There is a trend in the Christian community that drives me bonkers. It can be applied to an infinite number of ways, but it has the same logic structure.
I am a Christian.
I have thoughts.
Therefore, my thoughts are Christian Thoughts.
Note that the implicit extension of point 3 is that if you don’t agree with said thoughts, you’re not Christian. Or, at the least, you’re not thinking Christian thoughts. We’ve seen this time and time again with all sorts of issues. Whether it be the issue of suffering, immigration policies, war, poverty, Kanye West – just wait a day or two, and you will see a flood of articles written by pastors, music artists, and devo debbies who proclaim that they have searched the scriptures and come away unequivocally with what the correct Christian Response should be. This would all be well and good, if there weren’t an equal number of articles from different camps of Christians claiming they have the real insight into how the entire kingdom of God should respond to a particular issue. They all are, in effect, righteousplaining.
This is where the chaos and confusion lies. People from all sorts of different nations, cultures, political ideologies, family structures, moral upbringings, intellectual strengths, and personalities are drawn to the character of Jesus. They make a decision to follow him, and usually get involved in a local church of like-minded people. They talk about their faith with those people, and how it influences how they see the world. Then, they begin to see these opinions and views as representative of Christianity. Then they feel bold and brave enough to righteousplain the Christian Response. Then Christians from other backgrounds get offended and outraged, because their faith is being represented and applied in a way that is foreign and offensive to them.
It’s a tricky thing, because our faith has very bold, well-defined tenets (e.g. love your neighbor) that demand action. But, different people have very different ideas about what those tenets look like IRL. For example, one camp might say “I love my children, so I would never strike them because that is a violent, aggressive act.” A different camp may say “I love my children, and if I see them tottering towards something dangerous I will smack the crap out of them to keep them from harm.” Both of these groups have heard and received the concept of love, but they have different ways of applying it.
So, in light of this, I advise against public proclamations that your response to the societal problem du jour is The Christian Response. Obviously, you are free to explain how your Christian faith motivated your current position, but I urge you against concluding that opponents are workers of the devil. In some issues, they just might be, but in some issues your opponents may simply be the tricep to your bicep in the body of Christ.
This couldn’t be a complete farewell tour for Galloblog without a John Crist post, amiright? My thoughts about Crist have oscillated over the past year or so. I held back on posting anything about him for a while because posting during the peak of the cancellation storm seemed exploitative and icky.
But, here we are. Let’s recap, for those of you who do not stalk this blog –
November 2017 – I post an extremely silly post about how I broke off my engagement to John Crist. This post was written largely to poke fun at the desperado of single Christian women in the church (e.g. taking every friendly gesture from Christian men wayyyy to seriously).
Spring 2018- the engagement post starts getting *tons* of views. I realize some people are actually taking this seriously. I feel a combo of “lol” and “yay! Blog traffic!”
February 2019 – I notice I’m getting a lot of hits from Twitter, which is very unusual for my blog. I investigate 🧐 and discover someone is accusing John Crist of being abusive to women and is citing my satirical engagement post as proof. I think “lol” and “oh dear.” So I private message John Crist on Twitter and explain the situation and offer to take it down if he would like me to. He actually replied (!!!) and said to keep it up because it was funny. Then he also said to let him know if I wanted free tickets to his next show in my area. So of course I was like “Hellz yeah!”
April 2019 – he gives me 2 amazing tickets to his show. He tells me to come say hey after the show. We have this ironic jokey text exchange –
So my boyfriend, friend + hubs, and I all went to the back to see him. It was a very quick conversation , but it something along the lines of “yeah, people are so mean online. Let me know if anyone ever gives you any trouble!” And that was pretty much it. I even have photographic evidence (I cropped out my boyfriend’s face for privacy – but my bf is the true babu of my heart!).
