Looking for Hay in a Haystack

Via The Christian Science Monitor, some choice "Modesty Can Be Chic!" boilerplate, the recurrent Style section version of the "It's Hip to Be Republican!" story:

Still, some teens find that it's difficult to be fashionably modest with what's on the racks.

"Clothes today are too tight, too sheer, and too revealing," says Sarah Kator, a Meridian, Idaho, teen, in an e-mail. "I always have to buy shirts a size or two larger than they are designed to be worn, and I'm not a very large girl."

Is there some small Idaho town that only has a Frederick's of Hollywood? I can't imagine that it was ever hard to find cleavage-covering fashion, but surely it's easier today than it was 15 years ago, when "skimpy" actually meant something. Pre-teens pining for lack of demure couture should check out the June issue of Vogue, which has a fabulous spread on "packing for paradise" in Bhutan. ("In an unpredictable climate, layering is key!") The Denimaxx shearling duster with raccoon trim looks Taliban-friendly.

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  • ||

    I can't speak for availability of demure clothing for teens, but if I see one more teenage girl with fat bulging out while wearing a top designed for Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, I'll barf on the spot.

    Hmmm, maybe there is something to this claim.

  • ||

    "Clothes today are too tight, too sheer, and too revealing," says Sarah Kator, a Meridian, Idaho, teen, in an e-mail. "I always have to buy shirts a size or two larger than they are designed to be worn, and I'm not a very large girl."

    I have a feeling that this girl is REALLY going to enjoy sex when she looses her virginity... at age 50.

  • ||

    DnB,
    As my brother always says when viewing a some chick with the back fat: "Just because they make it in your size doesn't mean you have to buy it"

  • ||

    Two points about the article:

    1. Am I misreading it, or is the woman who started her own store selling, um, t-shirts? Have we not perfected the t-shirt technology, even for layering purposes?

    2. The notion that women of all ages cannot find saggy, formless, effectively unfashionable clothing in the Boston area (as suggested by the accompanying photographs) is just so patently absurd that I believe the photographer is subtly attempting to undermine the article.

    Anon

  • ||

    Why do heavy set girls wear clothing that is revealing?

    1) they want to imitate their skinnier peers
    2) they know that a very select minority of men find them preferable to skinny women and they know they need to advertise
    3)fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round

  • ||

    Meridian, ID? No wonder. What do you expect from the Mormon half of the state? After all, the Mormons have special underwear for girls that is designed to discourage skimpy clothing.

  • ||

    As long as you take "hip" and "modest" to be mutually exclusive terms, then saying you "can't find clothing that is both hip and modest" is a tautology.

    And lets face it the fundies are about nothing if not shooting fish in a barrel.

  • ||

    Meridian, ID??? Hah,hah, HAH! Southern Idaho/Utah can screw itself, if they had their way women would wear burkas.

  • ||

    "I always have to buy shirts a size or two larger than they are designed to be worn, and I'm not a very large girl."

    In midwestern speak, that means she weighs less the family hefer, and she's still slightly more petite than your average Wisconsin honey.

  • ||

    Perhaps the under-oppressed little prude could buy her clothes from this company:

    www.wholesomewear.com

  • ||

    Speaking as a creepy 30-something, I do think there is a line to be drawn.

    A 12-year old wearing a tight shirt with the word "Juicy" is just wrong, and her parents should be smacked.

    A 16-year old.. well..

  • ||

    "Perhaps the under-oppressed little prude..."

    But naturally, as a libertarian, you would defend to the death the little chick's right to be a little prude. :)

  • ranger||

    Why do heavy set girls wear clothing that is revealing?

    What they don't realize is that certain clothing is *privilege* and not a *right*. I blame the left and their creation of all kinds of "rights". ;-)

    Having spent some time working in a school system and coaching cheerleading, I privy to some distressing sights. I'm not what you would call a prudish, but some of the outfits just were NOT RIGHT! Not just young girls dressed like they were about to straddle a pole, but their MOTHERS doing the same!

    Then they all whine about not being able to find "modest" clothing. Of course, I think it's important to point out that these are the same families that couldn't be caught dead NOT wearing the newest designer "Pervocrombie and Bitch" clothing. Maybe if they left the mall once in a while they could leave something to the imagination? Or, *gasp*, dress 12 instead of 21??

    All I know, if I have a daughter, she's getting enough sweatpants to last until she's 30! I ain't raising no hoochie mama! (now, if my wife wants to be one when the bedroom door closes, no complaints!)

  • ||

    "A 12-year old wearing a tight shirt with the word 'Juicy' is just wrong, and her parents should be smacked."

    In semi-defense of that, the shirt is presumably advertising the fact that it's part of the chi-chi Juicy Couture line, not any characteristics of the wearer.

  • ||

    Sometimes, if I adjust my tie and suspenders just right, it's possible to discern that I have shoulders.

    "fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round" Indeed they do, Tragdor. They do indeed.

  • ||

    Okay. My mother in law owns a lingerie store in Dickson, TN (maybe 45 mins from Nashville). She has made a killing as the only place around that stocks XXX fishnet teddys or whathaveyou. It isn't that she only sells that stuff, but she stocks it. She will swear to the following:

    1) Over the years, she has had to stock more and more super sized stuff, as it flies off the shelves. Her average customer has ballooned in size. She recently got into the prom dress business, and found to her horror that every dress she bought needed to be bigger. In one case, her alterations lady found that you couldn't completely cut the largest dress made by her supplier in half and sew it back together around the customer without adding 6 inches of material.

