The cover story in this week's edition of the print product is about how South Florida became the mecca of swinging -- couple swapping, that is -- in this country. We visit several local sex clubs, talk with a number of lifestyle participants (and club employees), and even show you a little of how it works in the "back room."
Of course there are a lot of people who'd love to see these clubs abolished. In addition to the sex clubs and dozens of strip clubs and sex toy stores, the north part of Broward county is also home to more than 300 churches. The loudest, most outspoken voice among them is probably Reverend O'Neal Dozier, the 62-year-old charismatic leader of the World Wide Christian Church. Dozier, who grew up in Pompano Beach, has been a staunch opponent to gay rights and abortion in any form. (Two years ago he held a public funeral for an aborted fetus.)
For the proliferation of sin this area, Dozier blames
his fellow ministers. "It's an indictment of the church," he says. "There's a decline in morality, a falling away from God, a rise in atheism, and it all starts with the rabbis and the priests and the pastors. They're afraid to teach what's in the Bible because it will run people from you, but our culture is a reflection of what people are preaching from the pulpit."
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Dozier knows a thing or two about running people away. He has called homosexuality the "paramount of sins" and has said HIV/AIDS is a punishment from God. He was firmly opposed to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, more or less because she was a woman. He worried it would embolden feminists and terrorists, and tear families apart. He has also claimed America is at war with the entire religion of Islam. And he has a close links to the Bush family, having been invited to the White House to offer advice to the president during George W. Bush's first term.
Dozier says he has several men and women in his congregation who used to either work at or frequent the numerous sex clubs and strip clubs in South Florida. "And they are all much happier with their lives after they found Jesus," he says.
But Dozier believes the best way to combat this sin is for all the churches to band together, to consolidate their power and leadership under one honorable man -- himself, for example. "If you had unity and one church, think of how big that church would be. A righteous pastor could tell his people to go down to city hall and say, 'If you want to stay in office, get rid of the strip joints and the sex clubs and all the things going on here." With a bit lament in his voice, he adds, "But that's not happening."
For what it's worth, about 40 percent of swingers say they practice one of the major religions. And lot of swingers are fond of saying they ascribe to "the Church of Nonjudgmentalism."