Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of the self-proclaimed “worldwide phenomenon”, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Whether it is in reference to the book series, various off-shoot parodies, re-enactments, productions, products, and so on, or the upcoming film, you’ve heard it. I wonder, though, how many people actually know what all the hype is about. If you’re not really up on the details, the facts will likely shock you.
Fifty Shades is, in a brief description, rape porn and BDSM porn. BDSM, for those who may not know, is an acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism. This is also known by such names as slave porn, torture porn, domination porn, and so on. [Any male believing that he is in control of reality, making a good decision, or ‘treating a woman right’ by these sorts of acts is greatly misled.] Why then, is this series of books and now the upcoming movie (not to mention all of the “adult novelties” for sale based on the books) so popular, especially among women??? It boggles the mind, and clearly shows the broken nature of our world. Folks are looking for authentic love, yet receiving a drastic counterfeit.
Does this definition sound like a free, total, faithful, fruitful gift of self to another, or something opposite?
I think it’s important to point out that “50” depicts violent porn as glamorous – a lie that most pornographers want the consumer to believe. It’s ultimately the consumption of the lie of “Cultural Manliness” by women, believing that males like character Christian Grey are what they should be looking for in a man. I assure you, he is not. “50” wants you to believe that what’s happening in the story (stalking, dominance, rape, and various other forms of dangerous and degrading sad0-masochistic sex) is normal, acceptable, and even beneficial to relationships. How people believe these lies are beyond me, but obviously they do.
On February 14th, the Feast of St. Valentine, the movie form of “50” will be released in all markets. I highly encourage all of my readers and supporters to 1. boycott the film and 2. have an open and concerned conversation with others in your life who may go to the film. Support of this movie is in direct conflict with the Gospel Message. Exploitation of individuals, especially women, and the degradation of human sexuality is absolutely sinful and should be avoided at all costs. If you’re looking for an alternative, and want to support mainstream films that uphold human dignity and wholesome entertainment, please consider attending “Old Fashioned – the Movie” instead, also opening in theaters on February 14th.
I was recently invited to privately screen the film, and overall, I enjoyed it. I made a date night out of the event with my wife, getting some of her favorite movie-foods, and creating a little “home theater” for us. The film is a depiction of a man who, after turning away from a life of debauchery and exploitation, has chosen to have standards for himself and for any potential mate moving forward, for the goodness of his and her soul. He is seen by other characters in the film as being “stuffy”, “prudish”, and, well… “old fashioned” (hence, the name of the film.) I was impressed enough to encourage you to see it especially as an alternative against “50”. Here’s the trailer:
Additionally, there is a responsibility here, for men to step to the plate and protect humanity. Personally, should our local community-run theater choose to show this film, which I have already formally requested that they not do, I will likely be forced to take further action. Let us pray that this does not happen.
For me and mine, we say “Out with the ‘Grey’, and In with the ‘Old’.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to porn, download my “5 Step Guide to Overcoming an Addiction to Pornography & Masturbation” for free.
In my last post, I wrote about being on trial, as a defendant, for First Amendment issues. A lawsuit was brought against me by the owner of a string of adult stores on claims that were beyond ridiculous. These claims (surrounding peaceful assembly) all had to do with my rights granted me from the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
On the morning of Monday, January 12, I appeared in Federal court with my co-defendants, expecting to select a jury and begin this epic trial between good and evil. Instead, what happened was fairly lackluster. The plaintiff counsel called a meeting with our defense counsel and told them, “We don’t have a case.” Essentially, they caved. It was over before it started. All of us involved knew that they never had a case, we just wish it wouldn’t have burdened us for the past 3.5 years; costing us time, money, and being a royal pain in the rear. But, in the end, a victory is a victory and we were happy to stand for the truth, for justice, and for goodness.
The First Amendment rights that you and I (hopefully) appreciate, were upheld. The right to peacefully assemble, the right to free speech, and the right to freedom of religion. Now, in this case, some people have brought up the question about the adult store’s “rights” to perform free commerce and their “rights” to free speech and free press in terms of pornography. Heck, it was even written in their language in the original lawsuit documents! Make it known… the business owner who sued me is engaged in illegal activity, and his business practices are NOT protected by the First Amendment. What?!
