Deuteronomy 22:5

Is that a man or woman? I'm so confused...

Today, for your listening enjoyment is Randy King expounding for us the doctrine of women sans pants.


Sorry to disappoint Randy, but a little research would have revealed that if you go back in history the pants “controversy” was addressed as far back as 13 November 866, when Pope Nicholas I wrote to King Boris I of Bulgaria in response to a question about whether Bulgarian women should wear dresses instead of trousers:

‘Whether you or your women wear or do not wear trousers neither impedes your salvation nor leads to any increase of your virtue’ (‘sive vos, sive feminae vestrae, sive deponatis, sive induatis femoralia, nec saluti officit, nec ad virtutum vestrarum proficit incrementum‘ – Patrologia Latina, CXIX, 1002;).

Which, of course, only goes to demonstrate the complete moral bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Church.

81 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 22:5”

  1. Gregg Easterbrook – who writes an ESPN column as the “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” – frequemtly notes: “As TMQ readers know, my compromise with my Baptist upbringing is to be pro-topless but anti-gambling.”

    If Randy King is adding pro-pantsless, that would leave a lot of chilly women in Wisconsin.

  2. This is no pants for women thing is so mind bogglingly stupid & infuriating. I just don’t get how so many poeple can be so easily misled & seem to be glad to be so far off the good news. Just makes me wanna SCREAM!

  3. This reminds me of the story (I can only hope it is apocryphal) of the American preacher who was in a pulpit in Scotland and was “led” to preach against pants on women. He culminated his rant by exhorting the women to take off their pants and burn them on the altar. He was then informed that, in Scotland, underwear are called “pants” and men’s pants are called trousers.

  4. Another example of the fundie tendency to pick and choose OT legalistic verses to apply to them. Why don’t they ever rant about Scottish kilts? Because they would get beat up!

  5. I’m still looking forward to hearing my first fundy sermon against men wearing skinny jeans or girl jeans based on this verse. Prob won’t happen, but I can dare to dream!

  6. It is just the hight of absurdity. This one verse in this passage carries special meaning or is “more important.” Even if that were true his logic only goes so far. Women’s clothing is quite distinct, and their pants are beyond distinct. Even if I could fit in my wife’s pants there is no way I would mistake them for my jeans. They fit differently, they look differently. In other words they are distinct. At some point you have to wake up and realize you live in the 21st century and clothing evolves. What men wore when that verse was penned is *nothing* like what men wear now. And the “Britches” that the Bible talks about ain’t nothn’ like the britches we got now. It stands to reason that women’s clothing has evolved as well. The other point this misses is modesty. It doesn’t take an active imagination to think up a few situations where pants would be a much more modest attire than anything else. This holy war against pants is just absurd and must stop.

  7. I’ve always wondered why this verse is so strenuously proclaimed and yet verses in the same chapter and on the same subject (clothing) are completely ignored and never preached on. For example, Deuteronomy 22:11-12 “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. 12 Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.”
    I’ve never heard a preacher blasting away at those “devils in cotton/polyester blend with no fringes on them.” Probably a good reason for that though!

  8. @Cordovan: Great laugh of the day. Thanks. Don’t most men’s coats come in wool/linen, or poly or some sort of blend….just think of all of those fundy preachers going around in their “divers sort” garments! To Jim E, those with the jeans: they just forgot to put their skirts on OVER the jeans….silly Alaskans….

  9. @Maria Berg I like to believe that ALL fundy preachers will ONLY wear 100% polyester clothes. Sure would like to see them add the fringes, and go back to the plaid polyester sports jackets! 🙂

  10. I think he might like to check out some eastern nations. He claims no nation or society before about 100 years ago had pants on women. In China and nations influenced by Chinese culture, pants on women have been common for a lot longer than 100 years.

