Pastor Hugs It Out With Protesting Strippers

You may remember last week’s story of a church in Ohio that was being protested by bikini-clad strippers fed up with being hassled by the pastor and his flock. The tense standoff is now showing signs of detente, with the pastor agreeing to meet with the owner of the strip club.

The pastor of the New Beginnings Ministries had so far been avoiding confrontation or debate with the nubile protesters outside his Sunday services. But this weekend, after hearing from two speakers who currently minister to women in the table-dancing trade, he changed his tune slightly.

“It’s not our job to tell these women that it’s time to get out of there,” one of the speakers, herself a former stripper, had told the congregation. “Just love them. Let the Holy Spirit draw them out.”

As church members left Sunday’s service, some approached the protesters and offered embraces rather than scorn.

“The girls inside really had an impact,” said one member of the congregation. “They made me realize I need to be more compassionate.”

The pastor himself even got his hugs in with the strippers, but not before being told their side of the debate.

“You think I’m a whore,” one dancer told the pastor. “I’m not. I’m trying to take care of my kids.”

The pastor has agreed to sit down with the owner of the strip club that he and his followers have protested on a weekly basis for four years. In addition to picketing the parking lot, church members have also posted license plate numbers of club patrons online.

Even though they’ve agreed to discuss things in a civilized manner, the pastor says he plans to continue showing up outside the Foxhole every weekend. And the Foxhole owner says he and the dancers will be outside the church every Sunday “until they stop.”

Churchgoers reach out to strippers after service, but all is not resolved [dispatch.com]

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  1. Cicadymn says:

    Well that’s…progress?

  2. Dutchess says:

    Lawsuit to follow in two years….”The pastor groped me and they have PTSD and couldn’t dance around the pole”

  3. lockdog says:

    Someone needs to send this to Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi.

    • Elcheecho says:

      why?

      • lockdog says:

        Well I don’t mind the parties being in opposition to each other, but a little constructive dialog sure wouldn’t hurt anyone. Let’s see the two party leaders actually debate the ideas rather than all the histrionics and mud slinging.

  4. pop top says:

    Wait, you mean when people have an adult conversation and talk about things rationally, that problems get solved? Well who would’ve thought that!

    • KillerBee says:

      Exactly what problem got solved again?

      • pop top says:

        It started a dialogue between the groups, and it led to a better understanding of everyone’s positions. A lot of people are actually starting to live their religion (e.g. actually being compassionate and understanding, not making judgments of others, etc.). It may not have gotten everything solved 100% right off the bat, but it laid groundwork for future development.

        I understand that we live in a “gimme gimme” culture that demands instant satisfaction, but this is a really good thing, whether or not everything was immediately fixed.

    • dadelus says:

      Exactly, the women of the church my Brother-in-laws family goes to do outreach with a local strip club. Rather then judging the people that work there they talk to them, find out what they need and help with the basics (kids clothes, diapers, etc…). They don’t talk down to them about their career choice and offer them a place in their congregation with the promise they will be accepted when they are there.

      This has led to a very cool and totally unexpected partnership between the church and the strip club. The owner, bouncers, and the dancers have worked with the church on a number of fundraisers and the church has reciprocated. I personally am agnostic, but I have to say this church is an excellent example for other churches. They don’t judge, they simply offer love and acceptance to others.

    • grapedog says:

      does ANY of this sound rational to you…?

  5. pantheonoutcast says:

    “Let the Holy Spirit draw them out!”

    Yeah. That’ll work.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      The apropos nature of your chosen handle is not lost on me, PO :)

      But anyway, in reply to your post, I only wanted to point out that the Holy Spirit is, as usual, whatever you (the indefinite you, not YOU you) define it to be.

      In other words, the devil’s in the details.

      Ha.

    • Riroon13 says:

      Pantheon–

      Yes, it does work.

      The ‘fruits’ of the Spirit, according to the Bible, include love, joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering.

      When Christians walk around exhibiting these traits, instead of keeping themselves busy by condemning people to hell, quoting televangelists and Sean Hannity, you’d be amazed as to how much work could be done.

      The Bible does not command us to be right. It commands us to love.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Imagine, Christians claiming ordinary human virtues, shared by every member of humanity, as if they had some sort of copyright on them.

        • lim says:

          I’m trying. Wait. Wait. I think…what’s this? Yes. I think I can just about picture it! There it is! There it-

          Damn. It’s gone.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Yet, according to the same Bible, if one does not accept the Holy Spirit, he has committed an unforgivable sin from which his soul cannot recover and is cast into the fiery pit of eternal damnation.

