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XXXChurch: Make love, not war, on porn

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 3, 2007 | 1:23 pm

LAS VEGAS—If Craig Gross considers Jesus Christ his best friend, why is his arm around porn’s leading man?

“We are the world. We are the children,” Ron Jeremy sings as he and Gross draw a circus crowd at the Adult Entertainment Expo here.

During the past few years, the two—a conservative Christian who considers masturbation a sin and a secular Jew who has performed in 1,900 porn flicks—have grown close and, despite diametric career choices, have come to respect and appreciate each other.

“I have nothing against Ron Jeremy,” says Gross, an ordained minister who leads the anti-porn crusade XXXChurch.com “I love this guy. I love hanging out with him.”

Oh, how the war on porn has changed. The days of Christian groups prominently lobbying against obscenity are over. Enter the era of extending love and consolation to the adult industry and those touched by it.

Members of a Chatsworth church pray for the end of pornography and the healing of those it has harmed. Christian men gather to confess their Internet-fueled addiction. Rehab centers in Colorado and Kentucky provide short-term and months-long escapes more commonly used to treat drug abuse.

In the adult industry, it seems every dark corner has a ministry. The former strippers of JC’s Girls. Hookers For Jesus. And XXXChurch, the Web’s “#1 Christian porn site.”

XXXChurch, which runs a Web site where people confess their struggles and offers free anti-porn software, has made the biggest splash, using gimmicks at adult conventions—like Wally the Wiener, a 25-foot inflatable penis—to lure eyes, and hopefully minds, away from depictions of depravity.

The message is simple: porn separates husbands and wives, defiles teenagers’ minds and breeds lies. A tool of the devil, it can only be cured by God.

“People are blind to the consequences of this. They don’t realize the problems this will cause down the line,” Gross says, handing out Bibles. “This is a lie. This is not reality. Girls aren’t like this.”

That was the opening of the main story I wrote for Part V of the Daily News’ porn series, which began today. The lede was retouched by editors, but I preferred the original. Here is the rest of the story.

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