    2) Women's clothes suffer size inflation like nobody's business. A current size 4 is about the same size as a 7 was when she first got into the business. Even subcategories are deceptive. "Petite" only means "short". I have borne witness to the massive sizes contained in the petite section of her store.

    3) The logic of the fat lady wearing revealing clothing is this "The clothes are sexy. If I wear the clothes, I'm sexy."

  • ||

    "In semi-defense of that, the shirt is presumably advertising the fact that it's part of the chi-chi Juicy Couture line, not any characteristics of the wearer."

    Oh, Hello! Wake-up! You ever heard of a double entendre. That's two intentions. The makers of Juicy Couture know perfectly well what is *understood* when a girl (pre-teen or not) wears the word Juicy across her boobs---even if the onlooker *has* heard of their "couture line." And I assure you, *many* have not.

  • ||

    "In semi-defense of that, the shirt is presumably advertising the fact that it's part of the chi-chi Juicy Couture line, not any characteristics of the wearer."

    Of course Julian, there are no double entendres at work in the advertising business. Indeed. Her parents very well should be smacked.

  • ||

    But naturally, as a libertarian, you would defend to the death the little chick's right to be a little prude.

    In practice, yes.

    However, as someone who isn't afraid of being both a libertarian and a libertine, I reserve the right to point out that her sexual mores are pure bullshit and she'd have more fun out of the one life she has if she shed them.

    How free are you when you are a slave to your own irrationality, delusions and neuroses?

  • ||

    Whoops, that should be "she'd get more fun out of..."

    Need coffee.

  • ||

    3) The logic of the fat lady wearing revealing clothing is this "The clothes are sexy. If I wear the clothes, I'm sexy."

    Badly flawed logic on display.I see some of my sister's friends who are of average build crammed into clothes that make them look fat.

  • ||

    Speedwell-
    If people want to be prudes, let them. However, this teenage girl implies that society is at fault because she's finding it too hard to buy a burka, or whatever the hell she wants.

    I too am often appalled by some of the hooker outfits I've seen on girls who don't even have their secondary sex characteristics yet, but I've seen just as many teenagers and young children wearing clothes that are stylish but not sleazy. Where the hell is Sarah Kator doing her shopping, if all she can find are stripper outfits?

  • ||

    Yes, it's always entertaining to make fun of Mormon Magic Underwear.

    You lot make fun of Yamulkes, too, right?

    Or it's only funny to make fun of religious items that registered Republicans wear?

    But be that as it may, in southern Idaho & Utah; for 6 months out of the year, you don't want to expose a lot of skin because it is too cold out.

    For the other 6 months, no rain + high altitude make this area the skin cancer capital of the US. Making modest dress practical, if not fashionable or politically correct.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    I don't think that's her point. She's bitter that stores sell the skimpy outfits at all, and she feels "pressured" because the skimpy clothes are in style. I wish her luck changing fashion trends with letter writing.

    By the way, great link. Could you imagine wearing that outfit to the beach?

  • ||

    John,

    At what point did all mormons and christians become republicans, all jews and atheists democrats, and what has any of this do with with libertarians?

  • ||

    "How free are you when you are a slave to your own irrationality, delusions and neuroses?"

    Not a single bit more than when you're a slave to the irrationality, delusions, and neuroses of other people?

    What the hell do we care what someone wears so long as it "doesn't frighten the horses?"

  • ||

    Rachel, you beat me to it.

    "You lot make fun of Yamulkes, too, right?"

    Good call.

  • ||

    David-
    What's really ironic about that bathing-suit Website is that the whole point of modesty is supposed to be "not calling attention to yourself," but anybody who wore such outfits to the beach would get a LOT more attention than someone in a simple one-piece bathing suit. Kind of like the old joke about the attention whore who wears clothes to a nudist camp.

    For all the folks who complain about "what kids are wearing these days" (myself included), isn't it possible that standards are simply changing? I have a lot of dresses and skirts that are very conservative by moden American standards, but a hundred years ago those same clothes would have gotten me arrested, for being so bold as to expose my ankles in public for all the world to see. I'm just wondering: if historians a hundred years from now have access to the Hit and Run archives, will they find this thread as amusing as we would find huundred-year-old editorials bemoaning the way modern women expose their ankles and elbows to the public?

  • ||

    Yes, it's always entertaining to make fun of Mormon Magic Underwear.

    You lot make fun of Yamulkes, too, right?


    Yup, along with burkas, scapular medals, kosher and hegira dietary requirements, condemnations of homosexuality, prayer 5 times a day, eating of anything but seafood on Lenten Fridays, rosaries, pre-marital sexual abstinence, prohibitions against dancing, a celibate all-male clergy, faith healing, creation myths, and the entire concept of "God."

    Did I miss anyone?

  • ||

    Akira-
    You forgot speaking in tongues.

  • ||

    Just the Amish. But leave them out of this. They just live their own lives and don't concern themselves with what we do with ours.

  • ||

    "Not a single bit more than when you're a slave to the irrationality, delusions, and neuroses of other people?"

    Which is pretty much describes organized religion in a nutshell.

    "What the hell do we care what someone wears so long as it "doesn't frighten the horses?""

