Why My Children Wear Blindfolds in Your Church

The following letter was, to the best of my recollection, sent in anonymously after allegedly being discovered in crumpled pieces behind a church dumpster. Given the magnitude of the problem of immodesty in the church today and the dire straits of this man whose children wear blindfolds in church, I thought it worth sharing here in it’s entirety without edits. If you have seen any churches that fit his description, please leave a comment with a click here so the letter can be returned forthwith.

Dear Pastor,

I am writing in regards to the recent complaints you have, no doubt, received of late regarding my children.

To better equip you in responding to said complaints and to alert you to what I believe to be a serious problem in your church, I thought it wise to take a moment to send you this letter explaining why my children wear blindfolds in your church.

First of all, let me begin by saying how much I enjoy your performance each Sunday. Your smooth style always has me feeling pretty good about life when I leave.  And let me also say that I understand your emphasis on your church being a seeker-friendly place. Any church should certainly be a welcoming place for all.

But it’s not the visiting seekers that concern me when it comes to my kids. My concern is more about what exactly some of the women seem to be seeking based on what they wear – or more accurately, don’t wear – in your church.

The Naked Truth

I’ve heard that a few caring souls have inquired as to whether or not my children are optically challenged. We even received a flyer for the school of the blind in a Christmas card this year. While I appreciate the gesture and genuine concern (one usher keeps offering me any sunglasses he finds in the lust and found), I assure you, my children are not blind. Quite the opposite, in fact. The problem is that they see all too well in your church – and way too much! That’s why my kids wear blindfolds in your church.

Now I must say that I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about really. Yes, there was that unfortunate incident when the tall blonde greeter bent over to pick up a bulletin just when the kids tried to find the door handle – but really, Pastor, groping is such a strong word to use in such situations, don’t you think? And frankly, if you wear something that short and that tight, you have to expect a few stitches to pop now and again, don’t you? Not that you would know personally, of course.

I know, you’ve probably also heard that vicious rumor about the offering incident. But I can assure you that when my teenage son slipped a twenty out of the collection basket and into the hand of the voluptuous redhead in spandex tights next to him, there is no way – and I mean no way – he would’ve tried to take a twenty dollar bill.

He swears to this day it was a mistake – that he was hoping for a fifty. He insists he simply peeked from beneath his blindfold and felt sorry for her since she obviously couldn’t afford even a pair of pants for church. And I’ve never known a teenage boy to lie when it comes to scantily clad women, so the whole thing was obviously just a big misunderstanding.

Whatever Happened to Modesty?

Now call me old-fashioned, but it used to be that we men went to church to avoid seeing such things, or at least to confess it. It used to be the church building was such an uncomfortable place that this whole lack-of-clothing thing was pretty much a non-issue. Why when I was a boy, the ushers in their double-breasted suits kept the church so cold, we all went forward to the alter calls just to get the blood flowing again.

Bare-naked pews, scantily-padded prayer kneelers, and see-through windows were all we had to deal with as we bundled up in lace, cotton and polyester – mostly polyester – all in extra layers just in case the sermon got hot about the fires of hell. But none of that has happened in a long time around here, and the church – which is beautiful by the way – feels more like a country club to me. Maybe that’s why so many of the women seem comfortable in poolside attire. And why so many of the men seem to enjoy hanging out nearby in the coffee shop by the church entrance. I don’t know.

Safety First

I know that there have been some complaints about how I keep the kids together when entering and exiting the church while blindfolded – but honestly, I’d like to see any of those complainers do a better job. You know me, Pastor, always thinking safety first. Besides, I picked up the rope idea from my children’s kindergarten teacher – a trained professional if ever there was one.

See, for the first day of school, to help all the little urchins stay in line, she has them hold a rope. No blindfolds – those are only for the gifted children – but it seemed to work to keep them all together and safe. So naturally, I thought it an ideal way to keep my energetic bunch together while attending your –how shall I say it – risqué gathering.

I confess that prior to that one unfortunate Sunday, I hadn’t really considered the consequences of having the brood execute a hard right sweep around the Thanksgiving food collection bin. I was just hearkening back to my college hockey days when I signaled them to pivot toward the bookstore. Please express my deepest apologies to all those injured by bouncing cans of cranberries,  although, frankly, a little more clothing might have gone a long way toward reducing the number of naked legs with rope burns that morning.

