For years, the battle against pornography has been waged offstage. Pockets of conservative Christians have been fighting and winning skirmishes to close “adult” bookstores. But by and large the church as a whole has let the issue lie, assuming that, because it is there, pornography is legal.

There are signs, however, that mainstream Christians are becoming more aware of the pornography issue. Last month in Cincinnati, the National Coalition Against Pornography (NCAP) held its third annual conference to inspire the movement and supply fresh ammunition from legal and social science researchers.

The coalition is headed by Jerry Kirk, pastor of the thriving College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. Kirk’s congregation authorized him to devote half of his time to the antipornography effort. He was invited by leaders of existing anti-porn groups to head a coalition that would broaden the base of the movement.

At NCAP’s first conference two years ago, Kirk found it hard to attract interested people. But last month he was pleased that some 350 local leaders came to Cincinnati from around the country. Among them were 26 denominational executives, an indication that Kirk’s efforts to tap the networks of existing church structures is beginning to take hold. If he is successful in enlisting denominational leaders in the antipornography movement, the issue would grow significantly as a matter of concern in the Christian community.

Kirk says that his office is inundated with calls from people who want to join the fight. He added that all four of the existing national antipornography organizations report rising memberships. Those organizations are Morality in Media, the National Federation for Decency, Citizens ...

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