Once in a while I receive a comment in the combox that deserves its very own post. Today I received one that fell into that category. I’ll answer it in three parts because… I have a lot to say in response to this particular comment. I should note that I wrote this entire post before I was near an internet connection, so I haven’t read any responses that came in today while I was working on it. Here’s part one:
I have to say that combox comments that deserve their own posts usually stand out in several ways. First off, they usually come from “anonymous” readers that I suspect are not regular readers. It is, after all, far easier to hide behind the title “anonymous” (apparently) than to even type an unlinked first name or an online pseudonym.
Secondly, (and perhaps most annoyingly to me as author of this blog) the rogue combox comment author usually makes a number of assumptions about me and my beliefs and what is in fact the aim of a particular post, or even my entire blog.
If the reader is of the practically schismatic conservative order (you know the type: that think that Pope Benedict is the most liberal man to walk the face of the Earth and that sort of blather) I’m far too liberal and am a heretic for saying that women shouldn’t be held down and forced to cover.
If the reader is a fan of the National Catholic Reporter than I’m another cog in the machine oppressing womyn and keeping them from ascending to their true position as priestess at the altar of God.
And occasionally a more moderate sounding reader reads a single post, ignores the links that accompany and aid understanding of the post and decides to take everything that I’ve written completely out of context. I believe this third description fits the most recent comment I received this morning on my post asking for prayers and advice and sharing my concerns about women who are ordered by their husbands not to a) dress modestly and b) cover (when they feel a strong calling to this personal devotion).
Anonymous begins by saying that she believes that our call to our vocation in marriage is always more important than a call to dress a certain way. While I agree that our calling by God to marriage is the path in which we are led to heaven, and is thus infinitely important, I disagree that our “call to dress a certain way,” in this case modestly, is something that should be cast aside, or in a rightly ordered marriage with two devout spouses should in any way be in conflict.
As a result of concupiscence there are a sadly surprisingly number of perversions in this world. In our world these perversions have, unfortunately, become the norm in many cases. Husbands, even “Catholic” husbands (usually of the Cafeteria variety in my experience) sometimes expect things of their wives that are sinful. Dressing immodestly, against a wives conscience would fall into this category. And the husband, unfortunately, would have most of the world telling him that he is right and that his wife is “dowdy” or “prudish” for objecting to his demands. This, however, doesn't make dressing immodestly right, even if it is, by and large, the norm. We are all called to something higher and we should expect more of ourselves (and our husbands should expect more of us!).
To be continued in Post 2...