Cynthia Shaver, above, found herself at the centre of media attention this week after a community group in Salem, Oregon, complained about her ‘Jesus loves strippers’ sign near a busy road.
Members of Salem Community Vision, according to this report, said they didn’t take issue with the sign’s message, just its placement on a public right-of-way.
Shaver, Executive Director and founder of POLE Gems, explained the reasoning behind the sign:
Jesus loves strippers because Jesus loves all.
The sign promotes POLE Gems, a non-profit group selling fireworks.
Shaver said she worked as a cocktail server in a strip club about 20 years ago.
One thing that I realised is that for these people working in these clubs, sometimes the conditions are hard.
To help out adult entertainment workers, Shaver said POLE Gems provides free and low-cost services.
We are a faith-based organization. But our mission is not to try to convert people. We offer counseling, we offer all kinds of stuff. We throw baby showers. We fill in where people may not be able to afford, like, their electric bill.
Brian Hines, who sits on Salem Community Vision’s group’s steering committee said:
Over the weekend the group put up a Facebook post criticising the sign.
It’s just a mess. It makes Salem look tacky.
I mean one, it’s way bigger than the usual political sign. It’s smack-dab in the right-of-way. It’s obscuring the vision, the sight-line to the intersection. It didn’t have to do with the message. We had no idea what POLE Gems was.
Personally, I kind of like the idea of ‘Jesus loves strippers’ even though I’m not religious. I mean, who doesn’t love strippers?
Hines said several other signs in Salem are breaking the law as well and his group has posted about them in the past.
I have never heard of such controversy over a sign.
She said POLE Gems took down their signpost yesterday.
Kenny Larson, a city spokesman, said the city has had a limited ability to enforce sign regulations.
Due to budget cuts about five years ago, we lost the Code Enforcement Officer 1 position that primarily dealt with signs, grass and weeds. There is only so much time and money available.