Donny's Ramblings

Porn Debate (and talking about Jesus with Nina Hartley)

31 Comments

The Debate went great. Craig Gross and Ron Jeremy were introduced by the moderator. Craig gave an opening statement of 10-15 minutes, followed by Ron rebutting what he’d said. Both men made the crowd laugh a lot. Craig then introduced me, and Ron introduced Nina Hartley. After the introductions it was my turn to speak.

I told the crowd right up front that I firmly believe in the free will and freedom of speech of all people and that as such I’m opposed to legislation against pornography. Education, not legislation, is the key to changing hearts. I spoke about some of the realities of porn, sharing behind the scenes information as well as the personal costs of porn in the lives of some of the models who worked for me. I challenged them to make a decision to consider all costs before choosing to participate in the “supply and demand circle” of porn, because all of us in that circle have made our contribution to the broken lives I’d discussed. Perhaps at some point I’ll share more of what I said.

After my speech, Porn star Nina Hartley was then given an opportunity to rebut what I’d said. Since we’ve never debated each other before, she could only assume that since I’m a Christian I’d be the type who wanted to tell her “what she should do with her body and what she should do in her sex life” (my fellow Christians, now is the time I’d like to ask: why do so many of us try to take away the God given free will of others by attempting to pass legislation that denies them just that?). Although I’d taken away that argument by asserting my belief in free will, Nina already had her speech prepared and rolled with it anyway.

Following Nina’s speech, the crowd was given a chance to ask any question they wished to ask. I loved that part. Someone would ask a question, and those of us on stage would debate each other on our thoughts and opinions on the topic raised. I’d love to share some of the discussions that resulted but I think I’ll save that for a future blog entry, because what I think you’ll find most interesting had more to do with Ron and Nina than with the debate.

Ron Jeremy, my friends, is a really soft hearted man. He loves people. I can tell he has a big heart. Despite being told that security would whisk him away from the autograph table 30 minutes after the debate so that he’d have a chance to get something to eat, Ron wanted to make sure every last person had the chance to talk to him. Craig says it’s always that way. And throughout the night, I didn’t hear a negative word towards anyone escape Ron’s lips. If you ask me, I really think there is a call on Ron’s life to help people. To love people. To be used by God to do a lot of good in the world. I believe Ron is in the process of changing his life dramatically, and he may not even realize it yet.

Not much is open after 11pm, so after the debate the 4 of us had a very late dinner at a place called Moe’s, one of the few eating establishments still open near the campus. The food was pretty good. Ron patiently spoke with anyone walking by who happened to recognize him, including a homeless man on the sidewalk asking for spare change.

One of the event’s organizers drove Nina Hartley and I back to our hotels. Along the way I was able to listen to Nina share her thoughts on Jesus. It’s very apparent she firmly believes in what a great man he was. She told the driver all about him. She was right-on in everything she said. Had I not just heard her speaking about her thoughts on porn and polyamorous bi-sexual relationships I’d have sworn she was a very non-judgmental Christian. She understands grace. She understands Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind. She spoke fondly about the wonderful things he did for people, and she never once questioned his existence. I have no idea whether or not she believes he is God’s son, but I know she is well aware of what he did for mankind.

Does that surprise you?

The point I’d like to make with this blog article is that people we call “lost” are really not too far removed from any of us. Like many of those I know from the world of pornography, Ron and Nina are very transparent with their lives. They don’t feel a need to hide their “dark side”. I’m not sure about Ron, but from the conversations we had I know Nina is very much put off by judgmental, hypocritical people who have given her a hard time over the years. Whether it should be this way or not, I firmly believe her own relationship with God has been negatively influenced by the people who claim to know him best: Christians. She commented frequently on the attitudes towards people Craig and I both share: that we love everyone because Jesus loves everyone. There is nothing any human could ever do to make God love him or her any less. Nothing. Nina found that non-judgmental outlook refreshing.

During the debate, a question was raised to Ron asking him when he was going to start a “ministry” to show Christians the error and ignorance of their ways. Ron responded that he would never wish to take away a person’s religious beliefs. Comments on that question were opened up to the rest of us, and I told the audience that while I agreed with the person posing the question that church sucks, I hoped he’d separate God from those who claim to represent Him, because God, my friend, doesn’t suck. The crowd applauded. I also told them that as I’ve been traveling and speaking with Christians at churches all across the country, I’ve been very encouraged to see that many people are also working to put away judgmental attitudes and behave more like Jesus. I know that trend is going to continue. For anyone who is serious about doing what Jesus asked each of us to do, there is no other option.

