A hard-core, conservative, Republican religious politician, getting caught doing business with an erotic massage parlor? Yawn. That’s become such a routine event in our society, it’s barely even newsworthy.
But somebody must report this mundane stuff, so it falls to Cowgirl Blog.
It appears that Billings city councilman Denis Pitman makes a tidy living as a commercial landlord, by renting space to the Fuji Spa.
On its website, Fuji Spa describes itself as a massage parlor, spa and “escort business,” which offers “table showers” and “beautiful asian massage girls”, is open 24 hours, and accepts cash only. The website also instructs patrons who visit the premises to please enter through the rear entrance of the establishment, and notes that there is an ATM on site.
There are, in fact, many such establishments in Billings, as you can see from the Billings Gazette’s special advertising section devoted to them. Such massage parlors are legally okay. It’s not like these places are brothels, after all.
And this must be Pitman’s line of reasoning, because Pitman, by all appearances, is your basic religious conservative piece of work. He brags about his conservative street cred (says he is “the most conservative member of the city council,”), is a big-time Tea Partier, went to seminaries for his schooling, and is actually a man of the cloth. He is a minister. He advertises his services as a theologist and “non-denominational Christian minister” who, according to his own website, will perform religious ceremonies and rites for a small fee.
Pitman runs a tropical fish shop, too, and also made an unsuccessful run for legislature a few years ago.
So this guy is quite a renaissance man, and has a diversified portfolio.
And he is all family values, all the time. Check out his website. He’s a family man for sure. In fact his website’s traffic counter records not how many unique visitors have viewed his site, but how many “families” have viewed it. On his Facebook page he posts family-oriented advice to his public, messages such as “Little Fockers is not appropriate viewing for anyone in my family except me and my wife.”
To be clear, there is nothing at all to suggest that he has ever collected rent in the form of a table shower or massage. And also, it must be noted that he once rented space to a medical marijuana provider, and took heat for it, and defended himself by saying that as long as the activities on the premises are legal, he would rent it to the tenant.
Perhaps Pitman is truly a libertarian at heart and not a conservative, who believes drugs and sex, even if proferred as goods for sale, must be off limits to government regulation or religious judgment. Probably not.
Whether Fuji Spa is conducting moral or proper activities is of course something that only Fuji’s satisfied clients could attest to. But does Pitman, who is up for relection, actually believe, in his own mind, that his tenant is behaving properly and morally? That’s a question that Pitman, a theologist who no doubt is aware that the Lord knows what is in our hearts and minds, should have to answer (And That Right Soon).