Anti-Porn Star

An anonymous midget and two Christians are fighting to save you from sins of the flesh

Illustration by Aaron KratenPoor Eddie. The midget with the spiky blond hair, soul patch and multiple hoop earrings tries with all his might to jump up and reach the skateboard hanging on the wall, but a taller shopkeep has to pull it down for him. Then Eddie tries to accept a ride in a jacked-up pickup, but he can't clear the bottom of the door.

Poor, poor Eddie.

Those are the images in a television commercial that just ended its world-premiere run in 275,000 Cox Communications cable households in Orange and San Diego counties. Here's what the deep-voiced narrator says over those shots of the diminutive hipster:

"Poor Eddie. He thought he could look at all the porn he wanted to without any apparent consequences to his life. If only someone would have told him, if only someone had warned Eddie that porn would STUNT HIS GROWTH!"

A higher-pitched, faster-talking voiceover—the kind you hear speed-reading through the side effects of pharmaceuticals hawked on radio and TV—then says, "A friendly message brought to you by XXXchurch.com, the No. 1 Christian porn site."

If you missed the spot—billed as "the first-ever anti-porn commercial"—that's because you're not a Cox subscriber or, if you are, you don't regularly watch Jackass on MTV, The Howard Stern Show on E! or The Man Show on Comedy Central. Cox says it charges between $50 and $180 for similar 30-second slots; the year-old XXXchurch ministry says it deliberately chose developmentally regressive shows aimed at young men who get their jollies watching Jackass' skateboarding Wee-Man, Stern's now-deceased Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf and The Man Show's midget scuba-diving in a keg of beer.

XXXchurch's ads are proving to be equal-opportunity offenders. Some viewers are put off that the anti-pornsters are fighting midgets with midgets. A national organization for little people apparently has no problem with the content of the ad or the use of a small person; they're miffed because XXXchurch uses the word "midget" to identify Eddie on its website—something the two pastors who run the ministry have yet to change. The little-people group considers midget its N word.

Then there are the Christians who denounce the whole idea of a "Christian porn site."

"I think labeling yourself as the No. 1 Christian porn site is giving the appearance of evil," a poster named "Adam" states on XXXchurch.com, which proudly supplies a link to its hate mail.

"I think your associating pornography with the church is an abomination," writes "Gail."

"The fact that you have this EVIL domain out there, and call it a 'church' makes me sooo sick I almost want to puke!!!! May GOD have mercy on you EVILDOERS!!!!!!!!!!" adds George W. Bush, writing under the nom de plume "Anonymous."

Pro-porn forces have also had their way with XXXchurch. "Why is it so wrong to look at porn and flog the dolphin?" wrote another nameless poster.

"I remember another group that acted like you, um, I think they were called Nazis," says "Melissa."

"S**t, from the way you all present yourselves, I'd think that you were gay," wrote "Jabob." "Have you ever considered that? Look deep into each other's eyes, then deny that you feel closer to each other than anyone else. You all belong together. Do some ecstacy, that'll take the pressure off."

But XXXchurch has support in the religious community.

"'Truth will lead to freedom.' This quote from a page within the XXXchurch website sums it up," says Isaac Bodenhamer, who ministers to teens at Rock Harbor Church in Costa Mesa. "Whenever we exchange the truth for a lie we find ourselves slaves to sin. Jesus Christ offers truth and by his grace alone are we set free. I support XXXchurch for promoting the message of truth."

Rather than lambaste the thought of a "Christian porn site," Jason Coker, youth pastor at Mountain Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Park City, Utah, appreciates that XXXchurch reaches out to people who may not even be looking for help.


"You may indentify the
photo as Eddie, represented by
shortdwarf.com@1-866.U.Midget.
For contractual reasons, the talent chooses
to be indentified only in that fashion.
That you for understanding.":shortdwarf.com,
"Where size meets reality"

"The makers of this site are clearly trying to get on the porn radar by using 'XXX' in the domain name, along with repetitively and strategically placed content-sensitive words throughout the site itself," says Coker (who, in the interest of full disclosure, is my nephew). "In other words, they are hoping that someone stumbles across their site while looking for pornography. From my perspective, their tactics, though obviously limited, may actually work. . . . As a parent and a pastor, I am grateful for efforts like these and will likely consider this site to be a valuable ongoing resource."

XXXchurch's Craig Gross and Mike Foster welcome strong reactions pro and con. Now pastors in their late 20s, they grew up in Orange County and sharpened their Jesus chops in the local neighborhood church circuit before deciding to establish their Corona-based nonprofit ministry dedicated solely to wiping out porn.

"With religious people, the normal response to porn has been people screaming on corners, or holding rallies at their churches and circulating petitions to stop things," Gross said. "We're doing just the opposite. We get out there. Some people want to challenge us and find out what our real motives are. If someone does not want to talk to us, fine. But plenty of people do."

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