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Wedding guest dress & conservative faiths - Page 3

post #41 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
See bolded above. So, it seems that you're saying that by someone inviting you to their wedding and advising you that more modest dress is the norm in their church, you actually think they're trying to push their version of Christianity on you? For the hour (or however long) the ceremony lasts?

You don't have to be friends with someone, you could actually be the blood relative of someone. I'm a convert to Orthodoxy, and I believe Mamabadger is, as well. So even if you had family who attended such a church who wanted you to share their special day, you wouldn't dress more modestly out of respect for them, because you thought they were trying to push their brand of Christianity on you?

To think about this in a slightly different way: if a friend had gotten you a job interview in her office, but warned you to dress more conservatively than you normally would for the interview (because of the office culture), would you think she was trying to push her view of the workplace on you?
I'd have to say that if say, my sister, converted to such a religion and invited me to a ceremony that had a dress code on the invitation, I'd decline the invitation, send a gift and wish her well. She's welcome to dress however she wants or believe whatever she wants. But I would certainly feel that yes, she's trying to impose her religion on me.

The job analogy doesn't work. Either I'm interested in joining the corporation or I'm not. If I'm not, I have no interest in going to an interview. There is no compelling reason for me to hang out on company grounds if I don't want to join.
post #42 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I'd have to say that if say, my sister, converted to such a religion and invited me to a ceremony that had a dress code on the invitation, I'd decline the invitation, send a gift and wish her well. She's welcome to dress however she wants or believe whatever she wants. But I would certainly feel that yes, she's trying to impose her religion on me.
post #43 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
Why is this shocking to you? It's simply the extension of what has been the foundation of your comments in this thread - that for some religions/people "appropriate" dress is more important than attendance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
If someone who is attending a wedding, as an INVITED guest, can't be bothered to put out the bit of extra effort to dress appropriately for the ceremony, then perhaps they ought to skip the ceremony and go straight to the reception. Or perhaps just stay at home.
post #44 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
I don't know if you read the entire thread - this was a wedding where 75% of the women dressed very inappropriately - very provocatively - for a wedding in a church.

You'd think (or hope) that folks with experience of regular church-going would not do that, particularly for a wedding of a denomination they'd not have experience with before.
I'm not religious anymore, but I grew up attending various mainline protestant churches. IME, women dressed in spaghetti straps, sleeveless dresses or short skirts? No big deal. Men (and women) attending a church service wearing shorts, jeans, grungy T-shirts? normal. The attendance was the important part, the attire wasn't significant. I will say that when I was a child, wearing "church clothes" was viewed to more important than it is now.

Quite honestly, I think that most of the people at the wedding probably had no idea that their clothing was believed to be inappropriate. If it is important for wedding guests to follow a certain dress code, they should be informed of that. It's unrealistic to assume that people who are not Orthodox would know what is/isn't appropriate in an Orthodox church.
post #45 of 114
I'm also not seeing what's so shocking about that.
post #46 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Why is this shocking to you?
What is shocking to me is that someone would choose protest over compliance with regard to their own family's very special occasion over a question of clothes. If someone felt the need to come to the mosque portion of my wedding in dress that would be disruptive and distract from the ceremony, yes, it probably would be better they stay home. But that they would so strongly feel the need in the first place that they would prefer stay home is exactly that: somewhat shocking.
post #47 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
What is shocking to me is that someone would choose protest over compliance with regard to their own family's very special occasion over a question of clothes. If someone felt the need to come to the mosque portion of my wedding in dress that would be disruptive and distract from the ceremony, yes, it probably would be better they stay home. But that they would so strongly feel the need in the first place that they would prefer stay home is exactly that: somewhat shocking.
I absolutely agree.
post #48 of 114
There would be no protest to the hypothetical sister at all, but compliance with her hypothetical belief system isn't happening.

I would never show up anywhere half naked. I'd be arrested for being a public nuisance. So, I wouldn't crash a wedding half-dressed, but I'm not following a religous dress code not my own.
post #49 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
There would be no protest to the hypothetical sister at all, but compliance with her hypothetical belief system isn't happening.
Using her wedding as a platform for your protest would in practice be a protest against both the belief structure and her participation in it. And I venture to guess it would be very difficult for the hypothetical sister to take the refusal as being just the former.

