Why Do Fundamentalist Men and Women Dress Differently?

how should a woman dress

Within Evangelicalism, especially on the far right of the Evangelical spectrum, women are considered subservient, second class, whoring Jezebels out to rob men and teenage boys of their virtue. Listen to enough sermons at the local Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church and you will likely conclude that seductive women are lurking in the shadows ready to expose a bit of leg and cleavage, bringing weak, helpless men to their knees and hopefully to her bed. After all, the Bible does have a story that warns of this very behavior:

…For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7)

Evangelicals have concluded that the only way to save teenage boys and men from whoring Christian women is to demand that women cover up their flesh and wear clothing that mutes their feminine shape. They are implored to dress in a way that will not draw any attention from the male species. Often, women are told not to wear excessive make up or jewelry. Again, it’s harlots that paint themselves up and wear bawdy gaudy jewelry, so Christian women should avoid wearing anything that gives the appearance of being an easy sexual mark. Again, justification for this demand can be found in the Bible:

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (1 Timothy 2)

While most Evangelical churches no longer make an issue of how women wear their hair, some on the far right of the Evangelical spectrum do, requiring women to wear their hair long and/or put it up in a beehive or bun. As always, the BIBLE says:

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (1 Corinthians 11)

Some Evangelical sects believe, based on the above text, that a woman wearing her hair long shows that she is in submission to her father if she is unmarried and to her husband if she is married.  Some sects even go so far as to require women to wear a head covering, a doily-like piece of fabric which says to all who dare gaze on her that she is in submission to God, the church, her father, and her husband.

All of these things are used to keep women in their place. What is that place, you ask? Married, submissive, keeper of the home, bearer of children, and on-demand sex machine. Post high school education is often discouraged, and if a woman is determined to get a college education she is often shipped off to an Evangelical Christian college to train for her MRS degree. The end game is always marriage and bearing children.

On any given day I can go to Meijer or Walmart and I will see Evangelical families shopping. How do I know they are Evangelical Christians? One look at the mothers or the daughters is all I need. Their head-to-toe Evangelical burka or Little-House-on-the-Prairie garb make them stand out from the unwashed Philistines around them. I can even determine of which particular sect they are a part based on the way the women wear certain items of clothing or how they wear their hair. Apostolic or holiness women, forbidden to cut their hair, often put their hair up in a bun or bee hive.

But, here’s the thing, if the unmarried boys or the fathers are in the store without the fairer sex by their side, they blend in quite well. Some Mennonite sects wear a certain style of pants, belts, or suspenders, but outside of the that the men look like any other man in the store. Why is it that the men are free to dress as men typically do, but women are forced to dress in a manner that says to the world that they are part of a religion that treats them like seductresses and appendages, the man’s  servant?

I’m sure pious Evangelicals will suggest that women dress and behave this way because they choose to do so. Anyone who thinks like this is ignorant of the conditioning and mind control that goes on in many Evangelical sects. From the cradle to the grave, women are told what their place is in God’s divine order. They are constantly reminded of the importance of covering up their body so they don’t cause men to lust. Many of the people who read this blog were raised in this kind of religious environment, and they will tell you that the puritanical moralizing becomes very much a part of a woman’s life. It’s all they’ve ever known, so how can it ever be said that they freely choose to live this way?

Here’s all the proof you need. Look at women who leave/flee Evangelical sects such as those mentioned above. What are some of the first things they do after they leave? get a new hairstyle, paint their nails, stop wearing dresses/culottes, start wearing makeup and jewelry, start wearing shoes with heels, show a little leg or cleavage. Perhaps in the quiet confines of the bathroom or the bedroom they look at themselves in the mirror wearing their new style of clothes and they smile and say “nice!” And once the proverbial horse is out of the barn, there’s no hope of corralling it. I know of no woman who ever returned to these type of restrictions once they were free of them.

Were you once part of an Evangelical church/sect that restricted how a women dressed, wore her hair, etc? How did things change for you after you left? Please share your story in the comment section.

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76 Comments

  1. Heather

    The pantyhose!!!

    Reply
  2. formerHACgirl

    Amen to the pantyhose!
    I am exIFB, but the conditioning is so strong that I have had trouble shaking the dress code. I had a panic attack the first time wearing pants, and even now am hyper-aware of every man and his actions when I don’t dress modestly. If I need confidence, I have to wear a skirt. I still live most of my life in dresses because it is easier and more comfortable.
    The cutting the hair and painting the nails came easily, but I still don’t feel right in makeup or jewelry. It’s not as bad as the pants, but the conditioning is still there.
    I don’t understand how to do stylish, so it is unusual for me to look in the mirror and say “nice”. Usually I just say “good enough”.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Polly was 45 before she wore a pair of pants. We were living in Yuma, AZ at the time and we were shopping at Target. I suggested she try on some capri’s. I think she felt God’s Clothing Police were going to arrest her, but she bought several pair and that simple decision radically changed her life. Her hair is much shorter now and I’ve even bought jewelry for her for Christmas. She still doesn’t wear much make up and I’m fine with that. I like her just like she is. ?

      Both of us have moments where we have what I call a fundy hangover; residual fear and guilt, left over from our past. We laugh now when they make an appearance, but when we first deconverted there was that fear of being wrong and going to hell.

      We are both quite happy to have the freedom to wear whatever we want, go wherever we want, do whatever we want, all without guilt and fear. I suppose, to the Evangelical , this is a sign that God has given us over to a reprobate mind. if so, we love being reprobates. ?

      Reply
      1. Michael Mock

        Well, and I’ve seen your pictures; Polly is a beautiful woman, and the shorter hair suits her.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          Yes, it does. She had shorter hair when we dated/married. But, her fundamentalist husband/pastor/beautician read that verse in the Bible and said….no more short hair. Polly hated this period of our life with Jesus. She did what she could with her hair, but it was, at times, unflattering. 100% my fault.

          Our girls, on the other hand, had long beautiful red hair. The first time they had it cut there was a sense of loss, losing what they had spent their short lifetime growing. They donated their cut hair to Locks of Love. Red hair is hard to come by so they appreciated the ginger donation.

          Reply
  3. Brian

    As a young boy with a paper route, I bought my mom a pair of ear-rings from the local corner store. My dad made me take them back and went on about sinful adorning of the body etc., stuff that made no sense to a little boy who wanted to buy a birthday gift for his mom. My mother knew that his actions were wrong; I could see it in her face but she held her tongue.
    Evangelicalism is poison and harms children routinely, a joyful service to God the Bully Father in Heaven.

    Reply
    1. Beth

      That just made me sad.

      Reply
    2. Charity

      As a mommy of two boys, this hurt my heart. I’m so sorry.

      Reply
      1. Angiep

        Me too…I could not imagine making my son ever return a gift he gave me. Even the macaroni necklaces he made for Mother’s Day got worn to church! (And there were many of us “admiring” each other’s gifts!)

        Reply
        1. Charity

          Goes to show how oppressive religion can be!

          I still have a few Church craft Christmas ornaments that my boys made. God stuff comes and goes, but love for our children is forever.

          Reply
  4. Susan-Anne White

    Mr.Gerencser, I do not see much modesty in Evangelical Christian churches today, quite the opposite and I speak as an Evangelical Christian woman although I am not a member of any church. However we have attended churches regularly in the past and most of the women we have observed are anything but modest, they are provocatively and sometimes scantily clad and for the most part the Pastors do nothing. In fact, in some cases, the Pastors’ wives and daughters are “chief in this offence.” The worldliness and immodesty in most churches is the main reason why we rarely go to church anymore. However we continue to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day and we listen to two sermons at home and spend the day quietly. I have seen photos of US churches on the internet and most of the women in the church websites we have seen are worldly and immodest and they wear cosmetics (some are so heavily made up that their faces look like masks.) This appears to be the prevailing culture in most doctrinally sound churches such as Baptist and the Reformed camp. These things ought not so to be. I wrote a post on our blog sometime ago and the title neatly sums up the point I am making and the title is “Heads covered but legs exposed.” I cannot understand how your abandonment of Christianity has led to your rejection of modesty and clean speech (among other things.) I am sure that there are atheists who believe (now there’s an unusual word to use in connection with atheists) in modest clothing, and are against abortion and homosexual couplings for example, yet your brand of atheism has made you militantly anti-Christian. In conclusion, Mr.Gerencser, may I ask why you think that prostitutes dress so scantily and provocatively? Could it be that they are more likely to catch the eye of lustful, adulterous/fornicating-type men? Do you not see any connection between immodesty and lust. If churches want to help men and women in the battle with lust, they should preach modesty and guard against over-familiarity between the sexes and they should enforce those standards because it is pointless having a standard or policy if it is not enforced.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      We are each responsible for our own sexuality. Lust is a religious term. Sexual desire, even desiring someone who is not your spouse, is not inherently wrong. It is quite normal for a man to admire and appreciate the female shape. It’s fundamentalists like you who turn normal, healthy desire into sin, something to be denied. I can look at a woman and say nice without ravaging her on the spot. I’m a grown man who has his sexuality under control. Christians, on the other hand, are told to fear and deny their sexuality under pains of judgment and death. This unnatural, puritanical obsession with denying normal human behavior breeds fearful, weak men and women.

