On my way to work today I read a sign outside a church that declared “God accepts the unacceptable”. I ponder this for a moment and consider the hypocrisy contained in a statement like this. Once I arrive to work, sit down at my desk, and log on to my computer, I happen to notice the headline of an article posted on the Daily Dot: “This little girl was pulled out of Christian school for her tomboy haircut”. Interesting, I think to myself, that Christians proclaim their God, the all-loving, all-forgiving, all-accepting as the one and only entity worthy of praise and worship. But if God accepts the unacceptable, and if a girl with a pixie cut is determined unacceptable by a group of Christians, how is this not seen as a blatant disregard for all that their God seems to stand for? How could someone argue for a God that welcomes everyone into his kingdom with open arms, and then turn around and chastise another person for something as ridiculous as the way they choose to cut and style their hair? How are other Christians not outraged? Do they worship the same God with different rules? Why do we continue to allow this type of ignorance to prevail in a world that has proven time and time again that we are all made of the same stuff? There is no need to think one better than another because in the end, everyone’s shit smells just as bad as the next person’s.
Discrimination is discrimination, no matter what form it comes in. The Bible has been used to justify slavery, segregation, inequality among the sexes, spousal abuse, all of which are unthinkable practices and ideologies today (at least among mainstream society). And now, you have a group of Christians declaring that a girl with short hair cannot attend their school “until this child and her family clearly understand that God has made her female” and that as such “her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity”. I’m sorry, didn’t Jesus have long hair??? Wait a minute, what is going on here?!? Do you think… is it possible… that these people are talking out of their asses and in the process resembling one as well?
Have they not heard of a trend? Or considered all of the social mores dictated by people, not God. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that women had to wear dresses and that they were heathens and a disgrace to the religion if they did. (I’m also pretty sure men wore robes resembling gowns in Biblical times.) And yet, even during the time my mother was growing up, girls were not to be caught dead wearing slacks; even girls who liked to run around on their farm and play and get dirty. And now imagine telling a girl or a woman she cannot wear pants. It’s simply unthinkable.
At one time it went against what was appropriate for a woman to become a doctor, or lawyer, or CEO of some profitable company. At one time it was assumed that a young woman would marry out of high school, have babies, and stay home to care for her family. In that order and without exception. And now imagine telling a woman she has to remain barefoot and pregnant while waiting on her husband hand and foot. It’s simply absurd.
When you think of extremists among the religious, you think of systems which promote violence at the expense of innocent civilians who have nothing to do with their cause; people simply marked as “the enemy”. How can a group of people who worship a God for his love and compassion make an enemy out of a little 8-year old girl for simply being true to herself? We’re not talking about one person who acted unkindly and perhaps without much thought to the consequences of their words or actions. We’re talking about a collective group of people who had time to deliberate on what choice to make with regards to a little girl attending their school who decided to cut her hair. And the choice they made was an act of violence against the heart and is without a doubt an example of extremism inspired by fear among an ignorant group of people who somehow believe they are carrying out God’s will.
But I suppose it’s just par for the course. When the doctrine you stand by is full of truths and half-truths, fact and fiction; when the God you worship is full of unconditional love and forgiveness one minute, wrath and vengeance the next, there is bound to be hypocrisy among its followers.