        Yes. “Love.”

        • MarvinMar says:

          It is not that difficult, nor unjust.

          The Bible says ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
          The Bible says the wages of Sin is Death.
          The Bible says Jesus came to Earth, Lived as a Man, but without Sin, And Died Sinless on a cross to pay your debt.
          If you choose NOT to accept this payment, you have to pay yourself. That’s your choice.
          You really can’t complain that someone paid for something for you, but you wanted to pay yourself, then gripe that you had to pay.

          If I was in a store, buying sandwiches for everyone. And you came in and said “No Way, I aint letting this guy pay for mine, I don’t like him or believe in what he stands for!” You can not then complain that everyone got a free sandwich but you, and you had to pay.

          Rejecting the Holy Spirit is to reject the payment that was made for your sins.
          Accept the payment and live knowing that in Jesus Christ, there is no more condemnation.
          Reject the payment and pay yourself.
          It is your choice alone.

  6. Talisker says:

    Wow, he’s finally acting like a Christian should.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Hmm, I think Jesus would have hung out with strippers, but I don’t think he would have picketed their place of business. Drew pictures in the sand in the parking lot, maybe. But pickets, no. Let him who is without sin hold the first picket sign, or something like that.

      • TacoDave says:

        Indeed. Jesus cared about bad behavior *in the temple courts* but he didn’t go around trying to shut down other businesses.

      • mac-phisto says:

        hmm…hard to say. he did go apeshit on the moneychangers in the temple, didn’t he? i guess it all depends on whether you consider a strip club a place of worship or not. =)

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          Temple prostitution, anyone?

          Or is that just for televangelists?

  7. Skellbasher says:

    That’s nice.

    It’s still a religious institution that’s trying to force their own morals and standards on people that may have different views. If you don’t condone stripping, don’t go to the club. Period. Don’t go over there and try to run it out of town because YOU don’t like it.

    It’s America. Land of the free, but only if you agree with me.

    • Cicadymn says:

      That’s nice.

      It’s still a strip club that’s trying to force their own morals and standards on people that may have different views. If you don’t condone religion, don’t go to the church. Period. Don’t go over there and try to run it out of town because YOU don’t like it.

      It’s America. Land of the free, but only if you agree with me.

      • Skellbasher says:

        You make a valid point, but the strip club endured years of the church protesting THEM before they made their appearance at the church.

        The strippers also aren’t trying to close down the church. They’re simply pointing out the hypocrisy in what the church is doing.

      • DH405 says:

        Did you read the first article at all? Maybe you did and you’re doing the typical feigning-ignorance thing in an attempt to convince someone, anyone, that the church is obviously right. Because it’s a church.

        The pastor had his people protesting that business for YEARS. Unprovoked, unwarranted. They set out to destroy a business and put its workers out of work. The strip club only started counter-protesting after years of incessant meddling by these busybodies.

        The strip club never tried to run the church out of town, your countering by paste-and-edit is invalid.

  8. RayanneGraff says:

    “You think I’m a whore,” one dancer told the pastor. “I’m not. I’m trying to take care of my kids.”

    Sorry honey, but if you take your clothes off in front of horny men in exchange for money, that’s pretty damn whorish. I can’t stand the whole “I strip to feed my kids!” argument. There’s other things you can do besides borderline prostitution that will put food in your kids’ bellies. Have some self-pride.

    • DonStanhouse says:

      Whore (N): a woman who engages in promiscuous SEXUAL INTERCOURSE, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.

      Hey asshole, use a dictionary. Your stupid sex-negative attitude that somehow the human body is something to be covered up and be shameful of in the name of “self-pride” is the exactly the type of attitude these churchgoing assholes feed on.

      • Kat@Work says:

        Thanks, I just came into this comment to pull out a dictionary myself.

      • ryber says:

        So are all church-going people assholes, or just the ones you dislike?

        • Simon Barsinister says:

          I think DonStanHouse was pretty clear when he/she said “THESE churchgoing assholes.” These ones. The ones in the article. The ones we are talking about.

    • Consumeristing says:

      Paying for law school is the only acceptable reason for whoring and stripping.

      • H3ion says:

        Yes, but in the context of law school, you don’t do any whoring until after you’re admitted to the bar.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      And your job never, ever has you questioning your dignity in exchange for a paycheck? Whether in retail and being forced to hustle extended warranties or in middle-management attending meeting after meeting to see who can string together the most corporate buzzwords in a single sentence.

      Stripping may not be everyone’s ideal career, but I bet you they are getting paid far better than those working their way through college waiting tables. If a customer at a strip club gets out of line, there’s a bouncer reading and willing to eject him. At a restaurant, the manager will probably just tell the waitress to suck it up and smile.

