Dan has shut the comments off on his post from yesterday, but he inspired some thoughts which I wanted to share.
First, consider the picture to the right. Many of you will see this woman (the actress Jeri Ryan) and recognize her immediately. And I don't think any would point to this picture of her and say, "wow. That's really provocative. She shouldn't be dressed like that in public." (Well, maybe our Mennonite readers in southwest Missouri -- but what are they doing reading a blog?) She looks good in this picture -- and we should all grow up to look this good when we grow up.
There's nothing wrong with her outfit there -- and it's hardly a burkha.
Now, before we go to the next photo, let's think about something: 1 Cor 12. This is not a passage of Scripture about how to dress in public, but a passage about how to behave in church vis a vis daGifts, right? But what's the example Paul uses to explain how to act in church? Why, it's how to dress in public! He says explicitly:
On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.See: the virtue of modesty is about treating "less honorable parts" with "greater honor".
So in that understanding of modesty, take a look at the photo to the left. Same actress. No skin exposed, for the most part (hands, face; nothing else out of bounds), but this costume leaves nothing to the, um, honorability of clothing. It is designed specifically to obey the letter of a law about nudity but violate the spirit of that same law.
So modesty is not about how many yards of cloth you wrap around yourself: it is about how we honor our bodies with the few yards of cloth we have. Honor your own body -- and I'll bet you receive honor in return.
And if you can't see the difference between the former outfit and this one -- which is not a matter of color or coverage but of honoring the parts of the body which require modesty -- don't start up the organ grinder music until you know where your monkey is.
Dan will have a post later today. [Dan here. Mm... not so much, sorry. Negotiating with Frank about tomorrow. —DJP] Consider this post eminently bumpable.