You see, it’s tough to signal the blindfolded children with directions in all the commotion on a Sunday morning. And that brings me to the whistle — well, maybe that can wait for another time.  I see I’m kind of going on quite a bit already without really getting to my point.

Not Just Another Complaint

Frankly, Pastor, I thought you’d be happy that the kids weren’t horsing around or making noises during your sermon – I know how awkward it can be to edit that stuff out for your internet radio show and what not. And – oh, my goodness! I just realized that one of the ladies with rope burns that I helped up after that cranberry can incident may have been your wife! Yikes.

Well, that does potentially make this whole letter pretty awkward now doesn’t it? Well, as the old saying goes, “If you can’t get out of it, get into it.” (A pithy saying that might serve well as a motto for the women’s ministry in this situation, now that I think about it.)

I’m not here just to complain like so many other letters I’m sure you get. The point is, I think I can help. I’d like to keep attending and yet clearly the whole blindfold thing isn’t working out for any of us. I’ve certainly heard my share of complaints from the kids about how hard it is to make friends at church when you can’t tell if you’ve met someone before or not.

So I’ve put some thought into possible solutions for this problem. We used to use a word back in the day to talk about this issue – modesty, I think it was. But then that seemed to go out of style and now twerking is in. (By the way, whatever twerking is, I’m pretty sure several of the women on the worship team have been watching a little too much Miley Cyrus, if you know what I mean. I know we’re supposed to be open to the Spirit’s moving us, but I think I saw some of those moves back in my college frat days and – let me tell you – what was moving everyone at those parties was something far more organic.)

Solutions for the Naked Women in Your Church

So here you go, Pastor, some proposed solutions to the problem of immodesty in your church. I’m fine if you share these with the church board. You can even take credit for them if you want.

  •  Start rating each church service. The rating system works for movies, so it just might work for your church services, as well. You could start with a G-rated, family–friendly offering to start the Sinday service run. Then maybe work your way up to letting in a little more leg for the PG-rated service, and then finally permit some cleavage at the evening PG-13 service. Maybe Saturday night would be the best place for the R-rating; after all, you may have some people on their way out for a night of clubbing who won’t have time to stop home to change. You might even be able to use that to draw all those seekers out there. Hey, whatever works.
  • Pass out stickers at the door on the way out. It works when we go to vote, doesn’t it? Why not some positive reinforcement with stickers like, “I wore clothes to church today!” or “Naked I came into this world – but not into church!” And then you could put a Bible reference or maybe the church’s web site. I’ll bet that blonde greeter would love one like, “I’m tight with God – not my miniskirt.” I’m sure your marketing team can come up with better ones, but it’s an idea that just might stick.
  • Launch a food-for-clothing campaign. Food is always a great incentive for, well, anything. You might have some success if you offered a free meal after the service for all those who meet a certain dress standard. On the other hand, maybe you could start a canned-food tax, of sorts. If you want to wear less clothing, fine. Just bring a canned good to offset your modesty footprint – and you’re in. This way you can at least help some struggling soul even if my kids won’t be able to get in to see the show – er, I mean service.
  • Initiate a church dress code. I know some people will freak out about this idea, but the Bible says that man looks on the outward appearance – and, let me tell you, there’s lot of that going on in your church. A uniform dress code may be the best bet to ensure everyone is fully clothed. Why back in my day, we had a strict dress code in school, and I never saw anything like what I see every Sunday in your church. We could even do a dress code fashion show to launch the idea with popcorn and everything. Of course, you would need some means of enforcement – which leads me to my next suggestion.
  • Install discarded TSA scanners. I’ve heard they’ve got warehouses of those full-body scanners that everyone complained about as being too revealing. I‘ll bet we could get ‘em for a song! We just set the scanners up at each entrance, adjust the settings to fit our purposes, and everyone pauses for three seconds to get scanned.  (If you think that might be too much of an inconvenience, Pastor, just ask your wife if she can still feel the burn.) As for monitoring, you could ask for guys to volunteer to watch the scanner screens from a central location. Just monitor their vital signs. If they elevate, an alarm goes off and a robe descends onto the offending party. We’ve got a lot of guys with a heart for service. I don’t think it will be a problem getting them to help.
  • Use drones. Like the Puritan days of old, diligent ushers can fly those bad boys up and down each aisle through the service, looking for any offending attire. We could equip each drone with a signal, a wolf-call whistle perhaps, so everyone would know to avert their eyes. As a lesson to those who may be planning next week’s wardrobe, an on-board camera could post pictures on the big screen with those big red cross-out images flashing on them. You know, keep it simple so everyone would get the idea –  “No naked people in church.” As to the drones potentially being distracting during the service, let’s just say that at least it would take our eyes off other things. As a bonus, now you could see who’s actually surfing the web while pretending to be studying on their Bible app.
  • Deliver minty-fresh reminders. If you wanted to get really snazzy, you could install mini-rocket launchers on the drones and fire those little Bible mints wrapped in saintly messages. It could say something like, “Even Jesus wore a robe” or a more somber, “Remember Bathsheeba….”  A more formal approach might be: “Get dressed before you come to church – a friendly reminder from the Committee for Restoring Clothing and Reducing Nudity in our Church.” (And I know some cosmetic surgeons who would pay top-dollar for that kind of targeted advertising.) Of course, if you wanted the message to have a holier feel, we could run it through a King James Version translator to get something sounding more churchy, like: “To him that knoweth to adorn himself with such attire as God hast bountifully supplied, there remaineth no sacrifice for those whose garment doth cling too tightly.”
  • Start a “Just say no to nudity!” coffee rewards program. We’ve all got a hundred of those half-filled rewards cards in our wallets, pursues, and back seat of our cars. Why not offer credits in the church coffee shop for ten consecutive weeks of dressing modestly? You could even market it with creative slogans like, “Let us cover your butt – with beans!” or “Cover your chest, we’ll cover the rest.” Or, my favorite, “Put some clothes on, you moron! I’m trying to worship here‼” Ok, maybe that last one won’t fit on a bumper sticker, but it sure felt good to write.
  • Pass out blindfolds to everyone. Now I’m not suggesting this as the first option, Pastor, because I realize the cost alone could be quite prohibitive. It’s not as if you can just sanitize those things like plastic 3-D glasses every week. And besides, if we start passing blindfolds out to some of these women, I’m concerned a few of them might get the wrong idea – and then who knows what we’d see next.

