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#61 of 104 Old 06-24-2009, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The majority of this thread has been about maintaining dress codes and dress standards, not about a pew full of people sitting in the back making a hobby out of acting self-righteously affronted by what everyone else is wearing.
I agree. It is frustrating that a legitimate discussion is being equated with gossip and mean-spiritedness. That was not the intent of my OP and has not been the intent of most of the participants in this thread. I hope she goes back and rereads the posts for clarification.

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#62 of 104 Old 06-24-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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Keyword, majority. With all due respect (and I do mean that sincerely!), I was addressing the issue of those who, in this thread, seemed just to be telling stories and complaining about how they don't like what some church members in their congregation wore, ie: ushers wearing T-shirts/tank tops and the like. My point was to point out the irony - that if a certain religious sect or specific congregation did not allow such attire, as a rule - surely the church leaders would not have chosen them to be ushers, or at the very least, they would be spoken to about their dress particularily during a job like an usher (which in a large way, represents the church on a whole). If the ushers are consistantly wearing logo t-shirts and tank tops, and the problem has never been addressed by the leadership of the church, that would tell me that the congregation member tittering about it is likely out of line and projecting purely their own personal standards on other church members. This, I find very annoying, and thus is the issue I was addressing.

No hard feelings to any church who collectively decides to hold standards and enforce them in an appropriate way. I just wildly dislike gossipping about something as trivial as dress code, especially when it doesn't appear to exist, when there are much more pressing things to worry about (and the bible actually speaks much worse of busybodies than those who dress immodestly - in Peter 4:15 busybodies are lumped in the same category as murderers and theives. So it bugs me when I see (specifically Christians) gossipping about something so trivial as a person's attire, yet by doing so, they are committing a sin much, much worse).

I have no issue with the rest of the thread I apologize if that was misunderstood!

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#63 of 104 Old 06-24-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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actually at my church there is a pretty standard dress code and in the really recent past at my parish (and no doubt still today at more conservative parishes) you were asked to leave if you were dressed immodestly. and i have no doubt you would still be talked tro privately (or your parents would) if the need arose.

but it goes way beyond modesty for me. to dress for church says you think coming to worship is worth the sacrifice of fixing your hair, making sur eyou have appropriate clothing. that you care about bringing your best before God. it kills me that so often I make more of an effort to get ready for work or going out than I do for church. its about more than clothes. its showing up on time. taking time to prepare your heart. being willing to prepare and bring a sacrifice before God that is your best in every way.

honestly i would rather see someone dressed immodestly who had really tried hard to bring her best over someone dressed modestly who rolled out of bed 5 minutes after they should have been at church and just didn't care. i am not really sure why they bothered anyway.

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#64 of 104 Old 06-24-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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My home church (where I grew up, my parents still attend, and I'll go back to whenever I visit) had to address the dress code issue, but for a different reason than the modesty. The church itself is located in the heart of a lower-poverty neighborhood. Some of the families in the area would express interest in attending, but then not show up because they "didn't have fancy clothes to wear on Sunday." So, the church dress code is this: it doesn't matter if you show up in blue jeans or a suit, as long as you come with an open heart you are welcome. Sure, there have been some that come in for service in "less than stellar" attire, but it doesn't matter what's on the outside-- it's what's inside. An usher may occasionally be wearing a flannel button-down shirt, buttoned up and tucked into his jeans-- it's what he has, and who are we to judge?

There hasn't been many occasions where a woman has come in exposing more than she should, and no nursing mothers have been heckled about nursing in the pews-- unless you count the offers to "pass the baby" for burping detail.

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#65 of 104 Old 06-24-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'm trying to understand why God would care about what clothes you wear anywhere?

The term 'modesty' is up to so much personal interpretation, way too broad of a term. And, it's used in many many circles to mean 'proof that I'm better than" others who are 'less modest'. Kind of like a club, you can tell who 'fits' by who wears the 'right' things to church.

And, for that matter, modesty is strictly a worldly and cultural/social 'setting' anyways, and (for Christians at least) you are called to be 'not of this world'.

As for someone's clothing being a distraction to other church members, why isn't it the responsibility of the one 'being distracted' to maintain their focus on worshiping?

