John Jalsevac

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From Playboy Pornographer to Christian pastor: the unlikely story of Donny Pauling

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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November 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It was the very same day that pornographer Donny Pauling was called in by Playboy and offered $4,000 a day to produce a new lesbian reality series, that he unexpectedly found himself at a moment of crisis.

Pauling had already made millions from pornography over the past eight years, ever since he began shooting porn part-time behind his wife’s back. But $4,000 a day was unprecedented, and there was something about the offer that made Pauling feel that if he took it, he was making his final commitment to the porn industry, and there would be no going back.

As he was driving home after that meeting at Playboy, suddenly he pulled over to the side of the road, and began praying. “I was like, God, it doesn’t matter what I do, you bless me,” Pauling told LifeSiteNews.com in a telephone interview. “And basically what I was saying was, ‘Thanks for the new porn contract.’”

But, he says, “as crazy as it sounds,” after this prayer he immediately felt as if he was “hit with electricity.”  The feeling was so powerful, and so unmistakable, that Pauling says he knew beyond a doubt that it was God.

Pauling had already been praying occasionally, after encountering members of the radically unconventional XXXChurch, who make it their mission to reach pornographers, porn stars, and prostitutes with the message of the Gospel. But it was several days after the experience in the car that he says he finally decided to give his life to Jesus, and to leave the porn industry. That was in September 2006. 

On September 28, 2006 Pauling wrote on his personal blog: “I’m scared. I really, truly am. Terrified. Petrified. All of those things.” But, he added, “I feel a huge sense of relief and happiness for the first time in a LONG, LONG time.”

The making of a porn producer

While Pauling clearly remembers his first encounter with pornography – it happened in third grade, when he stumbled upon a porn magazine - he doesn’t trace his subsequent problems with pornography to that experience. 

It wasn’t until after he got married that addiction reared its head. That was in the early days of the Internet - and easy access to pornography. Pauling found himself spending more and more time online looking at porn, either when he was at work, or late at night, when his wife was asleep. 

He became so taken with what he saw that he decided he wanted to produce porn himself. Pauling was self-employed, and worked at his own private office, so it was easy for him to start recruiting girls and doing photo shoots without his wife knowing.

It wasn’t until Pauling physically cheated on his wife for the second time, three years into producing and selling porn, that he finally came clean with her. He called her from a porn convention and told her about his secret life.

“She flipped out,” he says, and that was the end of his marriage.

But now that porn was no longer his dirty secret, Pauling was free to devote himself full-time to producing smut. After his marriage fell apart he moved into his office, quickly found himself another girlfriend, and in the very first month doing porn full-time, he made $50,350. 

He was hooked.

How to get out of the porn industry

Pauling ultimately worked as a porn producer for over eight years. During that time he says he made millions of dollars, lived a non-stop party lifestyle, recruited hundreds of girls into the porn industry, and was completely and utterly miserable.

In the first place, he couldn’t ignore the fact that his life’s work was literally destroying lives, especially those of the models he recruited and initiated into the brutal world of porn. When asked now if he finds porn appealing, Pauling responds: “There’s nothing appealing about a girl curled up in a corner sucking her thumb because her mind is so blown by what she’s been doing.”

But it also didn’t help, he notes, that he was motivated in large part by a burning hatred for Christians and Christianity. 

The former pornographer traces this hatred to his strict upbringing as the son of a Pentecostal pastor, during which he was taught a “legalistic” definition of God (“God was just a set of rules and regulations,” he says) and witnessed the abject hypocrisy of many of the Christian leaders his father knew.

After he started making porn, he relished running into some of his old Christian friends, who would ask what he was doing.  “I loved throwing porn in their faces,” he says.

But things began to change after he met members of the XXXChurch, who every year would set up a booth at the Las Vegas porn convention, and hand out bibles emblazoned with the words “Jesus loves porn stars.”

“Instead of being outside protesting and holding signs telling people that God was going to send them to hell where they would burn in torment,” members of XXXChurch “were inside setting up booths, doing makeup for girls,” Pauling said. “And instead of judging them, they told them that they were beautiful and that God loved them, and that there was nothing they could do that could change that, and that He wanted more for them.”

Eventually, Pauling says, he came to realize that if he were to be a Christian, “this is the kind of Christian I would want to be, and the kind of Jesus I would want to serve.”

The transformation didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took over several years - but he credits the “love-based” approach of XXXChurch with bringing him to the point where he was able to send up that confused prayer in his car, and to listen to the response.

After that mystical experience in the car, “I quit, and I just walked away,” he says. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, because I had a lot of bills. So I lost everything I owned. I had property I foreclosed on.” His girlfriend of five years also left him for a manager at Playboy.

“But I was never more at peace, even though it was a tumultuous time.”

How to beat a porn addiction

After leaving the industry, Pauling enrolled in school to become a pastor (mostly, he says, to “rewire” his brain - he has no plans for the time being to actually lead a congregation), and started up an Internet marketing company. He has also travelled the world speaking to millions of people about the reality of the porn industry, and about how to beat addiction.

He says he is convinced that the same “love-based” approach that brought him out of the industry is the same approach needed for those who are addicted to porn, and want out.

“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,’” he says. “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.”

Practically speaking, Pauling urges those who are addicted to porn to be completely open with someone they can trust, and then to set up a system of accountability – someone they can talk to regularly about their struggles with addiction.

The trick, he says, is simply never to give up. “I’ve had people come up to me and say they heard me speak two years ago, and they haven’t looked at the stuff since,”  he says, “but that’s not realistic for everybody.”

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, He’s still there to pick you up and put you back on your feet.”

Pauling compares the experience of overcoming addiction to that of a child learning to walk. Just because the child falls over and over again, he says, doesn’t mean the father tells him walking just might not be for him.

“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,” he concludes. “So just stand back up. Stop letting your guilt get you down.”

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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