Thursday, December 1
The East Coast Prom mentality takes another blow
This is good news on multiple levels, but first of all it is a sign of the continued stand on the part of the Marianists on Long Island against the wasteful and debaucherous mentality that high school proms in the Northeast have become. It was about time somebody paid attention to this, and I really hope this has a domino effect among other similar preparatory schools in the region. This is a real opportunity for Catholic schools to witness to the Gospel when it comes to chastity and the proper use of money, and to attempt to transform the culture around them.
For those not from the Northeast, this may seem a bit strange - from accounts I've heard, proms in other regions involve far less money and social pressure. But one of the saddest facts in this case is the parents who both look the other way and cooperate in this excess, and whose failure to stop it has forced school administrators to step in. This culture of unmediated affluence is in some sense a dark side of the "American dream" removed from recourse to the moral and social teaching of the Church. In that sense, this particular issue ought to raise some thoughts among Catholics about why the Church in the Northeast is so dessicated compared to the Midwest and some parts of the South. Did the same comfort and affluence help to foster the general stifling of a distinctively Catholic culture and of evangelical zeal after the second generation or so of immigrants? I'm just thinking aloud, but as someone who has come out of that situation and now spent several years in the Midwest, where things are markedly different and the Faith seems much more generally alive (though it is starting to come to life again on Long Island, as my brother and the Reverted Xer testify), I think there might be something to it.