Just some random thoughts.
Well, there definitely are some Biblical principles when it comes to modesty. If you do a search of the OT, there are quite a view examples of bearing the thigh as being "naked", and examples of the priests being expected to cover from the shoulder to the bottom of the thigh. Now, it's up to one to interpret for themselves what exactly they feel that entails, and I fully believe that is between themselves and God. I do not feel I am more spiritual/religious for what I do wear. I dress because I feel it is what God has revealed to me how I should, and I let others decide that for themselves. But, I do think that when doing something holy, like worshipping, they should consider WHY they are dressing as they are. Of course, I have no idea the motivation, again, between themselves and God.

I also do feel it's a cultural construct. For example, it used to be indecent in our culture for a woman to show her ankle. Not biblically immodest as far as I can tell, but it would have been frowned on in our culture. And, IMO, if the cultural standards are more strict than Biblical standards, I would personally follow them out of respect for culture, religion aside. So, while I have no issue with sleeveless tops, as long as my bra or breasts are not showing through the arm holes and it's not low cut, if I were going somewhere (for example some of the Churches mentioned in this discussion) where it would be viewed as immodest, I have no issue respectfully wearing a shirt with sleeves.

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On one side there's people who want the right to look nice and not wear skirts and feel judged for it by people who do. These people need to know that most of us ladies in skirts AREN'T judging you, and those who are are wrong and will have to answer to G-d, so why do you care what they think?
ITA. And I think that sometimes people feel "judged" because they know, deep in their hearts, that they should be dressed more modestly. Even if they aren't being judged by others. So if you feel judged, I'd ask yourself honestly why?

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What I really see in this thread (and IRL in many Protestant churches) is that some church-goers feel they should impose *their* definition of modesty on others. There's no Scriptural basis for some of the rules I've read in this thread. It's only the preference of the person complaining about what others wear, and that's where I have a problem. "Modesty" is such a vague, subjective term that it can - and often is - used to look down on those who dress a certain way.
As stated above, I do feel there are some Biblical principles for modesty. But I think that they are very much up to ones' own interpretation. Yes, it bothers me to see women in very short skirts or in slits nearly up to their rear. But, I try very hard to not judge them, they may not know better, I don't know their motivation, etc. Just because it BOTHERS me doens't mean I'm judging them. Seeing women or men with their rear buttcheeks hanging out on the street bothers me too, kwim?

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#66 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 01:39 AM
 
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Isn't what's culturally appropriate fluid and dependent on the prevailing norms?

If it's so common for people to wear spagetti straps and shorts in the summer (and a quick look around on the street tells me that this is so) then in can't be considered culturally inappropriate. You don't have to approve of it, but you can't expect people to adopt whatever your desires for appropriate/inappropriate clothing may be.
What is required of us (speaking as an Orthodox Christian) is that we practice modesty in dress. Normally, what kind of clothing is modest would vary from one place to another. You could be modestly dressed in almost no clothing, depending on the time and place, and the attitude and intention connected with the choice of clothing.

It seems logical that fairly scanty North American clothing must be appropriate, if so many people wear it. But - clothing is always immodest if it is publicly worn for the purpose of being provocative, enhancing sexual appeal, and so forth, no matter how common the practice. The idea that clothing, especially women's clothing, should be sexy and "hot" is fairly standard. The way it is advertised, discussed, and reacted to bears this out. When the purpose of the clothing design is contrary to the very idea of modesty, then yes, even clothing that most people in a culture wear every day can be "inappropriate" by Christian standards.
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#67 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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ITA. And I think that sometimes people feel "judged" because they know, deep in their hearts, that they should be dressed more modestly. Even if they aren't being judged by others. So if you feel judged, I'd ask yourself honestly why?
I have to say, feeling judged is very different from feeling a Godly conviction.

When my 2 year old was having tantrums in the store, I felt judged. Is it because, in any way, I felt my parenting was inadequate? Hell no. I know she was two years old, and that's what two year olds often do!! Nor do I think I should be asking myself if I'm a good enough parent due to it, the idea is proposterous.

No - I felt judged because of the people staring at me giving me "tsk tsk" looks, saying to their neighbour, "I would never allow MY child to behave like that!".

Conviction is something very different. Conviction is when, for example, my husband as a smoker feels like crap every time our daughter goes and knocks on the window and yells that she wants him to come back inside and play. He feels guilty because he knows he shouldn't be smoking.

I really hate it when people judge others. Especially Christians because as they judge, they're sinning against God themselves, which is very ironic.