      I see you are following in AW Pink’s shoes, thinking no church is good enough for you.

      Reply
      1. Susan-Anne White

        Another evasive answer from you Mr.Gerencser. So, the arch atheist Bruce Gerencser is now implying that it is us, the Whites, who are at fault because we do not think that any church is good enough for us, and this from the man who mocks and ridicules Christians and Christianity and who, long ago, waved churches “goodbye.” When it suits you Sir, you will invoke any and all things Christian (despite hating and rejecting it all) as a weapon to use against those you cannot adequately answer. Your post was about the dress code in IFB churches and I responded to that topic. You have now gone off topic and introduced AW Pink and then made a sweeping blanket generalisation of us. Answer the points I raised in my post Sir, one by one, and, if you don’t like a formidable woman like me forcing the issue with you, too bad. You can always ban me from commenting on your blog. That would be the coward’s way out.

        Reply
        1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

          I did answer your questions. The AW Pink line was a freebie. Here you are condemning the Christian church and you aren’t even part of it. Like Pink, you think that you are more pure, holy, and right, than other Christians.

          Normally, I would cut someone like you off from commenting, but you are so God damn entertaining….and your comments are helpful in making people atheist.

          Reply
        2. Michael Mock

          Point by point, eh? If I may…

          “Another evasive answer from you Mr.Gerencser.”

          Not evasive at all, merely brief; it’s a capsule summary of why Bruce (and many, if not all, of the rest of us) finds you unpersuasive.

          “So, the arch atheist Bruce Gerencser is now implying that it is us, the Whites, who are at fault because we do not think that any church is good enough for us…”

          Not “at fault”; merely being silly. This is not the point where any question of fault (or even results or effects of behavior) comes into the discussion. This is Bruce pointing out your profound and even comical sense of self-importance.

          “…and this from the man who mocks and ridicules Christians and Christianity and who, long ago, waved churches ‘goodbye.'”

          Well, yes. That’s sort of the point, actually.

          “When it suits you Sir, you will invoke any and all things Christian (despite hating and rejecting it all) as a weapon to use against those you cannot adequately answer.”

          Not so much as a weapon, really. Using Christian terminology when talking to Christians is mainly an attempt to phrase things in ways that you will recognize and understand. It also serves as a reminder that, as former Christians, we have some understanding of how you look at the world. Also, the fact that Bruce’s answer didn’t satisfy you does not mean that it wasn’t a perfectly adequate answer.

          “Your post was about the dress code in IFB churches and I responded to that topic.”

          Yes; you responded with a dissertation on how churches, even evangelical churches, even doctrinally sound churches, don’t live up to your high standards of modesty.

          “You have now gone off topic and introduced AW Pink and then made a sweeping blanket generalisation of us.”

          Not at all; Bruce responded to the fact that you’d posted a dissertation on how churches, even evangelical churches, even doctrinally sound churches, don’t live up to your high standards of modesty. He responded, in fact, by pointing out that the modesty you prize so highly is a deeply flawed concept that causes more harm than it alleviates… which was precisely the point of his original article. The person who has gone off-topic here is you, Mrs. White. After that, Bruce added a reference to AW Pink, in response to your (off-topic) admission that not even your fellow Christians can live up to your absurdly high standards.

          “Answer the points I raised in my post Sir, one by one, and, if you don’t like a formidable woman like me forcing the issue with you, too bad.”

          I know you asked Bruce to respond to you, but unless Bruce objects I’d like to answer you points myself, thus alleviating him of the burden of, um, wading through them. I’ll post that at the bottom of the page, however, as we’re going to get lost in layers of comments if we remain this far up the page.

          …You really do think of yourself as formidable, don’t you? Whatever in the world gives you that impression? What is it, exactly, that you’ve achieved, or even attempted, that we should be impressed by? As far as I can tell, you mainly just sit in your house and scold other people for not living up to your absurd standards. You’ve made one run for public office, which you yourself admit was only intended to give you more visibility with which to share your views — with the result that both your candidacy and your views were roundly rejected by very nearly everyone around you. That doesn’t look formidable; quite the opposite.

          “You can always ban me from commenting on your blog. That would be the coward’s way out.”

          Oh, I love this tactic. Claim that banning you would be cowardice! That way, you can be as senseless, repetitive, and/or obnoxious as you like, and when someone does finally get tired of listening to your tripe and cuts you off, you can declare victory anyway! It’s a win-win!

          Reply
          1. Becky Wiren

            Do you really think your preaching, insults, and assumption of superiority endear you to ANYONE on this blog? Or in fact, to anyone, EVER? I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with you or your ideas if I met you in public. Instead, I would be polite and then walk, no RUN, in the opposite direction. And I am not an atheist either.

        3. Dale

          Goody White, when Bruce allows some of you fundies to hurl/spew/puke/ralph/vomit your nasty bile in the comments, I remember all over again why I walked away. Now, go phuque yourself.

          Reply
        4. Karen the rock whisperer

          formidable woman like me

          Snicker.

          forcing the issue with you

          Actually, at this point Bruce could have just ignored you, and that’s what I might have done; he’s a kinder person than I am. You can’t force an issue with someone on their own blog. You can, however, have a tantrum.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Michael did a super job of responding to her. White has an inflated view of herself. If I remember right, there are some Bible verses that call such self-importance sin. I do have plans to increase her visibility. I plan to write a post about the myth and legend Ms. White. ? I think her comments are quite amusing and instructive. She fails to see that her comments are a reminder to some readers of what they left behind when they deconverted. So glad to free.

          2. Susan-Anne White

            Madam, you may snicker but not too many women could face the audience I faced at the debate below. Only a courageous, formidable woman could stand her ground in such circumstances

          3. August Rode

            “Only a courageous, formidable woman could stand her ground in such circumstances…”

            It’s worth noting, Susan-Anne, that neither ‘courageous’ nor ‘formidable’ are synonymous with ‘fair,’ ‘honest,’ ‘open-minded’ or ‘right.’ You are, without a doubt, one of the least modest people that I’ve ever encountered.

          4. Michael Mock

            “Madam, you may snicker but not too many women could face the audience I faced at the debate below. Only a courageous, formidable woman could stand her ground in such circumstances.”

            Courageous, to face an audience that you knew was going to be hostile? Sure. Dauntless, or relentless, or intrepid or even just stubborn to continue in the face of such universal rejection? Absolutely. But formidable implies some sort of strength, or power, ability to get things done despite opposition; and while you have the “opposition” part better than almost anyone I’ve ever seen, you have yet to accomplish anything — you get nothing done whatsoever, except to argue with people until they get tired of you and stop listening entirely.

            Seriously, go and look the word up. Either it doesn’t mean what you think it means, or your view of your own ability is seriously at odds with reality.

        5. KarenH

          It has not been my experience, as a Christian, of being met with mockery nor derision from Bruce when I’ve posted in reply here. I always find his posts thought provoking, whether I ultimately agree with his conclusions or not.

          I think the hyper fixation on “modesty” in some extreme Christian camps works against the very principle they set out to address; if anything such a fixation does nothing more than turn everyone’s thoughts towards sex and lust, instead of away from it. It’s like that experiment we did in high school Psychology class where the teacher said, “Try not to think of cookies.” for 15 minutes he had a roomful of teens just dying for a silly cookie. Same thing goes with this excessive obsession with modesty–as if their burgeoning sexuality wasn’t difficult enough to control, these churches fixated on modesty are basically telling their teens over and over ‘STOP THINKING ABOUT LUST AND SEX AND HOW MUCH YOU WANT THAT GIRL NEXT DOOR.”

          It’s just cruel to set our kids up to fail and then condemn them for failing.

          Reply
        6. Jada

          You’re not quite as ‘formidable’ as you seem to ‘believe’ (heh, see what I did there?) you are. Arrogant and abrasive, perhaps, but hardly ‘formidable.’

          Reply
    2. Michael Mock

      I’m curious, Mrs. White. Do you go around actively looking for things to disapprove of, or is your world-view so skewed that you actually find most of creation repugnant? The Almighty seems to have done us all a great disservice in creating Eve, rather than yourself, from Adam’s rib; had He chosen the latter course, it seems clear that we’d all still be living in Eden.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        *snap* , Michael. Love the Eve line. Made my day. ?

        Reply
    3. Karen the rock whisperer

      Preaching to the wrong crowd, I’m afraid. You haven’t thought through what dumping Christianity really means. it means that if you want to be a moral person, you have to base your morals on reality… like the human need for society and mutual respect. Sexuality is a consent issue, and attraction is not wrong. Language is a means of communication, and sometimes swearing serves a communicational purpose. Same-sex attraction is nobody else’s business but those involved in a same-sex relationship. People don’t have souls; souls don’t exist. So the abortion of something that isn’t a person yet is not obviously wrong (though people who don’t believe in souls can certainly still make arguments against it).

      It’s an amazingly different world when you try to do kindly unto others and mind your own business, as Bruce is wont to do.

