Monday, December 20, 2010

To Club or Not to Club?

I have spoken about my views on religion before, and after a couple recent visits to a new church, there's another topic that has been on my mind for a while.

The pastor at this particular church has done a series of sermons over the past couple weeks dealing with completely "giving yourself to God," and whenever he talks about giving up certain things, he mentions the usual: drinking, smoking, sleeping around, etc. Then he asks this question in regards to people that claim to want a closer relationship with God, but continue to party every weekend: "How you in church when you was just at the club last night?"

I guess I should back up here, and give a little background on my clubbing experience. I have never been the "party girl." I've lived in St. Louis all my life and never once stepped foot in a nightclub, probably because I sincerely hate any and everything associated with St. Louis and have never wanted to waste my time. Add the fact that I have 0 friends here and.....well, you get the picture.

Then I moved to Orlando for a semester. I worked as an intern for Disney World, I didn't have a car, and I was under 21, so my clubbing options were limited. I soon discovered that the hot spot for Disney interns was a Disney-owned assortment of clubs known as Pleasure Island, or "PI," as my friends and I affectionately called it. The main spots that I frequented were the BET nightclub, as well as Motions, a more ethnically mixed nightclub. Thursdays were the most popular nights at PI, and in spite of working 12+ hour shifts on most days, my friends and I would muster the energy to board the "Party" bus almost every week and head out for a night on the town. There were always plenty of.....interesting characters on the bus, so I don't recall too many dull moments going to and from PI. I got my first dose of the lame and amusing pickup lines/stalker moves that guys try in a club atmosphere, and I actually enjoyed myself while being liquor-free. A couple years later, I found out that PI had been closed down, and it bummed me out a little to hear that my old stomping ground was no more.

I moved back to St. Louis from Orlando and went back to my quiet, party-less lifestyle, then I made another move a few years down the road; this time to Atlanta. I had heard all about the hype of partying in the "A," so I was ready to get out there and see what all the city had to offer. Immediately, my roommate and I became well-acquainted with Underground Atlanta, which was not the upscale, swanky atmosphere I had envisioned before I moved away from home. It was mostly occupied by ATL hoodrats and men who looked too old to be posted up in a club for Thirsty Thursdays. Oh well. I tried to find some different places to go to, and the foolishness began.

My weekends over the next year-and-a-half in Atlanta consisted of getting dressed up in my Saturday night's best, pre-gaming with my friends, then heading out to whatever random club that promised via their fliers "ladies are free before midnight." We would show up at the club, stand in line for over an hour, and eventually find out that the club was now charging $10, $15, or whatever they felt like charging depending on who you knew or how much ass you kissed. Sometimes we would suck it up and pay the cover charge, then go inside to listen to some Gucci Mane or Wacka Flocka bullshit, and buy some drinks to keep the buzz going. Sometimes my roommate would work her negotiating skills and get us in for free, then we would go in and listen to some Gucci Mane or Wacka Flocka bullshit, and get drinks to keep the buzz going. Other times we would decide that $20 wasn't worth it, and take our asses to Taco Bell and go home.

I said all that because, after hearing that message by the pastor, I brought it up with my mom and she inquired why it would be a big deal to give up club going since it was never very enjoyable for me in the first place. I didn't have a real answer to back up my reasoning, but my biggest concern with it was (and is) that it all seems so.......FINAL. I have always been the chill, go-with-the-flow type of friend, so to go from being down for whatever to saying, "No, I can't go to the club because that's not pleasing to God" seems so out-of-character for me. My mother's argument was that I don't have to tell people I'm not going to party with them because of my religion--which is true--but that still gives me this "holier-than-thou" feeling that I'm not quite comfortable with.

One thing I'm curious to know though, is when did partying become a "sinful" thing? I'm sure most Christians would argue that it's the breeding ground for a lot of "sin" to take place, like drinking, smoking, and sex, but what about those of us who really just go to hang out with friends? I can honestly say that I have never gone to a club looking to hook up with any dude. I know damn well that a nightclub is the last place to go looking for love. As silly as club-going could be sometimes, I often found myself going out because it gave me some interesting stories to tell. It's sad, but true. Like right now.......I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything; therefore, I don't have shit to blog about. Mom's advice is to surround myself with some young Christians, but most of the people I meet who are my age and have "given themselves to God" dress and act frumpy, and listen to gospel music exclusively. I like 6-inch heels, hip-hop music, and making fun of people who do stupid shit. Yeah, don't know how long those friendships would last.