Because God doesn‘t suck.

—–

After the Debate

31 thoughts on “Porn Debate (and talking about Jesus with Nina Hartley)

  1. Donny…. Good for you in standing firm in what you believe in. I believe your honesty and genuine care for others brings a solid reflection of the way Christ wants us to live. I had a good time hanging Friday & Saturday I can’t wait to do it again. Keep up the good fight. btw keep us posted on when the Nightline debate will be. Brian

  2. Donny…. Good for you in standing firm in what you believe in. I believe your honesty and genuine care for others brings a solid reflection of the way Christ wants us to live. I had a good time hanging Friday & Saturday I can’t wait to do it again. Keep up the good fight. btw keep us posted on when the Nightline debate will be. Brian

  3. Donny, thank you for your willingness to see people like Nina and Ron the way that Jesus sees them — deeply loved and infinitely valuable. May God forgive us Christians for too often being so judgmental and conceited in the way we approach others. In the story you shared, you actually put into practice what God’s love really looks like, not the distorted version that modern Christianity has propagated. For Ron and Nina both, God knows where they are at, he sees their hearts, and he loves them just the same as he always has and always will. Thank you for being an example of that.

  4. Donny, thank you for your willingness to see people like Nina and Ron the way that Jesus sees them — deeply loved and infinitely valuable. May God forgive us Christians for too often being so judgmental and conceited in the way we approach others. In the story you shared, you actually put into practice what God’s love really looks like, not the distorted version that modern Christianity has propagated. For Ron and Nina both, God knows where they are at, he sees their hearts, and he loves them just the same as he always has and always will. Thank you for being an example of that.

  5. Just because we see someone in the porn industry or any other induout being industry that is contrary to Gods will then we automatically label them as evil or having no morals what so ever.

    I have recently finished reading this called Unchristian and its all about non Christians perceptions of Christians. One of the chapters is aboutbeing judgemental and I would like to share this quote with you and the others who read this blog:

    “Gods judgements about people are perfect; our are not. When Christians reach the wrong verdict, it is typically because of our own biases, assumptions or stereotypes about others.”

    I think that you guys who are involved with porn ministries are the exact opposite and through your non judgemental attitudes are bringing more and more people out of the industry and not forcing the Christ issue upon them. It is through this that people are more willing to open up and be less defensive. So God bless you all in what you are doing and long may it continue.

  6. Just because we see someone in the porn industry or any other induout being industry that is contrary to Gods will then we automatically label them as evil or having no morals what so ever.

    I have recently finished reading this called Unchristian and its all about non Christians perceptions of Christians. One of the chapters is aboutbeing judgemental and I would like to share this quote with you and the others who read this blog:

    “Gods judgements about people are perfect; our are not. When Christians reach the wrong verdict, it is typically because of our own biases, assumptions or stereotypes about others.”

    I think that you guys who are involved with porn ministries are the exact opposite and through your non judgemental attitudes are bringing more and more people out of the industry and not forcing the Christ issue upon them. It is through this that people are more willing to open up and be less defensive. So God bless you all in what you are doing and long may it continue.

  7. that’s nice isn’t it.
    especially the part you talk about education versus legislation, it’s so true that we’re just free.

    cheers!

  8. that’s nice isn’t it.
    especially the part you talk about education versus legislation, it’s so true that we’re just free.

    cheers!

  9. Donnie,

    All I can say is WOW! bro! I’ve been telling everyone your story since I’ve been back! You rock bro! Glad I met you and hope to run into you in the future man! Keep being bold in Love, He’s got your back!

    Blessings to you!

    Your Homey from Londen Institute & In His Love,

    Richie

  10. Donnie,

    All I can say is WOW! bro! I’ve been telling everyone your story since I’ve been back! You rock bro! Glad I met you and hope to run into you in the future man! Keep being bold in Love, He’s got your back!

    Blessings to you!