      Reply
    4. August Rode

      “If churches want to help men and women in the battle with lust, they should preach modesty and guard against over-familiarity between the sexes…”

      Susan-Anne, why is lust a problem that needs to be battled against? In modern society, we hold people responsible for their *actions*, not their thoughts or feelings. Lust isn’t a problem; acting on that lust inappropriately is. So if a church really wants to help men and women in this regard, what they should do is to teach them to be adults and respect the rights of others. Wouldn’t you agree?

      Reply
      1. Susan-Anne White

        Lust IS a problem because it is unlawful desire out of control. Lust is the cause of terrible problems in society and in Evangelical churches. One of the Puritan writers, Richard Baxter spoke of the stirring up of lust in this way. It is the explosion one can expect if one walks among gunpowder with a candle. You say that we hold people responsible for their actions, and we do, but why do people act as they do? The Bible says that we are what we think i.e “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We must guard our thoughts. You say that lust isn’t a problem, acting on it is. I disagree. I say that the action was preceded by lustful thoughts and fantasies in the mind. The heart is the problem because the heart is desperately wicked. Churches should teach people about the connection between thoughts and actions.

        Reply
        1. August Rode

          You have a particularly bleak and cynical view of what it means to be human, Susan-Anne, but don’t worry… most evangelicals do. If lust is not acted on, then it is not “out of control.” Thoughts and feelings that are *not* acted on are *not* problems that need to be solved.

          Reply
    5. John Arthur

      Hi Susan,

      “The way is in the heart, not in the sky” (Buddha).

      You seem to condemn young ladies who show some leg as if this will incite men to lust, without knowing what is in the hearts of these young ladies. If their hearts are full of compassion and loving kindness that leads them to treat others with dignity and respect, why would such type of women be condemned for showing ‘leg’?

      Did the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount condemn those young ladies who show some leg? Sure he spoke against lust, but Jesus also said that ‘out of the heart are the issues of life’. If a persons heart is continually full of lust then this might lead to behaviour that might not be beneficial to that persons long term interests. However if a person’s heart is full of loving kindness, then this is in the long term welfare of the such a person and those with whom they interact.

      You are too preoccupied with Fundamental;st rules of sexual ethics , 1950’s sexual morality and the external codes of dress to look closely at what is likely to be in the hearts of these women who show leg and look at how they interact with others. Don’ t judge people by the externals of dress.

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
  5. Steve

    Excuse me dear, (if I may, Bruce), go post your opinion on a church board, since you’re not a member of one. I think I speak for our little group of godless apostates when I say no one is interested in your trolling & crap here

    Reply
  6. Brian

    Bruce, I missed this before but now I see what has happened to you! You allowed your wife to wear pants at the age of 45 and now, just look at what has happened! You have lost everything and sit on the edge of Hell itself using swear words and assisting homosexual prostitutes and scantily clad preacher’s daughters to ruin God’s modest fashion sense in churches. Why, in no time you yourself will probably parade across Ohio, scantily clad. I bet you already own a Speedo, don’t you…
    Now I am only going to say this once! Your wife has committed a grave error in wearing pants. Her over-familiarity with men is widespread in the news. Take back the pants, man! We are talking about basic Biblical matters now, foundational faith!
    I have released my prayer warriors against you and your pants. My goodness sake: Polly in pants. Jesus wept.

    Reply
    1. Dale

      Isn’t it too cold in Ohio to parade in a speedo?

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        Me in speedo=numerous heart attacks from shock. I’ve not worn a pair of shorts in public since the early 1980’s. I’m smart enough to cover what needs covering…?

        Reply
      2. Becky Wiren

        Ohio isn’t North Dakota! We do have four seasons and it’s quite hot during most summers. I personally, would rather not see anyone in a speedo. 😉

        Reply
  7. Matilda

    I am still looking for the verse in the bible that says it is obligatory for men to wear trousers (I’m a brit, pants to you americans) and they are forbidden to females. All the pictures of bible times I’ve ever seen have everyone in flowing robe-type garments, more like, dare I say it, Islamic dress.

    Reply
  8. Ahab

    Regarding the silly criteria for women’s clothes, what’s wrong with bright colors, writing, or (GASP!) references to the women’s movement? The fundamentalist idea of modesty seems to oppose any attempt by a woman to express her individuality.

    My area has a substantial Mennonite population too, and I was always struck by how their modesty standards are far more stringent for females than males. Funny how men aren’t expected to cover their heads or wear pioneer-era clothing.

    Reply
  9. Michael Mock

    “Mr.Gerencser, I do not see much modesty in Evangelical Christian churches today, quite the opposite…”

    I’m going to point out that the topic of Bruce’s article is that Evangelical churches teach (and in various ways, enforce) a standard of modesty that the rest of the United States largely ignores; and that standard of modesty is part of an overall pattern of keeping women submissive. You have answered that you don’t see much modesty in Evangelical Christian churches today, but that does nothing to refute Bruce’s point. The fact that these churches do not meet your criteria does not negate the fact that these churches do have their own standards of dress, which can be picked out fairly easily by someone who’s familiar with them.

    “…and I speak as an Evangelical Christian woman although I am not a member of any church. However we have attended churches regularly in the past and most of the women we have observed are anything but modest, they are provocatively and sometimes scantily clad and for the most part the Pastors do nothing. In fact, in some cases, the Pastors’ wives and daughters are ‘chief in this offence.'”

    All of this may well be true, but (again) none of it refutes Bruce’s point. It does not change the fact that many churches (and Evangelical/Fundamentalist sects in particular) teach the importance of modesty and not causing one’s fellow Christians to “stumble”. It does not change the fact that, as a result of these teachings, these churches do have a different standard of dress (which, again, is reasonably easy to recognize). Nor does it change the fact that these standards of dress are far more restrictive for women than they are for men.

    While it isn’t very far off-topic, this entire bit is not a counterpoint; it’s a digression.

    “The worldliness and immodesty in most churches is the main reason why we rarely go to church anymore. However we continue to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day and we listen to two sermons at home and spend the day quietly.”

    This, on the other hand, is entirely off-topic and only marginally relevant. This doesn’t read like any sort of evidence that Evangelical Christian churches don’t teach modesty; this is you saying that even Evangelical Christian churches aren’t good enough for you.

    “I have seen photos of US churches on the internet and most of the women in the church websites we have seen are worldly and immodest and they wear cosmetics (some are so heavily made up that their faces look like masks.) This appears to be the prevailing culture in most doctrinally sound churches such as Baptist and the Reformed camp. These things ought not so to be.”

    Pictures on the Internet are not what I’d consider a sound basis for rendering judgement — at least, not by themselves. But, even granting for the sake of argument that your impressions are absolutely correct, that still doesn’t mean that these churches don’t teach modesty; it merely means that don’t teach your standard of modesty.

    “I wrote a post on our blog sometime ago and the title neatly sums up the point I am making and the title is ‘Heads covered but legs exposed.’ I cannot understand how your abandonment of Christianity has led to your rejection of modesty and clean speech (among other things.)”

    Then you need to get out more. The arguments against the teaching of modesty, particularly as some Christian sects and churches teach it, are easy enough to find: it unfairly penalizes women (and often places them in a no-win situation, socially); it assumes, and as a result teaches and reinforces, that men have little to no control over their lustful impulses; and in practice, it causes people to focus more on lustful thoughts in relation to women’s clothing, rather than making them less likely to be tempted.

    Clean speech is a specious issue. It’s a cultural marker, not a moral one. Clean speech is neither a cause of good behavior, nor a result of good behavior — not unless you consider clean speech to be a good in itself, which is a pretty arbitrary claim.

    “I am sure that there are atheists who believe (now there’s an unusual word to use in connection with atheists) in modest clothing, and are against abortion and homosexual couplings for example…”

    Most likely there are, though off the top of my head I can’t think of any. Still, atheists are a varied bunch.

    “…yet your brand of atheism has made you militantly anti-Christian.”

    …Because Christians are, by definition, concerned with modesty, opposed to abortion, and well aware that God considers homosexuality an abomination? Nonsense. Absurdity. An errant and demonstrably false assumption. There are plenty of Christians, and plenty of Christian denominations, that reject the traditional teachings on modesty, accept the primacy of the individual conscience when it comes to abortion, and fully support homosexual intercourse within committed, married relationships.

    “In conclusion, Mr.Gerencser, may I ask why you think that prostitutes dress so scantily and provocatively? Could it be that they are more likely to catch the eye of lustful, adulterous/fornicating-type men?”

    Why do you think that’s relevant to the concept of modesty that Bruce is discussing? Yes, of course clothing can be used to attract, titillate, or inspire lust. Nobody here is arguing otherwise; Bruce’s point was different, and rather more nuanced than that. Moreover, you seem to be equating faithful, church-going women who (for example) show some cleavage, with this rather odd image of prostitutes who prowl the street looking to capture and seduce unwary men. That sort of false equivalency is part of the problem with modesty teaching.

    “Do you not see any connection between immodesty and lust.”

    …Kind of? I mean, like I said, clothing can certainly be used to attract, titillate, or turn people on. That’s true for your hypothetical prostitutes, and it’s true between a married couple in the privacy of their own home. But there’s far more to it than just the clothing, and making the issue entirely about the clothing (as you seem to do) focuses on the superficial at the expense of other, more important, considerations such as consent, intention, and cultural context.