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#68 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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Isn't what's culturally appropriate fluid and dependent on the prevailing norms?

If it's so common for people to wear spagetti straps and shorts in the summer (and a quick look around on the street tells me that this is so) then in can't be considered culturally inappropriate. You don't have to approve of it, but you can't expect people to adopt whatever your desires for appropriate/inappropriate clothing may be.
Yes, I would say it is culturally relative. The closest to church dress for most congregations is something like professional dress, where strappy tanks, shorts, and flip flops are not usually appropriate. (And that can be a big problem in some offices, people not knowing how to dress, especially young ones.)

Or, I often think of it as what you are allowed to wear to a military mess, since they do tend to be conservative but have changed their rules over the years, some now allow nice shorts, for example - but that's not on most peopl's radar.

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#69 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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What is required of us (speaking as an Orthodox Christian) is that we practice modesty in dress. Normally, what kind of clothing is modest would vary from one place to another. You could be modestly dressed in almost no clothing, depending on the time and place, and the attitude and intention connected with the choice of clothing.

It seems logical that fairly scanty North American clothing must be appropriate, if so many people wear it. But - clothing is always immodest if it is publicly worn for the purpose of being provocative, enhancing sexual appeal, and so forth, no matter how common the practice. The idea that clothing, especially women's clothing, should be sexy and "hot" is fairly standard. The way it is advertised, discussed, and reacted to bears this out. When the purpose of the clothing design is contrary to the very idea of modesty, then yes, even clothing that most people in a culture wear every day can be "inappropriate" by Christian standards.
Yes, this is said perfectly. It's an interesting cultural change, in many ways. Does it represent a liberation of sexuality, or an enslavement to it?

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#70 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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Yes, this is said perfectly. It's an interesting cultural change, in many ways. Does it represent a liberation of sexuality, or an enslavement to it?
THAT is a whole knew thread m'dear!

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#71 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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There is, in my opinion, an entirely different issue between a RELIGION having set dress expectations (Islam, Jewish, Mennonite, etc) and behaviors (separation of women/men etc) and a group of church attending PEOPLE who CREATE a dress expectation out of their own interpretation of how to 'belong' to that church or group.

It's apples and oranges.

If it's just one church's interpretation of what is 'respectful' than it's not a religious belief, it's a standard to prove how much more 'godly' you are compared to the next person. If it's your OWN belief, fine...wear what works for you. But don't cast a critical eye or thought towards others who have a different opinion.

*I* am fairly average in appearance, The majority of my friends though all have piercings and tattoos galore. *I* don't because it's not MY personal preference. I can't think of any situation where I'd want to have that appearance. But I can appreciate that my friends DO. Not because it's some sad choice they've made and isn't it great I've got higher standards. Because it's their choice entirely and it has no reflection on what kind of person they are whatsoever.

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#72 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Okay, I'm going to get really practical here. For those who believe modesty is a cultural construct, something to oppress women or just bunk: the next time you check out a new place of worship, attend a special event at a congregation you're not a member of, are you going to dress semi-covered up in respect of the event/house of worship, or are you just going to wear whatever you want?
This would be without an explicit dress code-would you at least cover breasts, stomach, make sure your panties weren't showing and not wear a micro-mini?

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#73 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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There is, in my opinion, an entirely different issue between a RELIGION having set dress expectations (Islam, Jewish, Mennonite, etc) and behaviors (separation of women/men etc) and a group of church attending PEOPLE who CREATE a dress expectation out of their own interpretation of how to 'belong' to that church or group.

It's apples and oranges.

If it's just one church's interpretation of what is 'respectful' than it's not a religious belief, it's a standard to prove how much more 'godly' you are compared to the next person. If it's your OWN belief, fine...wear what works for you. But don't cast a critical eye or thought towards others who have a different opinion.
This is it exactly. Well said.

Tradd I think that most people will wear what they think is appropriate based on their understanding of cultural norms, unless they have been sensitized to the fact that there are sects of Christianity that take the idea of modesty to different level (using this as an example). I wouldn't for example use the 2 finger from the collar bone test to see if my top was too low cut for a specific church.