    • MeOhMy says:

      “Hey honey, do you have any $1 bills? I need them for offering at church…”

    • Skellbasher says:

      If you wouldn’t do that yourself, then fine.

      Don’t judge someone else because of it.

    • H3ion says:

      Sorry but there’s quite a difference between stripping (or exotic dancing if that’s your semantic preference) and prostitution. It’s the difference between looking and touching. The former is fine. The latter can get you in trouble depending on the circumstances. Exotic dancers are not whores just because they display their assets for money. So do lingerie models.

      • MarvinMar says:

        New International Version (©1984)
        Matthew 5:28
        But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

        Looking VS Touching = Same

        I’m sure most wives would agree.
        If you are looking at porn or strippers to get your jollies, your marriage has problems.
        GO fix that.

        • Dunkelzahn says:

          I go to the strip club with my wife. It’s entertainment.

        • christianmarie says:

          On and average weeknight, more than half of my customers have their wives/girlfriends with them. There are plenty of women out there who are more than ok with looking, and even some who are ok with touching.

          You don’t get to decide where the line is for other people just because you read the bible.

    • Vivienne says:

      You are aware of many jobs available for 18-28 year old women with GED level education that pay above minimum wage are you? Jobs that pay enough to pay rent, and transportation, and child care, and food, and medical bills that do not seem to you to be “pretty damn whorish”? Do tell – oh sage right-wing “pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-boot-straps” nut-job, where are all of these great golden glittery jobs?

      Oh wait, that is right…

      You don’t know about any jobs like that, but because you aren’t aware of how over-privileged you are, you honestly think that everyone must have the same opportunities you do.

      I triple dog dare you to come up with a believable, workable budget for a 22 year old woman with 2 kids, no father, and no real education, on a salary that she might realistically make.

      I triple dog dare you.

      Is it horrifying that real people are forced to make real situations like this one work? Yes, but suggesting it is simply because they are too lazy is neither realistic nor helpful. You want girls like this one to stop stripping? Vote for universal healthcare if you ever get the chance.

      And in other news – who cares if you think some girl is a whore? I think you are an arrogant, clueless, prudish, jerk. How dare you tell another person what they can or cannot do with their own body in the land of the “free?” Ironically she is doing exactly what you want her to do. She is not on food stamps, she is not on welfare, she is working to support her family in the only way available to her. You should be proud of her, you should hold her up as an example. Hypocrite.

      • settsu says:

        Playing devil’s advocate: 1) short of rape, pregnancy doesn’t happen by accident, and 2) not having an education its a really bad excuse.

        • LadyTL says:

          Pointing out a flaw in your argument: Taking off clothes does not constitute sex. It may or may not lead to sex in certain circumstances but the act of taking off clothes in and of itself is not sex.

        • Julia789 says:

          Maybe she didn’t carelessly get knocked up. Maybe her husband ran off with another woman, leaving her with no child support and no way to support herself.

          • dg says:

            Maybe he got killed in an accident? Maybe he lost his memory from something and wandered off? Maybe he got kidnapped and killed? Maybe he went into the armed forces and got killed? There’s a lot of maybe’s that could be the reason for it…

            Regardless – if YOU don’t like what she’s doing, then put your money where your mouth is – give her a job, feed her family, feed her. Take care of them all. Just do it on your dime – leave me and the rest of the taxpayers out of it. If you can’t, then STFU and leave her alone… she’s not bothering anyone…

        • christianmarie says:

          1. rape isn’t an accident. Having a condom break, forgetting to take the pill, or having the pill not work are all accidents. 2.The only “excuse” anyone needs to take a particular job is “I need the money” or “I like the job”.

      • Karita says:

        Just wanted to point out, not all strippers are uneducated. My college roommate at NYU was a stripper at one of the nicer clubs in NYC. She paid for her ENTIRE education off the money she made stripping. We were all insanely jealous of her, that she had the ability to go to school without any loans just because she was blessed with perfect DD boobs. If I had the body for it, I’d work as a dancer for a few years to pay off my law school loans.

      • MarvinMar says:

        I was totally unaware that ALL 18-28 year old women with a GED level education had to become strippers or prostitutes to survive.

        I guess none of those women who made bad choices by having children outside of a secure relationship (Mentally, Emotionally, Physically) could ever work out something with friends, family, social programs to work, have daycare, and go back to get an education.

