Brickbat: Dancing Too Close



Organizers of a Valentine's Day dance in Henryetta, Oklahoma, canceled the event after a local resident pointed out the venue is only about 250 feet from a Church of Christ and a city ordinance bans dancing within 500 feet of a church.

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  1. What was the name of this “Local Resident”? Can we not discuss the merits of not interfering with others? Why does someone feel the need to go “actually this goes against something that hasn’t been enforced in decades”? Why am I writing this post in all questions? Why am I up so early?

    1. Seems like someone is fishing for attorney’s fees.

        1. eeeeewwwww…

        2. Nah, the attorney in the story.

    2. UCS is Judge Nap! Bravo on the handle – very fitting.

  2. And then Kevin Bacon and Chris Penn danced in and saved the day. Take that John Lithgow, you puritanical bastard!

    1. Wait, I thought it was Kenny Wormald and Miles Teller – WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?!?!?!

      1. You know what’s kind of funny – Bacon and Penn (especially Bacon) were well known stars when their movie came out.

        Nobody still knows who the hell Wormald and Teller are.

        1. No one plays 7 degrees from Kevin Bacon anymore: (

  3. So a buddy of mine of mine from High school went to college, and married an Oklahoma Baptist Preacher’s daughter, and all of her bridesmaids were Chinese. Which was a bit odd because Oklahoma isn’t exactly known for it’s large Asian population

    Yeah. it turned out the the Baptist preacher had spent 20 years working as a missionary in China, and adopted a half dozen Chinese girls, because how could they not?

    I don’t really have a point to this story beyond, hey sometimes people surprise you with their kindness.

    Also, don’t underestimate the Oklahoma preachers, they probably speak more languages than you.

  4. so what happens at 499 ft.? The clouds part and lightning from on high strikes the sinners? So the 500 ft. boundary is a public safety measure…

  5. The last time this was mentioned, I instinctively replied with a reference to New York City’s cabaret law which, unlike this small-town Oklahoma law, actually gets enforced by the cops:

    “The next time you hit the town, take a look around; you may just see a curious sign: “No Dancing Allowed.” Or perhaps try shaking a move; you may be stopped. Believe it or not, it is against the law to have dancing in most New York City clubs and bars. Establishments that do not hold one of the city’s few cabaret licenses are breaking the law if they allow their patrons to dance; if caught, they can be subject to fines and shutdowns….

    “Some administrations did not enforce the laws, but in 1997, as part of his “quality of life” campaign, Mayor Giuliani used the dancing portion of the laws — which requires bars and restaurants to hold a cabaret license if their patrons are going to dance — to clamp down on problem or nuisance establishments. The Bloomberg administration has continued to enforce the laws, subjecting unlicensed bars and clubs to police raids, fines, padlocks, and shutdowns if patrons are caught dancing.”

    1. Ninety years and counting for New York City’s outdated cabaret law

      “A popular song from the 1980s said that “you can dance if you want to,” but in New York City, that may not exactly be the case thanks to a prohibition-era law that persists to this day limiting recreational dancing in the Big Apple.

      “There are only about 127 cabaret license holders citywide of NYC’s more than 12,000 bars and clubs, according to the city’s department of consumer affairs.”

      1. (please insert an ellipsis between the first and second paragraphs)

      2. dancing, who knew it was a sin, not to mention a crime against nature…(but only when the fat guys do it, hot chicks=OK)?

    2. who goes to NY anymore, anyway?

      1. No one, it’s too crowded.

        1. +1 mischievous cartoon bear

      2. Snake Plissken?

        1. I thought he was dead.

    3. The problem is NYC isn’t a small rural town so you can’t do articles about “LOL look at what these dumb hicks are up to now down in Hicksville!”

      (PS, there’s an actual place called Hicksville, near New York City)

      1. Nassau county? Not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks ‘Hicksville’.

        For those of you who don’t know New York, here’s a quick blurb from Wikipedia

        In 2012, Forbes magazine, in an article based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, reported that Nassau County was one of the highest income counties in the United States and the most affluent in the state of New York, comprising four of the nation’s top ten towns by median income. It also ranks as the most expensive county in America

          1. Hicksville population 41,547 as of 2010. What’s the maximum population of a municipality after which it’s not a hick town?

  6. ‘No one invited me to the dance. I’ll show them’.

    1. I think this was a case of the woman who wanted to do the dance checking the ordinances of the town and finding that there are certain regulations of “public dance halls” – a category which includes most places which hold dances. The 500 feet of a church restriction is one of the rules.

      If her husband is the City Attorney, my recommendation would be that she ask him about getting some nonprofit group to sponsor a “members only” dance and sell memberships instead of tickets to potential dancers. Depending on how one interprets the ordinances, that may be a loophole. But she’s the City Attorney’s wife, not me, what do I know?

  7. Q: Why do Southern Baptists refuse to have sex while standing up?

    A: They’re afraid God might think they’re dancing.

  8. Are you guys just using this as a warm up to castigating Jeff Sessions for enforcing laws that are already on the books?

    1. I don’t think Charles Oliver reads reason or coordinates with the other content creators.

      1. Oliver!?!?!?!? I was talking about the commentariat.

        1. The commentariat doesn’t read reason or coordinate with other content creators either.

  9. C’mon guys, this has already been covered – and better elsewhere.…..-lady.html


    1. *Dancing* isn’t illegal within 500 feet of a church, *a dancehall* is. And what these people were doing does not fall under the ordinance’s definition of dance hall.

    2. It was shut down by the organizer on the advice of her husband – a city attorney. Apparently not a very good one. But then again, if he was he probably wouldn’t be working for the city.

    1. Maybe they they just wanted to get people riled up about the ordinance? Most of them were probably like, the devil was defeated again, praise baby Jesus.

  10. This law would be extremely problematic if the town has any Pentecostal churches.

    1. Yeah man, you can get busted for dancing INSIDE the church, right? How’s THAT for religious freedom?

      Well Hells Bells, how about freedom FROM religion? Just ’cause some biddy set up some tiny church next to me, I can’t dance any more? WTF?!?!?!?!

  11. Vestiges of the Christian dystopia we all live in dread of, from the days when the American version of the Taliban ruled with an iron fist. There were unenforceable laws against sex acts everyone did anyway, porn was really weak, gay people had to call each other “friends”. And big plus signs dotted the landscape.

  12. Did we learn nothing from “Footloose?”

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