    “If churches want to help men and women in the battle with lust, they should preach modesty and guard against over-familiarity between the sexes…”

    Except that doing so doesn’t seem to work, and frequently appears to have the opposite effect: it seems to train people, and men in particular, to react with lust whenever any sort of flesh is exposed.

    “…and they should enforce those standards because it is pointless having a standard or policy if it is not enforced.”

    So it’s not enough to teach morality, you have to force people to behave? How is that moral, again?

    Reply
    1. Susan-Anne White

      You say that guarding against overfamiliarity between the sexes doesn’t seem to work and I agree but the fact that it doesn’t seem to work is because most churches do not think it is a matter for concern and consequently they permit overfamiliarity between men and women. I’d like to give an example of the dangers of overfamiliarity in churches (or anywhere else for that matter.) A few years ago there was a dreadful case of adultery and murder in a Baptist church in Northern Ireland. A man and a woman, both married to others and all of them professing Christians, began an adulterous liaison. Later they planned and carried out the murder of their spouses making it look like a suicide pact on the part of their heartbroken faithful spouses. Before the murders, the church had discovered the adulterous liaison, but, instead of warning the wicked pair and disciplining them, they offered to counsel both couples. That was like using a syringe of water to put out a fire! The Baptist church concerned is/was a typical wishy-washy non-judgemental place, so prevalent over the last twenty years or so and it is highly likely that they were a touchy/feely/huggy church (lots of contact between men and women.) I firmly believe that if the wicked pair had been warned about their conduct at the very beginning (because it would have been obvious to those with eyes to see that the adulterous pair’s eyes were wandering in the direction of the other) the situation would never have spiralled out of control. It may seem old-fashioned to insist on a distance being kept between men and women and to insist that a Pastor watch the behaviour of his congregation but far better to be too strict as too lenient and, sadly, there are two people lying in their graves who, if they could speak, might/would wish that such rules had been in force (and enforced) in their church during their lifetime.

      Reply
      1. Michael Mock

        “You say that guarding against overfamiliarity between the sexes doesn’t seem to work and I agree but the fact that it doesn’t seem to work is because most churches do not think it is a matter for concern and consequently they permit overfamiliarity between men and women.”

        I’m tempted to day, “So you agree that this approach doesn’t work, but your solution is to do more of it???” However, upon re-reading, that doesn’t seem to fairly represent your view, so let me try again to see if I understand what you’re saying:

        I think what you mean is that “guarding against overfamiliarity” would work if it were done, but at the moment it isn’t done. Is that a fair assessment of your position?

        If so, then I still disagree; I don’t believe it would work, even if it were applied the way you think it should be applied. People who want to, um, be together tend to find ways to be together. Also, as a practical matter, it’s simply not possible to watch everybody all the time. Guarding against overfamiliarity doesn’t, as far as I can see, prevent people from lusting over each other; it only means that they begin lusting after each other at more of a distance, and for even more superficial reasons.

        “I’d like to give an example of the dangers of overfamiliarity in churches (or anywhere else for that matter.) A few years ago there was a dreadful case of adultery and murder in a Baptist church in Northern Ireland. A man and a woman, both married to others and all of them professing Christians, began an adulterous liaison. Later they planned and carried out the murder of their spouses making it look like a suicide pact on the part of their heartbroken faithful spouses. Before the murders, the church had discovered the adulterous liaison, but, instead of warning the wicked pair and disciplining them, they offered to counsel both couples. That was like using a syringe of water to put out a fire!”

        Let me tell you another version of the same story:
        Once upon a time, there was a man and a woman who fell in love, or at least lust, and began an affair. This was a terrible thing, and caused no end of hurt, sadness, heartbreak, and guilt for their families and themselves. When their church found out, they offered counseling, and told the adulterous couple that had sinned, and that they must seek forgiveness; that divorce was unacceptable, and that they must return to their spouses and make amends. This church was home to all their families and all their friends; to go against its counsel would be to make themselves outcast, scorned and alone. So, unable or unwilling to be deprived of what they thought was their love for each other, but trapped by their unwanted marriages, they turned to sin instead of redemption and murdered their faithful spouses. If only they had been permitted to divorce, these tragic deaths could have been avoided!

        I doubt you find my version of events at all persuasive. I am, after all, reading my own interpretation of motives and behaviors into the basic sequence of events: affair, counseling, murders. What I would like you to understand is that that is exactly the same reason why I don’t find your example compelling — you’re reading your interpretation of motives and behaviors into those same events.

        This is why we make decisions based on data rather than anecdotes.

        “The Baptist church concerned is/was a typical wishy-washy non-judgemental place, so prevalent over the last twenty years or so and it is highly likely that they were a touchy/feely/huggy church (lots of contact between men and women.)”

        It’s interesting to me that you dismiss their approach as wishy-washy, as I suspect they could articulate some fairly compelling reasons why they don’t embrace your keep-the-men-and-women-separate approach. I’ve already suggested that the approach simply doesn’t prevent what you see as sexual sins; but let’s accept for the sake of argument that “preventing over-familiarity” would help protect people against lust, and that lust is something that people need to be protected against (rather than, say, taught how to deal with). Even if “preventing over-familiarity” helps protect people against lust, it’s still entirely possible (and, I would argue, quite likely) that it causes more problems than it prevents.

        “I firmly believe that if the wicked pair had been warned about their conduct at the very beginning (because it would have been obvious to those with eyes to see that the adulterous pair’s eyes were wandering in the direction of the other) the situation would never have spiralled out of control.”

        Perhaps; perhaps not. But even if you’re right about this particular case… A solution can solve one particular problem, or prevent one particular situation (even one that’s truly horrible) and still be a bad solution. If you’ll permit me to generalize for a moment, that’s how a lot of your ideas strike me.

        ” It may seem old-fashioned to insist on a distance being kept between men and women and to insist that a Pastor watch the behaviour of his congregation…”

        Not old fashioned so much as simply misguided.

        “…but far better to be too strict as too lenient…”

        No. Too much strictness can be just as bad as too much leniency, and sometimes worse.

        Most of the things that seem “old-fashioned” seem that way because people no longer use them; and most often, when people no longer use something, it’s because that something wasn’t working — or because they’ve found something else that works better.

        “…and, sadly, there are two people lying in their graves who, if they could speak, might/would wish that such rules had been in force (and enforced) in their church during their lifetime.”

        This is a meaningless hypothetical. They might also be sitting around in Heaven, sipping piña coladas, and saying to each other, “Gosh, that really would have gone much better if we’d all just gotten divorced,” while Jesus says, “Yeah, sorry, that sermon was trying to emphasize that divorce is a horrible, painful thing and should be avoided. It wasn’t meant to drive them to murder instead.”

        Mrs White, please don’t enlist the dead to make your argument for you. I don’t think there’s an afterlife myself, but if I’m wrong and you manage to arrive there, you may owe these people a rather large apology for putting words in their mouths.

        Reply
        1. Susan-Anne White

          In answer to your question, yes I do believe that guarding against overfamiliarity would work if Pastors saw that too close contact between the sexes was unwise and even dangerous. I believe that married couples should build battlements (figuratively speaking) around their marriages because temptation lurks around every corner and there are men and women who deliberately set their sights on married men or married women (as the case may be.) In a battle situation, a soldier has to protect himself because the enemy is always looking for weakness and vulnerability. Married couples must likewise protect themselves from the enemies of marriage e.g morally loose men and women and pornography. The crime I cited of adultery/murder centred around a church in Northern Ireland took place in 1991 I think but was only discovered around 2009 or thereabouts. The guilty parties are now in prison. We live very far away from that church and have never been in it. You seem to think that I am against divorce, not at all, I believe there are grounds for divorce. In fact the LORD gave Israel a bill of divorcement on occasions in the Old Testament era. I believe that a betrayed spouse has every right to divorce an adulterous husband or wife and I believe that the spouses of the two murderers should have divorced them. I do not know if the Pastor at that church ever suggested divorce but hearing him speak on the radio sometime ago, he was very much in favour of forgiving the adulterers and reconciling with them. I would not have been so lenient and I wish that adultery was illegal in NI as it is in 21 states of America. In fact I called for the punishment of adulterers when I stood for election earlier this year. By the way, I have been a candidate in two elections not just one. I was a candidate in the 2014 Council elections in NI. Again I was unsuccessful. It matters not. I made my presence felt.

          Reply
          1. August Rode

            Susan-Anne, you are correct in that something like 21 US states have anti-adultery laws on the books. However, for all that they are enforced, these laws may as well not even exist so it seems pretty pointless for you to continue to refer to them.

            By the way, the most important “enemy of marriage” is to be found *within* the marriage, and not trying to penetrate the marriage from the outside. I have no idea what sort of figurative battlements you think spouses ought to erect but any soldier will tell you that there is no point to putting up a barricade if the enemies are to be found inside the walls.

          2. John Arthur

            Hi Susan,

            “… I wish adultery was illegal in NI”. What kind of punishments do you recommend? Do you think God’s so-called laws of the OT should apply (capital punishment)? Or do you think people should be jailed and for how long? Or should they be fined and how much?

            Why should punishments apply?

