In response to Amanda Woytus' opinion in support of strip clubs (July 6, 2010):
The level of consciousness in a human being can be detected by the thoughts, speech, action and forms of entertainment enjoyed.
We can be fairly certain that a strip show habitué is no Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa would have found strip joints to be a waste of time when there were thousands of starving children to assist.
TV shows, where the humor is degrading and vulgar, is another example. I have spoken to people who believe that laughing at vulgarity does not define them as vulgar people. And yet it does.
When an attribute (positive or negative) does not resonate, we tend to ignore it, stare in incomprehension or believe the attribute is a lie.
When we share an attribute we either join in (i.e. laugh) or oppose it with a reaction formation ("Methinks he doth protest too much...," Shakespeare).
Ms. Woytus may think she is broad-minded to support strip joints, but in fact, by being impassive toward such pastimes, she validates an activity that debases the dignity of all human beings.
Again, Mother Teresa represented a life of action motivated by an intrinsic generosity of spirit. She helped the world to raise its eyes in hope that nobility in spirit might still be alive on Earth.
Strip joints (and other places like casinos), however, turn the focus of one's consciousness toward self with a desire to feel personal pleasure no matter how debasing the activity, no matter that the money spent might send one's own children to college or might start a community activity center that would enlighten the whole town and bring joy to the hearts of others.
Yes, strip joints are legal. But I, for one, will not stand by and be "politically correct." Strip joints encourage behaviors that coarsen and blunt the human ability to sing and dance in beauty and grace through the vicissitudes of life, which we all must endure.
I am grateful that the hours of operation are reduced, and I'm hopeful that habitués will learn to fill their hours of entertainment with thoughts and action that can benefit our community.
Julia Williams lives in Columbia.