15 June 2011

MSNBC Covers Hootergate

MSNBC has now run a story on the cancelled St. Patrick Center/Hooters dine and donate event.  From the full story:

Catholic charity says 'no' to Hooters fundraiser

Cancels after complaints that image of scantily clad waitresses not in keeping with faith 

St. LouisApparently more than a few Catholics in St. Louis give a hoot about Hooters. 

St. Patrick Center, a Catholic charity that provides assistance to homeless people, has canceled a Thursday fundraising "Dine and Donate" event with a downtown Hooters restaurant after drawing complaints that such a collaboration wasn’t in keeping with the Christian faith.

Some opponents felt the Hooters image of scantily clad waitresses serving food clashed with a charity that bills itself as ascribing to "traditional social teaching of the Catholic Church."

Kelly Peach, a spokeswoman for St. Patrick Center, said Wednesday the charity decided to cancel the event after receiving "a few dozen" complaints.

"I would say the complaints were ... would you call them religious-based complaints? Essentially the people who complained did not think St. Patrick Center should be associated with Hooters restaurant," she told msnbc.com.


But the idea of St. Patrick Center holding a fundraising event at the restaurant, with waitresses clad in their revealing uniforms, rankled more than a few Catholics.

"St. Patrick Center's website cites its adherence to Catholic social teaching in its work.  I am unfamiliar with just where in the long history of Catholic social teaching it proclaims that encouraging the lusts of men is morally good as long as you can get a few bucks for a charity," a Catholic blogger behind the Saint Louis Catholic blog wrote.

In a follow-up email to msnbc.com, "St. Louis Catholic" added: "It is inappropriate because the attire required by Hooters of its waitresses violates the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, and can lead patrons into sin.  

"It also exploits these women by using them as commodities to make money for the restaurant. St. Patrick Center, if it collaborated with Hooters to raise money, would cause scandal, encourage others to patronize Hooters, and thus it would participate in the immorality of the restaurant.  In Catholic moral theology, it is not permissible to use evil means to achieve an end, even if the end would be good."

"St. Louis Catholic" added: "Readers of my blog were aghast that the event was scheduled, and are glad it has been canceled. The support for my post from commenters and emailers ran about 9-1."


Peach said the Hooters event would have raised an estimated $1,000 for St. Patrick. She said the charity will hold other events to make up for the lost proceeds.

"Another thing that happened is we have donations coming in because of it (the cancellation)," she said.

"One guy emailed us and said he was eating lunch at his deck and writing a check for $100 to make up the difference for 20 people who don’t have to go to Hooters."

MSNBC has a poll on the subject here.


doughboy said...

paraphrasing, "...they're looking at it just from the religious aspect vs. the beneficiary." um, DUH. and that's a bad thing ... how? way to go, timman. you're famous(er)!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reporting on this. It is encouraging to know that the right choice was made... even if it makes manifest the hostility of the world towards our Faith (as the comments under the poll reveal).


I find it fitting that today's Gift to pray for (as enumerated in the St. Andrew's Missal) is Fortitude.

Delena said...

Wow. And I can say I knew you when...


Way to tell it like it SHOULD be! :-)

dulac90 said...

I loved those objective poll questions.

Anonymous said...

I am Catholic. It is not breasts that incite men to lust, it is their individual interpretation of a human body part. This is a result of society and upbringing garnering a general disrespect of women.

When respect has returned to the mind of a man, lust will be removed and the woman will no longer be blamed for having mammary glands.

I have found, as a woman, that women who have low self esteem esteem other women in a low manner.

There is nothing wrong with lovely hooters,it is part of a woman's femininity. Besides, it is only cleavage and in its place not in a church.

Anonymous said...

omg what does the 6 and 9 commandment have to with hooter girls, 6-thou shalt not kill and 9 thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor , someone at st louis needs to do some reading. i am catholic , an this is why we are running our young from the church.

KP said...

...and times like this you must feel like maybe having this blog IS doing some good. Way to fight the good fight.

Bryan Kirchoff said...