            Shalom,

            John Arthur

          3. Jada

            Law enforcement officers have a certain amount of latitude concerning what ‘personal morality’ laws they’ll trouble themselves with. I can assure you that no one I ever worked with would ever have wasted their time on a day’s worth of pointless paperwork over someone’s relationship issues that didn’t involve domestic violence or child abuse. Yes, even in Alabama they were told to get it together and do whatever it took to assure that we’d not be called to that address again – at least not that (usually) night. If we were, ‘then’ someone would be going to jail, because we weren’t going to pay games with these people for the rest of the shift.

            Of course, passing any such law in the present is a pipe dream. The existing laws are so rarely prosecuted as to be nil, again, because of a lack of resources and infrastructure. Faced with a myriad of actual criminal activity, taxpayers aren’t going to support a Big Brother authority peeking into people’s bedrooms. Those existing laws are quickly disappearing and will likely be completely abandoned in the next fifty or so years, if my considerable experience is any guide.

  10. Candi

    I remember getting saved in IFB church in 1998. Didn’t switch to wearing only dresses for a few months, but I remember when I did, the church was “so proud” of me for following God’s way. I lived and dressed like that for about 13 years. I remember once the pastor’s wife giving out a pamphlet to us ladies, showing how modesty should look on a lady.. even down to the types of shoes being worn. Ridiculous!

    Then when I left the church and went to Southern Baptist, it was a whole new world! I chose to start wearing pants, but it took me a long while to get up the courage. I went to Walmart and bought a pair of jeans while looking over my shoulder for fear that a church member from my former church would see me!!! Now I rarely wear dresses because pants are so comfortable! Can’t believe I missed so many years of being able to dress the way I want. Oh well… at least I got out while I was still… during my late 30s!

    For those of you who never joined an IFB church… beware. They will tell you that it’s a “choice” but if you choose to dress however you want, they will shun you until you have no choice to leave the church.. You won’t be able to sing in the choir or teach Sunday school, etc. until you start “dressing right.”

    Reply
  11. carmen

    Well! This was certainly an entertaining thread! I did some hooting, let me tell you; I extend my heartfelt thanks to the commenters. 🙂

    Susan Anne,

    As I was reading your comments I was thinking about my workplace. I am a public school teacher at the local High School (gr. 9 – 12) There are about 65 staff, as many males as there are females (actually, there may be more women on staff) . I was laughing to myself as I read your comments, because I can tell you that the staff members are very affectionate with each other. You’ll routinely see staff members touching; even hugging! (I believe you refer to it as ‘close contact’) You’ll routinely see students being hugged and touched by staff (and definitely see them hugging, kissing and touching each other!) You’ll hear – every day – someone being called, “Dear”, “Sweetie”, “Darlin”, “Me old trout”, etc. It’s what people do when they have genuine affection for others. We manage to control our temptations, I guess — at any rate, I’ve never heard of any ‘adulterers’. 😉

    Reply
    1. Susan-Anne White

      Madam, whilst you obviously found my comments entertaining, I, for my part, found nothing funny about the situation that prevails at your school. I find myself wondering if the spouses of the married teachers at your school are aware that their spouses hug and touch (your words) their colleagues and students in the course of a working day. You are all playing with fire.

      Reply
      1. John Arthur

        Hi Susan,

        Not all ‘touching’ or ‘kissing’ is sexual in nature, but you seem to assume that it is. You seem to be fixated with a very narrow interpretation of sexual morality. Treat each other with dignity and respect and don’t assume adultery is very likely to be around the corner if social interaction includes such things as a friendly hug.

        Shalom,

        John Arthur

        Reply
        1. Carmen

          John Arthur,

          I’m sending you virtual hugs, all the way fron Nova Scotia.

          In my former church family, I had an elderly person tell me once, “One of the bad things about getting old is that no one TOUCHES me anymore.” You can be sure that whenever I saw him after that, I hugged him. I have tried to do that with more people, as I have climbed the senior ladder, and find that people always respond positively.

          Oh, and Earl, the fellow I spoke about above, is still pouring tea at church breakfasts at 93. The first thing he does, when he sees me, is set the teapot down and put his arms out. 🙂

          Reply
          1. Brian

            Lovely scene, thank-you for sharing it…. (Of course, Susan-Anne !knows! that Earl has nothing but sex on his mind. After all, he is only 93 and well, MEN. ) By even speaking with a man, you open the doors wide and invite assault. (burp)

  12. Michael Mock

    Mrs. White, I hope you don’t mind that I’m moving down the page again. I find it much easier to follow the flow a conversation this way, than when we have newer comments hidden and huddled between older ones.

    “In answer to your question, yes I do believe that guarding against overfamiliarity would work if Pastors saw that too close contact between the sexes was unwise and even dangerous.”

    Okay, good; at least I’m responding to your actual views, and not some Straw Man based on a misunderstanding of them.

    That said… This idea of Pastors preventing people from sexual sin is deeply, deeply strange to me. I can’t even begin to imagine how you might implement such a thing in the world I live in, even if every Pastor in existence were utterly convinced of the rightness of your views. To be clear, I do not mean to imply that I think you’re mad; it’s just that I’m in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. It’s a sprawling, multicultural, multireligious area, urban and suburban, and I can’t see any way that a Pastor could keep that close an eye on even a small congregation in this environment. The very concept is, quite literally, foreign to me.

    However, I am also well aware that there are other areas — rural areas, small towns, or (oddly) certain mega-churches that act as enclaves within otherwise-diverse environments — where a Pastor really could exercise that sort of authority (and some do). However, placing that kind of authority in a Pastor (or even a group of pastors) begets its own host of abuses, as I’m sure many of the readers here can attest. (The Catholic church may get the lion’s share of press coverage, but they are far from the only ones to have clergy who misuse their status and authority.)

    ” I believe that married couples should build battlements (figuratively speaking) around their marriages because temptation lurks around every corner and there are men and women who deliberately set their sights on married men or married women (as the case may be.)”

    Now, see, this I would actually agree with; but that’s because now you’re talking about people taking responsibility for (and acting to deal with) their own lusts and temptations, rather than blithely handing authority to someone else with the expectation that a Pastor will protect them better than they’ll protect themselves.

    “In a battle situation, a soldier has to protect himself because the enemy is always looking for weakness and vulnerability. Married couples must likewise protect themselves from the enemies of marriage e.g morally loose men and women and pornography.”

    I’m not sure battle metaphor is warranted, since (as August Rode pointed out) temptation isn’t an outside threat. “The line between good and evil does not lie between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ between the West and the rest, between Left and Right, between rich and poor,” observed N. T. Wright. “That fateful line runs down the middle of each of us, every human society, every individual. This is not to say that all humans, and all societies, are equally good or bad; far from it. Merely that we are all infected and that all easy attempts to see the problem in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’ are fatally flawed.” He was, perhaps, echoing Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who wrote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

    So while I don’t dispute your examples — pornography and, um, “poaching” certainly can threaten a marriage — I would suggest that those external dangers are relatively minor and peripheral threats when compared to the deeper fractures that can occur within a marriage. As a result, I think it’s more helpful to establish marriages on a stable foundation than to try to wall them off from outside threats.

    “The crime I cited of adultery/murder centred around a church in Northern Ireland took place in 1991 I think but was only discovered around 2009 or thereabouts. The guilty parties are now in prison. We live very far away from that church and have never been in it.”

    …Which makes it doubly troubling that you would presume to speak for their dead.

    “You seem to think that I am against divorce…”

    Actually, no. I was taking a poke at you when I mentioned that I don’t find you especially formidable; but I was not doing so when I brought up divorce. That entire retelling was only meant to point out that different people will take different lessons from the same set of events, and indeed may describe those same events in very different ways — the result being that these sorts of little homilies that you like to offer as examples aren’t very persuasive when it comes to making your point.

    “…not at all, I believe there are grounds for divorce. In fact the LORD gave Israel a bill of divorcement on occasions in the Old Testament era.”

    If you want to characterize it that way; from my own reading, it looks less like a bill of divorce and more like a husband deciding to beat his wife until she behaved.

    “I believe that a betrayed spouse has every right to divorce an adulterous husband or wife and I believe that the spouses of the two murderers should have divorced them.”

    I would agree, except for two things. First of all, you say that as if only a betrayed spouse should have the right to divorce. Why wait for it to go that far? If someone is so unhappy or unsatisfied (or so greedy, or so selfish, or even so stupid) that they’re going to commit adultery, why shouldn’t we let them go ahead and divorce? Yes, it’s difficult and heartwrenching and painful; yes, it can create some bad situations; but is that pain — are those situations — worse than waiting until after adultery occurs? Would that create less pain, or better situations? Or would it be better to let the people involved choose their own courses all the way through?

    “I do not know if the Pastor at that church ever suggested divorce but hearing him speak on the radio sometime ago, he was very much in favour of forgiving the adulterers and reconciling with them. I would not have been so lenient…”

    What makes you think that was lenient?

    Whatever you may think of the doctrine of Utter Depravity (and I don’t presume to guess your views on this, let alone how you apply them in day-to-day life), most people who are unhappy with their spouses and/or convinced that they would be happier with someone else do not go looking to commit murder. It’s just not the first option that occurs to most people.

