While much of the country was knocking back Bud Lights and licking Doritos cheese off their (or others’) fingers in preparation for the Super Bowl, hundreds of churches across the country were celebrating Porn Sunday. Surely your eyeballs came to a screeching halt upon seeing church and porn mentioned in the same sentence, and that’s the basic strategy behind XXXChurch.com, the self-declared “#1 Christian porn site” — to shock you to attention with its young, fashionable leaders who preach irreverently about the sex industry. This latest stunt saw the premiere of a 45-minute video starring five NFL players speaking out against pornography.

With his disheveled hair and penchant for plaid, Craig Gross looks like a PBR-swilling commitment-phobic hipster, but the ministry’s 35-year-old founder is in fact married with two children. This seeming dissonance is increasingly common among young Christian activists who are breaking away from and even criticizing the traditional religious establishment. (Consider Annie Lobert, founder of Hookers for Jesus, whom I profiled late last year.) These young, hip religious types are not only sermonizing about sex but also immersing themselves in the very environments that they are preaching against. Gross and his team man a booth every year at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, handing out T-shirts and Bibles that read, “Jesus Loves Porn Stars.” He went on the road with the infamous adult film actor Ron Jeremy to do a series of debates on college campuses about the industry. Two and a half years ago he uprooted his family and moved from Michigan to Sin City.

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