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Author Topic: People dressing formally at church is correlated to...what exactly?  (Read 2238 times)
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« on: May 06, 2012, 01:30:57 pm »
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It's kind of interesting because it's hard to pin down. I used to think it was a liberal/conservative thing (back when my point of comparison was mostly just rural Lutheran churches only olds go to and more modern family-oriented ones like where my parents go to now), but I've seen in videos of megachurches and even Assembly of God services and on their websites most people are wearing jeans. Similarly when I was returning this morning I passed a church near me which is one of the most blatantly liberal ones in the state (to where they are quite active in opposing the anti-gay marriage amendment and hosting speakers against it) and noticed people leaving, most of whom were somewhat formally dressed and a group of olds crossing the street in front of me who were all super-formal and the men had ties and everything. And they are way more theologically liberal than most churches to to the point of not preaching belief in a physical Resurrection, which no one would do at where I went. Yet they also host another smaller church in the afternoon that is just as liberal politically but theologically more conservative that I've had some involvement with, and no one there dresses up. And if you look up an Episcopal cathedral on YouTube you'll see they tend formal, but so do Mormons and I'm sure that a LCMS church would be way more formal than any ELCA one, and as I mentioned a few weeks ago most people were pretty dressed up at my cousin's first communion in a Catholic church in a conservative suburb, so you can't say it's correlated with theologically liberalism either.

So what is the correlation? It almost seems arbitrary in regards to political and/or theological liberalism/conservatism.
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 03:07:58 pm »
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It's more high church/low church than liberal/conservative.
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 03:32:50 pm »
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I always wear a tie to church- what does that mean then?
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 03:48:06 pm »
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I always wear a tie to church- what does that mean then?

It means you dishonor and disrespect God.

(OK I don't actually think that, but I know people who do.)*

What it actually means: You have crappy taste in fashion and a mindset over 30 years older than you actually are.

*But I will admit their reasoning makes a lot of sense, it can put focus on the individual, it can be to exclusion of those poor or who aren't comfortable dressing up as such, it's a shallow human-centric way of thinking, etc.
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 04:26:37 pm »
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Taking their religion seriously (in general, of course) from a philosophical standpoint (relatively speaking).
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 05:51:58 pm »
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I always wear a tie to church- what does that mean then?

It means you dishonor and disrespect God.

(OK I don't actually think that, but I know people who do.)*

What it actually means: You have crappy taste in fashion and a mindset over 30 years older than you actually are.

*But I will admit their reasoning makes a lot of sense, it can put focus on the individual, it can be to exclusion of those poor or who aren't comfortable dressing up as such, it's a shallow human-centric way of thinking, etc.

But I like the way ties look! Have you looked at GQ lately?
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 10:06:56 pm »
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As I've said many times, I would only wear a tie "ironically", and I don't even do that because to do so I'd have to both own and a tie and know how to tie one. There's a guy in the worship band who does that quite frequently, the only person at church I see wearing a tie.
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 11:13:29 pm »
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how long the congregation has existed is a strong correlate.  Not many churches established before the late sixties are going to be full of people wearing t-shirts.
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 11:25:11 pm »
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how long the congregation has existed is a strong correlate.  Not many churches established before the late sixties are going to be full of people wearing t-shirts.

Central Lutheran in downtown Minneapolis has been around for quite awhile, though today they participate in the City Pages "church ads" page that they run before Christmas and Easter and have a late Saturday afternoon service with the whole premise that you can both go to church and go clubbing downtown so those might work toward it being an exception.
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 12:33:29 am »
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As I've said many times, I would only wear a tie "ironically", and I don't even do that because to do so I'd have to both own and a tie and know how to tie one. There's a guy in the worship band who does that quite frequently, the only person at church I see wearing a tie.

How many times must I quote this post?