So anyway, fast-forward to November 2019- Charisma News published a bombshell article John Crist Cancels 2019 Tour Dates After Reports of Sexting, Harassment, Manipulation that detailed the sexual misconduct allegations from five women. “According to multiple sources, Crist has exploited his Christian reputation and platform to harass, manipulate and exploit young women over the last seven years. The allegations include, but are not limited to, individually sexting multiple women during the same time period, initiating sexual relationships with married women and women in committed relationships, offering show tickets in exchange for sexual favors and repeatedly calling these women late at night while drunk.”
A day or two later, John Crist issued a written response-
“My behavior has been destructive and sinful. I’ve sinned against God, against women and the people who I love the most. I have violated my own Christian beliefs, convictions and values, and have hurt many people in the process,” Crist said. “I am sorry for the hurt and pain I have caused these women and will continue to seek their forgiveness. I have also hurt the name of Jesus and have sought His forgiveness.”
I shared the entire saga because I find it bizarre. Our entire exchange was very innocent. Did he have creepy plans, and then change his mind when I mentioned a boyfriend? Unlikely, given married women weren’t an obstacle. Did he change his mind when he saw me in person? Unlikely, given that I am exquisite. 😉 Could it be that it was because he was dating Lauren Alaina at the time? Maybe he offers free tickets to many people, and only occasionally got a little creepy-creeps?
I have no idea. I don’t think I will ever know, unless I asked him directly. But I am not going to abuse having his digits. Not to mention the dude has probably changed his number at this point. All I know for sure is that he treated me 100% appropriately.
Now, a graceless segue into the main point of this post – should John Crist be canceled forever? I’ve thought a little bit about this, and I think John Crist needs to come back. Forever cancellation would be way too harsh. Why?
His behavior was creepy, yes, but incredibly mild compared to “secular” comedians. Honestly if he wasn’t being labeled as an “evangelical Christian” – which I’m not even sure he would identify as – I don’t think anyone would even bat an eyelash. I mean good Lort, *opens can of worms* our President who is certainly not being shunned by the majority of Christian conservatives has unapologetically said and done much worse. And I’d like to float the idea that the personal failures of the U.S. President are more important than the personal failures of a comedian.
Yes, his comedy was centered around Christians and church culture, but he never claimed to be a spiritual leader or offered anything remotely spiritual during his comedy acts. So I don’t think he should be held to the standard of a pastor or some other spiritual leaders.
I hate this culture of wanting people to forever be buried because they had a moral failure. (Note – I mean John Crist level moral failure, not Harvey Weinstein.) Good grief – if you broadcasted everything I did – or dug up stuff I did when I was 19 – you would cancel me, too! The only saving grace for me is that I’m not important or famous enough for anyone to care. And what’s the long-term outcome for him – be forever banned from the career he’s been building for 10-15 years? Should we do this for all people who don’t hold up to our moral standards- like should I refuse to do business with a plumber if I know he cheated on his wife? Where does it all end? Should people who are canceled be put on government assistance for life? Imprisoned?? Euthanized??? I’m being dramatic, but seriously – I’m against shutting people out and sabotaging their future forever because they said and did some inappropriate things (NOTE AGAIN: of this scale).
On a very selfish note, I miss his comedy. I think we need it right now. Trey Kennedy is a weak echo of John Crist and it’s not enough!
My personal interactions with John Crist made me think he was the bee’s knees. What he admitted to doing is bad, and in no way am I trying to minimize the badness of it. But the punishment is disproportionate to the crime. Come back please!
I do not like ministries, events, bible studies, parties, special gatherings, prayer meetings, small groups, etc. etc. etc. that are specific to women. They deeply irritate me. Porquoi?
I don’t have all that much in common with other women, anymore than I do with an arbitrary group of 29 year olds, brunettes, or lovers of poke bowls
Men do not intimidate me or make me uncomfortable. I do not have better conversations without men. I like that they think differently, especially about matters of faith. I have found mixed-sex discussions are richer, not stilted.
I understand that many women struggle with issues of self-worth and have painful pasts that involve exploitation. My heart goes out to them – truly. That being said, it seems like many women’s ministries focus almost exclusively on women like this, and ignore women like me whose struggle is more about figuring out how to live a meaningful life with integrity as a professional.
