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The church and the flesh


Antoinette Connell

The church and the flesh

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Priests, the flesh and the Word have never been known to exist with any measure of comfort within the confines of the church.
There are firm positions on the eternal conflict between God’s intentions and what is pleasing in His eyes. However, the positions are never mutually acceptable in this world.
Last week at the St Lucy Parish Church the conflict was no different and the conflict riled the parish priest to the point where he imposed a partial ban on funerals with the requests “mourning colours optional”.
The Reverend Curtis Goodridge, Rector of the church, declared that the church was no place for such funerals since the request was nothing more than a licence for young people to enter the premises in clothes so revealing they were not even fit for the bedroom.
I might add that in a few cases this also applies to mature adults.
Some became fixed upon the “colours” part of the statement without examining the full context of what was stated. It is how the funeral attendees interpret those three words.
It seems to me that upon reading those words some believe the funeral has taken on a party-like atmosphere and therefore the dress must befit such an occasion.
I hold fast to the belief that at some point you must take a stand, even if you are in the minority; it says something about the character of a person. Reverend Goodridge has made a decision in the face of overwhelming shifting social standards and I am sure he expected opposition.
Quite surprisingly, he has found support out there – a rare but good thing. I applaud those who have the courage to say “enough”!
It amazes me how anyone with a passing knowledge of God or the church would want to venture on the premises in a half-naked state.
It is in stark contrast to the sombre, restrained mood which usually prevails in the church setting and even more so at a funeral.
Whether there is a correlation between tattoos and the way some people dress I have not fully investigated. However, from a cursory observation I’ve noted that many tattooed people tailor their fashion in order to display their “freedom of expression”.
The markings are to be found in some parts of the body not usually visible with modest dress. And let’s face it, not all these bodies are the most attractive to the eye. Some people desperately need to cover up.
No matter how the tattoos are infused with Christian meaning and associations such as the Bible, the Cross or Jesus Christ, that cannot be an excuse for the exhibitionism.
Reverend Goodridge was right to distance himself from the blasphemous display now so much a part of the world. Stepping on to the premises of the church should be done with such reverence that it should not be forgotten where you are.
Companies have dress codes which they enforce. In some instances uniforms are provided and the employees must comply with the standard of dress.
Why not then should the man of God who is in charge of a church determine when the bounds of good taste have been breached and what corrective measures should be taken?
• Antoinette Connell is Daily Nation Editor.

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