About Those Pink Hats– A Christian Woman’s Reaction

After I saw all those pink hats, and found out what they meant, I did what I never thought I’d do. I decided– and announced publicly– that I was going to start wearing a head covering while praying or speaking publicly at church.

From most ancient of times, a headcovering has been highly symbolic. For Christian women, it is a symbol of submission to the ultimate authority of God. For all my years as a Christian I have tried to exemplify by my respect and silence in church worship that I acknowledge that authority and that of my husband and church leaders.

However, the symbolism of a woman’s head covering has been perverted by those who wear deliberate rebellion–the sign of ones own genitals on their heads. https://www.pussyhatproject.com/

I chose to take back the meaning God gave to head coverings. Those who know me well know I hate bringing attention to my own appearance. This is hard for me to do. I don’t expect anyone to follow this example nor do I judge any woman who chooses to pray with her head uncovered. But for me, any symbol on my head is from this day forward that of submission to my God and His Word.

As soon as I’d announced that, I got criticism. Why didn’t I criticize Donald Trump for his crude statements (against which the women said they protested)? Why shouldn’t women use their constitutional rights to peaceful protests? Why was I criticizing the women who wore the hats? Jesus loved women, right?

I began by admitting my own faults and gratitude for grace, then tried to answer the questions:

Many things I’ll write about condemn me. I don’t always live what I believe. No wonder I’m a Christian – where else in the world can you get a get-out-of-jail-free card, have all your shameful acts forgiven—and forgotten– by an omniscient Creator who chooses never to think of those sins again? What a deal. And all I have to do is be truly sorry and keep coming back to Him.)

I’ll answer from a Christian viewpoint, what I as a Christian think. I believe that’s what you want.

It’s about symbols, symbols, symbols. Not people. Not marches.

First, I do not like, do not approve, and was aghast when I learned of what Trump said. But here is how I view that: it was a private conversation between men, it was 12 years ago, and most important Mr. Trump issued a public apology. (Many, many links to this statement on the internet.) What does a Christian do when asked for forgiveness? I forgive. Doesn’t mean I approved the sin. Doesn’t mean I have warm feelings toward the sinner.

Second, I didn’t condemn all the women wearing the pink hats. For two reasons: look back over comments on my wall and see that some who approved of Saturday’s activities had no idea what the meaning of the pink hat was. That’s why I posted the link. Some didn’t even know what they were supporting. They had good motives to support the rights of others, for sure, though. (More about that later.)

Of course I believe that peaceful protest is a right. I marched in the first Right to Life protest march in the city of Albuquerque! And the Bible shows clearly it’s right to insist on your governmental rights. Paul in Acts 22 did just that.

But it also tells us that governmental authorities are more than they appear. Romans 13:1 says God Himself put them in place. (And this article expands on it better than I have room for, here. http://www.challies.com/…/at-least-5-things-scripture-teach… )

No, I don’t approve of Trump’s sin, don’t like his personality, but he says he is sorry so I forgive. The Bible gives us the example of using your governmental rights, so I’m good with that. It also tells us we must submit to governing authorities. Thank God for the right today to express a contrary opinion about an authority’s actions without having your head chopped off—but when Paul wrote this originally, he was talking to people living under the horrors of Roman emperors. Yet Paul’s portrayal of women was not as chattel nor possessions. The way early Christians treated their women was waaaaaay above their surrounding culture.

Now, I did condemn something, and I did it not because of my personal preferences, but because God has spoken on some matters. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 Paul talks about body parts, and the NIV at least says that there are parts of the body that should be treated with special modesty. I would assume that’s talking about genitalia, wouldn’t you? But does the wearing of something with a crass name that represents that body part—is that honorable? And for the life of me I can’t see how wearing a pussy hat (or the more extreme examples of the yard-long vaginas) makes a woman less of a sex object or magnifies her inherent worth. Okay, she’s protesting an apologized-for statement made 12 years ago. Really?

The whole point of what I was saying is that God has spoken about the power of symbolism. The power of symbolism has been harnessed by God Himself since Creation. Things stand for more than they seem to be: Abel’s sacrifice, a rainbow, a tower, a tabernacle, a temple, a cross.