Certainly a sincere question, but read Exodus, Chapter 20, where the Commandments are listed. They are presented in a paragraph format, not as a numbered list. Christian tradition has divided this set of verses into ten commandments, but different faith communities have split them differently. Thus, you speak to the Sixth and Ninth as referring to murder and false witness, but the blog author is referring to a (I assume traditional Catholic) format that has the Sixth and Ninth referring to adultery and coveting your neighbor's wife. So, the reference does make sense.

Bryan Kirchoff
St. Louis

Badger Catholic said...

I'm glad you spoke up and don't get me wrong, but should it take a blogger speaking up to correct something so obviously out of line? Do these people have no common sense?

Methodist Jim said...

Dear all, especially The Timman, MSNBC, and Anon @ 21:49 . . . Catholics and Protestants number the ten commandments differently. So, Timman, know that when you're talking to MSNBC your audience is broader than usual (I'm actually quite sure that you did know that and this difference did just slip past). And, MSNBC - I think an editor probably should have caught that but the editor might have been Catholic and not noticed what Anon did when he/she looked up #6 and #9. And to said Anon - if you are actually Catholic and you looked up the Ten Commandments in any Catholic source, I suspect you would have understood that prohibitions of adultery and coveting a neighbor's wife might actually be relevant to the discussion here.

Bruno said...

Don't touch the Timman. He's red hot.

Way to go.

Don't let up!

Anonymous said...

As a 22 year old raised and baptised Catholic, I feel St. Patricks did the wrong thing by backing out of the charity event/fundraiser. A fundraiser is a fundraiser. WWJD? He would have sat in the Hooters and been happy for any kindness anyone would give, whether intentionally or via percentages of their meal ticket. This is why I deny my religion - love my faith, but deny my Catholic religion. The Catholic Church and many of Its' congregation don't show the values Jesus once taught. Stop judging people. It's annoying and hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Timman! St. Louis is a better place because of you. I support you all the way from Europe.

greencaddyman said...

Catholics are about the biggest hypocrites of any organization. You can't engage in something morally bad, even if it results in something good? What about selling beer at the fish fry? What about car washes, I don't see the girls dressed in turtlenecks and sweat pants then. What about a poker game between friends at the church? I am not even going to get into the sexual deviancy of the church leadership, and the hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements the church has paid to sexual abuse victims. Basically, there is no more corrupt an organization that organized religion, especially the catholics. They have no right to criticize how another organization does business and are much more guilty of moral impropriety than hooters. Every church says "abuse happens, but not in our church, and every week, when a new claim comes out, the church congregation then says "I never thought if could happen here". For those that think it can't happen in their church, it already has, and the people you trust the most and ask you for money every month are the guilty ones

Anonymous said...

Didn't Dan Buck leave St. Patrick Center recently? I wonder whether this benefit w/Hooters would have happened on his watch.

Greencaddyman: It is indeed wrong do do something that is objectively wrong in order to get good out of it. The ends don't justify the means. The abuse sins of few priests aided by few bishops will be used by people like you against the Church for a long time, I fear. It is a cross we Catholics all bear now.

thetimman said...

Thank you to everyone who wrote supportive comments. I really appreciate it.

Thanks, too, to all of you who disagree. I will try to respond to some common themes in your comments, without taking each in turn and duplicating:

First, the notion that any fundraising for a good cause is therefore good--

Many say that even if Hooters is a disreputable business and engages in some level of immorality, it shouldn't matter, because raising money for the homeless is good. But this is easily refuted, even to the biggest Catholic basher. Would it be ok to go through a neighborhood and break into homes to take money to give to the homeless? Would a Nazi rally for the homeless be something you think people should get behind? Would killing people to steal their money for the homeless be a good thing? No.

Thus, the argument against cancelling the event that the good ends justify any means is, I think, a blind for the position that most have, which is that Hooters isn't doing anything wrong and that Hooters is a moral and reputable business.

Which brings us to the second objection, which is some variant of Jesus would do this, Jesus loves everybody, helping people is more important than upholding some outdated view of morality, etc. Well, undoubtedly Jesus loves everybody. He wills the salvation of all, but He respects our free will so much that He will not force us to accept salvation.