    Your Homey from Londen Institute & In His Love,

    Richie

  11. Great stuff Donny! Continue to stand firm and I will keep you in my prayers. Love ya man.

    Aaron

  12. Great stuff Donny! Continue to stand firm and I will keep you in my prayers. Love ya man.

    Aaron

  13. Great job. Great message. Great blog. You must have a Great God! 🙂
    Hey, keep your devotions up! How’s the 20 Things book?
    Might I respectfully suggest that to say that the church sucks might not be the best thing that the Bridegroom of the Church, the Shepherd of the Sheep, the Father of the Family of God would would to hear? He loves the church. We are the apple of his eye. The behaviors of many Christians “sucks.” I’ll grant that. But, looking at it from another angle, to that the church sucks is kind of like saying that someone else’s bride sucks. Just make sure you’re tougher than the groom!
    The church is the hope of the world!
    Bill

  14. Great job. Great message. Great blog. You must have a Great God! 🙂
    Hey, keep your devotions up! How’s the 20 Things book?
    Might I respectfully suggest that to say that the church sucks might not be the best thing that the Bridegroom of the Church, the Shepherd of the Sheep, the Father of the Family of God would would to hear? He loves the church. We are the apple of his eye. The behaviors of many Christians “sucks.” I’ll grant that. But, looking at it from another angle, to that the church sucks is kind of like saying that someone else’s bride sucks. Just make sure you’re tougher than the groom!
    The church is the hope of the world!
    Bill

  15. Donny,

    Concerning your statement, “Education, not legislation, is the key to changing hearts,” I agree wholeheartedly that legislation is not the key. Legislation is “the Law” and God’s Word makes it clear that we will never be saved by the Law.

    I agree that the education is the key, especially if you are saying that education = “sharing the Gospel” (the Good News of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners like me and you).

    As it is written:
    “But eh? How dey goin aks him to help um if dey no trus him? An how dey goin trus him if dey neva hear notting bout him? And how dey goin hear bout him if nobody eva go tell um notting bout him? An how dey goin tell peopo if nobody send um fo go teach? Jalike da Bible say, “Wen peopo go fo tell da Good Stuff From God, eh! Dass so awesome!” -Fo da Rome Peopo 10:14-15 from Da Jesus Book (Hawaiian Pidgin Translation)

    Thanks, Donny, for being out on the front lines teachin bout Da Man! Dass so awesome!

    Brian from the Londen Institute

  16. Donny,

    Concerning your statement, “Education, not legislation, is the key to changing hearts,” I agree wholeheartedly that legislation is not the key. Legislation is “the Law” and God’s Word makes it clear that we will never be saved by the Law.

    I agree that the education is the key, especially if you are saying that education = “sharing the Gospel” (the Good News of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners like me and you).

    As it is written:
    “But eh? How dey goin aks him to help um if dey no trus him? An how dey goin trus him if dey neva hear notting bout him? And how dey goin hear bout him if nobody eva go tell um notting bout him? An how dey goin tell peopo if nobody send um fo go teach? Jalike da Bible say, “Wen peopo go fo tell da Good Stuff From God, eh! Dass so awesome!” -Fo da Rome Peopo 10:14-15 from Da Jesus Book (Hawaiian Pidgin Translation)

    Thanks, Donny, for being out on the front lines teachin bout Da Man! Dass so awesome!

    Brian from the Londen Institute

  17. Just being there and sharing your heart and life is the most important thing. That is the point of sharing Jesus. I am proud that you and others are willing to associate with the “sinners” of our day. The church hate these people and scandalize those who don’t conform to the institutionalized church’s standards.

    But God’s grace is amazing and He finds ways to love us despite the instituational church.

    I personally hate the church – the institutional church that is.

    Michael
    The Confessions of a Porn Addict

  18. Just being there and sharing your heart and life is the most important thing. That is the point of sharing Jesus. I am proud that you and others are willing to associate with the “sinners” of our day. The church hate these people and scandalize those who don’t conform to the institutionalized church’s standards.

    But God’s grace is amazing and He finds ways to love us despite the instituational church.

    I personally hate the church – the institutional church that is.

