Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Sex and Salvation; FBI Agent Killed Attempting to Apprehend Alleged Bank Robbers
Aired April 5, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: We're bringing two big topics together tonight that you're going to want to see: God and sex, from temptation to salvation. Can the church save your soul? Do you believe? Our 360 special, "What Is a Christian?" coming up.
Also tonight: keeping your pets safe, new developments involving that massive pet food recall -- the latest on that in just a moment.
But, first, breaking news tonight: An FBI agent is dead, a suspected bank robber on the loose. It's all unfolding right now in New Jersey.
CNN's Randi Kaye has got the latest for us -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, late tonight, we learn the agent might not have been shot by one of the suspects, but by another FBI agent.
It all happened as the agents tried to arrest three men suspected in several bank robberies just as they attempted one more. You can only imagine the confusion as it all went down. One eyewitness tells us, all hell was breaking loose.
KAYE (voice-over): It was at this New Jersey bank; 52-year-old FBI agent Barry Lee Bush was shot dead. That much, we know. What we don't know is who killed him.
Special Agent Bush and his team were investigating a string of bank robberies in central New Jersey, when they met three suspects head on. A confrontation followed. Late tonight, the FBI says Bush may have been killed by his own man, when another agent's weapon accidentally discharged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hear the...
KAYE: This was not a chance meeting. The agents were camped out across the street from the PNC Bank in Readington, New Jersey, about an hour west of Manhattan.
Josh Bavosa was inside the bank, when he heard gunshots outside.
JOSH BAVOSA, EYEWITNESS: There was never a bank robbery. There were gunshots outside the bank, on the bank property, but the bank was never robbed itself. Special Agent Bush was medevaced to Newark's University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The FBI will not say if the suspects ever fired their weapons. But Wilfredo Berrios and Michael Cruz were grabbed on the spot, handcuffed, guarded by state police in bulletproof vests, then loaded into separate unmarked cars.
Francisco Herrera-Genao, the third guy, escaped into the woods, police say wearing a sweatshirt, one shoe and carrying a weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a person who we feel is extremely dangerous.
KAYE (on camera): Dangerous, police say, and possibly very experienced. In the last two months, armed men have robbed at least 10 banks in central New Jersey, one of the most recent in North Brunswick, about half-an-hour from where this FBI shooting occurred. The FBI says the men involved in this shooting, may be responsible for four of those robberies.
(voice-over): By early afternoon, more than 100 state and local authorities were involved in a manhunt, SWAT teams, helicopters, bloodhounds. They searched woods, mobile home parks, even a golf course.
Herrera-Genao's second shoe was discovered, but nothing more. Police blocked roads and highways, heavily armed, knowing Herrera- Genao could turn up anywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gets your blood pressure up. And it gets you -- it's a lot of traffic and it's a lot of nerves. I mean, the locals are all mad, because they can't get in, can't get out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's closed down here, ma'am. You're going to have to go around.
KAYE: Residents were warned to stay home, schools and businesses locked down.
Justin McGlynn (ph), whose grandparents own the garden store where the FBI agents were parked, was out making a delivery during the shoot-out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I talked to everybody. Everybody's safe. They're inside, doors locked. I guess the cops are watching them, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are they handling all this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they're just shaken up right now.
KAYE: Shaken, no matter who pulled the trigger.
ROBERTS: Randi, are they still looking for more people tonight involved with this crime? KAYE: They -- from what we understand, John, they have already picked up a fourth suspect tonight. He is in custody. He has been charged, we're told. We're not sure with what. It may be armed robbery, which is what the other two suspects who are in custody have been charged with.
Apparently, they discharged their weapons at one or two of these other bank robberies that they are now being connected to. In fact, they apparently, allegedly, shot through one of the teller's windows and injured that teller. So, that's why they're charged with armed robbery -- John.
ROBERTS: But they have not been charged with any weapons offenses in relation to this incident. Is there any way to know whether or not they fired on these two FBI agents?
KAYE: That was asked late tonight at this very-late-hour press conference with the FBI. And they are saying that, even at this late hour, that it's still unclear whether or not any of those suspects fired their weapons. But, at this point, John, they don't think so. And they're not clear as to how many shots may have been fired by the FBI.
ROBERTS: And the investigations division is out there checking into all this, trying to piece together what happened.
Randi Kaye, thanks very much for that. Appreciate it.
ROBERTS: Now on to our other top story; the tainted pet food. An untold number of cats and dogs may have been exposed.
Tonight, our investigation has led to some troubling new questions.
CNN's Joe Johns is "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day would end with a provocative question: Was the pet food accidentally contaminated. Or was it deliberate?