    That suggests to me that the adulterous couple had some other reason for deciding to murder their spouses instead of ignoring their pastor and getting divorces. It suggests that they felt trapped in their existing marriages, and trapped to an extent that made murder — even with the attendant risk of being caught and punished — seem like their only chance for happiness. That makes the Pastor’s — and the church’s — “counsel” seem less like leniency, and more like a mindless adherence to principle that amounted, in practical terms, to an ongoing and perpetual punishment… and no matter that it was phrased in terms of justice, loyalty, love, and reconciliation.

    “…and I wish that adultery was illegal in NI as it is in 21 states of America.”

    August rode is right. Those laws may still be on the books, but they’re remainders: unread and unenforced.

    More to the point, adultery is not the sort of thing that can be prevented with the threat of punishment. That’s simply not the way that people work. Make it punishable by death — require every city in the world to have a gate where adulterers can be stoned — and it won’t prevent adultery; it will only make adulterers far more willing to kill in order to avoid being caught. Your solution creates more evils than it alleviates.

    “In fact I called for the punishment of adulterers when I stood for election earlier this year.”

    And I’m sure you did so in the hope of making the world a better place. (No, that is not sarcasm.) I don’t doubt that you’re trying to do good; it’s just that I (and apparently nearly everyone else) remain convinced that there are far better ways to go about it. And, again, I don’t include that parenthetical in order to mock you; I simply want to point out that people reject your views for reasons, and lack of understanding and/or basic iniquity are not the only possible explanations.

    “By the way, I have been a candidate in two elections not just one. I was a candidate in the 2014 Council elections in NI.”

    I’m sorry, I didn’t realize; I was only aware that you’d been a candidate once.

    “Again I was unsuccessful. It matters not. I made my presence felt.”

    Yes, but to what effect? Having the courage of your convictions is all well and good, but if all you manage to do is provide affirmation for a handful of like-minded souls, what have you really accomplished? And if, in the process, you made your Christianity appear to everyone else as narrow-minded, sex-obsessed, and bigoted, isn’t that a Pyrrhic victory — at best?

    Reply
  13. Susan-Anne White

    I had to look up the meaning of the word “pyrrhic” because I did not know what it meant. I think I’ve said all I can say on the present subject except to make it clear that I believe that temptation truly lurks around every corner and we must resist it. The heart of man is also part of the problem because the Bible says that the heart is desperately wicked. So the threats to marriage come from within and without. Pastors can keep watch over their congregations, and they must, but they too must guard against over-familiarity with female members. No Pastor can prevent every act of adultery but if he teaches Biblical principles concerning marriage and the commandment to be faithful within its bonds and if he warns his congregation of the dangers facing marriage, then his people are much more likely to abide by those moral principles when they are not in church. I mentioned that I believe a betrayed spouse has grounds for divorce and you asked why a divorce could not take place earlier BEFORE the betrayal takes place. If a husband has a wandering eye and is therefore a potential adulterer, he should be warned about his behaviour. If he does not heed the warning and his wife lives in daily dread of betrayal, I believe she should separate from him but not divorce. It is physical intimacy between a married man or woman and someone he or she is not married to that constitutes adultery, and, if that vile act takes place, then the betrayed spouse can divorce the offender. I wish to make it clear that moral issues are not my only concern. I am also concerned about Islam and multiculturalism and the European Union which I wish the UK would withdraw from, and I am concerned about barbaric halal slaughter of animals and animal cruelty in general. I am also concerned about my birthplace Northern Ireland because we have unrepentant former?! terrorists in our Government. Men and women who should be in prison. I am not a one-issue individual by any means.

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      “I had to look up the meaning of the word “pyrrhic” because I did not know what it meant.”

      Ah, sorry. It’s one of those concepts that I find very helpful; it comes up much more often than one might hope.

      “I think I’ve said all I can say on the present subject except to make it clear that I believe that temptation truly lurks around every corner and we must resist it.”

      That comes across fairly clearly, actually. You believe temptation truly lurks around every corner, and we must resist it. That bothers me, but I’m having some trouble articulating exactly why.

      It’s not that I disagree entirely. Our world certainly has its dangers, though I don’t think those dangers are anywhere near so pronounced as you seem to find them. So part of it is that the way you describe the world simply doesn’t match the world I see around me, or my own experience. I don’t look at objects and find myself overwhelmed by the temptation to steal them; I don’t look at women and find myself overwhelmed by the desire to cheat on my wife; I don’t look at that one incredibly annoying co-worker and find myself tempted to murder him.

      But I think what really troubles me is not that you believe that temptation is all around us and we must resist it; I may find that view exaggerated or even melodramatic, but I don’t think think it’s entirely wrong. No, I think what troubles me is that you appear to believe that temptation is all around us, and you must protect everyone else from it — regardless of whether they want that sort of protection.

      Helping your neighbor is one thing, when the help is freely offered and freely accepted; forcing your help on someone who doesn’t want it is something else entirely. At that point, it isn’t help anymore. At best, it’s bullying; at worst, it’s tyranny.

      “The heart of man is also part of the problem because the Bible says that the heart is desperately wicked. So the threats to marriage come from within and without. Pastors can keep watch over their congregations, and they must, but they too must guard against over-familiarity with female members. No Pastor can prevent every act of adultery but if he teaches Biblical principles concerning marriage and the commandment to be faithful within its bonds and if he warns his congregation of the dangers facing marriage, then his people are much more likely to abide by those moral principles when they are not in church.”

      You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I tell you that to me that sounds charmingly, hopelessly naïve. I don’t know what the statistics on church membership look like in NI, but again: I live in a multicultural, multireligious urban and suburban area. We have many people who attend churches, and could be… supervised, I guess is the word… by their Pastors. We also have plenty of unchurched Christians and huge numbers of non-Christians — not just atheists and agnostics, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs and Buddhists and Taoists and followers of Shinto and people who simply don’t self-identify in religious terms.

      “I mentioned that I believe a betrayed spouse has grounds for divorce and you asked why a divorce could not take place earlier BEFORE the betrayal takes place. If a husband has a wandering eye and is therefore a potential adulterer, he should be warned about his behaviour. If he does not heed the warning and his wife lives in daily dread of betrayal, I believe she should separate from him but not divorce.”

      I realize that we’re speaking hypothetically, but… why would you want to hurt her like that? Why leave her chained to someone who doesn’t want her, doesn’t care for her, doesn’t respect her? She’s already betrayed. Why rob her of the chance to find something better? Why force her to keep waiting until he’s caught being adulterous, and only then allow her to finally end it and move on? How is that not a pointless, needless cruelty?

      “It is physical intimacy between a married man or woman and someone he or she is not married to that constitutes adultery, and, if that vile act takes place, then the betrayed spouse can divorce the offender.”

      That may be what constitutes adultery, but it’s not the only way one spouse can betray another. It’s not even close. And, you know what? Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes people get married and then discover that they simply aren’t as compatible as they thought they were. It doesn’t even have to reflect a moral or personal failure on the part of either spouse; sometimes they’re both perfectly decent people who simply can’t make a life together, but who could be an excellent husband or wife to someone else, in entirely different circumstances.

      Not every bad situation requires someone to be at fault, to be guilty, to deserve punishment.

      And when you declare that adultery is the only valid grounds for divorce — as you seem to be doing — you put yourself in the position of punishing anyone who happened to choose their future spouse poorly: the ones who marry charming scoundrels, or discover after marrying that their spouses can’t manage money, or whose spouses love them in much more conditional ways than they would ever have believed possible, or… whatever. It happens. Nobody gets married with the full knowledge of what they’re getting into. Teaching people that adultery is the only acceptable reason for divorce neither protects good marriages nor punishes the guilty; it only hurts people who are already in pain.

      And that is why, while I don’t consider divorce a good thing — ever — I think that no-fault divorces need to be available essentially at will, and without any sort of social stigma.

      “I wish to make it clear that moral issues are not my only concern. I am also concerned about Islam and multiculturalism and the European Union which I wish the UK would withdraw from, and I am concerned about barbaric halal slaughter of animals and animal cruelty in general. I am also concerned about my birthplace Northern Ireland because we have unrepentant former?! terrorists in our Government. Men and women who should be in prison.”

      That’s quite a laundry list.
      Islam: How many Muslims do you know personally? I work with at least two; and I know the children of one of them, though not closely. In my area of the world, they’re about as rare (and about as threatening) as any one specific brand of automobile — a Ford Flex, say. They aren’t dangerous; they’re people who are trying to get by, just like everyone else. There’s a mosque not two miles from where I work; and yet, strangely, we’ve neither instituted Sharia law nor been victim of terrorist attacks.

      Multiculturalism: At the moment, multiculturalism is nearly inevitable. The world contains a great many cultures, and with the advent of modern methods of transportation and communication, they’re going to mix and mingle and intertwine.

      European Union: I am far too ignorant to have an opinion on this topic.

      Barbaric Halal Slaughter: I’m going to point out that Kosher slaughter isn’t noted for humane kindness, either. However, I don’t see any effective, immediate way to change this. People don’t give up their religious beliefs, as a general thing; the best you can hope for is to convince them to take a kinder approach to those beliefs.

