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If I were Thomas Alva Edison, you might be still in Darkness.

Sarah’s post in her immigrant-in-canada kick-started me to write this post. This is purely my opinion and do not mean to offend Sarah or anyone else.

Why should women use scarf in church?

Clearly it is to show our respect to the GOD we worship. Then why should ONLY women to cover their head? Partiality?

Old- testament says that those with long hair (men or women) should cover their hair while praying!!! How the long hair has become disrespect? Watch Brahmins [or kings]; they do keep long hair just to show their supremacy. If you think that you are superior to your GOD, fine ..it is all upto you. He may not be going to punish you for this reason. It is all human imposed rules to improve the quality of your worship. God may not be interested in some fake show!! If somebody follows his words, he (Jesus) considers him or her as a friend (HE says); So, for sure he will not ask a friend to show respect.

Why should we fast one hour before Holy-communion?

It is more scientific than religious aspect, I guess. You can concentrate sharply with an empty stomach. You can concentrate more on your prayer. There was a history of 6 hours restriction to the same in Church. Later it found that it is tough for common people to take owe like this. So it was cut down to 1 hour + 3hour long Holy Mass (effect 4 hours). Later length of Holy Mass shortened to one hour. So effectively 1+1=2hours. Now it is explaining that one hour is included in the length of the Holy Mass.

Other reason might be to improve your Aasa-adakkam (self control) against food. That is why Christians (at least Kerala Christians) are asked to refrain from eating meat on Fridays.
I clearly remember my brother’s weak argument to resist Appachan. In his opinion, all these things are cost-cutting methods of his grand-father (or his great-great-great grand father ;-)

A word to end with:
I never did a research on these topics but I heard it from my father and seemed logical. Do whatever for keeping your faith, it will be good.

---Edit--
My concept is a bit wrong; read Wesley's comment to know what Bible says

20 comments:

Maashe i have one thing to tell. If u go to Guruvayur u could see that ladies could wear churidhar but men could have "mundu" And no Shirt. What is this? Does Guruvaayurappan anything to do with the "mundu" for men.... Well Njaan eppozhum ammayodu thrkkikkarullathaa.

Again...may be to show respect.
Adiyanmar shirt dharikkarillalo !!!

Hi Joju, here's the exact verse in the Bible mentioned by Paul.

3Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. 7A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

1 Corinthians 11

So woman could wear churidhaar. I think u know much better than me, the old culture... I mean how a women dressed. Athum respect aano. No sir i think respect is something which should come from ur mind not from dressing. When i sit in front of u : we used to talk "everthing". But remember still i respect u a lot..... So thats it. The same formulae should be applicable to god also. Alle?

Sujith, Read Wesley's Comment.
It is not because of 'respect'

OK.

nice explanation man..But sometimes it is hard to fathom why many a time faith is "measured" or "weighed" based on customs..or traditions..

Some one who goes to church 4 times a week neednot be a perfect angel..!!..Guess u got my point!!

"Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him" My question would be, Then why all the pictures of Jesus depicts him as having long hair??.. So he himself was not following the rules.. BTW..if the answer is going to be about artistic expression or that we have no idea how jesus looked at that time..then a lot of things can be said as to we have 'no idea'

If you enter a Sikh Gurudwara.. you would see both men and women covering their head to show respect, Jewish men wear Yarmulkas when the enter the synagogue, Muslim men wear skull cap when they enter the mosque.. Somehow the Orthodox Christian men expect only their women to cover their head.. they Come out with all the explanations.. Somehow they make it feel that women are inferior, she isn't equal to a man( yet every man comes from a woman!!).. we talk about human rights.. when we can't even accord our women equal rights...

Hi Sarah,

Reading through the passage does not tell me that women are inferior. It is just the Church order. I believe you are well-versed with the Bible. There are many passages that tell that man and woman are equal in God's sight.
Galatians 3:28
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. " The issue here is not human rights but what is appropriate in a Church setup corresponding to the culture and moral values. Why are women asked to keep silent in the Church? Why are women requested not to clothe themselves with expensives jewels? It is not an issue of human rights but in relation to maintaining the Church's moral ethics. The should not be taken in a legalistic approach as Dos and Don'ts. One should follow what is appropriate to one's culture.

