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Exotic dancers to protest **** at church

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Author Topic: Exotic dancers to protest **** at church  (Read 224 times)
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« on: August 08, 2014, 11:37:34 am »

Exotic dancers to protest **** at church

Dancers who work at a strip club in New Castle are planning to go **** in public to protest a Warsaw church, which has been protesting against them for eight years.

Dancers, other staff, family and friends from the Foxhole North will be in front of New Beginnings Ministries during worship services this Sunday, said Thomas George, the club's owner. Some of the women are planning to be ****, he said. George said about 14 people were at the church this past Sunday and that he expects more protesters this week.

The group previously held signs with the women in bikinis or otherwise scantily clad for more than a year, stopping in fall 2011. George said it was obvious giving the church a taste of its own medicine wasn't deterring members from picketing outside his business or helping them come to any sort of mutual understanding.

George, who also owns the Foxhole South in Zanesville, said this is an extreme measure that might garner backlash — considering there are children at the church and who live in the area — but he's at the end of his rope. If Pastor Bill Dunfee and his congregation don't want the nudity outside of the church on Sunday mornings, then they should stop coming to the Foxhole, about nine miles up the road on U.S. 36, on weekend nights.

"Everyone has the right to express their first amendment rights and views, but at what point does it become just flat out harassment with what goes on," George said. "It's not my intention to offend the locals down there; they just happen to be unfortunate innocent bystanders in this whole mess," George said.

George sought two injunctions to keep protesters from the church restricted to at least 100 feet away from his property, but they were denied by judges. Court documents state business at the club opened in 1999 had decreased by more than half since the protesters showed up. George said he has no legal actions pending at this time because the previous ones were just "a waste of money."

"We've been backed into a corner and they continue to harass the customers," George said. "I've been left no recourse by the county judge, sheriff and other people around there who have supported (Dunfee). I don't want to (use nudity), but obviously (Dunfee) doesn't understand the meaning of just go away."

Dunfee said this will do nothing to stop members of his church from protesting the club. He sees the tactic as a desperate act and a sign their presence continues to be effective in deterring business.

"The bottom line for us is that it's a gospel issue. When the church was born over 2,000 years ago, it was in the midst of opposition," Dunfee said. "We know what we're doing is working."

He said protesters were at the church this past Sunday and one woman flashed a churchgoer, but there was no other nudity. The incident was reported to the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office, but no report was filed as it was determined no law was broken. Dunfee said families have been cautioned on what doors to use to enter and exit the church for children to avoid the protesters.

According to Ohio Revised Code, in regard to public indecency, private parts must be covered in public. This has been interpreted by courts to mean male and female genitalia, but not breasts. If the protesters don't reveal their genitalia, encroach on the church's property or do anything else illegal, there should be no reason for them to be arrested or cited.

City of Coshocton Law Director Bob Skelton concurs with that interpretation, but said he would not prejudge on whether his office would seek criminal charges regarding the women appearing **** in public until it would happen. George said if anyone of his group would be charged with public indecency, they would fight it in court.

Lt. Dean Hettinger said protests in the past had been peaceable and the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office had no plans for a deputy to be on scene Sunday. He said deputies would be on patrol in the county as normal, and more officers could be called in if needed if the situation would escalate, which isn't predicted.

The feud between the church and club garnered national media attention in 2010. Greg Flaig, executive director of the Ohio Owners Coalition of about 70 show clubs and adult cabarets, said he had never seen anything like it before.

A sit-down meeting between Dunfee and George and intervention by outside ministries, such as Eve's Angels and JC Girls — who specifically minister to dancers in strip clubs — brought no truce.

Dunfee didn't have a number, but said the church's members had turned hundreds of patrons away from the club during the years and at least one dancer have left the club and found God.

He said church members have seen people come to God and go home to be with their wives while parked in a van outside the club. Additionally, he thinks their presence causes the area to be quieter and safer by providing accountability for people coming in and out of the business.

Dunfee said he welcomed the protesters before because it gave his congregation a sense of unity and purpose as to what they were fighting against. It also gave an opportunity to minister to the dancers and others outside of the church, which they will still try to do.

"Every time they show up at our church, it just strengthens our ministry," Dunfee said.

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