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Thursday, 13 August 2009

Dancing with the Devil

According to Christian Today, a vicar in Swansea, Wales, is “fighting plans for a new lap dancing club and has called for the council to refuse the club’s application”.

Fantasy Lounge submitted its plans to the local council’s planning committee last month, and wants to convert a derelict warehouse into an adult club.

But the Vicar of St Mary’s in Swansea, Andrew Vessey, believes that the club would be an “inappropriate” use of space, and has told the council it has the chance to show it has standards.

If the council had standards, it would tell the church that its buildings are an inappropriate use of space, too – especially when churches, just for being churches, get tax benefits, which the Fantasy Lounge won’t get, of course. One assumes that the spaces that church buildings take up could be put to a more “appropriate” use while the space that is actually needed for people to gather for worship could be much more compact (and probably easier to keep warm).

Christian Today quotes Vessey as saying, “What people do with their own money and time is up to them, but when it’s clearly open to the public in a city centre that has already got quite enough venues, there is a concern by those of us who have standards and ideals that this is inappropriate.

“It’s an inappropriate use of space and inappropriate use of the female body.”

The latter claim is open to debate, too. I defend anyone’s right to like or dislike public showing of human flesh for the titillation of voyeuristic spectators, and it can be argued that some people might not like it for quite irrational but otherwise harmless reasons.

But who is to say what is “inappropriate”? Inappropriate to what, exactly? To your weird beliefs in impossible things, Vicar?

The story cites the website, on which Vessey said the club would be degrading and was purely about making money.

So is Tesco; so is Lloyds Bank. Ah, you will probably say, but they provide a service.

Well so do lap-dancing clubs. Not my cup of tea, but what the hell!

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