But it began with another recall, this time, an Alabama company that makes dog biscuits. It received some of the suspect wheat gluten containing a chemical known as melamine, believed toxic to dogs and cats. The FDA said recall of the products manufactured by Sunshine Mills pet food company was delayed, because Sunshine apparently got its Chinese wheat gluten from a middleman distributor that had purchased the wheat gluten from another U.S. supplier, a company called ChemNutra.
DR. STEPHEN F. SUNDLOF, DIRECTOR, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE: So, it was a little circuitous route, took us a little longer to trace that all down. But now we believe that we have accounted for all the wheat gluten that came from China, that shipment that is -- that is high in melamine, that we have accounted for all of it that has come into this country. And -- and, by the way, it all went into pet food.
JOHNS: Meaning it did not enter the human food supply chain.
How and where the melamine got into the wheat gluten is still a mystery. But the investigation took a new turn today, when the FDA told CNN it is looking whether there could have been a profit motive for deliberately introducing melamine into the wheat gluten. In other words, it might not have been an accident and may have been about money.
(on camera): That's right. Until now, the assumption has been that this was an accidental contamination, because melamine is used in plastics and pesticides, and has no business in pet food. However, the chemical could potentially be used to raise protein levels in the gluten, which could increase the price or make it easier to sell.
SUNDLOF: That's -- that's one of the theories that we have. In fact, that's one of the ones that we are pursuing, because, as you indicated, adding something that would increase the protein content of the wheat gluten would make it more valuable. So, that's -- that's a distinct possibility. But it's -- it's only one theory at this time.
JOHNS (voice-over): All the companies, including the company in China, have denied adding melamine to the wheat gluten in the pet food.
The FDA also that the number of pet food complaints it's received since the start of the scare is now at 12,000, the volume it would normally get over a two-year period.
In announcing the latest recall, Sunshine Mills said, no dog illnesses or deaths have been traced to its dog biscuits, which contain 1 percent or less of wheat gluten. Pet owners aren't the only ones watching. Plans for hearings in the Senate have now firmed up.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: What's happened over the last several weeks is unacceptable. What we have found is a threat to the lives of pets, dogs and cats, across America, a threat that should have been minimized and maybe even avoided.
JOHNS: When asked whether the worst is over, the FDA says it thinks so. The number of dead pets as a result of all this remains unclear. Officially, FDA only confirmed 16, though the real number is likely to be much higher.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: Information about this story is changing every day. For the latest on which brands are being recalled, you can find a list on the FDA's Web site. The address is www.FDA.gov. That's www.FDA.gov -- G-O-V.
Coming up next; Anderson Cooper and a 360 special report.
ROBERTS: Teaching abstinence here, preaching sex here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God created sex, that God is for sex.
ROBERTS: Grappling with abortion, body and soul.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only that I left him, and that I was sorry, and that I would hold him one day in heaven.
ROBERTS: "What Is a Christian?" -- sex, salvation, and you, 360 next.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Good evening.
Welcome to another edition in a "What Is a Christian?" series, tonight, "Sex and Salvation," the moral message of the Bible, which is so tied to who we are, the way we mate and procreate.
Tonight, we look at the battle among people of faith over sex and salvation, a taboo topic for some. But, in other churches, we are seeing pastors actually giving sex tips in their sermons. We will explore some of the most contentious issues faced by Christians today: homosexuality, pornography, abortion, abstinence.
We begin with a twist on sex education for college students. The controversial lesson isn't being taught in a classroom. It's being preached in a party zone.
CNN's Joe Johns reports.
JOHNS (voice-over): The day is for drinking in the sun and the booze. The night is for cruising the strip. College students flock to the white sands of Florida's Gulf Coast beaches to live out a rite of spring, if not a rite of passage. It's been called Satan's playground.
But, this spring, the devil's got company: young evangelical Christians, 400 strong, powered by an unusual spring break message, abstinence. That's right, don't do it, resist the pressure and urge to have sex before marriage. They preach it's the only way to keep your body safe and your soul pure -- not exactly an easy sell here. And the evangelicals know what they're up against.
ANGEL ELLIS, BEACH REACH ORGANIZER: We have asked students before who are down here to party, what is your purpose in life? And I had a girl say to get drunk and to get laid by the hottest guy on the beach. That was her goal for the week.
JOHNS: At a free pancake breakfast put on by the evangelicals, college juniors Mike (ph) and Jake (ph) say they appreciate what the Christian kids are trying to do, but it's just that the temptation is so strong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All's you got to do is take that camera and you walk down that beach where those stages are...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... you see all those girls, whose daddies would be so proud.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they keep throwing it in your face, and eventually, you're going to take the bait.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I mean, that toughest fish in the sea, you keep dangling that -- you keep dangling that squid right in front of his face, he is going to go. He is going to get it. And that's what we do. We go get it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's true.
JOHNS: So, what drives the evangelicals to head out night after night against almost impossible odds?
