TEC NYC Gay Disco Mass
St. Mark’s in the Bowery is offering a Gay Pride Disco Mass. That’s their title, not snark on my part.
“We need to always find a way to do that, to mix spirituality with fun. We are all part of God’s rainbow.”
There’s even a disco ball hanging in the church.
But it’s not irreverence or aesthetics that hit me hardest. It’s this:
“The service invokes the community feel of the era of gay liberation before AIDS…”
How did AIDS invade the community? Through the public and promiscuous excess posing as “liberation.”
Now, I’m not representing that the current event at St. Mark’s goes beyond dancing. In fact, one of the leaders of the event seems to say that they are trying to recapture the social fun without the risky behavior that poisoned it,
Jeannine Otis, who was resident Diva at the 2010 Disco Mass at St. Mark’s believes that disco music has played an important social role in the history of LGBT people. In a video about the Disco Mass she explained how, especially after AIDS, disco “became the basis of bringing everybody together with a lot of love, bonding—and fun.”
But the mythic dimension of it is disturbing. Their priest posits a golden age that was ravaged by some strange, alien force. There’s no contemplation of the golden age as counterfeit; some gold leaf on a baser metal, degraded by impurities within.
Proverbs 26:11 is harsh, but it is so accurate to our human capacity to not learn from our failures,
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.
St. Peter quotes this very Proverb in describing… well, I’ll let you fill in the parallels:
For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:18-22)
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