BRTD, you are an HP. Those who lambaste ties and suits are at the vanguard of the destruction of society. They are the hallmarks of civilization, of culture, and you hold a contempt for them matched only by my approbatory fervor. I respect you, but I can never like you as long as that remains your position.



Now this is an FF.



And so is this guy. It also helps the tailor is called- well, what do you think?
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 12:39:32 am »
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You remind of this guy I used to work with who would constantly dress like that to work just to irritate the management.
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 12:46:26 am »
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You remind of this guy I used to work with who would constantly dress like that to work just to irritate the management.

In three piece suits? Super mega FF- but wait, how well fitting were they? What were they like? Peak lapel, or notch? Double or single breasted? Three-roll-two or just plain three or two button? Single or double vented? French or barrel cuffs?
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 11:18:53 am »
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Is Barack Obama dishonoring and disrespecting the American people when he gives a speech in a suit and tie? Is he doing it to be ironic? Are lawyers being ironic when they do it in a courtroom and really trying to disrespect the judge?

It's a sign of respect and reverence in our culture. It's not the same for every culture, obviously, but in ours the suit and tie represent the seriousness of whatever occasion we don them for. Plenty of people wear jeans to my church (most wear them or some kind of khaki/polo/collared shirt combo). Nobody criticizes them for doing so, and likewise I've never heard any 20 year old get on someone's case for wearing a suit. I would also say that you can hardly judge someone's political or theological liberalism based on their attire on a Sunday. In fact, more liberal SBC churches are often more formal than the conservative ones, especially in Virginia. In other words, it really is a non-issue.
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 11:10:28 am »
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You remind of this guy I used to work with who would constantly dress like that to work just to irritate the management.

In three piece suits? Super mega FF- but wait, how well fitting were they? What were they like? Peak lapel, or notch? Double or single breasted? Three-roll-two or just plain three or two button? Single or double vented? French or barrel cuffs?

You think I have a clue what this stuff is?

Is Barack Obama dishonoring and disrespecting the American people when he gives a speech in a suit and tie? Is he doing it to be ironic? Are lawyers being ironic when they do it in a courtroom and really trying to disrespect the judge?

It's a sign of respect and reverence in our culture. It's not the same for every culture, obviously, but in ours the suit and tie represent the seriousness of whatever occasion we don them for. Plenty of people wear jeans to my church (most wear them or some kind of khaki/polo/collared shirt combo). Nobody criticizes them for doing so, and likewise I've never heard any 20 year old get on someone's case for wearing a suit. I would also say that you can hardly judge someone's political or theological liberalism based on their attire on a Sunday. In fact, more liberal SBC churches are often more formal than the conservative ones, especially in Virginia. In other words, it really is a non-issue.

Like I said before, I don't really agree with it, (though I understand it's not entirely non-mainstream, I've heard of some Mennonite churches forbidding men in the ministry from wearing ties), it's just that I hate having to spend more time on getting dressed than just pulling out clothes from my clean laundry basket and that getting dressed formally gives me anxiety. In a nutshell if I have to dress up more than I would for going to a hardcore/punk/indie show, I don't want to do it. Which is actually why I sort of see dressing casually as a "liberal" thing.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 02:16:54 pm »
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You remind of this guy I used to work with who would constantly dress like that to work just to irritate the management.

In three piece suits? Super mega FF- but wait, how well fitting were they? What were they like? Peak lapel, or notch? Double or single breasted? Three-roll-two or just plain three or two button? Single or double vented? French or barrel cuffs?

You think I have a clue what this stuff is?

Damn it! I wrote that in the hope you'd say just that and had a whole clever comeback planned, but I forgot what it was!
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 02:41:42 pm »
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Like I said before, I don't really agree with it, (though I understand it's not entirely non-mainstream, I've heard of some Mennonite churches forbidding men in the ministry from wearing ties), it's just that I hate having to spend more time on getting dressed than just pulling out clothes from my clean laundry basket and that getting dressed formally gives me anxiety. In a nutshell if I have to dress up more than I would for going to a hardcore/punk/indie show, I don't want to do it. Which is actually why I sort of see dressing casually as a "liberal" thing.