Lacey (ph), Jeremy, Tara (ph) and Erica, and the others all belong to a Christian outreach ministry called Beach Reach. They're spending their spring break offering free bus rides. It's a way for them to corral the party people and deliver their message.
Like millions of American teens, these kids have signed abstinence pledges.
ERICA MITCHELL, BEACH REACH PARTICIPANT: We did this program called True Love Waits, and I took a pledge then. And we got purity rings and everything.
JEREMY WARREN, BEACH REACH PARTICIPANT: And we're going to stay pure until that day we say "I do."
JOHNS (on camera): Is it hard so far?
WARREN: Yes. Yes.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Abstinence for young people is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
JOHNS (voice-over): The Bush administration has more than doubled federal funding for programs that promote abstinence as the only way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The programs now get $204 million a year.
But critics argue, abstinence-only programs are not realistic. They do not provide kids with the facts with things about like condom use, and that could leave the kids naive about protecting themselves if they do have sex.
In fact, one Yale University study shows nearly nine of 10 teenagers who sign the pledge will break it -- an alternative, teaching abstinence, but as a part of a comprehensive sex-ed program.
HEATHER BOONSTRA, GUTTMACHER INSTITUTE: The evidence is very strong. Those programs result in delay, more in sexual initiation, result in fewer sexual partners, result -- result in, you know, less frequency in sex, more contraceptive use, more condom use overall.
JOHNS: How to use a condom and other such lessons don't sit well with these kids, though. And the Beach Reachers are determined to walk the straight and narrow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never want to go down the road that I have seen people going down.
JOHNS: The path to purity, she says, leads to a much brighter future, no matter what temptation paves the way.
Joe Johns, CNN, Panama City Beach, Florida.
COOPER: Another path hotly debated, of course, is homosexuality. It's a major issue in the Catholic Church and with many evangelicals.
But it's also dividing mainline Protestant denominations like the Episcopal Church in America, who are at odds over an openly gay bishop and same-sex unions. For years, gay and lesbian Christians have struggled for acceptance within their churches. For them, many of them, it's been a painful journey. Their faith and their sexuality are not always in sync.
Well, now, some are convinced that therapy and prayer can change that. The medical community disagrees. And the gay and lesbian community say the so-called cure is a fraud.
CNN's Gary Tuchman investigates.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the hundreds, they stream into this massive church in Phoenix.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Enjoy. Have a great day.
TUCHMAN: Parents, grandparents, teenagers, and young adults, all denominations, many filled with hope, others with dread -- from the pulpit, words of compassion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to show the gay and lesbian community that we love them.
TUCHMAN: Actually, it's more complicated than that. This is anything but a call for tolerance of homosexuality.
DR. JOSEPH NICOLOSI, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE RESEARCH AND THERAPY OF HOMOSEXUALITY: We -- as citizens, we need to articulate God's intent for human sexuality. And that's what we need to do. We're not just opposing homosexuality. We're articulating the wisdom of heterosexuality.
TUCHMAN: This gathering is called the Love Won Out conference, organized by the Christian ministry Focus on the Family. Organizers claim homosexuality is a treatable psychological disorder, that, with enough therapy and enough prayer, can be cured.
Californians Mark and Penny (ph) Vatcher are looking to cure their 16-year-old son, Brett.
BRETT VATCHER, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: My dad found this online. So, he wanted us to drive out here from San Diego.
TUCHMAN (on camera): I mean, do you want to be here?
VATCHER: Not really. I don't know. He's wicked religious. And he doesn't like that I'm gay.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): We will come back to Brett in a moment.
You should know the theory that homosexuality is a treatable disorder is flat-out rejected by the mainstream psychiatric community. And, yet, for more than a decade, Mike Haley (ph) lived as an openly- gay man, but then:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I realized that I had fallen in love with this girl.
TUCHMAN: He says that life-changing moment, that switch to heterosexuality, came after a long and painful struggle. Today, he's married with three children.
Melissa Fryrear had a similar conversion.
MELISSA FRYREAR, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: And I don't know what it is about red-headed men, but whew.
FRYREAR: Buh-boom-buh-boom-buh-boom, my heart -- my heart goes a little pitter-patter when I see those red-headed men.
TUCHMAN: She's straight now, but says she was a lesbian for 10 years.
FRYREAR: I had had dozens of relationships. I wasn't happy. I was abusing alcohol, abusing drugs. My life was just mismanaged. TUCHMAN: At Love Won Out, self-proclaimed ex-gays like Haley (ph) and Fryrear enthusiastically regale the crowd with their personal stories.
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi is at the center of this. He's an unorthodox Catholic psychologist. He runs the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
NICOLOSI: Homosexuality, as we said, is a gender-identity problem.
TUCHMAN: Nicolosi concludes boys can become gay if they don't get enough attention from their fathers or if they were abused as children.