I also understand that many women are married and have kids. That is gucci gang. BUT similar to point 3, I am not. And I wouldn’t say getting married and having kids is my ultimate life goal.* So I also don’t get a lot from hearing exclusively from women who are trying to figure out how to be wives and moms. Not that I can’t be friends with these women or learn from them, but I don’t need an entire event centered around hearing from and connecting with women who I have almost nothing in common with. I have even less in common with them in life situation and specific faith struggles than I do with say.. a 34 year old dude who is an electrical engineer. It would make more sense for me to have a specific event for Nerdy Upper 20s Who are Functional but are Feeling a Little Lost in Life.
Women’s ministry events often include horrid assumptions about what sort of woman I am and what I like. “Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re giving away a $500 Anthropologie gift card!” *crowd goes wild* *Cgallo goes into a silent white rage* Seriously, I’ve never had more sexist silly assumptions made about me (e.g. “OMG I live for shopping!!!!! I remortgaged my house to buy this purse!”) than at a women’s ministry event.
Last but not least, y’all – it’s the names of the groups and events. What in Beth Moore is going on? Are we studying the bible, or getting facials? Who can tell?
Let me show you a series of real logos from actual women’s ministries or actual spas – doctored only to remove the “giveaway” words. Which do you think are women ministries, and which do you think are spas?
Soooo what do you think? The odd numbers are women’s ministries and the even numbers are spas? WRONG. These are all women ministries! What?!
Okay okay, let’s try again.
I know what you’re all thinking… “We’re on to you, CGallo! Those are all women’s ministries AGAIN!” Well guess what suckerzzzz, yer wrong, all wrong! #6-10 are all spas in Atlanta or NYC! What?!!
The takeaway of this post.. I think? .. is this proposal — ladies let’s just skip women ministry events and hit the spa because both are about women empowerment and feeling better about yourself and being in man-free zones and girl talk and faint spiritual undertones and strong plant-life overtones. Woooo! Let’s do it!
— EDITORIAL NOTES — * I would rather meet someone and love them so much that I can’t stand not being married to them, not so much “I MUST get married and have 5 kids before age 35!” because THAT specific boat for this gal has not just sailed but sunk around age 26. ANYWAY
Wowsers! Is it legit? Is it a bunch of psychological mumbo jumbo? Does it have ties to satanic cults? Who cares! Never one to have a strong voice on controversial topics*, C Gallo is here to exploit the obsession with the enneagram for her own needs.** So for all of your extreme pleasure and to fuel the craze, please see my below recommendations of Galloblog posts according to each enneagram type! Note: I based all of this according the brief summaries of each type provided by the enneagram institute.
Type 1: The Reformer
Basic Fear: Of being corrupt/evil, defective
Basic Desire: To be good, to have integrity, to be balanced
I C A N N O T T A K E A N Y M O R E C H R I S T I A N B O O K S A B O U T D A T I N G.
Is it because my heart is hardened?
Is it because I’m living in sin and want to avoid conviction?
Is it because I am resistant to wisdom?
No. It is for this simple reason — in no other area of Christian life have I seen Christian wisdom take such a phariseeical turn so quickly.
The authors are not necessarily to blame for this, but I think this is what happens — a Christian man/woman/couple figures out a way to date that seems in-line with the Christian faith. They then share their insights and wisdom from their own personal experiences. Christians read these books, and instead of seeing them for what they are – musings by good but still-being-sanctified people – they see them as RULES that we all must follow, lest we be pegged as pagos. #pagopegged #ouch
But let’s all take a step back and get a little perspective — in biblio times, dating didn’t exist. You were a child, then boom you go through puberty, then boom you are married. This doesn’t mean that the Christian faith is irrelevant to how we date, but it does mean that pretty much any *specific* dating advice is just that – advice from humans – not the Word of God.
