14 June 2011

Seriously? St. Patrick Center Partners with Hooters?!!--UPDATE: Thankfully, It's Cancelled!

UPDATE:  June 14 at 5:15pm-- The event is definitely cancelled.  Good call.

St. Patrick Center, a Catholic charity that provides assistance to homeless people, is partnering with Hooter's, a restaurant known for its immodestly-clad waitresses, to raise money for the Center.  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.

From its website:

Our Spirituality Statement
In solidarity with the traditional social teaching of the Catholic Church, St. Patrick Center embraces the attitude of Jesus as servant to the poor. We espouse a spirituality that places our clients at the center of all decisions. 

St. Patrick Center will work with our clients in a holistic manner: honoring their dignity and human rights; listening to each individual; providing for emotional, physical and spiritual needs; and creating an environment that encourages all to be the best they can be.

Why would St. Patrick's be so solicitous to honor the dignity of its clients yet at the same time show such callous indifference to the dignity of the women who work at Hooter's, who are exploited by their employers and customers.  For exploited they are, whether they realize it or not, or whether they even care.  This event does not comport with St. Patrick's mission to encourage "an environment that encourages all to be the best they can be."

This type of thing is reminiscent of the decision of the board of Cardinal Glennon hospital years ago when it defied Cardinal Burke to partner with a celebrity who publicly endorsed human cloning and abortion in order to raise money for its cause.

Of course, all that matters is that money is raised for the charity, right?  If this story, sent to me by the intrepid Jeff Geerling at Life is a Prayer, gets picked up by the mainstream press in this town, look for commenters (at least those who refrain from profane, blasphemous attacks on the Church) to say exactly that.

What's next?  St. Patrick Center night at the Hustler Club?

This is remarkably shocking, even considering that hardly anything shocks these days.


StGuyFawkes said...

What's most amazing is the extent that St. Patrick's Center is unaware of how much THEY are being exploited by "Hooters." It's such an old dodge. Playboy Clubs, when they existed constantly sent "bunnies" out to any charity event they could get into.


Pornographers desperately want to buy legitimacy and charities are on ramps to respectability.

Tim's not far off in his comments about East St. Louis Strip bars. Those establishments are always sending their ill clad employees out on "charity" events.

Shame on St. Patrick's for selling their integrity for a box of wings.

Elizabeth said...

That surprised me enough that I decided to verify it from their site. Yes, it's there, though it's a generic "Dine and Donate" event. Nothing about Hooters until you click a link to the current week's restaurant. They may not choose the restaurant of the week.

I was about to renew my donation to SPC, and I think I'll pass this time, at least until we hear more from them.

Rory said...

I'm a local truck driver and my work takes me past a half dozen or more strip joints. Many years ago, I found that my imagination was susceptible to thinking about what goes on in those places. It has been my policy now for a long time to turn my head away and say a Hail Mary for the girls who work in those places. It seems to help me keep my thoughts pure and I hope I may find out if I make it to Heaven, that Our Lady was able to help someone because of my little practice. A few years ago, I added the local Hooters to my prayers.

It happens that the last few years, when our company of truck drivers would be asked where we should go for our annual Christmas dinner, there was one guy who always made a plea for Hooters. It never even got consideration. What trucker in their right mind would take their wife to a smutjoint like that and call it the company Christmas party?

I don't suppose any of us "holier than thou" truckers will even hear about Hooters this year since their cheerleader in our company got fired after being tagged for methamphetamine at his last drug screen. Good night, my co-workers aren't very pious to say the least but even they know that Hooters is for cruddy men who want to look at half-dressed girls. I'm not saying none of them would ever go...but they wouldn't want their wives to know!

And now Hooters in St. Louis is teaming up with the Catholic Church? What would Fr. de Smet say?

Alan Aversa said...

Sadly, this has happened elsewhere, too.

Fenian said...

Just an FYI, the powers that be caught wind of this and have cancelled the event.

I still can't imagine that someone thought it was a good idea to begin with.

thetimman said...