Were I to have decided I'm opposed to the institution of marriage and therefore settled on not being willing to witness my own hypothetical sister's wedding out of an unwillingness to imply approval of the institution by way of my attendance, I guarantee she would not just shrug and say "no problem." Her hypothetical self would be not so hypothetically hurt.
post #50 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
What is shocking to me is that someone would choose protest over compliance with regard to their own family's very special occasion over a question of clothes. If someone felt the need to come to the mosque portion of my wedding in dress that would be disruptive and distract from the ceremony, yes, it probably would be better they stay home. But that they would so strongly feel the need in the first place that they would prefer stay home is exactly that: somewhat shocking.
But it goes both ways. If someone feels so strongly about the need to put their religious requirements with respect to clothes (and that can be part of a broader issue) over the attendance of family then perhaps their priorities are shockingly misplaced.

I don't think there is a right or wrong here, but I think that if we are going to have a dialogue over the importance of clothes and how that plays into the idea of respect, we need to realize that it applies to both ends of the spectrum of the discussion. Modestly=respect isn't the default position. There are valid arguments made for the idea that people and their relationships are more important than dogma about what constitutes appropriate clothing.
post #51 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
But it goes both ways. If someone feels so strongly about the need to put their religious requirements with respect to clothes (and that can be part of a broader issue) over the attendance of family then perhaps their priorities are shockingly misplaced.
If I am holding my wedding in a mosque that requires long skirts or slacks, and I invite you, are you really going to read my choice of venues as a personal protest against the visibility of your calves? Do you really perceive a guest requiring that I adjust the location of my wedding as being the same as requiring that a guest take the location into consideration when selecting the length of her skirt?
post #52 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
If I am holding my wedding in a mosque that requires long skirts or slacks, and I invite you, are you really going to read my choice of venues as a personal protest against the visibility of your calves? Do you really perceive a guest requiring that I adjust the location of my wedding as being the same as requiring that a guest take the location into consideration when selecting the length of her skirt?
I edited above which I think answers your question on my position.

I think that Christianity may be treated differently than say Islam in North America with respect to this issue, but that is another thread .

I guess I would flip it around to you and say that if someone attends that wedding not understanding the dress code requirements, would you really turn them away? Because to me, that is far more insulting to the relationship, the idea of God and to the underlying purpose of a wedding celebration than the lack of appropriate clothing.
post #53 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I'd have to say that if say, my sister, converted to such a religion and invited me to a ceremony that had a dress code on the invitation, I'd decline the invitation, send a gift and wish her well. She's welcome to dress however she wants or believe whatever she wants. But I would certainly feel that yes, she's trying to impose her religion on me.
I'm a little confused by this attitude as well. If you attend a friend's child's bar mitzvah, and see them handing out yarmulkes to visitors at the door of the synagogue, do you think, "Hey, they're trying to make me turn Jewish!" and walk out in disgust? I understand not wanting to participate in a religious ceremony, but being asked to cover your shoulders in church?
post #54 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I edited above which I think answers your question on my position.

I think that Christianity may be treated differently than say Islam in North America with respect to this issue, but that is another thread .

I guess I would flip it around to you and say that if someone attends that wedding not understanding the dress code requirements, would you really turn them away? Because to me, that is far more insulting to the relationship, the idea of God and to the underlying purpose of a wedding celebration than the lack of appropriate clothing.
Actually it really doesn't, because I am not talking about debates surrounding general principles of modesty so much as I am discussing a particular example given in this thread. In that example, no, it is not an even two way street. And as the example was with regard to mention of venue-based dress requirements appearing on an invitation, there is no question of not understanding, but only of opposing.

