PART IV: The Modest Christian Woman

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What is porn for women?  Do you, like the men of the ATI religious right, and the women who enable them, have a dirty mind?  Do you really think I would link to a pornographic site? For one thing, it proves that some people have dirty minds, which are a terrible thing to waste, right? Is there any difference between today’s purity and modesty culture and the purity and modesty culture in say …. Iran?

The real problem with the truly disturbing modesty culture that has been forced on today’s so-called ‘christian’ is the fact that it truly has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with controlling the ‘flock’. For some strange reason, a truly disturbed man, Bill Gothard, who can only be described as a pervert, has managed to literally brainwash at least two generations of so-called ‘godly’ ‘christian’ families, via his home-schooling empire.  When a person has an email list of 90,000 ministers, where he sends out a weekly commentary on his view of the world, there are going to eventually be problems.

A young man who survived ATI wrote:

“...The ultra-heavy emphasis on modesty (clothing that was loose fitting and covered the body) in the IBLP/ATI (Advanced Training Institute) circles simply compounded the feelings of worthlessness and condemnation. I felt horrible that women had to be so careful to cover up their bodies just to “help out” their perverted brothers who couldn’t stop lusting. It made me mad that there seemed to be no solution, and that women were left to feel like there was something so horribly wrong with their bodies that it must be kept hidden way. But as I grew older, I observed and understood that lust is a heart issue–never a clothing issue. A man who is given over to lust will not be helped by women buried in layers of cloth. But a man of pure heart will not indulge in selfish and abusive visions of scantily clad maidens. Observation, appreciation, and attraction are not the same as lust. Jesus was able to observe, appreciate, and know every one of His creations, and never had a selfish or abusive thought. I would love Christians to think less about modesty and more about how the motives of the heart have been wonderfully transformed by Christ….”

FOX News ‘psychologist’ Keith Ablow became all upset because he thinks the school his son attends needs to ban leggings on girls, because they distract his son.  The middle school banned leggings for girls – 7th and 8th grade girls, because their sexuality was too distracting to boys.  It’s called Slut-Slamming.  It’s also about control.

“… The book goes so far as to teach women how to stand and gives advice on dressing. The length of slacks for men is even diagramed.  Color choice for women is suggested as well as hair styles that are more attractive for different faces.  The work claims pastors must wear suits on Sunday.  This view on dress and music reveals how little influence Gothard has had on many in the mega church movement.  Rick Warren’s golf shirts and shorts on Sunday and the contemporary music in the modern church seems to reflect how little impact the movement has in many churches.  Gauging just how much impact the movement had is hard to evaluate.  For certain, few outside of the inner circle of followers realize just how far out on the fringe the teachings of Basic Youth Conflicts are….”

Porn for Women
Porn for Women

During the process, women are to be pure, chaste, have pure thoughts, and not look upon men with lust.  (Try the Instagram Porn for Women, I highly recommend it.)  If anything, it is a commentary on just how completely sick the far religious right is, and tells exactly what women want. There is an image I like, and is my idea of what a (sigh) male should be.  And now, I am not looking on him with lust, just admiring the scenery, and the fact that, in real life, he is married to a woman who is very plus size, and appears to be quite devoted to her.  That’s my idea of a real man!  He’s also a Christian, and a family man.  Golly, who knew?  It leaves me stirred, not shaken!

I digress into silliness for a moment for a reason.  If it weren’t so disgusting and so literally perverse, it would almost be laughable in its silliness.  The way the patriarchal, religious, ATI based far right is doing its best to limit the freedom of women is reaching the point where it can no longer be ignored.  Nor can their seriously disturbed version of just what sin happens to be.  They don’t quite get it, evidently, or are that abjectly ignorant in their Bible history, and theology.  Some of the things they describe as sin are laughable.  Sorry, but lewd behavior is not sin.  Neither is looking a man or a woman.  Coveting is a sin.  Creating an idol of something is a sin.  Adultery is a sin.  Fornication, according to Talmud, is not.

“...In Abrahamic contexts, sin is the act of violating God’s will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God; or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as “to miss the mark”.

