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Jeremy: Porn Business Deserves Defending: Gross: People Have Left Porn Because of XXX Church

Allston, Mass [townonline.com]- Pastor Craig Gross wants to talk about porn with you and he’s bringing Ron Jeremy with him.

In the latest installment of the Great Porn Debate, the two unlikely friends are bringing their insightful, hilarious and entertaining debate out of college campuses and into clubs.

Friday it was the Middle East in Cambridge. The audience was warned to be prepared for graphic descriptions and foul language. And that’s just from Gross.

“This isn’t a Sunday school lesson,” says Gross. “I think the minute we try to appeal to the Christians, we lose our edge. We’re not a typical church ministry.”

The debate begins with the seminary-educated Gross presenting his case about the adult entertainment industry, citing its addictive nature and how that addiction has ruined lives.

Jeremy follows that with passionate responses about freedom of speech and that it’s a form of entertainment.

“Why do I do this?” says Jeremy. “Because the porn business deserves defending, especially for those who keep it happy and healthy. Someone has to stick up for them.”

There is one issue the two agree on: Children should not be watching pornography.

“We don’t target kids!” yells Jeremy on the phone. “We don’t need kids. We’re not like a cigarette company hanging outside of schoolyards trying to get kids to watch porn. Our target audience can fight in a war, so we’re not dealing with impressionable minds here.”

The debate is a part watching Jeremy fielding a variety of questions with his brand of humor and part Gross’ overall mission to talk to people about the ills of the pornography industry and to help those who are addicted to it.

“I enjoy being the underdog,” says Gross. “This debate produces a healthy discussion on both sides with guys who can back up their statements. Ron has 29 years of experience, I’ve got five years worth of voicemails from people who have been hurt from porn.”

Gross is the founder of XXXChurch.com, an organization dedicated to that mission. The site features podcasts (both video and audio), a prayer wall for people to voice their concerns in a forum and a computer program called X3watch that monitors your online activity and sends an email to your “accountability partner” whenever you log onto a suspicious site.

Though the site has been successful and continues to grow, Gross prefers talking to people face-to-face. This brings him to porn conventions where he hands out bibles titled “Jesus Loves Porn Stars.”

Gross says his tactics work, and he’s helped many people change their lives. In fact, a number of porn stars have left the business thanks to XXXChurch.com.

“I wouldn’t say the industry likes him being at the convention, but I do,” replies Jeremy. “It’s a moral choice to be in this kind of business and it’s not for everyone. Craig can filter out those who don’t need to be there. Had he been around years before, maybe people like [porn actress] Savannah wouldn’t have committed suicide.”

These are the people Gross is trying to reach and while Jeremy agrees with Gross’ mission, XXXChurch.com and the Porn Debates still make the Christian community uncomfortable.

“I don’t think [Christians] know what to do with us,” says Gross. “The Christian world loves people like Kirk Cameron or Stephen Baldwin, people who leave all the real stuff and jump into the Christian stuff. We’re not interested in just talking to Christians.”

Even some of Gross’ friends are balking at the opportunity to attend the debate, asking why they would want to hear Jeremy’s side of the story while others are concerned about them giving money to Jeremy to hear him speak (there’s a $10 charge to watch the debate at the Middle East).

“First of all, I’m not getting paid based on the tickets sold,” explains Jeremy. “I’m not gonna tell you how much, but you won’t believe how cheap it is. Second, the perfect reason to go is to confront me. Hit me with your best shot. I love to handle those types of questions.”

Unfortunately, Jeremy doesn’t get confronted all that much during the debate and admits that, going in, “the deck is stacked” against Gross. But that doesn’t bother the “Porn Pastor,” as he’s been called.

“If someone walks away and thinks twice before their partner tries to bring pornography in their relationship, then I’m happy,” says Gross. Then, with a laugh, he adds, “I feel like no matter what I do in my life, I’ll always be the porn guy…and I’m OK with that.”

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