(As an aside, Islam is treated differently only out of unfamiliarity, hesitancy, and sometimes a desire to respect the practices of an 'other.' In practice I see no great difference between a religious-venue-based requirement for me and one for Tradd, personally.)
post #55 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
I'm a little confused by this attitude as well. If you attend a friend's child's bar mitzvah, and see them handing out yarmulkes to visitors at the door of the synagogue, do you think, "Hey, they're trying to make me turn Jewish!" and walk out in disgust? I understand not wanting to participate in a religious ceremony, but being asked to cover your shoulders in church?
With respect to a Christian church, there is no agreed upon definition of what is required as appropriate dress in a Christian church (which was the situation in the OP). Many bridal gowns are strapless/halter/sleeveless and are perfectly acceptable in many/most Christian churches. I think it is a different situation for those religions which are perceived as having more standardized requirements for dress.
post #56 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Actually it really doesn't, because I am not talking about debates surrounding general principles of modesty so much as I am discussing a particular example given in this thread. In that example, no, it is not an even two way street. And as the example was with regard to mention of venue-based dress requirements appearing on an invitation, there is no question of not understanding, but only of opposing.

(As an aside, Islam is treated differently only out of unfamiliarity, hesitancy, and sometimes a desire to respect the practices of an 'other.' In practice I see no great difference between a religious-venue-based requirement for me and one for Tradd, personally.)
I'm sorry I am having trouble understanding the first part of your answer. Which example are we talking about?

I agree with you that Islam is treated differently out of unfamiliarity. I would venture there are more interpretations of what is acceptable in a Christian church because so many North Americans have experience with less rigid definitions of what is appropriate attire in Christian religious services. Because there isn't a common definition, I think we need to be careful about assuming negative intent when a guest at a service hasn't met the modesty standards of that particular sect of Christianity.
post #57 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I'm sorry I am having trouble understanding the first part of your answer. Which example are we talking about?

I agree with you that Islam is treated differently out of unfamiliarity. I would venture there are more interpretations of what is acceptable in a Christian church because so many North Americans have experience with less rigid definitions of what is appropriate attire in Christian religious services. Because there isn't a common definition, I think we need to be careful about assuming negative intent when a guest at a service hasn't met the modesty standards of that particular sect of Christianity.
The example of refusing to attend a sister's wedding if she mentioned dress requirements on the invitation. And in that case I really don't think we need to be careful about assuming negative intentions -- it's quite explicitly a negative intention, for that matter.
post #58 of 114
I would like to know what attire would be considered appropriate before attending. I would not be offended at all if a dress code was included (in fact we often include dress codes in wedding invitation "black tie" etc). I could see being offended if I was the only one sent an invitation with a dress code (the implication being that I dressed in a revealing way) rather than all the invitations including them. But then again I don't really mind dress codes, I keep picking jobs where I have a uniform.

Also even if you go to churches of the same denomination there can be wildly different ideas of appropriate dress. I grew up going to a liberal, beachside Catholic church, were cut-offs, sandals and tank tops were acceptable in the summer. When I went to visit churches in Italy I was mortified I was wearing a halter top and kept trying to cover my body with my hair. (we got dressed and left the hotel before deciding on our itinerary for the day, the outfits from the other days would have been appropriate).
post #59 of 114
Wow!

ANY wedding in ANY house of worship? I cover my shoulders and avoid anything skimpy.

Why? It's respectful.

PERIOD. Why would I NOT be respectful?

BUT when the only cousin to make the trek across the country showed up at my nephew's Bar Mitzvah brought her 13 year old daughter in a dress that was WAY too revealing and shoulderless? In the synagogue, I offered her a shawl - not out of respect because MY ideals don't need to be HER ideals -but because I wanted her not to hear the gossip that the old biddies in my sister's synagogue dish out.......me: "hon. it's drafty in here...."

The GOSSIP is less respectful than the shoulders....
post #60 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
The example of refusing to attend a sister's wedding if she mentioned dress requirements on the invitation. And in that case I really don't think we need to be careful about assuming negative intentions -- it's quite explicitly a negative intention, for that matter.

Ah okay. I was speaking more generally about the judgement levelled at those who dress inappropriately by some of the posters in this thread.

As for the situation with the sister, honestly I can see both sides of that one too. If the bride knows her sister's position on her religion and wants her sister to attend there are ways to make that happen. My point, which I keep coming back to, is that expecting/requiring the guests to meet the religious requirements of a church that is not their own is not necessarily a more respectful situation than guests not meeting those expectations (either unintentionally or in some cases by choice). There is context to be considered.
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