So I’ll just say it: dress Nazis suck.

26 06 2010

So I’ll just say it: dress Nazis suck. Let me define who dress Nazi’s are. They are church members who make what someone else wears in church more serious than it needs to be.

I guess I can use the term “dress Nazi” because even though they would not affectionately call themselves that, they must admit, they adhere to this (blind) following of what they were told is correct, right, in decency and in order, God’s will and all that nonsense. Somehow they believe that what someone else wears to church determines not their relationship with God (many would argue with shocked expressions on their faces) but the comfort level of other people (code for their friends, family and themselves) in church who are not willing to let others dress as they will in God’s house.

Somehow one’s dress satisfies the spiritual principle of tradition, rather than…I don’t know what it’s supposed to satisfy to be honest.

Why is dress so important to people? Or if I may get straight to it, why does one person want to control another in something so spiritually insignificant as the clothing they wear to church? Of course I’m not condoning wearing stripper clothing to church. (And contrary to the weak explanation I’ve heard in many black churches, I think that fishnets and mini-skirts, muscle shirts [sorry Eddie Long] and tight leather pants are….drum roll please…means to get other people to lust after you, which reflects worse on the luster than it does the wearer of the clothing, unless there is some malicious plot to lure people which is just plain sad. I don’t buy the whole women need to wear knee-length skirts because men will be distracted. Call it as it is. Men (and women) may, might, could – but may not always – lust. So shame on those doing the lusting. Clearly they seek something they’re not getting at home, blah, blah, blah. Moral of the way-too-long tangent, if you think someone is sick enough, desperate enough, human enough to want what you may be showing via the clothes you wear, do them a favor and don’t give them the satisfaction of wondering things they shouldn’t be. Tangent over.)

Back to stripper clothing, don’t wear it to church please. But people who want to wear jeans to church should be able to wear jeans to church without being silently considered “that-member-who-prefers-to-dress-casual” as if there is something cute and cuddly and naïve about the jeans wearer. They may not be the spiritual novice you have judged their clothing to. They may just be an amazing woman or man of God limited to being a “immature Christian”, “baby Christian”, “Christian of this generation” or whatever other unflattering, offensive and condescending term you can come up with to name people who happen to not dress like you. 

It’s a game of control. Somehow what one equates their spirituality to including dress, manner of speech, political beliefs, hobbies, music they listen to, people in their inner circles etc has to be someone else’s in order for that someone else, the other, to be legitimate. That’s crap. And controlling. We’ll call it controlling crap.

I often wonder if people dressed up back when Jesus was ministering. He would stop in fields, random and familiar houses, lake shores and just preach. And people came from all around to hear Him and get touched by words that struck a chord in the depths of their souls. At least that’s what I imagine in a scene where Jesus is preaching from a boat because the number of people who have come to hear Him is so great.

There’s no room. That’s how badly people need what this man has to offer. That’s how bad people need Jesus. They need this common sense preaching pastor. They need this figure who says the most basic thing in the most complex ways and it confuses the sin out of them.

I wonder if they noticed whether they were wearing a skirt or not. A dress blouse or not. A suit or not. Khakis or not. Or if they came from work, school, play or home in what they had on: dirty, sweaty, stained clothing that did just that clothed them. I wonder if Jesus’ word and ministry and presence meant so much to them that they forgot what they had on or what could have been “decent and orderly” to wear.

I imagine people came un-showered, stinking, or un-perfumed, un-cologned and just sat. On the grass or on the beach shore. Among the dirt and sand, bugs and life that lives in, under and on the ground. And never thought once, “Shoot, I forgot to change out of these jeans. I am definitely out of order.”

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