Mini Skirt Monday #148: Minis and Religion

Miniskirts and organized religion, it's sad to say, aren't always the best of friends.  I'd like to reprint a short article from January 21, 1971 in Truth Magazine.  I think it sums up the objection to miniskirts on Christian grounds pretty succinctly.

I hope it doesn't come as a shock that I am definitely FOR miniskirts, and consider the religious objection to them deeply flawed. But first, let me reprint the article, and then opinion (of course, I'll sprinkle this post with a handful of those wonderful minis as well).

Mini-Skirts and Mini-Morals

By Connie W. Adams

One of the symptoms of declining moral values is the mini-skirt. For years brief attire worn by some women has destroyed their sense of modesty and decorum. Half-time football shows have presented many of our young girls in strutting poses and burlesque revues, under the proud and smiling eyes of their own parents. So, why not the miniskirt?

Who, in moments of sane reflection, could deny the connection between immodesty of dress and immorality in society? Designers of the mini-skirt have plainly stated that their creation was intended to give emphasis to the new sexual freedom. Yet, many women can be seen even in worship services who would have difficulty STANDING decently, to say nothing of sitting that way. One man remarked that he dreaded to take up the collection, for he felt guilty being forced into watching a leg show at a church service. Whether his comment was just or not, at least it should, be given some thought.

What does the Bible teach? Paul wrote “that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shame-fastness, and sobriety ” (I Tim. 2:9). Jesus said “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mt. 5:28). Certainly men should strive to keep their minds and hearts clean, but women should not make it so difficult for them.

It is past time for God-fearing and Bible believing people to speak up for decency in thought, speech, literature, action and even in dress. Preachers need to have some conviction on these matters and then need the COURAGE of those convictions. At Manslick Road we do not pretend to be fashion experts nor to set the exact length of a skirt, but the truth of God’s word is taught on the subject of modesty and we sincerely try to make those UNCOMFORTABLE who do not intend to practice it.

January 21, 1971

Firstly, what does "modest apparel" even mean? In Islamic nations that means head to toe covering, while in some African and South American regions that can barely mean a loincloth.  And it's not just an issue of geography, the idea of what constitutes modesty has been in constant flux for thousands of years.  To say there is an objective, constant threshold for modest clothing is simply innacurate.

If we define immodest attire to mean dress which inspires lust, then we are even more off base.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the author of that Truth Magazine article was wearing lipstick, possibly high heels, and stockings.  It's within the realm of possibility that these things inspire "lust" in the hearts of men she's come in contact with.  Should we judge her accordingly?

Of course, there's always the "slippery slope" argument.  It goes something like this: If you allow miniskirts, what's next? Will women be permitted to stroll around topless?

I always hate the slippery slope argument because it assumes humans have zero self control.  You can apply the slippery slope argument to anything you want to refute:  "Sliced bread? You mean to tell me you buy bread already sliced? Boy, next thing you know you'll be too lazy to even feed it to yourself, and we'll have to have somebody put it in your mouth for you." Gimme a break.

Not all churches abhorred the high hemlines.  Here's a few churches that are unashamed of exposed appendages. 

Lastly, there's the very complicated issue of whether thought equals action. Mrs. Adams mentions the poor dude consumed with guilt upon looking at a chick's legs.  Does lust manifested only in the mind really equate to adultery?  How can what's in the mind possibly be equivalent to putting that thought into action? Indeed, the passage from Matthew quoted in Mrs. Adams article is preceded by text equating angry thoughts to murder!

If that's the case, I'll just sit around and think of all the sacrificing and giving I could be doing, but never actually do a damn thing for anybody.  Hey, if thoughts are the same as actions on the one end, why not the other? Or could it be that Jesus was making a point by exaggeration and couldn't imagine people would take this statement literally. 

After all, the word "lust" wasn't actually spoken by Jesus, it was in a very different language, ancient Aramaic.  Perhaps, by "lust" it is meant that you have the inner intention of actually committing adultery - in other words, it's far and away different than just naughty fleeting feelings.

Of course, I am taking this way beyond the purview of a Miniskirt Monday post.  And I know there's many of you who don't buy a word in the Bible to begin with, so Mrs. Adams' point is moot.  However, I'm refuting her points, and you don't do that by saying the whole Bible is hogwash.

There's plenty more to say on the subject, but I think it's time to wrap it up.  I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.... 


  1. I bet you the author of that Truth magazine article had on some frumpy, loud, plaid dacron polyester pantsuit not unlike Phyllis in Mary Tyler Moore - with elephant bell bottoms and some cowel or turtle necked sweater under even that, with some pendant of Christ on the cross. No exposed stockings for her for sure!

  2. If a religion wants to impose a dress code, then it is free to do so, but it can't go around complaining about others not dressing to the same code.

    If the man taking collection feels lust, then it's his problem to not act on it as that's what his religion is says. To say that because men can feel lust looking at women and that women must dress to ensure that it doesn't happen is saying that the it is the women's fault. It is not. It is the man's fault. Women must be free to dress as they wish and according to their religion's rules, but no more.

    And I love your slippery slope counter argument.

  3. Admiring a fine pair of legs is not the same as lust. I think that's where so many Christians get into confusion and guilt. I definitely fall on the conservative side of Christianity, but I believe Jesus came to give us freedom and "life more abundant" not have me feel miserable over every little thing.

    Too bad you didn't use that picture I had of a miniskirt that came out of a Bible in the 1970s called The Way.

    Thing change all the time. In the Elizabethan age, cleavage was normal, but skirts went all the way to the floor.

  4. Religion is the poison of the masses.

  5. I'll add that we're on the same page. Being a fan of Joseph Campbell, I've looked at, and checked out many religions. Comparatively speaking, I don't think women's legs represent the path to damnation. Quite the opposite actually.

  6. What does she mean by "Preachers need some conviction on these matters"... makes me wonder when I consider Jimmy Bakker, and quite a few other preachers who in fact had FELONY convictions. You wanna hoot? Google-up a few images of Jim and Tammy Faye. Guaranteed to make you pray... "Dear God!".

  7. I attend church pretty regularly and I think that the mini-skirt in church is more an issue for the "looker" not the lookie. Or rather, evil to him that thinks evil thoughts!

  8. Come to my church. You will still see girls in short skirts!