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fides quarens intellectum

Modesty: Does It Include Bare Shoulders In Church?

Bare shoulders in Church?  

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N/A Gone
Does an outfit have a fundamental nature? Wouldnt be an attribute for whatever the person is projecting? A business suit on a woman can be a modest professional thing-or she can be a stripper with it. The suit itself is morally neutral.

In the same way, a spaggetti strap, or a cami is neutral in that the one who wears it can be modest with it. Many girls I know wear it under sweaters or under t-shirts in the same way I wear a white t-shirt under my other shirt. My wife does this, but she was shocked with how many people in her school would wear the cami on the outside and let their boobs fly around.

cami=morally neutral, the person determines the usage. Edited by Revprodeji

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Jaime
[quote name='photosynthesis' post='1379490' date='Sep 6 2007, 10:57 AM']I could see how a woman wearing men's clothing could be intrinsically disordered because the outfit could not become appropriate without changing its fundamental nature. However, if an outfit is immodest, it can become modest by adding more coverage, but such additions do not change the fundamental nature of the outfit.[/quote]

How "you could see" does not defined what is intrinsically disordered or not. That's the point. One does not just arbitrarily throw the term around based on personal opinion.

Objects cannot have an intrinsic value.

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photosynthesis
[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379503' date='Sep 6 2007, 12:11 PM']Does an outfit have a fundamental nature? Wouldnt be an attribute for whatever the person is projecting? A business suit on a woman can be a modest professional thing-or she can be a stripper with it. The suit itself is morally neutral.

In the same way, a spaggetti strap, or a cami is neutral in that the one who wears it can be modest with it. Many girls I know wear it under sweaters or under t-shirts in the same way I wear a white t-shirt under my other shirt. My wife does this, but she was shocked with how many people in her school would wear the cami on the outside and let their boobs fly around.

cami=morally neutral, the person determines the usage.[/quote]
I think the author of that essay was making the following statements:

A: Pants are men's clothing.
B: Scripture is clear that women are forbidden from dressing like the opposite sex.
C: Therefore, if a woman wears pants, the act of dressing like a man is inherently wrong. According to the author's argument, there is no way the action could be made right without wearing a completely different outfit.

However, if a woman wears a low-cut dress, it can be made right by simply lengthening the skirt or wearing a shawl over it. It doesn't change the whole look of the outfit.

I'd be interested in seeing whether the Church has said anything regarding the hierarchy of this sort of thing, i.e. whether a woman dressing like a man is worse than dressing immodestly.

[quote name='hot stuff' post='1379521' date='Sep 6 2007, 12:47 PM']How "you could see" does not defined what is intrinsically disordered or not. That's the point. One does not just arbitrarily throw the term around based on personal opinion.

Objects cannot have an intrinsic value.[/quote]
Yes, but actions do.

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"Kyrie eleison"
I haven't read all the posts here, but has the type of climate that one lives in come up? It's been really hot and humid where I live and there was a woman sitting in the front pew with a sleeveless shirt on. It did not offend me. Men also come in shorts.

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N/A Gone
I dont know you, so dont take this personal. But are you joking?

Pants are only for men? I know that was in the article. But are you defending it? That is ludacris.

Has this issue got to the point where there is very little practical implications and we are just making noise?

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adt6247
[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379410' date='Sep 6 2007, 10:16 AM']Shoulders are not in themselves a sexual body part. The issue with most of the shulder/strap shirts is the clevage issue. But in a modest wedding dress there is no clevage. That is what I mean. Not a double standard. But outside of formal wear what outfit shows shoulders without showing some clevage? That would be the issue. I would not compare a dress that shows shoulders in the same as a swimsuit. Under that logic why dont we just borrow some islam outfits and keep our women under blankets?[/quote]
Just because shoulders aren't a sexual body part means little. Buttocks aren't a sexual body part; should that mean a thong is OK? Thighs aren't a sexual body part, does that mean a mini-skirt is OK?

Pope Pius XII stated that no dress could be considered modest if the neckline is more than two inches below the throat, if the skirt didn't go at least down to the knees, and the sleeves didn't go to the elbows. The Vatican standards for church dress are thus -- there's signs in front of most of the churches in Rome that say this. I happen to agree with such standards.

These are the standards the Catholic world held until the second half of the 20th century. What makes the 20th century so special that we can discard all older social mores about modesty? What allows us this arrogance?