You read that correctly… the activity taking place in that store (and MANY others like it all across the country) are engaged in illegal activity. This business, in particular, is guilty of at least two counts: 1. The distribution of hardcore pornography. (A felony in the United States of America.) and 2. The operation of pornography viewing booths. With #1, I bet you didn’t know that the production and distribution of hardcore pornography was against the law! Yep, it sure is. (Here’s the proof.) But why is there so much of it being produced and distributed? BECAUSE THE LAW ISN’T BEING UPHELD! And viewing booths lead to illegal and illicit behaviors and have been outlawed in many states, including the one I was sued in. Without getting into specific details here, we have evidence to believe that there were not only drugs being sold and consumed within these booths, but also lewd and heinous (hetero and homo) sexual acts were taking place, including prostitution. Isn’t it ironic that the criminal enterprise that brought suit against us was (is) involved in much more damaging and negative activity than they claimed we were!
So here’s how this thing ends:
The lawsuit was filed — we went round and round with the courts and their proceedings — we spent time and money — our lives were negatively affected for 3.5 years — and so on. What now? Do we step away from this fight because we were sued once? No! Whether it’s peaceful protest outside of a pornography shop, standing with love outside of an abortion mill, or writing blog posts that expose corrupt and illegal behavior, we mustn’t stop standing up for our rights. Rights give us freedom FOR things, not freedom from things. We have these rights so that we can be free for goodness and honesty, for clean communities, for wholesome businesses with wholesome practices, and free for giving and receiving love. That’s what it’s all about.
PS: If you struggle from addiction with or a pension for pornography and you need help getting out, contact us today. Email us at info@TrueManhood.com.
Starting Monday, 1.12.15, I’ll find myself (along with 7 others), on trial in Federal Court. I’m being sued by an adult store owner (owner of, I believe, 18 or so adult stores in the northeast) for several reasons, including trespassing, public and private nuisance, some anti-commerce claims, as well as coercion, to name a few. All of the claims are ridiculous. The case has been going on for some time now (almost 3.5 years) and although I am not worried or concerned – for I didn’t do the things that he claims I did – I would ask for your support and prayers during this time. The case comes down to a matter of the First Amendment, and my (AND YOUR!) right to free speech and to peaceful assembly.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (excerpt)
I peacefully and prayerfully stood as witness to the harm and dangers of pornography. Personally, I stood there for all the men who are trapped in pornography and also for the women whose lives are negatively affected by those men and their actions. My favorite sign to hold was “Real Men Don’t Exploit Women.” Translated… “males who are acting with the proper behavior, who do what they should and not what they shouldn’t, and who uphold the utmost respect for women, don’t USE them!” I hope that it made a lot of folks stop and think about their actions. I held this sign, too.
Maybe protesting is crazy. Maybe it’s ineffective. Maybe because of the insanity taking place in our country lately, protesting will forever be tainted (maybe it already was.) But let me put another side to it. There are people who are caught in the trap of pornography who don’t know that there is another option for them. They don’t know that there are resources, support groups, counselors, programs, and other people who care about them so that they don’t have to be confined to their addiction. For many, the addiction to pornography destroys their life, ruining marriages, causing firings from jobs, loss of important family finances, and so on. Porn can also negatively affect the brain, the ability to perform intimately and sexually, it increases selfishness, and does a serious number on the chemicals in the brain causing dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Anger can also stem from porn use. (There’s much more on this in my archives.)
So because of all of this, I stood and peacefully assembled, hoping to help just one person. And, you know what… on MANY occasions, people told me that it opened their eyes, helped them out, or prevented them from making a decision they knew they would regret.
Being involved in this trial is not something I want to do, but I’m involved and I have to see it through. True manhood requires it of me. I will remain calm, I will not be evasive on the stand during questioning, and I will, as always, be honest. Marks of a TrueMan. Be steadfast with me and do what you can today to defend the First Amendment.
PS: A HUGE thanks goes out to our lawyers for their help and care in this case, they’ve been great. Alliance Defending Freedom is the bomb!
