Christian Fundies Find Another Thing to Get Upset About: Uncovered Female Heads

Out of all the wrongs that need addressing in the world, what single cause should Christians give their priority? Is it curbing hunger? Helping the sick? Rooting out the cabal of clergy pedophiles?

Wrong, wrong, and wrong.

It’s getting women to cover their heads during worship. That’s what the Christians behind the head covering movement (HCM) believe, anyway. They follow the Calvinist theologian John Murray:

Above anything else, they follow the Bible. The head-coverers quote 1 Corinthians 11:4-15:

Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

knew God didn’t like Sinead O’Connor… and now we have biblical proof!

But I digress. Back to 1 Corinthians:

Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

What happens if women’s tresses are left uncovered? Such a sight is (you guessed it) an abomination unto the Lord. On the head-covering website we learn that obedience to God separates the just from the unjust, and here’s what’s happens to the latter: they will be subjected to

judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught.

Isn’t that sweet?

One of the testimonies on the site is from a Melissa Walker, who started covering not even two weeks ago (she’s the only woman in her Colorado church to do so) but who must already feel more virtuous than all the other ladies, considering that they are hos hussies floozies sinners — by the HCM’s own definition, anyway.

To get a sense of what’s really motivating the head covering movement, R.C. Sproul‘s quote on the home page is instructive (Sproul is a Calvinist warrior, a Council member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and a true-blue believer in the Bible’s inerrancy):

The wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century. What happened? Did we suddenly find some biblical truth to which the saints for thousands of years were blind? Or were our biblical views of women gradually eroded by the modern feminist movement that has infiltrated the Church?”

There you have it. The men behind the HCM have bones to pick and scores to settle, with an eye on pushing feminists from the faith — and on regaining control over uppity womenfolk. As my friend Benjamin Corey (an Anabaptist preacher, no less) points out, Ms. Walker and other female providers of HCM testimonials call themselves their husbands’ “help-meets,” a label that makes us both cringe thanks to the second-fiddle, subjugated-woman connotation.

I actually love that these people exist (and that they have a nice crisp-looking website that demonstrates that they know they don’t live in the 19th — or the 5th — century). That’s because their misogynist hooey will likely do more damage to the cause of Christianity than a hundred atheist blog posts ever could.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X