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#74 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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Tradd I think that most people will wear what they think is appropriate based on their understanding of cultural norms.
Yeah, well, that's the whole problem, isn't it? The "dress appropriately for the occasion" thing seems to have collectively gone out the window, hasn't it? That's the whole thing that happened at the wedding I posted about that was the catalyst for THIS thread. Just where did folks get the idea that being "nakedly dress'd" (to quote Jane Austen) was appropriate for a church service? It wasn't *that* long ago that folks would have covered up the cleavage until they left the church. Or not exposed the stomach/back/left the micro-mini that showed everything when sitting down at home.

I was talking to someone else about this who related what had recently happened when she went to a friend's funeral (he was an older gentleman). His three granddaughters (high school/college age) wore, as she put it, "spaghetti-strapped sundresses that barely covered their backsides, the top of one which was not staying up well." I had to ask if the dresses were black - as I'd seen this sort of thing before (anything being considered appropriate as long as it was black). She told me that one of the dresses was black and so full of beads and sequins that it was ready to go straight to the prom!

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#75 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 02:53 PM
 
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There is, in my opinion, an entirely different issue between a RELIGION having set dress expectations (Islam, Jewish, Mennonite, etc) and behaviors (separation of women/men etc) and a group of church attending PEOPLE who CREATE a dress expectation out of their own interpretation of how to 'belong' to that church or group.

It's apples and oranges.

If it's just one church's interpretation of what is 'respectful' than it's not a religious belief, it's a standard to prove how much more 'godly' you are compared to the next person.
I don't know of very many -- or, really, any -- religions that have undebated standards of dress or conduct. Islam, Judaism, and the Mennonite denomination included. What is expected in one mosque, synagogue, or Mennonite congregation is often very different from the next. With cause. In all cases it is about interpretation of the intentions of doctrine. If the existence of a stricter interpretation necessarily equals the creation of a measuring stick used to prove one's self better, there are no apples to compare to the oranges. It just becomes "the more liberal interpretation is the right one, always."
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#76 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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Yeah, well, that's the whole problem, isn't it? The "dress appropriately for the occasion" thing seems to have collectively gone out the window, hasn't it? That's the whole thing that happened at the wedding I posted about that was the catalyst for THIS thread. Just where did folks get the idea that being "nakedly dress'd" (to quote Jane Austen) was appropriate for a church service? It wasn't *that* long ago that folks would have covered up the cleavage until they left the church. Or not exposed the stomach/back/left the micro-mini that showed everything when sitting down at home.

I was talking to someone else about this who related what had recently happened when she went to a friend's funeral (he was an older gentleman). His three granddaughters (high school/college age) wore, as she put it, "spaghetti-strapped sundresses that barely covered their backsides, the top of one which was not staying up well." I had to ask if the dresses were black - as I'd seen this sort of thing before (anything being considered appropriate as long as it was black). She told me that one of the dresses was black and so full of beads and sequins that it was ready to go straight to the prom!
No I disagree. I think that your standards of "appropriate" are at odds with the cultural norms for appropriate. Some of the fastest growing Christian churches are quite accepting of casual dress (click off any links here and check out the photos). But more concerning I think is that you read a level of intentional disrespect into the clothing choices of others that is unwarranted. The girls at the funeral may have been doing their best to be respectful with what they had - perhaps they were travelling back from college, perhaps they didn't have other black clothes or the money or time to purchase something else, perhaps they thought that wearing black was being respectful, perhaps they forgot their sweater in the car. I find it sad that the take away message from their attendance at their grandfather's funeral was that their clothing wasn't up to a religious/cultural/generational standard that perhaps isn't applicable to them.

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#77 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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As for shorts and straps, I find it hard to understand why God would have a problem with the body that he himself created.
Well, that is true as far as it goes. But not everything is meant to be public all the time. Some things are considered to be private. Not only that, but at least as far as (Orthodox) Judaism is concerned -- emphasis on physical attributes distracts others from appreciating spiritual/personality attributes. The body is meant to be appreciated and enjoyed, with appropriate boundaries.

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I don't know of very many -- or, really, any -- religions that have undebated standards of dress or conduct. Islam, Judaism, and the Mennonite denomination included. What is expected in one mosque, synagogue, or Mennonite congregation is often very different from the next. With cause. In all cases it is about interpretation of the intentions of doctrine. If the existence of a stricter interpretation necessarily equals the creation of a measuring stick used to prove one's self better, there are no apples to compare to the oranges. It just becomes "the more liberal interpretation is the right one, always."
Very true. At least in Judaism, there are very particular doctrinal/Torah-derived guidelines about what constitutes modesty in dress -- for both women and men. Not everyone practices this, as you say. But they are specific.