Head coverings for women are a big deal symbol. They have something to do with angels (and I have NOOOO idea what that really means.) They are powerful statements. My problem was that as a Christian woman, I felt moved to reclaim, to retreat to, to run to this most ancient symbol.

Head coverings for women in the New Testament are about submission. Of course worldly women don’t want to talk about submission. But that’s the essence of Jesus’ life. Submitting is what He did, right up to the point of death. No wonder that’s the tipping point where people won’t go any further. His teachings, and His Kingdom, are obnoxious to the human spirit. As Matthew 21 shows, who He was and what He requires is a stumbling block so big most can’t do it.

That’s the example we are to follow. Not asserting the message that this is my body and I will use it in any way I like. Scratch below the surface of the altruistic marches and it’s really about the idolatry of the body, sexual freedom: to use, if you want, your female body in a way that exchanges natural sexual urges for unnatural ones (Romans 1:26), throw off any sense of being obligated or submitted to anyone, to kill the innocent, helpless unborn you create in your quest to live for oneself — and, and, and condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with you as a bigot.

The Bible says specifically that sexual sins ARE NOT like other sins (1 Corinthians 6:18.) They’re worse. It is sinning against your own body, the polar opposite of standing up for its rights.

In the women’s movement, the standard is what makes them feel good. Our standard is the Maker’s instruction manual for the women whose bodies He designed and maintains, molecule by molecule, moment by moment.

(Christian women often join “causes” because they feel great empathy for the downtrodden. (May I mention that almost all charitable work done in the western world up until 1900 was done by Christians?) Jesus said to do unto others as you would have done unto you, and so we try to empathize with anyone who is mistreated. That is right and good. But compassion is also a symbol. Someone once pointed out to me that even though Jesus could have healed everyone with whom He came in contact, He didn’t. Was His compassion limited? No, He had a point, a purpose, for what He did. He was always pointing people to His Father. THAT was the point, not compassion. If Jesus Himself with unlimited power didn’t heal everyone, if He did what He did to glorify God, what focus does that give me, for my exercises of compassion and empathy? How in the world could I possibly join with a group that claims to help females when they enable them to abort other females more helpless and literally downtrodden than they ever were? When that group says that the sensations of your own body matter more than those of others and more than any standard given by an eternal God? When they would exclude God from the conversation at all?)

My argument is with the symbol on tops of the heads of the women who marched. The Bible says a head covering (hair or cloth, I don’t think it really matters) is a sign that a woman understands the idea of submitting to an authority. Nothing could be more hateful to the modern women’s movement. When I said I was going to start covering my head, at least in certain situations, I was retreating to the original meaning of a woman’s head covering. It points not to me, not to others, but to God.

And it has nothing to do with what the pink hats represent.

 

17 Comments

  1. Norine
    Jan 24, 2017

    This is a very well stated comment on a politically and socially very confusing situation.

  2. admin
    Jan 24, 2017

    Thank you so much, Norine!

  3. Marty from Arizona
    Jan 24, 2017

    Hi, Latayne:
    1 Corinthians, Chapter 11 has a bit to say about head covering for both men and women. At first it does appear to say that the woman’s head should always be covered in church, as the Catholics used to do (I don’t think they do any more ??).
    But check out verse 15. Doesn’t this say that a woman’s long hair is her covering? And the next verse tells us that the whole thing is not such a big deal.
    Warm regards, Marty

  4. admin
    Jan 24, 2017

    Thank you for your comment! I agree there is plenty of room for discussion about length of hair, meaning of hair, meaning of the two genders’ hairs, meanings of coverings….. I wrote this post because apparently what a woman wears on her head carries some meaning — and no more obvious than when Christians are blissfully unaware of what those particular pink hats were intended to mean.

  5. Denise
    Jan 24, 2017

    Dear Sister,
    Thank you for writing so clearly what every Christian woman should be saying. It’s about submitting. To God, to your husband if you have one, to our civil authorities.
    Only then will women find true peace: In doing what only we as women can do and thereby honor ourselves and most of all our Creator!

  6. admin
    Jan 24, 2017

    Thank you so much for the support and fellowship!

  7. Jeannie
    Mar 9, 2017

    Your post couldnt have said it myself, when I too first learned what those hats represented, I was aghast.. They have taken something and perverted it … all in the name of ” Womens Liberation” and Protest. Is there no decency in this world anymore, is nothing sacred. And to top it off they only fed into what they were supposidly clashing about by giving it the very name they were offended off?