NICOLOSI: The guy with a homosexual problem does not trust men. When he begins to trust men, his homosexuality disappears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Appropriate parental reaction requires good judgment.
TUCHMAN: As for 16-year-old Brett and his parents, the morning session convinced the father that Brett was not born gay.
MARK VATCHER, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: ... circumstances in his life that caused him to get to this point.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Like what?
M. VATCHER: Maybe -- maybe I wasn't a good dad, or maybe, you know, somebody abused him along the way. Who knows what happened?
TUCHMAN: Did anybody abuse you?
B. VATCHER: No.
TUCHMAN: Was he a good dad?
B. VATCHER: Yes.
M. VATCHER: Oh, yes.
B. VATCHER: I just want to say yes.
M. VATCHER: Uh-huh.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Brett, for his part, does not agree with Nicolosi's lecture.
NICOLOSI: And, indeed, it appears that these children are normal. They're particularly intelligent. They're very astute. They're very sociable. They're charming. They're very verbal and sensitive.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Does this have a chance of succeeding with you?
B. VATCHER: No. Don't tell my parents.
B. VATCHER: No.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Joseph Nicolosi often accuses the media of distorting his research. He was reluctant to speak with us.
(on camera): We were hoping we can talk to you when it's over.
NICOLOSI: Yes. OK. Well, I don't think so.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Eventually, he did agree to go on camera, but:
(on camera): You're categorically saying that, if a father and son have a normal relationship, that child will not be gay?
TUCHMAN: That's a pretty strong statement, right?
NICOLOSI: You want to debate? Do you want an answer or you want to debate?
NICOLOSI: I gave you an answer.
So, there are some stereotypes you talk about, how, you know, if a child's effeminate, if he's creative, he's artistic, those are things to look out for. Is that fair to say?
NICOLOSI: Goodbye. You're confusing effeminacy with artistic. I didn't say artistic.
TUCHMAN: Hey, Doctor?
(voice-over): For the record, the word "artistic" is right here in the Love Won Out literature.
As for Mike Haley (ph), the recent convert to heterosexuality:
(on camera): Any homosexual who wants to, do you think they can become heterosexual? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, every single person that wants to leave homosexuality can do it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But how? Is there really a treatment for homosexuality? Or is the so-called cure just another path to pain?
COOPER: Up next: some answers to those questions. And we will see how this controversial Christian therapy has impacted the lives of some who have tried it.
Also tonight: porn addiction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stats don't lie, that Christians are consuming pornography. I have women, men, children, pastors. I mean, a huge amount of pastors admitted to struggling with pornography.
COOPER (voice-over): And he's trying to heal them, he says with God's grace. Tonight, meet the man who started the number-one Christian porn site. But it's not what you think.
Plus: sermons on sex.
MATT KELLER, PASTOR, NEXT LEVEL CHURCH: God created sex. Why not at least tell people what he has to say about it?
COOPER: A church goes where few others have gone, between the sheets, when "What Is a Christian?: Sex and Salvation" continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARDINAL EDWARD EGAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK: He taught us and all who would listen that our God is our father. He taught us that we are to love that God with all our hearts, minds and souls. And he added, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Welcome back to "What Is a Christian?: Sex and Salvation."
We're looking at how some Christians are trying to turn gay people straight through years of intensive prayer and therapy. It's a controversial tactic. The medical community says it doesn't work. But some claim they have been cured. And others say they have gone through pure hell.
Once again, here's CNN's Gary Tuchman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Men, women looking for a way to exorcise homosexuality here at a gathering in Phoenix called Love Won Out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be people there that are just, you know, searching for more information.
TUCHMAN: Christian ministries offer referrals to various treatment programs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will. I am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
TUCHMAN: With more than 120 local branches in North America, Exodus International calls itself the world's largest ex-gay referral service.
ALAN CHAMBERS, PRESIDENT, EXODUS INTERNATIONAL: You have got to have healthy expectations.
TUCHMAN: Exodus president Alan Chambers says his own journey from homosexuality to heterosexuality followed a long and difficult path.
(on camera): How did you do it?
CHAMBERS: Well, it's not like a light switch. I didn't -- I didn't flip it on and flip it off. It was years of work.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Not everyone has had the same result.
(on camera): Shawn, when did you realize you were gay?
SHAWN O'DONNELL, UNDERWENT EX-GAY THERAPY: At the age of 6, I realized I was different from other boys. And it wasn't until later on that I actually associated the word gay with that. I was 10.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Growing up gay in Elgin, Illinois, wasn't easy for Shawn O'Donnell. His Catholic parents were loving. But the kids at school were merciless.
O'DONNELL: I had very low self-esteem, hated myself.
TUCHMAN: It got worse when, at age 10, Shawn was born-again and joined an evangelical church.
