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Naked Truth

Naked Truth

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    Naked Truth
    Book Description:

    Across America, strip clubs have come under attack by a politically aggressive segment of the Christian Right. Using plausible-sounding but factually untrue arguments about the harmful effects of strip clubs on their communities, the Christian Right has stoked public outrage and incited local and state governments to impose onerous restrictions on the clubs with the intent of dismantling the exotic dance industry. But an even larger agenda is at work, according to Judith Lynne Hanna. InNaked Truth, she builds a convincing case that the attack on exotic dance is part of the activist Christian Right's "grand design" to supplant constitutional democracy in America with a Bible-based theocracy.

    Hanna takes readers onstage, backstage, and into the community and courts to reveal the conflicts, charges, and realities that are playing out at the intersection of erotic fantasy, religion, politics, and law. She explains why exotic dance is a legitimate form of artistic communication and debunks the many myths and untruths that the Christian Right uses to fight strip clubs. Hanna also demonstrates that while the fight happens at the local level, it is part of a national campaign to regulate sexuality and punish those who do not adhere to Scripture-based moral values. Ultimately, she argues, the naked truth is that the separation of church and state is under siege and our civil liberties-free speech, women's rights, and free enterprise-are at stake.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-73575-0
    Subjects: Religion, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. PRELUDE | Sparks Fly Church and State Conflict
    (pp. 1-17)

    When I saw the announcement for America’s #1 Dancer Contest at the 2005 Exotic Dancer Expo in Las Vegas, I asked the sponsor, Jerry Reid of Pure Gold clubs, what criteria the judges would use. He said that in prior years he had sponsored bikini contests without specified standards. I shared the artistic criteria that evolved in 2002 when I was a judge at the Miss Exotic World Pageant, held at the Exotic World Burlesque Museum Hall of Fame in Helendale, California. In turn, he invited me to be a judge in Las Vegas.

    My reason for being at Expo...

  5. 1 Scripture and Hostility to Exotic Dance
    (pp. 18-31)

    Today’s battle against exotic dance is as much about the belief that modern culture itself is toxic, rife with social decay, as it is about local contests over morality, taste, and decency. Exotic dance is a lightning rod for an effort to return to “traditional values” by imposing sweeping “decency standards” and censoring and criminalizing discussion, artistic depictions, and any kind of nonmarital consensual sexual activity. Attacks on exotic dance are enmeshed in the goal to shape public policy by undermining what a segment of the politically active Christian Right—that is, CR-Activists—regards as the institutional secular strongholds of...

  6. 2 Fighting Exotic Dance Call to War
    (pp. 32-70)

    Notwithstanding the constraints of the First Amendment, judicial decisions, and other laws, CR-Activists speak of being at war against secular culture. “Life is not a playground,” Reverend Rusty Lee Thomas rails. “It is a war zone—a clash of ideas, philosophies, values, and worldviews. It demands leaders who do not shrink back in [sic] the day of battle.” He calls life “spiritual warfare” and repeatedly summons images straight out of the Middle Ages, with gallant knights protecting grateful maidens and courtliness trumping gender equity. His Elijah Ministries Kingdom Leadership Institute, a weeklong ideological boot camp for home-schooled Christians between fourteen...

  7. 3 Target of Attack Striptease 101 or Seduction by the Devil
    (pp. 71-126)

    Just what is a segment of the politically active Christian Right (CR-Activists) warring against with its battle plans and its tactics of working through government, organizations, and individual foot soldiers? Exotic dance is not all “tits and ass,” as I learned. True, the very essence of adult entertainment clubs is temptation. But it’s also an opportunity for exotic dancers to reclaim both personal and economic power by subverting and manipulating sexual stereotypes. So what does the exotic dancer, deemed the “incarnation of the devil,” actually do, and how do the male patrons respond?

    Because folks at the University of Maryland...

  8. 4 Nudity, Touch, and Sex Marginal or Mainstream?
    (pp. 127-139)

    The exposure of flesh, bodily touch, and sexuality—what CR-Activists assail as sinful in exotic dance clubs—has a long history in mainstream society. However, the concept of modesty has changed over time for most people. For example, the amount of flesh that could be displayed has increased from the feet upward until bathing suits in public reveal all but the genitalia, buttocks cleft, and areola. In the media, underwear went public, then bodies, with frontal nudity, the flaunting of body parts, and simulated sex.

    Of course, the meaning of nudity has a historical context. In the 1820s, public debates...