Wesley let us talk abt Malayalee culture.. My great great grandmother was a brahmin.. She never covered her bossom as that was the custom then....Does that mean that all malayalees use the same dress code till now or follow the principle"nadodumbol naduve odum?"
What is appropriate culturally?? Was salwar Kameez part of malayalee culture?
Was pants and shirt part of malayalee culture?
Did Jacobite church ban those costumes for upholding the cultural values of malayalee syrian christians?

Why should a church tell me, how I should dress? Selectively quoting a few passages from the bible.. which again is entirely depends on the interpretation..

Moral values/ethics: now that is a joke right? How does a cloth on my head keep anyone's moral values safe? If someone need me to be covered so he is safe from sinning, then it isn't me, who should wear a veil.. it is them.

Man= woman: in the 2nd message you mentioned that both man and woman are equal.. if you read your first comment..you mention that they are n't.. So you yourself are contradicting.. If a man and woman are equal in the eye of the lord, then both should cover their head to show the respect..

@Mathew: Thank You.

Yup I know..leave the angels...A few are not even 'humans'.
But my humble request is that please do not think that all those who are going to church daily are of same such kind. A few are really good.

@Sarah:
In my opinion, Wesley is not contradicting.
11th, 12th of Wesley's quote says positively about equality.
"Everything comes from God".

And the word 'respect' comes from me not from Bible. It was my understanding;
it was my opinion. As I try to convince, as long as you follow Jesus' laws, you needn't worry about Church's law to cover your head. (you doesn't mean YOU)

Back to Bible (referring Wesley's quote); It seems that it was Paul's suggestion (In my opinion) "13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?" and in his opinion "16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.". It might be specific to Corinthians From Paul.

and one more word:
Wesley is not a mallu :-)

@Sarah:
I would like to take this opportunity to correct you on Malayali culture. If your grandmother were a Brahmin, do not worry about her. She was allowed to cover everything. But it was not allowed for lower cast women. It was not a culture; higher class/cast forced them to do so. It is called segregation. And Christian ladies were allowed to wear everything at that time also. So please do not interpret Hindu and Christian culture as Kerala Culture.

And Church does not want you to follow a dress code; wear whatever you want.(a few ethical restriction, of course). They are trying people to grow in spirituality; so they suggests to cover their head; while ONLY praying not every time. And Paul(the great Apostle ever) is suggesting so ; even I couldn't fully grasp why/what he is saying. (I am not theology student)

Vivaramullavar parayumbol enthenkilum karyam kanumayirikkam!!!

Exod. 34:26; "Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material," Lev. 19:19; "Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear," Deut. 22:12).
Deuteronomy:22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God

Galatians 3:11, 17 -29
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither Male nor Female: For ye are all one in Christ Jesus.And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

YSAJ: above are the laws from god written by moses from the old testament with the final verse(new testament) saying abt the promise god made with Abraham and that indirectly means you should be following the old testament laws..BTW.. Why do we selectively follow old testament laws ie the 10 commandements and then ignore the rest..because we choose what we want to follow.. the same applies to head scarf..no law says that it should be done..ask any jacobite priest..if they would give holy communion to a woman who hasn't covered her head?? Yet a woman can wear polyester salwar and if she covers her head, she follows the rule.. the same goes even if she wears pants and wear a head scarf... Aren't we hypocrites?

With respect to your comments on Clothing:

Matthew 18:6-9
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
7"Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.


It is important that what you do should not cause others to sin. On the other hand you have the equal responsibility to protect yourself from sin. As Paul says in Romans, I have the right to eat anything but I have to make sure that what I eat does not cause others to stumble.

2) With respect to Man and Woman equal:
I agree with Joju. I understand Paul wrote this specifically to Corinthians. Else why should he give an option "Judge for yourselves". It is easy to rationalize something in the Bible. If some Church is doing that I simply don't bother! I have the Bible to guide me.

3) Regarding the law in New testament:
If you read the entire Galatians fully you will know that law is no longer applicable - with or without ten commandments. Or atleast I do not follow the entire ten commandments. I disobey the fourth. Law was given specifically to Israel but was abolished on the cross.
Ephesians 2:14-18
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

In the New covenant we have the law inside of us - The Holy Spirit correcting us and guiding us in accordance with the scripture. Reading through the new Testament makes me believe that most of the moral commandments of the law are retained in the new covenant.

One final note:
1 John 3:21-22
21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

I agree with you that many times we are hypocrites. Some churches dont allow women to wear jewells. These people take pride in their legalistic approach but yet forget the issues of love and holiness!

