On Thursday, February 21, Ohio University hosted "The Debate on Porn" featuring Ron Jeremy (porn star) and Craig Gross (pastor). Ron Jeremy has starred in 1,800 porn films. Craig Gross is the founder of xxxchurch.com, a website and ministry set on helping people who want to eliminate pornography from their lives- including those in the industry.
Ron Jeremy was the clear fan-favorite. Apparently people at OU love short, fat, balding porn stars. He gained support of most of the audience by using humor, but made no logical arguments. Ron says that porn represents fantasy- and we're all allowed to have fantasies. According to him, porn can be viewed "responsibly" and the porn industry is not responsible for hurting relationships. He even tried to make the argument that pornography empowers women.
Craig Gross began xxxchurch.com because he felt that the church was not doing enough to counter pornography. Gross made clear that he is not out to condemn those who watch porn. In fact, he says that if someone wants to look at porn then they can go right ahead- they have that right. His mission is to provide help for those who want help dealing with porn in their lives. Gross constructed irrefutable arguments in the debate. He explained that pornography creates unrealistic views of what sex is, so that when people are in a proper sexual relationship they don't know what it's supposed to be like. Gross scratched the surface of the way that porn is degrading to women, as is evidenced in titles of films like "Gutter Sluts" (to name one of the more tame titles). He talked about what the viewer does not see- the crying and devastation that often takes place between takes. He revealed that the average career of a porn actress is 18 months, and often requires reparative surgery at the end. Gross also commented on the fact that it is common in porn for women to portray teenage girls (pigtails, cheerleader uniforms and sometimes braces).
Those who came to the debate idolizing Ron Jeremy no doubt left the same way. I definitely believe though, that people who thought with even a bit of rationality were positively impacted by Craig Gross.