Thinking Out Loud

January 28, 2010

Dressing Your Daughter Responsibly

Filed under: parenting — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 1:54 pm

This piece originally ran on this blog on January 9th, 2009.

abercrombie-girlCheck out this statement:

The clothes that our children wear do not merely cover the nakedness of their flesh; they shape and reflect the contours of our children’s souls.What I encourage my child to wear is a statement not merely of fashion but of theology and axiology—and this link between our theology and our wardrobes is not a recent phenomenon.

Intrigued? Want to read more? If you’ve ever wondered if there is a “theology of clothing,” check out Dr. Timothy Paul Jones Continue reading here. Maybe your choice of shirt or pants today wasn’t entirely spiritually ‘neutral.’

About 50 pictures were rejected before choosing this one. Then there were dozens of others that were never seriously in the running.    Part of the reason for repeating this particular topic is that Christian schools, youth groups and even Sunday services don’t escape the influence of today’s so-called “hot” fashion.

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January 26, 2010

French Panel Recommends Banning Muslim Face Veils

First, as we reported here on November 30th, it was the Swiss banning minarets from Muslim mosques.   Today, it’s the French government pushing for limitations on the niqab, which covers everything but the eyes.

Here’s the first part of the report from the religion page of USAToday online:

PARIS (AP) — A parliamentary panel that wants Muslim women to stop veiling their faces recommended Tuesday that France ban such garb in public facilities, including hospitals and mass transit, and a leading panel member said he foresees such an interdiction by the end of 2010.

The nearly 200-page report contains a panoply of measures intended to dissuade women from wearing all-enveloping veils in France. It also recommends refusing residence cards and citizenship to anyone with visible signs of a “radical religious practice.”

However, there is no call to outlaw such garments — worn by a tiny minority of Muslims — in private areas and in the street. A full ban was the major issue that divided the 32-member, multiparty panel which ultimately heeded warnings that a full ban risked being deemed unconstitutional and could even cause trouble in a country where Islam is the second-largest religion.

Emphasis added.   Continue reading here.

[Note: for a clarification of the difference between Hijab, Burqua and Niqab, check out this page at ApologeticsIndex.org.]

For Christians, any issue of religious freedom has to be seen in terms of the larger context.   You may have personal feelings about this issue, but you can’t allow those feelings to cloud objectivity.

What if Christian businessmen weren’t allow to have fish symbols on their suit lapels, or women couldn’t wear “Jesus is the reason for the season” pins at Christmas, or your teenage kids couldn’t wear all those T-shirts they got at the last Creation Festival?     While these may seem minor accouterments compared to the Niqab, there will be some parallel issues for Christians to consider if a precedent is set.

There’s also the issue when this story is weighed together with the story from Switzerland of what happens if a strong anti-Muslim sentiment starts building.    My personal belief is that this would have eventually become an issue with or without what happened on September 11th, 2001.

Another dimension of a story like this surfaces when we consider how little we know about the “denominations” of Islam.    Many of us in Western society — and I’m saying ‘us’ to be honest — are very fearful of radical Islam, yet when my wife and visited two different mosques last year, we encountered very pleasant, very ‘normal’ people that I would have no problem having as neighbors.  (Perhaps even more so than the neighbors I now have.)   Later, the story goes on to say,

The veil is widely viewed in France as a gateway to extremism, an insult to gender equality and an offense to France’s secular foundation. A 2004 French law bans Muslim headscarves from primary and secondary school classrooms.

The language in the report was carefully chosen in an effort to avoid offending France’s estimated 5 million Muslims — the largest such population in western Europe — and accusations of discrimination. Muslim leaders have already complained that the debate over the full veil coupled with an ongoing debate on French national identity has left some Muslims feeling their religion is becoming a government target.

This is an ongoing story, and no doubt other countries in the EU are yet to weigh in on the debate.   What is interesting is that the Swiss confronted architecture, while the French are confronting fashion.

Denominations chart: Gospel for Muslims (click image for site).  Niqab: Toronto Life Magazine.

As the niqab increasingly becomes part of our vocabulary, you now have another Scrabble word that doesn’t need a “u” after “q.”  (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

January 9, 2009

Choosing Appropriate Clothing for your Teenaged Daughter

Filed under: Christianity, parenting, theology — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:59 pm

abercrombie-girlCheck out this statement:

The clothes that our children wear do not merely cover the nakedness of their flesh; they shape and reflect the contours of our children’s souls. What I encourage my child to wear is a statement not merely of fashion but of theology and axiology—and this link between our theology and our wardrobes is not a recent phenomenon.

Intrigued?  Want to read more?   If you’ve ever wondered if there is a “theology of clothing,” check out Dr. Timothy Paul Jones  Continue reading here.   Maybe your choice of shirt or pants today wasn’t entirely spiritually ‘neutral.’

About 50 pictures were rejected before choosing this one.   Then there were dozens of others that were never seriously being considered.

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