Most reasonable people can agree that the only thing missing from the modern church experience is Death Cab for Cutie lyrics. The arrival, then, of the Trinity Grace Church to New York City's East Village ("a neighborhood perceived by many as libertine," The New York Times hazards) proves welcome: Trinity Grace's pastor and founder, 33-year-old Guy Wasko, quotes from Death Cab as freely as he does from scripture. And that's not all! The Rev. Wasko, we are told by the Times, sports "spiky brown hair" and "eight-gauge steel posts in both ears"; he has a tattoo, and, judging by the accompanying photographs, a soul patch. In other words: This guy is legit. And thanks to him, the East Village is getting a dose of rock 'n roll preaching:
Trinity Grace considers all sex outside marriage sinful, and marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Mr. Wasko said that he had kissed three women before marrying his wife, and that he now regretted all of them. In its counseling for couples, the church subdivides physical affection into a 10-step "purity ladder," moving from amorous looks to intercourse, and insists that couples who have already been intimate stop, and abstain until they are wed. Anything past kissing, Mr. Wasko said, "is an on-ramp where things progress pretty quickly."...
"I'm not intentionally trying to scoot around hot-topic issues," he said. "I'm not trying to hide from the gay issue or the abortion issue. Jesus had some hard teachings. It's prudent for us as an East Village church to know where we stand and what the Bible teaches, but not to lead with positions that polarize people. I want our church story to be so much more than where it stands on one hot-topic issue."
Wasko's church overlooks Cooper Square, around the corner from the Astor Place Starbucks, which is the most libertine Starbucks in New York. Of course, the East Village's notorious libertinism isn't the only reason Trinity Grace has opened a branch in the capital of New York decadence: "Mr. Wasko," the Times reveals, "fell for the neighborhood after seeing Rent."