Also, I would say that at least in the traditional Jewish context, the concept of modesty (which is actually not the best translation of the actual concept, known as tzniut) is an all-encompassing one that deals not only with clothing but also behavior, speech, and general comport. We are enjoined, through the mitzvot ('commandments'/'laws') to bring holiness into the world. We do this by observing/upholding/performing these mitzvot, of which the ideas of modesty are part. It is not about how *we* feel; rather it is about our responsibility and obligation to G-d, as Jews. So even if that day is hot and I don't really feel like wearing a shirt or skirt that would be considered within the guidelines of tzniut, I do it anyway. Because I understand that I am keeping that which is private, private. And that sometimes, it's not about how I feel but rather about my spiritual obligation.

By the way, our 'rules' for modesty don't change from synagogue to street. The level of 'dressiness' certainly would; but the guidelines about what is appropriate to show of a person's body never change regardless of where you are.

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#78 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Specific or not, it it not unheard of within any example that can be provided to hear "it is about the spirit of modesty, not static specifics," "a part of modesty is blending into the surrounding culture," and so on. Interpretive notions that at least to some degree loosen what is perceived as acceptable in practice. Just as much as it is possible to hear "modesty means this concrete thing" to restrict acceptable practices. Judaism may well have a more clear uniform standard than Islam which may well have a more clear standard than Christianity, but there is always room for difference and that a community agreeing to the more strict interpretation might be considered by definition to be putting on a show of pious superiority denies a lot of the reality of the experience of sincere conviction.

The inclusion of Mennonites is particularly curious to me, being a denomination which (a) is drawing its inspiration from the Bible just as much as any other Christians, and (b) includes churches which run the gamut from strongly socially enforced dress standards to being totally "come as you are." If anything they are singularly one of the best examples of the range of difference that can stem from the efforts to understand what the Bible intends.
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#79 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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Karen, as others have noted upthread, there is a big difference between modest dress and casual dress. You're not separating the two with your reference to churches that accept casual dress. It's quite possible to be casual AND modest. The immodest is what I'm referring to. Most at my church dress casual but modestly. My usual summer Sunday dress is a long linen skirt, sandals, a tshirt and a cardigan, sometimes with a straw hat. Definitely casual but also modest. A lot of us here on this thread don't mind casual so much as immodest. I'm not sure why the difference is so tricky for some folks. I don't care if someone comes to church in jeans/denim skirt and tshirt - as long as they are modest and not showing boobs, belly, or underwear.

Modest and casual are NOT mutually exclusive!

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#80 of 104 Old 06-25-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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Okay, I'm going to get really practical here. For those who believe modesty is a cultural construct, something to oppress women or just bunk: the next time you check out a new place of worship, attend a special event at a congregation you're not a member of, are you going to dress semi-covered up in respect of the event/house of worship, or are you just going to wear whatever you want?
This would be without an explicit dress code-would you at least cover breasts, stomach, make sure your panties weren't showing and not wear a micro-mini?
Honestly you seem really, really focused on some pretty outlandishly sexualized clothes. I've never, even at 120 pounds and 20 years old, worn a mini-skirt. I always hope my panties aren't showing just because I think it's tacky for them to be, although I have seen women who looked sexy in that thong-above-the-jeans look. Still I've *only* seen that in dance clubs. I think when most of us are defending "immodest" dress, we're talking about very basic clothing, not clothes that keeps being referred to as "stripper" clothing (though, I seriously doubt anyone's going to church in pasties and thongs only).

When I read miniskirts and breasts hanging out in the same post as shorts and cupped necklines, it makes me think there's just a heck of a lot of judgment going on there. A scoop-necked shirt/dress just doesn't fall into the same category as plunging neckline where the V ends at the bottom of your breasts.

To answer your question, I'd wear what I normally wear to church, which usually is pants. If a church (since I'd have to have some specific reason to be going to a house of worship of a non-Christian religion) doesn't allow pants, I don't go. If I were asked to leave, I would and be glad because I'd be very unlikely to enjoy/agree with the sermon.

