OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 26, 2014, 11:17:51 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is Covering the Hair a Religious Commandment for Christian Women?  (Read 3045 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
united
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


OC.net


« on: April 26, 2004, 09:09:30 AM »

There can be only one answer to this: yes, it is! Simply open the Bible to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 11. Read verses 3-10.

But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head. But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven. For if a woman is not covered, let her be shaven. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. A man indeed ought not to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man. For man was not created for woman, but woman for man. This is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority over her head, because of the angels.

The meaning of this passage is plain enough. We can make the following syllogisms:

Syllogism 1


Praying with an uncovered head is a disgrace

Having a shaved head is the same as praying with an uncovered head

Therefore, having a shaved head is a disgrace

Syllogism 2

If it is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head, she should cover her head

It is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head - see syllogism 1

Therefore, a woman should cover her head

In other words, the passage means what it says. Have you ever wondered why Catholic nuns dress like they're wearing hijab (Muslim hijabi women, have you ever been mistaken for a nun? I have, more than once). Have you ever wondered why Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them both) is always depicted in Christian art with her hair covered? Did you know that until the 1960s, it was obligatory for Catholic women to cover their heads in church (then they "modernized" the service)?

There are some interesting points that can be made about the Christian directive.

1) The explicit purpose of the Christian woman's headcovering, as stated by Paul, is that it is a sign of man's authority over woman. The explicit purpose of Islamic hijab is modesty. Strange how so many Westerners think that the purpose of hijab is a symbol of male authority. Maybe they know that that's what it is in their own religion (Christianity) so they assume that Islam must be the same...!

2) The Christian woman is to cover her head whenever she is praying, whether it be at the church service or just personal prayer at home. This may mean that if she is not praying at home, she is uncovered around male guests who are not related to her; or if she is praying at home, that she is covered around her own husband and family. If any more proof were needed than Paul's own words that the Christian headcovering is not about modesty, this must certainly be it!

This puts hijab in a whole new perspective, doesn't it! To my non-hijabi Muslim sister who feels that hijab is a sign of oppression for the Muslim female, please do read the above and then read the Quran. Believe me, if Allah SWT meant for hijab to be a sign of male authority, the Quran would be as unambiguous about it as Paul is in the Bible. Isn't this difference the kind of thing that attracted you to Islam in the first place?
« Last Edit: April 26, 2004, 09:12:08 AM by united » Logged

united for peace and JUSTICE
Orthodoc
Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 2,526

Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2004, 09:19:33 AM »

 [Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head.]

Then what about the Bishops praying with Mitres on.  Or the priests and deacons praying with their Kalymauki (Kamilavka) on?

Orthodoc
Logged

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
yBeayf
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 708

/etc


« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 10:50:35 AM »

Quote
Then what about the Bishops praying with Mitres on.  Or the priests and deacons praying with their Kalymauki (Kamilavka) on?
During most prayers per se, such as the anaphora, the twelve prayers at matins, the prayers of light at vespers, the prayers at the bowing of the heads, etc., as well as while venerating icons, clergy do indeed uncover their heads.
Logged
Orthodoc
Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 2,526

Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2004, 12:15:39 PM »

[During most prayers per se, such as the anaphora, the twelve prayers at matins, the prayers of light at vespers, the prayers at the bowing of the heads, etc., as well as while venerating icons, clergy do indeed uncover their heads.]

You are absolutely right!  Thanks for bringing that to my attention!  My question was kind of a gut reaction immediately after reading the comment.

But still, doesn't a Proto Deacon still have on a Kamalavka when doing the petitions in front of the Iconostasis?

Orthodoc
Logged

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
theodore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 194


« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2004, 12:30:45 PM »


The meaning of this passage is plain enough. We can make the following syllogisms:

Syllogism 1


Praying with an uncovered head is a disgrace

Having a shaved head is the same as praying with an uncovered head

Therefore, having a shaved head is a disgrace

Syllogism 2

If it is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head, she should cover her head

It is a disgrace for a woman to have a shaved head - see syllogism 1

Therefore, a woman should cover her head
And I assume Syllogism 3 would be:

If a woman has her head shaved because of a medical condition

She is a disgrace, and obviously punished by God   :-";"xx
Logged
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 02:33:16 PM »

So, United, you are a muslim woman, since you say you have been mistaken for a Christian Nun?  Well, first that would depend on the order of nuns, they don't all have the same headcovering so I would hardly say that they look like they're wearing "hijab" unless you're using that word to mean anything a woman wears on her head.  Secondly, the people who have mistaken you for a nun, may not know anything or much about nuns, EO, RC or Anglican (yes there are Anglican nuns).

As to *why* nuns wear certain styles of headcovering, for many western orders they are wearing what was the mode of widows clothing or very simple gowns from the time the order was founded.  Thus older orders (Benedictines, Poor Clares etc) have habits that are drawn from many hundreds of years ago.  More recent orders such as the Sisters of Charity, founded by Mother Elizabeth Seton, wore bonnets and clothing such as were worn in 1809 when the order was founded.  Or it may be due to the country that the order was originally from, or if they are a contemplative order or a nursing order or teaching and so forth. Some are quite plain, others have been very elaborate with sort of wings or cornets or ruffles.  (I have read for for some orders, the nuns hair was regularly cut very short/shaved so that there was no call to fuss with it.)