      Former(?!) Terrorists in Government: Again, I’m not well-enough acquainted with NI to have an opinion, but… well… I’m pretty sure that our last President and Vice-President are war criminals, and I think an argument could be made for terrorism as well. It would please my heart greatly to see them put on trial.

      Michael Mock Not Being Entirely Able To Shut Up When He Needs To: Okay, I know this one wasn’t on your list of issues, but I’m going to address it anyway. As far as the topics raised by Bruce’s original post, and the various things we’ve discussed here, I think you’re right: we’ve both had our fair say, and anyone who comes across this article should be able to look at our views and judge for themselves. So I’d like to offer you a chance to shut me up. If you respond to this (overtly-long, I know) comment, I promise to read your response; but if you put the phrase “MM please don’t respond to this” at the very end, I will stop replying. I can’t promise that I won’t respond to you on other threads or other topics, but I will consider our conversation here completed and done.

      “I am not a one-issue individual by any means.”

      Actually, I’m not sure that’s true. Does “opposing sin and iniquity” count as a single issue?

      Reply
    2. John Arthur

      Hi Susan,

      I see on this post you favour imprisonment as the punishment for adultery. Why?

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
      1. Susan-Anne White

        We need deterrants to discourage sinful behaviour. Imprisonment is a deterrant but so are fines and one or other or both should be available to a Judge in a court of law. If someone reneges on a business contract, the terms of which were agreed to and signed up to in the presence of witnesses, we expect the law to take its course i.e there are consequences when a contract is broken. Marriage is more than a contract, nevertheless it is still a contract and there should be penalties imposed when the contract is broken.

        Reply
        1. John Arthur

          Hi Susan,

          There are different kinds of law. Imprisonment is one penalty under criminal law but adultery is NOT a crime, nor should it be made one. Most people who live in liberal democracies don’t want to see divorce as a crime and consider jail or a fine as draconian. Marriage is entered into voluntarily by two people who are usually in love with each other. When they fall out of love and fall in love with someone else, then divorce might be (at least in some cases) be the best solution.

          When the marriage is dissolved property is divided up between the former spouses. Isn’t this enough penalty? why make it more?

          As for placing it under contract law, I tend to disagree. it is not primarily a commercial venture.

          I cannot see the rationale for your favoured application of penalties, nor can I see why such penalties would deter people from committing adultery? Humans are sexual beings. Sex has a very powerful impact on us. Sexual repression is unlikely to lead to a reduction in the incidence of adultery.

          Can you establish, from the social science research, evidence that sexual repression leads to the lowering of the incidence of adultery in human communities and can you establish from the empirical evidence that penalties such as imprisonment and fines actually deter such behaviour?

          If the incidence of adultery and divorce was reduced, this is likely to be a good thing, but there are some cases, such as abusive spousal relationships (physical or psychological), where divorce would be a good thing.

          Shalom,

          John Arthur

          Reply
  14. carmen

    Susan Anne,

    “Playing with fire”, eh? No, actually it’s called warmth and genuine affection for people; something that I think makes the world a much better place.

    Michael Mock, my hat goes off to you Sir. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Susan-Anne White

    Sir, I reject the concept of “no-fault” divorces because it would make marriages very fragile and insecure indeed. Marriage is “for better or worse” and “in sickness and in health” and “no-fault” divorces could/would be used by those who do not want to stay around when the “for better” part of the contract becomes the “for worse.” Divorce is permissible in cases of adultery but I think that separation is preferable in the case I cited in my last comment. I don’t think that it is cruel to suggest that course of action (you say it is,) because it punishes the spouse with a wandering eye and communicates to him or her that if he or she does not cease from their behaviour, divorce will inevitably follow. In the case of domestic violence, separation is strongly advised. I’m not so sure about divorce in such cases but I wouldn’t rule it out. I think I have gone off topic to some degree with my recent comments because Mr.Gerencser’s original post was about the dress styles of Evangelicals. However the above matters are all related. I don’t want to go off topic again but it is necessary to say something about Islam. Halal slaughter is barbaric and the meat from animals slaughtered in this manner is being forced on an unsuspecting public in that unlabelled halal-slaughtered meat is being sold in supermarkets and customers do not know what they are buying oftentimes. Islamic sources have said that they intend to conquer the world through forcing halal-slaughtered meat products on an unsuspecting public. It is a sign of Islamic dominance in a given area. The Jews are not trying to conquer the world through forcing kosher meat on us all, so there is a difference between halal and kosher. There are videos of halal slaughter on youtube and they are harrowing to watch. My husband and I are attempting to stop the covert sale of halal-slaughtered meat in our supermarkets in that we have a petition which we are asking people in our area to sign. Islam is not a peaceful religion. Islam means submission. There may be peaceful Muslims but they are peaceful in spite of Islam, not because of it. Two Muslims murdered British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London and their motivation for the savage murder was (in their own words) “We are forced by the Koran….” Michael Mock, I rest my case.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      By all means, keep talking. I’m sure readers find your views quite enlightening and consider Michael Mock worthy of sainthood.

      Reply
      1. Michael Mock

        You’re just lucky I only read that after I finished composing my reply. Otherwise, I’d already be making my devotionals in a nice, quiet cave on the top of the most gorgeous mountain I could find!

        Reply
        1. Becky Wiren

          I’m amazed, Michael. I don’t have the brain stamina (fibro fog) to engage in a lengthy discussion with someone like her. Of course, what I see is someone who is battling all the time, and not very happy. How can a person be happy when everyone around her is bad? When her fellow Christians are complete failures in her eyes? It’s a very wearing life.

          Reply
    2. Michael Mock

      “Sir, I reject the concept of ‘no-fault’ divorces because it would make marriages very fragile and insecure indeed.”

      Whereas I would say that, on the contrary, the availability of “no fault” divorces makes marriage stronger overall — precisely because it allows marriages that aren’t good or healthy or helpful to end, and the people involved to try again. (I’m reminded of Jeff Rothpan’s joke: “My parents stayed together for the sake of the children. Thank God, because there’s nothing better for children than fifteen years of screaming, spite and death threats.”) With “no-fault” divorce available, partners have more incentive to take care of each other; they can’t just assume that their spouses will stick around if they’re neglected or treated badly.

      ” Marriage is ‘for better or worse’ and ‘in sickness and in health’ and ‘no-fault’ divorces could/would be used by those who do not want to stay around when the ‘for better’ part of the contract becomes the ‘for worse.'”

      Making divorce difficult to obtain and/or only obtainable under very specific conditions may serve to make marriages last longer, in general; but (as with your last example) it also drives people to more extreme and destructive behaviors if they decide that they do want out of a marriage. Making divorce easy to obtain may result in more people getting divorced for frivolous reasons, but so what? First of all, it’s not my place to judge whether someone’s reasons for seeking divorce are Good Enough. Second, even if someone is seeking divorce for frivolous reasons, I’m inclined to think that their current spouse is better off without them, and sooner rather than later. On the whole, it seems to me that any time a marriage has reached a condition where one or both partners genuinely wishes to end it,
      it ought to end. Making “no-fault” divorce easily available helps ensure that such marriages as endure are marriages worthy of the name.

      “Divorce is permissible in cases of adultery but I think that separation is preferable in the case I cited in my last comment. I don’t think that it is cruel to suggest that course of action (you say it is,) because it punishes the spouse with a wandering eye and communicates to him or her that if he or she does not cease from their behaviour, divorce will inevitably follow.”

      Yeah, about that… I don’t think a spouse with a wandering eye is going to consider that much of a punishment. (“Oh, no! Don’t throw me in the briar patch! Anything but that!” Do you have that story in NI?) Whereas it potentially leaves the other partner trapped in a relationship with someone they may have no desire to remain married to. So, sure, the marriage is preserved for at least a little while longer; but what sort of marriage is that, really?

      In most real-world cases, your suggested approach is going to unburden the offender and afflict the innocent, exactly the opposite of what you want and intend for it to achieve.

      “In the case of domestic violence, separation is strongly advised. I’m not so sure about divorce in such cases but I wouldn’t rule it out.”

      Okay, look, I’m not a Christian and I haven’t been in a long time, but… are you listening to what you’re saying, here? Marriage is one of the sacraments. It’s the reflection of the relationship between Jesus and the Church. It’s frequently touted as the foundation of society. And you’re willing to see it dragged down until it’s nothing more than an obligation for people to remain with people who hurt them? And you think of this as somehow supporting or preserving marriage?

      I am baffled.

      “I think I have gone off topic to some degree with my recent comments because Mr.Gerencser’s original post was about the dress styles of Evangelicals. However the above matters are all related.”

      We both have; I wouldn’t worry about it.

      ” I don’t want to go off topic again but it is necessary to say something about Islam. Halal slaughter is barbaric and the meat from animals slaughtered in this manner is being forced on an unsuspecting public in that unlabelled halal-slaughtered meat is being sold in supermarkets and customers do not know what they are buying oftentimes. Islamic sources have said that they intend to conquer the world through forcing halal-slaughtered meat products on an unsuspecting public. It is a sign of Islamic dominance in a given area. The Jews are not trying to conquer the world through forcing kosher meat on us all, so there is a difference between halal and kosher. There are videos of halal slaughter on youtube and they are harrowing to watch. My husband and I are attempting to stop the covert sale of halal-slaughtered meat in our supermarkets in that we have a petition which we are asking people in our area to sign. Islam is not a peaceful religion. Islam means submission. There may be peaceful Muslims but they are peaceful in spite of Islam, not because of it. Two Muslims murdered British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London and their motivation for the savage murder was (in their own words) “We are forced by the Koran….” Michael Mock, I rest my case.”

