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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Are You Safer: At Church Or In A Strip Club?

Posted by on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 8:21 AM

In Australia, at least, you're safer in a strip club, gambling club, gay bar, whorehouse, or a massage parlor than you are in a church:

Aussies are safer in a strip club than a church, suggests new government data. According to the latest figures compiled by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 1600 people were charged with committing a range of 27 offences in the state's "places of worship'' in 2008. Astonishingly, the data showed only 282 people were charged with the same offences in adult entertainment premises.

"Most people would think of churches and synagogues as sanctuaries in society,'' quoted bureau director Don Wedderburn, as saying. "But maybe that's naive, because the statistics show they are likely to rob, assault or steal from people there like anywhere else.''

The story doesn't tell us how many churches there are in Australia and how many strip clubs, but...

The data showed 85 people were assaulted in places of worship, compared to 66 at an adult entertainment premises. Places of worship also took the lead in sexual offences (16), theft from motor vehicles (33), resisting arrest (7) and liquor offences (10). Harassment and threatening behaviour at places of worship (30) was over 50percent more than at places of adult entertainment (13).

So Lake City? Careful what you wish for. Frank Colacurcio Sr.'s strip club is closing... but you might wind up getting a Mars Hill franchise in its place. Don't say you weren't warned.


Comments (21) RSS

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Baconcat 1
McMars Hill
Posted by Baconcat on April 29, 2010 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Without knowing how many churches and worshipers vs. how many strip clubs and patrons the statistics are meaningless.

Disembodied numbers without any context.

Like the "Youth Pastor Watch"...
Posted by . on April 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 3
The churches themselves are the biggest crooks of all.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on April 29, 2010 at 8:56 AM · Report this
stuckie 4
I'd love to believe that, but I'm fairly certain there are at least more than 8x the number of churches than strip-clubs, rendering the headline soundbite not totally accurate.. Also, though it's definitely interesting that sex offenses are so prevalent in churches, I'm guessing the bar is a bit higher for sexual offenses in strip clubs (and/or they take care of their issues with bouncers without involving police).
Posted by stuckie on April 29, 2010 at 8:58 AM · Report this
@2 The statistics are not meaningless. They show, absolutely, that churches are not sanctuaries from the world. On the other hand, comparing the absolute number of events in churches and strip clubs is absolute bullshit innumerical pseudoscience.
Posted by BLUE on April 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM · Report this
A friend of mine is married to a pastor in one of the small, more progressive Christian churches. He's actually developed a very popular workshop for congregations on how to deal effectively with users, manipulators and sociopaths in your church.

It makes sense if you think about it -- what more perfect hunting grounds for an amoral sociopath than an organization whose members are specifically there to help others in need and to be forgiving of their "trespasses" if they do something wrong?

As far as strip clubs/sex clubs being safer, I can easily believe it. When I go to a place like that, I plan to have fun, but also understand there are a variety of risks inherent to the environment, so I'm alert to potential dangers and am ready to take care of myself if necessary. From now on when I'm visiting family and get dragged to church, I'll just pretend I'm going to a really boring sex club and will be extra careful to avoid any scary pervs, especially the ones hanging out near the altar boys.
Posted by Smartypants on April 29, 2010 at 9:01 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 7
@2 The "Youth Pastor Watch" demonstrates that just because someone claims to adhere to a particular belief system that doesn't make them trustworthy. And here, regardless of the number of patrons, the statistics show that churches are not safe havens.

Just because you don't like the conclusions drawn from the evidence doesn't make the conclusions themselves automatically wrong. If you don't like the conclusions then make a coherent argument supporting your own position. Don't just make a statement and assume that, because you want it to be true, that it is true.
Posted by Southern Gentleman on April 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM · Report this
There might be some genius in the way Utah runs it's state. Create incentives to turn it into the nations baby farm, and creating children that want to GET THE HELL OUT! So while everyone else in the states is burned out on life and ill prepared to settle down and have babies, the state of Utah is picking up the slack.\

Maybe they can get farmers subsidies for this.
Posted by former tri-state on April 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM · Report this
@4: I want to see the study, and I'm hoping to get my hands on it. But the numbers aren't just about strip clubs.

The report names churches, synagogues, monasteries, mosques, convents, cathedrals and chapels as places of worships. Strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, massage parlours, homosexual clubs, gaming houses and gambling clubs fall under the category of adult entertainment premises.

Still want to see the numbers though.
Posted by Dan Savage on April 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM · Report this
@4 -- the study included crime statistics from strip clubs, gambling clubs, gay bars, whorehouses, and massage parlors. I'm willing to guess that in many communities, these establishments combined are nearly equal with the number of churches. I live in White Center and it seems like there's just about parity between houses of worship and houses of play.

(As an aside, wtf is up with putting gay bars in the same category as whorehouses and massage parlors? I can understand not including straight bars, because they would completely blow the statistics. I guess the homos must be better behaved than the hets.)
Posted by Smartypants on April 29, 2010 at 9:19 AM · Report this
The story doesn't address your strawman of "churches are not safe havens".

It purports to tell us "Where Are You Safer: At Church Or In A Strip Club? "

It does not.

But thanks for playing Slog,
poorly- admittedly- but keep trying...
Posted by . on April 29, 2010 at 10:16 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 12
So churches need bouncers?
Posted by keshmeshi on April 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Southern Gentleman 13
@11 Ah yes, the old "strawman" accusation. Thank you for demonstrating that it takes one to know one. Did it occur to you that perhaps the title was ironic? Of course not. You were too eager to claim you know more than everyone else without offering any evidence that you know anything at all.

Your game of "I'm always smarter than liberal knee-jerk reactionaries" is amusing but it's also getting tiresome.
Posted by Southern Gentleman on April 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Baconcat 14

Premise: Churches are not the crimeless "safe havens" they are purported to be and produce more total crime than adult entertainment outlets in NSW
Proof: Crime statistics

You're also safer in banks and on jetties in NSW than in churches.
Posted by Baconcat on April 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 15
@3 said all that needs to be said.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Baconcat 16
Anyone wanting to do some research can click over to here:…
Posted by Baconcat on April 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM · Report this
It's not enough just to know the relative numbers of churches and strip clubs, but also the size of the congregations/customer bases. I'd suspect there's a lot more micro-churches than there are tiny strip clubs, just on a profitability basis. I'd say it's unfair to expect a strip club with 100 patrons to have less crime than four churches with 25 members. Not to mention the deficits in operating hours.
Posted by JudT on April 29, 2010 at 12:28 PM · Report this
"with the same offenses".

So other offences occurred in the gambling places, etc. that didn't occur in the churches but are discounted because they don't match exactly. Okay...
Posted by subwlf on April 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM · Report this

I had a cop friend tell me he'd rather patrol the gay bars, than the straight bars (He's straight)

He says there's far fewer fights at the gay bars. But, there were almost nightly fights at the straight bars. (He was a cop in NYC)
Posted by roadtripboy on April 29, 2010 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Malcolm in Sydney 20

Have a look here:…

You might have to dig around a bit.
Posted by Malcolm in Sydney on April 29, 2010 at 5:27 PM · Report this
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