So let’s not perpetuate self-righteousness and phariseeism by acting as if the compilation of some Christian dude’s musings on dating is The Way the Truth and the Life. There is probably wisdom in many Christian books on dating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you don’t follow that author’s recommendations you are rebelling against the God of the universe. For example – In Single, Dating, Engaged, Married,* Ben Stuart talks about how he would always tell his now-wife Donna the next time he was going to contact her. He saw this as a sweet way to reduce her stress – she didn’t have to worry about if / when he was going to contact her, she already knew – “I’ll call you tomorrow.” I agree, that is sweet. Does that mean that if a guy doesn’t communicate like that to you, you should kick him to the curb? No! It’s a nice specific example of how Christian faith canplay out IRL, but it is by no means a rule.
Side note 1 – many dating books are probably somewhat useful for high-schoolers who are still living with their parents, and truly have zero life experience to help them navigate dating with wisdom. But there are some dating practices that are absurd if not impossible when you are living on your own (e.g. the dude asking the Dad’s permission to date). So let’s recognize that not ALL Christians get married when they are 19, and what worked for a man dating his wife in undergrad may not be useful for a 29 year old woman.
Side note 2 – I’m also getting cranky with Christian women who assume they are entitled to impart their sage dating advice. I don’t owe it to you to spill all the beans of my romantic life just because we are both Christians, and frankly many of you haven’t earned the right to tell me what to do or hear the intimate details of my life and heart. If you are concerned about my dating choices, how ’bout you pray for the Spirit to convict me directly instead of appointing yourself as my accountability supervisor. I suggest with all the gentle love I can muster that you are just as likely to turn me into an anxious self-righteous snoot pants than to protect me from harm. Just sayin’. As the modern sage John Crist would say, “check your heart.”
I plan to approach dating with the freedom Christ gained for me, as captured by the idea “Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.”** Earlier this year I demoralized a dating decision and thought “I can date this person if I want. We could have wild sex every night and guess what.. I would still be a Christian. Jesus might be grieved, but he would still love me. Now, knowing this, do I want to? What would be the consequences?” And that actually led me to a healthy decision that was MY decision, not a half-hearted, dutiful response to the pressures of others.
Okay.. that’s all! Be free!
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*At least he talked about this in his Single | Dating | Engaged | Married sermons when he was preaching at Breakaway. I actually never read his book because I heard it was basically the written version of his sermons. 😀
All of us have our guilty pleasure romantic comedy favorites, but I think we can all agree that most plot lines to rom coms are unrealistic, and even worse, secular. Recently there has been a push among evangelical Christians for more realistic films about romance in the modern Church. Here at the top 5 must-see Christian rom coms that will gratify the realist in us all.
10,000,000 Things I Prayed About You This is your classic boy meets girl, boy prays about whether or not to pursue girl for 3 years, in the meantime girl meets, dates, gets engaged, and marries someone else.
Several Okay Days Tough-as-nails single mom appropriately guards her heart against the advances of charming millionaire playboy. Dies alone
You Don’t Got Mail Young lady still living at home with parents signs up for online dating and begins a warm email exchange with a witty gentleman. Parents discover the emails and block witty gentleman so their daughter can focus on dating Jesus and nannying her siblings’ kids.
Focused in Philly Independent woman witnesses a murder, is assigned a darkly dangerous and handsome bodyguard to protect her until the court trial. Sparks fly. Man maintains professional conduct and they part ways amicably after the trial.
Not Knocked Up Troubled bad boy moves in next door to awkward teenage girl. They develop and unexpected friendship until girl’s dad sees his tattoos and forbids future contact. She obeys and begins dating her effeminate childhood friend.
Coming soon to a weird, indie theater far from you!
Brad shares a deep insight into the scripture reading, and your heart leaps within you in affirmation. When you expand on Brad’s idea with a vulnerable example from your own spiritual journey, his eyes lock with yours for an electrifying moment. Before you even realize what’s happening, your very souls are linked together.
We can all relate to those times in your church small group when you and another member are just really jiving, and whether you like it or not, you just formed a soul tie.