If so that doesn't really reflect well on liberalism, does it, since what you're describing sounds more like a 'lazy person' thing.
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 09:47:52 pm »
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Like I said before, I don't really agree with it, (though I understand it's not entirely non-mainstream, I've heard of some Mennonite churches forbidding men in the ministry from wearing ties), it's just that I hate having to spend more time on getting dressed than just pulling out clothes from my clean laundry basket and that getting dressed formally gives me anxiety. In a nutshell if I have to dress up more than I would for going to a hardcore/punk/indie show, I don't want to do it. Which is actually why I sort of see dressing casually as a "liberal" thing.

If so that doesn't really reflect well on liberalism, does it, since what you're describing sounds more like a 'lazy person' thing.

Booking or playing in these shows requires a hell of a lot more work than putting on a tie. Playing can be quite physically exhausting.

This also begs the question why anyone would wear a three piece suit to a hardcore show in the first place...
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 10:50:31 pm »
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Like I said before, I don't really agree with it, (though I understand it's not entirely non-mainstream, I've heard of some Mennonite churches forbidding men in the ministry from wearing ties), it's just that I hate having to spend more time on getting dressed than just pulling out clothes from my clean laundry basket and that getting dressed formally gives me anxiety. In a nutshell if I have to dress up more than I would for going to a hardcore/punk/indie show, I don't want to do it. Which is actually why I sort of see dressing casually as a "liberal" thing.

If so that doesn't really reflect well on liberalism, does it, since what you're describing sounds more like a 'lazy person' thing.

Booking or playing in these shows requires a hell of a lot more work than putting on a tie. Playing can be quite physically exhausting.

This also begs the question why anyone would wear a three piece suit to a hardcore show in the first place...

Well, that was a little snide and I'm sorry, but I'm concerned that you conflate church with hardcore shows. Then again, that might be a High/Low Church thing. Or liturgical/charismatic, or both.
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 11:27:06 pm »
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Like I said before, I don't really agree with it, (though I understand it's not entirely non-mainstream, I've heard of some Mennonite churches forbidding men in the ministry from wearing ties), it's just that I hate having to spend more time on getting dressed than just pulling out clothes from my clean laundry basket and that getting dressed formally gives me anxiety. In a nutshell if I have to dress up more than I would for going to a hardcore/punk/indie show, I don't want to do it. Which is actually why I sort of see dressing casually as a "liberal" thing.

If so that doesn't really reflect well on liberalism, does it, since what you're describing sounds more like a 'lazy person' thing.

Booking or playing in these shows requires a hell of a lot more work than putting on a tie. Playing can be quite physically exhausting.

This also begs the question why anyone would wear a three piece suit to a hardcore show in the first place...

Well, that was a little snide and I'm sorry, but I'm concerned that you conflate church with hardcore shows. Then again, that might be a High/Low Church thing. Or liturgical/charismatic, or both.

Hey no problem just note the people in this video can hardly be accused of being "lazy". Note the water jug on the stage. Those are commonly there for a reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ_i0OQKjUA

And look at how sweaty this guy gets. Don't think that ever happens to someone at a high church service. Wink http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qExhuRNrnFQ

And what's the difference between church and a Christian hardcore show?
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2012, 09:14:44 am »
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Just out of curiosity Nathan, have you ever seen anyone with any of these at church? None strike  me as very New England WASP, even in Amherst:

-Plugs/gauges
-Hipster scarves
-Piercings anywhere than the ears
-Band shirt
-Hoodie
-Tattoos over an entire arm
-Large chestpiece or back tattoos.
-Lower back tattoo ("Tramp stamp")

I once knew a Christian hardcore girl with a Bible verse for the last one.
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2012, 09:40:04 am »
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Mods: Can we get a fashion sub-board for BRTD? 