Sins fall in a spectrum from minor errors to deadly misdeeds. Catholicism regards the least corrupt sins as venial sins—which are part of human living and carry immediate consequences on earth, and, if unrepented for, more painful purgation, assuming the person is destined to heaven, as it is written in the formation letter “Purgatory”, “most of the early Fathers of the Church speak of a cleansing fire, though we cannot tell whether this means actual or spiritual fire.”  Conversely, sins of great evil are mortal sins—which bring the consequence of hell if they are not addressed either through an act of perfect contrition or going to confession about them…”

Even more interesting is:  Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that hurry to run to evil,
a lying witness who testifies falsely,
and one who sows discord in a family.

I don’t see anything there about modesty, do you?  According to Paul, in Galatians 5:  Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.  The Fruits of the Spirit: By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Do you see anything about modesty?  I don’t. But, I have noticed that self-control is a Fruit of the Spirit.  In fact, Modesty = Humility.

Christ uses the word Hamartia – sin, missing the mark – 37 times.  The references are almost all about being forgiven.  Never once is immodesty mentioned as a sin.  There is only one mention of women and modesty, and that is the now infamous 1 Timothy 2:9, where the word ‘modest’ is a description of apparel.  The same bunch to demand women dress to a standard of modesty that is NOT historically Biblical, but comes out of the romanticized versions of Middle Eastern costume of Islam, also say that men and women are to dress different. It is Biblical.  Men are not to wear skirts.  Yes, they are that ignorant. The only mention of men wearing any sort of trousers or pants in the Bible is what the High Priest was to wear in the inner sanctuary – that’s it.  Fact is, we even have documentation where the Lord called Isaiah to be naked for 3 years.  Peter was naked when he was fishing.  No matter how the Gothard bunch tries to dress it, it doesn’t work.  Heck, David even danced naked in the streets when the Ark of the Covenant was delivered to the temple.  He and a wife had a big fight over it.  She thought it wasn’t dignified – for a king.  His wife was not allowed to have children for criticizing his nudity.

The type of ‘modesty’ that is being taught today is not about modesty = humility, but control.  It is also being preached by a 12handful of men with really really really poor track records when it comes to adultery = a real sin.  In other words, the so-called ‘godly’ Christian men who are demanding a woman cover herself and the women who enable them have very dirty minds.  I read a comment that some ‘godly’ Christian woman wants women to cover themselves so her horn-dog ‘godly’ Christian husband won’t be tempted to – well – in other words, she doesn’t trust him.

It’s all about trust and dirty minds, isn’t it?  I love baritones.  I’m a baritone junkie.  My favorite baritone is Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who is, admittedly, what we call a Barihunk.  No, I’m not looking upon him with lust.  The man’s happily married.  That would be wrong.  But, I can listen to his amazing voice and think about the beauty God put on this earth.  To me, there is no greater beauty, no greater sensuality, no greater perfection than the baritone voice.

Any normal person is going to look at someone they find attractive and just enjoy the scenery.  I was reading where a normal male has ‘lustful’ thoughts about 12 times a day, something like that.  We women aren’t as ‘lustful’.  Having ‘impure’ thoughts are not the same thing as doing something that violates Matthew 5:28.  Technically, the passage is about a man looking at a married woman.  There isn’t anything, if  you want to pick a nit here or there, about a woman looking at a man.  There could even be a reason for that.   During the days of the Roman Empire, women had little control of their lives.  Men were in control.  One thing Christ very much did was liberate women.  He was literally the first feminist.

I’m one for historic context.  The actual meaning is that you don’t covet your neighbor’s spouse.  In other words you don’t get involved in some tacky affair that breaks up a couple families.  Covet is a funny thing – you can covet anything, transforming it from one commandment to another, and to the worst of all – idolatry. Theft is also part of this problem.

“...So it is clear that the grammar is reflecting purpose: “anyone who looks at a woman in order to covet her.” (“Covet” is preferable here in part because “covet” better reflects the intentionality reflected in the passage.) This is a critically important point; Jesus is not suggesting that any sexual thought or inclination towards a woman is sinful. Nor is he suggesting that such thoughts or attractions being triggered by a look are sinful. The look is not the problem (nor is the presence of a beautiful woman, which some of that day tended to blame as the real problem); no, these are assumed. What is remarkable (given the popular misinterpretation) is that Jesus likewise assumes the presence of sexual desire in the man as a given, and that sexual desire isn’t seen as the problem. Instead, Jesus addresses the matter of intent, of volition, the purpose of the look. The issue is not the appetite itself but how a man directs this natural appetite and inclination. (I’m reminded here of the old saying: If you’re a young man on a beach and a beautiful woman in a bikini walks past and you don’t feel any sort of excitement or attraction, it’s not because you’re spiritual, it’s because you’re dead.)…”

