This article appeared online at on Friday, December 4, 2020:  

When senior pastor Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Ventura County, California, learned of former governor Mike Huckabee’s half-serious suggestion that churches declare themselves to be strip clubs in order to circumvent a ruling by a court, he took it to heart. That ruling by the San Diego Superior Court instructed the county to allow strip clubs to reopen while leaving in place state restrictions on indoor church services.

A YouTube video of McCoy’s defiance, during which he opened services with raucous music and his removal of his coat and tie, overnight gained more than 70,000 views with some other pastors following his lead.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee decried the double standard:

I don’t have a lot of experience with strip clubs. I do have quite a bit of experience with churches.… Generally they’re a fairly safe place, and I would think it’s ridiculous to say that people are safer in a strip club than they are at church.

And then, half in jest, Huckabee suggested:

Churches should announce [that] their pastor will remove his tie during the sermon, and therefore he will take off an article of clothing, making it a temporary strip club so that people will be able to go to church.

As McCoy opened his service he danced onto the podium, removing his coat and tie while inviting members of his congregation to support him. They responded, with some of them bringing offerings of dollar bills to the front of the church.

And then McCoy got serious:

This is insane! Cannot America see the hypocrisy and the stupidity of all this? You’re being lied to!”

His congregation cheered him on while McCoy continued: “We are finished with your tyranny and we are going to enjoy Thanksgiving and we’re going to worship God!”

Senior Pastor Jurgen Matthesius of Awaken Church in San Diego performed similarly at the beginning of his sermon but went one step further: He temporarily renamed his church the “Now Awaken Family Friendly Strip Club,” adding that he and his church will “strip the devil of his hold, and authority over people’s lives.”

He might start with Judge Joel Wohlfeil, who ordered the state of California to cease preventing strip clubs from “being allowed to provide live adult entertainment.”

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