    At the end of the day, I don't. However, it's the attitude and mythology that spawned this desire for "modesty" that I take issue with, and I speak from experience. Growing up, I was the pure little Catholic boy who bought into the RCC dogma about sexuality hook, line, and sinker. I loudly denounced sex outside marriage, abortion, homosexuals, and the "smutty" clothing that my late-80s/early-90s peers wore to school. Needless to say, I didn't date much. Although I dropped religion in college, my former faith has left me with a rotten self-image and lousy social skills (particularly with women).

    Therefore, along with my dedication to "free minds and free markets" I have decided to do anything and everything in my extremely limited power to liberate humanity from religion and its irrational tenets so others like me don't end up with fucked-up adulthoods and massive therapy bills. Consider it a secular form of penance.

  • ||

    You forgot speaking in tongues.

    Doh!... and drinking strychnine and playing around with rattlesnakes. How could I forget?

  • ||

    You have to admit, Akira, Advent candles, Christmas, and charity are pretty cool.

  • ||

    "You have to admit, Akira, Advent candles, Christmas, and charity are pretty cool."

    Do you really need mysticism to justify candles, celebrations, and charity? I don't think so.

  • ||

    Yeah, Jennifer, great site at www.wholesomewear.com

    I feel sorry for those poor girls who get laughed off the beach for wearing a Star Trek uniform.

    It would also be a bit ironic if fundie boys end up deciding that other boys look more pretty after seeing these get-ups.

  • ||

    ..not that there's anything wrong with that..

  • ||

    "Do you really need mysticism to justify candles, celebrations, and charity?"

    I suppose I could sit in the stands and cheer an empty ballfield, but it just wouldn't be the same.

  • ||

    "I feel sorry for those poor girls who get laughed off the beach for wearing a Star Trek uniform."

    Unless it's from the original series.

    Mmmmmmm.... Circa 1966 Nichelle Nichols and Majel Barrett in mini-skirts. :)

  • ||

    I'll admit, Joe, when you do charitable things in the hope of winning brownie points in heaven, it's not quite the same as when I do charitable things despite the fact that I never expect to be rewarded.

  • ||

    Akira:

    Good point. I also greatly enjoyed the episode when the DS9 crew go back in time to the Kirk era, and Dax decks out in that mini-skirt.

    ...drool...

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    If non-religious people donated time and money to charitable causes at the same rate as believers, your argument would be a lot stronger. But every study ever done on the subject demonstrates that they don't.

    But more importantly, you (shocking) distort to the motivations of religious people involved in charity work. Most do what they do for exactly the same reason as charitable non-believers: because they believe it's the right thing to do, they feel a sense of responsibility to their fellow man, and they like the feeling they get from doing good.

    I've gotten to where I can tell at what age atheists abandoned their religion, based on the beliefs they project onto the religious. For you, Jennifer, I'm guessing mid to late teens?

  • ||

    Akira:

    You are, of course, entitled to your own brand of bigotry. We're all of us bigots to some extent about something. But just because religion fucked up your fragile little psyche doesn't mean every person holding religious beliefs, or, horrors, publicly expressing those beliefs, is a wingnut.

    There's a certain - I don't know - attitude, air, pose, whatever - among some libertarians that would be called self-righteousness among the religious. The "I am so much smarter, saner, calmer, more rational and more wise" vibe, if you know what I mean. It's unctious and strident and very offputting. I can't stand the hysteria of the hardcore left and the hardcore right, but the studied coolness of the more libertarian than thou is really irritating as well.

  • ||

    it's not quite the same as when I do charitable things despite the fact that I never expect to be rewarded.

    Your reward is obviously your mistaken sense of moral superiority...

  • ||

    "I suppose I could sit in the stands and cheer an empty ballfield, but it just wouldn't be the same."

    What part of your life is so empty that it needs spiritual bullshit (sorry for the redundancy) to fill it? Aside from the tyrannical morality it foists upon us, that's the part about religion that has come to amaze me: The idea that one must embrace the irrational to give life "meaning"--whatever the hell that means. Why isn't being happy to be alive enough for people? Why not give your own life meaning rather than fruitlessly search for some "higher" cosmic purpose that isn't there?

  • ||

    Joe-
    I was twenty-seven, actually. And my comment was in rresponse to your implication that doing charitable acts without a religious background is like cheering for a non-existent ball game.

  • ||

    I have a wonderful, full life, Akira. I'm not even particularly religious.

    And isn't "being happy to be alive" irrational in itself? Yipee, I have metabolic processes! Viva L'irrationale!

    Now, what part of your life is so troubled that you are angered by people who have a spiritual life, to such a degree that you write emotional blog comments disparaging them for having such?

    You're clearly not motivated by my well being. So what's up with you?

  • ||

    Damn, Joe, I'm amazed to hear a religious person reduce "happy to be alive" to "joy in metabolic processes." But could you explain why my godless acts of charity are akin to your cheering in empty stands?

  • ||

    Isn't the fact the people are concerned about the "morality" of women's fashion an indication that Christianity has degenerated into the sort of overbearing mess that Jesus hated about the Judaism of his time? I can't recall the Beatitude on Midriff.

  • ||

    David-
    Actually, it could be seen as animprovement. Early Christians believed that the Virgin Mary was impregnated through her ear, so proper Christian women were not allowed to show their ears in public, but had to wrap cloth arund their heads to keep the ears hidden from lustful male eyes. As late as the nineteenth century, showing your ears was something "decent" women just didn't do.