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#81 of 104 Old 06-26-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
Karen, as others have noted upthread, there is a big difference between modest dress and casual dress. You're not separating the two with your reference to churches that accept casual dress. It's quite possible to be casual AND modest. The immodest is what I'm referring to. Most at my church dress casual but modestly. My usual summer Sunday dress is a long linen skirt, sandals, a tshirt and a cardigan, sometimes with a straw hat. Definitely casual but also modest. A lot of us here on this thread don't mind casual so much as immodest. I'm not sure why the difference is so tricky for some folks. I don't care if someone comes to church in jeans/denim skirt and tshirt - as long as they are modest and not showing boobs, belly, or underwear.

Modest and casual are NOT mutually exclusive!
Did you check out any of the churches in the link I posted?
The second one said in their opening statement:
The very first thing we'll ask of you is simple: relax. You don't have to dress up. and contained pictures of staff and members in tank tops, in casual v-neck shirts.
While I realize casual and modest are not mutually exclusive we are living in a time when casual clothing is the norm and that affects people's understanding of the formality or modesty issues you raise.

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#82 of 104 Old 06-26-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Honestly you seem really, really focused on some pretty outlandishly sexualized clothes. I've never, even at 120 pounds and 20 years old, worn a mini-skirt. I always hope my panties aren't showing just because I think it's tacky for them to be, although I have seen women who looked sexy in that thong-above-the-jeans look. Still I've *only* seen that in dance clubs. I think when most of us are defending "immodest" dress, we're talking about very basic clothing, not clothes that keeps being referred to as "stripper" clothing (though, I seriously doubt anyone's going to church in pasties and thongs only).

When I read miniskirts and breasts hanging out in the same post as shorts and cupped necklines, it makes me think there's just a heck of a lot of judgment going on there. A scoop-necked shirt/dress just doesn't fall into the same category as plunging neckline where the V ends at the bottom of your breasts.

To answer your question, I'd wear what I normally wear to church, which usually is pants. If a church (since I'd have to have some specific reason to be going to a house of worship of a non-Christian religion) doesn't allow pants, I don't go. If I were asked to leave, I would and be glad because I'd be very unlikely to enjoy/agree with the sermon.
I agree with all of this. Very well said. Tradd, you do seem very focused on some specific clothing and the women who wear them. Your disdain is quite obvious.
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#83 of 104 Old 06-28-2009, 02:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suebee79 View Post
Tradd, you do seem very focused on some specific clothing and the women who wear them. Your disdain is quite obvious.
I would not want to speak for Tradd, but I did not react to her comments that way at all. If we are going to speak about the concept of dressing modestly, we are at some point going to have to refer to types of clothing and give examples of immodesty as a bad example.

Some PPs have suggested that the ideal attitude, the least judgmental and most appropriate, is to be completely unconcerned about what anyone wears. I can see why this seems kinder, but I think it is a superficial kindness. When young women, even pre-pubescent girls, feel pressured to dress for sexual attractiveness, when looking "hot" is made to seem so vital, dismissing it all with "whatever you feel like wearing is fine" is ignoring a very large issue relating to sexuality, self image, status, and other matters greater than mere clothing, one which many religions have tried to deal with over the centuries.

A church or other place of worship is supposed to provide some leadership about morality and the best way to live. Talking about sexually provocative clothing, Bluegoat asked "Does it represent a liberation of sexuality, or an enslavement to it?" If the latter, it should be brought out, discussed, and dealt with openly, by church representatives more than anyone else; not hushed up for the short-term goal of not offending visitors.
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ETA: It seems like some people are objecting to even defining modesty. I'm not sure exactly why - I have no problems with people who choose to dress less modestly than I myself dress, and I don't hold them to my standards (which are rather strict). However, when a person comes into our place of worship, I expect them to dress appropriately, and so does our rabbi. We will be kind, especially if you are a visitor, but we will let you know what's expected. It doesn't mean that we think we're better or that you should dress that way all the time. Just that when you come to us, this is how to behave.

