More on Modesty

June 29, 2017 v4 p25

In my last post I discussed a little about the problem in our society lately with a lack of modesty.  That post really was geared towards how women dress, but it’s not just them.  For whatever reason it seems to be that it’s necessary for women to show as much skin as they can get away with.  And the skimpier and tighter female clothing seemed to get, the baggier men’s clothing seemed to get.  That trend tells me that in a society that is largely controlled by men, it is ok for them to dress however they wish, but that they also feel it is ok to pressure women to trend in the immodest direction.  This is telling women of all ages that they must conform to what the majority feels is what is right for them.  If they don’t then they will be ridiculed by their peers, and nobody will be attracted to them.  Often young girls conform to this even though they don’t feel comfortable dressing that way, or they know that their parents would disapprove of what they’re wearing.  It doesn’t help when their peers are mean and unkind if they don’t conform.  I have some friends that are parents of middle school aged girls and almost every one of them has mentioned how their daughters have faced that peer pressure.  It would be my guess that if they aren’t dealing with that then it’s their daughters who are doing the ridiculing.

The problem of body shaming isn’t anything new.  It also isn’t restricted to females.  It often happens by males to females, and between males.  All of this is nothing new.  What’ new is the amount exposure the stories get when they are made public.  The speed at which stories move through social media is astounding.  On top of that, it’s hard to determine which of them are fake or not.  For someone to post that kind of story online, only to be lying, is a whole other issue.  The more times we see these stories, fake or not, we become more desensitized to them.  By the time you’ve seen a similar story four or five times you almost come to expect it.  Eventually when you hear that same similar story you stop being disgusted by it and it becomes part of everyday life.  In order for people to stay in the front of other people’s minds they must then do more.  Looking back at the fashion industry, if one clothing company creates a short skirt, then another will come along and create one even shorter.  Eventually you only end up covering parts of your body that should only be revealed to a doctor or your spouse.

It’s easy to lump all of these issues of dressing immodestly on the female wardrobe options, but it’s a problem with males too.  The other night I was watching a popular talent show on television with my family.  One of the acts was a small group of men who were dancers.  Their wardrobe consisted of a pair of blue jeans and footwear.  Note they weren’t wearing shirts.  Now these men had obviously been working out for some time to achieve a muscular tone in their upper bodies, and that’s very admirable.  But what did not wearing a shirt have to do with how well they danced?  When they were meeting to discuss their wardrobe for the show why did they choose that?  Did they feel insecure about their dancing ability and decide that it was necessary for them to not wear a shirt in the hopes that some females would admire their physique and vote for them based on looks rather than talent?  Doesn’t that bring into question the integrity of the competition?  Shouldn’t the contestants all be judged on their talent, not their costume?  There have also been a few other male acts on the show that for whatever reason decided that they needed to perform their acts completely nude.  I credit the editors for effectively censoring their performances, but once again this seems like a case of making one appear more sensational than they truly are in order to cover up for lack of talent in their act.

It’s hard to point a finger at one single event or thing that started all this trend.  Unfortunately thought most people in society don’t feel that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Either that or they just don’t care.  The problem with both of those points of view is that it is a problem and everyone needs to care.  We have become a society of people who only think of themselves.  Yet they then go to church on Sunday and praise God and Jesus for all of the great things they have done for them.  That’s not what Jesus taught us to do.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-40 “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all of your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  If you were to only love your spouse one day a week how long do you think your relationship would last?  The part about loving your neighbors doesn’t only apply to the people who live in the house you can see across the road from your bedroom window.  I think people have forgotten that.

We are on a slippery slope and falling the wrong way fast.  The only way to reverse that is to start by asking yourself if you’re loving God and your neighbor as Jesus has taught us.

This Post isn’t very Modest

June 22, 2017 v4 p24

As the temps get higher throughout the summer people try to dress accordingly.  I feel like there’s a big problem with what people think is appropriate or not.

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When my youngest son was going through RCIA he had to be presented to the Bishop of our diocese and have his name entered into the book of the elect.  We were told that he should be dressed in normal Sunday church attire.  This wasn’t a black tie affair, nor did we need to get him a sports coat.  One of the notes in the email sent out to everyone was that the women attending should not wear anything that showed their shoulders.  It later came to light that the Bishop doesn’t approve of that type of dress for women in church.  I agree because church is not the place for anyone, male or female, young or old, to be dressing in a manner where you are trying to attract or impress anyone.  If you’re trying to do either of those things in that environment then you are in it for the wrong reasons.  I’m not to say that you can’t try to meet people of the opposite sex at church, but dressing immodestly is not the way for it to be accomplished.  On most occasions when it’s hot outside my wife will even bring a sweater to church to help keep herself warm in the air conditioned sanctuary, so wearing strappy shirts or short shorts wouldn’t be very accommodating anyway.

I don’t think this is just an issue when people are attending church.  It really points to one of our major problems in society as a whole.  All over the internet and on your television people are inundated with images and videos of people who aren’t dressed appropriately.  It seems that the more skin you can show the better.  Unfortunately that isn’t true.  In the advertising world the term “sex sells” is way too common, and they really don’t seem to care how far they push it.  The racier advertisements are, the more exposure they get.  And that’s not to fault the ad companies, they see a way for their product to get people’s attention and the use it.  Their only concern is making an extra buck, not how their methods may effect society.  If you look back at some of the television shows from the 1970s and 1980s the attire that was worn would be considered prude.  It’s sad that the trend is heading that way.  I remember growing up how a revealing dress used to get a picture or vide banned from TV, now unless the person is actually completely naked there’s no issue.  In fact, if the pics are from the correct angle then they don’t really do anything to censor the photos.

How does this cause problems?  The more we are exposed to that type of imagery, to more we become immune to it.  So in order for those advertising companies, clothing companies, media outlets, to continue to be able to hold our attention they must push the limit even further.  At some point they will the end of that limit and won’t be able to push it any further.  What will happen then?  If you can’t push things any further, then you need to push it more often.  One of the biggest things I don’t miss on cable television is the advertising.  There were many times that I would have to change the channel so that my children wouldn’t be exposed to talk about sex, commercials for lingerie, and other innuendos that they didn’t need to be exposed to.  I can speak to how that type of thing can have a huge impact on young child’s development.  Seeing and hearing that type of thing is part of what started me towards an addiction to pornography.  I’ve come a long way in the last two years towards curbing that addiction, but society doesn’t make it easy to avoid the temptation when it’s all over the place.  The local news is really just as big of a problem as national advertisers.  I understand the stories that people want to hear about are the ones that involve those sensational headlines about sex offenders, but I don’t feel it would be that difficult for the media to be able to report the facts without me having to explain to my 11-year-old what they are talking about.  At the dinner table.

As a society we are heading down a very slippery slope with our immodesty.  There are two places in the bible that I think these practices point directly towards.  The first place I feel today’s society can be compared to come from the Old Testament.  In the Book of Genesis we are told the story of the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  God passed judgment on these two cities because they had fallen in to very immoral practices.  When the Lord led Lot and his family to leave he told them to run and not look back or they would turn to pillars of salt.  It was his wife who proved this when she stopped to look back.  The other place society’s behaviors point to the bible is a little less obvious.  This trend towards immorality seems to me to be a lot like the way the Romans behaved in the times surrounding the life and death of Jesus Christ.  During those times it was not uncommon for multiple people to join together for what were essentially the same thing as a swinger party from the 1970s, minus the fishbowl of car keys.

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I don’t expect most of society to agree with this point of view.  Unfortunately most of that group that won’t, goes to church on Sunday and claims to be Christian.