    Michael
    The Confessions of a Porn Addict

  19. Dear Donny,
    I’ll just make a few brief comments here as this struck a chord in me.
    First, going through some stuff in my life at this time, my time online is limited and at times absent, in terms of venturing here, so while I at some point want to respond to your “Angry..” blog about what appear to be misunderstood scripture, etc., for the moment, I’ll just say, to John, thanks man, apology accepted and hopefully I didn’t come across judgmental either…your heart speaks.
    Now to respond to this blog, I just wanted to say that surrounded by some believers who call non-believers “heathen”; I have been compelled to share these thoughts.
    Many of them I had often heard would speak of non-believers, using the term “heathen”. Now while scripture uses it as well, the implication or connotation I felt that was always conveyed was that as “heathen”, they were no good downright evil people going to hell. While the latter 3 words are true in that unless they came to a saving knowledge of the Lord, they would indeed go to hell. However, the rest of the words, if a person uses that for a grid to see people through, then there’s no telling what attitudes, gestures, or presumptions they have about those “heathen”. There is no humble and loving approach felt in that perspective.
    What I share with those who would listen are for example, the stories of Abimelech, the “heathen” ruler who would look upon both Abraham and Isaac’s wives and want them, and both Abraham and Isaac would say that their wives were their sisters for fear they’d be killed. Apparently, Isaac learned that from his dad, because he did the same thing as his dad did. This was to the near judgment of God on Abimelech and his people. Only to have him be visited by God and he talking with God about whom these men were and to leave these women alone because they were their wives. Abimelech apparently negotiated with God and the men, to be freed from God’s judgment, but nonetheless, not being a believer, Abimelech showed respect to God and His servants, even though they lied to him, being a “heathen”. These two stories can be found in both Genesis 20 (Abraham) and Genesis 26 (Isaac).
    Likewise, there’s the story of Daniel and the lion’s den in Daniel 6, where King Darius, being a “heathen” he apparently loved and respected Daniel. Realizing he did a foolish thing to agree to the law he signed off on, he fasted and stayed up all night on behalf of Daniel. Hoping that somehow Daniel would be delivered from the mouths of the lions, he rushed to him in the morning. Running to the den, he would give honor the Daniel’s God and later would command everyone to do so in his kingdom, which would bring about praise to Daniel’s God. And all this from a “Heathen”.
    Anyway, I am sure there are other stories in scripture to support this directive that respecting everyone, regardless of what part of the journey they’re on is very important, because every soul is important to God and we don’t want to become the stumbling block to their salvation. Love should be the motivating factor to befriend them and win them…all of them if possible.

  20. Dear Donny,
    I’ll just make a few brief comments here as this struck a chord in me.
    First, going through some stuff in my life at this time, my time online is limited and at times absent, in terms of venturing here, so while I at some point want to respond to your “Angry..” blog about what appear to be misunderstood scripture, etc., for the moment, I’ll just say, to John, thanks man, apology accepted and hopefully I didn’t come across judgmental either…your heart speaks.
    Now to respond to this blog, I just wanted to say that surrounded by some believers who call non-believers “heathen”; I have been compelled to share these thoughts.
    Many of them I had often heard would speak of non-believers, using the term “heathen”. Now while scripture uses it as well, the implication or connotation I felt that was always conveyed was that as “heathen”, they were no good downright evil people going to hell. While the latter 3 words are true in that unless they came to a saving knowledge of the Lord, they would indeed go to hell. However, the rest of the words, if a person uses that for a grid to see people through, then there’s no telling what attitudes, gestures, or presumptions they have about those “heathen”. There is no humble and loving approach felt in that perspective.
    What I share with those who would listen are for example, the stories of Abimelech, the “heathen” ruler who would look upon both Abraham and Isaac’s wives and want them, and both Abraham and Isaac would say that their wives were their sisters for fear they’d be killed. Apparently, Isaac learned that from his dad, because he did the same thing as his dad did. This was to the near judgment of God on Abimelech and his people. Only to have him be visited by God and he talking with God about whom these men were and to leave these women alone because they were their wives. Abimelech apparently negotiated with God and the men, to be freed from God’s judgment, but nonetheless, not being a believer, Abimelech showed respect to God and His servants, even though they lied to him, being a “heathen”. These two stories can be found in both Genesis 20 (Abraham) and Genesis 26 (Isaac).
    Likewise, there’s the story of Daniel and the lion’s den in Daniel 6, where King Darius, being a “heathen” he apparently loved and respected Daniel. Realizing he did a foolish thing to agree to the law he signed off on, he fasted and stayed up all night on behalf of Daniel. Hoping that somehow Daniel would be delivered from the mouths of the lions, he rushed to him in the morning. Running to the den, he would give honor the Daniel’s God and later would command everyone to do so in his kingdom, which would bring about praise to Daniel’s God. And all this from a “Heathen”.
    Anyway, I am sure there are other stories in scripture to support this directive that respecting everyone, regardless of what part of the journey they’re on is very important, because every soul is important to God and we don’t want to become the stumbling block to their salvation. Love should be the motivating factor to befriend them and win them…all of them if possible.