Besides, doesn't the Bible say something like "Eat, drink, and be merry"? Last time I checked, that sounded a lot like partying......

Eh, I don't know. I'm just getting over a cold so I'm kind of loopy right now, and I apologize in advance if this post is all over the place. Is it reasonable to expect 20-somethings to completely give up on the nightlife in order to get closer to God? What are some NOT so "holier-than-thou" alternatives to partying and getting wasted?


Sha Boogie said...

I struggled with that whole 'clubbing thing' when I seriously started going to church. Ever see someone in the club then bump into them in church the next day? Awkward!! lol I finally got to a place where I felt like the two just didn't mix (for me..) and figured I had to do one or the other. Will I go to a bar or 'lounge'? Yes.. club, hmmmm.. not anymore.

★Starrla Monae☆ said...

I'm kind of stuck at that point now. I used to club almost every damn weekend but you best believe I had my behind in church...crazy as it sounds my grandma used to always tell me, "If you can party all night on Saturday, you can party at church on Sunday too." Now that I've gotten older, the clubs aren't appealing anymore. I rarely go out now because it's the same people, the same music, the same bs every weekend and that gets old. I'd rather hang out at a restaurant or go to a movie or have a game night with some friends before I'd suggest a club. Those are some alternatives. You can still wear your six inch heels to the restaurant (Because I sure do!) and you can still people watch the

Poppy said...

I use to get upset when my "Christian" friends would tell me that clubbin was wrong but now I can see where they are coming from. When you go to a club you are tempted to get wasted (not everyone but some)...the bible says you can drink not get drunk. So when you do get drunk, you are out of you right mind which allows you to act in a way that is not pleasing to God.

Also in the club you are listening to sinful/terrible music such as Wacka, which is also not pleasing to God because of what the music promotes. So I totally understand the whole Christians not clubbin. I dont put myself into a religion, but I am a follower of Christ. I don't go to clubs anymore unless they aren't crowded or I'm in VIP...but not because of my religion. I think Christians can be an example by acting right in a party enviroment.

I'm trying to stray away from catchy ignorant songs because they do promote things I dont agree with.

I have plenty of stylish church going friends...much like myself. When I hang out with my "Jesus" friends we do everything but go to the club, movies, sports games, bowling, game nights & sometimes lounges. There IS life outside the party scene lol.

Oh, and about partying in Atlanta...LMAO, I know how you felt since I live here.
Great post...sorry for the long comment!

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with going to a nightclub and going to church the next day. It's called being a normal 20-something year old. You're not smoking crack and pussy popping on a stripper pole. it's just dancing, having a couple drinks and hanging out with your girlfriends. That pastor needs to get off his high horse.

UglyCleanBroke87 said...

Sha Boogie, yes I think lounges have way more class than most clubs. And I have yet to run into someone from a club at church, but I imagine it would be pretty awkward lol

Starrla, I think it's true that clubbing is something you grow out of eventually. I just like having the option to do it if I want, and the pastor's message seemed to be that that is totally off limits.

Poppy, you know I don't mind long comments! :) I agree that you can be an example by having common sense in everyday situations. That's why it seems a bit stuffy to shut yourself off from certain things, in my opinion.

Alee, girl your comment had me LMAO!!!!! Totally sounds like something I would say......but I was trying not to take it there. LOL

Piph said...

I'm not the religious type, so don't mind what I'm about to say. Fuck all that. Do what you do. I understand the not smoking and drinking mess, but if you're out to have fun. I don't do clubs, but there's no harm and having fun and partying. That's what clubs are there for, to HAVE A GOOD TIME. You don't have to drink and smoke before, during, and after. I think the pastor was saying it's sinful for the same reasons you said -- cause what is being offered to the crowd and them taking it. And I believe that's usually with the 'hoodrat-ish' clubs; I'm sure that with the upscale clubs/lounges it would be much better.

So in all, it's about your surroundings/atmosphere, how you go about it, and the type of person you are.

Anonymous said...

Personally I find myself being dissatisfied with my clubbing expriences but I keep on going anyway. Its just a normal part of out twenties though and I don't think you should just cut the party life out completely. Just do it in moderation