Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Why I Hate Burqas and Chadors
Ever since I posted this photo, I've been trying to put a finger on why it is that extreme Islamic veiling -- shrouding women under chadors and burqas -- makes my blood boil.
This Iranian Flickr user has a series of images, borrowed from Western media, that proclaim, "happy life everywhere .but iranian people (women) live in the hell." Some of the images are of average Western women in average western clothes. But others are of celebrities and other women "letting it all hang out." Sadly, she thinks that is happiness. But she's got the antithesis wrong: it's not chador v. immodesty, it's chador v. beauty.
It has often been said that Satan is not a creator -- he's never managed to come up with one original idea; he's only managed to pervert God's creation. In the realm of sexuality, he perverts the marriage bed into fornication, adultery, homosexuality and the like. He perverts the proper use of feminine sexual beauty, which is to stir up a husband's lawful desire, into immodesty in order to stir up unlawful desire in some random male. And he also perverts biblical feminine modesty, which protects a woman's sexual beauty, into chadors and burqas, which obliterate beauty altogether. Though they take it in opposite directions, both immodesty and shrouding pervert beauty.
I hate burqas and chadors because I love 1 Corinthians 11 and Hebrews 13:4. Those resentful of Christian standards of modesty think it's about the same thing as extreme Islamic veiling. But it's not. Shrouding has more in common with exhibitionism, namely a heart attitude that despises God's order and creation, than either has in common with biblical feminine modesty.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8:11 PM
On October 17, 2007 10:28 AMNataliewrote... Thank you so much for writing this. I just found it the other day, and it puts words to some things I've been thinking about but have never been able to articulate.
On October 17, 2007 5:07 PMpentamomwrote... I think you've nailed why the "extreme Prairie Muffin* view of modesty" has always bothered me.
*I'm not attacking all those who identify with the "Prairie Muffin" moniker, because most of them don't seem to be guilty of what I have in mind. It's the stereotype of Prairie Muffin, insofar as it actually exists, rather than the reality of those who joyfully call themselves that, that I have in mind.
It's not beautiful. It's so concerned with "modesty", with modesty being defined as "not permitting the human form to be visible either directly or by deduction" that it completely ignores the idea of beauty. True, our beauty is not to be "that of" outward extravagance, but rather of the spirit, but that doesn't mean that we are to sabotage what outward beauty God has given us, as though that is somehow a distraction. I think there's a tendency in some quarters of Christianity to think that whatever is outward necessarily distracts and hinders the inward. It's not the circles we move in so much, but I think I see it creep over in some areas where people are zealous to be inwardly obedient, without thinking things through.
I hasten to add, there are far worse things than neglecting beauty in the name of modesty. But it still isn't what we should aspire to.
On October 17, 2007 5:11 PMpentamomwrote... To put it in practical terms, I've never quite gotten why some people's "modest" equals "loose-fitting, fussy, out of style sackwear" when there are all kinds of ways to dress that are just as outwardly modest, and both more flattering and more inconspicuous by way of being relatively normal.
I can think of an example of one time where I saw a group of young men and women, a college group presumably, from a Christian group known for its fairly distinctive manner of dress. I wondered why the young men were able to dress stylishly, though conservatively, neatly, and modestly, but the women's clothing had a sort of enforced ugliness to it that didn't seem to be dictated by modest necessity, but rather by some idea that plain and unflattering was more modest than becoming yet simple.
On October 17, 2007 5:15 PMpentamomwrote... So anyway, for all these reasons, it rankles when I hear Christians, even if in half-jest, joke about how at least the Muslims get modesty right, and we could learn something from them. Nope -- as you say, they get it exactly wrong, just in a different way.
On September 26, 2009 4:11 PMEmilywrote... This is so encouraging to me because I feel the same way. I still get fuzzy over modesty. I tend to be a little earthy and frank (as my husband puts it). The human body, to me, is a work of art, but I understand the importance of not causing someone to stumble, being modest in the heart, etc. My inclination is to say, "I have a problem with modesty, so I need to go total prairie muffin." But it's because rules are easier to obey than walking in grace and being teachable. Valerie (and Penta), thank you for sharing all your insight!