(on camera): How important was religion in your life at that time?
O'DONNELL: Extremely important. It was the top of my list. I went to church four or five times a week. I mean, I was always at church. I was so involved in it, missions trips, Bible studies, prayer groups.
TUCHMAN: And, if you're gay, you believe you're going to hell?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): It was too much for the boy. He started cutting himself. He attempted suicide. And, finally, at 18, he came out to his pastor.
(on camera): Did you feel like he was angry at you?
O'DONNELL: No. No. He was very compassionate, with the understanding that I needed help.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Shawn's pastor referred him to therapy at a local ex-gay organization.
O'DONNELL: I had to deal with my father issues. And I had to deal with my mother issues. And I had to deal with -- you know, I was never molested. So, that wasn't an issue. But that also was an issue that they brought up. If I was, that could have pushed me to be gay.
TUCHMAN: At times, Shawn says he felt like he was making the transition from homosexuality to heterosexuality.
O'DONNELL: Well, I thought I would go a couple days without being attracted to other men. But, then -- you know, then I would have a sexual slip-up. So, then, I thought, wow, you know, I'm failing again.
TUCHMAN: Five years into therapy, Shawn hit another low point and again tried to kill himself. Desperate, he moved to California, and joined a live-in program for gay men trying to become straight.
O'DONNELL: Very controlling environment. We went to work. We -- after we got home, we had dinner together. We didn't go places alone, other than to work and back. We were always in groups of two or three. Sundays, we went to church together. And we had curfews.
TUCHMAN: Shawn says he was totally committed to the program.
O'DONNELL: God, if anybody tried to do this, I tried. I -- I did pray so many hours and sweat so many tears.
And, you know, the -- the picture I get is Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, when he sweat blood. You know, if I could have sweat blood, I would have.
My first year into it, I just -- I felt great. I graduated through the first year. They had a graduation ceremony. I thought, oh, you know, I'm going to make it. This is all that I needed. Then, I had a slip with one of the guys in the house.
TUCHMAN: The next day, Shawn drove into San Francisco and had a one-night stand with a man.
O'DONNELL: You know what? That was it. I was done. I had given it the good old college try. I decided I was going to come out again.
TUCHMAN: This is what the accomplished psychological community says about homosexuality.
CLINTON ANDERSON, AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: There is no conclusive research that explains why people become gay or why they become straight, for that matter.
GARY TUCHMAN: Dr. Clinton Anderson handles gay and lesbian issues for the American Psychological Association. The APA categorically rejects theories about causes for homosexuality.
ANDERSON: Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. And does not in any sense need to be treated or need to be cured.
GARY TUCHMAN: But many of the people struggling with their sexuality here in phoenix don't see it that way.
GARY TUCHMAN: This is kind of blunt but I'm curious. Do you like girls now?
O'DONNELL: I love my wife. I am attracted to my wife. We've been married for nine years.
GARY TUCHMAN: Are any feelings towards men still within you? Do you feel could come out in some ways?
O'DONNELL: Again, I don't feel that I will ever be as though I never was. You know, certainly I'm human. I could be tempted by a homosexual thought. I could find myself-
GARY TUCHMAN: That doesn't go away with you?
O'DONNELL: It hasn't gone away 100% with me.
GARY TUCHMAN: Still, Chambers, another self-described ex-gays, like Mike Haley, say they would never go back.
MIKE HALEY, EX-GAY: The thought of forfeiting my wife and my children, I wouldn't have the blessings that I have in my life now.
GARY TUCHMAN: But Shawn O'Donnell doesn't buy any of it. We talk to people who tell us they are heterosexual. They love their wife. They find their wife sexually attractive. And they have been "cured."
GARY TUCHMAN: You don't believe that?
O'DONNELL: No. Not one bit. Not one bit.
GARY TUCHMAN: Do you think programs like Exodus can work for some people?
GARY TUCHMAN: Shawn back in Elgin, Illinois now, working as a high school science teacher. He has been living as an openly-gay man for six years. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Elgin, Illinois.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: This debate is clearly one which divides families, causes many people pain. Joining us to talk about it more, is Ken Hutcherson in Seattle. He's the founder and senior pastor and one of the most vocal leaders in the fight against same-sex marriage. And in Dallas, the Reverend Joe Hudson the senior pastor at Cathedral of Hope, which has a predominantly gay and lesbian congregation. I appreciate the both of you being with us.
Reverend Hudson, can a church cure a person's homosexuality in your opinion?
REVEREND JOE HUDSON, PASTOR CATHEDRAL OF HOPE: Well, I wouldn't believe that homosexuality needed to be cured. So, I wouldn't necessarily feel it the responsibility of a church to cure homosexuality
COOPER: When you hear the idea of a cure, what do you think? \
HUDSON: Well, I go back to my understanding of faith. It says that human sexuality is a gift of God. And that that human sexuality is something that can be used for good or for bad. But that it is essentially a gift of God and should be honored and treated with great respect. And so, I include the full spectrum of homosexuality in that.
