Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Selling God in Sin City

So, after our convalidation, Hubbs and I decided that second wedding = second honeymoon. Being cheap and not having a ton of time off, we decided to go to Vegas. I should add that our first honeymoon was in New Orleans, so we apparently really like debaucherous party capitals as our honeymoon spots. We ate a lot of good food, and it was really, really hot.
One thing that struck me about Vegas was the idea of "sin city." That reputation is absolutely true: almost all the 7 deadly sins are there:

1. Lust: strip clubs, escorts, scantily clad people on every corner
2. Gluttony: did someone say 24 hour all you can eat buffet?
3. Greed: "if I just put one more dollar in this machine, I will hit it big this time!"
I don't own the rights
4. Sloth: you pick: either staying up till all hours of the night and then sleeping all day, OR trying to make a fortune with the roll of the dice rather than work
5. Wrath: I got nothin' on this one... except maybe people being ticked when they lose all their money
6. Envy: Vegas is FULL of very expensive shopping, placed there to wish you could afford it, to get you to gamble more to win the money needed to purchase the items
7. Pride: exclusivity of night clubs, etc.

You would think that Vegas is a pretty Godless city, and indeed I would say it is. Probably no more Godless than any other city in America, but it's all squished into a 50 mile radius that makes it pretty much the center of everything I just listed. You only have to go about 3 steps out of your hotel to have a sin shoved in your face, literally. One night, Hubbs and I decided to go to the Bellagio to see the famous fountains. On every block, there are 2 or more people handing out flyers for strip clubs and escorts. They aren't too pushy, you don't have to talk to them and you can walk past them without feeling like they are going to chase you down or anything. But on one corner there was a gentleman handing out flyers about God.  People pretty much walked past him and didn't say anything, but there was a bit of grumbling. How interesting that people seemed more annoyed with someone speaking about his religion than being handed lewd pictures of airbrushed women. I wanted to stop and shake his hand and tell him to literally not lose the faith. Because the porn and the gambling and alcohol sells itself. They don't need people on the corners handing that stuff out to passers-by, ut I'm sure it brings in business or they wouldn't do it. But of all the cocktail waitresses in their tiny little outfits and spike heels, the Elvis impersonators, the night-shift card-dealers and acrobats in shows, this guy had the hardest job on The Strip. Now, normally, this kind of thing turns my stomach. I will admit to a slightly sick fascination with talking to Jehovah's Witnesses (the ones I used to engage in discussion with when I was in high school still bother my mom from time-to-time) and I love it when the LDS missionaries come to my door, all clean cut and not knowing what they are about to get themselves into. People standing in public areas preaching gets under my skin in a way that I can't really explain, in the same way contemporary worship music and guitar masses do. I think it has to do with that sort of thing somehow always feeling directly contradictory to my Catholic brain. Or maybe because the beliefs they usually profess are thinly veiled threats or outright bigotry. But for some reason, that night, in that sea of all of that, it seemed weirdly refreshing.
It was inspiring to see someone out there, working hard, doing what he felt was right. And I sincerely hope he never loses his hope that people can rise above what is laid out for them as a proverbial banquet and strive for something a little...higher.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister. :) I'm headed to Vegas next month for a trip with my sister and our cousins, and that crap always makes me uncomfortable.

    Also, I hear you about contemporary worship music and guitar masses, BUT you should come to Spirit of Joy sometime for the bluegrass liturgy. It's a bunch of old(er) guys and their acoustic guitars, plus a few banjos. It's AWESOME.


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