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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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in the spirit of Christmas?

This article was on FoxNews. What are your thoughts on this?

Would you put aside differences or stick to your principles?


Town Refuses Strip-Club Charity Donations

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The owner of an adult night club that last year gave gifts to hundreds of needy children in public housing says he's been told "thanks, but no thanks" this year.

Jeff Bustle, owner of Teasers in Statesville, said the Statesville Housing Authority told him that it won't accept gifts collected at his business.

"It's really sad," said Bustle, who has participated in toy drives for the past 14 years.

David Meachem, executive director of the housing authority, said he rejected the toys because he was criticized last year for accepting the donation.

Residents complained after they saw a photograph in the Statesville Record & Landmark last December.

The photo showed two dancers from the club next to a Statesville police officer, inside a limousine loaded with presents for children.

"We took a public whipping," he said. "The community was outraged about the publicity."

That's absurd, said Bustle.

"I feel like the people who make these decisions are people who have never been without [presents] on Christmas," he said.

At least one minister agrees with Bustle.

The Rev. Jeff Porter, pastor of First Baptist Church, said such differences should be set aside during the holidays.

"Christmas gives us the chance to cross barriers for the less unfortunate," he said. "The Bible is full of times when folks of all backgrounds took one step closer to God by acting like Jesus."

Despite the authority's decision, the toy collection continues at Teasers, where more than 150 toys are stacked up beside the dance stage. Another 200 are expected later this week, and Bustle expects to collect about 600 gifts total.

The toys won't go to waste, Bustle said.

"I want people to know that we're still taking toys for needy children," Bustle said. "The toys will go to local kids."
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 11:33 AM
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I think that sometimes people need to toughen up and not be so influenced by tough criticism. If this group was really dedicated to providing toys, etc. to needy children they wouldn't turn down donations from anyone. Now, we have resorted to discriminating against those who are trying to do a good deed? That's shameful to me. Do I agree with the stripping business, not particularly, but I'd hate to see my views cause a child to go without for selfish reasons.

I have a 6 year old and and can't imagine how someone could think this way. Although Christmas is about more than just gifts, I think most of these children also lack the teachings and spirit behind the day itself. They probably also lack a lot of daily things that we take for granted. Some may not even have a family at all.

To take away the possibility of them receiving a gift on Christmas, or to take away the opportunity for some of them to have something else to bury their tears or sadness in, even temporarily- is just a horrible, horrible thing to do.

That's my opinion, I know it was strong, but...

Edit: I wanted to share a story with all of you, that may have an influence my opinion and even yours:

When I was in highschool I had the honor of knowing a very special boy who unfortunately was moved into a children's home in our town. His mother had a drug problem and the state had no choice, but to remove him from the home. He was 15 years old and honestly one of the sweetest children you'd ever meet. One of the things he told me in time was that it was so difficult and embarassing for him to have to get off the bus every morning in front of the school because it was clearly marked with the name of the home on the front and every one would see him walking off. I always remembered him saying that and it always hurt me inside. Oh, and shame on me for being embarassed by my CAR.

So for Christmas I met with one of his counselors and asked if they'd allow me to drive him to school for the remainder of the year. I had to sign a form and my mother had to sign some type of consent or liability form, but they let me do it. Christmas morning I showed up at the Children's home with a framed picture of the two of us working in our graphic arts class together and a note that said I'd be his "bus" to school until the end of June. He cried and then of course I cried. Nothing made me cry more though then to find out that his mother never called him on Christmas and she didn't show up like she was supposed to. That was the only gift he got on Christmas and it wasn't even something he could really see, touch or feel.

We drove to school for the next few months and then one day, I went to pick him up and he wasn't there. I asked what happened to him and all I was told was that he wasn't there anymore. They couldn't give me any more information and I never heard from him again. I can only hope that where ever he is and whatever happened to him, that I somehow touched his life and that even though what I did was so small, I hope that it helped him even the smallest bit. I like to think that it did and I hope that he's healthy, happy and well. I think about him all the time.

So, you see...if there is something that someone can do to help a child in need, why would it ever be okay to take that away?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 02:30 PM
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I'm assuming that those who do not want to accept gifts (for the cause) from a strip club is that they do not want to be seen as sanctioning something they consider to be morally wrong. I understand that. There is a "however," however.

Christmas is about the birth of Christ, so WWJD? He told us by his reaction to the woman at the well. He accepted the water gratefully, and told her graciously, "Go and sin no more." He was criticized mightily because he "hung out" with a hated tax collector, Matthew, who became a disciple. Mary Magdalene did not have a great reputation, but she became a close friend of the master and his apostles.

The strongest example that stands out in my mind is the story of the Good Samaritan. According to my pastor, there was mutual dislike and many cultural and religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans, and yet, it was a Samaritan who stopped and helped the Jewish man who was lying by the side of the road, beaten and in dire need of help. Others, including a priest, had passed him by. The Samaritan paid for his medical care and room and board until he was well. Jesus told the story, and asked, "Which of these was a good neighbor?" The people, like those who have turned down the gifts, wouldn't say the word, "Samaritans," and answered, "The one who helped him." So, I think we know what Jesus would do.

I'm a bit of a prude myself, (surprise, surprise! ), so I also have a story.

One of the young girls with whom I had attended college was getting married, and her friends invited the entire music department to attend the shower, which was quite a distance away on route 70, a major, high speed highway. One of the professors, a nun, needed a ride, and I offered.

Going 65-70 mph on the highway in a very light drizzle, I lost complete control of the car. I remained out of control for at least a city block until I finally hit the metal medial and accordian pleated the entire driver's side of the car. Nevertheless, I was able to limp off the highway. We couldn't find a garage, so we looked for anywhere I could call my husband. We drove for miles, with the steering wheel turned at a very odd angle to keep the car straight, and found nothing. I had never hydroplaned before, and I hope it never happens again.

Finally, I saw a bar. I don't go into bars unless there is a respectable restaurant with a bar. I had no choice, however, and knew that Sister could not possibly go in. (The funny thing is that she really enjoyed brandy, and I barely drink!) Well, I got off my high horse within a minute. The shock of the wreck finally got to me, and I began to shake. I couldn't even get my wallet open to pay for the call. Customers helped me to sit down, calm down, and the owner insisted that I use his personal phone. I have rarely met a kinder group of people. Somehow I think they knew I felt awkward about being in a bar, and they were exceptionally kind. They were my good Samaritans. The only thing lost that day was a car and a bit of self-righteousness.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged."


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 03:51 PM
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I think they should put aside differences. It's not as if they're giving out explicit gifts to 4 year olds. They're trying to help out the community, i see no wrong in that. Christmas is ALWAYS a time to put aside differences

I have a story too although it's not a personal thing.

We learned this in history:

In ww1, on christmas eve and day both the germans and the canadians ,when in trenches, came out waving a white flag for peace, after that they did not fight for the rest of the day and instead played football TOGETHER!

In ww2, on christmas eve and day the germans and the allied forces(our side) came waving white flags, and exchanged gifts.

It goes to show...even in a time of war differences are put aside for christmas. It's not about material things, it's about making someone else happy.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 04:40 PM
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I cannot believe they are not going to accept gifts for children b/c the guy was a strip club owner. Anyways, Addfran that story almost made me cry
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