“Religious Freedom” At Work: Tenn. Swingers Club Is Claiming It’s A Church To Get Around Zoning Laws

tenn-swin-clubIn a day and age where it seems like all we ever hear about is negative news, this story actually made me laugh.


In case you’re unaware, Tennessee is a fairly religious state, recently trying (and surprisingly failing) to make the Bible its “official state book.” It’s also one of the states that have adopted these so-called “religious freedom” laws that have opened the door for businesses to potentially discriminate against homosexuals.

But the problem is, when you start legalizing using religion as an excuse to get away with things, you open the door for almost anyone (or any group) to use “religion” as an excuse to get around certain laws as well. Just ask Oklahoma where they passed a law allowing for religious items to be displayed at Oklahoma’s Statehouse, which then allowed the Satanic Temple to erect a giant statue honoring Satan. I’m guessing that’s not exactly what the Christian conservatives in the state had in mind.

Well, in Tennessee a controversial swingers club has found a way to try to get around zoning restrictions by claiming that they’re a church.

Needless to say, Christians in the state aren’t too happy.

“It’s obvious to me that all they’re trying to do is find another way to legally, or through some loophole, accomplish what they want to do,” Ricky Perry, president of Goodpasture Christian School said.

“If folks are trying to circumvent the law, we will expose that and we will exhaust every resource we have to expose that,” he continued.

So, Perry is upset that a group of people would try to use religion to circumvent a law? Isn’t that basically what these “religious freedom” laws do? Most of these types of laws give people the right to “legally” circumvent the Constitutional rights of homosexuals by allowing discrimination under the guise of “religious beliefs.”


Well, as it stands now, Metro Codes has given the group permission to renovate the building they’re trying to turn into this supposed “church” – although before they can open they’ll have to prove that worship is going on behind closed doors.

That… could get interesting.

Now, will this “church” prevail? Probably not, but I’ll be curious to see how it all plays out considering how do you tell one religion that they’re allowed to exist while another is not? Freedom of religion, as these “religious freedom” laws claim to protect, doesn’t define a specific religion – because it can’t. So if this club wants to “worship” in more of an adult-themed kind of way, how can they legally prevent them from doing so without violating their “religious freedom”?

This is what I talk about when I say that these ultra-religious conservatives need to be careful what they wish for, because they just might get it. When they pass these laws that pave the way for individuals or businesses to cite “religion” as their justification for something, they’ve then opened the door for almost anyone, or any group, to try to bypass established laws claiming that it’s within their “religious rights” to do so – no matter how asinine the reasoning.

Screen grab via Scrippsmedia.com




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • GimmeSomeTruth

    Sir Isaac Newton’s third law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Isn’t it amazing and at the same time humorous that these so called “religious” States are passing unconstitutional and retaliatory laws to circumvent the laws that are already written, but they don’t like? And now they’re claiming foul? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I suppose.