  • ||

    there is a cathy youngish stance to be taken, perhaps...in that all the accidents and incidents and conspiracies and crimes which were required to create this moment at this point in time (your parents meeting, surviving childhood, etc etc etc and so forth back until blah blah blah) requires neither a coldhearted psicop "RANDOM CHANCE!" nor the indignity of self-sovereignty being turned into an empty shell. this way everyone can start with the starting point they care for, and presuming no one acts like too much of a cockface, everything's cool.

    akira - you should hang out around eyehategod concerts. it would be a good way to meet women with a similar point of view.

  • ||

    "You lot make fun of Yamulkes, too, right?"

    You bet I do. Pretty much any belief system that revolves around an invisible superman is the sky seems ripe for mockery. I also make fun of astrology, assorted new age horseshit and UFO wackos. I'm actually amazed more people don't bust out laughing when others profess belief on such flimsy 'evidence'.

  • ||

    do you believe in love?

  • ||

    Isn't Joe going to answer my question?

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    I wonder if there were ear fetishists back then. It just seems to me that many of these arguments are just extenstions of the "dieting mentality" that people tend to have.

    The dieting mentality being "if I can lose 10 lbs by eating only 1700 calories a day, I can lose much more by only eating 500 calories per day."

    Applied to religion,"If having extramarital sex is sinful, then any sex is sinful, and thinking about sex could lead to sex so that is sinful, and dressing in ways that cause thinking about sex is sinful, etc." The human mind is great at taking one truthful statement and adding more twists.

  • ||

    do you believe in love?

    Not exactly, but if I had several days I could bore you to death with attachment theory.

  • ||

    no need. i'm familiar with it. it may even be true. it's a pretty good explanation for the mechanism.

    but that's not what i'm asking you, so i'll ask again.

    do you believe in Love?

  • ||

    "And isn't "being happy to be alive" irrational in itself? Yipee, I have metabolic processes! Viva L'irrationale!"

    I'm happy to be "alive" in the sense that it sure beats the alternative. Being dead is a stone cold drag...that is, it would be if one could actually "sense" anything while being dead. However, I don't see corpses having parties, building skyscrappers, discovering cures for disease reading novels, or enjoying things that really do give life "meaning."

    That seems pretty rational to me.

    "Now, what part of your life is so troubled that you are angered by people who have a spiritual life, to such a degree that you write emotional blog comments disparaging them for having such?"

    I'm "angered" by people who have a spirtual life in the same sense I'm "angered" at people who profess that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the world if flat. That, and if the history we are doomed to repeat is any guide, there is the very real possibility that eventually those oh so very spiritual people will start burning books, halting scientific progress, and putting people like myself and anyone else who doesn't fit their vision of holiness up agaist the wall.

    I don't know about you, but being burned as a heretic is something I'd really like to avoid.

  • ||

    do you believe in Love?

    In what sense of the word?

    If you mean an emotional attraction and/or attachment to another individual, then yes.

    If you mean some supernatural force that radiates down from on high to make us want to get married, raise or kids, and/or be kind to others, then no.

  • ||

    Well, David, it was the Catholic Church that invented the "Sin of Scandal"--if you're a woman and look so sexy that a male who looks at you is encouraged to commit some unthinkable horror like whacking himself off, the woman has committed the sin of scandal by enticing the male to do it. But in all fairness, that's not just a Christian thing; pretty much every religion that vilifies sex also blames women for male lust.

    Me, I have a pretty low opinion of a God who makes the sex drive one of the strongest of biological urges and then declares it a sin. It's like a parent who feeds her kids nothing but beans and then punishes them for farting.

    But back to that "Wholesome Wear" site; there really does seem something immodest about such an aggressive, "Hey y'all, look at me!" kind of 'modesty.'

  • ||

    Applied to religion,"If having extramarital sex is sinful, then any sex is sinful, and thinking about sex could lead to sex so that is sinful, and dressing in ways that cause thinking about sex is sinful, etc." The human mind is great at taking one truthful statement and adding more twists.

    What makes "...having extramarital sex is sinful" a true statement?

  • ||

    spaghetti-strap tops over T-shirts and skirts over white khakis

    bleaachh!! Who does that? That must look totally fugly (== fuckin' ugly). (Neither fashionable nor stylish). Just wear a fucking turtleneck instead, and a pair of nice slacks. At least that would look classic (and classy). Apparently these people have figured out a way to look tacky, even while being modest. This is what's truly wrong with the world we live in today.

    3)fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round

    Hell, yeah! Heck yes they do!


    feel sorry for those poor girls who get laughed off the beach for wearing a Star Trek uniform.

    ROTFL! I thought they looked like snowsuits. For the beach.

    akira - you should hang out around eyehategod concerts. it would be a good way to meet women with a similar point of view.

    dhex speaks the truth. I am going to see them live in a couple of weeks! And I do share similar viewpoints.


    --Fat-Bottomed Girl

  • ||

    So Akira is compelled to dump all over religion because he blames it for the fact that he still has trouble getting chicks.

    All I can say after reading his posts is that if I catch him talking to my daughters, I'm going to sic the dogs on him. (Not that I really need to: two of them are black belts in tae kwon do and the third should get her black belt this year; I think they can take care of themselves.)

    (BTW, my wife tells me that it is indeed difficult to buy clothes for teenage girls that don't look like hooker outfits.)

  • ||

    Wow. Your dogs know karate?

  • ||

    Jennifer, they're not. Please reread the exchange between Akira and myself, for your own edification.

  • ||

    I am going to see them live in a couple of weeks!