Although these experiences can be heady, they are deleterious to our future relationships. Take it from Mary Anne McAllister, a long-suffering victim of an accidental soul tie despite being married for seven years to the man of her dreams. “I try to connect to my husband when we pray together, but all I can think about when I close my eyes is that one time when Jo-Jo McGee said ‘yes Lord’ in response to one of my prayers back in 2006.”
Rex Hood, a self-educated theologian and pastor, is offering freedom from these soul ties. “The best solution is prevention, obviously. I think we would all agree that any sort of connection with anyone who is not your future spouse will lead to devastating emotional and spiritual consequences for the rest of your life. But if the worst happens and you accidentally bond with someone of the opposite sex in your Christian community, there are certain… options.”
From here, the details get a little mysterious. Rex’s professional site does not disclose his particular methods, and his entire business relies on personal recommendations. He does have a 3.5 star rating on yelp, with some customer’s claiming “$500 is worth freeing my soul from over a decade of intimate, mixed-sex small group discussions!” He has, however, been spotted entering the homes of soul-tie victims with essential oils, a 4 ft wooden cross, and Michael W. Smith cds.
Rex remains unfazed by some accusations that charging $500 to sever each soul tie is a bit exploitative. “If you don’t think your soul is worth at least $500, I probably can’t help you anyway.”
For those with knotted souls and a little extra cash, it just may be worth it.
C. Gallo is a freelance writer in Atlanta, GA. She enjoys writing lies that make her lolz. Some of the characters in this story may be fictional, then again they may be real. Any resemblance to real persons or businesses might be on purpose, to cause controversy and drive up her blog views.
ATLANTA, GA – Local Christian radio station Ghost Jamz FM recently announced they are going to host a new music festival for Atlanta citizens.
“The name ‘stable knees’ is a double pun of sorts,” Mike McMahon, host of the Ghost Jamz morning radio segment Laughs with the Lord explained. “One, as praying people, we get on our knees frequently to petition the Lord. Two, we want to emphasize how stable our walk is because there will NOT be adult beverages served at this concert.”
The concert announcement is firm in it’s zero tolerance policy for alcohol of drugs of any kind. “If there are any smoky odors in this crowd, it better be from an altar of incense made of acacia wood,” McMahon warned.
The concert is listed to feature some Christian music giants, including Chris Tomlin. Some rumors have leaked that mature audiences might be blessed with a pop-up performance from Christian music veterans Petra. Simultaneously, youth choirs of local churches will be performing secular pop songs dubbed over with Christian lyrics. The Bethlehem Baptist Timothies have promised on social media they plan to perform a Christianized version Bebe Rexe’s and Florida Georgia’s Line Meant to Be with a Calvinist twist.
“The main purpose of this event is to show that we can do watered-down, sub-par knock-offs of secular events,” Ghost Jamz Marketing and Promotions Czar Heather Fluff stated in a press release.
The entry cost is free, but donations of $50 are expected.
I recently took to the Twitter, and in less than one day I was subject to more insulting condescension than I have encountered IRL in the past year. What did I do to incur such rabidly hostile feedback?
I had the gaul to respectfully disagree with Matt Walsh’s* sentiment that conservatives / Christians should stop sending their kiddos to college because colleges are so liberal / secular.
Here is my inflammatory tweet:
I thought my tweet was pretty docile. But apparently, Matt himself found this offensive, and replied —
Then I started getting all these snarky replies, like “can you honestly say you have never compromised your faith in that environment?” and “academia attracts lazy, entitled, meal tickets lefties …”
It seemed that the vast majority of tweeters on this thread considered academia to be the pit of darkness, was intrinsically flawed, and something we should shield the precious minds of our little ones from.
I want to talk about this carefully, because I don’t want to condescend parents or over-generalize my own experience. But, I do think I may have some useful insight into this prominent trend of conservatives/Christians demonizing academia. Look y’all – I was homeschooled from grades 1-12, and went to a Southern Baptist church twice on Sunday AND Wednesday night, too! I know conservative Christian culture. This will enrage some, but I love a lot of things about conservative Christian culture. But also, on my way to attaining my PhD at a state and then at a private almost-kinda-maybe-might-as-well-be Ivy League school, I was surrounded by far-left and/or non-Christian ideologies. It made me .. uncomfortable at the least, sometimes angry, sometimes a little confuzzled. It made me re-think my values and beliefs -did I only believe them because I was brain-washed by my family, church, and safe little suburban town — or were they actually true?