[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379410' date='Sep 6 2007, 10:16 AM']It is not a straw man argument. It shows that to a degree it is impossible to make men not lust. Now, there is a degree in which a woman can contribute to that. But even a sweater can be seen as a sexy. I understand the concept of covering what is sacred, but seriously. Shoulders? Can I get a list of body parts cause sometimes my wife wears flip-flops and I think her toes are cute also.[/quote]
Again, it's not [i]just [/i]about causing lust; it's about covering that which is sacred. No one would argue for covering the extremities. The only case I know of such things being required of in the liturgy is during a pontifical high mass in the extraordinary form, where the bishop wears liturgical gloves and slippers, as a sign of reverence towards his sacred hand which confect the Eucharist, and his feet, where he is supposed to do the footwork of Christ in his diocese. Most bishops' hands wouldn't cause one to lust; it's out of reverence for them, and the job they are to perform.

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adt6247
[quote name='photosynthesis' post='1379526' date='Sep 6 2007, 12:59 PM']A: Pants are men's clothing.[/quote]
I have to disagree with this, love. There are many pants designed for women, and would look disordered on men. Could you imagine me wearing capris? The bible verse quoted was more about telling men and women not to masquerade in us; yes, it condemns drag queens.

I don't think most women look good in trousers, but that's a whole different issue.

And the whole pants vs. skirts thing is an inherently cultural argument. If a woman were trying to dress no different than a man, that would be disordered. Same if a man were trying to dress like a woman. But a woman wearing pants that are tailored for a woman, though usually less attractive than a skirt, is a perfectly legitimate practice. It would be a different case if it were totally unheard of in our culture for women to wear pants, but that is not the case.

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xTrishaxLynnx
[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379334' date='Sep 6 2007, 12:36 AM']But honestly, a guy can lust after a girl in a snowsuit if he wanted to.[/quote]

This is true...

A lot of people are putting the responsibility solely on the women. I don't think it makes very much sense. I certainly don't think women should be able to wear just anything and expect it to be fine, but at some point men have to take responsibility for their minds wandering to lustful thoughts. I don't think a woman bearing her shoulders is necessarily a temptation unless one allows it to be. Obviously, showing cleavage is another story...

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photosynthesis
[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379557' date='Sep 6 2007, 01:33 PM']I dont know you, so dont take this personal. But are you joking?

Pants are only for men? I know that was in the article. But are you defending it? That is ludacris.

Has this issue got to the point where there is very little practical implications and we are just making noise?[/quote]
I want to read more church documents before I decide for sure, but I'm leaning towards the idea that the Nineteenth Century Dress Reform was wrong and that women should never have switched to pants to begin with. I think there are certain situations where it would be appropriate for women to wear pants, such as hiking, horseback riding, playing sports, certain household chores, etc. But if I had daughters, I would want them to wear skirts most of the time because they are more feminine.

People in general should take an honest look at most of the fashions out there today, study how they have changed in the past few centuries and then interpret this in light of Our Lady's message at Fatima when she said, "Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same."

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fides quarens intellectum
i wasn't on for two days, so i have a few comments on some of the things being said:

sleeveless communion dresses: what is the intrinsic value in showing off a little girl's shoulders/upper arms for her First Communion? my four-year-old niece often wears sleeveless dresses to church, and the problem is they are never a perfect fit - whenever she moves, frankly, too much skin is visible to others. yes, they may look "adorable," but unfortunately, we must be aware of the people out there who would even sexualize little girls.

the survey at [url="http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/"]Check it[/url]: thanks so much for sharing this! i had never even thought about nude-colored hose being a stumbling block for my Christian brothers.

[quote name='Totus Tuus' post='1378692' date='Sep 5 2007, 02:10 PM']I was kind of taken aback that this question was even being asked. It seems like the answer would be obvious...
No, I definitely do not think that strapless clothing is appropriate inside of a Church, or anywhere public, for that matter.[/quote] i agree, but i asked it because people were disagreeing about it on the thread on veiling.

excuse of heat/humidity: women wore long sleeves for centuries with no a/c! seriously, i hate the heat/humidity, but in Atlanta, and even on mission trips in Nicaragua and Jamaica, i never used it as an excuse to wear a sleeveless top in a church. i think a little sacrifice of comfort is worth the effort to dress appropriately.

women wearing pants: personally, i used to hate wearing skirts, and rarely did. now, i won't step into Mass without one, and i finding i feel more feminine when wearing long skirts outside of church. however, i do not yet see how women wearing pants in general is a bad thing. i'll keep reading up on it, though.

thanks so much for all of your feedback!

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N/A Gone
'adt6247'
[quote]Just because shoulders aren't a sexual body part means little. [b]Buttocks aren't a sexual body part[/b]; should that mean a thong is OK? Thighs aren't a sexual body part, does that mean a mini-skirt is OK?[/quote]

yea it is...this will sound wrong, but ever watch a rap video?

[quote]Pope Pius XII stated that no dress could be considered modest if the neckline is more than two inches below the throat, if the skirt didn't go at least down to the knees, and the sleeves didn't go to the elbows. The Vatican standards for church dress are thus -- there's signs in front of most of the churches in Rome that say this. I happen to agree with such standards.[/quote]

Im a convert, Ive never heard of this. I personally dont seen the soteriological needs to have such a strict dress code.