    Correction: I am going to see them live in a couple of days !

  • ||

    "I'm "angered" at people who profess that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the world if flat."

    Really? You're angered by the existence of people who believe the world is flat? Do you write pissy comments on flat earch blogs? I don't believe in a flat earth any more than you do, yet I don't really have any hostile feelings towards flat earthers, while you clearly do. Why do you think that is?

    "That, and if the history we are doomed to repeat is any guide, there is the very real possibility that eventually those oh so very spiritual people will start burning books, halting scientific progress, and putting people like myself and anyone else who doesn't fit their vision of holiness up agaist the wall." It might be worth pointing out that militant atheists have their own problems with burning books, halting scientific progress, and putting people who don't share their beliefs up against walls.

    That's not to say, of course, that anything but a tiny fraction of atheists would ever do such a thing. Bigotry and violence towards those with different beliefs really is a disgraceful lunatic fringe throwback, and people of good will avoid such things, regardless of thier religious beliefs.

  • ||

    "I'm happy to be "alive" in the sense that it sure beats the alternative."

    Man, that is fucking depressing. The thing that gives your life meaning is that it's better than being dead?

  • ||

    Truthful if you believe in the concept of sin. I don't in the religious sense, but I find cheating to be distasteful based on the hurt it causes to someone you care about.

  • ||

    "Me, I have a pretty low opinion of a God who makes the sex drive one of the strongest of biological urges and then declares it a sin."

    Oh, I get it. You've confused God with church dogma, and unbelief with anger. There's a lot of that going around.

  • ||

    do you believe in Love?

  • ||

    So Akira is compelled to dump all over religion because he blames it for the fact that he still has trouble getting chicks.

    Oh, I have numerous many other reasons. The fact religion made me feel like a pile of crap with a bunch of resolved issues is but one. I had a really good philosophy professor in college who made quite a few very good points about the question of religion that eventually put on off the proverbial road to Damascus.

    All I can say after reading his posts is that if I catch him talking to my daughters, I'm going to sic the dogs on him. (Not that I really need to: two of them are black belts in tae kwon do and the third should get her black belt this year; I think they can take care of themselves.)

    If they can "take care of themselves," then it stands to reason that they can associate with whomever they choose, regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof. However, fear not. As a matter of preference, I like women around the same age as I am (i.e. mid-to-late 20s), so I'll keep my atheistic, hedonistic, personage away from your precious little girls. That way, neither your daughters, nor your house pets will have to fight your battles for you.

  • ||

    "Truthful if you believe in the concept of sin."

    Actually, that should be "truthful if you believe in the concept of sin, AND you believe that premarital sex fits the bill." Many millions of Americans believe the first and not the second.

  • ||

    "I'm happy to be "alive" in the sense that it sure beats the alternative." --Akira

    Man, that is fucking depressing. The thing that gives your life meaning is that it's better than being dead? -- joe


    How is that depressing, joe? Seems pretty logical to me. And rather optimistic.

  • ||

    Joe-
    If not church dogma, then where AM I supposed to get information about this God of which you speak, then? Christianity, Judaism and Islam are out because there are too many provable untruths in their holy books, Buddhism and Zen Buddhism are basically a bunch of bullshit word games, the Greco-Roman religion's been useless ever since mankind discovered that nobody is living on Mount Olympus. . .if God exists, he/she has apparently only manifested himself to people who keep fucking up the message.

    So you tell me--what IS God all about then? And how do you decide which parts of the Bible are divine inspiration and which parts are mistakes?

  • ||

    "Man, that is fucking depressing. The thing that gives your life meaning is that it's better than being dead?"

    What more do you need?

  • ||

    Oh, and Shintoism's out, too. No way in hell am I worshipping MY ancestors.

  • ||

    Try Deism, Jennifer. It made me and my buddies reverant yet tolerant.

  • ||

    It sounds logical as hell, smacky, but also pretty empty.

    Jennifer, "If not church dogma, then where AM I supposed to get information about this God of which you speak, then?" How about your conscience? You about exploring on your own?

    If your music teacher was a prick with bad taste, would you plug your ears for the rest of your life just to spite him? That would certainly be your right, but you'd be missing a lot.

  • ||

    "It sounds logical as hell, smacky, but also pretty empty."

    Empty of what?

  • ||

    It sounds logical as hell, smacky, but also pretty empty.

    So what is it about religion that makes it not empty, according to you? The community? Being surrounded by people? The Titanic wasn't empty, but that doesn't mean that I want to climb aboard that sinking ship.

  • ||

    A sense of spirit in the world isn't something you can be argued into, Jennifer, so I'm not going to try.

    You can make a good faith effort. Or not. Whatever. You get one life* on this planet. You can incorporate the spiritual, or you can spend your life avoiding it the way monks spend their lives avoiding sex (or some of them, avoiding spoken language). If you think shutting off that part of human existence will make your life better or purer, have at it.

  • ||

    "If you mean an emotional attraction and/or attachment to another individual, then yes."

    we may have found part of the problem you're having with teh ladiez.

    "So you tell me--what IS God all about then? And how do you decide which parts of the Bible are divine inspiration and which parts are mistakes?"

    religion is a lot like politics, in that everyone's got their own thing, even those who deny the possibility of anyone else having their own thing.

    joe is a liberal american catholic, so try to keep that in mind. i like those guys. they usually throw good barbeques.

    anyway, there's an analogy here:

    the blue smurf ferret guys = hardcore violent yell at children fundie types.

    reason style libertoids = joe

    paleolibs = pre vat II catholics

    free market anarchists = folk mass adherents

    republicans = ratzinger style conserves

  • ||

    Joe-
    If my music teacher were a prick, I know of many other places I culd go to learn about music. I know of no place to learn about God, which is why I am asking you.