Brothers, can I be honest with you? Really? I mean, can I really lay something out on the table and call you to task? Bros… it’s time to ditch the fantasy football leagues. Playing football… awesome. (Especially local pick-up games at the park. I played ball as a kid up into college. It taught me teamwork, hard work, discipline, tenacity, perseverance, and so many other great characteristics. It even – significantly – helped me pay for undergrad!) Watching football… fine. (I thoroughly enjoy it myself. It’s always been something we do in my family… gathering us together like nothing else can. Literally like nothing. else. can. Eating, talking, enjoying one another. It’s awesome.) Fantasy football… nah.
I’ve been getting jazzed for this season of late and excited about the Steelers’ run for their 7th championship (stop – don’t send hate mail!) In watching some stuff about the NFL and listening to some sports talk radio on my long commutes, and following a few threads here and there, I keep getting bombarded with the fantasy talk. I even went to a game recently (pre-season Vikings vs. Chiefs at Arrowhead – thanks Jeff!) and heard it there. Over the loud speaker, on the jumbotron, on posters. It boggles my mind that grown men get so into this garbage. Don’t you have better things to spend your time on? Can’t you find something productive to do? Sure, a lot of us spend time poorly on occasion. Sometimes it’s leisure, recreation, relaxation, etc. Sometimes, it’s just blatant idiocy. I have to be frank about this, even the name evokes the shear viciousness that is fantasy football.
For those who don’t know what fantasy football is, there are countless places to learn about it, but you won’t find that on TrueManhood.com. Sorry.
If you find yourself ready to attempt to justify fantasy to me, stop yourself, think through it, and ponder this: it is a fantasy. Fake. Fantasies lend themselves to sinfulness – idle behavior, sloth, selfishness, and deeper fantasy. We need to live in reality, not in fantasy. If you look up the definition of fantasy online, it will tell you that it’s “imagination – to the point of being improbable or impossible.” This is what you spend countless hours on each week? This is what gets you hot and bothered? Don’t tell me that you might win a $1,000 if you win your league. Don’t tell me about bragging rights over your brothers, co-workers, or poker buddies. Require more out of your life than fantasy. Our wives and children deserve more than fantasy. Our world deserves much more than fantasy.
Why do I care? ‘If I don’t like it, I don’t have to do it.’ Right? How many of you are thinking that right now? Guess why I care… because men have too many responsibilities that are going undone because we waste our lives on crap like fantasy football. To me, this isn’t much different than porn. Porn is a fantasy land. Unreality that leads to viciousness. If you don’t think it effects you and me, you’re wrong. When men don’t live lives of virtue, they’re living lives of viciousness. There’s no two-ways about it. We have tons of males running around like boys, playing games all day long, wasting away the good opportunities to be something, and to do something. Get it together, bros!
So, what are you going to do instead of fantasy football this year? I’d suggest anything along the lines of… anything but fantasy.
James Foley is, seemingly, a saint; a living witness to the faith. He very literally gave his life for the sake of the Kingdom. He was beheaded for being a Christian. From what I can tell, he lived heroic virtue, especially in the face of persecution, even to the point of death. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes martyrdom as “the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude.” (CCC 2473.)
James Foley was a journalist working to make the plight of the Syrian people known to the world. They have been oppressed and tortured, and most recently, as I hope we are all aware, have been brutally murdered, often by beheading, by Islamic terrorists. His work put him in terrible situations, and he knew his life was in danger. He was proud of the work he was doing, and knew well the reality of the holy war taking place in the Middle East.
Jim was a Catholic, and believed firmly in prayer. During his time in the Middle East, he was held captive, and ultimately, was beheaded by the terrorist cell The Islamic State (IS). Their cowardly act of absolute destruction of human life was horrific, while Jim’s witness was absolutely beautiful. He was a TrueMan! In the face of danger, he was courageous. In the face of persecution, he was faithful. In the face of evil, he was true goodness. He lived charity, and gave his life as a witness.
In a recounting of his first captivity in Libya in 2011, Jim wrote about how prayer, the Rosary specifically, got him through. He wrote: “If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.”