There are many factors that apply when people make clothing: climate, working conditions, what materials are available and such. Humanity is a richly complicated thing.

Next, You are incorrect that St. Mary the Virgin is *always* shown with her hair covered.  Most of the time, yes, but for example, I had an icon of St. Mary showing Jesus in a mandorla in front of her and her hair was hanging as a maiden wore it.  (In some cultures little girls and maidens wear their hair uncovered until marriage). This was an icon that I had purchased from a shop attached to ROCOR, so I hardly think that it was incorrect or unacceptable.

You say the passage is "plain".  But perhaps it is not as plain as you would like to present. The whole business if being the "head" of someone.  When it says "the head of the woman is the man" one question is "Which man?"  "Any man?"  "Her husband?" (What if she's single?)  "Her father?" (what if he's dead?) And just what does "Because of the angels" mean? I have read that for the culture and the time, the covering of the head by an adult woman has as a purpose modesty, which St. Paul also writes about.  So stating that for Christian women covering means "Male domination" is overly simplistic. Jewish women also wore some kind of covering and in Hassidic and Ultra-Orthodox groups today, married women will wear a hat or a wig to cover their own hair for modesty (it going with hair being a woman's "glory" but only for her husband, I'm told.)

Then, women wearing something on their heads was not just a "Catholic" or 'Orthodox" thing.  There are cultural aspects to wearing hats/bonnets/veils/caps that crossed religious lines in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Colonial era American women wore a variety of caps and hats. Looking at the history of clothing from many lands can be quite interesting and information.  
In Africa south of the Sahara, Asia, the Pacific Islands and  Australia, the European patterns don't fit.

Then there's the question of 'hijab' for modesty meaning just covering the hair, or the face or wearing the burqa?  I have read of too many cases where Muslim men have beaten or otherwise harmed muslim women for what the men thought was a breach of modesty.  If it's not for male dominance, why are strange men taking it on themselves to upbraid and mistreat women?

Ebor

Edited to complete a sentence.  I sometimes think faster then I can type.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2004, 05:26:08 PM by Ebor » Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2004, 02:35:15 PM »

And I assume Syllogism 3 would be:

If a woman has her head shaved because of a medical condition

She is a disgrace, and obviously punished by God   :-

Or if she is on chemotherapy and her hair falls out she's sinned by taking the treatment?  :-

I think not.

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
theodore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 194


« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2004, 04:56:13 PM »

Or if she is on chemotherapy and her hair falls out she's sinned by taking the treatment?  :-

I think not.

Ebor
YOU THINK NOT??? Only an infidel would such a thing! :smiley2:
Logged
Bogoliubtsy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,268



« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2004, 05:01:23 PM »

First we see that "the head of every man is Christ" and then "the head of the woman is the man". Now, when St. Paul is speaking about a woman covering her head, I believe he is speaking of head in the sense that "the head of the woman is the man." He is not actually referring to the part of the body which sits atop the neck, but is still speaking of a figurative "head" or leader. Therefore, St. Paul is instructing women to cover their men, not their actual heads.  With what you may ask?  Well....God's ways are ineffable.  Wink Smiley
« Last Edit: April 26, 2004, 05:02:38 PM by Bogoliubtsy » Logged

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004, 05:19:39 PM »

YOU THINK NOT??? Only an infidel would such a thing! :smiley2:


Well, would a Graceless Heretic (tm) Anglican do rather then an infidel?  Grin

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2004, 05:21:49 PM »

First we see that "the head of every man is Christ" and then "the head of the woman is the man". Now, when St. Paul is speaking about a woman covering her head, I believe he is speaking of head in the sense that "the head of the woman is the man." He is not actually referring to the part of the body which sits atop the neck, but is still speaking of a figurative "head" or leader. Therefore, St. Paul is instructing women to cover their men, not their actual heads.  With what you may ask?  Well....God's ways are ineffable.  Wink Smiley

Good working, Bogo.  Well, following that idea, covering the 'head' with caring or respect or devotion?

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Bogoliubtsy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,268



« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2004, 05:28:04 PM »

Good working, Bogo.  Well, following that idea, covering the 'head' with caring or respect or devotion?

Ebor


I have no idea.  Smiley I was pretty much just joking around giving a low budget alternate version of the syllogisms provided above , since I feel the "head covering" arguments go nowhere. I'm sure in the Greek there are two different words for head in each case, but it was still fun to come to my conclusion.  Wink

Logged

"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara
Brigid of Kildare
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 280



« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2004, 06:12:45 PM »

(Muslim hijabi women, have you ever been mistaken for a nun? I have, more than once).


Are there any other Muslim hijabi women subscribers to this forum?