BRTD, I also wouldnt necessarily conflate people's dress for a first Holy Communion to their normal church attire. Most people on special events step up their dress as a sign of respect and as a symbol that it is indeed a special occasion.  This is really the norm across most cultures and religions. This is also why most people don't dress like they just rolled out of bed when they go to church.
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2012, 09:51:54 am »
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Mods: Can we get a fashion sub-board for BRTD?

Oh, the death points I'd rack up...
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 10:51:52 am »
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BRTD, I also wouldnt necessarily conflate people's dress for a first Holy Communion to their normal church attire. Most people on special events step up their dress as a sign of respect and as a symbol that it is indeed a special occasion.  This is really the norm across most cultures and religions.

But when I got baptized and we also did our infant dedications, the only people dressed up were olds who obviously weren't normal attendees and were mostly family of the parents of the babies being dedicated. The parents and pastors (and of course me) were still all as casual as normal.

This is also why most people don't dress like they just rolled out of bed when they go to church.

I'd dispute the "most" in the modern day. It's not 50 years ago.

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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2012, 11:51:40 am »
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BRTD, I also wouldnt necessarily conflate people's dress for a first Holy Communion to their normal church attire. Most people on special events step up their dress as a sign of respect and as a symbol that it is indeed a special occasion.  This is really the norm across most cultures and religions.

But when I got baptized and we also did our infant dedications, the only people dressed up were olds who obviously weren't normal attendees and were mostly family of the parents of the babies being dedicated. The parents and pastors (and of course me) were still all as casual as normal.

This is also why most people don't dress like they just rolled out of bed when they go to church.

I'd dispute the "most" in the modern day. It's not 50 years ago.



Your own life experience is not the baseline for all of humanity.

Just because you and your peers like hardcore shows or go to church in a T shirt does not mean that 1. it matters at all or says anything meaningful about said concert goer or T shirt wearer 2. that anyone else should care  3.  This and the several previous threads or discussions on the matter betray a level of superficiality and seems a conceit.  The, I couldn't bother to get dressed up, is, to me at least, tiresome and immature.  It is all a pose.  Ive seen so many "scene" people who likely spent hours on their messy hair. 

Further, By dwelling on this so much it is all quite obvious that you intensely care on what you and others are wearing.  Hence, my sarcastic suggestion that you get your own fashion sub board.  The fact that you are concentrating so much on what others around you are wearing rather than the message you are receiving makes you no better than the blue haired old ladies who snicker at another woman's scandalous top or skirt.

Lastly man, you are an old! I'd hope that obsessing over a little clique and again its conceits (your own uniform and soundtrack) is something most people leave behind in high school or latest college.  Wear and listen to what you like  but don't think that it says something really transcendental about you as a person. I'm glad you have found a group of people you like to worship with, however,  the costume you do it in is really insignificant.

So to answer your OP, nothing.
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2012, 12:00:53 pm »
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Just out of curiosity Nathan, have you ever seen anyone with any of these at church? None strike  me as very New England WASP, even in Amherst:

-Plugs/gauges

I don't know what these are, so no.

Quote
-Hipster scarves

Yes.

Quote
-Piercings anywhere than the ears

No.

Quote
-Band shirt

Yes.

Quote
-Hoodie

Yes, but not common.

Quote
-Tattoos over an entire arm

Yes, but VERY uncommon. There's I think one guy who is or once was a long-haul trucker at our church.

Quote
-Large chestpiece or back tattoos.

Not that I know of.

Quote
-Lower back tattoo ("Tramp stamp")

Not that I would ever actually have seen, but I suppose it's possible that such might exist.

Quote
I once knew a Christian hardcore girl with a Bible verse for the last one.

Huh. I wasn't aware that was a thing, but I'm not necessarily surprised.

____

Church is different from a Christian hardcore show because the altar is an axis mundi and the priest is ceremonially marrying Heaven to Earth and Christ to the Church.
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