Penthouse Expands Into Christian Dating With BigChurch.com

05/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Jennifer Ordoñez Newsweek

Christian dating web site BigChurch.com's motto is "Bringing people together in love and faith." A pointed quote from the Old Testament ("A man will leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Gen. 2:24) precedes the site's Bible-verse search library. Further testimonial from a fresh-faced woman leaves little doubt as to the site's higher purpose: "I feel like my prayers of finding a respectable man have been answered! Thanks BigChurch!!"

So it may surprise users that BigChurch.com has a decidedly promiscuous corporate parent: Penthouse Media Group Inc. At a time when ever-raunchier Internet porn has made such mainstream mags as Penthouse and Playboy seem like throwbacks to more innocent times, these well-established brands have been trying to diversify and reinvent themselves. "If you're looking for adult content today, there are so many more places and many other ways to do that," says David Miller, an industry analyst and managing director at Los Angeles-based Sanders Morris Harris Group. "You can get it over the Internet for free."

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