  11. The women who started wearing “pants” (not to be confused with bloomers) in Hollywood were women who were rumored to be bisexual or lesbians. From a website:

    “The casual outdoor California lifestyle and the clothes that actors and actresses wore in their personal lives also had an impact on American fashion. Not until Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn appeared in public in men’s trousers did it begin to be possible for the average woman to appear in public in pants, although admittedly in restricted situations. Even women such as Amelia Earhart and her fellow female pilots of the late 1920s and 30s (Louise Thaden, Elinor Smith, and Bobbi Trout), who might have been expected to have a reason for appearing in trousers, rarely did so until late in the 1930s. A Hollywood men’s tailor named Watson was apparently known for making trouser suits for “Garbo, Dietrich, Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, and all the knowing ones in the movie colony.”(55) Bettina Ballard wrote of Marlene Dietrich, a fellow passenger on a transatlantic crossing in 1937, that “she wore slacks and a man’s jacket and a fedora all day -the first woman I had ever seen wear pants in public.”(56) In contrast, in Paris at the same time, according to Ballard, women went to Creed for the perfect ladylike (skirted) suit.”

    America was extremely racist in the 1930’s, so there is no possibility that women wearing pants could be seen as an act of multiculterism.

    I’m not saying that this dude is right in any way, shape or form. I just wanted to share where these attitudes started.

  12. @Lizzy

    We all know where it started, and perhaps in the early 1900s it would have made a little sense, but that is not what the man is arguing. He is trying to say this transcends time, space, and culture. It is ethnocentric to a core. And, quite frankly, absurd even still. Clothing evolves. It reminds me of a saying I heard once:
    1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

    2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

    3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
    -Douglas Adams

  13. @Reader Mo, Totally agree. I thought that caption was HI-LAR-EEE-OUS! If I had to guess, I’d say that pic is of a man, he’s got pants on. Apparently one of those liberal compromiser men w/ long hair though.

  14. @Mark

    I know that’s not what he’s arguing.

    However, Fundie doctrine takes forever to change (if it changes at all). Most of these boneheaded theories started back in the early 20th century, when this Hollywood stuff was a big deal. So, while this isn’t specifically what he’s saying, it’s where it started.

    I know clothing evolves. I said I disagreed with him in my post. Providing context as to where these ideas developed doesn’t mean that I agree.

  15. I remember pointing out to a fundy woman once that women have worn trousers in India since recorded history began, so trousers cannot be distinctively men’s clothing. She said I had mentioned it because I was rebellious. Turns out Persian women also wore flowing trousers back during the Roman empire era. Ah Fundamentalism, assuming that Moses and his boys were a bunch of Republican cattle ranchers in the heart of America.

  16. @Lizzy,

    No worries I never assumed you agreed. I was more attacking that line of reasoning, detached from you, because I’ve heard it many times over. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the next half of his sermon dealt with that very topic. It is just absurd. 🙂

  17. Lizzy wrote “The women who started wearing “pants” (not to be confused with bloomers) in Hollywood were women who were rumored to be bisexual or lesbians. From a website:”

    I’d take such a website with a grain of salt. For one thing, there is no basis to any rumor that Rosalind Russell was a lesbian. For another, a lot of other women also wore slacks (yes, in chic Hollywood). Limiting the list to four actresses, three of whom were lesbian or bisexual is hardly accurate.

  18. Great remarks, everyone. However, I would like to add that one of the reasons that a woman is not to wear pants is because it may incite lust in the heart of the fundie man who may see her shapely bottom.

  19. Morgan write “it may incite lust in the heart of the fundie man who may see her shapely bottom.”

    Ah yes, for as the Lord said, if a man looks after a woman to lust after her, it’s her fault because she wasn’t dressed properly.

  20. Early Hollywood is one of my hobbies. I grew up on TCM and AMC (before they got those horrid five minute commercials).

    Hollywood did have a massive influence on fashion. Early in the film they usually had the regular plates on who the “players” were, who wrote the script, and in big, bold letters who designed the fashions that were worn. Clark Gable revived the men’s undershirt industry with his performance in “It Happened One Night.”

    Those movies are loaded with “product placements.” People knew that and got a lot of their fashion ideas from them. It didn’t take many actors/actress to start trends with the public and with other actors/actresses.

    I’m not saying it’s right. Using this as a reason for women to not wear pants now is called a “Genetic Fallacy.”

  21. Okay….This is completely off the topic….

    But is the young lady in the photograph smoking? Do I see a stub in her right hand? Or is that just me?