        I can see how going from making hundreds a night taking your top off and twirling around a poll could make if hard to making $10 an hour waitressing and working hard for the money.
        But don’t pretend for a second that that is the ONLY way to survive.

      • jimconsumer says:

        ^^^^ This is awesome. I wish I could give you a hug. Love it!!

    • pop top says:

      Aww, isn’t misogyny just adorable? What business is it of your how they feed their kids? I mean, you sound like one of those bootstrap libertarians that wants people to go out and make their money instead of living off of welfare, and that’s exactly what these women do. Sorry that it offends your delicate Puritan sensibilities. And who gives a fuck if they do prostitute themselves? Really, it’s time America stopped being so sex-negative and prudish all the time. We’re a first-world country with backwater ignorant ideas about sex.

      • tdogg241 says:

        I love this comment so much, I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Libertarians would have no problem with a stripper actually being a prostitute to support her kids, if that was shat she wanted to do and it assured an adequate lifestyle for her kids (who have rights too). Heck, libertarians would have no particular problem with the pastor keeping a stripper as a mistress if they were happy and her kids were happy.

    • evnmorlo says:

      I guess you might say it is the same family of behavior, but so are a lot of normal activities, which raises the question what’s so bad about being a whore? And the ends do justify the means sometimes: professional mercenary killers become “heroes” when they wear the right uniform, for example.

    • Bakergirl says:

      I bet you were never poor. I bet your mom never had to worry about clothing you and being worried about how she’s supposed to raise you on one income. I hope you never have to choose between feeding your kids or starving them on principles.

      One thing these religious fanatics keep missing is that Mary M. WAS a whore and Jesus thought she was good, good enough to be apart of his apostiles, so good that He appeared before her and not Peter, Paul, (and Mary? J/k), or his own mum when he rose. How’s that for being a whore?

      The world is full of hypocrites, whores, fanatics, and Jesus loved everyone of them. People always forget that.

      • MarvinMar says:

        Jesus did NOT say to Marry M, “Hey, I understand, you have to make a living somehow, and you don’t really have a skill. Keeping sleeping with men for money, I love you and that’s all that matters.”

        He said “Go, and Sin no more.”
        Jesus loved her in spite of her sin, but he did NOT “OK” it and would not have had a relationship with her if she continued to live that way.

        If Jesus appeared to you right now, looked you in the eyes and said, Bakergirl, STOP taking your cloths off for money.” I am pretty positive you would find some other way to pay the bills.

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2018&version=NIV

    • dg says:

      She’s making money. Not bothering anyone. Probably not even having coitus with any of the patrons. Why is this a bad thing? Oh because some women that you wouldn’t want to screw anyway are feeling jealous? Or maybe it was someone they went to high school with and this is a continuation of the ‘feud’ from way back when?

      Million years ago when I was a college undergrad, I took a gen ed class called “Concepts of Leisure” – inane class, but I needed one last credit, so I took that damn thing P/F. One cay we’re discussing “Positive Leisure v. Negative Leisure” – the prof says “…examples of negative leisure include gang activities, drug dealing…” to which I responded “Only from your point of view. From their point of view it’s a positive thing because it gives them structure and income. And it’s only “negative” because society has laws claiming it’s bad…” – yeah, that was an interesting hour long class.

      Same deal here – pole dancing is a “negative” thing to some people, but not to others. The church is free to say “we don’t approve” – but not to try to harass a business out of existence. I applaud the FoxHole’s pride and going to sit at the church…

      Hopefully they’ll work it out, but honestly – Christians are supposed to “turn the other cheek”, and “embrace thine enemy”, “love thy neighbor”, etc right? What’s the deal here?

    • christianmarie says:

      I have been stripping off and on for 14 years. Yes, I could waitress or flip burgers, but I find those jobs far more degrading than dancing. I could have gone to college and had the pleasure of spending my days sitting in a cubicle getting fat and daydreaming about my measly 10 days of vacation, but then I’d have to kill myself. Dancing allows me lots of free time to pursue other interests, of which I have many. Plus, it’s good exercise.

      I have never done anything resembling sex in exchange for money, and neither do most dancers. Yes, there are some whores working in the clubs, and we don’t like them anymore than you do. They’re bad for business and they put clean dancers in a position where we have to deal with ignorant comments from uninformed morons like you. It sucks.

      If you don’t like strippers, then say you don’t like strippers. Don’t call us whores. It’s not the same thing, and it makes you sound very stupid.

      • Bakergirl says:

        Well said! Just like my first job as a burger flipper. The manager was a southern ass and loved to humiliate the illegals working with him and smile knowing they really couldn’t say anything. I ended up being fired for calling him out on it, and I don’t know if anything changed but at least I tried.