"It is important that what you do should not cause others to sin".. I assume you mean the clothes a woman wear that invokes temptation in men!
Wesley..you are so wrong in that. You are telling every person with xx chromosome to wear a burka and hide inside the closet, lest the testosterone driven mentally fragile men sin!!
We live in the 21st century.. have you not had enough of suppressing the women in the name of religion?

Hi Sarah,

I am impressed with your knowledge in Bible. I never thought that these many rules are there in Bible wrt dressing.

You ever meant to say that we should ban women who wear the pants and shirt inside church? I am ok with it. But for me, Dress means something that covers our body. And of course I do hate people who intends to show case their sex (men or women). As I told earlier in (Respect women), I never meant that shirt and pants are sexy dress. I wish if those people could avoid these kind of dress atleast inside the church (only my wish).It is a Holy place!!!

For me still the use of scarf is unchanged- 'to show respect'. (I still failed to understand what Paul is saying). I hate people who are going to receive Holy Communion just like they are going to buy some fruits in the market. Yeah of course it is a 'fruit' but represent our GOD's body. Do respect. It might be 21st century. That doesn't mean that the meanings are changed in 21st century. Use of Scarf might get evolved in years and after 2000 years women feel uncomfortable about it. (may be they started expressing it only now)

Ok Sarah, I am not against any women; I took scarf as an example. And Yeah, I feel uncomfortable of thinking why women are overloaded with rules.

One reason might be Women are never equal to men. (hey, I never meant that men are superior). You might know 20 times better than me about Women body since you are a lady doctor. Somebody told me that every inch of a Woman's body stimulate sex. Is that true? Or (at least) Is that comparatively a large figure in comparison with a man's body? If your answers are Yes, there lies the answer. hence the restrictions :-(

Best Regards,
YaSJ

YASJ: Wearing a scarf was never part of the malayalee culture! We borrowed a lot of our customs from hinduism, like our thali and manthrakodi.. And the scarf was introduced to differentiate us from them..Eastern orhtodox Christians do wear scarf..but the harsh weather requires them to do so..
Why does it bother you when you see a woman wearing revealing clothes and take communion? You are upset, becasue she is showing respect in her terms, not in your terms? Or you are upset, becasue you get turned on and you feel you are sinning in the church? So you blame her for that?
Would you also get upset when a thallukolli themmadi goes to take communion and the go back to do all his thallukollitahram? Would you be saying "Achaya, you are not a nice person, you hit your wife everyday, you are a womaniser, please don't take communion in our church, because although you take it everyday, you still continue to live in sin.. after all communion is not a fruit, it is god's flesh and blood??" Isn't he taking the communion like buying a glass of naranga vellam at the corner shop?? Oh i forgot.. you only are concerned with a woman's attire..
There is a story of two monks going to a village and they had to save a woman by carrying her across the flooded stream. The first monk refused saying that he can't touch a woman and the 2nd one carried her on his back. When they reached the other side the first monk went on cribbing about the sin committed by the 2nd one.. And the 2nd one said, I carried the woman physically for 10 mints and you carry her emotionally for the rest of your life.. Isn't it the same for you?? You can't control your desires and you carry the burden emotionally..and then come out with rules and regualtions..

If the malayalee woman could survive 70 yrs ago without covering her bossom, and now the male malayalees are telling the woman to cover her body.then perhaps you should look inside your heart and see what exactly is the problem? You will see that you are the problem.. you look at a woman sexually..not as a sister/mother or just another human.
Each and everyone of you came from a woman,yet you think it is fitting for you to tell her what she should wear..That is pathetic.

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your nice explanation;
But don't ever think that I am supporting all men all the time. I am not a feminist nor a reverse feminist. "And of course I do hate people who intends to show case their sex (men or women)".

Of course I do hate men in other cases too. For 120% times ..
"I hate people who are going to receive Holy Communion just like they are going to buy some fruits in the market." This statement is applicable to men too. Respect for the Holy Communion is not limited to wearing 'scarf'. But it requires a lot of preparation. The first and foremost is not to sin. This is applicable to all, irrespective of gender.

