A Texas megachurch pastor will face off against the founder of a website that promotes adultery Thursday night in a debate that will air next week on ABC Nightline.
The event at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, set to begin at 6:30 p.m. CDT, will pit Fellowship Pastor Ed Young against AshleyMadison.com Founder Noel Biderman in a "discussion" on adultery and whether it's really destructive to marriages or can actually save marriages.
While Young has called upon the couples of his congregation to fire up their marriages by engaging in more sex with one another, Biderman – through his website – has offered a way for married men and women to pursue affairs.
"For 7 years now, Ashley Madison has been connecting millions of people from all over the United States, Canada, and the UK in an effort to increase the likelihood of a successful Affair," says Biderman, who claims that more than 2.5 million – singles and "attached" – have signed up for his service.
Not surprisingly, Biderman's website has drawn considerable criticism given that adultery is the second leading cause of divorce.
But Biderman, who is himself married, claims that his website has saved more marriages than it has destroyed.
"I know this is hard to believe, but Ashley Madison can be a marriage preservation tool in the end," he told a local Fox affiliate.
Thursday's debate will be the first time Biderman will debate face-to-face with a representative from the Church after a number of attempts by several news programs to set up such an event.
For Young, the debate will provide an opportunity for him "to deliver God's truth about this topic to an international stage."
"I believe it is always important for people to hear both sides of any topic, especially one as vital and far-reaching as sex and marriage," he said in a statement Thursday. "I'm excited to be a part of this discussion tonight, and we invite everyone in the community to be here to take part as well."
ABC Nightline is expected to air the debate next Thursday, Sept. 24.