So, I sat down to post a quick recipe, but I see something else has been happening here! My mom is off shopping in Spokane for the day, but it appears she popped a hot one off before she went.
While I couldn’t agree more with her original post, after reading the comments, I see that there are a few questions that might need to be expounded on, or explained, or as is quite possible, fueled. So here it is, my very quick drive-by post about the nose rings.
Honestly, I think the whole business of Christian women with nose studs is pretty funny when you get right down to it. Let’s begin by assuming that these womenÂ are not doing it to disfigure themselves. So we can rule that out. They think it is pretty, and just a wee bit edgy, but not so edgy that anyone could pin them down on anything. And perhaps when it bothers some woman in the church (and it probably will), the nose-ringed lady will happily trot out the “My husband likes it, and that is why I have it” trump card. Ha ha, gotcha now, stuffy lady. Well , here’s the deal. The lady may or may not be stuffy, but she is right to be bothered. Nose studs are traditionally beautiful. If you are of Indian descent, go for it, they belong to you. But if you are a native of Omaha Nebraska, with a long family line of Bible-believing corn growers, then I am happy to stand with the stuffy lady (I’ll even hold her hand) and say, “What the heck?”
Remember The Horse and His Boy and the wonderful descriptions of the Narnian women? They were strong women who walked and talked and laughed and wore bright colors and did not have to cover their heads or faces. They could voice opinions and were free. That is you, little Christian girls. Free. That’s right.
Now imagine if in this wonderful story Queen Susan decided to wear a nose ring and a veil after seeing how pretty the Calormene women looked in theirs. Never mind that those women were the ones with the miserable arranged marriages (the women who weren’t free to turn their back on the Tisroc, or turn down Prince Rabadash in marriage because they found him to be a stinker).
Seriously, now what would that have done to her character? And when her brothers objected, would it have helped if she had said, “But I just think it is pretty”? Does that matter? Not at all. Maybe it is pretty, but for Queen Susan it would have been completely destructive of her identity as a free woman.
Now obviously today it is not as clear cut, or we would not be having this conversation. But traditionally, nose rings have been worn by women in cultures that are not ours. They are culturally associated with Eastern religions (yes, Rebekah wore one – so if you are a Hebrew woman in the times before Christ, you are in good company and may freely wear one without my comments). They are associated with women who are not free. Are those women beautiful? Yup. Is that the point? Nope. Are nose rings part of your heritage and culture? Then by all means wear one. Are they only part of your culture in the last twenty minutes, as popularized by people who decorate with little idols in Â an effort to look multi-cultural or deep or interesting? Then get away from it. That is like Queen Susan asking the concubines for beauty secrets.S
taying away from it is not the same thing as being scared of it – I can’t imagine Queen Susan getting insecure around Lasralene. But the irony is that the Christian women who do this exact thing think it makes them seem more secure – more at ease in their surroundings. But does it? To anyone with a radar?
Let’s take this one more step. Imagine running into a girl at church in full blown Renaissance garb. “Huh,” you wonder. An older, stuffier woman might be brave enough to pry. “My husband likes it,” she says. “That is why I do it.” Stumper. Well, when it is just one girl, there is no cause to start shouting. You think you are just dealing with a little insecure weirdness. But imagine that every week more women were dressing up in costumes to come to church. I think it would be time to say something louder about it. At that point it is starting to look like some major group cultural insecurity. And that is exactly what it would be.