Please do not use a general term 'Malayali' to narrate an old secularism. It does not include all 'Malayali's. It is a brutal act of high-class men; they forced lower cast women to do so. After all what do you think about Malayali's. Who stopped this? Somebody from outer world??? No. it was stopped by Malayali's only. You think that all men are looking only sex in women, especially Malayali's. Beacuse the reporting rate of rapes are high in Kerala; Appreciate it!!!. not for the raping capability but the reporting sense. if you were in North India; even if somebody rape and kill you, nothing going to come in the new paper. neither in police record. That doesn't mean that ONLY Kerala is the 'devil's own country.

And May I ask a reverse question?
>"If the malayalee woman could survive 70 yrs ago without covering her bossom, and now the male malayalees are telling the woman to cover her body".
At that time women cried for allowing them to cover her body; now women say they want it to show off, a few are claiming that it is their right !!! Is this a 21st century impact?

>"you look at a woman sexually..not as a sister/mother or just another human. "
You are blaming for me looking into a women sexually. (yeah, I understand that 'you' in your quote means 'Malayali-male'). I'll tell you my sister, if somebody comes in front of me nude, may be even if it is my original sister or even mother, I am not a saint!! (People might calls me M***F**r, Thanks!!!).
So my point is....
Live and let others live in spirituality.

And you narration of two monks and women(in flood) is not applicable inside Church, I guess. It is not a red alert situation; a flood neither. You are not going to die if you cover your body 'decently'. That monk who was reluctant to save the women in flood failed to follow an important rule.
"Baliyalla Kuranayanu njan aagrahikkunnathu".

Back to scarf; For me, "Do whatever for keeping your faith, it will be good.".
I was trying to find out a reason "Why should women use scarf in church?".
And I thought that it was because of long hair. If you are sure about your statement
"Eastern orhtodox Christians do wear scarf..but the harsh weather requires them to do so.."
fine... In Indian Culture we needn't scarf. it should remove.

But a food for thought.
People have no problem to wear tie even in Chennai weather to get a decent look.
or even they couldn't force their management to stop this blunder.
But problem comes when it is come into religious culture!!!
[PS: I still don't know how to wear a tie; and I appreciate my management
for not forcing anybody in the office to wear it]

A word to end with:
>"Why does it bother you when you see a woman wearing revealing clothes and take communion?"
I hate them not only inside the Church but also everywhere.
Sorry!!! you may call me uncultured fellow.
yup, I couldn't understood this 'free-show' culture 8-().
Do you think that it is our culture? it is an American Culture.
and Do you want Malayali's to follow them? For why?

And it would be great if you could clarify my simple doubt about women body.

what is our culture? when American woman wore Bra, we walked bare chested, when American woman were preaching abt equality, our woman were, especially Nair were allowed to have upper class sexual relationship with men, while being married to Nair husband.
http://www.newpaltz.edu/asianstudies/nycas/2003%20UG%20Ryan%20Prize%20Renee%20Karl.doc
I am more safe in Vancouver than I would ever be in Kerala. I can wear a t shirt and shorts and walk outside in the street without any one massaging my butt..I wouldn't even dream of doing that in Kerala. You call it eve teasing.. Tht is our culture right?
We didn't have any high and mighty malayalee culture..
What do you know about west? An entire generation of people like you keep telling abt western culture and blame it for social erosion..
You wear pants and shirt, What culture is that? If you are a proud malayalee, tell youyr boss that you only wear our traditional dress to work..Mundu and shirt.. In english they say you can't have the cake and eat it too.. You wanted the western knowledge(computers weren't from India!), you wear pants( mundu and shirt), you ride bikes( Kerala used bullock carts!)..but when a woman wears revealing clothes.. suddenly the west is bad eh??
The only culture you are worried is , when your male ego is tarnished, because all the females are walking sexily and you can't bed them..

Malayalee didn't change the cultural belief on their own, British influence did that..Now we do things on our own and blame the west directly.

You need to get out of that koopamandooka budhi, where you think the world is only the well in which you live and think broadly.. but that for a malayalee male will be hard to do, it destroys all the ideas he has in his brain..
He is waiting to get married and bully his wife, he needs control, he is THE MAN, the know it all, he starts from the clothes she wears. on the first day of marriage, he will tell her, "nee eni 'nalla' dress ittal mathi" He says that because he knows, what the other male counter parts/friends would be doing when they see his wife in a sexy clothes, for he has been doing the same till he got married!

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your time to comment all these. But it is going on and on.
I think that it is better not to a waste a doctor's time and a bug fixer's time as well.

"Do whatever for keeping your faith, it will be good."

Best Regards,
YaSJ.

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