Well, like I said, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m sure we could come up with more ways to curb the immodesty in your church if we all just come together in love. I’d be happy to serve on a committee to that end if you think some of my ideas have merit. Just to get the ball rolling, I’ve already posted them all on the church Facebook page. I didn’t think you’d mind.

I’d prefer my children didn’t have to wear blindfolds in your church, Pastor. Really, I do. I’m looking forward to finding solutions to this pernicious problem.  I appreciate your taking the time to hear me out and act on these concerns.

My warmest regards, and sincerest apologies, to your lovely wife.

Now, about those ear plugs….

Editor’s Note: The letter ends here without a signature, although the jagged edge suggests there may have been more to follow. If you’ve seen a church that seems to fit the description given in the letter or have any thoughts about  the problem or his proposed solutions, leave a comment with a click here. 

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About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, speaker, author, content and messaging consultant, and general Kingdom catalyst. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with Equip Leadership, Inc. (founded by John C. Maxwell) and ministry leaders around the Pacific Rim to better equip ministry leaders there to lead with passion and greater influence.

  • Surprise123

    Why shouldn’t conservative Christian churches enact modesty dress codes…within their own four walls? Identity matters, boundaries matter, and it’s well within a church’s right to decide that all erogenous zones are well covered on their premises…although I would make a plea that the dress code apply to people of all genders…not just “buxom redheaded women in skin-tight jeans?”

    • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

      You make a good point about the concern applying to people of all (both?) genders. Surprised that guy didn’t say something about that….

      • Al Cruise

        Not surprising at all that the guy didn’t say something about that. Examine his heart and you would find out why.

        • T. Edward Price

          Since only our Creator is capable of truly examining one’s heart, your presumption to judge his heart’s character and motive is unwarranted.

          • Al Cruise

            By their fruits you will know them.

          • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

            I agree that the gent seems primarily concerned with the inconvenience of it all, not the well-being of those involved.

  • Unah

    Wow. I’m sure this was supposed to be funny, and it would be if I wasn’t so sick to death of this topic. I wonder if this guy is taking his kids to the mall, grocery store, or anywhere else blindfolded? I wonder if this man realizes how women are constantly being judged and nagged to death about every aspect of their appearance? I personally do not think women’s dress is the only problem. How many times do I have to see a young man’s underwear hanging out of his baggy pants? I don’t see anyone constantly bringing that up. No, young women are easy targets to pick on.