Was this process pleasant? No. It was stressful. Do I have the exact same values and beliefs that I did when I was a 17 year old freshman**? No. My political views have become more moderate, for sure, although the average leftist would still gasp in horror at my voting record. My faith has been through the ringer. But it seems that every time I dig deeper into whatever issue instigated the latest round of doubts, I come out the other side with stronger faith.
The point of me telling you all this isn’t to emphasize what a dynamo faith I have, but to urge Christians and/or conservatives – whether you are thinking about going to college or sending your kids to college or whatever – to not shrink back from environments where your beliefs will be poked a little.*** It’s not the end of the world. It may actually increase your ability to talk to other people about your faith, because you have a better understanding of their doubts, questions, baseline assumptions. etc.
Okay. I’m going to do this blog French new wave style, and grossly violate the blogging/writing norms because I’m FRENCH****
After that way-too-long preamble, here are a few common misconceptions / ideers that many conservatives / Christians seem to push about academia, and my brilliant responses.
Academia as a whole is an irredeemable den of sinister liberalism and secularity
You guys, come on now. Let’s look at the states purpose and goals of some of the top academic institutions —
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally.
Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.
Knowledge for the greater good | We [at Cornell] have taken to heart the revolutionary spirit that founded our university and encourage each other to pursue unpredicted lines of thinking in order to effect change on local and international scales.
Oh yes… Excellence, learning in order to change the world for the better, encouraging creativity and individualism, preserving culture… What evil …. NOT! Honestly, what great goals, some of them directly biblical, and I will go even farther to say ALL of them are indirectly biblical. So we may not agree with how some academics want to change the world, but please stop acting and talking as if academia itself is inherently corrupt and irredeemable, and something to flee from.
Academics are actively trying to lure innocent undergrad Christians away from their faith
I won’t be so bold as to claim that I know the hearts and minds of all professors. But I will speak on my experience with interacting with many, many professors first as their underling, then their minion, and now more of their colleague —- many of them are kind. Practically all of them are nerds. Many of them are so wrapped up in their own little agnostic atheist bubbles they probably have no idea how inflammatory or upsetting their course content may be to a conservative &/or Christian. I would also say most of them don’t care what you believe in your heart of hearts, but they do want you to understand what they are presenting — and not reject it simply because you don’t like it. So for example, a sociology professor may ask you to offer a Marxist solution to a social problem – even if your little capitalist soul burns in fury as you write out your answer – to show that you even understand what Marxism is, and not just say “that won’t work because it’s communism and communism doesn’t work! Uncle Harry died to defend our country from communism!”
Anyone who wants to go into academia is an anti-capitalist, pretentious snoot
Again, let me reiterate – almost everyone in the highest ranks of academia is nothing more than a focused nerd. I didn’t get my PhD because I revel in being indirectly paid by taxpayers – I did it because I wanted to do good research that would help bring us closer to understanding (and ultimately preventing and treating) the most devastating, pervasive neurodegenerative disease in the world. I imagine most of my colleagues had similar motives. And I can honestly say that at my University, almost all of the faculty I encounter display a remarkable amount of humility and down-to-earthedness. Obviously there is pretension in academia, just like there is in corporate world and.. the fashion industry?! But it’s silly and simple untrue to tack these negative features to all academics.
