Bless you and have a wonderful Christmas!

Mel


23 posted on 12/23/2012 8:19:29 PM PST by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
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To: Windflier

Stalk much?


24 posted on 12/23/2012 8:21:51 PM PST by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (Some men just want to watch the world burn.)
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To: Morgana
Your post is eye-opening to say the least. That having been said, I would suggest to you that it doesn't go far enough, because it only addresses pornography.

I suggest to you that the real thing can be as bad and worse, if it is engaged in outside the bonds of matrimony.
I was a youth pastor once. I can't tell you how many young men and women I dealt with who had a totally unbiblical view of sex. God gave sex to men and women as a gift, to be shared between a man and a woman in the bonds of marriage ONLY. No one wants to admit this, but the results of the lax attitude people in America have about sex are obvious: broken families, teen pregnancy, STDs etc. There was a study done once that showed an interesting statistic: nearly all sexually transmitted diseases could be eliminated if all unmarried people would stop engaging in sex for a period of time (I can't remember how long). God's plan is obvious. It is up to men and women to follow it. The results of not following it are also obvious.

25 posted on 12/23/2012 8:24:00 PM PST by truthczar2000 (All English translations are just that.)
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To: WhistlingPastTheGraveyard
Stalk much?

Stalk? I hardly ever click on the OP's threads, but I see all the porn related threads she posts as I pass by.

Frankly, her obsession with the subject has become annoying, which is why I posted my viewpoint on it. Now do you have one yourself, or are you just trying to pick a fight?

26 posted on 12/23/2012 8:35:20 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier; WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

This thread is posted on the Religion Forum. The main guideline here is to discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.


27 posted on 12/23/2012 8:41:46 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: TigersEye

It is,however,an aquired taste. :)


28 posted on 12/23/2012 9:04:04 PM PST by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Causing trouble since 1976)
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To: TigersEye

It is,however,an aquired taste. :)


29 posted on 12/23/2012 9:04:21 PM PST by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Causing trouble since 1976)
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To: Religion Moderator
This thread is posted on the Religion Forum. The main guideline here is to discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

Fair enough. I don't believe I used any ad hominem in my initial post (or any subsequent post), but I'll try to make it even less personal the next time I comment.

30 posted on 12/23/2012 9:15:40 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah

moralabsolutes ping.


31 posted on 12/23/2012 9:17:03 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Religion Moderator; wagglebee; little jeremiah

The author of this thread used religion in his story. I posted it in the religion forum for this reason.

I also posted it in the religion forum to keep the pro porn comments out!!!


32 posted on 12/23/2012 9:20:38 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: melsec

Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too!!


33 posted on 12/23/2012 9:23:01 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: POWERSBOOTHEFAN

Hence the girls! ;^)


34 posted on 12/23/2012 9:28:47 PM PST by TigersEye (Who is John Galt?)
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To: truthczar2000; Marie; Tax-chick

“There was a study done once that showed an interesting statistic: nearly all sexually transmitted diseases could be eliminated if all unmarried people would stop engaging in sex for a period of time (I can’t remember how long). “

http://www.amazon.com/Thrill-Chaste-Finding-Fulfillment-Keeping/dp/084991311X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356326546&sr=1-1&keywords=thrill+of+the+chaste


35 posted on 12/23/2012 9:30:33 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Windflier

What annoys you is of no concern to me. She has every right to post on topics of interest to her without being personally attacked.


36 posted on 12/23/2012 11:47:16 PM PST by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (Some men just want to watch the world burn.)
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To: WhistlingPastTheGraveyard
What annoys you is of no concern to me. She has every right to post on topics of interest to her without being personally attacked.

You can knock off the snarling hissy fit. The Religion Mod already fired one shot across our bow, and I've said that I'll keep it impersonal. I suggest you do the same.

37 posted on 12/23/2012 11:51:41 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Morgana
There is, in men, a reverence for the female form that I think would be difficult, if not impossible ever to fully convey to a woman. For the average man, the female body is imbued with a sense of mystery and of meaning that rises very nearly to the level of the mystical. Every detail seems to whisper promises of happiness, of excitement, of mystery, of adventure, of fulfillment.


38 posted on 12/24/2012 4:54:24 AM PST by iowamark
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To: truthczar2000; Morgana
No one wants to admit this, but the results of the lax attitude people in America have about sex are obvious: broken families, teen pregnancy, STDs etc.

And the ever-growing welfare state. You're right, very few want to talk about it, because they're attacked from every direction if they do. One can be concerned about "family breakdown," about disease, about man/woman relationships, about crime and social chaos, about welfare-mother as a career, even about abortion (as long as one is apologetic about it), but to point out that all of this is the direct and predictable effect of sex outside marriage, and that sex outside marriage is always wrong, for everyone, is intolerable to most.

39 posted on 12/24/2012 6:00:31 AM PST by Tax-chick (If I had two dead rats, I'd give you one.)
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To: Windflier; Morgana

What an odd criticism. Some of us come to FR to read a wide variety of subjects the whole year long. Turn off your computer and go look at nativity scenes and twinkly lights and eat a cookie already if that’s what you want.


40 posted on 12/24/2012 6:16:33 AM PST by rusty millet
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To: rusty millet
What an odd criticism.

I don't think it is. The OP posts sex/porn related articles at a frequency and volume that I never saw on this forum until she joined. She's posted over ten in just the last month.

I'm a mature adult, and can handle just about any topic. I'm no prude, believe me, but I think the OP over-saturates the forum with this stuff. I wouldn't even bring it up, but for the fact that she's been at this for so long now. It's simply become an annoyance.

41 posted on 12/24/2012 10:07:53 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: iowamark

Helen Thomas. The perfect cure for porn.

Yer so bad!


42 posted on 12/24/2012 1:13:58 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Windflier; rusty millet; little jeremiah; WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

Yea I have posted over ten, and will continue to do so.

You may thank the FReeper who opened my eyes to Dr. Kinsey for that. The thread on Kinsey blew my mind away and the more I study how Kinsey’s work has destroyed America the more I want to scream. If ever was a man so evil it was Kinsey, and his evil tentacles seem to reach out and touch every thing in our lives.


43 posted on 12/25/2012 12:06:57 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Windflier; rusty millet; little jeremiah; WhistlingPastTheGraveyard

Yea I have posted over ten, and will continue to do so.

You may thank the FReeper who opened my eyes to Dr. Kinsey for that. The thread on Kinsey blew my mind away and the more I study how Kinsey’s work has destroyed America the more I want to scream. If ever was a man so evil it was Kinsey, and his evil tentacles seem to reach out and touch every thing in our lives.


44 posted on 12/25/2012 12:07:33 PM PST by Morgana (Time to play cowboys and muslims.)
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To: Morgana

Finally placemarking, although late. Hope to actually ping tomorrow. Been very sick.


45 posted on 01/02/2013 6:09:18 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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