For Larry, Nathan, and Nebraska

One of the slogans that, until recently, would trip me up and sprawl me back down into false liberal modes thought was “equality before the law”. This is because it had been explained to me by well-meaning people who loved me that the Bible teaches us “God is no respecter of persons” , and that as Christians–imitators of Christ–we ought to do the same, and therefore such verses were support for the ideal of equality before the law. I’ve wrongly repeated the same myself.

It is true that there are at least nineteen warnings and condemnations of partiality throughout the Bible. Here is one in the middle:

These also are sayings of the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
    will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
    and a good blessing will come upon them.
Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.

What is not true is that words “You shall not show partiality” mean the same thing as “equality before the law”. The former is a command to a judge (including each of us, as circumstances demand) on how to judge. The latter is a statement about those under judgment. “Equality before the law” is literally a prejudiced statement. It’s also false because at least one of the people before a judge has been wronged! In truth it is the job of a good and proper judge to discover as best he can the inequalities of those under his judgment–especially as they concern the law–and then judge them impartially; as if he had no part–no gain or loss–in the matter.

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“The Difference between Gold and Pigs”, or “Mennonites in the Mist”

Some people are laboring under the delusion that there exists a continuum upon which modesty slides; that on one end there is attractiveness, and on the other end there is immodesty, and on the other end there is unattractiveness, and on the other end there is gaudiness… If you have figured out that we have too many ends for one continuum, then keep reading this post.

Modesty is first and foremost about holiness. Holiness is about keeping things separate that do not belong together, and keeping things together that do; to set aside for a particular purpose.

Immodesty isn’t about being “too attractive”. Bare breasts aren’t immodest because men find them alluring. Bare breasts are immodest because they don’t belong to anyone but the owner and her husband; who are one flesh. Don’t show what cannot be shared, and what you do show be prepared to lose. Likewise, modesty isn’t about being “not too attractive”. A nude fat guy with seeping wounds all over his body is not modest either; no matter how unattractive he is.

Modesty is on its own continuum, and attractiveness on its. They are separate things, and the second is much more subjective than the first in the eyes of those on this side of the dark glass. The author of Proverbs 11 said it this way:

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Neither diminishes or even modifies the other. Gold is worth its weight whether it adorns a pig or a king, and a pig is an unclean beast no matter how much gold it drags through the mud. It only seems like the pig and the gold are modifying each other if we walk by sight rather than by faith. The faithful one distinguishes (again the idea of setting aside; making discrete) To the pure all things are pure: pigs, breasts, gold…everything. Even Mennonites!

Mom in a Shoe linked to some clothes

2010 sized3

that others[1] labelled “uncool”, “unattractive”, “weird”, and so forth. Whatever else one may say about them: One must admit that Mennonite women dress as their fathers chose, and not as their own natures tempted them. If you cannot say one other good thing about them, then you can say–must say–that they are obedient in their dress, even if nothing else. If modesty is of a kind with set apart, and separate, and pure, and obedient, then the dress of Mennonite women should be seen as–at the very least–women in contrast to the bedazzled pigs of modern society.

Do not put them down. Do not put down the clothing of any modestly dressed women if you want to see more modesty in general. You can encourage, or suggest, or model..but what does it mean to call a woman “uncool” in a world full of pigs? It’s foolishness. Say nothing if you cannot say speak good of good things. From the same Proverb:

With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
    but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
    and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Besides: Look at the picture. Those are four beautiful girls. Appearances can certainly be deceiving[2], but judging by appearances: Any young man would be lucky to gain the favor of those girls’ father, marry one, and then in holiness dress her up for himself however he would like.

[1] These people are mostly young, and had the poor judgment to be born in the modern era just like the rest of us. I don’t blame them for being ignorant, but here it will be challenged. PancakeLoach was one of them, and she’s now engaged in a multi-comment, multi-post rant against me which is totally incoherent. This is what she choose to do when I pointed out that she is among those who are sneering at Mennonites. This has seemed better to her than to say, “My bad”, “point taken”, or something similar.

[2]For all I know they might not be family, and that photo could have been taken right before they modeled bikinis for another company. 

Back in a Bit & Katy Perry Puts the Fun in Funeral

I’ll be gone a few days, and have set the comments to moderation. (Back now.)

In other news, Katy Perry tells it like it is. Therefore, there is no excuse for missing the message that feral women are celebrated, and celebrating as they sing along in their cars.

It’s strangely fitting that the interludes are reminiscent of old horror-core rap like Gravediggaz and some of Wu Tang Clan’s more gruesome tracks…which is saying a lot. Investigate at your own risk. Vile stuff.

Dark horses draw hearses. Of course, we have heard and known these things.

5 My son, attend unto my wisdom,
and bow thine ear to my understanding:
that thou mayest regard discretion,
and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb,
and her mouth is smoother than oil:
but her end is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a twoedged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps take hold on hell.
Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life,
her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.
Hear me now therefore, O ye children,
and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Remove thy way far from her,
and come not nigh the door of her house:
lest thou give thine honour unto others,
and thy years unto the cruel:
10 lest strangers be filled with thy wealth;
and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
11 and thou mourn at the last,
when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
12 and say, How have I hated instruction,
and my heart despised reproof;
13 and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,
nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
14 I was almost in all evil
in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

Insert Tab A into Slot B, Right?

It’s a terrible idea for a woman to marry a man for whom she believes she is settling. Conversely, it’s usually a good idea for a man to marry a woman who is below his station in life. The relative classlessness of America (on both counts) makes opaque what would be fairly transparent in a more firmly stratified culture.

In our aspirant meritocracy, various factors will be weighted differently for the respective genders. For example: Physical beauty raises a woman’s station more than it would a man’s, but a man’s intelligence–particularly if he can parlay that into more funds, or witty quips–is a bait valued more by a woman than a female’s eloquent speech is to her quarry.

There are, of course, limits to these generalities. Good-looking strippers are rarely accepted into the polite company of upper society, and men with a surfeit of brains will prefer the smart-mouth broads who can trade barbs. (Guilty.)

Are you getting the picture? This stuff is subtly complex, and complicated by subtleties. When it comes to assortive mating we (individually) barely know our asses from our elbows, as it applies to differentiating what is good for us from what we want. For this task we want the wisdom of the counsel of many; particularly from those who have been been heated in the furnace of marriage, yet have endured to be purified. Parents are a good start. Grandparents are even better because they are too old and too short for the world to give a damn about your modern conventions of emotion. At the very least, they will confirm you to the path you choose, and can provoke an “us against the world” attitude that can be useful when the world actually is against you.