John Nelson Darby
John Neslon Darby
Christian Premillennialism

Sullivan County, Tennessee Strip Bars Wars

by Lewis Loflin

It seems that Washington County, Tennessee, and Nashville have gotten into putting "sin" out of business at the behest of Bible-thumping fundamentalists.

Adult bars aren't family oriented, but that isn't the problem. They are legal as defined by law, but public officials abuse the law to break it.

Most worrisome is this tactic to shut down anything the local government or those in power think will threaten them.

They can even shut legal businesses using licensing and zoning ordinances and claims of safety or nuisance laws. No matter how many loops one jumps through, those "adult entertainment" permits will never be issued.

This tactic in Bristol, Tennessee, was used to stop people selling race tickets even when they had a business license and paid taxes.

This law was at the behest of Bristol Motor Speedway. In Wytheville, Virginia, and elsewhere, it's being used to shut down peddlers and flea markets. This protected local merchants (their friends) from the competition.

And most absurd of all in, Pound, Virginia, was used to shut down a country-music dance hall because a local church claimed dancing is a sin.

Oddly, crime went up in Sullivan County after our two local strip bars, the Show Palace and Bottoms Up, were run out of business.

Crime had nothing to do with this. Local leaders said publicly, "we will put them out of business" and did just that. They made regulations impossible to comply with.

Conservative Tennessee Courts went along. Who will be next, and where does it end? Deal with actual crime, not regulate the personal affairs of law-abiding citizens.

Update for 2008: all appeals have failed and the local laws have been upheld.