Texas Church Pesters Adult Bookstore Users


I suppose this is plain ol' harassment rather than censorship, but here's a story from Yahoo news about Pastor Jim Norwood of the Oakcrest Family Church of Kennedale, Texas, and his unique, uh, marketing campaign. Norwood hangs out near adult bookstores, photographing the license plates of patrons who enter the stores. The photographs show up on post cards which are sent to the owners of the vehicles. Also on the postcard is a note saying that their activity has been noted and an invitation to attend Norwood's church. While one attorney has called it intimidation, Norwood and his parishoners intend to keep up the activity in an effort to rid the community of sex-related businesses.


Norwood, 56, who says he is a reformed drug abuser on a mission

"The trouble with born again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain in the ass the second time around. Instead of being born again, why not just grow up." --?

Neither. It's called evangelizing, like Jesus calling the hated, despised tax collector down from the tree and inviting him for dinner. By doing so, he changed the man and improved the community.

Although it's been a long while since I sat in a Sunday school class, I seem to remember Jesus as being a compassionate fellow who did not judge others (not that I take the Bible as the most accurate biographical source). Norwood indicates that he counts on causing trouble with wives, girlfriends, etc, when the postcards are received at home. How helpful is that sort of attitude? Jesus was, allegedly, a righteous dude. Norwood is a self-righteous zealot. I have no problem with neighborhood advocacy and involvement, and if these stores were engaging in illegal activity (like the drug dealer my neighborhood ran out with similar tactics), it'd be a different story.

Because they contribute to obesity and can cause health problems, and the body is a temple... Does this mean I can stand outside Dunks and take pictures of people's license plates?

I mean, seriously, is there anything necessarily wrong with an adult bookstore, or going to an adult bookstore, if you're an adult and if they don't have any other illegal "extra cirricular" activities going on? Does walking in there immediately mean you're morally bankrupt? Are people who walk by, then, by default, not morally bankrupt? Is there a difference between that and a tobacco shop? (Where, incidentally, they do sometimes sell dirty magazines... not that I've looked or anything). Isn't it my right as a US citizen to be able to go to a store of my choosing, so long as it is a legal business, and not be harrassed at home about it?

Where do you draw the line? Adult bookstores? Tobacco shops? Drug stores? Libraries?

This man has no business interfering with law-abiding citizens. Citizens (and for that matter, non-citizens) have an absolute right to peruse the aisles of any bookstores, adult or otherwise. Some may even say he has a divine right (and a few may say a divine left!) By the way, I've had the tax collector over for dinner, and it hasn't had any affect on my tax bracket.

>>Jesus as being a compassionate fellow who did not judge others

Rochelle, my friend, Jesus told his followers that he was the judge. Compassion yes, but I doubt those pigeon sellers in the temple would have characterized Jesus as compassionate and non-judgemental.

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather DIVISION:" Luke 12:51

I admit this is certainly "proactive" evangelizing.

But how is this any different than, take for example, ALA selling your membership information to a private company that wants your business or in this case a church that wants to save your soul?? Isn't this just another facet of target marketing?

Oh yeah, this is a "bookstore." Why not call it an adult "library"? Ha!

I think this guy is allowed to use public information (license plates) to send postcards for whatever reason he chooses. Various governments take pics of people speeding through toll booths and red lights - and then they send a ticket. The message this guy is supposedly sending to people is an _invitation_ to his church, which is nearby this "bookstore." Yes, he wants the porn shop to leave, but he's not saying that the people who visit there are unwelcome at his church. Now, if the photographer said that these guys (and they're certainly guys) were too perverse to be forgiven by God, that would be something to get upset about.

I'm sure it's not original, but I think this campaign is clever.

Would you think it was so clever if the adult bookstore owner was sending "invitations" to the churchgoers, based on pictures he took while lurking in the church parking lot?

Yes, I would find it clever if the store owner sent invitations to churchgoers.

I think s/he should try it! Bound to be a lot of takers. Except, of course, for the certainty that the Rev will have them under surveillance.

Actually I think it's pretty creepy either way (it's just that my knee always jerks against the church -- gotta watch that reflex). Creepy, but not necessarily actionable.

Various governments take pics of people speeding through toll booths and red lights

Burning a red light puts at risk, the life and limb of the people using the green light. Masturbate and the only person you'll drive blind is yourself.

I recall in South Carolina, adult bookstores put fences up around their parking lots, forcing anyone who wanted to spy on customers to set foot on their property. Then would-be "evangelists" could be cited for trespassing.

Sounds good. They don't linger long on my front steps, either.