COOPER: Pastor Hutcherson, even those people in Gary's report who say they are cured of homosexuality, admit they have feelings of attraction to people of the same sex. They're essentially just living their lives suppressing those feelings. Is that what God wants?
KEN HUTCHERSON, PASTOR ANTIOCH BIBLE CHURCH: Well, I think anything that the Bible calls sin, Anderson, when a person is cured of alcoholism, does that mean that they are completely set free from ever wanting a drink? No. They are not. Or someone that has a problem with tremendous amounts of lust. If they are cured of that, that doesn't mean those feelings aren't there. Just because the feelings are there, don't make it right or wrong. What makes it right or wrong is what the bible has to say.
COOPER: And you believe it is possible to be cured? Of homosexuality?
HUTCHERSON: Absolutely. I think it's possible to be cured of any sin that the Bible calls. Because that's what the Holy Spirit does. That's what repentance does. And that's why we think that homosexuality is a choice. And that it is a sin. And they need to repent that sin and God gives them the strength to walk in a life that pleases him. COOPER: Reverend Hudson, do you believe the Bible says homosexuality is sin?
HUDSON: I believe there are passages in scripture that point to that. But I understand scripture and the bible in a very different way than I think that Reverend Hutcherson does. I look at scripture as a sacred text. The Bible as a sacred and sacramental text. But I also look at it as a text that points to a history and a culture and a very different kind of people that lived then, as do we now.
COOPER: What do you think Reverend Hutcherson? Do you -- there are those who say Jesus never talked about homosexuality. If you read the Bible, there's nothing he ever said about it. If it was so important, why wouldn't he have championed it? Or talked about it?
HUTCHERSON: Well, Jesus never talked about a lot of things that came directly from his mouth. But I think that Reverend Hudson would also agree that we believe in the whole New Testament and Old Testament was inspired by God. And it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who led men along to write those books, those 66 books in the bible. The 27 in the New Testament, is the ones that lays out the whole truth of God. Not just what Jesus says. And she would have to agree that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. You know, it says that men left the natural desire of a woman and went after a man. And a woman left the natural desire of a man and went after a woman. If the Bible says they left the natural that means the bible says it homosexuality is unnatural. And that's where I stand.
COOPER: Reverend Hudson, the gays and lesbians in your congregation, I imagine some of them have been in other congregations and felt that they were no longer welcome and found a place at your house of worship. What have they been through? For many, this is an academic discussion. It's an academic debate. For people in your congregation this, is very real. And this has real pain and real costs. What are the stories that your congregation tells you?
HUDSON: Well, we hear from people every day, and every week, from people not only in the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex, but people all over the world, who have been rejected by their churches. Who have left the church of Jesus Christ, who want to be in a relationship with God. Who want to have a healthy, strong relationship with a God who loves them. And yet, have been turned away from church after church. And have come to our congregation and been affirmed. Have come close to God. Have through the reading and the study of scripture, come close to god. Have transformed their lives into lives of service and servant hood. Making a difference in the lives of others. And living very Christian, disciplined lives.
COOPER: Reverend Hutcherson, do you believe that someone who is gay, happy about it, living a life and has a partner, do you believe they're going to hell?
HUTCHERSON: I think if they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that's the key to get into heaven. Not whether or not you are a homosexual or not a homosexual. Whether you're white or whether you're black. The Bible says if haven't accepted Jesus Christ you are a condemned. He is the only way. That is where I stand, bro and I don't even think twice about it.
COOPER: Pastor Hutcherson I appreciate it and Pastor Hudson as well. Thank you very much.
HUDSON: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Up next Christians battling a temptation are seemingly everywhere knees days. Online. On the newsstands. Even on your IPod. We're talking about pornography. Some say they are addicted. But one ministry says there's a way out. XXXchurch.com. They're either disgusted or intrigued. But it's not what you think.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of you may be going through some things you need to pray, to ask the Lord for strength. Others of you may have been struggling with sin this week. And you may need to go to God and confess and just repent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: For millions of Americans, one of the greatest temptations in their daily life is porn. It's a big business, raking in $12 billion a year in the United States. With more than $2.5 billion of that linked to Internet pornography.
It was at once, a taboo topic in churches. But no more. Christian leaders say they can no longer deny the toll that porn addiction is taking on church members, even on pastors. But grace is available, even online. CNN's David Mattingly reports.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pornography is a multibillion-dollar industry. And it might be hard to miss. But somewhere among all the adult products and XXX pictures -
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real pastors. Real church. Real bibles.
MATTINGLY: There's an all-out battle for souls. And Christians fear they are losing.