One person said Jesus would go to Hooters. Well, perhaps, but he wouldn't be going there to ogle waitresses. He would bring the Gospel to everyone there. He would certainly try to get the waitresses to quit working there. When Our Lord helped the woman caught in adultery, He prevented her from being killed, but then, after forgiving her (note that means there was something TO forgive), He admonished her to go and sin no more. He didn't say, "Man, these guys were hypocrites--you are great. Keep on committing sin, it's no problem." Because, you see, He wanted to save her.

Which leads to point three: the charge of phariseeism and (more often) hypocrisy. Pharisees placed heavy burdens on others that they wouldn't bear themselves, and they were senseless sticklers on minute rules while failing to keep the spirit of the laws they cited. No one here, myself included, is saying that Hooters girls are going to hell, but I'm so great. The point is not to shut down Hooters, though they could use a decent waitress uniform, but to challenge St. Patrick's Center to refrain from using immoral means to raise money. That's it. A hypocrite would say, "I never sin" or would be a Hooters patron while criticizing someone else for being one. Again, not the case here.

And, in what may be news to some readers, especially non-Catholics, it is not immoral to drink alcohol or even to gamble (in and of itself), but it is always immoral to violate the 6th and 9th Commandments. Deliberately encouraging lust is such a sin. And that is Hooters' stock in trade.

To all of the reflexive Catholic hating commenters who are of the "liberal" political persuasion, ask yourself if you would criticize the Church for cancelling a "Slave auction for the homeless" event. If you would not, then reflect on the fact that the real disagreement here, if there is one, is that you don't think sexual immorality is all that bad.

Though I wonder just how many feminists would take pornographers to task for the exploitation of women, but are silent on Hooters. Yes, there is a difference of degree, but not a difference in kind.

And to those of you who say you love the faith but hate the Church, I can only pray for you and remind you that you cannot separate the Head from His Body. You cannot separate Christ from His Church. You cannot love Christ and hate His Church-- His spouse, His mystical body.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of drinking,allow me to share one interesting thought that was recently pointed out to me by an extremely learned and respected Prince of a Catholic man.

In telling me why in his country (historically CATHOLIC) it is common for even young children to drink wine, he pointed out that Jesus' first public miracle involved to liquids; water and wine. Knowing the importance of water in the life-giving Sacrament of Baptism, he reflected on the significance of Our Lord's selection of wine as the other object used in His miracle.

Interesting too, how wine was the matter of His last miracle on earth as Man at the Last Supper.

Anonymous said...

Dear Timman,

I was truly taken aback and saddened by the venomous attacks and comments about the Catholic Church and, by extension, her priests. Is this the glorious new world of one sided ‘tolerance?’

1.) The Catholic Church can never be corrupt, but sadly that does not mean that her human members cannot fall into error and corruption.

2.) For every one bad priest in the world, there are thousands of truly wonderful priests who live their vows faithfully and who are great men who selflessly help people every day of their lives.

3.) The world always has an abundance of corrupt, pedophile/sexually deviant (both male and female) politicians, executives, teachers, actors, bankers, religious leaders, doctors, nurses, environmentalists, trash collectors, scout leaders, husbands, wives, etc. and yet, no one ever vilifies the entire group for the crimes of a few, except when the Catholic Church is involved. As human beings, we should all be held to a higher standard.

4.) As a woman, I would like women to realize that we have a lot to offer the world. We are more than our appendages wearing the latest fashion trends.

5.) ‘I was at the Seminary...’ or ‘I am married to a Catholic...’ does not make a person an expert on being a Catholic or an authority on the Faith. That statement actually cancels out their opinion.

6.) Jesus shared meals with the cast outs from society--the tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. but after meeting Jesus they were always transformed and then gave up their professions. Mary Magdalene did not continue as a prostitute.

7.) People who are trying to live their Catholic Faith do not think they are “holier than thou.” The big difference is that they know they have faults and are trying to correct their ways to become better human beings. Long Confession lines verify this statement.

8.) Contrary to emotional opinions, being Catholic does not inhibit your fun. It frees you to have fun that you don’t wake up the next morning regretting and feeling sick about.