    What does conscience have to do with anything? God is my conscience? How am I supposed to explore God on my own? Climb a hill and yell "Enlighten me!" to the sky?

    I'm asking these questions in all seriousness.

  • ||

    *the "one life per soul" theory remains, at this time, unproven.

  • ||

    "I'm asking these questions in all seriousness."

    No, you're not, Jennifer. If you were, you'd be asking them of someone you felt could help you with the answers.

    BTW, the entire Bible is divinely inspired. Even the factually wrong parts. It's not a TV Guide.

  • ||

    dhex,

    I haven't been to mass in years. I'm not sure what I am.

    The only thing I'm sure of is that "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in you philosophy, Horatio." And that Jesus was wise and holy.

  • ||

    "I haven't been to mass in years. I'm not sure what I am."

    all the better. when was the last time your average reason subscriber went to a local LP party meeting? :)

    anyway, sorry for the miscasting. i was feeling clever.

  • ||

    "So what is it about religion that makes it not empty, according to you?"

    It's not empty, because it fills me up. Like food or water fills my belly and soothes my throat, and powers my body. Pointing out that the root beer is flat doesn't make my stop thirsting. Or like political debate and urban planning fill my brain, and keep it sharp.

    Physical beings come with physical needs. Spiritual beings come with spiritual needs. They're there.

  • ||

    I haven't been to mass in years.

    I bet that's because you've been stuck at your computer nonstop posting on H&R! Seriously, when have I not seen joe on H&R?

    I. He's always here.
    II. Therefore, he's omnipresent.
    III. God is omnipresent (according to some)
    -------------------------------------------
    IV. You do the math!! I'm not going to blaspheme, heathen.


    Seriously, I totally bet "joe" is like the Howard Hughes of Hit and Run. He's probably completely neglected both his personal religion as well as his physical hygeine and has, like, foot long yellow fingernails, and gingivitis, and he probably uses old coke cans for urinals....**


    **...ok, joe, I hope you take this rant of mine lightly. I'm just having fun with you!

  • ||

    Joe-
    So the parts of the Bible ordering the death of honmosexuals or disobedient children or non-believers was inspired by God? Would this be the same God I can discover via my conscience?

    And yes, my questions were indeed serious. Just because you don't know how to answer them doesn't change that.

  • ||

    jen - i don't believe joe is a biblical literalist. iirc, he makes fun of literalists quite a bit.

  • ||

    I've seen people who seriously question, Jennifer. I now what they look and sound like.

    You are not serious, and I'm not going to treat you as such.

  • ||

    I haven't been to mass in years. I'm not sure what I am.

    The only thing I'm sure of is that "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in you philosophy, Horatio." And that Jesus was wise and holy.

    joe, you sound like a Deist to me.

    Truthfully, I think I'm a Deist as well. Yet I feel completely comfortable in Catholicism. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but it works for me. And if it works for me and I'm not hurting anyone else or getting in anyone else's face, well, that's good enough for me.

    I never thought that a discussion would veer from skimpy apparel to the nature of joe's faith, but that's what rocks about H&R.

  • ||

    The only thing I'm sure of is that "there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in you philosophy, Horatio."

    I have to take issue with the Bard on that point. I don't buy the whole "science-can't-explain-everything" line. It can, given enough data. However, just because they don't have a current natural explanation for a phenomana, is not proof of the supernatural.

    BTW, the entire Bible is divinely inspired. Even the factually wrong parts. It's not a TV Guide.

    Joe, if God is a perfect being, then how could man have messed up the message he was trying to relay? Even "divine inspiration" would have to be perfect in its reception and interpretation.

  • ||

    whoops, that should be "phenomenon"--starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall :)

  • ||

    "Even "divine inspiration" would have to be perfect in its reception and interpretation."

    No it wouldn't. Where did you get the idea that everyone who acts from inspiration succeeds in being completely faithful to the source of that inspiration? Look at some of the dumb shit that's being done by people inspired by the American republic.

  • ||

    Joe-
    I never knew you were a coward before this. What is the proper tone to be adopted by an aspirant to knowledge whose questions you would deign to answer? Or is it just that you CAN'T answer them and lack the balls to admit it?

  • ||

    At the very least, Joe, I really would like to know why, when I celebrate things or do charitable endeavors, my lack of religious belief makes these behaviors akin to you cheering in an empty sport stadium.

  • ||

    Well, Jennifer, they generally engage is shrill namecalling, and concentrate on asking "When did you stop beating your wife" style questions. That's how you know someone is really trying to grow.

  • ||

    Delightful!

    I've finally found something where it seems joe and I have deep agreement. Dismissing all the world's religions for their manifold failings becomes a religion for the non-spiritual. Imagine a god that might make logical sense: omnipotent, therefore without human cruelty impulses; and omniscient, therefore wise enough not to attach judgement since all causes and effects are interconnected. Then aspire toward that imagination, and see how you feel.

    Plus, I get to picture girls in hooker outfits. Mmmmm. Why didn't stripper-chic happen when I was in the market for it?

