a general why

I have been considering covering my hair for quite a while, maybe even pre Yemen, though back then my ‘considering’ was a general wondering and not an actual desire. In Yemen, I hated hijab (as my friend Isaac reminded me yesterday.) But, I think that was because I was wearing hijab/abaya because I got way too much attention without it. I only wore it out of societal pressure. Sometime after I returned from Yemen, I would look at hijab and other traditional Christian and Jewish head covers online and think to myself “I really want to try that. Now is not the right time, though. Maybe when I go away to nursing school and am in a bigger city, I will.”

At the same time, I read about why modern women cover. I was very disappointed to find  that everyone I ran across online, especially in the beginning, were ’sola scriptura’ people, who solely based their reasonings behind covering on Paul and 1 Corinthians 11. I am not a fan of this passage because I believe it is demeaning to women. To make matters worse, I ran across these crazy IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) forums (or maybe it was just that one) that supported women’s head covering. The women on this forum encourage the ideas that a woman’s place is in the home, quiet and subservient to their husbands. This is not something I want to support!

Which leads me to a difficult place because I want to cover, but not for these reasons. I want to cover because, as I understand, it wasn’t until recently that Christian women didn’t cover. The act of covering full time may have faded earlier, but covering in church remained standard until very recently.  Head covering has been a part of the church’s tradition from the very beginning, as Paul demonstrates. It has continued throughout time, and in many eastern churches, it is still practiced. I loved that many of the Southeastern Asian Catholics covered during Mass and prayer time with the nuns in Yemen. The Ethiopian Orthodox women covered in Ethiopia. And while these examples maybe cultural, it is, at least in my mind, a nearly universal practice throughout church history.

This might not be the best reasoning ever, but it is mine. I hope that as I practice covering and practice explaining why I cover to others, my logic will become more solid and my understanding of why women in general and myself in specific cover will become deeper than my current, rather random and fluffy, desire to put something on my head and be associated with this one aspect of Christian tradition.

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One Response to “a general why”

  1. Mother Kathy Says:

    This makes perfect sense to me, and I think your reasons are sound. Let me know how it goes. I’ve bookmarked your blog so I can check it regularly.

    And I won’t tell your mom…but you might have to at some point!

    Mother Kathy

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