Here’s a video showing his parents – talking a little about Jim and his faith.
So the question for us now is, “Do you realize that martyrdom is a real possibility in our world?” I often hear people talking about “those other people” who were martyrd, as if it couldn’t (and won’t) happen to us. I suggest that each man reading this post consider what he will do in the face of oppression, so that when that day comes, he will know and will be prepared. Brothers, we cannot wait to prepare, because the forces of evil are strong, and they are coming for us. Whether it be terror cells like the IS, or some other form of hatred towads Catholics, we will experience persecution, and it may even lead to our death. If you’re living virtuously now, it will make all the difference then. Virtue = authentic masculinity. Virtue = TrueManhood.
I’ve been wanting to write about the persecutions, rapes, pillaging, plundering, destruction, and massacring of Christians in the Middle East for some time now. I haven’t really known what to say and how to possibly bring any value to the discussion because it is so unthinkable. Many have likened what is happening in the Middle East by ISIS to Nazi Germany, and I can’t disagree. However, I find the tactics and purpose (of the terrorists) much more heinous because of a few reasons. 1. It is on display (thanks to the media outlets available worldwide, and very easily). The Nazi’s scheme was all but hidden, especially the concentration camps, while these Muslim’s galavant around, showcasing the horrow of their actions for all the world to see. They display the decapitated heads of small children as if trophies added to their collection. It’s absolutely sickening. 2. The world is seemingly doing little to nothing to stop ISIS. I pray this changes very quickly. 3. It’s not the first time this sort of “ethnic/religious cleansing” has happened. For me, that’s why it’s worse this time around.
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Come on, world! Get it together! Start stepping in for these people, and rid the world of these awful terrorists. Haven’t we learned anything from the past mistakes of humanity?!
Well, because I doubt I’ll be eloquent enough to make any difference, I thought I’d let Fr. Barron shed some light on the subject. See below.
Our world is absolutely crazy. The video below is so crazy that you might not believe it even if you watch it. Be assured, it’s real. It’s all real. And it’s crazy. (Viewer discretion advised. Not for children.)
This video was produced by LiveAction, a pro-life group working to expose Planned Parenthood and other abortion-industry evils. Yes, I said it… evil. Abortion is evil, and as a man, I am constanly astonished at the behavior of other males who constantly look the other way, and those who buy the lie that “abortion is a woman’s issue.” Be clear… I didn’t call the women who have abortions evil. I called the act evil. There is forgiveness for all of us for our bad choices, thank God! Planned Parenthood is feeding their money-maker – abortion – by indoctrinating the entire culture with the lies about sexuality, and to see these images and scenes, so blatantly apparent, is appalling. What they are encouraging is sexual “freedom” (a misnomer if I ever heard one) and exploration. This exploration leads to promiscuity, sinfulness, and, yep – you guessed it – unplanned/unwanted babies. Since the law says it’s okay, and “everybody’s doin’ it”, let’s just bring them right back into the same place we educated them, and kill their little baby for them. Absurd. Planned Parenthood has no shame and believes that what they are doing is teaching sex education in a healthy way and in a helpful way. Their mode of operating is not to protect or guard our children, teens, young adults, and families, but rather, they see each client as dollar signs. Cha-ching. (Check out the documentary titled “Blood Money” for more on just how lucrative the abortion industry is.)
Whether you believe in the same type of sex education I do or not, can we at least agree that teaching children (children as young as 5!) about BDSM is wrong?!
Men – these are the times that require action from us. Do not allow your children, nor the children that they are influenced by, to be exposed to this garbage. Say ‘no’ at the public level. Say ‘no’ at the church level. Say ‘no’ at the political level. Say ‘no’ at the school level. Opt them out, get them away from it. And, there’s an important element here of teaching our kids the proper understanding of sexuality. That is, that our sexuality is a good thing, and God intended the sexual act to be life giving and unifying, and to take place only between spouses that are fully committed to one another in the Sacrament of Marriage.
If you want some resources on teaching this to your children, please look into the “Theology of the Body” – there are countless resources, even resources for children, middle schoolers, teens, and beyond.
