Strippers Picket Church, Vice-Versa

Turnabout is fair play: Strippers are picketing a church that's picketing their strip club.

Turnabout is fair play: Strippers are picketing a church that’s picketing their strip club, Holly Zachariah reports for the Columbus Dispatch.

Strip-club owner Tommy George rolled up to the church in his grabber-orange Dodge Challenger, drinking a Mountain Dew at 9 in the morning and smoking a cigarette he had just rolled himself.

Pastor Bill Dunfee stepped out of a tan Nissan Murano, clutching a Bible in one hand and his sermon in the other, a touch of spray holding his perfectly coiffed ‘do in place.

Inside the New Beginnings Ministries church, Dunfee’s worshippers wore polyester and pearls.

Outside, George’s strippers wore bikinis and belly rings.

Both men agree it is classic sinners vs. saints. But George says it is up to America to decide which is which and who is who.

Dunfee says God already has chosen.  “Tom George is a parasite, a man without judgment,” Dunfee said. “The word of Jesus Christ says you cannot share territory with the devil.”

The battle that has heretofore played out in the parking lot of George’s strip club – the Foxhole, a run-down, garage-like building at a Coshocton County crossroads called Newcastle – has shifted 7 miles east to Church Street.

Every weekend for the last four years, Dunfee and members of his ministry have stood watch over George’s joint, taking up residence in the right of way with signs, video cameras and bullhorns in hand. They videotape customers’ license plates and post them online, and they try to save the souls of anyone who comes and goes.

Now, the dancers have turned the tables, so to speak. Fed up with the tactics of Dunfee and his flock, they say they have finally accepted his constant invitation to come to church.  It’s just that they’ve come wearing see-through shorts and toting Super Soakers.  They bring lawn chairs and – yesterday, anyway – grilled hamburgers, Monster energy drinks and corn on the cob.  They sat in front of the church and waved at passing cars but largely ignored the congregation behind them.

Likewise, the churchgoers largely ignored the dancers. Except for Stan Braxton. He stopped and held hands with Lola, a 42-year-old dancer who made $200 on her Saturday night shift, and prayed for her salvation.

Well, there you go.   Then again, the problem of a 42-year-old stripper is one that tends to solve itself in short order.

Photo credit: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch. Used with permission.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Religion
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    An example of why building-churches has gotten so contentious.  Churches are no longer a common goal of the majority of the neighborhood and they often provoke controversy by opposing other legal enterprises.  In the past, attacking poor, unfortunate girls was part and parcel but increasingly they don’t take kindly to being escorted to the stagecoach and packed off to the next town.  Maybe if the girls got bible verses as their tramp stamps?

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Did the church owners stop and think about how building a church that close to a strip club could hurt the victims of senseless strippings?  I support freedom of religion, and private property, but the church owners should stop and think about the community’s feelings first.

  3. e brackmann says:

    Give me a break. Half of the men in the church probable go to the club, just not on F/Sat night.  The minister is probable boinking the church secretary.