      That’s not a case, that’s a bizarre collection of unsupported assertions. Do you have citations, references, or even sources for any of that? Muslims are going to conquer the world by selling meat? What does that even mean? There are a dozen restaurants that serve Halal meat within walking distance of my house, and I’ve eaten at several of them — and let me tell you, if that means I’m under the dominance of Islam, well, it’s the least intrusive dominance imaginable. I hadn’t even noticed it. In fact, I can say with some certainty that being under the dominance of Islam is absolutely indistinguishable from not being under the dominance of Islam.

      Look, there are something like 2.2 billion Christians in the world. There are something like 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Even taking geographical divisions and relative levels of military technology into account, if anything more than a tiny percentage of Muslims were as violent as you describe, it would be impossible to go about our day-to-day life. Christians in Muslim countries would have been wiped out decades ago, and most likely vice versa. Civilization would grind to a halt in the face of incessant violence, and our daily life would be punctuated by random horrors and ongoing guerrilla warfare. The simple fact that we can have this conversation is proof that Islam is not what you think it is — or, at the very least, that Muslims are not what you think they are.

      As for the murdered soldier (and that is tragic, and I don’t mean to be flippant about it) you’re taking a single event and treating it as if it were a ubiquitous pattern, when it clearly is not. Back in 2010, we had an incident where Muslim cab driver was attacked with a knife just for being Muslim, but I don’t take that as evidence that all Christians are violent nutjobs just waiting for their chance to try and kill unbelievers. I know too many Christians to find the idea credible, and I know too many Muslims to find your ideas about them credible, either.

      Most people are only really threatening in the abstract. You live around them, you get to know them, and find that most of them are trying to do their best in a difficult and often incomprehensible world, just like you are. I don’t fear them, because — however peripherally — I know them. They aren’t what you say they are.

      “Perfect love drives out fear,” I think the line goes. I hope I’m wrong when I say this, Mrs. White, but you seem to spend a very great deal of your life in fear of — and, as a result, in opposition to — a great many things that really ought not to threaten you.

      Reply
      1. Brian

        I hesitate to say it out loud but Michael Mock has eaten halal. I rest my case.

        Reply
    3. John Arthur

      Hi Susan,

      We have had “no fault divorce” in Australia for some decades, and marriages are no more nor no less fragile than before the legislation came through in divorce law. So you seem to be frightened about something needlessly. If marriages are fragile because there is “no fault” divorce available, then they must be fragile indeed and perhaps such persons would be better off not marrying.

      No fault divorce means people might need to work harder at their relationships, than in communities where you have to prove that someone is at fault (prove adultery, abuse etc). which add strains upon the partner who has to prove these things.

      Separation is one solution but it is not satisfactory if the partner who didn’t commit adultery or was abused has to wait several years before a divorce comes through and cannot remarry until it does. Is it not far more humane to allow no fault divorce if one, or both, partners can no longer live together?

      Of course, we want marriages to succeed until death parts the couple, but don’t we want marriages to also be happy? Don’t we want what is best for each partner and for the relationship as a whole as well as for the children of that relationship? What is best is often very complex and a couple who works on their marriage (and may sometimes need good psychological counseling) may or may not stay together after all factors are considered. It is not the responsibility of churches or politicians to try and introduce draconian laws to prevent adultery ( a futile effort) nor to deny divorce except for those cases allowed by the church. Rather “no fault divorce” seems to be far more humane and far better for society, in the long run.

      Shalom,

      John Arthur

      Reply
  16. Susan-Anne White

    You asked for some reference sources for my comments about the “Religion of Peace!!” well read the following and see if you can connect the dots.

    1. 9/11 bombings
    2. A father is the chief suspect in the 2008 murders of his two daughters in Texas
    3.Fort Hood Texas shootings – 13 dead, in 2009
    4.Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 (I think)
    5.Woman beheaded in Oklahoma
    6.Four Marines killed by gunman in Tennessee
    7.A woman in her 50’s was the victim of an horrific gang rape in Colorado Springs in 2012
    There are many more examples I could give from USA, Europe and the UK.

    Some of these atrocities took place in Texas Mr.Mock. Did you not know about them? Is it possible that I know more about what is going on in America than you do? I think not.

    If you haven’t yet connected the dots, perhaps the names of the Fort Hood and Tennessee killers and the gang rapists will provide a clue.

    Nidal Malik Hasan (Fort Hood) and Muhammed Youssef Abdulazeez (Tennessee.)

    Ali Mohammed Hasan Al Juboori
    Sarmad Fadhi Mohammed
    Yasir Jabbar Jasim
    Mustafa Sataar Al Feraji
    Jasim Mohammed Hasan Ramadon (the 5 rapists)

    Now, are we all going to play the children’s game called “Let’s Pretend” i.e let’s pretend we don’t see the elephant in the room?

    Reply
    1. Brian

      One can easily list names and atrocities from any cultural, religious background but you have a good point about the elephant in the room and do you have a mirror you could glance into, at least briefly?

      Reply
  17. August Rode

    “Now, are we all going to play the children’s game called “Let’s Pretend” i.e let’s pretend we don’t see the elephant in the room?”

    You only see one elephant in the room, Susan-Anne? I see at least two but I suspect that at least one of them is completely invisible to you.

    Since your examples are all from American cases, let me point out to you that the USA is overwhelmingly Christian which suggests that Christians are responsible for the majority of violent and hate crimes in the USA. Perhaps you’ve heard of organizations like the KKK or individuals like Timothy McVeigh. It seems to me that if you’re going to paint Islam with a black brush because of the misdeeds of a few Muslims then you ought to paint Christianity with that same brush. If you have any intention of being consistent, that is.

    Reply
  18. Michael Mock

    You know, I do see a pattern there: some Muslims do horrible things. However, that by itself does prove that Islam is the sort of existential threat that you claim it is. Again, there are something like like 1.6 billion Muslims in the world; of course some of them are going to do horrible things. But if Islam itself caused that sort of behavior, we’d be inundated in it… and we aren’t. Plus, as August Rode pointed out, it would be child’s play to generate an equivalent list of Christians committing horrible violent crimes — but it would no more prove that Christianity is a religion of barbaric violence than your list does for Islam.

    Reply
    1. Michael Mock

      Ha! This is what I get for not proofreading: that second sentence should say “that by itself does not prove that Islam is the sort of existential threat…” That’s going to cause some confusion. Here’s how it should have read:

      You know, I do see a pattern there: some Muslims do horrible things. However, that by itself does not prove that Islam is the sort of existential threat that you claim it is. Again, there are something like like 1.6 billion Muslims in the world; of course some of them are going to do horrible things. But if Islam itself caused that sort of behavior, we’d be inundated in it… and we aren’t. Plus, as August Rode pointed out, it would be child’s play to generate an equivalent list of Christians committing horrible violent crimes — but it would no more prove that Christianity is a religion of barbaric violence than your list does for Islam.

      Reply
      1. Becky Wiren

        Funny how the convicts in prison in the US are overwhelmingly Christian.

        Reply
        1. Carmen

          But don’t forget, Becky – the good news is, no matter how heinous their crimes, they’re going to heaven. . they’ve all REPENTED!! Praise (a) god!

          Reply
          1. Becky Wiren

            Oh, yeah…how could I forget? /snark

  19. James Ward

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1490319115/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

    I thought like you until I read this book. It slams the slant that fundamentalist have erroneously put on clothing, but it does not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It takes a worldview approach and covers things in a way the fundamentalists would do well to listen to. Approaching attire primarily from a lust prevention aspect is a wrong approach and misses the major themes presented in Scripture.

    Reply
  20. Cob

    Good ole’ Suzy White, with the unfortunate passing of Elizabeth Eliot I didn’t have anyone to use as a perfect example of why not to be a Christian. Your gentle loving dialogue gives me the warm fuzzies. When I’m having a bad day, I think to myself “No one was bitter or angry around me today, I feel so incomplete being surrounded by more or less decent people 99 percent of the time. How am I going to feel better about myself without arbitrary bullshit to look down at people for. I have a shrew shaped hole in my heart that needs filling. Reading your sweet missives is so…So familiar. It’s like I’m sitting right beside you. You know unsubmissive women are kind of a turn on for me. Very attractive. Almost..Sexy! You just flaunting yourself all preachy and indignant, it’s so irrisistable. I’m getting all hot and bothered, to tell you the truth.
    Shame on you! You made me sin! Obviously I can’t control my feelings, so it’s your fault, you and all your little psychological come hithers. I bet underneath some excuse about “expressing opinions” or “debating” you’re like the Scrumpets at church, trying to make men lust by wearing pants. Shame on you!

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Pants and panting! You see how the devil works!

      Reply

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