CRAIG GROSS, FOUNDER OF XXXCHURCH.COM: Pornography is fantasy. It's not real. It doesn't bring you closer with your loved one. It tears you apart.
MATTINGLY: Craig Gross founded xxxchurch.com, to help Christians struggling with the temptations of pornography. He believes the numbers are growing for both churchgoers and ministers.
GROSS: We watch Ted Haggard. That's not the start of porn boulevard. That's the end of porn boulevard.
MATTINGLY: Gross organizes church groups called porn and pancakes to get the issue out in the open. When prayer and bible study aren't enough. He also offers free tattle tail software.
GROSS: You know you're caught, you know you're stuck-
MATTINGLY: Gross says there's been 300,000 downloads so far. Anytime the user visits a porn site, the program automatically alerts a friend, a spouse or a pastor.
GROSS: If it slows you down just a bit and you start to think about the consequences, you might change your ways.
MATTINGLY: But when porn becomes an addiction, the only hope for some is to get away. At the Pure Life Ministries in rural central Kentucky, porn addicts spend six months on a desperate path to salvation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you've given over the lust, fantasies, masturbation or pornography, you are on dangerous ground.
MATTINGLY: All of the men in this room have left behind jobs, homes and in some cases, a wife and children. Some come here thinking this is their last chance to break their porn addiction because after six months, that's it. They're not allowed to come back. The program demands intense bible study and discipline. Many here used to spend hours a day viewing porn. And looking for ways to satisfy their fantasies, often resorting to prostitutes. This resident, named Jerry, believes getting closer to God will help him get away from the porn and the chat rooms that almost ruined his marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cheated on my wife.
MATTINGLY: Was that driven by the pornography?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, one thing leads to another. I mean, in time, it's just not enough.
MATTINGLY: Privacy here is nonexistent. New arrivals sleep 16 to a room. There's limited free time. But plenty of time for prayer.
I don't see a television. I don't see any computers. Is that by design?
JEFF COLON, HEAD COUNSELOR, PURE LIFE MINISTRIES: Yes, it is. We try to avoid any outside temptation these men might have to deal with, through TV or magazines.
MATTINGLY: There are no books here, either. Except for the Bible and study materials, with scriptural lessons on guilt, anger, depression and selfishness.
Head counselor, Jeff Colon, says the real test is leaving the structured environment and going home.
COLON: We do live in a sexualized culture. And it is difficult for these men when they leave here. It doesn't help.
MATTINGLY: The Kentucky ministry believes most of their residents will eventually gain control of their addictions. But when temptation is so readily available, every day can become a new test of faith.
COOPER: So, David, why do men choose to go to a program like this instead of more traditional counseling.
MATTINGLY: A lot of the men do go to traditional counseling first. And they say the ministry in Kentucky has a lot of the same concepts they encounter before. But because they are Christian, they say they feel the faith-based approach will work better for them. They need the six months away from their regular lives to get in touch with themselves and with God.
COOPER: Interesting stuff. David, thanks. David Mattingly.
Up next, it's not all about guilt. There's a billboard that's attracting a lot of attention in one town. For mycrappysexlife.com. You won't believe who put it up. When WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN, SEX AND SALVATION, continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God created sex. He is pro sex. He is all about it. He made the whole thing. But He made it. And it's such a powerful thing it has to be inside the strong relationship of a marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A Florida pastor says God wants you to have great sex. Not what most people expect to hear in a church, perhaps. But something that Christians, even conservative Christians have been preaching, under the radar and even online. CNN's Ted Rowlands, reports.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sex gets people's attention.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mycrappysexlife.com.
ROWLANDS: Which this billboard in Florida, certainly did.
MATT KELLER, PASTOR, NEXT LEVEL CHURCH: We were going for a shock and awe factor. And we certainly got that.
ROWLANDS: The shock was that the billboard, which some people thought was vulgar, came from a church.
KELLER: Part three of the series, we're calling my great sex life.
ROWLANDS: Part of a marketing campaign, promoting a series of sermons on sex. KELLER: God created sex. God is for sex.
ROWLANDS: 31-year-old pastor, Matt Keller, runs the non- denominational Next Level Church in Ft. Myers. Before this service, a warning to parents was posted that the material may not be suitable for children.
KELLER: So, the question is not am I going to have sexual desire in my life? The question is what I am going to do about it.
ROWLANDS: Keller's message, while delivered with a hip, conversational passionate style is pretty much by the book. He preaches that sex for single people to avoid. And married men and women to enjoy. His wife, Sara, was at his side for this service about sex in marriage.
SARA KELLER, PASTOR KELLER'S WIFE: And I think that culture wants to buy into that lie that sex is a duty. Especially when you get into marriage. It's just kind of like I guess he needs it. So, here I am.