        So yes, burger flipping is degrading, just like being an airline attendant.

  9. El_Fez says:

    Can I hug a stripper?

  10. andyg8180 says:

    The pastor received hugs from strippers… Price? $20 a song… HA!

  11. Kat@Work says:

    They agreed to talk? Couldn’t they have done that instead of wasting time in church, hugging and protesting?

  12. Konwashere says:

    Neil Young needs to write Ohio 2 about this.

  13. chaesar says:

    do not touch the dancers!! I will not tell you again!

  14. MitchV says:

    I suspect the pastor only did this because of the recent decline in $1 bills appearing in the collection plate.

  15. dosdelon says:

    So let me get this straight here… First the pastor goes to a strip club, then the strippers come to his church, and now he’s hugging the strippers. Hmm, I think I’m in the wrong profession here…

  16. Jabberkaty says:

    OMG… someone had a conversation.

  17. Level-Headed, Even-handed says:

    THIS JUST IN: PASTOR HUGS STRIPPERS OUTSIDE CHURCH AFTER CONGREGATION

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Reminds me of this oldie but goodie (sensitive people better cover their eyes):

      A priest wanted to raise money for his church and on being told that there was a fortune in horse racing, decided to purchase one and enter it in the races. However at the local
      auction, the going price for horses was so high that he ended up buying a donkey
      (also called an ass) instead. He figured that since he had it, he might as well go ahead and enter it in the races. To his surprise, the donkey came in third. The next day the local paper carried this headline: PRIEST’S ASS SHOWS

      The priest was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and this time it won. The paper read: PRIEST’S ASS OUT IN FRONT

      The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the priest not to enter the donkey in another race. The paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PRIEST’S ASS

      This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the priest to get rid of the donkey. The priest decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The paper headline the next day read: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN

      The Bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.00. Next day the headline read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.00

      This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey, lead it to the plains where it could run wild and free. Next day, the headline in the paper read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE

      The Bishop was buried the next day.

  18. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Yup. A church attracts some negative media attention and the pastor/priest/whatever suddenly changes from a judgmental prick to an all-forgiving man of God. ‘Cause, you know, that’s what Jesus would do.

    Either that or because it’s more lucrative. One or the other.

    • CFinWV says:

      Except he’s not, he’s going to continue protesting the club. I really don’t see that anything has been accomplished. Maybe I’m reading it wrong?

  19. dennis says:

    It took a hard hug to soften him up?

  20. klippies says:

    So the Holy Spirit has to go to the strip club to get to the strippers? What If he likes it in there?

  21. f3rg says:

    Fixed: “You think I’m a whore,” one dancer told the pastor. “I’m not. I’m trying to take care of my kids by being a whore.”

  22. erinpac says:

    They’re going to talk now but are still both picketing and protesting each other?
    It doesn’t sound like much progress if they’re still picketing the club. Exactly what do they think they’ll accomplish? I guess now they’ll “more compassionately” harass people in their private lives or at work.

    • CFinWV says:

      Thank you, I was wondering if I was reading a different article because aside from the hugs I don’t see any resolution here. And he touched the dancers, already he’s ahead of the patrons of the bar. I wonder if he knows that?

  23. fuceefacee says:

    The church has had this protest and intimidation of it’s customers going on for four years? Yet the strip club is still open? I’d classify this as an EPIC FAIL!

  24. Doncosmic says:

    After reading the title I thought this might be the burning 50 ft Jesus church, since I know it has a strip club across the street from it. I am now slightly disappointed.

  25. banmojo says:

    as long as everyone is LAWfully protesting, who cares?

    and btw, pastor, unless you and your church are able to offer these ladies a different job with the same work hours and pay, then you really need to reconsider your stance on this. You can love the sinner and hate the sin, but in this modern secular society where there is to be a firm SEPARATION OF CHURCH/STATE, you have very little lawful ground to stand on here.

    ps. Just what kind of dance do you think Mirriam performed for David (of OT fame)??? God has far more to concern Himself with than with our sexual activities, methinks. Jesus HEALED/FED/COMFORTED the people first, THEN He preached His message of salvation to them. You seem to have your program ass backwards.

    Ie. Work on bringing the Holy Spirit into these womens’ lives FIRST, then let HIM do the converting/sanctifying process!@!@

  26. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Someone’s violating the four foot rule.

    “Next time, Methodist!”

  27. Neodymium says:

    This all sounded great until the bit where they’re still going to protest each other.

  28. modernheretic says:

    Wait, I thought you weren’t allowed to touch the strippers?