Fenian, thanks, you must have been typing your comment as I was updating the post. Apparently, the Archbishop was not pleased. Good for him.

StGuyFawkes said...

I'm so glad the other shoe dropped and His Excellancy exercised his prerogative. I was worried that St. Patrick's might be another one of those LLC'ed or C-Corp'ed outfits technically outside the authority of local prelate: you know like Nerinx Hall and The Jesuits. (JUST KIDDING!!!)

Anonymous said...

It is canceled. Hooters released a statement praising employees of Hooters who have been longtime St. Patrick Center volunteers an donors. But the statement does not say why the event was canceled.

Anonymous said...

And the influence of STL Catholic grows and grows.

Timman, can you get on this whole national debt thing?


Proud SLPS Parent

Anonymous said...

hypocrites ........

Anonymous said...

Crazy Math? Nude dancers = TANK TOPS AND ORANGE SHORTS??? Have you ever walked into a Hooters? It's just a restaurant people.

Anonymous said...

Pharisees all.

thetimman said...

I get the Pharisee charge (though I disagree), but the hypocrite charge doesn't compute unless you are accusing those who are against the event of actually being Hooters regulars.

Doug T. said...

You absolutely floor me with your hypocrisy and arrogance of superiority. As a catholic raised by an aunt who was a nun for over 50 years, you are utterly pathetic. Violating the 6th & 9th commandments? Are you freaking kidding me? You shall not covet your neighbors wife and should not commit adultery? It's a restaurant people. A restaurant that hires men and women who knowingly accept the attire with which they have to wear to work there. After eating some wings and having some shrimp, patrons then go out and commit adultery or take your buddy's wife? Completely laughable. These hypocritical proclamations by the defenders of all things Catholic are why more and more are leaving the faith. You probably did not raise one hair of complaint while the whole priest molestation crisis has unfolded. Probably, in your eyes, a left wing made up conspiracy. You are very, very sad.

I am sure this will not be posted because you censor everything that does not support the base. I just shake my head at everything I have read on this site and wonder how people can be so mislead and lost.

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.

Dusty said...

Everyone one remembers the "Woe to you Pharisees" and the "Judge not...", but fewer remember these:

"But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell." Matthew 5: 28-29;

"Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:13-15

Rory said...

I'm afraid my own conscience has been bothering me a bit about some comments I made about a former co-worker who used to ask that we have the company Christmas dinner at Hooters.

I wish I hadn't mentioned the reason for his dismissal from the company. I did so in my zeal to associate the evil of immodesty with another evil. The two aren't necessarily connected. I don't think as poorly of this individual as my comments would seem to indicate. I like this guy and we got along pretty well in the ten or so years we worked together. I miss him. I hope he is okay and eventually finds true happiness.

My reference to "cruddy guys" sounds all wrong too. I am not in less need of mercy than those I so designated as "cruddy".

What I intended to convey and failed, is that that there are men who give themselves over to their sensible appetites. In some areas, they just concede to whatever the flesh wants. Thoughts precede acts. If we would control our acts, we must control our thoughts. We cannot deliberately entertain desires that would be gravely sinful in act. I should have chosen a better word than "cruddy" to convey the notion of lost dignity and ultimate frustration.

If Hooters is just a restaurant as one person claimed, I would be delighted to be wrong. But I am pretty sure that scantily clad young ladies are a feature of every Hooters. I've seen billboards with pictures. None of the saints ever exposed themselves like that. Do these pro-Hooters Catholics really practice the faith?

I would like to hear from any Catholic who says Hooters is fine who never misses their Sunday obligation, goes to confession regularly, wears their scapular, and prays the Rosary daily. Finally, do they say grace over their meal at Hooters? I don't know if I believe there is such a person.

Anonymous said...

I am only now discovering these comments. I would like for those who agree with the posted comments to please consider the following; if the missionaries of old had the attitude that those they were sent out to minister to were viewed as beneath the missionaries then I don't believe there would have been many converts to the faith. We must humble ourselves and be willing to rub shoulders with anyone in the mission field and trust that God will work through us by our example as we go about our duty of setting a Christian example.