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#85 of 104 Old 06-28-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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To put it simply, unless you're a stripper, a hooker, a Playboy bunny, work for Hooters,
Quote:
mentality of "letting it all hang out at church
Quote:
However, if someone has to expose her chest and dress provocatively ALL THE TIME, even in church, makes you wonder about HER, hmm?
Quote:
And if you're a visitor who who is more bare than dressed, *not out of ignorance of a congregation's standards*, but out of "I'll dress however I like" even if you *are* aware of a congregation's standards, again that doesn't say anything positive about the person in question.
Quote:
There are also several young women who like nothing better than to show off their chests (we're talking extreme cleavage), and are in trouble because of it
Quote:
This would be without an explicit dress code-would you at least cover breasts, stomach, make sure your panties weren't showing and not wear a micro-mini?
You don't find a scornful, sneering tone in any of these statements?
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#87 of 104 Old 06-29-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suebee79 View Post
I agree with all of this. Very well said. Tradd, you do seem very focused on some specific clothing and the women who wear them. Your disdain is quite obvious.
I have come back to this thread a few times and each time I still feel like this too. The biggest reason is because the comments quoted by suebee79 below do not seem to fit with what charbeau had previously said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by suebee79 View Post
Quote:
To put it simply, unless you're a stripper, a hooker, a Playboy bunny, work for Hooters,
Quote:
mentality of "letting it all hang out at church
Quote:
However, if someone has to expose her chest and dress provocatively ALL THE TIME, even in church, makes you wonder about HER, hmm?
Quote:
And if you're a visitor who who is more bare than dressed, *not out of ignorance of a congregation's standards*, but out of "I'll dress however I like" even if you *are* aware of a congregation's standards, again that doesn't say anything positive about the person in question.
Quote:
There are also several young women who like nothing better than to show off their chests (we're talking extreme cleavage), and are in trouble because of it
Quote:
This would be without an explicit dress code-would you at least cover breasts, stomach, make sure your panties weren't showing and not wear a micro-mini?
You don't find a scornful, sneering tone in any of these statements?
Quote:
Originally Posted by charbeau
I agree. It is frustrating that a legitimate discussion is being equated with gossip and mean-spiritedness. That was not the intent of my OP and has not been the intent of most of the participants in this thread. I hope she goes back and rereads the posts for clarification.
I DO find those statements quoted by suebee79 to be in direct contradiction with what charbeau has said. I don't understand how anyone wouldn't find that to be scornful, sneering, gossipy or mean-spirited.
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#88 of 104 Old 06-29-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by suebee79 View Post
You don't find a scornful, sneering tone in any of these statements?
Honestly, going back and reading the context surrounding those clips, no, I don't. For example:

Quote:
To put it simply, unless you're a stripper, a hooker, a Playboy bunny, work for Hooters
in isolation easily reads quite differently than:

Quote:
Contrary to what some folks nowadays think (and practice), you can't really wear whatever you want wherever you want. You generally have to dress differently for work than what you would wear to play on the weekend. To put it simply, unless you're a stripper, a hooker, a Playboy bunny, work for Hooters, or have to wear a uniform/employer-issued clothes, what you wear to work is generally acceptable for church.
What I read is simply an effort to come up with examples of differing context-based standards that those who disagree with more strict standards can still understand.
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#89 of 104 Old 06-30-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
What I read is simply an effort to come up with examples of differing context-based standards that those who disagree with more strict standards can still understand.
One of the main problems w/ the stripper/Hooters girl, etc., is that it's included with the same contempt as references to people in t-shirts. These issues are the very problem with judging others for their clothing. Many of the posters in the thread seem to be confusing a lot of issues with their condemnation of the way others dress.

The larger problem with the stripper comment is that it's simply wrong. There are tons of people whose work attire wouldn't fit some posters' standards for church-related dress. Heck, my husband's a high-level software engineer, and I'm a corporate writer. I don't think *our* work attire would fit these standards.

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#90 of 104 Old 06-30-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Just went back and read those posts again ... and no, the "stripper, Hooter girl, etc" reference is not in any respect connected to any "contempt for people in t-shirts."

And while I'm sure many people's job attire would not fit some church standards, the point all along has been that different institutions hold different standards. Your job attire would not fit my religious institutions standard for participating in prayer. (=/= contempt for your work attire, just in case anyone was tempted to go there.) But I never said it would. In the actual speaker's church, however, typical work-appropriate apparel may well be accepted. She more or less said so in a couple of posts -- jeans and t-shirts have received explicit affirmative mention, for that matter. And, insofar as I am aware, in general (as she said) this is true of churches in America.

It just comes off very much like trying to make a point by pressing several separate, selective points and several different viewpoints together into one mould to come up with an arguement for the whole issue of standards being unsavory. What seems to be being most confused is the difference between stating a principle and citing an example.
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