I came across this great commercial. I can’t really describe how awesome it is; watch it down below. In our world that is so degrading and emasculating to men, and likes to poke fun at the “stupid man”, and the “incapable father”, and so on, this video kills it. Really awesome.
Watch it and then read below for my thoughts:
I’m not really sure where to begin. This commercial really is great, and has so many good things in it. I’ll start from the top, and will hit the big points:
- Kid jumps on Dad – Dad doesn’t freak out, throw him off, or yell at him. He takes it as it comes, and shows the kid the attention he both deserves, and desires. He then “rough-houses” with the kid by throwing him over onto, and off of, the other side of the bed. No one had to call the cops, the kid was fine.
- “My name is “DAD!”, and proud of it!” – yes! So thankful that he’s proud of this ever-so-important title. To kids, Dad is everything. So Dads… be everything to them!
- Dad then goes through a slew of reasons why kids think Dads are awesome. Notice that “being high strung” and “overly critical” aren’t listed.
- “We lead by example.” yes, yes, and yes! I’ve written about this many times. Search Fatherhood, or look in the blog roll under Fatherhood for more.
- “Hot stuff comin’ through; the coffee and the wife.” A man who loves his wife like crazy (and thinks that she’s “hot stuff”) sets the best example his kids could ever have. For the boys, it teaches them how to love their future spouse, and for the girls, it teaches them how they ought to be treated by their future spouse. Great stuff!
- This Dad is highly positive. This is so important in the lives of our kids. There are plenty of statistics out there, but most of them will say something to the effect of… kids need to hear 10 positive comments to outweigh 1 negative comment. Dads – get to being positive, affirming, and encouraging to your kids!
- “Now, Dadhood isn’t always easy.” No kidding! Kids need clear expectations and clear consequences. Hold them to both and they’ll grow to be wonderful adults. Being true to that is difficult, but really rewarding.
I’ve now watched this video about 20 times in the past day. Every time I watch it, I pick up something else. Watch it more than once, share it with your spouse, your kids, and then take some time to sit down and talk about how you’re doing as a dad. Are you the “awesome Dad” that’s talked about in this video? Have you said “yes to dressup”, and “made a great fort” lately? Have you loved your wife, been positive to your kids, and enforced discipline and responsibility? Now that’s #howtodad! [Be sure to check out the other How to Dad videos, they’re about 00:16 seconds each.]
Being a great Dad doesn’t take just one thing, it doesn’t require just one characteristic, and it doesn’t happen over night. We have to work at it, pick ourselves up when we fall down, apologize to our kids (with heartfelt sentiments) when we mess up, and never forget how important our role as Dad is. Keep it up, they deserve nothing but your best!
Back in 2011, I wrote this post to review “cultural manliness”. I’m posting again because it’s important that people hear this term, understand this concept, and work to fight it. I was recently at a large Catholic conference, and no matter who I talked to, they all agreed that cultural manliness is in fact rampant, and is in fact, a highly worth-while cause to fight. I appreciate the support and ask that everyone work with me to explain this concept so that our men, young men, and our boys learn what it means to be authentically masculine, a TrueMan.
Cultural manliness, for those unfamiliar with the term (which I coined several years ago) is the idea that “the more power, money, sex and stuff a male has, the more manly he is.” This idea is propagated in our culture virtually non-stop, whether on the television, on the internet, in movies, throughout magazines and newspapers, on billboards, in songs, in advertising and just about anywhere those areas don’t cover. The idea is propagated for a few reasons: 1. men buy into this lie. 2. women buy into this lie. 3. children buy into this lie. 4. people make money off of this lie. 5. the devil wins souls through this lie.
Cultural manliness – being in pursuit of the things of this world – will kill a man. Power, money, sex and stuff doesn’t win our salvation, but it certainly can keep us from it. Cultural manliness easily gets in the way of a relationship with Christ. Why does this matter? Because Christ is the true example of manliness! He is THE TrueMan. He is the reason this site exists. He is the reason why the site is called what it is called. “Blessed be Jesus Christ, True God and TrueMan.” Anything other than pursuing Christ is futile and unmanly.