Seriously, United, would it be worth asking why the burden of modesty and chastity falls exclusively upon Muslim women? Shouldn't Muslim men be expected to control their passions?
Logged

Bríd Naomhtha, Mhuire na nGaeil, Guí Orainn
united
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


OC.net


« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2004, 07:58:09 AM »

Hello,
well i agree with you that they have to control their passions but..not the muslims ..maybe the arabs.....there is a big difference between muslims an arabs and there is a big difference between muslims now and the islam the real islam.
les meas
united for peace and JUSTICE
Logged

united for peace and JUSTICE
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2004, 09:41:35 AM »

One of the passions that muslim men might do well to control is that of violence in accosting women whom they deem to be "immodest".  

Since Islam came out of an Arabian setting, there has seemed to be a drive to carry not just the religion but arabian culture and enforce it as though it *is* the same as being muslim.  Yet (the last time I saw anything on this) the country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.  But more radical movements such as Wahabi seem to be trying to enforce Arabian patterns.  Considering the atrocious treatment of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban, the native peoples are not Arab, but somehow the oppressive patterns were enforced by the thugs who were in power.

A difference between Muslims and Arabs? Not all Muslims are Arabs but some are.  Not all Arabs are Muslim, some are Christian for example.  A difference between Muslims now and  the Real Islam?  And what would be the Real Islam as compared to what is practiced by Muslims now?


Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
united
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


OC.net


« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2004, 10:57:27 AM »

the differene is like the difference between christianity and christians......do you think for example g.w.bush is a good christian image? or what about madonna? marylin manson? by the way the devil in mel gibson's passion of the christ looks like marylin manson....
Logged

united for peace and JUSTICE
theodore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 194


« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2004, 11:50:21 AM »

the differene is like the difference between christianity and christians......do you think for example g.w.bush is a good christian image? or what about madonna? marylin manson? by the way the devil in mel gibson's passion of the christ looks like marylin manson....
Marylin Manson a Christian?!?!?  Hardly.  He is some sort of pagan.  How can you possibly expect to be taken seriously when you try to assert that an avowed pagan and hater of Christ is a Christian?  Madonna is an adherent of a mystical Jewish religion called Kabbalah.  Since this is an ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN discussion forum, why don't you give examples of ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, rather than judging Christianity based on the behavior of a Protestant, a Pagan and a Jew?
Logged
Protopsalti
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 43

Δεύτε λάβετε φώÏÃ


« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2004, 12:25:49 PM »

Ok, can we go back to the gospel and read the Opinion of the church?

1 Corinthians 11:1-22

     1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. 17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
Logged

" If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you "
Jennifer
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 1,154


« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2004, 06:52:01 PM »

Madonna's isn't a Jew and the twisted form of Kabbalah she practices can't be described as Jewish.
Logged
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2004, 10:14:11 PM »

the differene is like the difference between christianity and christians......do you think for example g.w.bush is a good christian image? or what about madonna? marylin manson? by the way the devil in mel gibson's passion of the christ looks like marylin manson....

I am unaware of Marilyn Manson making any claim at all to being a Christian.  Likewise Madonna (at least this week.)  People who live in the US are not, as a matter of course, Christian.  So I'm afraid that your examples don't really apply.  I wouldn't know about the depiction of the devil in "The Passion" as I haven't seen it.  But what of it? It's merely a symbolic depiction what what I've read.  Your list could be countered with people who could be pointed out as good images of a Christian.  But I don't know that it would serve any use beyond a bean-counting example.

How has the "Real Islam" to use your words, been left for what "Muslims now" are doing?  If the "real Islam" was so supportive of women so they could "reach for the sky", what happened that this changed to the oppressive practices and customs that many muslim women have written about it in protest?  

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2004, 10:23:56 PM »

Ok, can we go back to the gospel and read the Opinion of the church?

1 Corinthians 11:1-22

     .... 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Well, just taking this part.  Is it comely?  Well, here and now it might be.

"Doth not even nature itself teach you that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?"'  My answer would be either "ummm, no?" or "Does nature teach this?  Where?  How?"  If you don't cut it, hair grows.

If a woman's hair is a covering, what other covering is needed?  This is not one of the clear as glass passages.  Which is probably why it has been the subject of much discussion and embranglement over the centuries.

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2004, 05:10:51 PM »

I found a case that had been in the back of my mind.  2 years ago, there was a fire at the Makkah school in Saudi Arabia.  It was a girls school.  There was a fire and the religious enforcers would not let the girls out because they were not wearing scaves and abayas.  15 girls died.  Men coming to the rescue were prevented as it was a "sin". Story here at bbc:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1874471.stm

Modesty or male dominance?  No scarf = death.  

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Online Online

Posts: 15,313


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Nazarenes


WWW
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2004, 06:37:26 PM »

If you can't stop thinking about sex long enough to save little girls inside a burning building, or if seeing a girl without a veil automatically makes you horny, even when the girl is in a burning building, you've got major problems, and some cheap black scarf isn't gonna fix it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2004, 06:41:53 PM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Online Online

Posts: 6,361



« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2004, 07:06:46 PM »

True enough, Mor.  But I guess it's easier on the men to say that it would be the women's/girls fault for the impulse...  Sigh.

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Tags: hats head coverings 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.1 seconds with 52 queries.