    Sometimes I think us women have lost our marbles, we have become crass and obnoxious with no sense of propriety.. Whats worse some of those women hating on the words of a man said “12 Years” ago I bet are just as guilty of talking vulgar amongst their gal pals, than anything.. I think in part it was a rouse to just back lash at someone they didnt want as president..

    How can we demand being treated with respect when we are flocking to books like 50 Shades of Grey, or movies like Majic Mike.. Which makes lusting after men OK.. But good glory a man say something “sexist” … It doesnt make sense..

    I always try to tell my children, as hard as it is.. BE THE BETTER PERSON… RESPOND DIFFERENTLY than EXPECTED..

  8. admin
    Mar 9, 2017

    Yes, indeed. What great advice — we have to act better than our surroundings. Thank you!

  9. Vicki
    Mar 11, 2017

    Head coverings are making a comeback in the Catholic Church. I began covering my head almost 9 years ago. At that time there were only about 2 of us who covered. Today, at each of the four Masses that we have, many women and young girls are covering. In morning Mass alone I have counted as many as 15. I see articles in Catholic blogs on the rise of the numbers of women covering their heads for Mass, or anywhere that the Blessed Sacrament is, such as adoration chapels. Be encouraged, ladies. Women’s covered heads in church are a blow to the enemy! St. Paul would not have belabored the point if it was not a powerful testimony ‘because of the angels’ and to the minions of Satan.

  10. Jamie Carter
    Mar 11, 2017

    This is reminiscent of another post I once saw:
    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2012/09/head-coverings-in-worship-why-female.html
    It makes sense in a first-century context sort of way.

    What does it matter what a head covering looks like so long as one’s head is covered? The Bible doesn’t say what they can’t look like.

  11. Jessica Roldan
    Mar 11, 2017

    I really, really liked this article!
    I have thought some of the very same things you mentioned. Great work!
    I would add one thing, however: I believe that it IS important whether we view the covering as the hair or a piece of fabric, since the text itself (1 Cor. 11:2-16) makes that distinction. One verse taken out of context may SEEM to indicate that it is only the hair being talked of, but a closer look at the WHOLE thing reveals that it is indeed a cloth being spoken of. You speak of symbolism; what symbol could be clearer than a woman putting something OVER and CONCEALING her very own head to show that she is NOT the head (authority), but that her husband (and ultimately, God) is OVER her? She is a woman UNDER authority! If you take the cloth out of the equation, you lose the impact, and the symbolism.

    Thanks for your bold defense of God’s word! Loved this!
    Jessica

  12. admin
    Mar 11, 2017

    Glad you liked it! Thank you. And also I go back to the fact that the Greek word Paul used was “something thrown around” (like a scarf, for instance.) I guess I could just toss my hair :)

  13. admin
    Mar 11, 2017

    I agree. The decision to cover my head when praying in public is my personal decision. I don’t bind it on anyone.

  14. Nellie-Jean Russell
    Mar 15, 2017

    This is beautiful! You nailed so many good points in here, many things that have been floating through my own mind since the emergence of the pink pussy hat phenomenon. It’s honestly bugged me from the very beginning when I saw pictures from some of the women’s marches. I just hadn’t really put into words why I had such a bad vibe about those hats… But you totally got it here!

    And although I covered prior to this, I love your reasoning for turning to head covering as a response. It totally makes sense! Much love to you sister! <3

  15. admin
    Mar 15, 2017

    Nellie-Jean, my pleasure to be of edification to you! Thank you for your supportive comment.

  16. Jodi
    Mar 17, 2017

    Wow!!! That was a great article. You just touched the tip of the iceberg. God has placed President Trump in the White House so he can do God’s work. It would only make sense that the enemy would try to come against him. Slowly our society is being used and mislead by the enemy himself. They are taking the biblical symbols and turning them into symbols of sin. The head covering is just another example of that. To wear a pussy hat to symbolize women hood goes against what the Christian head covering represents. It is just one more way the enemy is trying to turn people from God. It is time for Christian women to obey their Lord and Savior and to stand for what the true symbol of the head coving means. Just my humble opinion.

  17. admin
    Mar 18, 2017

    Thank you for your input! I’d not considered that aspect of it.

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