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Monday, October 8, 2007

Who do they think they're kidding? Themselves, of course.

I thought a Mennonite came into my place of work. She had the dress, the hose, the shoes, and the little white cap. I was pleased, having grown up in a state where lots of them live, and having had some as friends back in school. Knowing they're unusual here in New Mexico, I went to ask where she was from, intending to ask if she was enjoying her trip here. "Oh, I'm not a Mennonite," she said. "Just a Modest Christian Woman." Yep, I could hear the capitals.

Excuse me?

So I go online and do a little research. Evidently the newest fad among some "fundamentalist Christian" women is to dress like Mennonites, and call themselves Modest.

Honey, you're not being modest. You're being a show-off. And frankly, adopting the garb of a religion and culture you do NOT belong to is offensive.

Mennonites dress the way they do, not only to be modest, but to establish a community. If you aren't part of that community, following that religion, you have no right to wear their clothes. And modest? If all you want is to wear plain clothes that don't show skin, there are a lot of clothing choices that will do that, while blending into the community you do belong to.

Modesty also means not drawing attention to yourself. For a non-Mennonite to wear the garb is to be screaming "I'M a better Christian than YOU are! NEENER neener NEEner!" Otherwise, why aren't you just wearing a plain suit and high-necked blouse like the nuns do when they're out of habit? Because modern modest clothing wouldn't get you noticed, of course. You WANT to make a spectacle of yourself. And that is the exact opposite of modest, even if you don't show any skin.

To quote the Bible they claim to follow perfectly (and we all know what complete BS that is): Matthew 6:1: "Do not make a show of your religion, or it will be in vain." You might not be showing skin, honey, but you're definitely making a show.