Two American Megachurches Rebrand As Strip Clubs To Stay Open During Lockdown
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Two American megachurches have come up with a plan to stay open and welcome as many worshippers as possible during California's lockdown, during which they are required to close.
As the state has entered another lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are certain institutions that are permitted to stay open and there are those who have been ordered to shut. Places like supermarkets and petrol stations are allowed to keep their doors open, however churches are not.
Interestingly, strip clubs are on the list of establishments that can stay open during the lockdown.
That provision has seen the Awaken Church in San Diego and Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks declare themselves to be strip clubs to get around the rules.
Pastor Jurgen Matthesius of Awaken posted on Instagram: "STRIP CLUBS (Not Churches) are exempt from the Covid lockdowns, and are deemed essential by our governor!
"Soooooo... we decided we are NOW AWAKEN FAMILY FRIENDLY STRIP CLUB! (Where we strip the devil of his hold, power & authority over people's lives!)"
In the video uploaded to the social media site, two people on stage can be seen taking off their jackets and ties to cheers from the audience.
One of the people said they had to perform for a minimum of 30 seconds in order to call it official, to which the other bloke kind of just stood there and didn't know what to do.
The video follows a similar declaration from Godspeak, who didn't want to shut down despite orders to close.
Godspeak's pastor Rob McCoy said: "You're contending for the welfare and the concerns and the livelihood of your neighbours.
"Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Those that are abused are being quarantined with their abusers. The elderly are lonely and isolated for no reason. No one gets to attend the funerals of their loved ones...it's our responsibility to support folks. We are finished with your tyranny."
They're following a suggestion made by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who joked churches would be allowed to stay open if they rebranded to strip clubs.
The Supreme Court is investigating the ruling in California and a decision is expected to either force both strip clubs and churches to close, or allow churches to join strip clubs and reopen.
Featured Image Credit: Awaken Church/Instagram