You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. --Elizabeth Bibesco

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What God Wants Me to Wear, Part 2

Okay, so there's a line in scripture (Deut. 22:5) that says: "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God." This is oft-quoted as why tzniut women should not wear pants. I believe a good handful of other religious groups follow this as well (think Mennonites, Seventh-Day Adventists, etc).

Yeah... but Jesus says: (in Matthew 6:28-32) "Why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is here, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
 Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them."
Jesus asks us why we worry about what we wear. I feel like the clueless disciples. "Well, uh, Jesus, we're pretty sure God told us to..." But Jesus is presenting us with this idea that maybe we're wrong.

So how did we go from God-vehemently-hates-women-wearing-pants-and-men-wearing-skirts to God-says-don't-worry-about-your-clothes?

Let's look back at the Deuteronomy quote. I'm going to interpret it as the Bible saying God doesn't want us to dress in drag. In analyzing this interesting piece of scripture, I'm going to quote well-known theologian :) RuPaul, who says, "We're born naked. The rest is drag." Therefore, I'm going to extrapolate that God doesn't want us clothed. This actually might not be that far off. God created us naked and then we Fell. We Fell and were ashamed of the beautiful bodies God gave us, so we decided we needed to cover them up. If I made a masterpiece of a sculpture and gave it to you and you decided to put a blanket over it, I'd be pissed. I wonder if that's how God feels. Looking at it that way, maybe my Lenten discipline shouldn't be to follow more strict rules about clothing, but not to wear clothing at all. Unfortunately, I think that's illegal. So, I guess we should continue the analysis.

Short of moving to a nudist colony, I have to wear clothes sometimes. What does God say about that? Well, let's check out Matthew 6:32 again. "The Gentiles run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows you need them." To me, that sounds like God sighing and saying, "Wear clothes if you must, but don't fuss about them, okay guys?"

Oops. Amn't I doing just that? Worrying about my clothes? Then I should tread very lightly on this Lenten discipline of mine. The last thing I'd want is to turn worrying about my clothes into some kind of idol. The goal is wear these clothes and any time I'm about to worry or fuss about them, I pray. And maybe God is just shaking God's head at all this BUT, I sometimes think God must shake Her head throughout all of Lent-- like, hey guys, I gave you food, why are you ignoring it? Hey guys, you've got enough suffering on this earth, why are you inducing more of it for yourself? Who knows? If I'm wrong (and at least part of me has to be wrong, since I'm thinking conflicting things), I imagine God is just giggling and patting me on the head and murmuring, "It's okay, darling," as I fuss.


Post a Comment