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Prostitutes welcome in the kingdom of God but not in Dannevirke
by Graeme J. Davidson,
2 August, 2008

The Bible is generally against prostitution and treats the practice as a metaphor for unfaithfulness to God. Nevertheless, Rahab the prostitute is highly praised in the Bible for hiding Israelite spies and Jesus told religious leaders who opposed him that tax collectors and prostitutes were entering God’s kingdom ahead of them.

....If you think the threat of losing their wooden pews gets church folk going, try mentioning sex. Only those with their hearing aids turned off will slumber in their buttock-numbing pews while the rest will have plenty to say about what we should and shouldn’t be doing with whom and when. So, it was no surprise when some of Dannevirke’s church folk, along with other upset citizens, got irate over the Promiscuous Girlz high-class bordello and escort service opening in their southern Hawke’s Bay town of 6200 residents later this month.
....According to a report in The Manawatu Standard, Garth Taylor, President of the Tararua chapter of the Full Gospel Business Men's fellowship, called a meeting that attracted over 100 morally outraged Dannevirke folk. "We have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our young ones,” Taylor insisted.
....Others from The Concerned Citizens Group – as they call themselves – claim that even though the downtown brothel will have discreet signage, it would still cause children to lose their innocence. You’d think local schools were going to take classes on a field trip to learn firsthand how a modern brothel works or that curious kids walking by and asking, “What does Promiscuous Girlz mean?” would instantly lose their purity.
....Dannevirke’s Anglican Vicar, Reverend Tim Delaney, questions the religious zeal of some who oppose the bordello: “People who are outraged and say they love the Bible so easily forget that Jesus welcomed prostitutes that prudish and prurient society of his time would have shunned”.
....The Bible is generally against prostitution and treats the practice as a metaphor for unfaithfulness to God. Nevertheless, Rahab the prostitute is highly praised in the Bible for hiding Israelite spies and Jesus told religious leaders who opposed him that tax collectors and prostitutes were entering God’s kingdom ahead of them.
....Prostitutes might be welcome in the kingdom of God but not in Dannevirke, according to The Concerned Citizens Group. They presented a petition with 800 signatures to the Tararua District Council, demanding the Council veto the proposal. Their efforts were in vain. A brothel is a legitimate business activity, and, as Promiscuous Girlz is based in the former Public Trust building in the High Street and meets local district planning requirements, the Council had no option but to approve.
....Prostitution was legalised in New Zealand five years ago and, at the time, many Church leaders and Christian groups vigorously opposed the change. They argued that unscrupulous brothel owners would exploit young and underage prostitutes, that it would send a message that selling one’s body is OK, that it would attract criminals and that decriminalising brothels would elevate the status of prostitution. Have their predictions come true?
....A recent report by the Ministry of Justice’s Prostitution Law Review Committee found “many positive outcomes from the decriminalisation of the sex industry”.
.... There’s been little change in the overall number of sex workers. Hawke’s Bay has 74 sex workers, one to every 2026 of the population, far fewer than other areas, and most work in Napier. Nationwide, the number of sex workers under 18 years old is 1.3 percent, far less than we might think. Most sex workers now feel they have more rights and are less vulnerable to coercion and exploitation, and most felt safer than before decriminalisation.
....Of course, as with finance companies, there are good and bad brothel owners and we only have to go to the local supermarket to see how low-wage youth are exploited while our society happily endorses models and professional sports people selling their bodies.
....Dannevirke’s Concerned Citizens Group wants Promiscuous Girlz to fail and threatens to name and shame customers. To this end, Gill Allardice plans on sitting and knitting outside the premises. She should read what Jesus had to say to those who wanted to stone to death a woman caught in the act of adultery: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”.



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