9.) If the Catholic Faith is so irrelevant and passé.... why does it bring out such hostility?

StGuyFawkes said...

The most disgusting cultural trend of the last 25 years is the sexualization of American life. Politics, literature, film, fashion, and now food have all become forms of pornography. And now even charity has to get “hot” and we’re told that you can’t fund a soup kitchen without the help of a gaggle of ten-cent Aphrodites in halter-tops.

Do you ever get the feeling that American culture is nothing more than a giant hot tub badly in need of bleach?

Culture critics of the 1970s like Christopher Lasch or Herbert Marcuse told us that this manipulative use of sexuality would result in a pandemic of developmental disorders. What we have here is the sexualization of food. Even in secular Freudian terms this represents a perversion. When you fuse the oral, infantile stage of sexuality (nutrition) with the mature (genital) stage by marketing chicken wings along with women’s bodies what you have is developmental regression, or perversion.

The only spot of humor I have ever found in our American-Freudian soup of oral-genital confusion is in an episode of “Seinfeld.” George Costanza once got his wires crossed and felt the deep need to eat while he made love. He finally grossed out his paramour by sneaking a pastrami sandwich under his pillow.

In 1991 that seemed funny and gross. That was before the outbreak of “Hooters” where the culture is literally trying to consume a side order of chicken wings along with a main course of breasts and thighs.

God Bless whomevre in the Chancery office put a stop to this. He has the blessings of Our Lord and thousands of traditional (and probably Jewish) psychotherapists.

Elizabeth R said...

I am one of the people who contacted St Patrick Center to ask about this. I told them that I considered it an inappropriate connection, and asked for an explanation. They responded quite promptly.

FYI, I have given them significantly more in the last few years than they said they expected to earn from this event. I could have just stopped giving, or ignored this, but I chose to find out more.

To answer a possible objection in advance, I do not expect any organization to be perfect, but I do prefer to contribute to those that match my values as much as possible. Seems reasonable to me.

Matt said...

History lesson for you Nazi Germany gave the Catholic Church millions. Why did the church take the money?....

The point should be to use your opportunity to witness to people. Make it a positive. Please don't shovel coal on them. Try pull them from the Furnace by a strong witness. The world isn't black and white and all are not evil.

It sounds if Hooters girl's donate nonworking time to the cause........ Did you? Have you?

doughboy said...

"Do you ever get the feeling that American culture is nothing more than a giant hot tub badly in need of bleach?" ROFLOL good one!

Anonymous said...

StGuyFawkes -

"Do you ever get the feeling that American culture is nothing more than a giant hot tub badly in need of bleach?"

What an incredibly accurate analogy. Old school bleach too, not that fresh linen or lemon scented stuff. Maybe even a little muriatic acid for the real stubborn areas.

Timman - excellent commentary above as usual.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Elizabeth and thank you Timman for being so Tolerant! This is great news for the Catholic city Saint Louis is!

thetimman said...

Matt, please provide evidence to support your assertion that the Nazis "gave millions" to the Church.

Anonymous, you are welcome for my being so tolerant!

Athelstane said...

Hello greencaddy,

"You can't engage in something morally bad, even if it results in something good?"

No, you can't.

That's been Catholic teaching since Day 1.

I think Timman does a good job of explaining the reasons why.

I do hope and pray that St. Patrick's is able to stage its fundraiser at an appropriate venue.

Anonymous said...

Not all readers of this blog where "aghast that the event was scheduled, and are glad it has been canceled."

It appears that men are so weak that they always have to blame women as occasions of sin. They cannot take ownership for their indulgence in lust or whatever may be considered inappropriate behavior.

No one seems to remember that more than likely the women working at Hooters are good, decent women, who may lead quite ordinary lives. They may have families. They might even be practicing Catholics.

Too many of you are hung up on mores and prudery.

I don't see anyone being concerned about men wearing shorts or even going topless. Surely they are occasions of sin for women.

I am sorely disappointed that St. Patrick's may refuse the donation.

MrsC said...

Way to go - St. Patrick Center and Timman!

Anonymous said...

