Next week I head to Colorado Springs for a Porn Debate, Porn and Pancakes and PornSunday. We have done a lot of interviews this week and there is some buzz right now about some things I said about Focus on The Family and James Dobson. Here it is. This comes from word for word out of my mouth.
Indy: What’s the response like at the debates? Is everyone respectful to Ron and You?
Gross: Hands down. People are thrilled we’re there and people will listen to all that we have to say. Sometimes kids ask stupid questions, but …
Indy: What about our conservative nature here in the Springs? Do you think anything specific will come up here, versus other cities?
Gross: No, college kids are college kids. James Dobson, who both of us are not huge fans of, is located there. Ron has a huge hatred for Dobson. But I don’t think Dobson will come hear the debate, although I’d invite him if they’d take our calls.
Indy: Aside from Ron, what’s your beef with Dobson?
Gross: It’s beyond Dobson. What our parents’ generation has done is what people now think of Christianity. It’s the Ted Haggard thing â€” “Oh, he’s against this, but you know …” They don’t buy it. It’s not believable.
Focus on the Family does some great things, but a lot of what they do, especially on this issue of pornography, is more politics and legislating. Right now, they’re sending out a newsletter that lets you know of all the hotels that sell pornography, and they’re asking you to do something about it. Well, how about this? Don’t buy the porn. The problem isn’t the hotel selling it. They wouldn’t sell it if you didn’t buy it.
Fifty percent of Christians admitted to struggling with pornography, so why don’t we send out newsletters to help people? Well, Focus won’t endorse our free [accountability] software because we don’t act and sound and agree with all the things that they do. So they’re going to waste their time letting their people know about hotels to avoid.
Give me a break. Marriott hotels make more money on pornography sales in the room than alcohol and food at the restaurants combined. Do you think a letter from a little James Dobson supporter is going to get them to say, “Oh yeah, we should get rid of this”?
I think Focus is spinning their wheels on all the wrong things. They’ve come out and said they don’t like us. Whether you agree with what we do or not, you can’t deny the fact that we’re changing lives and helping people. It does no good to just stand on the outside. We’re taken seriously at a porn show because we’ve gone inside.
We’re taken seriously at a porn show because we’ve gone inside. That’s why Ron Jeremy will show up in Colorado Springs with me. Ron’s biggest beef with Dobson is his claims that Ted Bundy said he was into porn.
Indy: That’s not your type of Christianity, is what you’re saying.
Gross: It’s not us. And we all look stupid. I have my work cut out for me. When we give out the Bibles at shows with a Bible verse on the back, and people walk into the show and see boycotters with Bible verses on their picket signs, I’m like, “Look, I know we look like idiots, but what do I believe?” Especially on a secular university, they’ll kill me with the Ted Haggard issue.
“OK, Craig, you’re into porn. How do I not buy that this isn’t just because you want [to be close to the industry]?” I have a good joke: I say, “If that was the case, I’d probably be touring with Jenna Jameson rather than Ron Jeremy.”
Ron actually chimes in and says, “I’ve met Craig and his family. I’ve hung around his friends and pastors. He is the real deal. He isn’t doing this just because he loves porn.”
Our work’s cut out for us because too many people have had a megaphone and spotlight and camera in front of them, and they’ve blown it and said some stupid things.
Indy: Has XXX church been able to track any success rate with the help offered?
Gross: We have over 350,000 people using X3Watch, our free accountability software that we developed. We’ve had millions of people on the site. That number means a lot to me â€” that’s tangible. We’ve helped porn stars out of the industry. Everywhere I go I meet someone that says, “Thank you.”
Indy: How do you provide a “way out of porn industry for those trapped and needing escape?”
Gross: Estherfund.com has resources … whether its accountability or childcare or helping with education. We help with some physical needs. A lot of people think they’re not qualified to do anything but porn. And we’re like, “Let’s us help you walk down that road with you.”
Indy: What do you think are the main reasons people turn to pornography?
Gross: It’s easy. It’s accessible. We’re turned on by it. Guys are more visual. But Paris Hilton makes a porn tape and it makes her career. We live in this world now where Britney Spears walks out of her house without underwear and it’s on CNN.
Kids were asking me in Atlanta recently, “There’s AIDS in Africa, there’s homelessness …” I go, “Yeah, those are great things, I actually deal with some of those, but 800 kids wouldn’t have shown up to discuss poverty.” But they did to talk about porn.
Indy: On your Web site, I read in the “Get help” section: “Women are beautiful because that’s the way God made them. We are naturally attracted to them. If you’re not, then there is probably another Web site out there that can help you with that problem.” Is being gay a problem?
Gross: [We did that] jokingly. We don’t deal at all with homosexuality on our site. We were writing that directed at guys that are struggling because they find women in porn attractive. We’re working with a gay porn star right now. I don’t see it any differently than the other people.
I’ve learned a lot in dealing with this [person] that has even changed some of my thoughts on some things, that prior to knowing him and the situation, I couldn’t understand. I haven’t been around it enough to start making quotes, other than I know that the Bible says “sex should be between a man and a woman,” so I’m going to promote that.
And when you get into people saying, “Well I do it this way,” I’m like, “Well, that’s not any experience that I have in knowing how to help or address some of those things, or speak out on all these issues.”