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Debating Porn At The Rock Church

— The question of whether we should scorn porn will be debated at San Diego’s Rock Church on Saturday by two men: One a preacher and the other a porn star.

Rev. Craig Gross wants to get people off pornography.
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Above: Rev. Craig Gross wants to get people off pornography.

The Reverend Craig Gross and Ron Jeremy have a well-oiled traveling show. They claim they’ve debated pornography more than 50 times. But the reverend says this will be the first time they’ve actually debated in a church. He says their typical venue is a college campus.

“Ron is always the crowd favorite,” said Gross. “And I’m not saying I will be tomorrow. But I’ll have home-field advantage, so to speak.”

When I was going to college the anti-pornography crowd were more likely to be feminists than born-again Christians. The feminist focus on porn seems to have diminished. Yet a lot of the arguments Gross makes against porn sound very familiar.

“It portrays women as just sexual objects,” he said. “I’ll read some of these titles (of porn videos) tomorrow night and I’ll ask the audience ‘Do you think this is empowering or is this degrading?’”

Gross is an ordained minister and pastor of XXXChurch.com, which he calls an online ministry. He says it’s like Alcoholics Anonymous for people who are hooked on porn.

“Every day I deal with the devastation. The guy who can’t stop looking at it. The guy who’s looking at porn instead of having sex with his wife,” said Gross.

I called Gross’ debating partner, porn actor Ron Jeremy, but he didn’t call me back. The PR contact at the Rock Church told me Jeremy would be more likely to grant an interview if I was a TV reporter. (Damned exhibitionist!)

But Craig Gross says Jeremy’s basic line is pornography is entertainment that doesn’t do you any harm. Jeremy claims if it did, he wouldn’t do it.

I knew a guy who said the people who want to get rid of pornography are more obsessed with it than the people who just use it. Maybe. But Gross claims he doesn’t want to ban porn, he just wants to work on awareness, prevention and recovery.

And he wants to talk about it. If you want to see Ron and Craig’s money shot, it’ll be 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rock Church in Point Loma.

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