Sin City Print
Written by Michael Fones   
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 08:51

Yes, I'm in "fabulous Las Vegas." It may seem like an odd place for Dominicans to gather - then again, not, since St. Dominic had a famous all-nighter with an Albigensian tavern owner-innkeeper. A group of us from the southwest portion of the Province are meeting to talk about issues facing our Province and its ministries as we prepare for our assembly next summer.

As I walked through the airport last night past the posters advertising various cabarets with showgirls, the Chippendales and something called the "Thunder from Down Under" (and it wasn't about the Institute's office in Melbourne), I recalled the Las Vegas slogan,
"What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
I was reminded of it again this morning as I drank tea from a Las Vegas mug with its written reminder of its reputation as "Sin City."

That is moral (or, better immoral) wishful thinking. There is no sin that "doesn't hurt anyone." Even if no one else seems to be harmed, I am harmed. I am lessened by my own sin. I become less "Michael," and thus, since I am changed, it stands to follow that every relationship I am in is changed - perhaps imperceptibly, but changed, nonetheless.

"What happens in Vegas" doesn't stay in Vegas, except the cash I lose gambling, and a bit of my humanity. If I have come to Sin City to engage in sin, I will return home less authentic, less real; like the shadowy figures in C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce who cannot stand the sharp reality of the grassy plain that is the anteroom of heaven.