A “Church” in Nashville is in a legal battle after the legitimacy of the Church has come under question. After initially being rejected permits to build a swingers club in Nashville, the team behind building the ‘United Fellowship Center’ then applied to build a Church. But the red flags went up after a flyer was allegedly released stating dues for men would be $50 and women only $20. If they are in fact a swingers club using religion as their platform to exist, it’s all quite brilliant. Because a swingers club that doesn’t have to pay any taxes is obviously the best kind of swingers club, and it’s the kind of organization that’s going to get me back in Church.
In case it was unclear, this is NOT the type of ‘swingers club’ that I’m talking about:
No, I’m talking about the one where people show up and have sex with random strangers.
The decisions now rest with a local councilwoman. WKRN Nashville has the story:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Is it a church or a swingers club posing as a church? That’s the big question posed Monday by the councilwoman who represents the Madison district.
The question comes in the wake of a once-proposed swingers club, The Social Club, filing paperwork to renovate the building to become a church.
News 2 learned more about the church Monday, called United Fellowship Center, and how easy it is to become a minister.
In a March 25 interview with the property owners’ lawyer, Larry Roberts told News 2, “My clients pulled a permit for a church.”
But many are skeptical, including District 8 Councilwoman Karen Bennett.
“Do I really think they are a church? Not really,” she said.
Bennett received an advance flyer for the church, which says it will be honoring all yearly subscribers and members of The Social Club. The flyer for the United Fellowship Center said men are charged $50 and women $20.
It also states the center believes that “we are children of the same universe,” where everyone is welcome, including Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, pagans and wiccans.
The church’s primary belief is to “do only that which is right.”
“If you have researched constitutional law in Tennessee, a church is something you cannot regulate,” the attorney told News 2.
Recently there’s been a ton of news about ‘Religious Freedom Laws’ across America. Tennessee has a ‘HOUSE BILL NO. 1598’, their very own religious freedom act, and as it turns out there’s some pretty interesting language in that bill that might just help out this Church in its legal battle.
One thing many people fighting for these bills to get signed don’t realize is that they’re a two-way street, and don’t just apply to the religion du jour. And while Tennessee’s bill has some nifty language about how if this Church is actually a swingers club, and these people are imposters, they may be in for another legal shit storm, the language of the bill is also pretty protective of their right to exercise religion:
A person whose religious exercise has been burdened by government in violation of this act may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may obtain such declaratory relief, monetary damages as may properly be awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction, or both declaratory relief and monetary damages. A person who prevails in any proceeding to enforce this act against a government entity may recover the person’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this act shall be governed by general rules of law which establish standing. The provisions of this subsection relating to attorney’s fees shall not apply to criminal prosecutions.
My verdict? Soon Nashville will have its very first Swingers Church. Even if this Swingers Club/Church is denied the first time around advocacy groups looking to poke holes in the fabric of religious freedom laws in the U.S. will begin to pour money into this fight until the swingers get their way. And when that happens, I will return to Church.
I am curious what you bros think about all this. Should the alleged swingers club be allowed to exist as a Church under the rules of Tennessee’s religious freedom law? Is this filing just a stand against the religious freedom law? Or is this all one big farce? Answers down below in the comments.
For more on this story you can head on over to Nashville’s WKRN.