Saturday, August 08, 2009

Culture and Fashion; Good and Evil

Sumo in Hawaii by hellochris

A four hundred pound man in an industrial strength thong bows with his back to you. At a park with your kids, you might think about calling the cops. But at a Sumo match, it's simply a memorable moment in a grand spectacle which includes the little guy in a bathrobe and pointy hat. It's a glimpse of Japanese culture and centuries old fashions. It's as if you made a little hole in time and space and peeked through it. Hopefully you will not be offended. Instead, pat your self on the back for embracing diversity.
cellphone gladiator by newlow
Now walk out of that match and chuckle a bit as you see a gladiator in full regalia pausing for a cell phone chat and smoke break.

Nice. Another colorful outfit and glimpse of another culture. But when you walk around the corner. A still warm corpse in a pool of blood indicates that the gladitorial reinactment included a fight to the death. Authentic, but unacceptable. This time you will call the cops.

But wait, are you simply narrow minded? Isn't this just another look through a tear in the space-time continuum? You have read about gladiators. You have seen movies depicting their fights to the death. This time it is simply a lot more real.

I doubt you would dither. You'd call 911. Some aspects of another culture are o.k. You can put up with being mooned by a fat guy. But you wouldn't countenance homicide or even man-slaughter.
Is it colorful or is it criminal? It's a decision that we must make from time to time. Shorts and a tube top are colorful in California. They are criminal in Saudi Arabia. Add a veil to a Victorian woman's garb and she could walk unmolested in Riyadh. How can we know if there has been an evil change in culture or a benign fashion shift. Does it really depend on who you ask?

Alfred Stevens: In Memoriam photo by

The outfit below would bring a swarm of police in Riyadh. :

Mini Jupe by Carolco

Culture and fashion cannot dictate what is good and what is evil. Good and evil have to do with the state of your heart and not the particulars of your garb. Only God can see the true state of your heart and compare it to his own.

May God have mercy on us all when we presume to know the heart after only seeing the outfit. Time and relationship may reveal a bit more of a person's heart.

A glance never suffices.
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