    • Jennifer

      Maybe, “Why my daughters have their ears plugged at your church.”?

      • http://www.teach4theheart.com/ Linda Kardamis

        While this whole article’s tone is obviously not very serious, this
        issue sure can be. I know first-hand how old the issue of
        modesty can get to teenage girls (I was so sick of it…..still don’t
        love it, to be honest.) But it is important…..I came across an article
        this summer that was AMAZING! So often modesty is portrayed to us women
        as a duty…..a tiresome drudgery that we must endure for the sake of
        God and the men. But this article gives it a whole new spin – and uses a
        different word for modesty – discreet (which I love….) Anyhow, check
        it out:
        http://www.thefulltimegirl.com/2013/06/18/less-is-not-more-why-i-dont-wear-a-bikini/
        (btw – her entire blog is amazing)

        • Jennifer

          Hi Linda,

          Ugh. Some topics are so much better discussed over a good cup of tea (or coffee). I’m sorry you took my comment to mean that I don’t believe in the value of modesty in spirit as well as in dress. I very much do. Living where I do I am lucky to see more than a frozen nose in church these days – and even in the summertime both men and women tend to wear decent enough clothing. I gather that this is not the case in the United States?

          My concern was more for what was implied by this letter – that women are the sole problem.

          I read the article you suggested. I’ll admit to feeling a bit confused while reading it. This is very likely due to my being raised in a largely secular home and perhaps having grown up with a different sense of the intended meanings of some of the words.

          The one that really confused me was “adultery”. The example given was of young women dressing to possibly incite lust in young men and, therefor, causing them to commit adultery. It seemed as though her target audience was young, unmarried women (“God doesn’t want to cover up all our beauty so that we never get married”). Is the biblical definition of adultery essentially “lustful thoughts” even if those who are lusting aren’t married?

          The other thing I didn’t understand was how a woman who “caused” (and I’ll admit I have a problem with this word) these lustful thoughts was also guilty of the same sin of adultery. To me this sounded somewhat like a man whose car was stolen because he left it parked outside being guilty of theft. Or a blogger whose public comments “caused” someone to deny God – knowing full well that Christian blog posts attract these sorts of comments – being also guilty of denying God. I just didn’t get it and felt that I must be missing something, somewhere.

          I totally agreed with the author that we need women to realize that their worth lies in far more than their sex appeal. “…your worth is not in something as fIeeting as your body”. True. But nor do I believe that our worth lies in the outer clothes we wear. When I read that, “Strength and honour are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come.” I see a woman who has so much strength and honour that it radiates from her. THAT is what people see when they encounter her – not her outerwear. And when I read that God has clothed me with garments of salvation I think what a beautiful thing that is. More beautiful than anything I could buy in a store. And when I read that I should “not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious”, I don’t come to the same conclusion implied by the author – that a woman is known by her outer clothing – but rather that her inner qualities are what clothe her. It concerns me that many teenage girls think they need to wear revealing clothing to get attention and show their worth. Where I may differ from you is that it would also concern me if what they wear is seen as definitively reflecting their inner qualities. Or if they felt they had to wear modest clothing to get positive attention and show their worth to their church community. Both views imply that worth is defined largely on our external appearance.

    • JT Rager

      How dare those women wear what they feel is comfortable! It’s infringing on my right to…

      my… erm…

      I’ll get back to you.

      • Al Cruise

        “Wear what they feel is comfortable” How about, what men make them wear and if they don’t, they can get a severe lashing doled out by a man. Many fundie Church’s over here would love to have that same privilege.

      • http://www.BillintheBlank.com/ Bill Blankschaen

        :)

  • http://youtube.com/user/BowmanFarm Brian Bowman

    All hail the Ayatollah’s eye to fashion!

  • P. Andrew Sandlin

    Absolutely superb. It’s remarkable how alleged Christians hurl the clichéd “judgementalism” epithet at God’s holy standards.

  • Rev_Lowrey

    Sorry, this seemed snarky, lame and misdirected to me.

  • http://www.sacredise.com/ Sacredise

    Leaving aside the obvious satire in this article for the moment…

    It seems to me the problem is less with what the women are wearing and more with how little guys like this teach their boys about taking responsibility for their own sexuality. When will we men learn to stop blaming women for our feelings that frighten us?


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