The only way for Christians and conservatives to succeed in academia is to disengage and hide their true beliefs in the classroom
A lot of tweeters seemed to have watched a few too many God’s not Dead’s and think that professors will kick a conservative/Christian out of their class, fail them, or set them on fire in the library if they express their beliefs in class. I don’t think that’s true. I got pretty sassy in my senior year of college. BUT it was more of the nature of asking obnoxious questions about the research methods used to generate a figure, not just blustering in anger at each and every provocation. It’s also wise to pick your battles and show humility. It’s not compromising your faith to respect the authority and expertise of your professor. This is their class. You are paying them to tell you what the current consensus of a field of knowledge is. You can strongly disagree with that consensus, but maybe that’s best to tackle as say.. a faculty member who has demonstrated expertise on the subject and, dare I say it, has credentials. Let’s not pressure Christian / conservative youths to roll out of high school with the ability to take down centuries worth of knowledge in a particular field of study.
Okay.. that’s all the pretentiousness I can muster for today. Geez Gallo, term limits?! Try WORD limits! hahaha #lame
C. Gallo, PhD., out!
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*An uber-conservative, catholic Christian blogger. 75% of what he has to say is golden, the other 25% I either strongly disagree with or strongly disagree with the way he says it. #blogtisticdifferences
**What can I say.. #homeschooled #childprodigy #humble #jk #octoberbday #notthatimpressive #maybealittle
***I say this carefully, lest I be accused of hypocrisy. There are some times when our emotional and spiritual health are not fit for inquiry — when you are hurting, you need something to hold on to, not something to pick on. So while I encourage you to explore questions and allow yourself to be challenged, I also urge you to not let other people bully you into a never-ending bout of doubt. #myrhymesareacrime I touched on this idea in this post a few months ago — BREAKING: It’s okay to take a break from constantly questioning your faith!
****Jk. The French wish they had this hot piece of swag! ‘Murica!
“…the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags”
I grew up in a southern Baptist church AND was homeschooled, so I have endured my share of lectures on dressing modestly. I even took some classes at a church that wouldn’t let women on their property if they were wearing pants. I have never experienced more wrath than when a homeschool mom yelled at me, her golden eyes sparking with hatred, because my shirt showed my tums when I raised my arms (Now, I find it hilarious and maybe a little ironic that I have been slut shamed). Granted, these examples stick out to me because they’re outliers.
But even so, we all know that a “modesty” talk will be directed exclusively toward women. And it will be about what they’re (ornot) wearing. Because you know, the thrill of being immodest is a female privilege.
Some of you may want to sit down for this one. Ready? Here it comes – Men can be immodest, too. Maybe they aren’t teasing with low cut v-necks, but they may hog the “air time” during a group discussion to showcase their exquisite insightfulness.
Or they may show breathtaking creativity in how many times they can oh-so-casually work their six-fig income into a conversation. Or they may plaster their social media with pics of them surrounded by village children in Haiti, to really drive home their compassion and sensitivity. All can be forms of immodesty, all achievable without ever showing the smallest amount of bosomery. Amazing!
I’m not advocating for us to chuck propriety out the window. There IS a balance somewhere between looking Amish and frolicking around in nekidness. But rules like No Skirts Above Thigh Where Fingers Reach When Standing Straight With Arms Fully Extended don’t really get it… and the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags.* Because really, immodesty is about drawing attention to yourself. Yes, showing some cleavage is a great way to get some attention** but
1) it’s just one of many ways to draw attention to yourself
2) men aren’t exempt from clamoring for attention
3) immodesty is a visible symptom to an insecurity that goes all the way to yer ticker.
This myopic focus on women’s bosoms and bootays when discussing modesty does a disservice to women AND men. Making up detailed rules to emphasize your rightness and expose the unrightness of others… 100% guaranteed to make all hearts involved worse off. Now, how to change the heart so that it doesn’t want or need validation from others? Hmm.. 😉 ***
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*Consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount. One of the main themes was how the commandments all went way beyond a simple rule to the heart behind specific commandments… not a stricter rule. For example, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey – remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even pinch a brother.” No, he said, “Remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even be angry in the first place.” (paraphrase, Matt 5:21-22) This is frustrating, because it’s like.. “but, that’s internal! I can kinda control my actions, and barely control my thoughts on good days – but control my innermost desires?! Impossible!” And it’s like Jesus was like, “Bingo!” [cue Holy Spirit].