Demonizing the Innocent

Member Freedom of Religion, The Monastery

In the early 1970’s the Seattle Police were dealing with some serious threats to the community. There are robbers, vandals, criminals assaulting innocent civilians, and worse, happening daily in the city. Luckily, the SPD have their priorities straight; the police know that the true threat to the city comes from the criminals and degenerates who are drinking alcohol at The Monastery, a gay “Disco Church” located downtown.

In an attempt to publicly shame, the Police made sure that every person in the Church were cited, held in custody, photographed and exposed as “filthy, dirty sacramental-alcohol-drinkers” that they were portrayed to be.  Good job, Seattle police – way to go!

Just one thing, The Monastery held itself itself to be a Church. And yes, perhaps just like the fundamentalists and Holy Rollers danced to the spirit, The Monastery guests maybe had some spirits to help them dance too. We tend to forget that prior to the fourteenth century the Catholic Church had a festival called “Carnival”, in which the sacraments were shared by the parishioners throughout the Roman Republics. During these Carnivals, Priests did not speak in Latin, and the frolicking and partying continued through the wee hours of the morning, worshiping the Lord. Sometimes Parishioners become so intoxicated that they had to be awakened in the morning and removed by the custodians.  

…the custom of the churches was thoroughly entrenched in the late Middle Ages and a tolerated—if not actually enjoyed—even by many parish priests. Priest women danced; whole congregations joined in. Despite the efforts of the hierarchy, Christianity remained, to a certain extent, a danced religion.

– Dancing in the Streets, by Barbara Ehrenreich