  21. Sorry to lighten the conversation, but I must say – that is a lovely shirt you are wearing, Donny!

  22. Sorry to lighten the conversation, but I must say – that is a lovely shirt you are wearing, Donny!

  23. Sometimes I get sad hearing Christians say how they don’t like the church and that Christians are so judgemental. I’ve met some really loving, wonderful and kind people in church. Some may be judgemental, but don’t we all judge each other to some degree?
    Everybody is at different levels of growth; and people are always offending each other whether in church or any other group.
    I don’t quite know how to say what I’m trying to say. I know some Christians have offended people deeply but should we just assume that because someone is a church member that they are going to be “judgemental”?
    I read a story about a scruffy looking guy who came into a church and went up to the front and sat on the floor, and then a well-dressed deacon walked toward him; people assumed the deacon would ask the guy to move or to leave, but the deacon in his suit sat down on the floor beside the guy. That is what I think Jesus would do.

  24. Sometimes I get sad hearing Christians say how they don’t like the church and that Christians are so judgemental. I’ve met some really loving, wonderful and kind people in church. Some may be judgemental, but don’t we all judge each other to some degree?
    Everybody is at different levels of growth; and people are always offending each other whether in church or any other group.
    I don’t quite know how to say what I’m trying to say. I know some Christians have offended people deeply but should we just assume that because someone is a church member that they are going to be “judgemental”?
    I read a story about a scruffy looking guy who came into a church and went up to the front and sat on the floor, and then a well-dressed deacon walked toward him; people assumed the deacon would ask the guy to move or to leave, but the deacon in his suit sat down on the floor beside the guy. That is what I think Jesus would do.

  25. Per the blog: “I’d be the type who wanted to tell her “what she should do with her body and what she should do in her sex life” (my fellow Christians, now is the time I’d like to ask: why do so many of us try to take away the God given free will of others by attempting to pass legislation that denies them just that?).”

    Donny,

    Be careful that you don’t turn Jesus into a “license” to sin like so many people love to do. Jesus’s death on the cross did not give us freedom to do whatever it is you want to do in life but rather its a freedom for life IN CHRIST.

    And its important that people hear the truth because true love for mankind is telling mankind the truth. That means you may have to say something they don’t necessarily want to hear. But if you don’t do that, they will never be able to make a decision about thier destiny, will they? Nope. Someone else is making it for them. think about it.

    Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    That verse is pretty clear.

    P.S. I’m no where near being judgemental. I’m engaged to someone from the porn industry but make no mistake about it….he’s changed. A BRAND NEW person in Christ. No more porn. JESUS SAVES

  26. Per the blog: “I’d be the type who wanted to tell her “what she should do with her body and what she should do in her sex life” (my fellow Christians, now is the time I’d like to ask: why do so many of us try to take away the God given free will of others by attempting to pass legislation that denies them just that?).”

    Donny,

    Be careful that you don’t turn Jesus into a “license” to sin like so many people love to do. Jesus’s death on the cross did not give us freedom to do whatever it is you want to do in life but rather its a freedom for life IN CHRIST.

    And its important that people hear the truth because true love for mankind is telling mankind the truth. That means you may have to say something they don’t necessarily want to hear. But if you don’t do that, they will never be able to make a decision about thier destiny, will they? Nope. Someone else is making it for them. think about it.

    Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

    That verse is pretty clear.

    P.S. I’m no where near being judgemental. I’m engaged to someone from the porn industry but make no mistake about it….he’s changed. A BRAND NEW person in Christ. No more porn. JESUS SAVES

  27. Just two points if I may: in regards to legislation, would we ever make bank robberies legal, simply because some people are willing to go ahead and break the law? No, and while I agree education has it’s place, I don’t think legislation is useless.

    And lastly, how can Nina understand what Jesus did, unless she understands who Jesus is? The magnitude of the Creator shedding His blood for the wretched creation is so great we can scare take it in.

    regards~

  28. Just two points if I may: in regards to legislation, would we ever make bank robberies legal, simply because some people are willing to go ahead and break the law? No, and while I agree education has it’s place, I don’t think legislation is useless.

    And lastly, how can Nina understand what Jesus did, unless she understands who Jesus is? The magnitude of the Creator shedding His blood for the wretched creation is so great we can scare take it in.

    regards~

  29. Great stuff! To think, just least 18 months ago, both of us were peddling porn, setting out ot ruin the God we now love so deeply. Our God is the God of change! Thank God for what He has done in my life and in yours. Keep up the good fight Donny!

  30. Great stuff! To think, just least 18 months ago, both of us were peddling porn, setting out ot ruin the God we now love so deeply. Our God is the God of change! Thank God for what He has done in my life and in yours. Keep up the good fight Donny!

  31. http://www.themaninthepew.blogspot.comMy own personal struggles with Pornography.I once heard pornography perfectly described in one word: OSTEOPORNOSIS – A DEGENERATE DISEASE

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