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“Ask a Priest: Is It OK to Go to Nightclubs?”
Q: Is it OK for Catholics to go out clubbing, as long as they don’t get drunk or indulge in promiscuous behavior? – T.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s good that you are at least raising this question. More people would benefit from reflecting a bit on whether visiting and socializing at nightclubs is a healthy way to mingle with others.
That said, it is impossible to give a simple answer, since there are so many factors involved in a particular decision to go to a nightclub.
Among the factors to be weighed: the club itself (does it have a notorious reputation?); the overall ambience (is the music and attire risqué?); the style of clothes you will wear (modest?); the expense (is the money best used elsewhere?); and the frequency of attendance (is this a weekly thing, or a once-in-a-lifetime event?).
There are other moral issues to be considered. Though you intend to avoid excess drinking, would your presence be interpreted as condoning drunkenness in other people? What would “clubbing” say about your own values?
As a woman you would also want to be attentive to personal safety.
You might avoid drunkenness, but the young men around you might have less success. For them, the nightclub blend of wine, women and song can easily become combustible. The pleasant club you enter at 8 p.m. can take on a ferocious tinge by midnight.
So, it might be good to step back and consider the bigger picture of your life.
You might want to consider whether you can cultivate good friendships in venues that are prone to bringing out the seedier side of people.
Ideally you want to cultivate friendships with people who will help you to grow in your faith and to use your gifts to give glory to God.
Healthier alternatives to a nightclub might include a modest party with good friends and a simple buffet and a classic movie in the DVD player; or a trip to a museum followed by a dinner at a modest restaurant.
As friends of friends tag along occasionally, your social network can expand and be enriched. Along the way you can help to build a little Christian community of sorts.
Perhaps some of this is worth taking to prayer.
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