I got word this week that I’ll be heading down to Las Vegas again in January to cover the Consumer Electronics Show, so it’s only fitting that I share a story about possibly the best Sin City event there’s ever been: a wedding between the guitarist of Christian heavy metal band Stryper and the founder of Hookers for Jesus.
Oh yes, it’s true - Oz Fox, guitarist for Stryper (which apparently stands for Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness) has married Annie Lobért, an ex-prostitute who gave up her profession after finding Jesus and now tries to get other ladies of the night to do the same.
Now, this monumental event happened back in June and I’m somewhat ashamed for not having this back then, but I only learned of it the other day when a friend (and former band mate from our university metal band Evilution) brought it to my attention.
First up, let’s deal with Stryper. I simply never could get into a heavy metal band that loved Jesus. It just seemed… wrong. With Iron Maiden singing about 666, the number of the the beast, and Motley Crue shouting at the devil, Stryper just seemed like a big bunch of pansies. It’s like they were missing the point of the music. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself - if this isn’t the wimpiest metal you’ve ever seen or heard, I don’t know what is:
Then there’s Hookers for Jesus. On her website, Lobért talks about her 11 years as a prostitute and stripper and how she became a sex slave and drug addict because of it. She says she got out of it because of the strength she found in God, and all that stuff, yadda yadda yadda. Don’t get me wrong - if it helps people get out of a terrible life, more power to them… it’s just that I tuned out all that religious stuff at the age of six.
Hookers for Jesus is Lobért’s way of saving others from the same fate. ABC’s Nightline did an interesting piece on it back in March, which you can watch here. The one thing I found unsettling about the situation is that Lobért is getting help from a fellow named Pastor Benny in Las Vegas, who has given her group use of one his church’s houses, which they’ve dubbed “Destiny’s House.”
What’s always bugged me about organized religions is the fact that they have assets, such as property. I really don’t think Jesus intended his preachers to be dealing in real estate. In fact, I’m pretty sure he would have been against it. Come to think of it, I’m not too sure Jesus would have been all that into heavy metal either.
Nevertheless, how can you not like a story about hookers, heavy metal and Jesus?