KELLER: God created sex. Why not at least tell people what he has to say about it?
ROWLANDS: Keller says since starting the sex series, church membership has grown about 30%. And it's a growing trend. Especially among evangelicals. Kurt Fredrickson is the director of pastoral ministry at the Fuller Theological Seminary in California.
KURT FREDRICKSON, FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: To hit the issues head-on, in a church context, I think is really helpful.
ROWLANDS: Church members we talked to, say they like the idea of bringing an issue, like sex, out in the open in church.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think in today's society it's not talked about enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would be looking forward to, you know, hearing some things and about how to open up our communication and improve our sex lives.
ROWLANDS: But not everyone is thrilled. Because of complaints, Keller says the billboard company refused to allow the sex slogan for a second month. So, now, it's just the church's name.
FREDRICKSON: My issue was that the billboard had this sense of luridness and deception. Trying to draw people some place. And when it got drawn to a church, I think people would feel cheated or duped.
KELLER: We've heard a couple of people who used the phrase bait and switch. I don't think we're doing that. It's not about us trying to grow our church. It's not about us trying to build this big thing. It's about us building people. We're in the people-building business.
ROWLANDS: Randy Newton says the billboard campaign caught his attention. And now, he says he's hooked.
RANDY NEWTON, CHURCH GOER: It's really in your face. It's a for real topic. Everybody deals with it. And for it to actually happen in the church and from the pastor to step up and say this, is what we're going to say about it as a church, is a really bold statement.
KELLER: God has given us the ability to have a great sex life in our marriages.
ROWLANDS: Everyone agrees that sex sells. But Matt Keller thinks he can use it to fill people's hearts while also filling his seats. Ted Rowlands, CNN, Ft. Myers, Florida.
COOPER: Well, that does it for this special edition of "360 WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN, SEX AND SALVATION.
Tonight, we've explored issues of sex and temptation. But also of love and great joy. Sex and faith, intertwined in so many ways. All part of a conversation about who we are. We hope you gained some new insight on faith and America. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again. John Roberts in New York. Our 'shot of the day" is coming right up. You're going to meet a guy that could walk on ice. But not on water.
Or if you're in science not theology, it's a case of survival of the not so fittest. First of all, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with the "360 Bulletin". Erica?
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, it is home sweet home for the 15 British service members held captive in Iran. Back on British soil tonight. Plenty of hugs and kisses as you can imagine at today's homecoming. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said again today, there was no diplomatic deal with Tehran to secure their release.
Off the Greek island of Santorini, mayday, mayday, a Greek cruise ship had to be evacuated after hitting rocks and taking on water. The passengers and crew members were transferred to small boats and taken to dry land. No one was injured.
And across parts of New England, it looks like April snow may bring those May flowers. Parts of New Hampshire, dealing with 16 inches of snow on the ground. In Maine, there is up to a foot in some spots. Several inches fell in upstate New York. Also, across the region, at one point, more than 100,000 homes and businesses without power, John. Not too pleasant. Including my grandmother. She lost power in Cocker (ph), New Hampshire.
ROBERTS: Sorry to hear that. I walked out of my hotel in New York, today, and there were snow flurries around. I thought to myself it's the beginning of April. There's supposed to be subfreezing temperatures as far south as where you are in the next couple of days.
HILL: I heard that. And frankly, we're not very excited about that. All of our planting, it's going to die now.
ROBERTS: Well, since we're so morose about the weather, time for laughter. Our "shot of the day." This one came from a 360 here. Kids, don't try this in your neighborhood. Even though these are kids trying it in their neighborhood.
Young Jason here decided to take a stroll on a semi frozen lake in Mahwah
HILL: No no, Jason, no.
ROBERTS: Oh yes. Semi frozen was the key point there. He fell right through the ice. Scrambling to get out. His friends making fun of him, saying "kick your feet, dude, you're going to be fine."
HILL: Dude, dude it's cool.
ROBERTS: Yes, he got out with scrapes and bruises. Since it was 72 degrees on this nice day.
HILL: I was wondering. If it's it at the point where you can wear shorts, you probably don't want to walk on the ice. Just a though.
ROBERTS: This was a few days ago when it was really warm. And since it was, he didn't freeze to death, once he got out of the freezing cold water.
HILL: No, they're just teenagers, right?
ROBERTS: Jason's friends sent us that video. You can do the same thing. But don't stage it. Because we have a way of knowing that. All right? Give us your shot ideas by logging on, CNN.com/360. Erica, thanks.
HILL: Thanks, John.
ROBERTS: New details on the armed confrontation outside of a bank in New Jersey that ended with the fatal shooting of an FBI agent. That's coming up at the top of the hour.
Also tonight, the tainted pet food scandal. Did a toxic chemical get in it by design to make someone more money? A 360 exclusive. Coming up next.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com