Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why Dress Modestly?

There has been quite a controversy around the Bloggernacle the past few weeks about modesty of dress and how it should be taught at church.

Julie M. Smith started off at Times and Seasons with a post entitled Stop Telling the YW to Be Modest for the YM. She objects to the commonly stated view that the reason we need to teach teenage girls to dress modestly is to avoid arousing the teenage boys (and men in general). She doesn't have a problem with modest dress per se; her problem is with the way it is taught.

Geoff J posted a rebuttal at New Cool Thang entitled Please Keep Telling the YW to be Modest for the YM. He basically said that women who dress in an immodest manner are inviting sexual attention, and they need to be told that so that they will cover up and not invite that attention.

Kmillecam posted a rebuttal at The Exponent entitled Modesty: Rape Culture, Rape Apology, Young Women, Young Men. Her point was that promoting the idea that a woman's dress invites sexual attention is on the same spectrum of telling a rape victim that she was asking for it by what she wore.

I agree with Julie and Kmillecam. It is totally inappropriate to put the burden of men's sexuality on women. This model is oppressive and contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It also improperly makes modesty a strictly female phenomenon. Modesty is not a strictly female phenomenon; all of God's people should be modest.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Around the Bloggernacle - Volume 9

I wanted to highlight two great posts around the Bloggernacle this week. The first one is by Seraphine at Zelophehad's Daughters. It's part of her series on 30-something single members in the church. This post is about dating advice, and she shares a list of bad advice people have given her.

The second post is by Ardis Parshall at Keepapitchinin. It's a response to Seraphine's post, and Ardis talks about what it's like being a 50-something single member in the church.

Both posts highlight the point that often the church doesn't know what to do with single members. I think the first step would be for the membership to recognize that this isn't the "church of eternal families". It's the church of Jesus Christ!

One of my favorite scriptures is in Ephesians 2:19, where Paul preached to the newly converted Christians.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
Too often, single members of the church are treated as "strangers and foreigners" instead of "fellowcitizens with the saints". We can do better.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Religious Accommodation in Athletics - Updated

One of my areas of academic interest is religious accommodation, both in law and in social custom. I'm interested in ways to facilitate a society in which people are free to participate in society as much as they desire while also being as religious as they desire. I think one of the best ways to achieve this is for everybody to communicate, set aside their preconceived notions about the other side, and work to reach a solution that works for everybody. (Wow, I sound like an HR person even when I'm not at work...)

The past few weeks, there have been a few stories in the news regarding religious accommodations (or lack thereof) in athletics. The typical religious accommodation in athletics stories that I hear about in the news involve people who observe a holy day and have to choose between keeping that day holy and competing in an important event. (Think Chariots of Fire.) However, the recent stories have involved religious dress requirements that have come into conflict with competition rules.