As Tampa gears up for the Republican National Convention, the biggest party it has ever held, the city and its businesses are primping and polishing for the August arrival of tens of thousands of visitors. Like it or not — mostly not, for city officials — Tampa’s well-known strip clubs have joined the welcome wagon.
Angelina Spencer, the executive director of the Association of Club Executives, which serves as a trade association for strip clubs, said an informal survey of convention business in New York and Denver had determined that Republicans dropped more money at clubs, by far.
“Hands down, it was Republicans,” she said. “The average was $150 for Republicans and $50 for Democrats.”
As further evidence of the clubs’ nonpartisan appeal, Don Kleinhans, the owner of the 2001 Odyssey, said when the Promise Keepers, a male evangelical group, came to town years ago, business was rollicking.
“We had phenomenal numbers all weekend, and they walked in wearing badges and name tags and weren’t shy at all,” he said.
First off, strip club owners have a trade association? I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. Gotta make for an interesting round of icebreakers at parties. "Oh, what do you do for a living?"
Second, so much for the family and community values plank that the evangelical community is usually pushing for during the convention. To steal from their own parlance: physician, heal thyself.
Third, and finally, I love the part about the Promise Keepers. Here's one of the promises they pledge to keep:
Promise 3: A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.
I guess that they're just going in to spread the good news, right? It couldn't be that they're massive, sexually repressed hypocrites. Backward, bronze-age mythology couldn't possibly do that to somebody, right?
But perhaps we can expect to see them hitting the club circuit this election for another reason. To quote from a particular section of their FAQ towards the end:
Does PK use Mormon speakers?
No. As a Christ-centered ministry, Promise Keepers takes the privilege of choosing speakers for our events very seriously, and we enter into each decision with a great deal of prayer. Promise Keepers extends invitations only to those speakers who believe in Jesus Christ and who are committed to sound biblical instruction. Our ministry chooses speakers based upon their agreement to provide a message that is relevant to men, while adhering to and agreeing with the Seven Promises and our Statement of Faith.
The beliefs of the Mormon Church are inconsistent with historic, orthodox Christianity and the Promise Keepers Statement of Faith.
I guess this convention is going to be pretty hard for the ol' Promise Keepers considering its final event will be this guy accepting the nomination. Maybe they'll need a place go drown their sorrows.
Now, I don't have a problem if they want to go visit a strip club. It's a free country, and they're welcome to do whatever they please (so long as its legal and with a consenting adult). But please, if you're a Promise Keeper and you do decide to go to a strip club, don't you dare lecture me about sexual morality.