Protesting at Church

I protest at church all the time.

I scoffed out loud at a hideous comment about the Connecticut shootings just last hour in Sunday School.

I am wearing my University of Utah tie today.

Utah Tie

(Update: I just stomped out of priesthood over pontificating against secularism in relation to recent tragedies…by same guy I scoffed at during Sunday School.)

Maybe these are more tantrums than they are protests. Y’all know me well enough.

Democrat Tie

I wore my Democrat tie to church two weeks ago.

My church bag has a small Rage Against The Machine button on it.

I used to wear Crocs to church. Okay, no good principle involved there. Some of my protests are not against any solid institution, but against bourgeois norms of fashion and dress. (Sure, maybe I just lack fashion…freaking bourgeois fashion)

I read my NRSV for my personal scripture study and at Church. I do this because I love reading a good serious bible. Oh, and the KJV…well…you know. I also do it because I love that my wife rolls her eyes at me when I pull out the large hard-cover version I have from Oxford University Press.

RATM Button

In many ways, these are neither protests or tantrums (okay, sometimes they are tantrums).


These are breeching experiments. Like Judith Butler, I am not just bucking norms (me in a very minor way), but I am also watching to see how people react or respond.

Rarely do I get any response.

I am curious to see what kind of response women got wearing pants to church today (I will address protests and the Church later in the week). Not because I think any change will come about because of it, but because I think the reactions will tell us much about certain individuals, though I would be hesitant to make sweeping generalizations.

John Gee, Biblical Studies, and Credentials
Biblical Texts and Historicity
Doubting Our Doubters
On Pseudonyms and Insults
About Chris Henrichsen

Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • Naismith

    What does the “democrat” tie look like?

  • Chris H.
  • Darren

    What’s the point of this post?

  • Naismith

    Thanks, it is a very tasteful tie. FWIW, as a gospel doctrine teacher I recommended and occasionally used parts of the NIV translation of the Bible. For Isaiah, they put it into verses of poetry, which is incredibly helpful at some points.

  • Chris H.


    All of my posts are the random thoughts of a lunatic. Now you know.

  • Chris H.


    Thanks, I am quite sure nobody other than my wife and kids noticed.

  • Darren


    OK. Thanks.

  • jks

    Yeah, I probably “protest” too. When RS goes long I get up and leave to get my kids because I think it is wrong to make the nursery and primary teachers have my kids longer than class time.
    Also, I sometimes do things just to show solidarity or kindness to someone I think needs support. If someone says something that sounds critical of someone else, I often say something to bring balance either in a lesson or in a private conversation at church. If someone gives a testimony that I think is too crazy, sometimes I get up and try to give a nice, basic testimony to get things back on track.
    When someone gave a talk on Mother’s Day where he gushed about his mother and how all her kids got married in the temple I looked for mothers whose kids had left the church and found one immediately after sacrament meeting and I quickly followed her to try to give kind, supportive words to minimize the damage of a thoughtless talk.

  • Jrs

    Wish you were in my ward so I would have somebody to do the monthly walk-out with! I have to do it every time the “gay marriage” rant starts.

  • Trevor

    The mere act of going to church is a form of protest for me, because of the fact that a number of people have told me in as many words that the church isn’t big enough for people like me.

  • el oso

    Going to the LDS church in this part of the country is kind of a protest. I have one neighbor who reportedly sneaks in his copy of the Book of Mormon while attending the local protestant congregation.