The world wants to tell a man that he will be ‘happy’ if he has more power, more sex, more money and more stuff. These things, in and of themselves are not bad, but they don’t bring happiness. They may bring emotional counterfeits that men believe to be happiness, but they aren’t happiness.
What then makes a man, if it’s not power, money, sex and stuff? Virtue! Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance – Faith, Hope and Love. Learn them, live them, be a TrueMan! (Read the “TrueManhood Guide to Virtue” here.)
If you’d like to read more on the topic, do a search (in the white box on the upper right portion of each page of this site) for “cultural manliness”. You’ll have plenty of reading material. Or, go to the blog page and click the “cultural manliness” tab. I’d like to know your thoughts on this topic – leave a comment.
Masturbation is a topic that is rarely discussed. It should be discussed more, and more openly, and not just with teen boys with raging hormones. I’ve been speaking about pornography use a lot lately on my radio program, in talks I’ve been giving, and as it comes up in conversation with people and even I fail to discuss this side of the topic. It’s a serious sin (mortal) and almost always linked to pornography use or disordered fantasy. Clinicians sometimes refer to masturbation as “self-harm”, “self-abuse”, “self-use”, etc. Planned Parenthood, and their materials, encourage masturbation for children starting at a very young age. Let’s expose the lies and bring it into the light.
I saw this article posted on The Porn Effect and thought it was important to share. The author is Brian Kissinger.
“I have read a few books, I have even taken courses on the subject, but nothing could have fully prepared me for teaching a year-long class of Theology of the Body to 150 freshman boys. Words can’t quite describe the awkwardness of a room full of 14-year-olds trying to maturely discuss the mechanics of the male reproductive system. One day, as class was ending, one of the students asked me a question that I thought had to be a joke. He wanted to know i it was true that people will explode if they don’t masturbate regularly. It took me a little while to realize that he was being completely serious, and it was then that I realized just how confused our world has become.
Here are five lies about masturbation that I believe have infected our culture:
Myth #1: Only Boys Struggle With it
Even though boys are usually the ones joking about masturbation, the truth is that this is an issue for many women as well. Like other issues of sexuality, this subject of jokes for boys is often a source of shame for the girls who struggle. Even in youth ministry, chastity talks for boys often include mention of masturbation while the topic isn’t, unfortunately, addressed as frequently with girls.
Myth #2: It Can’t Be A Sin; It’s “Natural”
The existence of something in nature is never a good argument for moral issues. I’ve heard people bring up this argument after discovering that certain animals have been known to masturbate. Anyone who’s been outside can tell you that animals do a lot of weird stuff. I’ve seen dogs eat their vomit and monkeys play with their crap, but neither of these “natural” examples should inspire imitation.
Myth #3: It Doesn’t Hurt Anyone
Everything we do in life is training, either toward virtue or vice. Every athlete, musician, actors, and cage fighter can tell you that practice matters. Masturbation trains us to think that sexual desire is something that should be satisfied immediately, and it reinforces the idea that sex is about selfish instant gratification. While love is all about giving and sacrificing one’s desires for the needs of another person, masturbation is all about training us to do whatever we want to feel good. Masturbation slowly but surely destroys our ability to give and receive love.
Myth #4: It’s Just A Way To Release Sexual Tension
Did you see that news story about the teen who spontaneously combusted because of pent-up sexual tension? Yeah, me neither. According to this logical, the people who masturbate the most should be the most peaceful and sexually pure people around. That’s like telling someone with anger management issues that fist fights are a good way to relieve the tension. A momentary sense of relief is not worth the guilt, shame, and loneliness that are tied to the sin.
Myth #5: It’s Just A Phase You’re Going Through
Like all sins, masturbation doesn’t just go away over time. In fact the opposite is true: the more we do it, the more we become attached to the habit It’s not a problem that magically disappears when you get married. So many marriages have been ruined by a spouse’s addiction to masturbation. When a husband or wife turns to themselves for sexual gratification, the other spouse will naturally feel like they’re inadequate. Regardless of your past, your habits, or your lack of will power, there is hope. God’s not cheering for you rom a distance; He’s living in you to bring power where you are weak. Run to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and you will find both healing and freedom.”