  22. It was the 1950’s…everyone smoked except fundies and the Amish. Including the ineffible Katharine Hepburn.

    (please tell me that if you grew up on TCM and AMC that you recognized her and your use of “young lady” was merely for the benefit of the uninitiated!)

  23. By the way, Tuesday 5/25, my podcast features Jeff Owens preaching on “A Lady’s Dress Code.” I think you’ve all probably heard enough, but if you just have to have another dose of this nonsense, click on my name BASSENCO and come visit. Regrettably, I did not let Owens just babble on. I analyze the sermon and present only sound clips, so you may feel like I have stolen your thunder.

  24. @Phil I can’t speak for @BASSENCO, but I personally accuse Fundies of trying to avoid having any responsibility to anyone but their own selves. No need to care about the environment. No need to care about sinners (other than to condemn them & tell them they need to join fundyland). No responsibility to care about AIDS or poverty, or disease, other than when it hits close to home. It’s all about pie in the sky, get me outta this hell-hole theology, IMO.

  25. The Greatest thing that could happen in America in my lifetime is for the IFB to die out and become irrlelvant… ok they are already a dead and irrelevant religion but like zombies they just won’t die. Unlike many here who would give them props for what they do right… I won’t do it, there;s just too much error and cultism to have to over look. I’m so sick of the IFB movement and the brainwashed masses that hell will freeze over and Satan will die of frostbite before I ever darken the door of an IFB church again of my own free will. Idon’t know… was that too sublte?

  26. All of this talk about women wearing pants, but what about men wearing dresses? I mean, “masculine” and “feminine” clothing are merely cultural constructs, but I’m willing to wager that a lot more hell would be raised if a man came into an IFB church wearing a dress as opposed to a woman wearing pants.

  27. I thought that churches and fundamentalist ministers had dropped their pants preaching many years ago. Are you all saying that there are still churches where there is a huge pull on pants preaching?

    Heck, even the Church of God and Assemblies of God have dropped there pants preaching. I’d be willing to bet that even the snake handlers are into pants.

  28. Oh yes, the Hyles gang is still rabid about it. They wink at and ignore child molesters in their pulpits (or actually cover for them), but pants on women: that’s an outrage.

  29. @Sister Marie: it depends on the church. Like Bassenco said, some fundy churches are *big* into preaching against pants. At others it may actually be ok for women to wear pants outside of church or maybe even to a church activity. It really just depends where you are.

  30. Welcome to the IFC Manhood Championship! In this corner, wearing a three-piece suit and wing-tip shoes—Randy King! And in this corner, wearing the plaid kilt—William Wallace! Bring it on!

  31. PS: I forgot that I’d already mentioned her in my previous post, so I guess I didn’t need to do the “benefit of the unitiated.” :-/

  32. The thing that always gets to me about the view on women in Fundy circles is that men are portrayed as completely without self-control and willpower. It’s all a woman’s fault if she’s dressed inappropriately. I mean, any little thing she wears will cause a man to lust after her like the wolf in those old MGM cartoons. Really, are Fundy men that weak that they can’t even lay eyes on a woman without thinking lustful thoughts? It’s just silly. Take no responsibility for your own behavior, it’s all “her” fault!

  33. I know _exactly_ the chiding of which you speak, Lizzy. I get that frequently from folks who don’t know Bing Crosby from Bill Cosby.

    1. You see, that’s why the first assignment of the semester in my freshman comp class is always a classic film critical analysis (along with a multi-day lecture on film history and the time period and the major players)–I believe they must know the classics, especially if they purport in their blog entries to be movie fans. 😀

  34. @Ben… you nailed it! Personal responsibility is the last excuse a fundy will use. He will exhaust all other attempts to shift the blame until cornered and has no other options. This is how so many of them keep their ministries going, by deflection and cover-up. Like Camille’s blog post, “Things I never heard in Fundamentalism-Sin” points out, the fundy system looks on sin as something outside of oneself and treats it as something to be avoided. Therefore sin is in the other person’s dress, the other’s outward appearance not in the eye and heart of the beholder. Its the Billy Sunday preacher-tainment approach to sin. I quote:
    “If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch.
    I’m against sin.
    I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist.
    I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth.
    And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!” -Billy Sunday

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