Dean Anon 23:43
"I don't see anyone being concerned about men wearing shorts or even going topless. Surely they are occasions of sin for women."

You may not see us, but there are many Catholics who are concerned about that very thing. Unfortunately the logic so many people apply to this argument is centered on surface rebuttals and fueled by emotion. If one were going to speak authoritatively on the living the Faith and following the teachings of morality and the Catholic Church, they should spend some time trying to find out what is taught instead of making a flippant comment that only exposes one's ignorance on the topic being discussed.

Yes, there are many men concerned with making themselves near occasions of sin for women, so they dress respectfully for ALL occasions, even in the dead heat of summer. Like the beautiful women who dress modestly for the same purpose, it is done out of love for God and for those Created in His image.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Catholics would always and consistently fight the belief that "good ends justify any means." E.g.:

* IF Catholics stood behind Pope John Paul II who decried America's pre-emptive invasion of Iraq supposedly because Iraq had WMD's?

* IF Catholics rebeled against corporate leaders who, to raise share prices, moved jobs oversees, took away pensions, destroyed unions and dumped older employees?

* IF Catholics stopped supporting sponsors of TV shows and radio shows that regularly run ads on Viagra and Alcohol?

Just sayin'.

thetimman said...

Just sayin'

True, like:

IF Catholics would oppose the abortion funding and euthanasia promoting health care bill?

IF Catholics would refuse to support the only major political party that has support for legal and publicly funded abortion in its platform?

IF Catholics refused to partner with groups that undermine and oppose Catholic teaching and show disrespect for the lawful pastors of the Church?

Paul Nichols said...

"I don't see anyone being concerned about men wearing shorts or even going topless. Surely they are occasions of sin for women."
I don't think this is a major thing. Most of us couldn't be a near occasion of sin if we tried...hehe

Anonymous said...

TimMan @ 9:22 - excellent! I only wish that you weren't preaching to the choir. This needs to be preached from the pulpit in every parish throughout the Archdioceses. It always amazes me how liberal leaning Catholics (clergy and religious included) are with respect to the three items you pointed out.

JD said...

I would have fully supported this event had teh church not flung itself on the mercy of the religious superiority police. the fact that a local business dontates during the yearm and had agreed to be a part of a group to raise more funds is a great thing. Now that the event is off, I think that all those who objected close mouth, open wallet and donate $200.00 to the cause.It's time for those that feel that their holier than thow atitude and beliefs are the only ones pertinant, start to put their $$ where their mouth is.

KP said...

Most Catholics I know ARE worried about men in shorts and going shirtless. Even my THREE year old is offended by that. And as a woman, I always look away from shirtless men. Not only do I not want to see it, I also think it's gross, no matter what the guy looks like. It's not appropriate and also offensive as it is immodest as well.

Anonymous said...

I'll join in the concern about shirtless men. Sometimes tempting, more often unsightly and uncomfortable. In summertime we see too much of too many people's bodies. Please cover up and don't squeeze yourselves in stuff.

StGuyFawkes said...

Peggy wrote regarding "shirtless men": "Sometimes tempting, more often unsightly and uncomfortable."

Dear Peggy, well said.

Tim, I'd like a whole thread to be dedicated to women's views on the virtue of Chasity. Undeniably, women have born the greater burden in defense of this virtue and more often than not women get blamed for lapses when it is the men who should be taking the blame.

Since the first rooster crowed, the male has excused his crimes by saying "I was provoked." It has been a long time since I have heard a woman explain her failures by saying "Oh, look at him, he provoked me."

Women are just too honest to try to use such a lame excuse. Although, it is probably true that men do provoke women.

Has anyone ever asked how young men should dress? We often ask how shall our daughters present themselves so as to not provoke males.

I'd like to see a post where Catholic women simply list all the things young males should not wear, or do!

Personally, I see no reason for the "Speedo" around the pool unless the wearer happens to be in a heat to win an Olympic medal; in that case, I'll admit all other heats would be superfluous and athlete may wear it.

In the case of proper deportment for young men, it may be more a matter of what young men should not say or do rather than wear.