This is where the obvious hits you.  Looks to me like Christ is warning against rape, and forcing a woman.  There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to a person, as long as you don’t act upon it.  The real problem is with the filthy, dirty, rancid, almost perverted minds of the minions of the Gothard, ATI, Vision Forum, Puritan, Neo-Calvinist, Godly Manhood, He Man Woman Hating Patriarch Club, rape culture.  In order to maintain control on women, and to assert control on men who might be tempted – to THINK – they have literally re-written the Bible.

Attraction is not a sin.  Neither is having a crush on someone.  People can admire an attractive person and not want to do something lewd.  It implies a completely lack of innocence.  They are so busy promoting a purity culture and spiritual virginity (?) that they don’t give a damn about innocence.  I remember one of my first real crushes, when I realized there was indeed, an opposite sex. I must confess he still remains my ultimate fantasy:  the young, dashing Captain James T. Kirk (classic).

My adoration of James T. Kirk lead to an interest in science fiction, astronomy, science, and space exploration.  The interest grew with me.  Then, once upon a time, when I was all grown up, I was able to manipulate my love of politics into a fairly successful stint as a lobbyist working with NASA.  I had a blast, literally, editing a very well respected news magazine about space.  I was able to meet a lot of really interesting people, hang out with guys who had walked on the moon, cover a number of shuttle launches, and do a number of great interviews, including Carl Sagan, Leonard Nimoy, and Gene Roddenberry.

If I had been raised in a culture where I was told that having a crush on James T. Kirk was evil, lewd, and not pure, I would never have done what I did in life.  What is being done today, to young people, is criminal.  It is also not healthy, mentally or physically.  It is indeed, encouraging a rape culture.  It objectifies women, turning them into nothing but objects to be avoided.

A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste, I guess.  It would be laughable, except for the fact that some of the very same religious leaders who demand purity and modesty are the very men who helped a now convicted pedophile avoid arrest, then, when he was, they stood by him.  In other words, to them, the worst evil in the world is for a woman to wear low-cut blouses (guilty), and attempt to lure men to their doom.  It is worse than a pedophile raping children, in their perverted minds.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “PART IV: The Modest Christian Woman

  1. Ok, to play a bit of a devil’s advocate here — the leggings/yoga pants ban has some rational basis. I work in the schools; the pants are quite popular, and IF (big “if”) they are worn with an eye to taste not at all offensive. However, many young people don’t have the slightest idea of how to dress tastefully and attractively anymore (not their fault of course, nobody is teaching them), and many of those leggings/yoga pants, when the material is stretched, becomes positively see through. It can cause disruption in the classroom (from other girls as well as boys — Mary’s underpants are showing, omg! LOL!) as well as setting up some of the bad kind of attention for the wearer (after all, Mary is being now made into the butt of other students’ sometimes very crude jokes, usually behind her back).
    I can give multiple examples of the boy’s lack of style in dressing as well — the top half of one’s boxer shorts showing and muscle shirts with huge armholes, anyone? Which only make me wonder “who let you out of the house looking like that?” or “does your mother know what you change into when you get to school?”. Little Tommy isn’t the butt of as many jokes, but his appearance certainly doesn’t help him either (and you’d be amazed at the snarky comments other kids give concerning his appearance behind his back).
    Of course this is no reason to dress our daughters in burkhas or nor our sons in three piece suits, but a lot of kids (through their parents) really have this warped notion of sexiness/taste and style/age appropriate clothes/how to be popular (which also seems to be an issue: Mary’s mom dresses Mary like she was some 18 yo. avatar of Mommy’s youth long past rather than like the middle schooler Mary really is; Tommy’s mom/dad thinks dressing Tommy like some bad copy of a 60s greaser gives him to proper appearance to get “respect”, aka. like some 18 yo. avatar of what Daddy wanted to be or Mommy wanted to date rather than the 12 yo. schoolboy he really is…because “popular” and “cool”).
    So then clothes get banned, people get upset, and not a damn thing gets truly learned out of the entire fiasco.

  2. The whole problem could be solved by forcing kids to wear those miserable school uniforms everyone hates. I think they should be required, period, everywhere.

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