I understand what you are saying about covering the sacred, but this could be a dangerous slope. In my wife's wedding dress you can see her shoulder, in her engagement pic she has jeans(apparently bad for women) and a long sleeve shirt that has shoulders. I dont consider it un-modest in anyway. If we need to "cover the sacred" what is stopping us from dressing women like the women in Iraq? Shouldnt intention be a major part of this? Is this issue anything more than fundamentalism vs intention?

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adt6247
[quote name='xTrishaxLynnx' post='1379581' date='Sep 6 2007, 01:50 PM']A lot of people are putting the responsibility solely on the women.[/quote]
Actually, no one here is saying that. Not one. People keep repeating this point, but it's a non-point. Modest dress is a charitable act towards one's neighbor. We are not responsible for all the sins of our neighbor, but at the same time, we should not add to a situation in such a manner by being uncharitable. This principle extends to all issues of charity, not just modesty.

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adt6247
[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379598' date='Sep 6 2007, 02:06 PM']Im a convert, Ive never heard of this. I personally dont seen the soteriological needs to have such a strict dress code.[/quote]
It's a dress code that was released in the first half of the 20th century to provide an objective standard to a culture that was beginning to need one. For 1600 years, this wasn't a problem in the Christian west. People covered up! Even in the heat! What makes us so special that we can discard historical standards of modesty?

[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379598' date='Sep 6 2007, 02:06 PM']I understand what you are saying about covering the sacred, but this could be a dangerous slope. In my wife's wedding dress you can see her shoulder, in her engagement pic she has jeans(apparently bad for women) and a long sleeve shirt that has shoulders. I dont consider it un-modest in anyway.[/quote]
[url="http://www.logicalfallacies.info/tuquoque.html"][i]Tu Quoque[/i][/url]. Your argument is essentially:

a) my wife wore a strapless dress
b) my wife is a good person
c) therefore, strapless dresses are good.

[quote name='Revprodeji' post='1379598' date='Sep 6 2007, 02:06 PM']If we need to "cover the sacred" what is stopping us from dressing women like the women in Iraq? Shouldnt intention be a major part of this? Is this issue anything more than fundamentalism vs intention?[/quote]
My guess is this is a logical extension of Godwin's law. No, this is not a slippery slope argument; I am referring to going back to prior standards of modesty, not inventing new ones. History should be our guide, as is piety.

As far as intention goes, that modifies a person's culpability, not objective reality. I honestly believe that the way many people dress is objectively sinful, however, because of the culture they are in, and because they do not realize it should be otherwise, the culpability is zero in many cases, because there is no intention to act immodestly.

Again, what makes this age so special that we can cast aside the standards of modesty of the Christian west? Tradition should be our guide here. Edited by adt6247

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Jaime
[quote]Yes, but actions do.[/quote]

And yet you're still wrong. Things that are intrinsically disordered have two conditions

1. They are always disordered in every situation

2. The Church (not any individual) states that the action is intrinsically disordered.


Wearing pants will never fulfill those two criteria. And you arbitrarily throwing around the term "intrinsically disordered" does nothing but weaken your argument.

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N/A Gone
[quote]For 1600 years, this wasn't a problem in the Christian west.[/quote]

Are you sure about that? Augustine had to be lusting after something.

In Jesus' time women wore blankets. Maybe we can just go back to that? Im all about the sandals.


[quote][i]Post hoc, ergo propter hoc[/i], or possibly [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_authority"]appeal to authority fallacy[/url]. Your argument is essentially:

a) my wife wore a strapless dress
b) my wife is a good person
c) therefore, strapless dresses are good.[/quote]

No, its called an example. They work sometimes. And sometimes someone wants to show they paid attention in philosophy 101 and label it. I was providing an example of modesty with a strapless dress. My argument has nothing to do with whether my wife is a good person or not.

[quote]My guess is this is a logical extension of Godwin's law. No, this is not a slippery slope argument; I am referring to going back to prior standards of modesty, not inventing new ones. History should be our guide, as is piety.[/quote]

again with the label. Whats the point of that rather than to belittle me? It does not rub right. You are trying to enforce what you think is wrong with what women wear. The spirit of that is the same logic that has women in the middle east wearing blankets. I dont see that as a slippery slope, rather as a serious issue. If history is our guide then does that mean women dont need to wear bras in church? The modern bra did not exist until the 16th century if not later.

[quote]As far as intention goes, that modifies a person's culpability, not objective reality. I honestly believe that the way many people dress is objectively sinful, however, because of the culture they are in, and because they do not realize it should be otherwise, the culpability is zero in many cases, because there is no intention to act immodestly.[/quote]

completely disagree.

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