Anybody want to jump in?

jamanne said...

I have only been in one Hooters I am a granny and i was there with two g/children (adults) .It was in Cape coral Fla .I never seen any disrespect or leering the wings were excellent and we ordered take out.there was more immodesty in the street and even occasionally at St Andrews local church.Not everyone goes gaga over an attractive girl .what about the local swim teams are they not allowed to have f/raisers either ?.Do we turn off all sports events ice skating dancing what about the Vatican museums with all the nudity ? should we close them down instead of charging fourteen euros to see them ,because you never know somebody might get bad thoughts looking at that statue of Hercules or a pedophile looking at all the naked cherubs ,what about the naked Venus ?Sex appeal is not always a scantily clad lady .By the way if I had a figure like those girls I;d walk around naked but the nI;m half Irish and half Scots so Im a bit off the wall anyway

Modest Lady said...

Way to go TIMMAN - you are THE MAN!

So you think Hooters is no big deal? My husband took me there for the wings when we were newly wed and we were both so embarrassed by the amply built waitresses who kept bending down at the bar with short shorts, directly in front of my husband, showing their bottoms, that we just left. GIrls must have large breasts and a certain figure to get hired there, as they have had law suits filed for discrimination.

What if the strip clubs in East St. Louis held a fund raising event for a Catholic Charity? That wouldn't be fine, right? Hooters exploits women in the same way, but with good chicken wings.

MP said...

I see guys in long swim suits at the pools i go to. Speedos are not seen, and I'm glad about that. You must understand that as a woman, we are not as visually oriented as men are. Men are very attracted to women and sin by looking lustfully at them. Women, on the other hand, if neglected or lonely, may invent a lustful scene in their mind about a man they like, who is just nice and kind.

This is why one of our Bishops read a letter written years ago by a Freemason that said that the best way to collapse the Catholic church was through their women. The goal was to get the women to dress immodestly, and then the sin would follow from the men, thus the end of the Catholic family, and then the Church.

Of course, the Catholic Church will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Tinman writes:

"One person said Jesus would go to Hooters. Well, perhaps, but he wouldn't be going there to ogle waitresses. He would bring the Gospel to everyone there. He would certainly try to get the waitresses to quit working there.

When Our Lord helped the woman caught in adultery, He prevented her from being killed, but then, after forgiving her (note that means there was something TO forgive), He admonished her to go and sin no more. He didn't say, "Man, these guys were hypocrites--you are great. Keep on committing sin, it's no problem." Because, you see, He wanted to save her."

Perhaps Jesus would just go to eat a meal and say nothing. It is no sin to wear shorts and a tee shirt. I do not believe the Hooter waitresses commit adultery as they wait tables. They are too busy waiting tables.

As to the reasons Jesus did not forgive the men, we can but speculate.

As is so often the case, there are few details provided in any given biblical narrative. Thus we have to be careful not to read more into the story than exists. We do not know what Jesus did or said to the men after he forgave the woman. The story teller could have omitted any number of details.

Anonymous said...

Buxom women, Speedos and Freemasonry conspiracies against the Pope....


....I LOVE this blogsite!

StGuyFawkes said...


Thanks for your reply. I've always subscribed to the theory that men's temptations are more visual, and women's are more contextual, much as you said.

To all,

With respect to the problems of chastity with reference to sports where clothing is limited and the Vatican museum where the human body is depicted nude:

1.) There are tough choices to be made everywhere. The speedos as athletic wear and not casual swim wear might be a good place to start.

2.) Transcendentally beautiful art gets a free pass. I've been to the Vatican Museum and I defy anyone to become physically aroused by the art. Art has a different object in its use of the human form.

3.) The naked body is beautiful. However the crucial issue is how it is depicted in art, and how it is used as a means of expresion in everyday life. I've noticed that female swimming atheletes carry themselves in a manner that commands respect. Just an observation.

A lot of what goes into the Capital sin of lust is behavioural and contextual.

The behavioral context of "Hooters"
is clearly one where the human form is being exploited for commercial purposes. It is essentially a sub-species of pornography and prostitution.

xanax said...

Cool stuff here!