  • ||

    I'll spell out the second part for you, since you're obviously bringing the same heart-felt quest for understanding to the "empty stadium" simile that you bring to the broader subject:

    The metaphor I chose was directed at the comparison between Christmas/Advent wreaths and ordinary parties/lighting candles because they're pretty. I think I made by beliefs about charity clear enough in the middle paragraph of my 11:26 post. Hereafter to be known as "joe 11:26."

  • ||

    I never thought that a discussion would veer from skimpy apparel to the nature of joe's faith, but that's what rocks about H&R.

    You ought to try our local game store, Thoreau. The conversations we have go all over the place. We once had a conversation that went from nuclear power to the Borga Popes to the movie "Casablanca" in about 10 minutes!

    Just this Tuesday we dreamt up a parody of "Apocalypse Now" by blending it the 1971 version of "Willy Wonka And The Choclate Factory." ( We're tentively titling it "Into The Chewy Caramel Heart Of Darkness")

    Some of the lines:

    "I wanted a golden ticket, and for all my sins I got one."

    "You're a delivery boy, sent by Slugworth to steal my everlasting gobstoppers."

    And can you imagine cruising down the Mei Kong Delta in the Wonkatania, Oompa lommpas as VC, and Col. Kurtz's final line screamed ala Gene Wilder? ("The horroooooor... THE HORROOOOOOOR!"

  • ||

    Joe,

    Why has it been years since you've gone to mass?

  • ||

    David,

    I'm in the Arch-Diocese of Boston. Covering up the molestation, the disgusting, corrupt way they decided which churches to close...just one thing piling up on another.

    One of these days, so help me, I'm going to work up the nerve to walk into an Episcopal church.

  • ||

    The church closings...on top of everything else, they have to slap me in the face on my home turf. I'm a city planner, you see, with certain ideas about the ethical dimension of land use decisions and public process...

  • ||

    Joe and Jennifer, wouldn't a better analogy for godless charity be playing ball with no spectators?

  • ||

    I can buy that.

  • ||

    So if you play ball with no spectators, aren't you doing it purely for love of the game?

  • ||

    Joe,

    Fair enough, I was just curious. That's why my parents, and friend's parents(who were devout)stopped going.

  • ||

    "Into The Chewy Caramel Heart Of Darkness"

    Awesome!


    One of these days, so help me, I'm going to work up the nerve to walk into an Episcopal church.

    Substitute nerve with credit line .

  • ||

    As long as we're talking about religion and charity and motives and whatnot, I'm genuinely curious how charitable activity varies within Christianity.

    Officially, of course, just about every Christian sect says that faith is the road to salvation, and every Christian sect says that charity is virtuous.

    But some Christian churches emphasize that faith is the only factor that can get you into heaven: Have you been born again? Do you accept Christ as your savior? These denominations still encourage charity, of
    course, but they emphasize that a person who does charitable work but doesn't have faith will not get into heaven.

    Other Christian churches, officially or unofficially, put more emphasis on works. Call it salvation by works, call it living your faith, call it whatever you want. The bottom line is that some churches emphasize faith as the sole ticket to heaven, while other emphasize good works as being part of the equation.

    I wonder how charitable activity by, say, Catholics compares (on a per capita basis) with charitable activity by born-again types who emphasis salvation by faith alone. I have no clue what the answer is, and I wouldn't be all that surprised either way.

    Also, I should emphasize that the official written teachings of a church are not always the best place to find out what the followers actually believer. I'm not sure what the latest word from the Vatican is on how one can get into heaven. But I remember a song that we sang during Mass at my grade school run by Franciscan priests and the School Sisters of Notre Dame:

    "There are three things that last: Faith, hope, and love,
    And the greatest gift is the gift of love.
    If I have the faith to move mountains but I do not love,
    It will profit nothing at all."

  • ||

    "So if you play ball with no spectators, aren't you doing it purely for love of the game?"

    Certainly. A lot of the people who play in front of crowds do it for the love of the game, too.

    People who wouldn't play if not for the crowds, I look down on.

    I think we're pretty close on this one, actually.

  • ||

    This analogy works well for masturbation, too.

  • ||

    No. 1: Joe's made some very eloquent expressions of his faith, with most of which I agree and which I intend to shamelessy rip off and express as my own next time a similar discussion arises in my own personal meat space.

    No. 2: Back to one of the other subjects at hand, i.e. largish people wearing unbecomingly skimpy clothes (see, Jason 9:34), here on the Gulf Coast the FFFE (Fat Folk Fashion Exemption) is observed May through October. It's so hellishly hot that everyone, regardless of size, is allowed to reveal as much skin as they wish, no matter how visually unpleasant the result. A popular pastime in Galveston or New Braunfels is Who Can Spot the Smallest Swimsuit on the Largest Woman.

  • ||

    Some people believe in astrology
    Others believe in technology
    Some people believe in all those ologies
    But I believe in swordfish


    Hey, Akira, the religious kooks used to piss me off too because, once upon a time, they were authority figures in my life and had the ability to make me do things I didn't want to do. I was mad at the authority figures, but also mad about religion because it was the justification for their bullshit. Nowadays I do my own thing no matter what the kooks would like me to do. Since religion is no longer a threat to my well-being I don't care anymore what anyone else believes. You may find your frustration dissipates over the years.

    joe, I'm sure I'm reading too much into your baseball stadium analogy, but I find it interesting that your first impulse was for a spectator in an empty stadium instead of a player. The implication is that, for the religious, you're simply spectators in life. We heathens don't think of it that way. The stakes are higher for us because we feel like we're IN the game, whether anyone is watching or not. You can look at the Necker cube either way, I suppose, but I feel like life is something I'm participating in, not something that is happening to me. Apologies if that wasn't an intentional part of your analogy.