  9. 5 “Rottweilers” Lock Their Jaws Bench Trials
    (pp. 140-164)

    In 1996, Councilman Walter Maloney of Prince George’s County, Maryland, contacted a Christian Right organization, the National Law Center for Children and Families, known for being an adult business killer. Maloney wanted assistance in developing a proposed adult use zoning bill. The County overlooked what Judge Herbert F. Murray had said in federal court about a Maryland case,Hughes v. Cristofane(1980). In that case, the judge ruled that it is not a substantial government interest for the Town Council of Bladensburg in Prince George’s County to regulate adult entertainment.

    Morality in Prince George’s County led to an uncivil, expensive...

  10. 6 Shooting Nude Crotches Jury Trials
    (pp. 165-183)

    “Public indecency” criminal charges (up to ninety days and/or a fine of seven hundred dollars) could be filed for dancing nude in the City of Cannon Falls, Goodhue County, Minnesota. This 1998 ordinance was established on the basis of Cannon Falls’s findings: “to deter criminal activity, to promote societal order and public health, and to protect children.”

    Cannon Falls is located thirty-four miles from St. Paul. The population, 98 percent white, is about 4,000 with a median resident age of 36.9 years. Average household income is $40,721; house value, $124,400. Twenty-three Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Lutheran, and Methodist churches serve the...

  11. 7 Exotic Dancers and Labor Need to be Saved?
    (pp. 184-209)

    The Christian Right asserts that women are tempted or forced through trafficking to work in adult cabarets, where they are abused by managers and patrons. At city or county council hearings, in courtrooms, on websites, or in publications, former dancers have testified to becoming born-again Christians, rescued from degradation and sin. A segment of the politically active Christian Right (CR-Activists) commonly spotlight women who tell only negative stories, some of which may be true, that caricature the entire adult entertainment industry. The testimonies suggest that the rights women have gained through the feminist movement and 1960s sexual revolution are causing...

  12. 8 Christian Right Claims Club Crime Where Are the Bodies?
    (pp. 210-240)

    Within a segment of the politically active Christian Right nationwide, Phil Burress, leader of Citizens for Community Values (CCV) in Ohio, declaims exotic dance as a “blight plaguing the community with increased crime.” He pushed through the state’s Draconian exotic dance regulations. Clubs are an incitement to sexual assault, murder, other violence, prostitution, bribery, drugs, and property damage. True? If so, the main point is, are these problems disproportionately represented in exotic dance establishments compared to other businesses or institutions? Who is doing what to whom?

    CCV worries about the sinful clubs causing men to brutalize women. But perhaps they...

  13. 9 Stripping Your First Amendment and More
    (pp. 241-260)

    The month I was asked to work on my first exotic dance free speech case in Seattle, the US Supreme Court ruled against the federal government’s honorarium ban that violated my First Amendment rights (US v. National Treasury Employees Union et al., 1995). As a US Department of Education employee, I had initiated the lawsuit against the prohibition of government workers from receiving payment for articles or speeches created during their own time and that had nothing to do with their government jobs. Flush with this success, I thought challenges to state and local government assaults against the First Amendment...

  14. APPENDIX 1 Exotic Dance
    (pp. 261-261)
  15. APPENDIX 2 Comparison
    (pp. 262-262)
  16. APPENDIX 3 Exotic Dance Criteria for Serious Artistic Merit
    (pp. 263-263)
  17. APPENDIX 4 Nudity in Exotic Dance
    (pp. 264-264)
  18. APPENDIX 5 Messages of Physical Distance
    (pp. 265-265)
  19. APPENDIX 6 Expressive Contact in Exotic Dance
    (pp. 266-266)
  20. APPENDIX 7 Contact in Social Dance: Lap Dance Heritage
    (pp. 267-267)
  21. APPENDIX 8 Exotic Dance Patrons
    (pp. 268-269)
  22. APPENDIX 9 Judith Lynne Hanna’s Exotic Dance Expert Witness Court Testimony
    (pp. 270-272)
  23. APPENDIX 10 Illustrative Jurisdictions that Attack Exotic Dance
    (pp. 273-278)
  24. APPENDIX 11 Key Christian Right Political Activists and Revenue in the News, 1995–2010
    (pp. 279-281)
  25. APPENDIX 12 Arsenal of a Segment of the Politically Active Christian Right
    (pp. 282-282)
  26. APPENDIX 13 Reality and Myth: What Neighbors Say about Exotic Dance Clubs
    (pp. 283-286)
  27. APPENDIX 14 Protection under the Constitution of the United States of America
    (pp. 287-288)
  28. Notes
    (pp. 289-296)
  29. References
    (pp. 297-318)
  30. Index
    (pp. 319-338)