  • ||

    "You may find your frustration dissipates over the years."

    You know, I actually hope so. If I didn't notice all the ludicris things that the fundies are doing right now, I don't think my personal rancor toward religion would be as great. I'd still be an atheist, but theism wouldn't bug me if it lacked the political force to affect my life and the lives of others who didn't want to be yanked around in the name of "God."

  • ||

    Edit: "ludicris" should be spelled "ludicrous."

  • ||

    Minor Threat has a good point. I'm an atheist but rarely get worked up over most culture war crap. Of course, even when I was a "believer", I had problems with things like the Holy Trinity, so maybe my fall wasn't that steep.

  • ||

    1) First off who's to begrude people if they want to wear more modest clothes? Really, it's purely their own business. But they would be happier if they didn't, some say. How the frick do they know? Happiness is contextual. What is desirable for some people may not be desirable for others and what is desirable for one person at any given time may not be desireable at another time for that same person. Many teens are insecure about their looks (whether due to excess weight or any number of other issues) and don't want to be revealing all the time.
    2) I dont' believe that being raised badly as an atheist is any better than being raised badly as a believer. Many parents hurt their kids emotionally in various ways. The religious have no monopoly on this.
    3) People don't get mad at flat earth-ers but flat earthism isn't a "live" belief system so to speak. Almost noone of noone literally believes the earth is flat. Many people believe in religion. It's like asking why almost noone argues over The Peloponnesian War much anymore.

  • ||

    I just have one question, and that's for Akira. Right or wrong, you use some strong language. I assume that you want people to listen and be swayed by what you're saying. Has it ever in your life worked? Has it caused any serious adherent of a religion to actually question themselves, or does it just put them in their unassailable little martyr place? Because I know that if I weren't firmly in the "other" camp of the religion debate at this point, I imagine it would make me rather hostile to your viewpoint.

  • ||

    Shem:

    I'm not interested in "convincing" anyone of anything. I learned long ago that debate is a pointless exercise. So why bother with the maudlin facade of "civility" and the use of euphemism and double-speak just to make sure no one's "pwe-cious" feelings get mused? I'm calling things as they are, and people can either accept reality or ignore it. It's their choice.

    Mr. Nice Guy? Been there, done that, never works.

  • ||

    "So why bother with the maudlin facade of "civility" and the use of euphemism and double-speak just to make sure no one's "pwe-cious" feelings get mused?"

    because:

    A) someday your debating partner might be a large, angry ex-boxer who finds aquinas absolutely convincing.

    B) because the world has enough assholes who think the only pwecious feelings in the world are their own.

    3) egocentrically speaking, isn't it far more smooth and controlling to stay on top of one's emotions rather than dropping headfirst into angstville?

    Q) IT ACTUALLY *INCREASES* YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING LAID, DUMBASS.

    i find that last one most convincing, though angelic doctor-quoting pugilists comes in a close second.

  • ||

    Minor Threat,

    You are totally reading too much into that metaphor.

  • ||

    I think Joe's stadium analogy got totally twisted into something it was not meant to be.

    I'm too lazy to actually scroll up through the whole thread, but basically someone said, "Religion sucks."

    And Joe responded, "Even if it does, you have to admit that some of the trappings and ancillaries to religion (Christmas and candles and charities) are pretty cool."

    And someone responded, "If you enjoy those things or think they're important, why do you need to mix them with religion?"

    I think Joe's stadium analogy was meant to say,
    "Sure, having a bratwurst and a beer and hanging out with friends are pretty cool in themselves, but they're even better when you're at the stadium watching a game."

  • ||

    "Mr. Nice Guy? Been there, done that, never works."

    Trust me.. it works! Around 4:20.

    "Buddhism and Zen Buddhism are basically a bunch of bullshit word games"

    Exactly. Zen is bullshit. It isn't bullshit.

  • ||

    A) someday your debating partner might be a large, angry ex-boxer who finds aquinas absolutely convincing.

    The day your hypothetical boxer comes to show me the love and peace of his savior with his fists, is the day I prove that God doesn't exist by putting a bullet through him.

    Thank you for reminding us just how religion has blossomed throughout the world: Through intimiation and threat of force.

    B) because the world has enough assholes who think the only pwecious feelings in the world are their own.

    Spare me. When was the last time a religious conservative gave a rat fuck about anyone who didn't fit their notion of purity and holiness? Read a Jack Chick comic or recall Bush Sr's 60 Minutes "atheists-aren't-really-Americans" quote, then comeback and tell me again what an "asshole" I am and why I should take my opponent's feelings into account.

    Do on to others, as others have done on to you.

    3) egocentrically speaking, isn't it far more smooth and controlling to stay on top of one's emotions rather than dropping headfirst into angstville?

    No. I'd rather fight and shout with passion and resolve than being a mumbling, milquetoast, coward constantly on guard of themselves in the name of "civility." Say what you mean, when you mean it, and how you mean it. Fuck control.

    Q) IT ACTUALLY *INCREASES* YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING LAID, DUMBASS.

    I've learnd long ago that if she can't take me as I am, the women isn't worth it. Besides, hookers are always an option.

  • ||

    FACT: "Akira MacKenzie" is a bigot.

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